Nov. 5, 2015

Haskayne announces 2015-16 Jarislowsky Co-Fellows

Business leaders Bill Sembo and Brian Felesky team up to connect students with professionals
Brian Felesky (left) and Bill Sembo are the recently announced 2015-16 Jarislowsky Fellows in Business Management at the Haskayne School of Business.

Brian Felesky (left) and Bill Sembo are the recently announced 2015-16 Jarislowsky Fellows.

Together, Bill Sembo and Brian Felesky make a great team. This dynamic duo have known each other for many years, having worked on several initiatives together, and are now teaming up as the 2015-16 Jarislowsky Fellows in Business Management. Their goal is to connect Haskayne students with local leaders to broaden their perspectives beyond traditional classroom learning.

“The inspiration for becoming a Jarislowsky Fellow is my commitment to education and what it means to the individual and to society,” says Felesky. “We tend to take our educational opportunities for granted, so anything you can do to bring the value and wealth of education home to young people is a way of giving thanks for the education you received yourself and the great mentors, teachers and professors that inspired you along the way.”

The program, established by the Jarislowsky Foundation, is intended to increase the depth and breadth of the learning experience at the Haskayne School of Business by providing students with access to professionals with real and relevant senior level business experience. It is founded in philanthropist Steven Jarislowsky’s belief that providing students with access to professionals will help them understand that success in business requires developing a more holistic perspective through community involvement and an appreciation of the arts, international culture, religion, politics and diversity.

Fellowship to link Haskayne MBA students with leaders in Calgary 

Programming for the fellowship this year will focus on connecting Haskayne MBA students with successful members of Calgary’s corporate, public and social sectors to come together, network and discuss what is required to be successful. Felesky and Sembo hope to help Haskayne MBAs build their toolkits for success in a practical and pragmatic way to tackle real world situations post-graduation.

“I am taken by the thoughtfulness of Stephen Jarislowsky when he articulated that the mission of the fellowship was to bring the whole person to education,” says Felesky. “Education is not just a technical experience, not just an intellectual experience but an experience of the soul, the heart, and awakening the sense of community. I applaud Stephen Jarislowsky and I feel privileged to be a part of it.”

Sembo and Felesky share a passion for education, and are both actively involved in the community and dedicated to giving back.

“I wanted to work alongside Brian Felesky as a Jarislowsky Fellow to raise an awareness amongst the students at Haskayne about the reward and importance of being an engaged member of the community," says Sembo. "True success in business is only partially measured by enterprise and entrepreneurial milestones; other measures include contributions which strengthen our public institutions, sustain outstanding ethical leadership and assist others."

Sembo is highly sought-after advisor for national and international corporations

Sembo has more than 40 years of experience in investment banking and until his recent retirement, was vice-chairman and managing director of RBC Capital Markets and a senior partner of the firm's global energy practice. He is a highly respected and sought-after adviser by corporations nationally and internationally.

In the community, Sembo is a distinguished leader and substantial contributor. He was the founder and co-chair of the Reach Campaign, which raised over $312 million for the former Calgary Health Region and the University of Calgary. He has previously served the province of Alberta as a volunteer member of the Alberta Oil and Gas Economics Advisory Council, as a member of the advisory board overseeing the province's Access to the Future Fund and as a member of the board of directors of the former Calgary Health Region.

Aside from serving as vice-chair of the dean's advisory board at the Cumming School of Medicine, he is chair of the advisory board for the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases at the University of Calgary. 

Feleksy's involvement on boards and committees illustrate his community spirit

Most recently, Felesky was the vice-chairman of Investment Banking (Canada) at Credit Suisse. Prior to that, he was a founding partner of Felesky Flynn LLP where he specialized in corporate tax law. He is also the past director of Suncor Energy Ltd., Precision Drilling Ltd., and Capital Power LP.

Felesky’s tireless commitment to giving back to the community is demonstrated through his involvement in numerous boards and committees. Felesky is currently co-chair of Transformation Calgary, a co-founding member of Awali — a teacher development project in East Africa, founding co-chair of HomeFront, a past vice-chair for the Canada West Foundation, and president of both the Calgary Bar Association and the Canadian Bar Association (Alberta).