For Immediate Release
Oct. 23, 2023
VANCOUVER, B.C.— The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade will honour Ratana Stephens, O.B.C. and Arran Stephens, O.B.C., the founders of Nature’s Path, with its prestigious Rix Award for Engaged Community Citizenship at the annual Governor’s Gala & Rix Awards in the spring, in recognition of their decades of philanthropic commitments and community service.
The recipient of the Rix Award for Engaged Corporate Citizenship for 2024 is Odlum Brown, recognizing their outstanding leadership and community impact in various sectors, including healthcare, the arts, sports, and education.
The 2024 awards will be presented at the 36th annual Governor’s Gala & Rix Awards on April 22nd at the Vancouver Convention Centre - West. The annual gala brings together business, government, and community leaders to recognize the contributions of extraordinary individuals and organizations and to induct the Board of Trade's immediate past chair into its Council of Governors. The 2024 inductee is Radha Curpen, who currently serves as Vice-Chair, Vancouver Managing Partner and National Leader ESG Strategy & Solutions with Bennett Jones, LLP.
2024 RIX AWARD FOR ENGAGED COMMUNITY CITIZENSHIP – Arran Stephens, O.B.C. and Ratana Stephens, O.B.C.
Arran and Ratana Stephens, recipients of the Rix Award for Engaged Community Citizenship, are a dynamic duo whose life mission is to always leave the earth better than they found it.
Their journey began over 50 years ago when Arran opened Canada's first vegetarian restaurant in 1967. After their marriage in 1969, their partnership extended to various ventures, including LifeStream, Canada’s first natural foods supermarket, and Woodlands restaurants.
The watershed moment came in 1985 when they founded Nature's Path, North America's first certified organic cereal manufacturer. Today, Nature's Path is the world's largest independent certified organic cereal and snack food brand, found in over fifty countries.
The couple's impact goes beyond business, as they've generously contributed over $40 million to philanthropic and community service efforts, including food banks, hospitals and learning institutions since 2008.
Over their careers, both Arran & Ratana have been recognized with many prestigious awards, including honorary doctorates from UVIC in 2021. Arran was honoured with the Organic Pioneer Award from the Rodale Institute, as well as being named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Ratana has been named one of Canada’s top ten female entrepreneurs, and one of British Columbia’s most influential women, and has received a YWCA Women of Distinction Award and an Influential Women in Business Award by Business in Vancouver. Together, Arran & Ratana have been inducted into the Canadian AMA Marketing Hall of Legends, and the BC Laureates Hall of Fame, and are co-recipients of the Order of British Columbia (2021).
2024 RIX AWARD FOR ENGAGED CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP – Odlum Brown
Odlum Brown has been honoured with the prestigious Rix Award for Engaged Corporate Citizenship, for their unwavering commitment to exemplary stewardship in all aspects of their operations. Odlum Brown showcases outstanding leadership and community impact in various sectors, including healthcare, the arts, sports, and education.
Their community-focused endeavors extend far and wide, encompassing over 150 organizations annually, with a combined commitment exceeding $1.5 million. These initiatives touch upon healthcare, education, arts and culture, youth development, environmental conservation, sports and active living, and community enrichment. The firm proudly partners with influential entities such as the Harmony Arts Festival, Thunderbird Show Park, BC Children's Hospital Foundation, and many more.
Odlum Brown's contributions extend beyond sponsorship. They are highly committed to educational and community advancement as highlighted by the establishment of the Odlum Brown Limited Leadership Awards at UBC's Sauder School of Business and the Odlum Brown Award for Indigenous Learners at Vancouver Community College.
Their dedication to bettering our communities is further illustrated through impactful corporate donations for humanitarian causes, both domestically and internationally. In response to the Okanagan wildfires that affected their team and clients, Odlum Brown made a remarkable aggregate donation of $50,000 to support wildfire recovery. Additionally, the firm acts as a monthly food bank donor in all its branch communities, contributing a substantial $85,000 in 2022.
Odlum Brown places great importance on empowering its team members to support causes dear to their hearts. The firm's employee-driven initiatives have yielded astounding results, including raising millions of dollars for charitable organizations, such as United Way BC, CIBC Run for the Cure, and Canucks Autism Network. Furthermore, Odlum Brown's dedication to their team members is reflected in the firm’s 100% employee-owned structure and recognition as one of Canada's Most AdmiredTM Corporate Cultures since 2017.
Odlum Brown is dedicated to helping clients achieve their financial goals. Since its founding in Vancouver in 1923, the full-service, independent investment firm has grown to six locations, more than 370 team members, and over $18 billion in client assets under management – and has been named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for 24 consecutive years. 100 years later, they remain steadfast in their commitment to making a meaningful and lasting difference in the communities where their clients and team members live and work.
ABOUT THE RIX AWARDS
The Rix Awards are an initiative of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, presented annually in honour of the late Dr. Don Rix, who served as Chair of the organization in 2008-09. Award recipients are chosen each year by a special selection committee of the board of directors, based on a number of criteria.
The Rix Award for Engaged Community Citizenship is presented to an individual who applies their exceptional skills, talents, and drive to making a positive impact in society. Hallmark characteristics of community citizenship include trust, purpose, connectedness, leadership, social capital, passion, empathy, ethics, and responsibility.
Past recipients include:
- Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia and Sergio Cocchia (2023)
- Chief Wayne Sparrow (2022)
- Joe Segal (2020-21)
- Robert and Lily Lee (2019)
- Gordon and Leslie Diamond (2018)
- Yoshiko Karasawa and Michael Audain (2017)
- David Podmore (2016)
- Carole Taylor (2015)
- David McLean (2014)
- Terence Hui (2013)
- Peter M. Brown (2012)
- Brandt C. Louie (2011)
- Jimmy Pattison (2010)
- Craig and Marc Kielburger (2009)
The Rix Award for Engaged Corporate Citizenship is presented to an enterprise that demonstrates, both in policy and practice, the highest standards of stewardship towards the long-term well-being of customers, employees, owners, partners, the environment, and the broader community.
Past recipients include:
- White Spot (2023)
- London Drugs (2022)
- CN (2020-21)
- Ledcor (2019)
- Beedie (2018)
- Whistler Blackcomb (2017)
- FortisBC (2016)
- Global BC (2015)
- Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (2014)
- TELUS (2013)
- Teck Resources (2012)
- Vancity (2011)
- RBC Royal Bank (2010)
- Vancouver Airport Authority (2009)
Learn more about the awards at boardoftrade.com/rixawards2024.
About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:
Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Western Canada’s leading business association, engaging members to positively impact public policy at all levels of government and to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.’s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through unique programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events businesses in the country, providing a platform for national and international business and thought leaders to further enlighten B.C.’s business leaders.