Hesje CPA Knowledge Centre

Prominent CPA provides unprecedented $1 million donation to CPA Education Foundation

Thanks to an unprecedented $1 million donation from business leader Brian Hesje FCPA, FCA, CPAs in Alberta will have an amazing opportunity to use their insights and expertise to support communities, individuals, and accounting education in the province.

Hesje’s donation is one of the largest gifts ever given by an individual to the CPA Education Foundation, the charitable arm of the profession that supports business and accounting education in the province. His generosity will ensure the continued advancement of accounting education in Alberta, increase public awareness of the insights of CPAs, and make finance and accounting knowledge accessible for all Albertans.

Hesje’s gift is being used to establish and launch the Hesje CPA Knowledge Centre, a virtual hub for the production and distribution of print, digital, and online resources featuring Alberta CPAs sharing their expertise on a wide range of topics. Once fully launched, the Centre will also host various live events that will invite audiences to learn more about the CPA profession and hear the perspectives of Alberta CPAs.

Hesje Knowledge CentreAn accomplished Alberta business leader, writer, and community-builder, Hesje recognized that the public, prospective CPAs, business professionals, and other audiences would greatly benefit from the vast, collective expertise of CPAs. He was interested in supporting the dissemination of that knowledge and expertise in service of the public—as well as creating opportunities to promote inclusivity and advance education in smaller communities—and reached out to CPA Alberta and the CPA Education Foundation to see how his vision could be brought to light.

“Alberta CPAs are incredibly skilled, capable professionals. As a collective, we have so much insight and wisdom on topics such as financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership. The Centre will enable the profession to harness that knowledge and use it to benefit the people that we serve—the public, students, prospective CPAs, our communities, and others,” says Hesje.

“It is my honour to give back to the profession that has opened up so many doors to me, and to help establish the Hesje CPA Knowledge Centre. I’m certain that it will be a great resource for communities and individuals, and I look forward to seeing how Alberta CPAs use this opportunity to share their stories and inspire success,” he adds.

Did You Know?

The CPA Education Foundation provides over $1.2 million annually in support to post-secondary business schools, students, and accounting educators, as well as grants for accounting research.

Alberta CPA profession is creating Hesje CPA Knowledge Centre

The CPA Education Foundation is proud to announce it is creating the Hesje CPA Knowledge Centre, a virtual hub for the production and distribution of digital and online resources that feature the unique perspectives and expertise of Alberta CPAs. The Centre was made possible by a generous gift from business leader Brian Hesje FCPA, FCA.

The vision statement of the Centre—“Albertans benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of Alberta CPAs”—recognises that Alberta CPAs, as leaders and mentors, are in a unique position to pass on their vast knowledge and insight to others. That knowledge would inspire post-secondary students to pursue careers in accounting; foster inclusivity in the profession by opening up opportunities to individuals who may not originally have considered becoming CPAs; and elevate the reputation of CPAs as innovative thinkers whose expertise is respected and sought after.

The Centre, the first of its kind in Canada, will also inspire success by showcasing the stories and perspectives of Alberta CPAs, and strengthen connections between Alberta CPAs, the people they serve, and the next generation of business leaders.

The Centre’s resources will include videos, e-books, an app, as well as live events such as student conferences and a symposium. Materials will cover a variety of topics such as leadership, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, financial planning, retirement, personal growth, career-building, and more.

In addition, the Centre will also produce a unique and informative podcast series featuring Alberta CPAs and other experts providing their insights on various topics of interest and relevance to Albertans.

Production on the first batch of resource materials will begin shortly, and those completed materials are scheduled to be available by mid-2019. More information about the Hesje CPA Knowledge Centre will be available on the CPA Education Foundation website later this month.

Hesje Knowledge Centre

Brian Hesje shares his “Thoughts on Thinking” (also the title of his book) with CPA Alberta CEO Rachel Miller (left).

“I believe teaching is the purpose of every life, and that is why what we learn is so important. We can only teach others what we know.”
- Brian Hesje

Brian Hesje: Visionary and CPA leader

Brian Hesje FCPA, FCA, MBA is an accomplished Alberta business leader, writer, and community builder. Over the course of his distinguished career, Brian has brought intellect, grace, and a sense of humour to all he has done. In doing so, he has inspired an untold number of Albertans to appreciate their strengths and challenged them to think of new and more-meaningful ways to define success and achievement.

Born into a Saskatchewan farming family, Brian’s first career was as a history teacher. From there, Brian moved into the world of business, earning his MBA and an accounting designation. After spending eight years at an accounting firm, he spent over 30 years in various roles with Fountain Tire, where he rose to the positions of Chair and CEO. Under his leadership, Fountain Tire experienced substantial growth and expansion in Canada.

He has an extensive record of board service in Alberta in both the private and public sectors, including serving as Chair of the Board of ATB Financial and sitting on the Board of NAIT. He has also sat on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including STARS Air Ambulance and the Rick Hansen Foundation, among many others.

For his accomplishments, Brian has earned several awards, including the Alberta Centennial Medal, the University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award, and the Augustana College Distinguished Alumni Award. He was also recognized with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017, having previously received the profession’s Fellowship honour in 2000 and the Distinguished Service Award in 1996.

Brian is the author of two books (and counting) that focus on his perspectives on leadership, defining success, and the value and importance of inquisitiveness. With humour and wisdom, Brian has imbued his books with deft storytelling ability to convey his persuasive insights on how to live life to its fullest.

It was an unprecedented gift from Brian Hesje in 2018 that led to the establishment of the Hesje CPA Knowledge Centre by the CPA Education Foundation. In alignment with Brian’s personal vision, the Centre is dedicated to sharing the skills, experience, and knowledge of the CPA profession with all Albertans, and particularly with younger Albertans from all walks of life.

“For me, the essential trait to be successful is a sense of humour. I can’t remember a successful day that had no laughter,” Brian has written. Through his gift, Brian has made it possible for many, many Albertans to benefit from his sense of humour and his commitment to helping others succeed.

Hesje Knowledge CentreDedicated leader Brian Hesje (centre) discusses leadership and business with CPA Alberta CEO Rachel Miller (left of centre) and a group of engaged professionals.

Hesje Knowledge Centre

Brian Hesje (centre) laughs and listens as a group of young professionals discusses careers, leadership, and other topics.

“Success can be achieved by the questions you ask, rather than the solutions you provide. Don’t underestimate the value of asking good questions.”
- Brian Hesje
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