Allard Chair in Business

For more than three decades, the Allard Chair in Business, in partnership with the Allard Foundation, has upheld Dr. Charles Allard’s vision to recognize a distinguished businessperson and community leader, and to provide students and faculty members an opportunity to meet an inspiring role model.

Individuals selected for this honour possess exemplary business acumen, demonstrate remarkable leadership skills and have made significant contributions to the community. We proudly continue to celebrate excellence in business with the addition of our 31st Allard Chair in Business. 

Dr. Ray Muzyka

BMedSc, MD (U of A), MBA (Ivey)
Founder and CEO of Threshold Impact; Co-founder and CEO of BioWare

Allard Chair Muzyka image

Born and raised in Edmonton, Dr. Ray Muzyka is still primarily based in his hometown, where he has had a remarkable career as an active angel/impact investor, a leading technology entrepreneur and a rural emergency room/family medicine physician.

Business Achievements

Originally trained and practicing as a rural emergency room and family medicine physician, in the early 1990s Dr. Muzyka co-founded and was CEO of BioWare (www.bioware.com), an award-winning video game development studio focusing on story and character. BioWare was acquired by Electronic Arts in 2007, after which Ray served as senior vice president and general manager of the BioWare division of EA.

In 2012, Dr. Muzyka retired from the video game industry to begin his third career chapter as founder and CEO of ThresholdImpact, which focuses on sustainable, profitable impact investing in disruptive information technology, new media and medical innovations with passionate, capable social entrepreneurs. In addition, Dr. Muzyka is a venture advisor to iNovia Capital and serves on a number of private corporate boards. Dr. Muzyka is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, the A100, Toniic and the Ashoka Support Network.

Involvement in the Community and Philanthropy

  • Public Member, Board of Governors, University of Alberta, 2014-present.

  • Chair, Board of Advisors and Mentor, Venture Mentoring Service, University of Alberta, 2013-present.

  • Member, Premier’s Advisory Council on the Economy, 2015-present.

  • Member, Advancement Council, University of Alberta, 2015-present.

  • Board of Trustees, Stollery Health Foundation, 2012-2015.

  • Donor to multiple health organizations including Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Red Cross, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, Ashoka Support Network, Rotary International and others.

  • Donor to multiple education organizations including the University of Alberta, serving as volunteer chair and mentor at the UAlberta VMS program, serving as volunteer board member at the University of Alberta.

  • Donor to multiple environmental organizations including Orangutan Foundation International, Wilderness Wildlife Trust Africa, Dian Fossey Gorilla Foundation International, South Georgia Island Habitat Restoration Project, Gorilla Doctors Rwanda, the Edmonton Humane Society, and others.

Selected Awards and Recognition

  • Dr. Allard Chair in Business, MacEwan University, 2016

  • Honorary Member, Paul Harris Fellowship, Rotary Club International, 2016

  • Inaugural Alumni Innovation Award, University of Alberta, 2015

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Game Developers’ Choice Awards, 2013

  • Hall of Fame, Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, 2011

  • Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year (IT, Prairies), 2001

  • Canada’s Top 40 under 40, 2001

  • BDC Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 1997


About Dr. Charles Allard

In 2013, Alberta Venture profiled Edmonton’s Dr. Charles A. Allard as one of the five greatest Alberta entrepreneurs, arguably one of the greatest in Canadian history.

Dr. Allard was a man of many talents: a surgeon, broadcaster, property developer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. A member of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, he had very diversified business interests, including Canadian Western Bank, Seaboard Life, ITV (now Global Edmonton), Crosstown Motor City, and the Edmonton Oilers. Dr. Allard left an indelible mark on his community and continues to do so with a legacy of caring. In 1985, he established the Chair in Business honorary teaching award at the School of Business.

Dr. Allard’s vision was an award that would not only recognize a distinguished business and community leader, but would give students and faculty an opportunity to meet one-on-one with an inspiring role model. The Chair in Business program continues to be supported through the Allard Foundation.

The Story of Dr. Charles Allard

Dr. Charles Alexander Allard (1919-1991), a man who demonstrated tremendous vision throughout his professional career as both a doctor and businessman. He carried his vision through diverse experiences, including radio and television broadcasting and as well as one of the original owners of the Edmonton Oilers, then the Alberta Oilers of the World Hockey Association. As a philanthropist, innovator, and entrepreneur, Allard made major contributions to the medical and business fields – and to our community as a whole.

Allard graduated from the University of Alberta as a medical doctor and post-graduate studies in Montreal and Boston. Allard practiced medicine specializing in surgery at the Edmonton General Hospital.

Allard created Allarco Developments, a public conglomerate, which included Northwest Trust, Crosstown Motor City and International Jet Air. He founded the Northwest International Bank and co-founded The Canadian Western Bank.

In 1965, Allard became involved in broadcasting, establishing the first independent television station in western Canada, CITV. His company, Allarcom Limited, drew worldwide attention to Alberta, through the Celebrity Concert series and SCTV comedy television series.

Founder of CANCOM, Canadian Satellite Communications, Dr. Allard finalized the sale of his broadcast conglomerate including television stations CITV and CKRD, Allarcom Pay Television (Superchannel) and 50 per cent of The Family Channel to WIC in March 1991.

Allard was also a diplomat of The American Board of Surgery throughout his professional career, and a member of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and a lifelong supporter of Junior Achievement. The Allard Foundation still provides generous support for charities and arts organizations in the community.

Allard Chairs in Business since 1985

The Chair in Business program connects the business leaders of today with our students. MacEwan University School of Business has had the privilege to welcome these outstanding business leaders into our classrooms to inspire and ignite passion for careers in business.

Nicole Bourque-Bouchier, 2016
Simon O’Byrne, 2015
Dave Mowat, 2014
Dale Wishewan, 2013
Bill Comrie, 2012
Irv Kipnes, 2011
Liz O’Neill, 2010
Art Meyer, 2009
Diane Brickner, 2008
Robert Rosen, 2006-07
Ruth Kelly, 2005-06
Harry Buddle, 2004
Larry E. Anderson, 2002-03
Nizar J. Somji, 2001-02
Hon. Jim Edwards, 2000-01
Cheryl Knebel, 1999-00
Audrey Luft, 1998-99
Gary Ford, 1997-98
Gary Elliott, 1996-97
Laural Manegre, 1995-96
Martin McConnell, 1994-95
Margot Franssen, 1993-94
Stanley A. Brown, 11992-93
Sherry Ruteck-Orr, 1991-92
John R. McDougall, 1990-91
Barbara Rae, 1989-90
Donald Stanley, 1988-89
Mark Blumes, 1987-88
Jerry Goodis, 1986-87
Hugh Hardie, 1985-86