George Michel (BA 1974 Scarborough), president of Burger King Canada, has established a marketing scholarship named in honour of his favourite Canadian prime minister, the Right Hon. John Turner (LLD Hon. 1996). The inaugural $4,000 scholarship for excellence in marketing was awarded in November to Paula Ribeiro, a fourth-year management student.
“John Turner was finance minister, then prime minister, when I was a student, and I greatly admired his leadership ability, his integrity and business acumen,” says Michel.
Michel immigrated alone to Canada from Jerusalem at age 17 to attend the University of Toronto at Scarborough. He took a part-time job at A&W and proved his worth: For the next 20 years he worked in management for the company and eventually became worldwide (excluding Canada) president and CEO, stationed in the United States. He then joined Burger King and moved back to Canada with his family. “My first attempt at a part-time job was packing grocery bags at Steinberg’s,” he remembers. “I was fired because I was too slow.”