Ayaz Bhanji is the University of Alberta Alumni Association’s new President-Elect. He will serve as President-Elect for one year, and take over as the next Alumni Association President from Mary Pat Barry, the association’s current president, on June 1, 2017.
Born in Uganda, Ayaz Bhanji came to Canada in 1972 and has lived in Edmonton since. He originally enjoyed success professionally as a pharmacist and then broadened his career into commercial real estate. Bhanji is now Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Excellence and RE/MAX Commercial in Edmonton. His agency employs over 140 associates and staff and is one of the Top 250 real estate brokerages in Canada.
Bhanji believes strongly in the fundamental role that a university plays in our society.
“I truly believe that the purpose of higher education is to not only advance oneself, but to use that knowledge to contribute to society in a positive way and to make a difference. The University of Alberta exemplifies these ethical principles and it runs deep in the tradition of this great institution.”
Bhanji participates in many charitable organizations, including the Children’s Miracle Network and the Realtor’s Community Foundation and volunteers a great deal of his time to various worthwhile causes. He has three children, ages 18, 15 and 13 and loves to travel, play golf, hockey and volleyball. He has served as President of the Ismaili Council for Edmonton and was previously the Co-Chair of the Joint Liaison Committee of the Ismaili Council for Edmonton and the University of Alberta. He has also served as a Board Member and Vice President of the Alberta Pharmacists Association.
Bhanji hopes to advance the profile of the University of Alberta Alumni Association in the community, empowering U of A graduates to make a collective impact where they live.
“I believe that alumni are the most powerful and influential ‘Ambassadors’ of the university. We have a reach that extends all frontiers (local, national, international) and thereby have a unique opportunity to build multiple bridges and connections for the University of Alberta with other institutions. There is a tremendous capacity, energy, competence and leadership within our alumni that, in my opinion, needs to be recognized and unleashed for the benefit of the community.”
Current Alumni Association President Mary Pat Barry is an enthusiastic supporter of Ayaz and looks forward to working with him through his term as President-Elect and beyond. “We have an amazing leadership team, an ambitious strategic plan and the strength of a highly engaged army of Council members committed to making a difference. Ayaz brings significant leadership ability, passion for U of A and experience in connecting to community that will further advance our goals and contributions. It’s exciting to consider what we will accomplish in the coming years!”