Wednesday, 26 September 2018 05:30PM PDT

More tickets released - get yours today

Each year, awards are given to outstanding SFU alumni who are making exceptional community contributions both locally and abroad.

Join us on Wednesday, September 26 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver where there will be an opportunity to hear powerful and inspiring stories from each of the four 2018 Outstanding Alumni recipients:


Mr. Peter Akman, BA '99

Award-winning CTV National News journalist and storyteller, former top NAIA athlete and mental health advocate. [full bio]

Mr. Ryan Beedie, BBA '91

Business leader and philanthropist helping shape the landscape of Metro Vancouver as well as the future of its citizens and communities. [full bio]

Ms. Betsy Gibbons, EMBA '87, BA '68

Highly-regarded human capital and executive search professional with a strong commitment to community leadership and volunteerism. [full bio]

Dr. Steven Holdcroft, PhD '87

World-leading SFU research chemist, educator, innovator and collaborator working in the area of fuel cell technology and alternative energy. [full bio]

Regular: $40/each
» Get your ticket today!

5:30 - 6:30 PM  Reception
6:30 - 7:45 PM  Presentations
7:45 - 9:00 PM  Dessert reception

Four Seasons Hotel
791 West Georgia Street

PARKING: Valet parking is available in front of the hotel lobby and self-parking is available underground at Pacific Centre Mall.

Business attire

ENQUIRIES: or 778-782-5313


Updates and information will also be posted on our Facebook Event Page.

The 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients


Mr. Peter Akman, BA '99
Toronto Bureau Reporter, CTV National News
Outstanding Alumni Award for Rising Star in Professional Achievement

It is difficult to sum up Peter’s career in any other way than extraordinary.  Known for his grit and can-do attitude, Peter Akman’s passion for telling stories to foster understanding and positive change has taken him across Canada and around the world. An award-winning journalist with the technical skills to write, report, shoot and edit his own stories, he has leveraged his broad interests to break news across multiple channels. Filing from some of the world’s top conflict zones with CBC and now CTV, Akman spent more than two months embedded with Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan and covered the fall of Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, the Egyptian revolution and the Rohingya refugee crisis. At the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, he broke the story of the planned cull of hundreds of stray dogs by the government.

Akman volunteers his time to help raise awareness and funds to support returning troops and emergency responders impacted by PTSD, and regularly speaks to young people about his experiences as a journalist and top NAIA athlete in swimming.


Mr. Ryan Beedie, BBA '91
President, Beedie Development Group
Outstanding Alumni Award for Service to the Community

As a business leader and philanthropist, Ryan Beedie is helping shape the landscape of Metro Vancouver as well as the future of its citizens and communities. As President of Beedie Development Group, he ovesees one of the most successful industrial and residential property development companies in Western Canada.

Beedie has always believed that one has a responsibility to give back to the community in which one lives and works. He has generously donated his time and more than $35 million in the past decade to a variety of organizations dedicated to health care, the arts and humanitarian efforts. In 2011, he and his father Keith contributed $22 million to SFU to establish the Beedie School of Business and support students, professorships and research chairs. It was the largest donation ever to SFU and Ryan calls it the best thing he has done in his career. He also co-chaired the university’s 50th Anniversary Power of Engagement Campaign and created the Ryan Beedie Leadership Award in 2016.

Beedie Development Group received the 2018 Rix Award for Engaged Corporate Citizenship from the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, and was inducted in the Burnaby Business Hall of Fame in 2016. Beedie has been recognized with numerous awards for his business and community leadership.


Ms. Betsy Gibbons, EMBA '87, BA '68
Retiree, Chair of the Health Employers Association of BC, Member of the Public Sector Employers’ Council of BC and Director of the Kay Meek Centre
Outstanding Alumni Award for Professional Achievement

During her 30-year career in the human capital and executive search profession, Betsy Gibbons made a transformational contribution to her clients, employers and colleagues. In senior roles in global search firms including Korn/Ferry and Caldwell Partners, she placed hundreds of executives and managers into diverse positions in financial services, health care, public sector and academia, and coached and mentored emerging professionals. She played an instrumental role in establishing Korn/Ferry’s mining practice and singularly helped to create and build the leadership teams of many well-known mining companies.

Gibbons’ reputation for exceptional service, energy, integrity and approachability extends to her community leadership. She has brought her passion for progress to the boards of directors of public sector, professional, community-based and charitable organizations. She received the Eleanor H. Raynolds Award for excellence in executive search and strong commitment to volunteerism from the Association of Executive Search Consultants in 2013, and the Honorary Life Member Award from the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon in 2015.


Dr. Steven Holdcroft, PhD '87
Professor, Canada Research Chair in Electrochemical Materials
Outstanding Alumni Award for Academic Achievement

Over his 28-year career at Simon Fraser University, Steven Holdcroft has distinguished himself as an exceptional researcher, community leader, innovator, collaborator and educator. A world-leading research chemist working in the area of fuel cell technology and alternative energy, his expertise is highly sought after by both academic and industrial sectors. During a 12-year part-time secondment to the National Research Council Canada, Holdcroft was instrumental in building R&D capabilities in Metro Vancouver and advancing the development of Canada’s emerging hydrogen economy. At last count, he published 250 peer-reviewed research artciels and holds 14 patents. With former students, he recently co-founded Ionomr Innovations Inc. to commercialize one of his groundbreaking clean energy technology inventions.

Highly regarded in the classroom—he holds the SFU Excellence in Teaching award—he has provided a rich training environment for graduate and undergraduate students. Holdcroft serves on numerous national and international boards that develop strategic directions for science funding, and has received numerous national and international awards for his contributions. He is a former chair of the Department of Chemistry and currently the vice president of the CSC, Canada’s National Society for Chemistry.

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