James McPherson

Distributive Technology ’69

Published on January 31, 2019

Back in 1968, James McPherson had no idea the fundraiser he helped organize would go on to raise more than $530,000. Forty-four years after NAIT joined the annual national Cystic Fibrosis Canada fundraiser, Shinerama is still going strong.

“That’s incredible,” says McPherson, who forged a successful insurance career, with a hiatus from 1982 to 1986 to serve as the MLA for Red Deer. Shining shoes – lots of them – is a memory that remains with McPherson. All told, 114 NAIT students raised $2,503.39 in the first Shinerama.

That experience – coupled with the values instilled by his parents – helped set McPherson on a lifelong path of giving back, whether volunteering with the Special Olympics, United Way or a number of other organizations.

It was for this type of work that McPherson was named Red Deer Citizen of the Year for 2012.

— Frank Landry