Aurum Awards 2020: Robert Zed (MHSA’86)

By Mark Campbell | Photo credit: Nick Pearce

For Robert Zed (MHSA’86), making a difference starts with health. After all, he says, “If you don’t have your health, you have nothing. It is the cornerstone of life and everything we do.”

Health is certainly the cornerstone of everything Zed does. As the chair and CEO of Triangle Strategies, he has helped connect companies that specialize in innovative health-care technologies with health industry decision-makers, thus improving patient outcomes nationwide. As the chair of Zed Events, he is increasing awareness of mental wellness by producing A Different Stage of Mind, a popular annual fundraiser for the Nova Scotia Mental Health Society. As executive in residence at Dalhousie’s School of Health, he is helping to shape a new generation of health leaders  through several initiatives, such as the ELEMENT mentoring program, which offers students access to experiential learning, advice, and direction from key experts and professionals. And as the leader of 10 mentor groups, he is assisting entrepreneurs and students in navigating personal and professional challenges so they can realize their dreams and strengthen both our communities and economy.

Giving back is how I give thanks for the good fortune I’ve experienced,” Zed says. “When you pay it forward, you enjoy life a little more, but more important, you help make life a little better for someone else.”

In that way, Zed reflects the example set by his parents when he was growing up in Saint John, N.B. “My father was a dental surgeon and community leader and my mother volunteered like no one I’ve ever seen,” he says. “The motivation to do good started with them.”

Originally, Zed planned to do good by joining his father’s dental practice, but his first term of university prompted a rethink. “Four Ds and an F in term one pretty much convinced me that I wasn’t going to do Science and dental school,” he laughs. “I’d always been passionate about hospitals, so I took a summer job at Saint Joseph’s in Saint John. I started to learn the art of hospital administration and that put me on the path to where I am today.”

Always one to highlight the achievements of others, Zed was speechless when he learned he had been selected for an Aurum Award by Dalhousie University. “Given the long list of people who have been recognized for their service by both the university and its graduates over the years, it’s a real honour to join such an illustrious group.”

More than that, Zed says the award provides added incentive to keep making a difference. “It’s a great reminder of the importance of getting involved whenever possible and ensuring everything you do has a positive impact,” he says.

2020 recipients collage
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