JR Shaw Named UVic Distinguished Entrepreneur

The University of Victoria’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business is awarding its 2011 Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award to cable TV pioneer JR Shaw for his vision and entrepreneurial leadership.

First established in 1966 as Capital Cable Television, Shaw grew Shaw Communications Inc. into one of Canada’s largest communication companies. Today, it is a diversified media and communications company with 13,300 employees providing consumers with broadband cable television, high-speed Internet, home phone, telecommunication services, satellite direct-to-home services, and programming content to 3.4 million customers.

The University of Victoria’s DEYA acknowledges an inspirational entrepreneur who has significant and positive impact on the community through his or her business leadership.
“JR’s passion for choice and service is at the heart of the Shaw vision,” says Dr. Ali Dastmalchian, dean of the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business. “Those twin values, plus a strong work ethic, established JR as one of our country’s most successful entrepreneurs and makes him a wonderful role model for our students.”
Shaw learned the value of hard work and gained a commitment to community service from his parents, Francis and Lottie Shaw. His father established the Shaw Foundation to help improve the quality of life for Canadians. JR Shaw followed their inspiration establishing a policy of corporate social responsibility within the company. The foundation and the company support a wide range of activities including the Shaw Teddy Bears for Children in Distress program, the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney, UVic’s CanAssist program, and helped to establish the Sooke Potholes Regional Park.
Shaw has received multiple awards and honours including an appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada and as a Member of the Alberta Order of Excellence. He has also received the Gold Ribbon Award for Broadcast Excellence, three honorary doctors of law degrees and the Confederation of Canada Award from the Government of Canada. He was recently inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame, a North American wide recognition for his lifetime of service and achievements from his industry peers.
Shaw is the eighth DEYA recipient. His vision and entrepreneurial accomplishments will be celebrated at the annual DEYA gala on April 27 in Victoria. Shaw joins a select circle of distinguished entrepreneurs: Alex Campbell, co-founder of Thrifty Foods (2010); Sir Terence Matthews, a technology entrepreneur and investor in telecommunication ventures (2009); Clive Beddoe, a founding shareholder and executive chair of WestJet (2008); David Black, founder of Canada’s largest privately owned newspaper publishing company (2007); Gwyn Morgan, who established EnCana Corp. as the country’s largest energy company (2006); Dave Ritchie, chair emeritus of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (2005); and Jeff Mallett, former president and chief operating officer of Yahoo (2004).
For DEYA gala tickets visit www.gustavson.uvic.ca/deya.

Photo: Mark Shannon / Mark Eleven Photography