Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award

Paul Lynch Alumni Volunteer Award

The Paul Lynch Alumni Volunteer Award recognizes candidates annually who have shown outstanding voluntary service to the Saint Mary's University Alumni Association.

All University employees and members of the Saint Mary's University Alumni Association may submit a one-page letter of recommendation for a candidate, illustrating their suitability for this award. A completed Alumni Awards Nomination Form must accompany the letter.


Selection Candidates are considered annually by the Saint Mary's University Alumni Association's Awards & Nomination Committee.

Timeline The deadline to nominate a candidate for the 2022 Paul Lynch Alumni Volunteer Award is September 23, 2022.

2021 Recipients

Vivek Sood MBA’98

Vivek Sood is Executive Vice President of Related Businesses for Sobeys Inc. and serves as Chair of the Sobeys’ Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council, Board Governor for GS1 Canada, Committee Member for Canada Health Infoway PrescribeI Strategy & Industry Alliances, Board of Director for Black Business Consulting and Dean’s Circle Member at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Management.   

Vivek graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University in 1992 and went on to earn his MBA from Saint Mary’s in 1998. He received his Chartered Financial Analyst Designation from the CFA Institute in 2004 and has recently completed the ICD-Rotman Directors Education Program.  

Vivek remains engaged with Saint Mary’s University on many levels including serving as Chair of The David Sobey Center for Innovation in Retailing & Services Advisory Board as well as serving on the David Sobey Endowment and Sobeys Scholarship Endowment Committees. He is an advocate for student success and actively participates in engagement opportunities as they arise. Vivek is also a strong supporter of innovation in Atlantic Canada as a member of the Investment Committee for Innovacorp and has served as an associate member, and mentor, for both the Atlantic and Atlanta Creative Destruction Lab programs.  

For the past three years Vivek was recognized by Atlantic Business Magazine as a recipient of its Top 50 CEO Award – Atlantic Canada’s premiere business recognition.  In 2020 Vivek was named CEO of the Year by Atlantic Business Magazine for his outstanding leadership.


Wendy Brookhouse BComm’91 EMBA’02


Wendy Brookhouse is the Founder and Chief Strategist of Black Star Wealth, a boutique financial planning firm that services clients across the country from Halifax, Nova Scotia.  

Wendy received a Bachelor of Commerce from Saint Mary’s in 1991 and an EMBA in 2002. She has also served on the Board of Governors twice and was President of the Alumni Association. 

Wendy has been in the business for over 15 years and has steadily grown her practice. She serves business owners and incorporated professionals with her innovative Total Wealth Accelerator™. A member of CALU and Advocis, Wendy currently serves as a Media Ambassador for FP Canada and as a member of the Faculty of the Women’s Leadership Intensive.   

Wendy never hesitates to give back to the SMU Community. She is a featured ‘expert alumni’ often engaged with the Sobey School of Business Community Revitalization & Prosperity Network and never misses an opportunity to help mentor students. 

Past Recipients:

  • 2020: Sarah Ferguson BComm’09  & John Bishop BComm’74 BEd’76 
  • 2019: Karen Ross BComm'77 & Joann Boulos-Callias BA'82 BEd'83 MEd'89
  • 2018: Mary-Evelyn Ternan BA'69 BEd'70 MEd'88 & Jimmy Ho BComm'79
  • 2017: John Sime BComm'08
  • 2016: Mike McKenzie BComm'80
  • 2015: Murray Wilson 
  • 2014: Kathy Mullane
  • 2013: Paul Puma
  • 2012: Bob Warner
  • 2011: Nate Gildart, Marcel Dupupet, Meghan Van Gaal
  • 2010: Kathy Naulls amd Paul Hollingsworth
  • 2009: Frank Gervais and Carol Dodds
  • 2008: Zach Churchill
  • 2007: Paul Lynch and Paul O'Hearn
  • 2006: Richard Franklin
  • 2005: Dinah Grace
  • 2004: Bettina Pierre Gilles
  • 2003: Jamie O'Neil, Terry Donahoe, Sian Wren, Kirk Higgins and Paul Lynch
  • 2002: Tim Westhaver and Mary Lou Gomes