David Grace Gives Back
Featured in Maroon & White magazine, Spring 2013
As a former president and CEO of Nautel, David Grace led the company from its foundation as the designer and manufacturer of solid-state navigational beacons to become a leader in the development of AM and FM radio transmitters. The company has since expanded into the television transmission industry.
His association with Saint Mary’s began early in his career when his wife Dinah wanted to give up her job and return to school on a full-time basis. He said she chose Saint Mary’s after visiting a variety of prospective schools.
“She told me she chose Saint Mary’s because everyone was happier. Everyone smiled and everyone she met was polite," he recalls.
From that humble beginning the relationship with the University blossomed. He graduated from Saint Mary’s himself (Canadian Institute of Management – 1975) and sat on the Board of Governors for a dozen years, serving as Vice-Chair from 2000- 2006. He was an honorary degree recipient in 2007. He still sits as a member of the Sobey School of Advisory Board and as a Director of the IMPACT program he helped establish in 2005.
The IMPACT program provides an elite group of students from the Sobey School of Business with practical, real world experience in money management, using a pool of money that now tops $300,000.
Grace said he and his wife donated the initial nest egg to help students after a proposal by the school to allow students to manage a part of the University budget was turned down.
“I was sitting on the Investment Committee at the time and thought it was a good idea. When it was turned down, Dinah and I decided to give some money to make it happen anyway.”
A firm believer in giving back, he is past Chair of the Nova Scotia Division of the Alliance of Manufacturers and Exporters, the Nova Scotia Red Tape Reduction Task Force and has served on a large number of committees around Halifax.