Aurum Awards 2020: Doug Reid (BComm’82)

By Mark Campbell | Photo credit: Nick Pearce

Like most chartered professional accountants, Doug Reid (BComm’82) gives a lot of thought to numbers. That is particularly true when it comes to making a difference. He’s not just interested in how many ways he can give back but also how he can help organizations raise money and build the financial capacity necessary to future-proof them so that they continue to enrich our communities for generations.

“In everything I do, I recognize I am always part of a team, so the stronger the team you put together, the more successful you will be in achieving your goals,” says Reid.

That philosophy has produced remarkable results over the course of Reid’s 38-year career. He co-chaired the Engaging Excellence campaign that raised an unprecedented $10 million to unite Halifax Grammar School in one campus.  As Chair of the QEII Board of Trustees, he helped launch both the QEII Home Lottery program, which has raised $80 million to date, and the Working Miracles campaign, which raised $43.5 million for innovation in health care. And as Board Chair he helped a capital campaign significantly increase the endowment fund that now adds significantly to the annual operating budget of Symphony Nova Scotia.

“I learned the importance of philanthropy at a young age,” says Reid, an Atlantic Managing Partner with KPMG. “It was ingrained in me by my parents to give to the best of my ability, whether that is time or financial resources. What I’ve discovered is that giving not only enriches the community, it has enriched me. It expanded my horizons and made me more aware of social issues and the importance of diversity.”

Reid’s spirit of generosity and community involvement also extends to Dalhousie. He previously served on the Dalhousie Alumni Association and he currently sits on the Faculty of Management Advisory Board. As a member of the board, he works to support the Dean of Management to advance the mission of each of the four schools within the faculty, to act as advocates for the faculty and to provide leadership in securing funding for programs. “It’s a way to give back to the university that educated me and prepared me to succeed,” Reid says. “Helping the faculty connect with and understand the priorities of businesses ensures that the learning objectives continue to meet the needs of our economy.”

In honour of Reid’s ongoing contributions to Dalhousie and the community, the university has presented him with an Aurum Award. “It was a nice surprise,” says Reid. “I have so much affection for the university, so being recognized by my alma mater is tremendous for me.”

Given Reid’s legacy of making a difference, it should come as no surprise that he plans to add to it. “I’d like to find ways to level the playing field and increase access to education for people who traditionally have not had opportunities because of economic, racial, or cultural barriers,” Reid says. “A more diverse and inclusive community means more people working to make it better, so that’s what I’d like to see.”

2020 recipients collage
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