Eric Newell to receive the 2012 Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and Sodexo Canada

TORONTO, June 5, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and Sodexo Canada are pleased to announce that this year's recipient of the Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations is Eric Newell. Mr. Newell's career began with Imperial Oil before becoming President and CEO of Syncrude in 1989, retiring in 2003.

Eric Newell's expansive career of over 35 years set a trend for working with the Aboriginal Community. After his tenure with Imperial, his leadership of Syncrude helped them to not only become a major player in the oil industry but also helped them to develop policies that reflected leading practices in corporate social responsibility; spearheading several education and community development initiatives that produced recognizable results and became the model across industries.

"Over the years at Syncrude, we worked closely with many successful Aboriginal entrepreneurs to create businesses that have served as a model for all of Canada," explains Dr. Newell. "Recognition by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business is truly an honour that I share with my Syncrude management team and our many Aboriginal business partners and friends. Our success has been an inspiration for others and that is perhaps the most significant reward of all."

Sodexo Canada is pleased to partner with CCAB to create an award that recognizes Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal leaders, who have championed positive change for the Aboriginal community through business.  Dean Johnson, President of Sodexo Canada, says, "Choosing from the many nominees was no easy task, but Eric Newell's work in recognizing the need to involve the Aboriginal community in Canadian business exemplifies leadership in Aboriginal relations and sets the standard for other companies."

"Eric's efforts helped Syncrude become one of the largest employers of Aboriginal people across Canada," says Clint Davis, President and CEO of CCAB.  "Even after retirement he continues to promote and work with the Aboriginal community. CCAB measures the value of nominees in not what they've done, but in what they continue to do."

The Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations is presented to a Canadian who has personally contributed, through his or her professional and voluntary commitments, to building bridges between Aboriginal people and Canada's business community. The recipient of the award is selected by a jury of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal business leaders. Mr. Newell will be presented the award at the CCAB's 10th annual Vancouver Gala on September 27, 2012.

For more information about the CCAB and an overview of the Award for Excellence, visit

About the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business
The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) was founded in 1984 by a small group of visionary business and community leaders led by Murray Koffler. CCAB is committed to the full participation of Aboriginal people in Canada's economy. A national non-profit organization, CCAB offers knowledge, resources, and programs to both mainstream and Aboriginal owned companies that foster economic opportunities for Aboriginal people and businesses across Canada.

About Sodexo in Canada
Sodexo Canada has been delivering On-Site Service Solutions to clients in the Healthcare, Education, Business & Industry, and Remote Sites sectors for over 40 years. Today, Sodexo provide services at nearly 750 sites for more than 230 clients across Canada. The company's 10,000 employees work together to improve the Quality of Life for their customers by designing, managing, and delivering a wide range of On-Site Service Solutions -- from project management to energy planning, from technical building maintenance to concierge services, from housekeeping to fitness centre management, and from catering and foodservices to clinical technology management. Sodexo Canada is proud to have created the Sodexo Foundation, an independent charitable organization that has donated more than 750,000 meals to at risk youth in Canada since it was founded in 2001. Follow us on Twitter @SodexoCanada

Image with caption: "Dr. Eric Newell, recipient of the 2012 Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations (CNW Group/Sodexo)". Image available at:


For further information:

Media Contacts:

Angela Bishop
Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business
416-961-8663 X230

Katherine Power
Sodexo Canada
1-877-632-8592 x33398

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