Frank Giustra receives nod from college
By Dylan Hackett, News Editor
In the spirit of June’s graduation celebrations, Frank Giustra, renowned billionaire philanthropist and entrepreneur, received an honour as a distinguish alumnus of Douglas College. The class of 1979 graduate thanked the college in a video address to this year’s graduates.
“Be confident in yourself. At the end of the day, all you have is your own conviction about your ability to succeed. You’re no more disadvantaged than anyone who thinks they know what they want to do…you’ll figure it out when you get out there,” Giustra spoke.
“Do what you have to do. Get your foot in the door. The objective is to get in front of people who will make a decision about hiring you.”
Earlier this year, Giustra dropped by the New Westminster campus as a guest of the Douglas College Business Association, answering questions from future billionaire-hopefuls and delivering similar advice to a packed audience.
“Don’t take the advice of old people…Lots of people would give me advice and I would just nod. I knew what I wanted,” said Giustra. “If you don’t already have your vision of what you want to be, go out there and try things.”
Giustra’s entrepreneurial successes are especially varied. His ventures range from mining financing, film production (Lions Gate), to his current project: olive oil. He’s currently promoting his award-winning Domenica Fiore Olio Reserva, named after his mother.
“In my life today, challenges are every day. There will be ups and downs. You just have to be confident that you will do whatever it takes to get through it. Name any successful entrepreneur. If you listen to their life stories, [you’ll hear] it’s a series of ups and downs,” said Giustra.
“I think Steve Jobs said it right in his commencement speech at UCLA some years ago. [He said] to never stop looking until you find what you’re passionate about. Work very hard and have the conviction to see it through.”
Beyond business, Giustra has a noteworthy resume of philanthropy on both local and international levels. He has been working with the City of Vancouver on Streetohome, a collaborative investment project to combat homelessness. He’s most acknowledged for his work with Bill Clinton.