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Alumni Profiles

Laurie Williamson

Laurie Williamson

Pilon School of Business
Year of Graduation: 1970
Program: Business - General

Sheridan College had just opened its doors when Laurie Williamson set out to further his education. Already in the workforce, he needed a practical and affordable learning option. With its applied curriculum taught by business professionals, Sheridan fit the bill, plus it was close to his Mississauga home.

Over 40 years later, Laurie is still close to home, having become one of Mississauga’s most successful and well-known business and community leaders. His exhaustive list of accolades sets him apart as an outstanding supporter of the city and an enthusiastic ambassador for the value of a Sheridan business education.

Since opening his car dealership in 1992, Laurie has been named Mississauga’s Citizen of the Year, as well as Mississauga Board of Trade’s Employer of the Year. A long-time Sheridan supporter, Laurie was nominated for an Ontario Premier’s Award in 1999. He was a member of the Organizing Committee for Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion’s 90th Birthday Celebration in 2011 which raised funds for the campus named in her honour. Additionally, Laurie has chaired Peel Partners for a Drug-Free Community for the past 12 years, and has been Chair of the Peel Regional Police Board since 2010.

Most recently, Laurie received The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding service to community, province and country. This is the second time that Laurie has been so honoured, having received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2002.

Laurie also devotes his time and energy to charities which, for the most part, help children. Peel Cancer Society, Ontario Special Olympics, Trillium Hospital, Hospice of Peel, Reach for the Rainbow and Peel District School Board are just a few of the organizations that have benefited from Laurie's philanthropy.

Despite the ensuing years, Laurie’s memories of his Sheridan days remain clear and strong. “I had a great time. We did some things that would get students arrested today, but we also received a wonderful education. I still get together with four or five of my former classmates.”

The small size of the college (housed in the old Brampton High School) led to a closer connection between students from all programs, as well as instructors. “Our teachers had real world experience and weren’t afraid to be honest with students about their skill sets.” says Laurie, who finds it interesting that all these years later, the call for the relevant learning environment offered by colleges has never been greater.

Although he has been in the car business for four decades, Laurie’s enthusiasm for his work hasn’t waned. “I love my business; I love meeting a wide variety of people and solving problems for them.”

His advice to new grads is simple: Enjoy your work. “If your first question in an interview is ‘What vacation do I get?’ or ‘What will I make?’ you are not going to succeed in this business.  If you ask, ‘Where could I be in five years?’ You have indicated an interest in mapping out your future. Happy employers make happy customers.”