Embracing the world of possibilities
Ron Smith (’71)
Ronald E. Smith (’71), FCPA, FCA, ICD.D, has served on many corporate and not-for-profit boards over the past 30 years, including five years as Chair of the Acadia Board of Governors. His public-service record is impressive. Besides serving on the Acadia board for 24 years, he is currently Vice-Chair of the IWK Health Centre, Chair of Nova Scotia’s Public Service Superannuation Plan Trustee Inc. and national Past Chair of the Arthritis Society.
Originally from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Smith now puts much of his volunteer efforts into supporting Acadia. “For many years, most of my donations of time and money have been to the benefit of Acadia University,” he says. “I see it as quite simply giving back to the institution that gave me the foundation for a wonderful life in so many ways.”
Smith and his wife, Beverly (Cottreau) Smith, both graduates of Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School, have funded the Ronald E. Smith Scholar-Bursary at Acadia. The scholar-bursary is awarded on a renewable basis to entering or returning students on the basis of financial need and academic performance, with preference given to students from Yarmouth County who have demonstrated leadership qualities.
“For many years, most of my donations of time and money have been to the benefit of Acadia University. I see it as quite simply giving back to the institution that gave me the foundation for a wonderful life in so many ways.”
“As an Acadia student, I learned that I could not only keep up with the work, but I could actually make a difference in the world,” Smith says. “In short, my confidence grew dramatically and the world of possibilities started to become apparent to me.”
After graduating with a BBA from Acadia in 1971, he began a 16-year career in public accounting, focused on insolvency and restructuring assignments. In 1987, Smith became Chief Financial Officer of Maritime Tel and Tel, a predecessor to Bell Aliant, and later served as CFO at Emera Inc. in the early 2000s until his retirement in 2005.
In recognition of Smith’s career achievements and service to the community, CPA Nova Scotia (the Chartered Professional Accountants of Nova Scotia) awarded him the FCPA designation, the profession’s highest mark of distinction.
“My three years as an Acadia student were formative, fruitful and in many ways literally transformational for me,” he says. “Acadia was the bridge that took me from the small world of my childhood to the vast opportunities to experience the world at large. Two of my daughters, my younger brother and my nephew have followed me across that bridge, and hopefully some grandchildren will eventually do the same.”