Charles Grieco Awarded Honorary Degree


TORONTO — J. Charles Grieco has been honoured by the University of Guelph, College of Business and Economics, with the presentation of an Honorary Degree at a Convocation ceremony for some 500 graduates.

Grieco’s Convocation Address focused on the customer and stressed that, even in an era of technology, “It’s still all about how you make your customer feel.” At the closing dinner, Grieco told his audience of graduates, faculty and supporters, “I’ll always remember how I feel today. Thank you.” 

Following a highly successful 35-year career as owner and operator of the renown La Scala restaurant in Toronto, setting a new standard for fine cuisine and dining, Grieco took up leadership of the Ontario Hostelry Institute in 1977 and subsequently became managing director at the Canadian Hospitality Foundation. His leadership has helped to raise millions for student awards and support. 

Grieco is recognized as a leading thinker on key issues facing the Canadian hospitality industry. He participated in the provincial commission that led to the formation of the Vintners Quality Alliance and is on the provincial committee developing a culinary tourism strategy for Ontario. Today’s hospitality and tourism landscape is greatly influenced by his innovation and perseverance to ensure a promising future for young Canadians who choose this sector as a lifelong career.

The Convocation Awards dinner also saw College of Business and Economics Student achievement honoured with the presentation of Distinguished Scholar Medals to: Hildegard van Niekerk, Winegard Nominee; Scott Connors, Governor General’s Gold Medal Nominee; Amanda MacDougall, Highest Cumulative Average; Diana Alessandrini, Forster Medal Nominee; and Thomas Beckett, Bachelor of Commerce Leadership Prize Recipient.


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