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London tech firm donates $1 million to empower local businesses

Gift to Ivey Business School will deliver programs for business people and community leaders

May 23, 2014

For London business leaders,’s $1-million gift to the Ivey Business School may be a gift that keeps on giving.

Announced on May 22 at the Richard Ivey Building, the gift establishes a new partnership that will deliver education programs, consulting services and customer insight tools for local business people.

“We are delighted to be working with President and CEO Paul Seed, who has proven to be a tremendous leader in London’s business community,” said Bob Kennedy, Ivey dean. “It is great to see a company so committed to improving the health of the overall economy and contributing resources to drive innovative business ideas for southwestern Ontario.”

An Ontario-based firm is a manufacturer of hard-to-find connectivity parts including audio-video connectivity, hard drive accessories, cables, add-on cards, server management and networking IO.

Founded in 1985, has operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Europe and Taiwan, servicing a worldwide market.

The Ivey donation will support:

  • A new executive education program for London and regional business leaders, Understanding Your Customer, designed to help participants gain deeper insight into customer behavior and how to use that knowledge. The inaugural program will be held in spring 2015;
  • A Customer Insights and Economic Leadership Group, facilitated by Ivey faculty, designed to provide local businesses an opportunity to network and share best practices;
  • A Professorship in Customer Insights, who will oversee the Customer Insights and Economic Leadership Group, as well as drive a customer-insights research agenda at Ivey and assist firms in accessing free consulting services through Ivey Consulting Projects; and
  • Bi-annual forums for local not-for-profit organization to help develop business skills, gain organizational insights and provide networking opportunities.

“I’m committed to the London region and want many more businesses to thrive here, too. For me, the first step to success is getting to know your customers extremely well and understanding how to best fulfill their needs,” Seed said.

“I have also been fortunate to participate in some of Ivey’s innovative executive education programs. I apply what I learned on a daily basis," adds Seed. "I want all London area businesses to have the same advantage to grow, to succeed and be on the cutting-edge when it comes to meeting customer needs.”

Marketing professor Miranda Goode will serve as the inaugural Professorship in Customer Insights. Currently the Faculty Director of Ivey’s Behavioural Research Lab, Goode’s team provides Ivey faculty with access to resources that support consumer and behavioral research.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to dig deeper into how consumers behave and to give businesses the insight they need to create greater value for their customers,” Goode said. “Companies like, who thrive on customer knowledge and service, are superb leaders by example.”

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