On June 6, Ian Aitken ’81, the President and CEO of Pembroke Private Wealth Management, received the Meritorious Service Cross from The Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, at the Citadel in Quebec City.
Ian was selected to receive this award because he founded a Canadian charity called Enactus Canada, which “has inspired young Canadians to become innovative, socially minded entrepreneurs and to tackle real-world issues like food security and sustainable development,” says the official citation. “His leadership has provided opportunities for thousands of university students to translate their ideas into action and to network with educators, business people and peers in Canada and around the world. As investors in growth companies, Pembroke recognizes the vital role played by entrepreneurs and the importance of fostering the next generation.”
“Enactus Canada works with university and college students to help build a better, more entrepreneurial country,” Ian adds. “I founded the Enactus Canada (which was previously known as Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship or ACE) while at University, and currently serve as the Chair.”
Ian also recently received an honorary degree from George Brown College in Toronto, because of his involvement with Enactus Canada, and was invited to give the convocation address at the college on June 13.
In his speech, Ian quoted Socrates as saying, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”
“One teacher who was responsible for kindling the desire to learn within me was my high school physics teacher [Brad Moffat],” he went on. “Years later, that same teacher taught my eldest son, and also kindled his desire to learn.
“Last year I invited [Mr. Moffat] to my home for dinner so that I could thank him for what he had done for my son and for me. Turns out it’s the first time he had been thanked in this way.
“So I ask each of you to consider the great teachers that you have had in your life, and be sure to thank them.”
Ian currently sits on the Veritas Board at Selwyn House School.