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Values matter, says honorary degree recipient Jeff Orr

Jun 22, 2017

Jeff Orr Honorary degree

Jeff Orr, HBA ’81, President and Chief Executive Officer of Power Financial Corporation

Jeff Orr, HBA ’81, says his success didn’t come from his business accomplishments. It’s about being proud of who he is as a person.

Orr, President and Chief Executive Officer of Power Financial Corporation, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Western University for being a leader of exemplary character. During his address to Western and Ivey HBA graduates at Western’s 309th Convocation on June 20, he explained why, for him, character trumps all.  

“I have a simple message: Succeed by doing what’s right,” he said. “Behave in a way that – at the end of the day, or every week, or every year, or at the end of your life – you can look at yourself in the mirror and can say, ‘I was the person that I wanted to be. I behaved in the way that I wanted to be.’”

Orr told the graduates to bring the same values to the workplace and to all their relationships as they bring to their closest family members and friends. He said people often think business is a dog-eat-dog world and focus on saying what they think are the right things to say, instead of what they believe.

“It’s actually by being the person who is doing the right thing – trying to contribute, trying to be honest, trying to put in a lot of effort, trying to give back more than you’re taking – that over time you build up a reputation and people around you start to notice. And, next thing you know, opportunities and leadership positions are put forward for you,” he said. “Root yourself in your values and you will make it through almost any tough situation.”

After convocation, the HBA graduates participated in the Ivey Pledge Ceremony at the London Convention Centre and Stefan Losberg, HBA ’17, the HBA class valedictorian, gave an address.

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