Sunny skies for Ivey grads
“Entrepreneurship is the main engine of the Canadian economy.”
So says Pierre Morrissette, founder of Pelmorex Media Inc. – owner of the most successful Canadian specialty TV network, The Weather Network.
Morrissette, an Ivey MBA graduate of 1972 and a member of the Entrepreneurship Council and Ivey Advisory Board, shared his thoughts on success in business with the MBA graduating class May 7.
“I am an Ivey entrepreneur, and proud of it,” said Morrissette, jokingly apologizing for the rainy weather falling that day on campus. “I went to Ivey to establish a foundation of business skills that would increase my chance for success. That was the best decision I ever made, and Ivey has not let me down. I attribute so much to Ivey for the success I have achieved.”
Morrissette began his career in the banking sector, but in 1977 became vice-president of finance at Télémédia Communications Inc., rising in two short years to the position of executive vice-president and chief financial officer, and subsequently president of Télémédia Ventures in 1983 and of Canadian Satellite Communications (CANCOM) from 1983 to 1989.
In 1989 Morrissette achieved his dream of founding and running his own company – Pelmorex Media Inc. – acquiring several French- and English-language radio stations serving small and medium-size markets in northern Ontario. In 1993, he purchased MétéoMédia and The Weather Network.
Morrissette told the graduates succeeding in business requires focusing on business every day.
“You have worked very hard – and I remember those days – and today you celebrate all the efforts and sacrifices you have invested in order to graduate from Canada’s leading business school,” he said, comparing their graduation to an acquisition conquest.
“It is a tremendous sense of accomplishment, but the real journey now begins. And the real measurement of an acquisition’s success is not closing the deal, it is rather on delivering intended results over time.
“You are joining Canada’s foremost network of business leaders, Ivey alumni. It is only the beginning of your journey, and you are in the driver’s seat.”
Morrissette adds dreaming big has always been a part of his make-up.
“So I encourage you to dream, and then chase them. Set a goal and then go for it. In my view, business leadership is not about creating personal wealth, but rather to create value for all stakeholders (customers, distributors, suppliers, employees ,etc.).”
Morrissette also spoke of the importance of supporting their alma mater.
“I issue a challenge to the graduating class – commit financially to the Ivey campaign, regardless of the amount, annually starting now,” he said. “We all benefited from our time at Ivey and giving back to this great institution will benefit the leaders of tomorrow. That’s the Ivey way.”
In 2006, Morrissette donated $2.5 million to Ivey to help establish the school’s Institute for Entrepreneurship, which is named in his honour, and provides support for research, PhD scholarships, outreach activities and enhanced student programming.