Skip to content

Business Administration Professor Launches Grand Masters Series

With the objective of having senior industry executives share their experiences on strategy, execution and leadership with students, Business Administration Professor Maria Racanelli launched the Grand Masters Series. “I want our student to have first-hand knowledge of what strategy really means, and that the concepts are not nebulas or abstract notions but 'real' tangible actions in perpetual motion," said Maria.

At the inaugural session on February 24th, keynote speaker and CEO of Rogers Bank, Richard McLaughlin discussed his strategic experiences with the company as well as his role as a leader.

Read below to discover what Business Administration students gained from this experiential learning opportunity.

Photo courtesy Liz Chanruang- Individuals left to right Maria Racanelli, Liz Chanruang, Brad McLaughlin, second row: Camile Acob, Shanyga Newman, Dinzando Vando Bartolomeu. Bottom row, Richard McLaughlin,,  Elizabeth Abols and Brenda De Oliveria.

Photo courtesy Liz Chanruang

Individuals from left to right - first row: Maria Racanelli, Liz Chanruang, Brad McLaughlin, second row: Camile Acob, Shanyga Newman, Dinzando Vando Bartolomeu, third row: Richard McLaughlin, Elizabeth Abols and Brenda De Oliveria

Photo courtesy Liz Chanruang

Individuals from left to right - Liz Chanruang, Maria Racanelli, Joel Mathen, Richard Mclaughlin


"Before class, we formulated a couple of connections of his past experiences and made our own assumptions of what he must have integrated from his roles at Canadian Tire, Mastercard, CitiBank, and now Rogers Bank. I was astounded to find that making great use of PESTLE analysis and Porter’s Five Forces Model is such an important tool for a company to minimize the risk losses. An example is Rogers' decision to enter the video streaming market as a sub-company “Showme”. They competed with companies like Netflix, Hulu, etc. causing them to lose $600 million - a failed diversification strategy." - Camille Acob

“It was impressive to see how Rogers expanded into related and unrelated industries. I learned more about big data and how Rogers uses their vast consumer data in telecommunications to leverage their customer base for their financial services, Rogers Bank.” - Brad McLaughlin

“When listening to McLaughlin, I realized the saying 'when will I ever use this outside of school?' is completely untrue. I was able to connect the concepts we were taught in this course to his lecture. When describing his experiences, I understood right away the concepts we are learning now will be useful for the rest of our professional careers." - Dean Brown

“As someone who is looking to get into Project Management and hopefully a senior position, it's not every week you get to interact with someone who is a CEO of a public company. It was also very interesting to hear him repeat strategic methods that Maria had taught in class - in both Business Policy and Strategic Management." - Shanygca Newman

“What I found particularly reassuring was that Richard was familiar with concepts that we have studied in our Strategic Management and Business Policy classes with Professor Racanelli. As a student, it's nice to know that we are learning in the classroom is relevant in the real workforce. Common phrases that Professor Racanelli uses and Richard reiterated were 'why?' and 'so....what?' It's always important to state the main idea/bottom line." - Joshua Samels

"I think it was a great opportunity to listen to the experiences Richard had during his years working for many strong companies. Being the CEO of Rogers Bank, he highlighted opportunities that we, students can reach in our years to come." - Simran Warainch


“Richard gave us a brief history of Rogers and the founder Ted Rogers. My takeaway from this was seeing how innovative and how much of a visionary Ted Rogers was in the cable TV business." - Matt Smyth

“Richard was very welcoming and open to answer any questions we had. This is also a good quality to have in the CEO position as encourages open communication and allows employees to do the best they can. Once everyone is aware of the company's goal, success is that much more attainable." - Chris Charles

“As a leader, Richard mentioned to 'park your ego at the door' because leading with fear will only leave you behind in your time of need.” - Marie Hopkinson

Personal and Essential Employability

“One key point I took away from Richard's lecture is when he emphasized the importance of knowing what your blind spots are and identifying what you’re bad at and what you’re good at.” - Chris Anious

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to listen to Richard. It provided insight into the current industry as it adjusts to external changes." - Brenda De Oliveria

"From listening to Richard McLaughlin speak and asking questions - you can tell that he was just as inspired by us students as we were inspired by him. Thank you, Mr. McLaughlin!" - Shanyga

"My overall takeaway from this learning opportunity is that all of the concepts taught in our business program throughout the semester align with real-life cases. I feel ready to tackle the business world with the tools, information, and skills gathered during my years here at Humber." - Camille Acob

“Surround yourself with people that drive you crazy. Life is full of challenges and these challenges are what makes a person better." - Anonymous

“Mr. McLaughlin gave his opinion on attributes that would make you stand out in the business world. His top three included being authentic, knowing who you are (and who you are not), and focusing on customer experiences rather than corporate goals." - Anonymous

Share this article: