2018 Lifetime Achievement Award winner
CPAs can be found in every industry, being experts at more than numbers – and they’re great with those, too.
Every month, CPA Manitoba spotlights the diverse and dedicated professionals that prove CPA is more than a designation.
The 2018 recipient of the CPA Manitoba Lifetime Achievement Award, Gary Hannaford, FCPA, FCA, now retired, sums up his feelings this way:
“I was shocked but absolutely delighted when I received the telephone call advising me that I was this year’s recipient of the lifetime achievement award,” Hannaford said.
The award is bestowed annually to a CPA who has brought
“I was born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario. I attended high school there and then went on to the University of Waterloo. I wasn’t sure what I wanted in terms of a career and I initially considered teaching,” he recalls.
Instead, as is often the case, Hannaford was inspired by someone close to him which ultimately led to a career in accounting.
“A cousin of mine was an accountant working with one of the large firms. I was really intrigued by the work he was doing and I decided that it would be a good career choice for me too,” Hannaford explains.
In 1973 he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, with a major in Economics, and got a job at a Big 8 firm in London, Ontario. There he focused on becoming a Chartered Accountant.
“I received my designation in 1975 which was a really great day. I remember being so happy to be part of the profession.”
For the next several years, Hannaford gained experience at the firm as an audit manager, returning home to Kitchener in 1977. In 1980, he took a job with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (ICAO).
“At the time the Institute was
That was Hannaford’s first experience working directly for the betterment of the accounting profession, something he would continue to do for the next 36 years.
“I really enjoyed the role and what we were accomplishing. It was important work and I was glad to be part of it. I ended up heading the program for the next six years. I then held a number of other positions and ultimately became the general director of programs.”
In that role, he was responsible for anything related to running programs for members including student education, professional development
“In the fall of
If you want to be successful make sure you surround yourself with good people.
Hannaford began his Manitoba-based career on May 1, 1995.
“Instantly I knew I was in for a challenge. The reality I came from at ICAO was different than what I was walking into. In
It was perhaps here that Hannaford’s management philosophy was born.
“If you want to be successful make sure you surround yourself with good people. I was fortunate to have great teams to work with throughout my entire career. The team at ICAM and subsequently at CPA Manitoba were outstanding.”
Hannaford has always been a strong believer in giving back to the community and the profession.
“I chaired the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (Canada’s oldest English-language regional theatre) after serving on the board for 11 years. I remember one day I got to meet Andrew Lloyd Webber as part of the role. I also had the opportunity to serve on the Pan-Am Games finance committee and was at the
He also served in a variety
While he was initially appointed to the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants while he was CEO of ICAM, he continued in a volunteer capacity for the past two years involving more than 1,000 hours of volunteer time.
Hannaford played a key role in the merger of the legacy accounting bodies and formation of CPA Manitoba. He regards that process as one of the highlights of his career.
“In 2011 merger talks had started up again. Because I did work in a previous merger attempt a number of years prior, I was part of the steering committee for the CAs. I felt a merger was best for the profession, our members and the public.”
He was appointed the Chief Executive Office of the CPA Manitoba Joint Venture –the organization that worked to merge the accounting bodies provincially – and ultimately poured hundreds of hours of work into the merger to help his team accomplish its goal of unification.
“Nobody could have guessed it would have taken as long as it did and getting the news that the CPA Act was passed by the Government was a major highlight in my career,” he recalls proudly.
In September 2015, he became CPA Manitoba’s first President and CEO, working to provide a direction and a stable foundation for the new organization until his retirement in June 2016.
“I’ve been so fortunate in my career. I’ve had the pleasure of
We really do have a global profession and one we should be extremely proud of.
I haven’t been to is Antarctica. We really do have a global profession and one we should be extremely proud of.”
Hannaford took a moment to reflect on what it means to him to be a CPA Manitoba Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
“It’s quite flattering, very humbling and an
When asked if there was anything else he’d like to add, he quickly replied, “I don’t think I could ever thank everyone enough. From the people I worked with to those I met serving on boards and committees at the Manitoba, regional, national and international levels, I thank you. They are the reasons why we got so much done. I consider myself lucky to have made so many very close friends throughout my career. It’s been truly wonderful.”