Institute Of Chartered Accountants Of Ontario

Institute Of Chartered Accountants Of Ontario

October 11, 2011 08:45 ET

CAs Bestow Highest Honour on Two Distinguished Members

Ontario Institute Names 2011 ICAO Award of Outstanding Merit Recipients

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 11, 2011) - The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario is honouring two of its most distinguished members with the ICAO Award of Outstanding Merit, recognizing their professional accomplishments and invaluable service to the profession and the community.

The ICAO Award of Outstanding Merit is the highest honour that the Institute can bestow upon its members. Established in 1984, the Award recognizes conspicuous and sustained service to, or on behalf of, the profession, including service to the community.

The Council of the Institute has elected the following individuals as the 2011 recipients of the Award:

  • Ralph T. Neville, FCA of Oakville
  • Barbara G. Stymiest, FCA of Toronto

Ralph Neville and Barbara Stymiest join an illustrious group of Chartered Accountants who have been honoured with the ICAO Award of Outstanding Merit during the past 27 years. Seventy-five per cent majority votes of both a nominating committee, made up of the five most recent ICAO past-chairs, and of the Institute's governing Council are required for election to this prestigious award. Since its inception in 1984, there have been 45 ICAO Award of Outstanding Merit recipients and this is the first time the Award has been presented since 2009.

After graduating in 1978 from the Richard Ivey School of Business, Barbara G. Stymiest began her career with Ernst & Young in Toronto. She received her CA designation in 1980 and her FCA in 1997. She rose through the ranks to become one of the most widely respected bankers in the world and has long been considered a trail blazer for female executives.

When she was appointed partner at Ernst & Young at the age of 30 she was the youngest partner at the firm. By the age of 35 she was Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Nesbitt Burns Inc. Then, as the head of the TSX, she presided over the restructuring of major stock exchanges located across Canada into one senior equities exchange which went public with her at the helm. And from 2004 until her recent retirement in 2011, she served as a highly respected senior executive officer of the Royal Bank of Canada, Canada's largest bank.

Complementing the leadership which Barbara has brought to Canadian business are her volunteer leadership contributions to the profession; to business, education and government-related organizations; and to the broader community. Her contributions have included such roles as:

  • serving on the CICA's Accounting Oversight Committee and ICAO's CA Champions in Industry group,
  • chairing the $60‐million Toronto Rehabilitation Institute Foundation's 'Everything Humanly Possible' campaign,
  • serving as the National Campaign Leader for the 'Campaign for Conservation' at the Nature Conservancy,
  • chairing the 2005 United Way of Greater Toronto Campaign, which raised almost $100 million,
  • serving as Vice-Chair, Business and Finance, for the 2008 Governor General's Leadership Conference, and
  • serving on the board of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Royal Ontario Museum, and Hincks-Dellcrest Children's Centre

Barbara has been recognized as one of Canada's Most Powerful Women (2003-2006), one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business (2006-2008) and was recognized as one of the Top 50 Women to Watch in 2009 by the Financial Times.

Ralph Neville qualified as a CA in 1968, winning the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario and Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants silver medals. In 1982, he was elected to fellowship in recognition of his many years of contributions to the CA profession and the community at large.

Ralph retired in 2005, having been a partner in BDO Dunwoody LLP since 1973. During his career with his firm, Ralph specialized in income tax practice for corporate clients. He was a Governor of the Canadian Tax Foundation from 1984 to 1987 and served on the CBA / CICA Joint Taxation Committee and was the Chair from 1990 to 1992.

Ralph Neville has been an extraordinary contributor to the CA profession on many fronts. Ralph was elected to the ICAO Council in 1987 and contributed greatly to many Council committees. Ralph's tenure on Council culminated in his service as the Council President in 1993/1994.

What Ralph Neville might be best known for is his passion and strong commitment to Ontario's single standard of public accounting regulation and the very significant commitment he has made to preserving this. He has been a member of both the old and new manifestations of the Public Accountants Council for the Province of Ontario. From 1994 until 2002, Ralph served on the old PAC and filled several executive roles including President in 2001/2002. When the Public Accounting Act, 2004 came into force on November 1, 2005, Ralph was one of the four CA representatives appointed by the Ontario Institute, a role he continues to fill to date.

Ralph Neville and Barbara Stymiest will be formally presented with the ICAO Award of Outstanding Merit at the FCA celebration dinner to be held on October 13 in Toronto.

About the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario:

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario is the qualifying and regulatory body of Ontario's 35,000 Chartered Accountants and 5,000 CA students. Since 1879, the Institute has protected the public interest through the CA profession's internationally recognized standards of qualification and the enforcement of its rules of professional conduct. Chartered Accountants are the professionals Canada's business leaders trust to help make the financial, strategic and leadership decisions that matter. The Institute's website is: and the student website is

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