Release Date: October 27, 2009
Media Contact: Dale Johnson, External Relations
Phone: 306-585-5439
Mobile: 306-536-4312
Fax: 306-585-4997
Influential Canadian businesswoman to receive the Paul J. Hill School of Business Leadership Award
Rebecca MacDonald, CEO of Just Energy Income Fund, will receive the Paul J. Hill School of Business Leadership Award - an honour recognizing leaders who have significantly influenced Canadian business.

MacDonald will be honoured at the 36th Annual UR Business Student Dinner, hosted by the Paul J. Hill School of Business at the University of Regina. The dinner will take place on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 7:00 p.m. at the Delta Hotel in Regina. Distinguished Canadian business and government leaders as well as 400 senior undergraduate business students and 400 members of Regina's business community are expected to attend.

"Already in its 36th year, the Business Dinner is an opportunity for the Faculty of Business Administration at the University of Regina to come together with the larger business community to foster what is an already strong relationship," says University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Vianne Timmons. "Our business students create lasting partnerships with local and national companies as they participate in cooperative education programs and experiential learning opportunities. This annual event is yet another way for our students to network and grow as the future business leaders of this province."

Dr. Anne Lavack, dean of the Faculty of Business Administration says, "The Business Dinner is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the careers and accomplishments of Canadian business leaders. I wish to congratulate Rebecca McDonald on receiving the Paul J. Hill School of Business Leadership Award at this year's event."

In 1989, MacDonald formed Energy Marketing Inc., a company focused on door-to-door natural gas sales, which became the largest energy marketer in Ontario by the mid-1990s. MacDonald sold Energy Marketing Inc. in 1996, and started Ontario Energy Savings Corp. (OESC) in 1997, allowing homeowners to lock in a price on their natural gas purchases for up to five years ahead. She took OESC public in 2001 under the name Energy Savings Income Fund (ESIF), at the same time expanding her energy re-selling business into other Canadian and U.S. markets. ESIF has grown from 37,500 customers to 1.3 million customers, with annual revenues of over $1.5 billion, making it the most successful income trust in Canadian history. The company was recently renamed Just Energy Income Fund.

MacDonald, a well-known philanthropist, was awarded the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2002. She was also listed in Profit Magazine's Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs for five consecutive years (2003-2007), based on ESIF's annual revenues of $1.53 billion. In 2009, she was the recipient of the International Horatio Alger Award.

MacDonald will present a 30-minute address on developing and managing a successful company.

Recent past speakers at this annual event who have been recipients of the Leadership Award include President and CEO of Farm Credit Canada, John Ryan; President and CEO of Brandt Group of Companies, Gavin Semple; and President and CEO of Hill Companies, Paul Hill.