Olympic hopefuls among 2018 Ryan Beedie Leadership Award recipients

Oct 01, 2018


Ryan Beedie, whose donation has funded the Ryan Beedie Leadership Award

The 2018 recipients of the Ryan Beedie Leadership Award have been chosen, with five outstanding new undergraduate students at SFU’s Beedie School of Business receiving the award. The students will each receive support of $20,000 over four years, in recognition of their commitment to leadership while at high school.

Each of the recipients has demonstrated leadership through remarkable achievements, both academic and extracurricular, prior to joining SFU Beedie. Among this year’s cohort are a world-champion kickboxer with dreams of representing Canada at the 2020 Olympic Games, a track star with Olympic ambitions of his own, an accomplished equestrian, a student who founded his own non-for-profit organization dedicated to raising money for healthcare, and a member of the university football team.

In its second year, the Ryan Beedie Leadership Award is funded by a $500,000 gift made by Beedie School of Business alumnus Ryan Beedie in 2016, which will support 25 undergraduates over five years (five students per year). Ryan Beedie’s donation follows 2011’s $22 million donation from the Beedie family—the largest gift in SFU’s history—to establish the Beedie School of Business.

“The more students I meet through my involvement with SFU, the more impressed I am by their energy, ambition and accomplishments,” says Mr. Ryan Beedie.

“This year’s recipients of the awards are, once again, exceptional young people and it is my hope that this support will allow them to fulfil their obvious potential and develop into inspirational leaders.”

Meet the honorees:

Nicholas Bauernschmitt

Nicholas is an NCAA athlete on the Track and Field team at SFU. His passion for running began when he was in high school and since then, it has continued to grow. Currently, aside from competing on SFU’s track team, he is also training to qualify for Team Canada, and hopes to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

“Being able to receive the Ryan Beedie Leadership Award is a great honor and it feels incredibly nice to have my accomplishments recognized,” says Nicholas. “This award continues to motivate me to do better as it serves as a constant reminder that hard work and effort pays off. With this award, I will take advantage of the additional resources and programming available to me and continue to build a better me.”

Natalia Bean

Natalia is a quiet, yet driven individual. From a young age, she has pursued her passion for horseback riding and, later, equestrian show jumping, achieving notable successes in the sport. Aside from competing, Natalia also helps train horses for competitions.

“Winning this award was a pleasant surprise and I am extremely grateful to be a recipient for it,” Natalia says. “The award has provided a great amount of financial support, allowing me to focus on my studies and continue to compete. I would like to thank those on the selection committee and Ryan Beedie for creating this award.”

Nicholas Giffen

Nick has always been an active individual; from training in karate and receiving his black belt, to playing football and receiving BC Top Provincial AA Offensive Lineman of the Year award, he works hard in everything he does. This year, Nick will join SFU Beedie and play on SFU’s Football team.

“I am grateful to have received the Ryan Beedie Leadership Award as it provides me with a lot of opportunities to succeed at the Beedie School of Business,” he says.

“I am really excited to start my academic career and the financial aid of the award takes a great amount of the stress away from paying for my education and allowing me to focus on my experience here. As well, the staff support and programs I get as an award recipient are very helpful. In all, receiving the award helps recognize my accomplishments and acts as a great motivator to continue to work hard and strive for the best.”

Joseph Piccolo

World champion kickboxer, business owner of a landscaping company and a dedicated student are a few titles people use to refer to Joseph Piccolo. In 2017, Joseph won his first World Championship Title in Orlando, Florida and is currently training with hopes of qualifying for the Canadian team to compete in the 2020 Olympics.

“It is an honour and delightful surprise to receive this distinguished award. I am eager to embrace the opportunities this award offers,” he says.

Arman Turna

As well as a high-achieving student, Arman is the Founder and CEO of Global Cure Foundation, a registered not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising money for healthcare. He is passionate about Finance, Economics, Innovation, public speaking as well as philanthropy, and has ambitions of working within the investment banking industry in the future.

“I am extremely humbled to be receiving such a prestigious award and will take the most I can from the programs being offered to me,” says Arman. “I am always looking for new opportunities for growth, and this leadership award is presenting me with everything I can ask for; mentorship programs, connections as well as help through my university life.”


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