High goals on the sports field and in the boardroom
Don Clow (’83)
The ambitious goals and high standards that Donald E. Clow (’83) set for himself as an Acadia student athlete are still an integral part of who he is now.
“My educational and life experience at Acadia was a critical part of my growth as a person,” he says. “Learning in small classes from extraordinary professors about how to be savvy in business, and being a part of two National Championship football teams, helped me set my goals high and figure out how to live a good life, including giving back to our community.”
Clow is President and Chief Executive Officer of Crombie REIT, a position he has held since 2009. Crombie REIT, based in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, is a Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust that owns and operates 290 shopping centres, freestanding grocery stores and office buildings across Canada. The company has offices in Toronto and seven other Canadian cities.
After graduating from Acadia with a degree in business administration, he earned his Chartered Accountant designation with KPMG. Clow has completed leadership programs at the Harvard Business School and the University of Western Ontario Ivey School of Business, and in 2002 he was designated a Fellow Chartered Accountant.
Lessons he learned at Acadia have stayed with him. “I learned that we can achieve more as team than as an individual,” he says, “and that lifelong and deep friendships are cultivated by a nurturing environment such as Acadia’s.” Clow considers 30 of his Acadia football teammates to be lifelong friends. And in the classroom, he says, he learned how to think critically, a skill that improves performance in an increasingly fast changing world.
Today, Clow is at the top of his game. He was recently inducted into the Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame as a five-time Top 50 CEO award winner in Atlantic Canada. He also serves as a Trustee on the Board of Granite REIT, a Director on the Board of REALpac, a Governor of Acadia University, and a Trustee on the Board of the QEII Foundation.
Giving back to Acadia is easy, he says, “because Acadia changes young adult lives meaningfully.” Two of the young adult lives Acadia has changed are those of Clow’s sons, Stuart (’12) and Matthew, both of whom played football for the Acadia Axemen. “Our two sons ‘became adults at Acadia,’ and it is clearly a foundational part of their well-rounded lives today,” he says. “When someone mentions Acadia in our presence, they always receive a passionate response!”