Company Logo Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First Winner of Barnraiser Award encourages risk taking

First winner of Barnraiser Award encourages risk-taking
The winner of the first Waterloo Region Record Barnraiser Award was praised yesterday for his dedication to a spirit of collaboration.

Tim Jackson, a chartered accountant and co-founder of Waterloo's Tech Capital Partners Inc., was recognized at a luncheon held at St. George Banquet Hall.

Wendi Campbell, executive director of the Food Bank of Waterloo Region, said Jackson doesn't get bogged down in process, protocol or paperwork.

The Food Bank is one of several community boards to which Jackson volunteers his time.

Campbell said he identifies the strengths and leadership capabilities within an organization then "he identifies weaknesses and builds them into strengths."

David Marskell, chief executive officer of the Children's Museum of Waterloo Region, offered a personal thanks to Jackson for helping to get his family settled when Marskell first arrived, and applauded him for helping to get the museum back on its feet.

"He told me if I don't make mistakes, I'm not trying," Marskell said.

The Barnraiser Award was inspired by the 10 goals that University of Waterloo president David Johnston set out in 2007 as the framework for turning the region into Canada's Knowledge Capital.

One of the goals, embraced by The Waterloo Region Record, is to celebrate leadership. The award will be presented annually to an individual who contributes to the region's tradition of inspirational, collaborative achievement.

A graduate of the University of Waterloo, Jackson serves on its board of governors and has taken a lead role in promoting co-operative education and the university's fundraising efforts.

He has also worked with the Waterloo Public Library, Centre in the Square and the Research and Technology Park.

In an address to the crowd, Jackson reiterated the importance of taking risks and related that to his company's investments in entrepreneurs. "That means we invest in innovation," he said. "That means we are investing in an awful lot of failure."

He said the latitude offered to for-profit companies must be extended to charitable ventures.

One of his goals as a board member, he said, has been to allow chief executives "to go and run and try new things.

"We as a community have an obligation, I believe, to support them."


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