The Premier’s Awards are granted to six individuals annually and celebrate the outstanding contributions college graduates make to Ontario and throughout the world. More than 100 nominations were submitted by Ontario’s 24 public colleges in six categories: Business, Creative Arts and Design, Community Services, Health Sciences, Technology and Recent Graduate.
“Georgian College gave me the foundation I needed to excel in my career. I am thrilled to be recognized by the college community for my business accomplishments,” said Stephens, who graduated from Georgian in 1984. “With so many incredible candidates nominated, I am honoured and humbled to be chosen for this special distinction.”Stephens began his career as a summer student working for his father’s road building company, Capital Paving Inc. He learned the business from the ground up, progressing through a range of positions and gaining valuable experience. He became president and controlling owner of Capital Paving Inc. at age 35 and has since grown its revenue from $18 million to $80 million in just over 10 years. The company consistently obtains contracts for the largest infrastructure projects throughout southwestern Ontario.
Stephens says he has benefited from the depth and breadth of his three-year Georgian College Business Administration program. What he learned at Georgian has allowed him to bring a complimentary skill set to Capital – a predominantly engineering-based company. Fiscal prudence and exceptional financial management have been the hallmark of his leadership.
Stephens says courses in accounting, economics and business set the foundation for his discipline. Courses in organizational behaviour helped him recognize that human capital is the primary basis for true sustainable advantage. He has invested significantly in attracting, retaining and developing top talent. Marketing courses showed Stephens the value of establishing a recognizable brand for Capital, with a distinctive logo, tagline (“Quality Construction by Quality People”) and bold company colours.
Capital has earned an enviable reputation for technical quality and has won numerous awards. Capital Paving’s gross earnings have consistently surpassed industry benchmarks. In 2010 Capital was named one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies. Stephens and his partners, Jim Kelly, VP Construction and Larry Wilson, VP Aggregate and Asphalt Operations, were honoured to receive this award – a mark of excellence for Canadian-owned and managed companies with revenues over $10 million. In addition, Capital is the only company to have won the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s prestigious Paver of the Year Award three times (2000, 2006, 2008). Capital has also earned numerous awards for environmental excellence, progressive rehabilitation of lands and community involvement.
In 2010, Stephens was selected for the Quantum Shift™ for Entrepreneurs program at the Richard Ivey School of Business. He was one of only 40 business owners across Canada granted the opportunity to participate in this elite program.
Stephens is also a leader in his community. He has been actively involved in fundraising initiatives for the Alzheimer Society of Cambridge and Guelph-Wellington Chapters as well as and the Homewood Foundation of Mental Health of Guelph. He has led Capital employees in numerous community initiatives, helping to raise more than $100,000 for a local recreation facility through a Farm to Fork culinary event, establishing a “Greenest School” contest and restoring the historic Ellis Chapel and improvements to Victoria Glen Park. He is particularly proud of Capital employees who are developing a significant community fundraising campaign for Alzheimer’s called “Miles for Memories.”
Four other accomplished Georgian nominees were considered for the 2011 Colleges Ontario Premier’s Awards. They included David Edgar, a Police Studies graduate nominated in the category of Recent Graduate; Jonathan Gushue, a double diploma graduate from Hotel and Resort Management and Culinary Management, nominated in the Creative Arts and Design category; Kathleen Yake, a Dental Hygiene graduate nominated in the Health Sciences category; and Ted Vandevis, a Civil Engineering graduate who was nominated in the Technology category.
“We are very proud of Geoffrey Stephens, as well as all our other nominees of past and present. They are all shining examples of how a college education can be a springboard to incredible life and career success,” said Lisa Eveleigh, Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Georgian College.
To find out more about the other winners and nominees, visit www.co-awards.org.