Biz Forum recruits top speakers

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By Jon Spicer

Ambitious Ryerson business students will be rubbing elbows and swapping cards with industry professionals at this week’s Ryerson Business Forum.

The 14th annual forum takes place Thursday at the Westin Harbour Castle on Queen’s Quay East and is themed, “Blue Chips, New Chips — Emerging Issued of the New Economy.”

Justin Cook, a fourth-year finance student and co-chair of the Ryerson Business Forum, says the line up of speakers this year is among the best ever.

He says it was difficult for the 11 organizers to attract big names in the business community, especially because Ryerson is an undergraduate school.

Charles E. Hoffman, president and chief executive officer at Rogers AT&T Wireless, will kick off the speeches at 1 p.m. Michael Rodger from IBM Canada, and Norman Inkster from KPMG, a financial consulting firm, are also scheduled to speak throughout the afternoon.

“The interested students want to hear what [the speakers’] experiences were early on, how they got to where they are,” Cook says. “Also, where technology is heading and how these companies are going to capitalize on it.”

Cook sees this year as a turning point for the forum because of the high profile names his group was able to attract.

“If you want to get the Ted Rogers’ out there — people that are in the limelight of business in Canada — you’ve got to have some background,” he says. “And this year I really feel we’re getting that background when you say Inkster and Hoffman in particular.”

Winston Lau, a third-year business management student, is impressed at the broad range of speakers.

“It’s good to see this calibre of people offered by the school,” he says.

“We get the top figures because they’re the ones with the vision, they’re the ones making the decisions, and that’s what we want to expose the student body to,” Cook says.

Tickets are available in the foyer of the business building for $5. Cook hopes to sell 400 tickets.

Global Television will be covering the four-hour forum, allowing two business schools in Europe, Sheffield Hallan University in England and Hogeschool Holland in Amsterdam to tune in via satellite.


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