The list of Margaret-Ann Armour’s awards, contributions, and accomplishments is too long to spell out, but one of her nominators summed it up neatly, calling her “the Wayne Gretzky of women scientists.” The Associate Dean of Science, Diversity, University of Alberta, has been inspiring women to enter the sciences for many decades, whether, as another nominator put it, she was making nylon with school girls in her chemistry lab or speaking at the United Nations.
The only child of a single mother who taught children with disabilities, Dr. Armour came from Scotland and earned her PhD in chemistry at the University of Alberta. “My mother let me bake with her at age 5, and I couldn’t understand why dough could change so in the oven. After the fact, I realized I was asking questions that chemistry could answer.”
In 1981 she became a founding member, along with then Vice-President, Research J. Gordin Kaplan, of WISEST, Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science, and Technology. At the time the number of women in undergraduate science programs was only 30 percent. Now it is about 54%, but the turnaround is quite slow at the faculty level. In 2010, WinSETT was launched to inspire leadership of women in the sciences and Dr. Armour is President of the Board.
Dr. Armour has received countless acknowledgements including an Order of Canada, the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Person’s Case, one of Maclean’s 10 Canadians Who Make a Difference, and one of the Women’s Executive Network’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. In 2016, Edmonton Public Schools opened the Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour School.
“I retired from chemistry a long time ago, but the Dean is very clever. He keeps asking me to do things I love doing.”
David L. Mowat
David Mowat, retiring President and CEO of ATB Financial, would tell you that he was the kid whose report card said, “If David paid more attention in class he’d do better.” What his teachers didn’t understand is that Mowat knew exactly where his effort could do the most good.
The philosophy that you can do something with the things you already have is the theme throughout Mowat’s crowded CV, from serving on the boards as member or chair of many boards, and being involved with dozens of community initiatives including the STARS Foundation, Citadel Theatre, the Royalty Review Panel, and TELUS Community Foundation to tak-ing Vaughn, a young lab, wherever he went, for Dogs With Wings.
“When opportunities come our way to have an impact, most of us underestimate what we have that others want or need, where you can put one and one together and get four.” As an example, Mowat points to Four Directions Financial, which ATB opened in 2017 with Boyle Street Community Services. The agency uses the latest in biometric authentication to offer bank accounts to Edmonton’s most vulnerable, people struggling with homelessness who don’t have traditional ID, to provide a safe place to keep their money. Throughout his career, Dave Mowat continued to use his banking expertise and networks to serve the greater good.
Mowat sees non-profit organizations as “the third leg of the stool” to get what we want done. “Government can’t do everything. A non-profit organization is every bit as sophisticated as a business running with a purpose and making a profit.”
In retirement, Mowat says, he’s not looking for another job. “I’ll be looking for things where I can do some good.”
“Businesses can have more of a sense of purpose and non-profits more of a sense of business. Finding that middle ground will enhance success for both.”
Cathy M. Roozen
Giving back to the community came second nature to Cathy Roozen from an early age. “My father, Dr. Allard, led by example and always expected more of his own kids.” Almost from the time of her graduation from the University of Alberta with a B.Comm. degree, Roozen has found ways to improve the quality of life in Edmonton, serving as officer or board member of her family’s foundations as well as of many other organizations that contribute to well-being in the city and beyond.
Roozen’s encouragement and support snowballed into tens of millions of dollars in gifts and government grants for the Cross Cancer Institute, leading to the world’s first working prototype of a machine that provides real-time imaging of tumours as they are being treated. Roozen was instrumental in the creation of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine’s first endowed chair in physical therapy in Canada, in honour of internationally recognized Dr. David Magee. “He wrote the book on how to treat musculoskeletal issues. I didn’t want the faculty to lose his talent.”
Those are only two of the countless ways Roozen has given back to Edmonton. Her many awards include an Honourary Doctor of Laws from the University of Alberta, the Alberta Order of Excellence, and the Order of Canada. “I don’t really look at what I’ve accomplished or my awards. I’m pleased that Compassion House is completed, and the Mazankowski Heart Institute is a great project. I’m also proud of the Allard Family Foundation.” Roozen is currently a Director and Secretary of the Allard Foundation Ltd. and Chair and Secretary of Cathton Investments Ltd.
“I’m honoured to be receiving this award. Edmonton is a great city. You meet such terrific people here.”