In 1959, Jack Donald graduated from SAIT as a motor vehicle mechanic. Tomorrow, he’ll return to his Calgary alma mater to collect a degree.
The longtime Red Deer entrepreneur is slated to receive an honorary bachelor of business administration degree during SAIT Polytechnic’s graduation ceremonies. Donald may not have put in the classroom time that other degree recipients have, but he’s learned plenty of lessons during the past 53 years.
He went from working in a service station to owning one himself, eventually building a chain of 38 stations with his wife Joan. After selling that business in 1971, the couple started a new enterprise that eventually grew into Parkland Fuel Corp. — a public company (TSX: PKI) that’s now Canada’s largest independent distributor and marketer of fuels and lubricants.
Along the way Donald helped found Canadian Western Bank, served two terms as a Red Deer city councillor, sat on the boards of various business and non-profit organizations, was named Red Deer’s Citizen of the Year, and was inducted to the Calgary Business Hall of Fame and Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame.