Businessmen David Kelly and Patrick O’Callaghan are being honoured tonight by Memorial University’s business faculty.
Kelly, co-founder and board member of St. John’s security software firm Verafin, is to receive the school’s Alumni Honour award, while O’Callaghan, president and CEO of East Coast Catering, has been named Entrepreneur of the Year.
The two are being honoured this evening at the Johnson Geo Centre at the faculty of business administration’s annual Partners Celebration, with members of the faculty, business community and students and alumni in attendance.
Wilfred Zerbe, dean of MUN’s faculty of business administration, said it’s important for the school to recognize local business successes.
“For the alumni of the year, our alumni are very important to us. We have a very strong network. We have people who are in positions in leadership, nationally and internationally and locally. We rely on those individuals for support in many ways, in providing opportunities for our students in providing feedback to maintain the excellence of our program, in supporting the faculty financially. Our alumni are our key resource for us, and it’s something we’re committed to developing and honouring.”
Zerbe said Kelly’s accomplishments — from the class of ‘68, Kelly helped create Verafin after a 35-year career in the Canadian technology industry — make him an alumnus worthy of such an honour.
“He has been very successful in his field. He also played a primary role in the creation of Verafin a number of years ago and brought together students from the faculty of business administration and the faculty of engineering at the time that then led to Verafin, and obviously it’s had a big impact on the community,” said Zerbe. “That’s also benefited the faculty in terms of resources that have come to the faculty as a result of that, and we think he’s a worthy recipient.”
O’Callaghan emigrated from Ireland in the mid-’60s, and within eight years was general manager of a five-star hotel. He created Clovelly Stables in Logy Bay, and today East Coast Catering supplies services to the oil and gas, marine, mining and industrial construction sectors.
“We always look to individuals who have made a contribution to the local community” said Zerbe. “Mr. O’Callaghan was nominated as someone who has made local, a national, an international impact — not only through his entrepreneurial work but also in his support for the university’s faculty of business, through such things as the scholarships that he’s involved in and that create the relationships we have with Ireland.”