Endowment will support entrepreneurship and economic growth in Simcoe
BARRIE, ON, April 7 /CNW/ - Georgian College is blazing a new trail in
the academic sector by becoming the first college in Ontario to secure
a $1-million endowed chair.
The donation has been made by Henry Bernick, an entrepreneur and
Barrie's first land developer, who has been instrumental in the growth
of the local real estate market since the 1950s. He has given the
gift, which includes an additional $500,000 to create the Henry Bernick
Entrepreneurship Centre, with a goal of supporting entrepreneurship
education and encouraging innovation in his hometown. The Centre is set
to open in January 2012.
"Georgian is extremely grateful to Henry and his wife Esther for their
support and their confidence in Georgian, and for encouraging
innovation and entrepreneurship in our region for future generations,"
said Brian Tamblyn, President and CEO of Georgian College. "Their
visionary support is very much in line with Georgian's strategic plan,
Vision 2015, which emphasizes entrepreneurship, innovation, and small
and medium enterprises as a common learning experience that applies
across many of our academic programs."
The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Chair will be filled by a Business
faculty member to lead the soon-to-be created Entrepreneurship Centre.
The Chair will offer technical assistance, mentoring, coaching,
training and network opportunities to entrepreneurs and students from
both Georgian and the external community, to share expertise and create
synergies that they need to start or grow their own businesses. The
community-accessible Centre will also support entrepreneurial
activities across Simcoe County.
"The Entrepreneurship Chair and Centre will play a long-term role in
supporting the economic development of Simcoe County. Seventy-three per
cent of Barrie businesses employ fewer than five people but account for
80 per cent of business growth. The new Centre will be another asset
in the community for small and medium enterprises and Georgian students
to access," said Tamblyn.
Leading up to the grand opening of the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship
Centre, the Chair will work on curriculum development for
entrepreneurship courses and programs that will meet the needs of
Georgian students and local businesses.
Bernick is one of Simcoe County's most successful entrepreneurs. For
more than 70 years he has enjoyed continuous attachment to Simcoe
County. "It is important to me to support entrepreneurship education at
Georgian so that future generations of entrepreneurs can find their
mentors and become the best business people possible," said Bernick.
"In the next generation, everyone will need to be an entrepreneur to
some degree to achieve career stability and success. Jobs with a
pension, benefits and security that last the length of a career are
increasingly rare. Entrepreneurship is a way for our youth to invest in
In 1939, at the age of 15, Bernick immigrated to Canada from Poland with
his family, settling on a 100-acre farm in Essa Township. After
graduating from the University of Toronto as an engineer, Bernick
entered the business world through a family business. With the support
of key mentors and business partners, he became a pioneer in the land
development industry in Barrie and the Toronto area.
He has also been active as a philanthropist in the Simcoe County region,
especially in the field of education.
"My family's appreciation for education goes back decades - from the
time my grandfather hired a year-round teacher in Poland to teach his
10 children in their home, to my parents' willingness to let me attend
university instead of staying home to lend much-needed help on the
farm," said Bernick.
A search of publicly announced contributions confirmed this as the
largest endowed chair at an Ontario College.
SOURCE Georgian College
For further information:
Manager, Corporate Communications
Phone: 705-728-1968, ext. 1043
Phone: 705-728-1968, ext. 1254