Speak to people who have worked with Michael E. Roach, inaugural Chairperson of the Interac Corp. Board of Directors, and you will hear the same thing: Michael is a strong leader. You will also hear all that he has achieved for all stakeholders.
Yet even more than what he has done, his peers are eager to talk about who Michael is.
“He has a huge fan club,” says Independent Director and newly appointed Chairperson Paul Vessey, “and I happen to have joined it.”
“He sets the tone with his very being, with the way he addresses issues,” says Kikelomo Lawal, Chief Legal Officer, Ombudsman and Corporate Secretary at Interac. “He is classy. He is insightful. He is kind.”
Michael’s leadership during his two-year tenure will have a lasting impact on the Interac team, the Board, and now, a future Canadian leader.
To mark Michael’s legacy, Interac established a scholarship in his name at his alma mater, Laurentian University. The university located in Sudbury, Ontario, had previously granted him a prestigious honorary doctorate in business administration.
This $20,000 scholarship endowment will provide financial assistance to a student who excels in a course about community leadership. The recipient will be a full-time undergraduate student who receives the highest final mark in the Foundations of Community Leadership course, which focuses on the ethics, theory and practice of leadership at the community level.
A course in leadership makes a fitting tribute for Michael, who has made his mark across a diverse range of industries throughout his career — notably as President and CEO of technology services company CGI Group Inc., and as a director of another Canadian company, CAE Inc., which is best known for its aviation simulators. A standard of excellence, insightful perspectives and a wealth of knowledge have spanned his career in the tech industry, earning him the title of “Most Innovative Chief Executive Officer” in 2014.
Interac President & CEO Mark O’Connell recalls how Michael helped inspire the Board’s strategic, forward-looking thinking. “He set the Board immediately on a path to elevate it to a more strategic level.”
While this may seem like an occasion to reflect on what he and Interac have accomplished together, it’s in Michael’s nature to view things through a strategic lens and stay focused on the future.
“The good news is we’ve come a long way,” Michael says. “The better news is there’s huge opportunities ahead. In fact, I would say the best is yet to come for this company.”