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Surrey business leader among winners of SFU Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award

Elizabeth Model says it’s ‘recognition of the entire body of work by the Downtown Surrey BIA’
Downtown Surrey BIA CEO Elizabeth Model at a news conference for Surrey-Langley SkyTrain on Thursday, July 14, 2022. (File photo: Anna Burns)

Elizabeth Model, CEO of Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association (BIA), is among recipients of this year’s SFU Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award, for “contributions toward the growth of Surrey.”

An awards event Wednesday, Sept. 13, will also celebrate Kali Stierle (“for service and dedication to the Indigenous student community”) and SFU Black Caucus founding members Henry Daniel and June Francis (“for building a better SFU through equity and racial justice”).

Their bios are posted on the website along with those of Amyn and Shein Rajan, recipients of the university’s 2023 President’s Distinguished Community Leadership Award.

A selection committee considers winners of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award, presented annually to those who show “outstanding commitment and service to the university.”

Model is “thrilled and grateful to receive this esteemed award,” she said a news release from Laura Ballance Media Group.

“This award truly is recognition of the entire body of work by the Downtown Surrey BIA and our small but impactful team,” she added. “I would also like to acknowledge the incredible support I’ve received from Surrey’s business community as well the Board of Directors of the Downtown Surrey BIA over the past 15 years.”

Model is also known as an avid Ironman triathlete who travels the world to swim, cycle and run at those events.

A bio on SFU’s website notes that since 2009, Model has served as a member of the SFU Surrey Community Advisory Council.

“She played a pivotal role in advocating for SFU at senior levels of government, including funding for the university’s new School of Sustainable Energy Engineering building in Surrey and the proposal for an SFU gondola to Burnaby Mountain,” the bio notes.

“Under her leadership, the DSBIA also initiated an Economic Impact Study for SFU’s new medical school in Surrey — which was subsequently sent to key government officials — and demonstrated consistent and outstanding commitment to SFU’s co-op program. Since 2019, the organization has hired and provided mentorship to students for nearly 160 work terms.”

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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