John and Alan Robinson: Born in the mid 1940s, John and his late brother Alan grew up on the family farm in Augustine Cove where they were introduced to the entrepreneurial and community spirit by their parents Edith and Eric Robinson. By the time John had earned his Chemical Engineering degree at UNB and Alan his Diploma from Prince of Wales College, the boys were ready to return to the family business where they would spend the rest of their working days. Supported by their wives Hazel and Julia they would enjoy raising their families, building their communities and bringing new products and services and markets and technologies to PEI. Concepts like aerial spraying, the Russet Burbank potato variety, crop irrigation, potato wash plants, diversion terraces and pea production just had to be tried. Some worked well, some didn’t. Their innovation in soil conservation, crop rotation and erosion control led to several awards and their innovation in new potato production, storage, and packaging systems led to greater market stability enjoyed to this day.
Alan and Julia and John and Hazel Robinson’s innovation continues as their families own and operate the business.
Warren Ellis: Warren Ellis was born and raised on PEI. He has owned several businesses starting at the young age of 29 and currently owns Summerside Chrysler Dodge Ltd. and the Frosty Treat Dairy Bar.
Warren is not only a successful business owner, but a devoted fundraiser and volunteer in our community. One of Warren’s major contributions has been the creation and continuation of the Grass Roots and Cowboy Boots fundraiser, which is the largest annual fundraiser for the Prince County Hospital Foundation. Since its creation in 2009, the fundraiser has raised over 14 million for the Prince County Hospital equipment fund.
Warren has also donated and fundraised for a variety of other causes over the years, including: The Terry Fox Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society PEI Cancer Research, PEI Heart and Stroke Foundation, PEI Autism Society, PEI Alzheimer’s Society, the Salvation Army, PEI Mental Health Association, and numerous sports teams, schools, and families in need.
He has also won several notable awards, including the: Mayor’s Medal of Honor, PEI Senior of the Year, Golden Jubilee Medal, City of Summerside’s Volunteer of the Year, Harry T. Holman Award, House of Commons Award for Cancer Research, Good Neighbor Award, and the Paul Harris Fellow Award.
Warren lives in Summerside with his wife Marlene. He has two grown sons; Josh and Brody, and five grandsons; Henry, Fred, Oliver, Sam and Wes.
Mary van den Broek Grant: Mary van den Broek Grant is a worthy recipient of JAPEI Business Hall of Fame as she has been a pillar of her community, a leader in the business sector of PEI, and an active supporter of the PEI agricultural industry for over 40 years. As a young graduate of Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Mary accepted a position with Agro Co-op in Moncton, responsible for sales across New Brunswick. When her uncle Peter, part-owner of Cardigan Feed Services, died suddenly in 1978, Mary returned home to help her father, Martin Vanden Broek, run the feed mill in the village of Cardigan, PEI.
The feed mill has now been in operation for over 60 years, employing dozens of dedicated long-term employees. Recently, Mary opened a second business, the Cardigan Feed Retail store, welcoming its first customers in December 2017. Cardigan Feed Services is responsible for providing feed, supplies and agricultural services across PEI and the Maritimes.
Mary’s wisdom, expertise and generosity in this industry has allowed farmers to grow and expand their farms and businesses into very successful ventures today, contributing to the Canadian economy and the growth of the ever-changing agriculture sector. Mary has demonstrated, through her ownership and management of Cardigan Feed Services, that women can be and are successful business owners in the male-dominated agricultural industry.
Mary is known as one of the most charitable human beings. No doubt influenced by being the oldest of ten children of parents who were post-war immigrants to Canada, Mary has endless compassion for those in need. She has consistently given back to her community, through volunteering for many organizations such as the Eastern Eagles Soccer Complex, various Youth Groups in the community, being Treasurer and President for the Catholic Women’s League, fundraising for various events such as the RCMP Musical Ride, and as a member on the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce. Together with her sister Pauline Kelly, they successfully organized two large gala events to raise funds for the Association of Community Living.
Mary and her husband Eric have four children and are grandparents to four beautiful grandchildren.
About JA Prince Edward Island
Junior Achievement Prince Edward Island (JA PEI) helps Island youth build transferable skills in the areas of work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship. JA PEI collaborates with educators, volunteers, and organizations across the Island to deliver hands-on, immersive, and digital learning experiences to approximately 5000 students, in grades 3-12. JA’s mission is to inspire and prepare students to succeed in a global economy.