JA Announces the 2020 London and District Business Hall of Fame Inductees

June 26, 2020



LONDON, ON June 22, 2020 – JA South Western Ontario is proud to announce the new laureates to be inducted into the 2020 JA London and District Business Hall of Fame.  Kyle MacDonald, Founder and Chief Operating Office of Harbour Grace; and brothers Ewart and Edwin McLaughlin, Founders of E&E McLaughlin Warehousing Ltd. will be honoured at the 30th Annual Business Hall of Fame Induction Virtual Gala, October 22nd, 2020.

Established in 1990, the Business Hall of Fame was created to honour respected members of London and area’s Business Community, past and present, for their outstanding contributions to business, entrepreneurship and philanthropy.

This signature gala event showcases the lives of the Inductees allowing us to learn about their achievements and how they have developed and nurtured their legacies. The 2020 London and District Business Hall of Fame Inductees will be joining a distinguished list of past Laureates whose portraits are showcased in the London and District Business Hall of Fame Gallery located in the London Public Library, downtown London.



1990 John Labatt II; Henry J. McManus

1991 Colonel Thomas F.G. Lawson; J. Allyn Taylor

1992 William Mowbray Sifton; Walter J. Blackburn

1993 Edwin R. Jarmain; Sir Adam Beck

1994 A.M. (Mac) Cuddy; Colonel D.B. Weldon

1995 Donald J. Smith Colonel; J. Gordon Thompson

1997 Jack W. Adams; Earl H. Orser

1998 Ron Logan and Gord Patton; Merv L. Lahn

1999 Richard G. Ivey; T. Fred Kingsmill

2000 Tony J. Crncich Sr.; J. Allyn Taylor (Laureate of the Century Tribute)

2001 Ronald C. Dawson; Norton P. Wolf

2002 Andrew M. Spriet;  John (Jake) H. Moore

2003 Warren R. Schram; Mitchell A. Baran

2004 David Patchell-Evans; Captain Joseph Jeffery

2005 T. Brayl Copp; Peter J. Ivey

2006 H.J. (Hank) Vander Laan; Henry J. Jones

2007 Gen. Alexander R. McIntosh; John C. Nash

2008 Gloria Dona; Dr. Geno Francolini

2009 Sheldon Aaron; Donald J. McDougall

2010 Bill Brady; Bob Siskind

2011 Perry Ferguson; John Strybosch

2012 Paul Cocker; Carol Stephenson

2013 Tony Marsman; Howard Rundle

2014 Denis Crane and Wayne Dunn; Terry Zavitz

2015 Vito Frijia; Colonel James Thompson

2016 Don Crich; Ken Kalopsis and Paul Seed

2017 John Drake; Mike Smith

2018 William H. (Bill) Gray; Claude Pensa

2019 Jeff Macoun; Richard Sifton\


About JA  – JA is the largest international non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring young people about business and economics. The JA experience helps young people discover leadership, financial literacy, entrepreneurial and workforce readiness skills so they can achieve their highest potential and future successes as citizens in the global community. Junior Achievement programs have been delivered in Canada for over 50 years.   As of 2019, the existing JA South Western Ontario (Chatham) and JA London and District (London) offices have come together to serve more students and help prepare them for success in the global economy. The combined charters form a new JA South Western Ontario that now delivers JA programs to youth throughout most of southwestern Ontario.

Our Mission –  To inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

What We Do – JA South Western Ontario engages over 700 volunteers who mentor youth, providing them with hands-on experiential skills development in business, currently reaching more than 14,000 youth each year.

Participating in JA programs transforms students and gives them the knowledge and confidence they need to succeed in school, business and life. Studies have shown that today’s most in-demand jobs didn’t exist ten years ago. JA prepares students to succeed in tomorrow’s careers, solve tomorrow’s challenges and launch businesses that create tomorrow’s jobs.

How We Do It – JA programs are delivered by hundreds of dedicated volunteers who bring their professional experiences into the classroom to help students connect program concepts with real-life situations. Volunteers use a mix of hands-on activities, discussions and digital learning to engage students and ensure they retain and use what they learn. With their help, students gain the knowledge and confidence they need to define their personal success and go after their dreams.

Everything we do is funded by the generous businesses, community groups, sponsors and donors, who provide us with the critical funding needed to develop and deliver our programs. With the help of valuable community partners, we are committed to growing JA in every community we serve and increasing our student reach each year.


Media Contacts:


Bev Robinson                                                                                    Denise Pelley

President and CEO                                                                          Community Relations

JA South Western Ontario                                                           JA South Western Ontario                                                         




Kyle MacDonald Biography

Kyle is a graduate of the IVEY School of Business at Western University. In 1987, she started Phoenix Interactive Design Inc. with 2 employees and entered the high-stakes world of competitive and fast-moving software technology.

As the visionary and dynamic founder behind Phoenix, which was headquartered in London, Ontario, Canada, Kyle grew her business to an international scale and opened offices in Mississauga ON, Charlotte NC, Edinburgh, Scotland and Sydney, Australia. In the self-service banking industry, Kyle is recognized as a visionary and status quo disrupter. Her passion and no-nonsense approach to making calculated business decisions have earned the respect and admiration of her team, peers and competitors.

Prior to selling Phoenix in 2015 to Diebold-Nixdorf Inc., a large global corporation, Phoenix sold their innovative software solutions to the largest banks and retailers around the world; in Canada to BMO Bank of Montreal and TD Canada Trust, in the US to Publix Supermarkets, Bank of America and Fifth Third Bank, in Europe to Danske Bank and ABN AMRO and in Australia to Westpac Bank.

In 2006, Kyle was recognized and awarded with the prestigious RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award for her vision and direction, taking her company from a local to a global software leader. Again in 2014, Kyle was the recipient of the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award, recognizing her for sustained exponential growth and momentum.

Under Kyle’s leadership, her companies received numerous accolades and awards including:

  • Deloitte Fast 50 (Canada)
  • Deloitte Fast 500 (North America)
  • Ontario Global Traders Award
  • Ontario Chamber of Commerce Award
  • London Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Award Large Business Category
  • London Chamber of Commerce Most Innovative Company Award
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year - finalist

True to her entrepreneurial roots, Kyle founded Harbour Grace Holdings Inc., in 2015 and is already involved in multiple international business ventures. One such venture includes being a Strategic Investor and CEO of AIRIA Brands Inc., a leading, London-based, manufacturer of indoor ventilation and air purification systems under the well-known brand - LIFEBREATH.

Kyle’s success in business enabled her to fuel her philanthropic goals. Her passion to help improve the lives of those around her at local, provincial and national levels has never been stronger. To help less fortunate young Canadian students pursue their post-secondary education goals, she established scholarships at her former Toronto  high school, Western University and Brescia College. Kyle has also been an avid supporter of Canada’s First Responders and its military men and women, both active and retired. In 2018 Kyle provided the largest single private donation ever made to the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation to support the Veterans residing at Parkwood Hospital in London ON, and help further research in Veterans Operational Stress Injury. In one of the most challenging years in modern history, 2020, Kyle ramped up her support for several organizations including significant donations to Support our Troops, Wounded Warriors Canada PTSD Service Dog Program and the David Foster Foundation. These donations will help improve the lives of Canada’s First Responders, active and retired Military personnel, and families who have been financially impacted as they await organ transplants. Kyle’s goal is to raise awareness and support for these incredible organizations so they may better assist the people who are in need of their services.


Ewart and Edwin McLaughlin Biography

Brothers Ewart and Edwin McLaughlin grew up on a farm north of Tillsonburg, Ontario. Their first joint business venture was the creation of “The Wedge Cheese House” in 1979 which specialized in retail food entrees.

In 1984 Ewart and Edwin purchased their first industrial building.  The 132,000 sq. ft. facility is located at 273 Ingersoll Avenue, Woodstock, Ontario and was the former Firestone Textiles plant.  The building was renovated and the old machinery was dismantled, making way for warehouse space that continues to be in operation today.

The “Wedge Cheese House” grew into a wholesale and manufacturing facility, making their own frozen entrees.  In 1988, it was sold to grow their interests in the aggregate, excavation, and ready-mix concrete & forming industry.  Over the next 20 years they successfully developed these businesses, all the while acquiring more Industrial buildings and warehouses.

The brothers sold off their other ventures in 2000 in order to focus their efforts on warehousing and leasing.  Since then, the business has grown exponentially in regards to their customer base, square footage and warehousing services. Known in the industry as the building recyclers, they specialize in taking an existing single use building and dividing it into multiple units, and customizing the space for the Tenants’ individual needs.

In 2015, E & E McLaughlin Ltd. purchased Trisec Distributing in order to provide an enhanced, streamlined, 3PL service.  These two companies have managed to successfully evolve with the changing demands of the 3PL industry, and boast over 40 years’ experience in meeting customer needs  and surpassing customer expectations. Today E&E McLaughlin Ltd. has an extensive warehousing and leasing business consisting of over 6 million square feet under roof with various locations throughout Southwestern Ontario to service their customers.

Ewart’s daughters, Kathryn & Kassandra, as well as Edwin’s son, Paul, are the next generation involved in the business, ensuring that tradition of customer service, integrity, commitment and common sense continue to be part of the company’s core values.


Our mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.