Jeff Norris

Kwantlen leader wins ‘Forty under 40’ award

Jeff Norris honoured by Business in Vancouver for his professional and community contributions.

Kwantlen University Polytechnic’s chief advancement officer has been recognized in Business in Vancouver’s “Forty under 40” awards for 2013-2014.

Jeff Norris was acknowledged in an announcement Wednesday alongside CEOs and presidents of various Vancouver companies for his professional success, community service, leadership abilities and involvement in professional associations.

Norris is also the executive director of both the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Foundation and Alumni Association, and oversees the university’s external and government relations. As one of three senior leaders reporting directly to the president, he helped re-brand the university, and formed the current alumni association, which now serves 43,000 members.

“Jeff’s contributions to Kwantlen are extraordinary, and he brings a wealth of experience to his roles in advancement and external relations. He is truly deserving of this award,” says Kwantlen president and vice-chancellor Dr. Alan Davis.

The proof of Norris’s professional success is in the numbers. When he joined Kwantlen six years ago, the university’s foundation was raising six figures annually. Under his supervision, this past year alone has brought in almost $17 million in revenue and pledges.

During his time at Kwantlen, Norris has increased revenue year after year by at least 20 per cent. In 2007, when he first started, the largest donation in the university’s history was $133,000. Most recently, he helped secure a $12-million gift for the Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design, which will be Metro Vancouver’s future hub of fashion and design, at Kwantlen’s Richmond campus.

Norris’s successful fundraising efforts at Kwantlen are backed by 13 years of previous experience, doubling revenue for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and repackaging St. Paul’s Hospital’s signature fundraising event, Lights of Hope, growing its revenue from $167,000 to $1.7-million.

In addition to his dedication to his official responsibilities, Norris is an active leader in the community as a Rotarian, a youth sport coach, a board member for various associations and as a volunteer with local chambers. For five years, he’s served as the chair for the Rotary TV auction – which has raised over $1 million for Delta charities. He chairs a Junior Golf Program in Delta, emcees the annual Delta Youth Awards and sits on the board of the Earthwise Society. Through his own personal donations, he funds eight annual $1,000 scholarships for Kwantlen students. In 2012, he was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Ladner.

Norris is currently working on attaining his MBA from the graduate school of business at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Along with the 39 other individuals selected by a panel of five judges from public nominations, Norris will receive his Forty under 40 award at BIV’s awards dinner at the Fairmont Waterfront on Jan. 30, 2014.

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