Founder of Eicher Corporation named Distinguished Friend of the Institute
Colin Eicher, founder and CEO of Eicher Corporation, an Edmonton-based private investment company, has been named NAIT’s 2012 Distinguished Friend of the Institute. This award was presented last night by James Cumming, chair of NAIT’s board of governors and Dr. Glenn Feltham, NAIT president and CEO.
“As a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist for the last 40 years, Colin has made many significant contributions to the community as a whole,” said Feltham. “NAIT, in particular, has benefitted directly from his leadership and guidance, and for that we are grateful. We are proud to recognize Colin as a Distinguished Friend of the Institute.”
Potential candidates for the Distinguished Friend of the Institute award are individuals or organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to the welfare and advancement of NAIT through volunteer services, endowments or other activities that benefit the institute.
Eicher has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations and was involved with NAIT’s Opening Doors Campaign, which fundraised $24 million – an impressive $10 million over target – with $3.8 million of that going to scholarships and bursaries. Eicher was also a member of NAIT’s board of governors from 2003 to 2008.
“It is a real honour for me to be receiving this award,” Eicher said. “I have always believed in giving back to our community. I am humbled at the idea of being acknowledged by NAIT, a well-recognized and respected institution that has helped produce skilled individuals in a multitude of vocations, industries and corporations.”
Eicher has a strong business background. He established Universal Carpet Cleaning in 1974, which grew into the largest carpet cleaner in Edmonton in its first year of business. In 1989, he and his wife, Lila, bought a fledgling oil and gas business directory and built it into the cornerstone of JuneWarren Publishing, which today is the largest Canadian publishing company in the oil and gas sector and the Alberta construction industry. In January 2008, GVIC Communications Corp. acquired 100 per cent of JuneWarren Publishing Ltd.
Throughout the years, Eicher acquired or established a number of other Edmonton businesses.
NAIT has been selecting a Distinguished Friend of the Institute every year since 1985. Eicher joins 41 past recipients, who have been honoured with a plaque on the Distinguished Friends of the Institute Wall, located in Building O on Main Campus, just outside the executive offices.
NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, with almost 80,000 registrations worldwide in key areas including science, technology and the environment, business, health and trades. Known for real-world education and student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. NAIT enrolled its first students - 29 communication electrician apprentices - in 1962 and this year concludes its 50th anniversary celebrations.
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