Four Laureates to be inducted into the Business Laureates of British Columbia Hall of Fame

The Business Laureates of British Columbia (BLBC) Hall of Fame Cabinet and JA British Columbia (JABC) are pleased to announce the 2017 inductees into the Business Laureates of British Columbia Hall of Fame. The 2017 inductees are:

Ross J. Beaty
Executive Chairman, Alterra Power Corp.
Chairman, Pan American Silver Corp.

David G. McLean, O.B.C., LL.D, F.ICD
Chair, The McLean Group of Companies
Chair Emeritus, Canadian National Railway Company

John McLernon
Honorary Chair and Co-founder, Colliers International

Richard “Ritchie” Nelson (1898-1983)
Founder and Chairman, Nelson Bros. Fisheries Ltd.

These four individuals will be inducted into the BLBC Hall of Fame at the 12th annual Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremonies taking place on May 24, 2017 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

“On behalf of the Hall of Fame Cabinet, I would like to congratulate the 2017 Laureates,” says Barbara Brink, Gala Co-Chair and Co-Founder. “The impact of their success and contributions to society can be felt throughout the province. They have set a tremendous example for future business leaders.”

“We are honoured to induct these four worthy individuals into the Hall of Fame,” says Olin Anton, Gala Co-Chair. “I congratulate them on this distinction and look forward to celebrating their achievements while inspiring the next generation of business leaders.”

The nomination process was guided by Laureate Selection Sponsor PFM Executive Search, an executive recruitment firm based in Vancouver. Prerequisites for induction include outstanding business achievements, enduring contributions to the province and country, as well as deep commitments to diverse and niche communities.

Final Laureate selection was made by an independent committee comprised of the following members: Brian Canfield, C.M., O.B.C., D.Tech. (Hon.), Chairman Emeritus, TELUS; Anne Giardini, Q.C., Chancellor, Simon Fraser University; George Melville, Chairman & Owner, Boston Pizza International; Jeff Mooney, Chairman & Director, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.; and Dr. Ken Spencer, Spencer Creo Foundation.

The Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremonies taking place May 24, 2017 is proudly co-presented by Scotiabank and Fasken Martineau and attended by approximately 700 guests annually.

The evening will include a pre-dinner reception, commemorative videos, special guest speakers, JA student presentations and more.

Proceeds from the BLBC Hall of Fame support the efforts of JABC in delivering high-quality business education programs free-of-charge to over 38,000 students across the province annually.

About the Business Laureates of British Columbia Hall of Fame

The Business Laureates of British Columbia (BLBC) Hall of Fame was created by JA British Columbia (JABC) in 2005 to honour the outstanding BC business leaders whose efforts have shaped our province and country. The Hall of Fame stands as a testament to the positive legacy the Laureates provide to the youth of British Columbia. Laureates have demonstrated a level of Vision, Leadership, Integrity and Legacy unique among their peers. Visit for more information.

About JA British Columbia

Junior Achievement of British Columbia (JA British Columbia or JABC) is a member of JA Canada and part of JA Worldwide (JA), the world’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating young people about business. Since 1955, British Columbia schools have relied on JA to inspire and prepare youth to succeed in an ever-changing global economy. During the 2015-2016 school year, over 38,000 students in BC benefited from JABC programs delivered free of charge by volunteers from local business communities, who bring real-life experience into the classroom. JABC programs focus on work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship, giving students the confidence and skills they need to become the next generation of business and community leaders. Visit for more information.

For more information, please contact:

Rosine Hage-Moussa
Marketing & Communications Manager
JA British Columbia
604.688.3887 ext. 231

Social Media:
Twitter handle: @JA_of_BC
Hashtag: #BLBC2017

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About the 2017 BLBC Laureate Inductees

dsc09074-ross-beaty-croppedRoss J. Beaty
Executive Chairman, Alterra Power Corp.
Chairman, Pan American Silver Corp.



Ross J. Beaty is a geologist and resource company entrepreneur with over 41 years of experience in the international minerals and renewable energy industries. Mr. Beaty is the founder and Executive Chair of Alterra Power Corp., a mid-sized clean energy company with geothermal, solar, hydro and wind power operations in BC, Iceland and Ontario. Mr. Beaty also founded and serves as Chairman of Pan American Silver Corp., one of the world’s leading silver producers, and since 1985 has successfully founded and divested a number of other public mineral resource companies.

Mr. Beaty is also President of the Sitka Foundation, one of Canada’s leading environmental foundations, patron of the Beaty Biodiversity Center at the University of B.C. and Director of a number of environmental NGO’s, including Panthera and the Pacific Salmon Foundation. Mr. Beaty is a past President of the Silver Institute in Washington, D.C., a Fellow of the Geological Association of Canada, the Society of Economic Geologists, and the Canadian Institute of Mining, and a recipient of the Institute’s Past President’s Memorial Medal. In 2007 Mr. Beaty received the Association of Mineral Exploration of B.C.’s Colin Spence Award for excellence in
global mineral exploration, the 2008 Mining Person of the Year award from the Mining Association of B.C. and the 2008 Natural Resources & Energy Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Ernst & Young. In 2010, Mr. Beaty was awarded the prestigious Viola MacMillan Award by the Prospector and Developers Association of Canada and was selected as Mining Person of the Year for 2011 by Canada’s Northern Miner newspaper. In 2014 Mr. Beaty received the CIM’s Vale Medal for Meritorious Contribution to Mining and in 2015 was inducted to the Resource Hall of Fame. In 2016 Mr. Beaty received the Vancouver Aquarium’s North Medal for Ocean Conservation and the Alumni Award of Distinction from UBC’s School of Law.

Mr. Beaty was born in Vancouver, Canada and educated at the Royal School of Mines, University of London, England, M.Sc., Distinction (Mineral Exploration) 1975 and the University of British Columbia, LL.B. (Law) 1979 and B.Sc. (Honours Geology) 1974.  He and his wife have a son and four daughters.


david-mclean-photo-for-bcl-hof-editedDavid G. McLean, O.B.C., LL.D, F.ICD
Chair, The McLean Group of Companies
Chair Emeritus, Canadian National Railway Company



Through his entrepreneurial spirit, business leadership skills, and commitment to community, David McLean has built a large and diverse family enterprise, The McLean Group of Companies; led one of Canada’s iconic corporations, CN Rail, through its most transformative period; and contributed generously to many worthy community causes.

Born, raised, and educated in Alberta (BA, LL.B, University of Alberta), Mr. McLean moved to Vancouver in 1968 to practice law and expand his business interests. Over the next several decades he completed numerous residential and commercial real estate projects in Vancouver and throughout North America, including a 35-acre land assembly in east Vancouver, now the home of The McLean Group’s Vancouver Film Studios (VFS).

A major player in the North American film and television industry, VFS hosts annual productions valued at over $500 million. Other operating companies in The McLean Group include Blackcomb Aviation, a charter helicopter company, and Signal Systems Inc., a company specializing in voice-over-internet, wireless, and radio communications systems. Operational leadership of The McLean Group has been successfully transferred to Mr. McLean’s sons, Jason and Sacha.

Mr. Mclean was a Director of CN Rail from 1979 to 1986, and returned as Chair of the Board of Directors from 1994 to 2014. He is the longest-serving Chair in the company’s history, and was named Chair Emeritus on his retirement. He helped lead the company through its transition from a Crown corporation to a private corporation, which was completed in November 1995. At $2.26 billion, it was the largest Initial Public Offering in Canadian history. His fellow Directors re-elected him as Chair each year thereafter, and the company’s market capitalization has multiplied 29 times to $68 billion today. During Mr. McLean’s time as Chair, CN transformed itself from a money-losing Crown conglomerate, to become North America’s most streamlined, profitable and efficient freight rail operator, a model for the industry.

Mr. McLean has chaired and served on several corporate boards in addition to CN. He was Chair of Concord Pacific Group Inc., Coastland Wood Industries Inc., and Westech Information Systems Inc. He was a director of DeHavilland Aircraft of Canada and Nu West Development Corporation.

Mr. McLean has played an active role in community development, especially in the fields of business, education and healthcare. He has chaired the Vancouver Board of Trade, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the UBC Board of Governors, the Board of the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation, the Capital Campaign of the University of Alberta, the Canadian Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Canadian Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Charter for Business. His family’s McLean McCuaig Foundation has made many generous donations to education and healthcare institutions in B.C. and Alberta and other parts of Canada.

Mr. McLean has received numerous awards and honors including: Honorary Degrees from UBC, SFU, University of Alberta and Royal Roads University; the Order of British Columbia; Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors; The Rix Award for Engaged Corporate Citizenship; an original inductee as a Distinguished Alumni of The University of Alberta; the Distinguished Leadership Award from SFU; and inductee into the Alberta High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

He has written a book on his life published in 2014 entitled “A Road Taken.”


john-mclernon-photo-small-for-webJohn McLernon
Honorary Chair and Co-founder, Colliers International



John McLernon is co-founder of Colliers Macaulay Nicolls Group of Companies (now Colliers International) and currently serves as its Honorary Chair. He served as CEO from 1977 to 2002 and Chair from 1985 to 2004. Over two decades, Mr. McLernon guided Colliers through some 60 acquisitions, mergers, and start-ups in the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe. By his retirement in 2004, Colliers had grown from a single city, province, and country business to a global business operating in 65 countries.

Mr. McLernon started his career with Canadian Pacific in Montreal before moving to Vancouver in 1970 to eventually head the Western development arm of its real estate subsidiary, Marathon Realty. He joined Macaulay Nicolls Maitland in 1977.

Mr. McLernon is currently Chair of A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund, City Office REIT and Village Farms International, all public companies. Mr. McLernon was also Chair of BC Rail (2001-2010) and BC Lottery Company (2006-2013), both Provincial Crown Corporations. He has also served as a director of The Vancouver Opera and the Vancouver Art Gallery. He is Director and Advisor to many private companies including Canadian Urban Limited and the Mark Anthony Group as well as non-profit organizations. He is currently Chair of StreetoHome Foundation, and is a past vice Chair of the Vancouver Foundation and a past Chair of Brentwood College School.

Mr. McLernon has been awarded two Queen Elizabeth Jubilee medals and the Province of BC Community Achievement Award for his work with StreetoHome Foundation. He is a graduate of Bishops College School and McGill University.


headshot-use-this-oneRichard “Ritchie” Nelson (1898-1983)
Founder and Chairman, Nelson Bros. Fisheries Ltd.




Richard Nelson was born in northern Norway to a family of fishermen and farmers. Around the 1890s the cod fishery collapsed, creating financial hardship in the region. The Nelson family immigrated to Canada and arrived in British Columbia in 1910, settling in the Sunbury area of Delta on the shores of the Fraser River.

Mr. Nelson (Ritchie) was drawn to the Fraser River from the outset. Beginning with net repairs, he quickly gravitated to fishing. At age 14, using a makeshift net and an old rowboat he had repaired, he started gillnetting on the river. He and his brother Ralph spent summers gillnetting salmon in and around the river while Ritchie attended school the rest of the year.

After studying Business at Pacific Lutheran College in Everett, Washington, Ritchie scanned the coast for opportunities. He was drawn to fish buying–the ability to make a cent or two per pound between buying and selling.

By 1920, Richie and his brother Norman owned and operated two packing vessels, buying troll salmon on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, and packing and selling them in Seattle. The operation soon moved ashore, as fish-buying stations were established in Bamfield and Kyuquot on the West Coast. This was the real beginning of Nelson Bros. Fisheries Ltd.

Ritchie and Evelyn Kellie, a Sunbury school teacher, were married in 1927, a union that lasted 55 years and yielded three children. Sons Richard and William pursued careers in the family business, while daughter June Goldsmith forged a successful musical career.

By the early 1930s Nelson Bros. had added a pilchard processing plant on the West Coast and four seine boats. The business was growing, with Ritchie serving as President and business manager, while Norman focused on the fishing grounds. A Howe Street office was established. Ritchie was seen by his contemporaries as a business man with uncanny intuition and instinct. This knack proved invaluable in an industry notorious for its variability and uncertainty.

By the 1950s the Nelson Bros. fleet, including company-owned vessels and those owned by independent fishermen, numbered about 1,000. Approximately 3,000 fishermen operated these boats. A fleet of packing vessels transported the catch of salmon, herring, pilchards, and other species to the company’s major processing plants on the Fraser River, in Port Edward (near Prince Rupert), and in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The “Paramount” label was established to differentiate and value-add Nelson Bros.’ canned salmon in the Canadian market.

Amongst the Nelson Bros. corps of fishermen were many First Nations harvesters, whose fishing acumen was obvious to Ritchie. His support for First Nations fishermen–both appointing Natives to skipper company boats and provision of financial support to independent Indian fishermen–earned him an honorary Chief distinction by the Tlingit Nation of Alaska: Chief Big Fin.

While steering Nelson Bros., Ritchie also contributed to resource conservation, acting as Commissioner on both the International Pacific Halibut Commission and the International Pacific Salmon Commission. His substantial community involvement included serving on the Boards of the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, the Pacific National Exhibition, and the New Westminster Police Department. He was also highly active in the Shriners of North America, an organization providing free medical care for needy children.

Nelson Bros. was acquired by British Columbia Packers Ltd, and in 1969 the personnel and assets of the two companies were merged. Ritchie withdrew from active management involvement, but remained a trusted advisor to the business until his death in 1983.

In addition to business and community work, Ritchie was an avid outdoorsman and a devoted family man. He made a mark on countless fishermen, plant workers, family, friends, and all who crossed his path. His boundless energy and engaging personality helped make him the industry icon he became.