UBC’s Sauder School of Business to honour two prominent alumni at sold out gala


VANCOUVER. BC, October 27, 2004 - Two prominent BC business leaders who have forged new ground in their respective industries will be the first recipients of Honourary Fellows from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Both are graduates of UBC's business school.

They are Joe Houssian, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Intrawest Corporation, who received his Master of Business Administration in 1973; and William M. Mercer, founder of William M. Mercer Limited, now known as Mercer Human Resource Consulting. Mercer obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1943. The pair will be recognized formally at the inaugural Sauder School of Business Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver on November 3, 2004. The event has been sold out for weeks.

"We're honoured to be recognizing two individuals who have revolutionized the way their businesses operate to the benefit of millions of customers," said Daniel Muzyka, Dean of the Sauder School of Business. "Each started with a solid foundation of business knowledge and an inquisitive mind and went on to challenge existing assumptions and develop products and services that truly add value," Muzyka added.

"We hope to award Honourary Fellows annually to business leaders who have transformed their businesses and embody the spirit of the Sauder School of Business," said Tony Gage, Chair of the Honourary Fellows Nominations Committee and Chairman of Phillips Hager & North Investment Management Ltd. "In particular, these awards give us an opportunity to recognize some of the more than 24,000 Sauder alumni who are making their mark in leading organizations around the world," said Gage.

About the 2004 Honourary Fellows:

Joe Houssian
Joe Houssian founded Vancouver-based Intrawest in the mid-1970s, initially as a local real estate company. Under his leadership, Intrawest quickly expanded to become a key player in residential, commercial, industrial and resort-oriented developments in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Today, Intrawest is the world's leading operator and developer of village-centered resorts including Whistler Blackcomb, a host venue for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. With more than 21,000 employees and a corporate strategy focused on continued, disciplined expansion, Intrawest is a public company that trades on both the Toronto (ITW) and New York (IDR) stock exchanges.

William M. Mercer
William M. Mercer founded his pension consulting business in Vancouver in 1945 with $25 in capital and a $1,000 loan. At just 26 years of age, Mercer was ahead of his time as the first in Canada to believe employee benefit plans should be designed for the individual to fit each client's wants and needs. His business grew rapidly, with offices opening in Montreal, Toronto and a number of other communities across the country. William M. Mercer Limited was acquired by Marsh & McLennan in 1959 and started to expand internationally. Mercer died just two years later of a stroke at age 43. Today, Mercer Human Resources Consulting has more than 13,000 employees serving clients from more than 150 cities in 40 countries.

About the Sauder School of Business:

The Sauder School of Business at UBC is Canada's leading research-based business school. Its programs include the award-winning MBA, International MBA, part-time MBA and Bachelor of Commerce, as well as leading Doctoral and masters programs and highly regarded professional programs in Real Estate and Executive Education. For more information about the Sauder School of Business, visit