Building Strong Bridges
“There’s been a lot of people who helped me grow. In the next 40 or so years, I want to do the same for students. In my work, I build bridges to enable people to eat. If I can build bridges in life, I can make the world a little bit better for others.”
–Daniel Yeung (Dental Laboratory Technology ’81)
President, Universal Dental Laboratories Ltd., Recipient, 2006 Alumni Award of Distinction and 2013 Honorary Degree
It started with a simple act of generosity. A friend of the family provided Daniel Yeung’s brother with financial support to enable him to travel from Hong Kong to pursue an education in Canada. Soon after, in 1977, Yeung followed his brother, seizing on an opportunity.
Recognizing that prosperity would require an education, Yeung enrolled in NAIT’s Dental Laboratory Technology program, graduating in 1981. Although he graduated in tough economic times, he survived by becoming invaluable to his clients and his employer.
A few years later, he became a partner in Universal Dental Laboratories Ltd. In 1999, he became president of the company — a recognized leader in providing dental, ceramics and orthodontic laboratory services to the dental community.
It was a meteoric rise, but one Yeung is reluctant to take complete credit for. In fact, he is quick to place much of the credit for his success at the doorstep of his alma mater. NAIT taught the young entrepreneur how to build dental bridges. And Yeung returned the favour, by building bridges with the institution that gave him so much.
Yeung has been motivated by strongly held philanthropic principles — ones that were exemplified by his mother’s willingness to give back. “She taught me to never calculate. When you see need, don’t think too much, just do it.”
And like his mother, Yeung has given generously over the years. It’s paid off. NAIT grads are essential to his business.