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Gilgan delivers entrepreneurship lessons to HBA students

  • Nick Lindley-Peart
  • |
  • Nov 25, 2019
Gilgan delivers entrepreneurship lessons to HBA students

Nick Lindley-Peart is a dual HBA-Engineering candidate. He discusses the lessons learned from Peter Gilgan, Chairman and CEO of Mattamy Asset Management, in his keynote address to HBA students at the 2019 Ivey Leaders Forum.

“Do you think it’s as easy to found the business you did in today’s economic climate?”
“It wasn’t easy.”

“Do you think it’s possible at all?”
“Yes, sir.”

These responses characterize the commendable vision and work ethic of Peter Gilgan, a great modern Canadian entrepreneur. Gilgan is the Chairman and CEO of Mattamy Asset Management, the country’s largest residential homebuilder. His career has focused on the development of affordable, livable communities for tomorrow. He has shown continued support for his own community through donations to health care, education, and environmental protection.

Gilgan’s keynote address at the 2019 Ivey Leaders Forum on November 20, 2019, presented valuable advice on the importance of determination, innovation, and a strong support system. It was tailored perfectly to the Forum’s theme: Elevate by lifting up ourselves, our peers, and our community.

Gilgan was accompanied by his son, Luke Gilgan, MBA ’20 candidate, and Mary Federau, MBA ’87, Executive Vice-President of Mattamy Asset Management, and Chair of the Peter Gilgan Foundation. Federau also holds a deep-rooted connection to Ivey as each member of her immediate family is an Ivey graduate.

Gilgan’s address intertwined witty anecdotes with thought-provoking political commentary and candid lessons learned from the trials and tribulations of his entrepreneurial journey. He emphasized the importance of character and attitude over experience, and described how a positive outlook can influence others and encourage their success.

“I try to see the positive in everybody,” Gilgan said. “It inspires people to be the best they can be. I get a lot of joy from that.”

Federau mirrored this sentiment, describing how much of her personal motivation stems from the people around her, and the impact of her work. She touched on the various initiatives being implemented at Mattamy to promote diversity and inclusion, including programs that support women in the industry.

Gilgan and Federau each display a genuine dedication to the well-being of Canadians, and a clear commitment to inspire the business leaders of tomorrow. Their remarkable careers and thoughtful advice offer Ivey students plenty to consider as the class embarks on diverse professional journeys.