The 2003 Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented to John Harvie, NSAC Class of 1974.
John Harvie grew up in Sheffield Mills, Nova Scotia and graduated with a diploma in Agriculture from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in 1974. He later received his B.Sc. in Agriculture from Macdonald College in Montreal.
John first joined Co-op Atlantic in 1976, prior to accepting a key position with Scotsburn Dairies Co-operative in 1981. Between 1987 and 1988, John worked on a Canadian Co-operative Association international development project in St. Lucia in the Caribbean. He returned to Co-op Atlantic in 1995, as Vice President of Agriculture, the position he held until his appointment to Vice President of Consumers Products Merchandising and Distribution in 2001. He become CEO of Co-op in 2002.
Co-op Atlantic is an innovative and integrated agri-food business serving 135 member co-ops throughout Atlantic Canada and the Magdalen Islands, with consolidated sales in 2001 in excess of $511 million. Collectively, Co-op Atlantic and its member co-ops employ more than 5,000 Atlantic Canadians and serve more than 226,000 member-families.
John has over twenty seven years experience in the co-operative system, both regionally and internationally. His background, both in the co-operative movement, and as an innovative business leader, serves him well in his position as CEO.
John is active on many other fronts. He was involved in the Boy Scouts for 14 years as a Scout Leader. He is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Co-operative Management. He is currently a member of the New Brunswick Institute of Agrologists and past president of the Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists.
He is a member of the Board of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors and sits on the Board of United Grocers Inc. He is a past board member of Interprovincial Co-operative (IPCO).and past board member of CRF (Co-operative Research Farms).
He sits on the board of GIFT Atlantic (Grocery Industry Foundation…Together!), a foundation of all grocery retailers, manufacturers and brokers who have joined forces to co-ordinate the raising of funds to primarily support charities that focus on mentally, emotionally and physically-challenged children in the Atlantic region. Since their beginning, they have contributed millions of dollars to help children.
John sits on a committee of Turning Points, a Campaign for the MacNaughton Youth Parenting Center & Childcare Center in Moncton, N.B. This organization is committed to providing support and services to parents and youths in need. He is a member of the CEO Advisory Group for The Co-operators Insurance Co.
John is committed to utilizing the resources of the co-operative system to promote the production of local food stuffs, for example the Atlantic Tender Beef Classic, and encouraging the development of exclusive table stock potato varieties.
For his long time commitment to the Agricultural industry and his support of his local community, John Harvie is a worthy candidate for the NSAC Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award.