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 37th Allard Chair in Business

John Cameron

john cameron

MacEwan University welcomes John Cameron, Chairman of Keller Construction Ltd., as the university’s 37th Allard Chair in Business. This honorary position is an esteemed award from MacEwan that recognizes a distinguished business and community leader and serves as a mentor and role model to students.

“John has an exemplary record of giving back to the community in so many ways,” says Dr. Annette Trimbee, president and vice-chancellor. “He is a respected leader in Edmonton’s arts community and the head of a construction company that has projects across the city, the province and western Canada.”

Individuals selected for the Allard Chair in Business possess exemplary business acumen, demonstrate remarkable leadership skills and have made significant contributions to the community. As part of the Chair in Business initiative, students and faculty members will have the opportunity to meet with Cameron during classroom visits, lectures and special events where he will share his experiences and the insights he has gained throughout his career.

Past Allard Chairs include leaders such as: Kristina Botelho, Cam Naqvi, Bill Comrie, Simon O'Byrne, Teresa Spinelli, Irv Kipnes, and Naseem Bashir. Each Chair is an exceptional member of the Edmonton community and has brought something unique and personal to MacEwan.

Under John Cameron’s leadership, Keller Construction Ltd. has made a lasting impact on the landscape of western Canada. From smaller-scale projects including visitor centres, grocery stores, restaurants and medical clinics to major housing developments, office buildings and industrial complexes, the firm has built an impressive legacy since the 1980s when John started working at his family’s business and subsequently, purchased the company from his father.

Cameron’s leadership style is a mixture of motivation, inspiration and positivity. He encourages his team to get involved in their community, become stewards for change and make a difference in the lives of others.

Cameron is also relentless when it comes to getting involved in his passion for contributing to his community, and encouraging others to do the same.

The John Cameron Changing Lives Foundation helped lead to the return of Edmonton’s Singing Christmas Tree. The proceeds from the popular holiday event are donated to a variety of Edmonton charities.

Cameron’s foundation also produces CRESCENDO, an ongoing series of music and storytelling performances that include a full orchestra, a 120-member choir and a variety of Alberta vocalists. In addition to entertaining audiences, the events share the message of the importance of breaking the stigma attached to mental health issues. The lives of thousands of Albertans have been improved thanks to the efforts of CRESCENDO and its meaningful partnerships with the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, the Mental Health Foundation, Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary and the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.

Cameron has also served on many boards including the CASA Foundation, the Canadian Mental Health Association - Edmonton Region, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation.

“At MacEwan, our goal is to put our students on a strong path towards success in both life and career,” says Dr. Trimbee. “I am very excited that our students will benefit from John Cameron’s expertise and experience as a business and community leader.”

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.

  • Kristina Botelho, 2022
  • 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 Connell, 1994-95
  • Margot Franssen, 1993-94
  • Stanley A. Brown, 1992-93
  • 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 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.