Prominent businessman Arni Thorsteinson was honored with great fanfare at a luncheon by the Winnipeg Associates of Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev, the Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship in the I.H. Asper School of Business, students, and the Winnipeg community for his dedication to a student exchange program.
The Arni C. Thorsteinson Exchange Program was designed to build networks between students and local business leaders and to foster cultural exchange between Israeli and Canadian youth. This year 16 Asper School students went to Israel in May to spend the month studying at BGU’s Be’er Sheva campus. In spring 2009, students from BGU will travel to Winnipeg to study at the Asper School.
“Arni has been a great supporter of the program in terms of the organization of the cultural component and by spending time with the students to learn about their experiences,” says Robert Warren, I.H. Asper Director of the Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship. “This program is incredibly popular with the students and all describe it as the best part of their education.”
Thorsteinson is president of Shelter Canadian Properties Limited. He is a University of Manitoba alumnus and chair of the International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award (I.D.E.A.) committee. The exchange program was established by long-time friend and colleague Gerald W. Schwartz, who was a guest speaker, and who named the program in honour of Thorsteinson. Schwartz is an 2003 I.D.E.A. recipient, a two-time graduate of the University of Manitoba, and chairman and chief executive officer of Onex Corporation.
The luncheon also honored the state of Israel’s 60th anniversary.