University of Calgary

Champion for ending homelessness named 2013 Distinguished Business Leader

UToday HomeApril 30, 2013

Alan Norris was named as a Distinguished Business Leader by a committee consisting of a previous award recipient, members of the Calgary Chamber, and faculty, alumni and students of the Haskayne School of Business.Alan Norris was named as a Distinguished Business Leader by a committee consisting of a previous award recipient, members of the Calgary Chamber, and faculty, alumni and students of the Haskayne School of Business.Alan Norris, President and CEO of Brookfield Residential Properties Inc., has been named the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Business Leader Award by the Haskayne School of Business and the Calgary Chamber.

Since 1993, the Distinguished Business Leader Award has recognized outstanding leaders in the Calgary business community, honouring those whose exceptional demonstration of vision and leadership, sound business sense, and commitment to the community has marked them as role models for future generations of business leaders.

“Alan Norris is a community builder in every sense. He has built a world-class company and then shared his expertise with the Homeless Foundation to provide housing options for all citizens in our society,” said Jim Dewald, dean of the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary. “Alan’s approach to business, his personal life, and his philanthropic work exemplify a combination of community caring and the ‘can do’ spirit that make Calgary a great city and make him a deserving recipient of the Distinguished Business Leader Award.”

Norris has made his mark on the Calgary landscape through home building and land development. He has been president and chief executive of Brookfield Residential Properties Inc. and its predecessor company Carma Developers since 1994. Under his leadership, the company has enjoyed successive years of record growth, expanding operations to 10 North American markets, including Alberta, Ontario, Washington, DC, California, Colorado and Texas; growing the company’s asset base tenfold to more than $2.7 billion and its employee base to 800 people. Norris came to Calgary in 1980 as a young, Scottish chartered accountant working with then Deloitte and Touche. He was hired by Carma Developers to assist with working through the real estate crunch of the 1980s and quickly progressed through the financial ranks to the CEO position.

In 1998, Norris initiated the creation of the Carma Centre for Excellence in Home Building and Land Development (now branded homebuilders4tomorrow) under the Canadian Home Builders Association as a voice for the training and educational needs of the residential construction industry. He has been actively involved in many industry initiatives including chairing the Carma Centre for Excellence and co-chairing an infrastructure funding committee with the City of Calgary.

His active involvement in the community includes being a past director of Theatre Calgary and a mentor in the Haskayne School of Business MBA program; he is currently co-chair of the Resolve Fundraising campaign to raise $120 million for affordable housing in Calgary, a collaborative campaign representing nine different agencies that are addressing homelessness; he is also the current chairman of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, which is five years into Calgary’s 10-year plan to end homelessness.

The Distinguished Business Leader Award will be presented to Norris at the 21st annual gala event, taking place Monday, June 17, 2013 at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts. Gala proceeds will create a scholarship in his name benefitting a Haskayne student who demonstrates similar talent and vision. As have previous recipients before him, Norris will engage with Haskayne faculty and students to help bridge the gap between management education and management practice.

The Haskayne School of Business and the Calgary Chamber are partnering with Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts and Business in Calgary magazine to produce this year’s event and showcase Norris’ accomplishments, and were further supported by generous sponsors KPMG and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta.

Selection of the award recipient is made by a committee comprising a previous Distinguished Business Leader Award recipient, members of the Calgary Chamber, faculty, alumni and students of the Haskayne School of Business. Nominations are accepted year-round with a March 31st deadline for current year consideration.

Past recipients of the Distinguished Business Leader Award:

  • Susan Riddell Rose (2012), president and CEO, Perpetual Energy Inc.
  • Rick George (2011), president and CEO, Suncor Energy Inc.
  • Hal Kvisle (2010), president and CEO, TransCanada Corporation
  • Patrick Daniel (2009), president and CEO, Enbridge Inc.
  • George Brookman (2008), CEO and owner, West Canadian
  • Mike Tims (2007), chairman, Peters & Co.
  • Harley Hotchkiss (2006), chairman, NHL Board of Governors
  • Linda Hohol (2005), president, TSX Venture Exchange
  • Charlie Fischer (2004), president and CEO, Nexen Inc.
  • Clive Beddoe (2003), chairman, president and CEO, WestJet Airlines Ltd.
  • John Forzani (2002), founder, chairman and CEO, The Forzani Group Ltd.
  • David O’Brien (2001), chairman, president and CEO, Canadian Pacific Ltd.
  • Brian MacNeill (2000), chairman, Petro-Canada
  • James Gray (1999), chairman, Canadian Hunter Exploration Ltd.
  • J.R. (Bud) McCaig (1998), chairman, Trimac Corporation
  • Richard Haskayne OC, AOE, FCA (1997), chairman of the board, NOVA Corporation
  • Robert Brawn (1996), president and CEO, Danoil Energy Ltd.
  • Alfred Balm (1995), chairman of the board, Emergo Canada Ltd.
  • David Mitchell, OC (1994), president and CEO, Alberta Energy Company Ltd.
  • John Currie (1993), president, Alberta Arts Stabilization Fund


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