The first faces behind the UBC Sauder Founders’ Pledge | Part 3
A real estate marketing mogul.
A California-based CEO helping companies navigate security and compliance.
A cloud-computing and cyber security whiz with a strong social vision.
A technology leader streamlining the delivery of legal services.
These four UBC Sauder alumni have made a name for themselves in their respective industries, disrupting the status quo and reimagining products and services for the benefit of consumers. Now, they’re committing to the UBC Sauder Founders’ Pledge.
In part three of this multi-part series, we introduce four individuals who have signalled their intent to give back to the university one day when they’re ready. They’ve pledged to donate a portion of their venture’s future success through a personal, non-binding commitment. Though they’re united through the pledge, each of them has their own back story and motivations behind their involvement.
Crystal Hung (BCom’ 09)
CEO + Founder, Icon Marketing Inc.
Icon Marketing creates marketing campaigns for real estate developers searching to forge long-term relationships with homebuyers, managing everything from land advisory, to marketing assets, and completion of sales.
What inspires her to give back:
“When you give to the universe, it comes back to you in ways that are unexpected, unexplainable, and it makes your heart full. I believe we are in a thriving community because the people before us planted the seeds and trees for us. Serving the needs of the community is always a sound business decision.”
What made the UBC Sauder Founders' Pledge stand out:
“Sometimes it's not clear how you want to give back. [The Pledge] is a great way to stay connected and engaged with like-minded individuals who have expressed a sincere commitment to giving back to UBC. I want people to know you don't have to be a billionaire to start or commit to giving back. The time to give can start now. This pledge allows us to share that message.”
How her experience at UBC Sauder laid the groundwork for her success:
“I would not be where I am today had it not been for the selfless leadership of the students, professors, teaching assistants and all the hardworking UBC Sauder staff. Not only did UBC Sauder encourage leadership, volunteerism, teamwork, and giving back, it served as a platform to set my life vision and achieve my dream. Had I not attended a marketing competition hosted by UBC Sauder, I would not have met my best friend, my sister-in-law, and the wide community of individuals who have come together since to make a meaningful impact in the real estate marketing and development industry.”
Ray Kruck (MBA’ 92)
Founder + CEO, Tugboat Logic
Born in California but proudly built in Canada, Tugboat Logic is driven by the mission to help companies protect the data and privacy of their clients by achieving industry certifications.
What inspires him to give back:
“I think it’s a moral obligation for any company to help support the health and success of the community around it. Since the very beginning of the company, we've encouraged our employees to take paid time to give back to their community with committed service. I lead by example for my team and give back to my community by being a trustee for our local school district education foundation and as a volunteer sheriff's deputy of our county search and rescue team.”
Why he made the pledge and where he plans to direct his support:
“My wife and I have always been committed to the health and growth of UBC Sauder and the university as a whole. We love the vitality and creativity of its students and faculty, and it’s an opportunity to leave an indelible impression on the school that not only helped me find my partner in life (my wife Jennifer and I met on campus and were a year apart in the MBA program), but also created lifelong friendships. We plan on focusing future gifts on student scholarships for studies focused on the intersection of climate change and business.”
How his experience at UBC Sauder laid the groundwork for her success:
“My time at UBC Sauder taught me the value of thinking creatively and engaging others around me in an open and positive way. Before coming to UBC, I had some ‘variability’ in my value system and a strong tendency to only view my own success as paramount. The project-style learning of UBC Sauder taught me to respect and embrace the varied opinions around me, to value growth in others and connect that to my own success. I've learned that taking care of those around you really does build your own growth and well-being.”
Michela Toscano (MBA’ 12)
Founder + Principal, IONICA
IONICA makes websites and mobile apps stable, fast, and secure through extraordinary technical sophistication and excellence in cloud computing.
What inspires her to give back:
“Philanthropy is a token of justice in a fundamentally unjust world. My personal goal is to make philanthropy obsolete by advocating for equity in corporate, investment, and personal income tax regulations. In the meantime, philanthropy is our only avenue to advance the vital causes of environmentalism, human rights, and poverty eradication – causes that, in fact, benefit us all.”
Why she made the pledge:
“The UBC Sauder Founders' Pledge is one way I can show other entrepreneurs what's possible with regard to contributing to society, and to encourage them to do the same. Philanthropy is something all of us can do to some degree, and therefore it is something we all should do. Many, if not most of us, in Canada have so much, simply by virtue of where we live and work. Starting a firm is rarely easy, and entrepreneurs often work incredibly hard, but all that hard work can be for naught without the advanced, vibrant, and supportive environment we operate in and benefit from. We don't just have an opportunity to foster a more just world and a sustainable environment, we have an obligation to do so.”
Where she plans to direct support:
“My partner and I have recently committed a significant donation to the Powerhouse Project! It's a bold plan to not only provide an optimal facility for education and research, but to cultivate an ecosystem for innovation, problem solving, and global leadership. UBC Sauder and UBC are close to my heart, and I will always support our school, but what drives me the most are environmental, poverty reduction, and human rights causes, and this is where most of my philanthropic activity is.”
Rian Gauvreau (MBA’ 11)
Co-founder + Board Member, Clio
A software company that helps lawyers store and produce all of their legal work products, Clio seeks to streamline the delivery of legal services and break down barriers of access for consumers.
What inspires him to give back:
“Once a business achieves a level of success where it can support itself and deliver on its goals and objectives, it should endeavour to give back to its local community or any purpose-driven path that is aligned with its vision. At Clio, we focus our giving mission around access to justice and mental health in the legal industry. We try to make it possible for lawyers to be healthy, so that they're able to service their clients, but also to help people who are underprivileged, underserved or unable to access legal services and legal representation.”
Why he made the pledge:
“My wife, family and I have certainly enjoyed a lot of luck and success by way of our involvement in Clio, and we want to give back to the legal industry. We also want to give back to our community and help drive social impact in the causes that we care about in the Vancouver area and more broadly in Canada and the world. As a family, we identify the causes that we really believe in and then put our resources towards advancing those causes.”
Where he plans to direct support:
“The UBC Sauder Founders’ Pledge enables entrepreneurs to give back to the school initiatives that are meaningful to them. There are a number of places where we can see this going – providing access to education for students, being able to pay for tuition and pay for programming. Potentially investing in a program that brings entrepreneurship, computer science and the law together to try and innovate solutions that might help close the justice gap. And other initiatives that may help people gain access to the support and resources that they need, especially in the legal system.”