2013 Bryden Alumni Recipients

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2013 Bryden Award Recipients

A series of awards presented each year to grads who have attained extraordinary achievements and made remarkable contributions to York and to their communities.

Pinnacle Achievement Janice Fukakusa
Outstanding Contribution Guy Burry
Local Hero Dave Smith
Redefine the Possible Carolyn Acker
One to Watch Karen Foss

Watch the 2013 Bryden Alumni Awards Ceremony on YouTube.

Janice Fukakusa Pinnacle Achievement

A graduate who has achieved distinction in their field and whose integrity and ability inspires alumni, faculty, staff and students

Janice Fukakusa (MBA ’79)
Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Royal Bank of Canada

For nearly 30 years, Janice Fukakusa has broken down barriers for women in business by making a name for herself in the financial and non-profit sectors. Today, she is one of only eight executives responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of the Royal Bank of Canada.

As a chartered professional accountant and business valuator, Fukakusa was named a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario. She serves on a number of professional and charitable organizations, including Wellspring Cancer Support, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Ryerson University and the Schulich School of Business. In 2007, Fukakusa was inducted into Canada’s Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame. In 2013, she was named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking by American Banker Magazine.

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Guy Burry Outstanding Contribution

A graduate who has dedicated their work to the advancement of York through exceptional service, commitment and/or contributions

Guy Burry (BA ’82)
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, WhiteHat Inc.
Owner, Tenth Power Group

As York’s ultimate ambassador for the last 30 years, Guy Burry has contributed to the University as a tireless volunteer, a passionate fundraiser and a philanthropist.

A driving force behind the Kenaidan-York University Lions Cup (formerly Chair’s Cup) Golf Tournament since its inception, Burry helped York raise more than $5 million for graduate scholarships. Along with his family, Burry’s prolific support over several decades has impacted students and researchers in dozens of programs and areas across the University. He has made exceptional contributions to the development of York’s vision, bringing with him professional expertise from the financial services, software development, manufacturing and environmentally compatible technology sectors.

From 2004 to 2012, Burry served as Chair of the York University Alumni Association. He currently divides his time among his duties as a member of the York University Board of Governors and several corporate boards.

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Dave Smith Local Hero

A graduate and employee who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in their devotion to the University with contributions, achievements, leadership and/or early accomplishments

Dave Smith (BSc ’70, MBA ’72)
Director, Management Information, York University (retired)

Dave Smith has contributed to York’s growing infrastructure for more than 45 years. As a student, he excelled in athletics, competing as a varsity runner and winning five provincial and two national cross-country titles. As an employee, he worked as York’s sports seminars coordinator and later became the University’s director of management information.

As a volunteer at York, Smith shared his passion and competitive spirit with the students. He was the University’s cross-country coach and head coach of the track and field team. He created the York Open, an indoor track meet that has been held for 42 years, and co-directed the annual Corporate Challenge Indoor Track and Field Meet, which raises scholarship funds for York students. In 1980, Smith was one of the first athletes inducted into the York University Sports Hall of Fame. He is retired and living in Aurora with his wife, Donna.

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Carolyn Acker Redefine the Possible

A graduate who has demonstrated leadership and successes that are innovative, unconventional and daring

Carolyn Acker (BAS ’87)
Founder, Pathways Canada

Carolyn Acker began her career in the nursing and health-care industry, working her way up the ranks of executive leadership through a combination of education, practical experience and a desire to give back.

In 2001, Acker founded Pathways to Education Canada to help youth in low-income communities graduate from high school and successfully transition into postsecondary education. She used the experience she gained from serving Toronto’s disadvantaged to drive her entrepreneurial spirit. As a result, Pathways is now serving more than 5,000 students and alumni in 13 communities across Canada and helping to successfully decrease high school dropout rates.

Today, Acker is bringing her expertise, passion and decades-long reputation for social improvement to other worthy causes as a management consultant in innovative social impact solutions.

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Karen D. Foss One to Watch

A graduate who has become a remarkable professional and/or achieved community accomplishments early in their career

Karen D. Foss (BA ’01)
Canadian Foreign Service Officer, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

A Canadian foreign service officer, Karen Foss is the coordinator of international critical incidents at the Government of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

Foss has a passion for creating change at a global level. Since joining the foreign service in 2002, Foss has continued to make her mark on foreign relations and diplomacy in Canada. In Ottawa, she has covered files on fragile states, security sector reform, civilian policing, multilateralism, the Americas, Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Asia.

Overseas, Foss has served as Canada’s deputy political director at the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan, and as head of office in Banda Aceh and at the Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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