Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario

Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario

March 23, 2006 16:14 ET


Four Seasons Hotel Toronto to host black-tie dinner on September 21 Attention: Business/Financial Editor, Education Editor, Travel/Tourism Editor LONDON, ONTARIO, MEDIA RELEASE--(CCNMatthews - March 23, 2006) - Isadore Sharp, founder, chairman and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels Inc., will be honoured as the 2006 recipient of the Ivey Business Leader Award at a black tie dinner in Toronto on Sept. 21, 2006.

"Through his leadership, innovation and expertise, Isadore Sharp created luxury for the modern traveler and built a brand that is synonymous with exceptional service and the highest standards in hospitality. His track record of success, as well as his ongoing commitment to furthering cancer research and supporting the arts in Canada, makes him an ideal candidate for the Ivey Business Leader Award. We are delighted to honour his achievements as both a businessman and a generous contributor to Canadian society," said Carol Stephenson, Dean of the Richard Ivey School of Business.

After graduating in architecture at Ryerson University, Mr. Sharp began in the construction business with his father, Max Sharp. He founded Four Seasons Hotels in Toronto in 1960 and opened his first hotel on Toronto's Jarvis Street in the early 1960s. Over the next few decades, Four Seasons Hotels were established in more locations and Mr. Sharp traveled extensively, evolving his vision for the company.

Today, the portfolio of Four Seasons properties includes 70 hotels in 31 countries, with more than 20 properties in development. The company's success remains firmly rooted in four key principles: focusing on the affluent traveler, specializing in mid-sized hotels, managing properties in partnership with hotel owners, and investing in people as the brand's most important asset.

The educational background of Isadore Sharp combined with his design and construction expertise, his single focus on satisfying the customer and his leadership skills have allowed him to create the largest luxury hotel management company in the world.

Sharp and his wife Rosalie (Wise) Sharp live in Toronto and have three sons - Jordan, Gregory and Anthony. In memory of a fourth son, Christopher, whose life was lost to cancer in 1978, Mr. Sharp created a sponsorship program supporting the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope. He is the founder of the annual Terry Fox Run, the largest single-day fundraising event for cancer research worldwide, having raised more than $400 million to-date.

Mr. Sharp is a director at Clairvest Group, an honorary director of The Bank of Nova Scotia, as well as director of several charitable and humanitarian programs.

"Isadore Sharp's leadership skills have enabled him to attract worldwide staff and partners that are crucial elements in the company's success," said Mary Whittle, co-chair of the Ivey Business Leader Award. "He is an inspiration both because of his business success and his commitment to charitable initiatives."

Created in 1991 by the Ivey Alumni Association/Toronto, the Ivey Business Leader Award honours an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to the advancement of business in Canada, and reflects the world-class ideals of the Richard Ivey School of Business.

Ivey Business Leader Award winners have demonstrated leadership in both business and their communities. Past recipients of the award include:
2005 - Peter Godsoe, former chairman and CEO, The Bank of Nova Scotia
2002 - Gwyn Morgan, President and CEO, EnCana Corporation
2001 - Harrison McCain, Chairman McCain Foods Limited, and G. Wallace McCain, Chairman Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
2000 - Purdy Crawford, Chairman, AT&T Canada; former Chairman Imasco and Canada Trust
1999 - Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, led by Prem Watsa, Chairman
1998 - Paul Desmarais, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Power Corporation of Canada
1997 - Frank Stronach, Chairman of the Board, Magna International Inc.
1996 - Jean C. Monty, President and CEO, Northern Telecom Limited
1995 - R. Jack Lawrence, Deputy Chairman, Nesbitt Burns Inc.
1994 - Robert Nourse, President and CEO, The Bombay Company Inc.
1993 - Cedric E. Ritchie, Chairman, The Bank of Nova Scotia
1992 - John C. Carroll, President and CEO, Molson Breweries
1991 - John M. Thompson, Chairman and CEO, IBM Canada Limited
The Award is presented in Toronto at the prestigious Ivey Business Leader Award Dinner. Proceeds from the black tie event support the Ivey Alumni Association/Toronto International Student Awards and the Faculty Fellowship in Business Leadership established to attract top quality faculty to the School.
The Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario ( offers full-time undergraduate (HBA) and graduate degree programs (MBA and PhD), and Executive MBA programs in addition to non-degree programs in Entrepreneurship and Executive Development. Ivey has campuses in London (Ontario), Toronto, and Hong Kong, where it was the first North American business school to establish a campus in Asia.

Event Details
Location: Four Seasons Hotel, 21 Avenue Rd. Toronto, ON
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2006
Time: Reception: 6:00 p.m. Dinner: 7:00 p.m.
Guests: Limited to 450

For more information, please contact:
Mary Whittle
Co-Chair Ivey Business Leader Award
Ivey Alumni Association
Tel: 416-491-1523

Mary Weil
Manager, Media and Public Relations
Richard Ivey School of Business

Contact Information

  • Marisa Kanas, Communications Coordinator, Richard Ivey School of Business
    Primary Phone: 519-850-2536