Building a legacy

Incoming RCS president, Ashisha Persaud performing at multicultural night at the Ted Rogers Management Conference on March 7,2014. Photo by Eman Ali.

[E]llis Jacob, president and CEO of Cineplex Entertainment, shared the key to his success in business with student delegates at the 2014 Ted Rogers Management Conference.

Hosted by Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, the conference was held March 6th through the 8th at the Toronto Marriott Eaton Centre Hotel. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Ted Rogers Management Conference. The annual conference brings together top business students from across Canada and internationally to partake in professional breakout sessions, networking events, and a case competition.

This year’s conference theme was legacy, where speakers were invited to share their interpretation of the word.

Delegates at the Ted Rogers Management Conference take photos of a performance at multicultural night on March 7,2014. Photo by Eman Ali.

Delegates at the Ted Rogers Management Conference take photos of a performance at multicultural night on March 7,2014. Photo by Eman Ali.

As evolving technology led to the creation of DVDs, digital downloads, and online streaming services, it looked as if movie theatres were soon to become a thing of the past. Under Jacob’s 26 years of leadership experience, Canada’s largest motion picture exhibition company continues to grow and innovate.

Jacob focused on the four major tenets that have contributed to his success: passion, trust, risk, and innovation. He emphasized that passion was the forefront of the company.

“We can always teach skills and experience but we can never teach passion,” said Jacob.

It’s the combination of these factors that have resulted in the legacy that has made the company what it is today.

“Legacy is part of the reason we’ve survived and also thrived,” said Jacob.

While taking questions from the audience, Jacob had some advice for the business students.

“You have to work hard. You have to believe in yourself. Don’t believe the naysayers.”

Planning and preparations for the conference occurs all year long, beginning with the establishment of the conference team. The theme is decided by the executive team based on a number of factors.

“[The theme] needs to relate to everybody,” said Noah Geist, fourth-year business management student and chair of this year’s conference.

The theme of legacy challenges one to consider the impact of everyday decisions and how that affect the journey towards legacy. This conference also saw the unveiling of the Legacy Award, now to be presented each year to the keynote speaker.

“The award is a legacy in itself,” said Geist.

When selecting speakers, the team seeks to create a lineup that represents quality and diversity.

“We [want to] have speakers that represent the same values as Ted Rogers and embody what it means to be a Canadian business leader,” said Geist.

Since the conference’s inception in 2010, Geist has seen it become bigger and better each year, including more corporate partnerships and media attention.

“It’s really the marquee event of the Ted Rogers [School of Management],” said Geist.