The Business Person of the Year is awarded to an individual that has demonstrated business excellence and community leadership, contributing to Brampton in both professional and personal endeavors.
Asima Vezina, PhD, joined the Algoma University leadership team as President and Vice-Chancellor for an initial ﬁve-year term in October 2017 and was reappointed for a second ﬁve year term in June 2022. Dr. Vezina brings more than 20 years of transformational leadership experience to the role.
Reporting to the Board of Governors, Dr. Vezina oversees the development and implementation of the institution’s Strategic Plan while advancing the University’s Special Mission to cultivate cross-cultural learning in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment.
During Dr. Vezina’s tenure, the University has experienced record enrollment growth, successfully introduced new academic programming, and an expanded research presence. Algoma’s campus in the heart of downtown Brampton has grown exponentially under Dr. Vezina’s leadership, while student services — from free mental health care to recreation, free tutoring and ﬁnancial supports — have become an important part of what Algoma University provides all students.
Under Dr. Vezina’s leadership, Algoma University has been recognized as a leader within the post-secondary sector’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. In 2019, Dr. Vezina co-chaired the Universities Canada Fifth Annual National Building Reconciliation Forum — Working Together to Advance Healing & Reconciliation — on the Shingwauk site on the Algoma University Sault Ste. Marie campus, alongside Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Nipissing University, Cape Breton University and the University of Northern British Columbia.
As a dedicated advocate for student success, student voices, and equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), Dr. Vezina has worked tirelessly to integrate cross-cultural teaching within all aspects of Algoma’s operations.
Additionally, as a champion for innovation and regional development, Dr. Vezina has driven forward a range of strategic initiatives to expand the role the University plays as a driver of economic development and leader in social and cultural change within the communities of Brampton, Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins.
Dr. Vezina’s tenacity is contagious; everything she does, she does with passion. Dr. Vezina works tirelessly to build and strengthen bridges with stakeholders from the post-secondary, government, research, business and other sectors – locally, regionally, provincially, nationally and internationally.
Prior to joining Algoma University, Asima worked in various administrative roles including roughly 15 years as a Superintendent of Education with the District School Board Ontario Northeast and Algoma District School Boards; and Provincial Lead for the Ministry of Education within the Student Achievement Division – Leadership and Implementation Branch. Asima is an active volunteer sitting on various boards and committees locally, provincially and nationally.
Dr. Vezina completed her undergraduate studies at Lakehead University, her Master’s in Educational Leadership at Nipissing University and a PhD in Leadership through the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at OISE, University of Toronto.
Dr. Vezina will be presented with the 2024 Business Person of The Year award at the Brampton Board of Trade Business Excellence Awards Gala on May 2, 2024.