Jay S. Hennick to receive the 2019 International Horatio Alger Award

Document Type


Publication Date



TORONTO, ONTARIO, October 1, 2018 – Jay S. Hennick, the Global Chairman and CEO of Colliers International and Founder and Chairman of FirstService Corporation, has been chosen to receive the 2019 International Horatio Alger Award, the Horatio Alger Association of Canada announced today.

The International Horatio Alger Award is presented each year by the Washington, D.C.-based Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Inc. It is awarded to contemporary role models whose experiences exemplify that opportunities for a successful life are available to all individuals dedicated to the principles of integrity, hard work, perseverance and compassion for others. Recipients of the Award become lifelong members of the Horatio Alger Association of Canada and its American affiliate and serve as role models for its young scholarship recipients.

“Jay Hennick is a natural fit for membership in the Horatio Alger Association,” said Prem Watsa, President of the Horatio Alger Association of Canada. “From humble beginnings he persevered to become one of Canada’s great international business leaders. Along with his wife Barbara, Jay is deeply involved in philanthropic work, supporting many educational and health initiatives. On behalf of all Members of the Horatio Alger Association of Canada, I welcome Jay. We’re thrilled to have him in our ranks.”

Mr. Hennick was born in Toronto and grew up surrounded by a close family that worked hard to make ends meet. His early years cultivated within him a robust entrepreneurial spirit. In high school, he established a business supplying lifeguards to apartments, hotels and condominiums, employing hundreds of people.

Mr. Hennick earned a law degree from the University of Ottawa and worked in corporate law for 13 years before establishing FirstService Corporation, now the largest manager of multifamily residential communities in North America and one of the largest operators of well-known service-based franchise brands. Mr. Hennick remains the Founder, Chairman and largest shareholder of FirstService. In 2015, FirstService separated into two independent public companies and Mr. Hennick assumed the role of Global Chairman, CEO and largest shareholder of Colliers International Group Inc. Colliers is one of the top global players in commercial real estate with operations in 69 countries.

“I’ve admired the work of the Horatio Alger Association for several years and I’m truly humbled and honoured to join its distinguished membership,” said Mr. Hennick. “But more than that, I look forward to helping grow the Association’s scholarship program so that more disadvantaged youth can be provided the opportunity of a post-secondary education.”

Mr. Hennick will be formally inducted into the Association in Washington, D.C., during the 72nd Annual Horatio Alger Awards, which take place April 4–6, 2019. Additionally, Mr. Hennick will be honoured by the Horatio Alger Association of Canada at its annual Excellence Gala fundraiser on October 30, 2018 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto.

About the Horatio Alger Association of Canada

The Horatio Alger Association of Canada, the Canadian affiliate of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., is a charitable organization dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honours the achievements of outstanding individuals who have succeeded in spite of adversity by bestowing the Horatio Alger Award and granting them lifetime membership into the Association. Through the generosity of Horatio Alger Members, the Horatio Alger Association of Canada awards scholarships annually to deserving young people in every province and territory.

Members of the Association include Alain Bouchard, Dominic D’Alessandro, Murray Edwards, Serge Godin, Wayne Gretzky, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Rebecca MacDonald, the late G. Wallace F. McCain, the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, Jim Pattison, Gerald W. Schwartz, Isadore Sharp, Prem Watsa and Rick Waugh. For more information, visit www.horatioalger.ca. The Association can also be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Contact: Adam Daifallah, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7089, adaifallah@hatleystrategies.com