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. 

Announcing the 36th Allard Chair in Business

Kristina Botelho


MacEwan University’s School of Business welcomes Ms. Kristina Botelho, founder of plant-based café, kb&co, as the university’s 36th Allard chair in Business, an honorary teaching position that recognizes a distinguished business and community leader.

As part of the Chair in Business initiative, students and faculty members will have the opportunity to meet with Botelho during classroom visits, lectures, and special events where she will share her experiences and the insights she has gained throughout her career.

“Like all of our past recipients, Kristina Botelho is a shining example of a business owner and community leader. Her approach to business, her skills and the level of success she has achieved make her a perfect example of the kind of business leader we want our students to learn from and emulate,” says Dr. Annette Trimbee, president and vice-chancellor. “She has built her career on hard work and continuously striving to achieve bigger goals. At the same time, Kristina’s actions to help the community she is part of are worthy of being recognized and celebrated.”

“I’m extremely pleased that Kristina Botelho will be 36th Allard Chair in Business,” says Dr. Richard Perlow, dean of the School of Business. “Kristina is an excellent example of a business owner who does everything she can to build relationships with those in the downtown core, some of whom are facing economic and societal challenges. In that way she exemplifies what MacEwan is all about. MacEwan is Edmonton’s downtown university, and we aim to support the community that we are so proud to be part of. Kristina has an inspiring story and has a powerful message our business students need to hear.”

Kristina Botelho was born and raised in Kelowna B.C. and moved to Edmonton in 1997. After studying business, she ran a Quiznos outlet for several years before becoming the director of operations for Quiznos Canada. She then held positions with Booster Juice and Oxford Properties.

During this time, Botelho obtained a diploma in Natural Health in addition to learning about raw food fundamentals, meditation, and plant-based nutrition. Armed with this knowledge, a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial mindset, she believed it was time to pursue a franchise concept of her own: kb&co.

In 2016, Botelho decided downtown Edmonton was the place to open her first location. She has since opened six others, four in the Edmonton region, one in Calgary and one in her hometown of Kelowna. The franchise has built its reputation on natural-based, non-processed foods while also utilizing social media to maintain a dedicated customer base and appeal to others who have yet to visit a location.

One of Botelho’s proudest accomplishments in business is to have made it through the pandemic without closing any of her locations while holding on to most of her employees, a feat few businesses can claim.

Botelho is committed to spending time in the community and dedicated to helping those in need. She believes that we can take small steps in changing the narrative by acknowledging the pain individuals are experiencing and doing our best to understand the challenges they face, including mental health issues.

Botelho hosts an inner-city donation drive every year around Christmas. All kb&co locations take donations for warm clothing, blankets, gloves, and toques for the month of November. Her team then distributes the clothing along with kb&co lunches to inner-city residents.

She has shared her experiences many times including as a keynote speaker at the Woman in Wealth Gala, as a small business spokesperson for ATB and addressing MacEwan business students. She received the Emerging Entrepreneur Award from Alberta Women Entrepreneurs in 2020.

In her spare time, Botelho enjoys spending time with her young niece as well as her children, aged 15, 21 and 25. She enjoys the outdoors and frequent trips to the mountains, quaint cafés, good food and conversations about big ideas.

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.

  • Cameron Naqvi, 2021
  • Naseem Bashir, 2020
  • Tom Redl, 2019
  • Teresa Spinelli, 2018
  • Dr. Ray Muzyka, 2017
  • 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

Get to know our Allard Chairs

About Dr. Allard and the Allard Chair program

Dr. Charles Alexander Allard (1919-1991) 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 one of the original owners of the Edmonton Oilers when they were part of the World Hockey Association. As a philanthropist, innovator, and entrepreneur, Dr. Allard made major contributions to the medical and business fields – and to the Edmonton community as a whole.

Dr. 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, he 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.

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 in MacEwan's School of Business to recognize a distinguished business and community leader and 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.