Canadian Business Leader Award Recipients

CBLA recipients are individuals who have demonstrated leadership, business acumen and success, an entrepreneurial spirit, integrity, and a commitment to the community.


2020 Recipient

Donald A. Wheaton is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Wheaton Group of Companies- a family business that was originally established by his father in the late 1940s. A second-generation entrepreneur, Don began his career with the family business in 1975 after graduating from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

Since taking the helm in 1995, Don has grown the family business with a strong set of values, innovative thinking, and entrepreneurial leadership. Best known as the name behind one of the largest automotive retailers in Canada with dealerships from Victoria to Regina, the Wheaton family business interests have since diversified across Canada into real estate, insurance, aviation and banking. Today, the First Canadian Financial Group is the largest insurance group regulated by the Superintendent of Insurance in Alberta and is licensed and doing business in all provinces in Canada.

A champion of community involvement, Don has served on many community boards over the years and currently serves on the board of the Edmonton Flying Club, the Fraser Institute, the University of Alberta Hospital Foundation, and the University of Alberta Advancement Council.

Don is married to Kim and has four children and four grandchildren. All four children currently work as part of the third-generation in the family businesses.

Announcement - November 5, 2019

Donald A. Wheaton

Donald A. Wheaton is President and CEO of the Wheaton Group of Companies and the recipient of the 2020 Canadian Business Leader Award.


Previous Recipients

2019 CBLA Award Presentation

2019 Recipient

Steve Williams
President and CEO
Suncor Energy Inc.


Nancy Southern

2018 Recipient

Nancy Southern
Chair and CEO
ATCO Ltd. and Canadian Utilities Limited


Elyse Allan

2017 Recipient

Elyse Allan
President and CEO
GE Canada


Monique F. Leroux

2016 Recipient

Monique F. Leroux
Chair of the Board, President and CEO
Desjardins Group


Larry Pollock

2015 Recipient

Larry Pollock
Former CEO
Canadian Western Bank


Dave Lede

2014 Recipient

Dave Lede
Chair and CEO
Ledcor Group of Companies


Other Recipients

  • 2013 Pat Daniel
  • 2012 Allan Markin
  • 2011 Darren Entwistle
  • 2010 Gordon M Nixon
  • 2009 Hal Kvisle
  • 2008 Tony Franceschini
  • 2007 Dominic D'Alessandro
  • 2006 Jim Pattison
  • 2005 Ross Grieve
  • 2004 Clive Beddoe
  • 2003 Gwyn Morgan & David O'Brien
  • 2002 Brian MacNeill
  • 2001 John Roth
  • 2000 Rick George
  • 1999 Gerald J Maier
  • 1998 Maureen Kempston Darkes
  • 1997 Eric P Newell
  • 1996 J. E. (Ted) Newall
  • 1995 JR Shaw
  • 1994 Richard Haskayne
  • 1993 Robert Stollery
  • 1992 George A. Cohon
  • 1991 Laurent Beaudoin
  • 1990 Maxwell W. Ward
  • 1989 A. Jean de Grandpré
  • 1988 Rhys T. Eyton
  • 1987 Stanley A. Milner
  • 1986 Walter F. Light
  • 1985 Ronald D. Southern
  • 1984 John E. Poole
  • 1983 Dr. G. R. A. Rice
  • 1982 Francis G. Winspear