Jack Donald reflects on landing honour

One of Red Deer’s highest regarded businessmen Jack Donald became the first Red Deer Laureate to be inducted into the Calgary Business Hall of Fame recently.

Donald gave a speech at the Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta (JASA) office in Red Deer where he was recognized for his achievements that got the City on the map.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Oct. 19 at the 2011 Gala.

The Calgary Business Hall of Fame honours the lifetime achievements of southern Albertans who have helped shape the province through their business success, entrepreneurial spirit, and to those who are role models to youth.

“I am very pleased and humbled that I was inducted into the Calgary Hall of Fame,” said Donald. “There is more to Alberta than Calgary and Edmonton and we have to get people realizing things are happening in other communities.”

Beginning with one service station Donald built Parkland Oil Products into a 38-station chain until he sold it to Turbo resources in 1971.

Donald then returned to the fuel sector in 1977 and began building Parkland Industries into a chain spanning western and northern Canada with 445 retail locations, a trucking fleet and a refinery.

“Junior Achievement is doing all kinds of good things in Central Alberta and it is a great honour,” said Donald.

This marks the first time since the Calgary Business Hall of Fame in 2004 was established that someone from Central Alberta has been awarded the title.

“Red Deer has supported Joan and I on our business endeavors and we have persevered,” said Donald.

Donald and his wife recently donated $3 million to the new RDC Donald School of Business campus located in downtown Red Deer to help give back to the community.

“My wife Joan has a saying, ‘You can’t wear a catcher’s mitt on both hands, you have to be able to throw something back’ and that is very true of what we are trying to do,” he said.

In honour of his recent induction, JASA has also partnered with Servus Credit Union in support of the Dollars with Sense Program, which inspires young entrepreneurs to create their own business.

Servus Credit Union has also contributed $125,000 over the next three years to the program.

Notre Dame High School will be the first school to participate in the pilot company program, which will be launched in 2012.

JASA has been engaging local businesses and community leaders in its mission to inspire and educate young Albertans to succeed in the global economy by providing them with opportunities to experience free enterprise, understand business and economics and develop entrepreneurial, financial literacy and leadership skills.