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Words of advice to the Classes of 2018

Jun 12, 2018

Bill Troost

As Bill Troost looked out at the graduating MSc, MBA, EMBA, and PhD Classes of 2018, he commented on the differences between them and his own MBA Class of 1975.

“In our section of 60 individuals, there were four women – and we were a pretty white bunch,” he said. “It’s gratifying to see the graduating classes today are much more diversified.”

Troost, MBA ’75 and President, CEO, and Founder of Peel Plastics Limited, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Western University at the June 8 Convocation for his business leadership, philanthropy, and community support.

After graduating from Ivey, Troost founded Peel Plastics, a leading manufacturer of flexible packaging, in 1978. He grew the company from two employees to 450, with today’s employees coming from 44 countries around the world.

“Diversity makes us strong,” he said.

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Troost told the audience they are fortunate to have Ivey’s Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership because it teaches the importance of character. When he was a student, two of three leadership dimensions were taught – competency and commitment. Character was an afterthought.

“Even with your extra knowledge, you’re just at the start of your leadership journey,” Troost said. “You will make mistakes. Make sure you learn from them.”

Troost finished his speech by reminding the graduating classes that they didn’t reach this milestone alone. Family, friends, and mentors helped along the way.

“This makes an obligation to give back to society. Look out for your fellow citizens. If you’re not at a point where you have the financial resources, do volunteer work. Always remember the overall purpose of business in society. It’s not to make a profit, but to generate and distribute wealth. Look out for those less fortunate than you.”

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