Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Frank Giustra honoured as Distinguished Alumnus by Douglas College

Douglas College will honour entrepreneur philanthropist Frank Giustra tomorrow as one of the College’s most distinguished alumni.

Giustra graduated from Douglas College in 1979. He began at Douglas in the Music program before switching to business and finance. He has since become a successful stockbroker, mining financier and Founder of Lions Gate Entertainment. Currently, Giustra is President and CEO of Fiore Financial Corporation.

Giustra says receiving the award was a bit of a surprise.

“It’s probably the last thing I would have expected, but I’m honoured,” he says. “I certainly couldn’t have imagined this back when I graduated.”

A prominent philanthropist, Giustra donates a substantial percentage of his profits to charity. As Founder and Chair of the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, he works with former U.S. president Bill Clinton to create social and economic programs to combat poverty in developing countries.

“That’s been my biggest project and will continue to be,” Mr. Giustra says. “It’s the one that defines my greatest passion.”

Closer to home, Giustra is the Director of Streetohome Foundation, whose mission is to end homelessness in Vancouver by providing secure, affordable housing to chronically homeless people. He also mentors disadvantaged kids through a group called The Boys Club.

“Few people in the world could be said to better reflect our college motto, ‘Do what you love. Be good at it,’ more than Frank Giustra,” says Scott McAlpine, President of Douglas College. “Mr. Giustra has embraced this philosophy his whole life and he has truly embodied the spirit of Douglas.”

Giustra says the recipe for a successful and happy life contains two ingredients: passion and conviction.

“I think Steve Jobs said it best in his commencement speech at Stanford some years ago, when he talked about finding the passion in your life,” Giustra says. “He said never stop looking until you find the thing you are passionate about. And follow it through.”

Giustra also says he has no regrets about any of the decisions he’s made throughout his career – good or bad.

“I look at my life today, at this very moment in time, and I ask myself a question: Am I at peace with where I am right now? And the answer is yes. It means everything I’ve done that’s led me to this point has been the right move – including the mistakes.”

Giustra’s schedule did not permit him to be present at tomorrow’s graduation ceremony. However, he was able to provide a video address to students. Check it out on the Douglas College YouTube channel.