Monday, May 27, 2024

Alumnus Gary Reardon Recognized for 50 Years of Industry Leadership and Philanthropy

College of the North Atlantic (CNA) recently presented Gary Reardon with the Acclaim Awards Distinguished Alumni Award. Reardon has more than 50 years of construction experience and is a leader in his profession and community.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of receiving CNA’s first ever Distinguished Alumni Award than Gary Reardon,” said Heidi Staeben-Simmons, Associate Vice President of Public Affairs and Advancement. “Gary’s name is well known in CNA circles for his continuous support of the institution and its students, Gary graduated in 1972 and he’s maintained a connection with us at CNA ever since.”

His entrepreneurial spirit has led to the successful operation of multiple companies. Currently, he serves as President and Managing Director of the Reardon Group of Companies. Reardon’s expertise also extends to real estate, he holds a Certified Condominium Specialist (C.C.S.) as well as a Seniors Housing designation.

“His willingness to help be involved doesn’t end with CNA, Gary has been and continues to be involved in too many organizations and projects to list, and is certainly no stranger to anyone involved in the business community of St John’s.”

His educational journey began with the completion of the Civil Engineering Technology Program at CNA in 1972. In 1999, he earned a Masters Certificate in Project Management (MCPM) from the Memorial University School of Business and York University Schulich School of Business.

“Looking back at it, my grounding in civil engineering technology gave me a great introduction to the construction industry. You know, you graduate from these programs you think you know it all, but you quickly learn that you don’t,” he said. “I was very fortunate to have some great mentors who I still respect and communicate with to this day, they taught me about looking at the pros and the cons, evaluating each project.”

With a dedication to philanthropy, he has served as President, Director, and Founder in many esteemed associations, including the St. John’s Jaycees, the St. John’s Board of Trade, the Canadian Home Builders Association, and Habitat for Humanity Canada. His contributions have earned him several awards including the Business Excellence Award from the St. John’s Board of Trade and recognition as one of Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEOs, among others.

“You had to take risks, but at the end of the day it’s got to be a calculated risk and I’ve been very fortunate we’ve undertaken some great projects and have been very successful,” he said. “I’ve been involved with the community and volunteerism I guess throughout my life. I think if you’re going to be successful in business or in life you have to give back.”

Building a legacy

He also has an enduring commitment to education. He is the sponsor of the Jennifer Reardon Memorial Award and engages with CNA as a volunteer and mentor.

“I’ve been able to give back to the community and see a different part of life, the disadvantaged part of our social system and that kind of humbles you at times and sort of puts your mindset in the right place,” he said. “I’ve particularly enjoyed time with the local board and the national board with Habitat for Humanity.”

Reardon offers some words of wisdom to aspiring professionals.

“My advice to young students today is that you have to think big, you have to be the go-to person in your job, make yourself multifaceted, learn every aspect of the work in your department or group that you’re working in,” he said. “I always say, you know if you’re the person who can do everything, you’re going to be the last one to be let go, so get involved, learn every aspect of the job you’re doing and excel at what you’re doing.”

For more information or to nominate a CNA alumnus for an Acclaim Award, visit www.cna.nl.ca/alumni/awards-program.

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Ryanne McIsaac
Ryanne McIsaac
Ryanne is Editor of CNA Currents. Born and raised in Stephenville, NL, Ryanne moved back to Newfoundland after spending 16 years in Calgary, Alberta. Ryanne has a Journalism Diploma from College of the North Atlantic and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cape Breton University. She worked for many years as a reporter and freelance writer. She is happy to be back in her hometown and working for CNA.

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