MRO Magazine

Wendy B. McDonald receives honorary doctorate of technology

Burnaby, BC -- Wendy B. McDonald, CM, chairman of the BC Bearing Group, was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of...


Burnaby, BC — Wendy B. McDonald, CM, chairman of the BC Bearing Group, was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Technology at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in a convocation ceremony on June 23, 2005. The degree is awarded to individuals who are widely recognized for outstanding and sustained achievements in their areas of expertise.

The Honorary Doctorate of Technology was first presented in 1995 to Cecil Rope, a founding principal of BCIT. Past recipients of this degree also include: Wynne Powell, president and COO of London Drugs; Grace McCarthy, former deputy premier for the Province of British Columbia and a co-founder of C.H.I.L.D Foundation; the Honorable Carole Taylor, BC finance minister; Larry Berg, CEO of the Vancouver International Airport Authority; and Rick Hansen, president and CEO of The Man In Motion Foundation.

"It’s a distinct honour to receive my degree from BCIT. I recognize that an honorary degree is something that you really have to earn," McDonald said to the recent graduates in the audience at the ceremony.

"Networking and technology are the ingredients of success. The business world will always require solid working relationships and good communication on a person-to-person basis. Technology can provide us with amazing tools to help us to do that, but it will never replace the human touch."

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Developing relationships with people has been a cornerstone for McDonald’s success. During her career as one of Western Canada’s most prominent businesswomen, she has received numerous awards and accolades from her industry and business peers. Her business acumen and leadership qualities were publicly recognized when she won Schenley’s Veuve Clicquot Award of Distinction as "Canadian Business Woman of the Year in 1982.

Under her leadership, BC Bearing was named a Power Transmission Distributor of the Year by <I>Machinery & Equipment MRO</I> magazine.

Elected chairman of the Vancouver Board of Trade in 1990, she was the first woman to hold that position in its 103-year history. For her lifelong contribution to industry, commerce and business in British Columbia, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in February 1997. In May 1998, McDonald traveled to London, England to receive recognition as a "Leading Woman Entrepreneur of the World."

Devoting time to community service and other organizations, she remains a governor of the Vancouver Board of Trade and has served on the BCIT Board of Governors. She is also chair emeritus of the Canadian Council for the Americas (BC Chapter), chair of PACE (Pacific Corridor Enterprise Council) and a director of the B.C. Paraplegic Association.

Widowed three times, she has raised a total of 10 children, four of whom are shareholders in the BC Bearing Group.

Founded in 1944, the company now employs 450 people at more than 60 locations throughout the Americas — including 31 in Western Canada, 21 in the U.S., five in Chile, three in Peru and one in Mexico.

An ISO 9001:2000 certified industrial distributor, with nearly CDN $200 million in annual consolidated sales, its list of products includes bearings, power transmission components, material handling components, electrical products and fluid power.