Ganong, David

Degree conferred: Doctor of Laws (LL.D.)

Orator: Mason, Gordon

to be Doctor of Laws

When a business address is One Chocolate Drive, you might suspect this is no ordinary company. To the current Executive Chairman however, it must seem common place -­-­ after all, Ganong Bros. Ltd. has been in business for 139 years.

David Ganong was born in St. Stephen, New Brunswick and graduated from UNB with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. A year later he joined the family firm at the request of the then President, his uncle Whidden Ganong. After a few years he continued his formal education gaining an M.B.A. at the University of Western Ontario, and in 1977 he became the fourth generation to lead the family business.

It may seem unusual for a company which imports ingredients and exports its products around the world to remain in a small town in New Brunswick. During the economic challenges of the past 20 years it may also seem surprising that Ganong Bros. had remained independently owned. Nevertheless under David's skilled leadership the firm has done both.

Between 2000 and 2005, the company doubled the size of its business with new processes, products and markets and now employs over 400 people in North America. In 1999, Ganong Bros was recognized as one of Canada's 50 best-­managed private companies, and the same year David was one of the first inductees into the Canadian Professional Sales Association's Hall of Fame.

As a highly successful businessman, David is an active board member on private companies, government agencies and not-­for-­profit organizations. These include the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation, the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council and the New Brunswick Industrial Appeals Board, among many others. He was a representative of the Prime Minister of Canada's Council for cross-­border negotiations regarding tariffs and strategies to stimulate cross-border trade. He chairs the New Brunswick Business Council and co-chaired, with Camille Theriault, the recent Future NB summit in Moncton.

David has been a dedicated volunteer in St. Stephen, where a Nursing home and middle school are housed in buildings donated by his family. The Chocolate Museum and Festival draw hundreds of tourists to the area annually (and yes, there are free samples at the end of the factory tour). In 2002, he was included in Maclean's Magazine's Honour Roll of "10 Canadians who made a difference". For all is contributions to business and the community he was named to the Order of Canada in 2005.

Closer to home, David has been a strong supporter and mentor to the Faculty of Business Administration and served on the University's Board of Governors for 15 years, two as chair. For this exemplary service, he was recently named Governor Emeritus.

With a solid New Brunswick foundation and an international outlook, both for his company and the province, David Ganong is a credit to this institution and a model for its graduates. We believe he is most deserving of this honorary degree.

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