As president of The Beedie Group, Ryan Beedie is building one of the largest and most successful industrial property development companies in Canada. Born and raised in Burnaby BC, he joined the company in 1993 and became president in 2001. Since 1995, Ryan has overseen the construction of more than 13 million square feet of industrial space. Today, The Beedie Group owns and manages more than 7.5 million square feet of industrial space, the largest portfolio of properties in British Columbia.
Ryan holds an undergraduate business degree in accounting and finance from Simon Fraser University and an MBA in real estate from the University of British Columbia.
His passion for The Beedie Group was ignited early on, learning about the family business at the dinner table from his father Keith, who founded the company in 1954. Ryan remembers being immersed in the business from a very young age, driving around with his father as a teenager visiting project sites and learning about industrial real estate development.
Ryan’s interest and hard work has paid off. Under his leadership, the company has become a dominant force in the industrial real estate market. Always focused on the long-term success of the company, Ryan has made calculated risk-taking a hallmark of his leadership style. In 2009, Ryan was declared Ernst & Young’s Pacific Region Entrepreneur of the Year.
Ryan has always believed that everyone has a responsibility to give back to the community in which they live and work. He helped raise more than $750,000 for the Lion’s Gate Hospice and donated $100,000 to the BC Children’s Hospital. An SFU alumnus, he created the Ryan Beedie Annual Community Service Award, a $5,000 bursary granted on the basis academic performance and leadership and/or service at SFU to a Faculty of Business Administration student.
On February 9, 2011, Ryan and his father Keith donated $22 million to Simon Fraser University to establish the Beedie School of Business. The donation is the largest gift that SFU has ever received. It is being used as an endowment for students, professorships and research chairs with the goal to making the Beedie School of Business a global thought leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, Asia Pacific business studies, risk management and sustainability.
Read more about Ryan Beedie and his contribution to SFU.
Joseph (Joe) Segal and wife Rosalie are widely recognized in British Columbia, as much for their philanthropy as for their business acumen and entrepreneurial vision that have helped shape BC's business community.
Joe built a merchandising empire that included Zeller's and the Bay. As president of Kingswood Capital, he made his mark in manufacturing, real estate and venture capital funding.
Together, Joe and Rosalie have made significant contributions to their religious community, SFU, Vancouver and Canada. These have been recognized with the Order of Canada, the Order of BC and the 2005 Variety Club International Humanitarian Award.
Joe, an SFU chancellor emeritus, has for the past two decades championed the university's expansion into downtown Vancouver. He spearheaded the campaign to establish Harbour Centre, playing a leadership role in the creation, development and renovation of the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. And for more than 20 years, Rosalie Segal has quietly assisted dozens of SFU students with special needs.
In 2002, Joe and his family donated the former Bank of Montreal heritage building as the home for the renamed Segal Graduate School of Business. Today, the school is home to SFU's MBA, EMBA, MSc Finance, Management of Technology MBA, PhD and Graduate Diploma in Business Administration programs.
Read more about Joe Segal and his contribution to SFU.
SFU Beedie alumnus Charles Chang made his name as the founder of plant-based nutrition company Vega. Charles founded Vega in 2001, initially working from his basement and investing his own savings into the business. Over the course of fifteen years, he grew the company into an iconic lifestyle brand employing over 180 people, with sales of more than $100 million per year, and products sold in over 20,000 stores across North America.
After selling Vega in 2015, Charles founded Lyra Growth Partners, a venture growth equity company that aims to help entrepreneurs succeed, cementing his leadership position in B.C.’s burgeoning entrepreneurship community.
In June 2016, he made a $10 million donation to SFU Beedie to establish a new entrepreneurship institute at the school, the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship. The Institute's activities to support entrepreneurship education include the launch of the Charles Chang Innovation Centre, which was officially opened in September 2016 and offers residences for graduate students and state-of-the-art business incubation facilities, located in downtown Vancouver.
The Innovation Centre also houses RADIUS (Radical Ideas, Useful to Society), SFU Beedie’s social innovation lab and venture incubator, and the Invention to Innovation program, SFU Beedie’s graduate certificate in science and technology commercialization.
The gift also funded the launch of the flagship Charles Chang Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship program, supported by the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship. This interdisciplinary program allows undergraduate students from any faculty to add innovation and entrepreneurship training to their education.
Charles’s donation has allowed SFU Beedie to take a leadership role in delivering innovation and entrepreneurship education across the university as a whole.
The Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship is an integral part of SFU Innovates, a university-wide strategy that builds on SFU's dynamic culture and seeks to strengthen the university's commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. The Charles Chang Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship program is open to all undergraduate students at SFU, and teaches them skills that are increasingly sought after by employers, such as adaptability, creativity and teamwork.