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Remembering Ali Dastmalchian


October 27, 1954 - August 13, 2020

Ali Dastmalchian lived his life with energy, passion and an unmeasurable amount of love. His friendships span decades, language barriers and time zones, and he always made time for everybody in his life. He was a great support and a loud cheerleader. He was an incredible cook, a thoughtful leader and a brilliant academic. He was also a perfect father to Kia and Nikisa and a magnificent husband to his true love, Ann. 

It's difficult to put into words what this loss means to his family, friends and colleagues. We invite you to share your memories, stories and condolences on this page, as it would bring his family joy and comfort to hear from those who loved Ali. 

We will get together later, when it's safe, in person to celebrate Ali's life the way he would have wanted us to. 

Comments

Hamid Eshghi, Vahid Eshghi, Margaret Thomson
1 month ago
We at the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation had the great privilege of working with Ali and funding the GLOBE Project 2020, a culture and leadership study, which was led by this kind, insightful and generous visionary.

We are devastated to lose the friendship of this man who was dedicated to the study of different cultures and to bringing diverse communities together to make this a better world.

Ali’s passing is a huge loss for our entire community; we will miss him profoundly.

He was a gifted and special man.

Our deepest condolences on the very sad loss of a wonderful human being.

Hamid Eshghi, Vahid Eshghi, Margaret Thomson & everyone at the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation
M P Gupta, Professor-IIT Delhi
3 years ago
Very sad to learn this news as we will miss a highly committed global scholar and a wonderful friend. He has been visiting IIT Delhi regularly with his delegation and twice while I was heading the department of Management Studies. He was a very kind soul and accommodated all our collaborative proposals. I am sure he has moved to a better place for some other important duties in a cosmic journey. He carries our best wishes. & kind regards
Ian Clarke
3 years ago
There are not many people you meet only once, and are compelled to write about. Ali is one of those people. I only met him as a member of an EQUIS Review Team in 2018 which he chaired. He was such a warm, accomplished and pragmatic person and he impressed me immensely in the few days I worked with him. I don't know the circumstances of his passing, but was shocked when only today (April 2021) I found out only by chance that he had passed away. Such a lovely person. My heart goes out to Ann and his family.
Garen Avanessian
3 years ago
Ali and I first met in UWIST Cardiff student union during fall of 1975. Both of us were students at the time. He had finished soccer practice with the UWIST team and was there to have a drink before going home. We remained friends ever since. Ali and I earned our PhDs in 1980 in different majors and attended the same graduation ceremony in 1980. Ali and Ann immigrated to Canada. Lyn (my wife) and I ended up in the US. Ali was a prolific writer/producer of publications. I wish I knew the source of all that energy. I received two cards from him every year. One for Christmas and one for Nowrooz. I will miss him. May he rest in peace. My condolences to Ann and their families.
Ali Ahmad Bodla
3 years ago
Professor Ali Dastmalchian was a genuine, passionate teacher and a loving colleague! We have been working closely together since 2014. Whenever he visited Shanghai we meet and dinner together. He was like a family member to us. He was a wonderful Mentor. He was a unique human being, his passion in life was to help others. He sprinkled love and hope on anyone he touched. He had a deep belief and trust in other human beings. It was truly a pleasure and honor to know him. My sincere condolences to his family (Ann, Niki, and Kia), his colleagues, and the community.
Harjeet Bhabra, Dean, Sobey School of Business
3 years ago
I got to know Ali only briefly over the past two years after I became the Dean of the Sobey School. We met at conferences and had great conversations. The last one was during my flight to Nashville earlier this year in February when travelling together to attend the AACSB Deans Conference. Ali was dedicated and committed to excellence in business education. He shared his ideas and opinions generously and was not hesitant to be critical of practices in higher education which he felt were not contributing to enhancing the educational experiences of our students. I enjoyed our discussions, whether in teams or individually. He will be sorely missed by all who got to know him.
Paola Ardiles
3 years ago
Dean Ali was a wonderful and generous person. Although I worked in a different faculty, he made sure to connect with me to demonstrate that he appreciated my work.
A great leader I will miss.
Sam Brayley
3 years ago
It is an honour to have shared some great moments with Ali , he will sorely missed, love to Ann and family .
Ged and Lorrie Devlin
3 years ago
Lovely to have known you Ali, condolences to Ann and family
Donna Dressler-Mund
3 years ago
It is with sadness mixed with fond memories that I write this tribute to Ali. I first met Ali when he attended the Children’s Rehab Center Christmas party. Ann and I were colleagues and friends. I watched in amazement how Ali, the guest in the room not only introduced himself to everyone, he made everyone there feel at ease. Such was one of many of Ali’s gifts.
I was a new grad and working on my first paper. Ali was happy to review it for me. Ann returned it to me with hesitation as it looked like a red pen exploded all over my paper. Ali spared no effort in helping me learn how not to write a paper . However, with his guidance, I did get published.
Ali was a brilliant academic, a loving husband and father, and a friend to anyone who had the privilege of meeting him.
Ali, you will be missed dearly.
With love and deepest sympathy to Ann, Kia, and Nikisa,
Donna & Graeme
Steven McShane
3 years ago
Canada has lost one of its great academic leaders with the passing of Dean Ali Dastmalchian. I say this from personally knowing and admiring Ali for more than three decades as a fellow business professor. Our paths crossed far too seldom at conferences and university visits. Yet each interaction reinforced my belief in Ali as an incredible mentor, a patiently determined institution builder, and a true friend. My shock of his sudden passing may wane, but my fond memories and appreciation of Ali Dastmalchian will remain strong. My thoughts are with Ali’s family at this difficult time. I hope that the positive impact Ali had on so many people will lessen the sadness.
Micheal Kelly
3 years ago
Ali has been a great friend for some 20 years. On top of his many academic accomplishments as teacher, scholar and dean, he was and incredibly decent and honest individual. I enjoyed working with him and will miss him.
Dana Hayden
3 years ago
My most sincere condolences to Ali's family and friends. I first met Ali when we met to discuss my membership on the SFU Beedie School of Business Advisory Committee. Ali's energy, vision and commitment to SFU's school of business made it impossible for me NOT to join he and his colleagues to support the school. Ali was an inspiration and a tremendous loss. He will be missed by us all.
Federico Pasin (HEC Montreal)
3 years ago
Ali was a great leader and a very sympathetic, kind and smart gentleman. I will really miss him. All my condolences to his family.
Basu Sharma
3 years ago
Ali touched so many peoples' hearts and minds through his gracious nature and his intellectual prowess. He did mine too. I am so grateful for the gift of friendship he gave me but so sad he left so soon. He was a great leader, wonderful friend and a perfect gentleman. I miss him dearly and feel the world has become lesser without him.
Deepest condolence to Ann and the family.
Michel Rod
3 years ago
I first met Ali when I was a PhD student teaching for him on the Calgary campus of ULeth. I recall a black-tie event one evening when my wife and I had the pleasure of sitting at his table with his wife and he genuinely appreciated my jokes! Jump ahead 22 years and I recall having a very engaging phone conversation with him late Spring where he was offering his great advice. I genuine sweet guy. He will be very missed.
Devashis Mitra
3 years ago
I got to know Ali at annual conferences of the Canadian Federation of Business School Deans (now renamed Business Schools Association of Canada). I was a relatively new member of this body but I remember his gentleness, warmth and dynamism. He was very active at the conferences. A man of ideas and a visionary, he will be grestly missed at the conference scheduled for next month and future conferences. I would like to extend my most sincere condolences to Ali's family. May his soul rest in peace.
Gustaaf van der Lely
3 years ago
My sincerest condolences to Ann, Kia and Nikisia for the loss of a husband and a father. As many have mentiond already; Ali was a friend, a leader, a visionary, and a very special individual who could reach out and connect with anyone. He left such a deep impression with me and I feel I was lucky to have known and worked with him. Ali was the kindest and most thoughtful individual. I remember when my daughter was born and I came back from two weeks off and he saw me and gave a gift of a book and a matching out fit for the book. We still read the book almost nightly and it reminds me of his warmth and generosity. To Ann and the kids, my heart goes out to you during this difficult time and I send my deepest sympathy and hugs. May you take solace in knowing that Ali will be forever with us through beautiful memories and his wisdom that he imparted on all those he connected with.
Darelle Odo
3 years ago
Ali was both my Dean while I was a student completing my business undergrad degree at UVic and my Dean as a staff member at SFU Beedie. Even though I didn’t work directly with Ali, he had a gigantic impact on my education and career and is largely responsible for some of my absolute favourite years. At UVic, he encouraged us to complete co-op work terms, travel the world (I went to Thailand on exchange with my now husband), and become well-rounded, good hearted, environmentally aware, globally minded citizens. At SFU he brought a tremendous amount of warmth, wisdom, humour, and positive change. With Ali at the helm, I had full trust that our school, students, staff, and academics were heading in a positive direction. He will be deeply missed. Reflecting on his impact is truly inspirational, especially for those working in academia. I'd like to thank Ali's family for giving him the support and space to contribute as much as he did to the UVic and SFU. My heart goes out to his family.
Debra Basil
3 years ago
Ali was such a warm, genuine person. He is the reason my family now lives in Lethbridge. When we were searching for jobs it came down to U of Lethbridge and a school in Boston. It was Ali's kindness and consideration that brought us to the U of L. After we arrived, he was so thoughtful in helping me begin my career as an academic. We truly felt welcomed and valued with Ali serving as Dean. He will be deeply missed--I hope knowing how many lives he has touched will be a source of comfort.
Mingyu Guan
3 years ago
Deep condolence to the family! Although I have only met Ali for several times, I was impressed by his vision and how he is turning vision into reality through relentless efforts on building connection among people. It is a big loss and I am saddened to hear the news. I still refuse to recognize the fact Ali has left us temporarily....

We will all remember Ali and what he has done for all of us. R.I.P.
Joanne Curry
3 years ago
I was so saddened at the loss of Ali and my condolences to Ann and family. Ali was a special person. Visionary yet modest, inclusive and caring.
My memories of Ali will be of a great Dean who collaboratively developed a new vision and instilled purpose and momentum for his Faculty. He was a gracious man who could lead the way to the best restaurants in Delhi despite the lack of signage and traffic chaos. I wish I could have spent more time in his presence, especially after reading all of the tributes and understanding the impact he had on so many people. He will be greatly missed.
Laurie Anderson
3 years ago
My condolences to Ann and the children. My heart goes out to each of you.

I first met Ali in 2016 when we did a walkabout of the Vancouver campus when he was a candidate for the Dean's position. His modesty, ideas and humour (and our shared interest in English Premier League soccer) made him stand out. Ali brought vision, energy and humanity to his role at Beedie. I work regularly with Beedie faculty and staff based at the Segal building downtown and the respect, admiration and fondness they have for Ali is palpable. Ali was the quintessential leader because it was never about him, but always about those he served. Ali's quiet, self-effacing disposition belied a visionary, inspired and focused leadership. Ali truly did "build a better Beedie."

It was an honour and privilege to know Ali Dastmalchian. His contribution and legacy live on....
Evaleen Jaager Roy
3 years ago
The shock of losing dear Ali was immense. I worked with Ali while he was still at UVIC prior to SFU and he was always a keenly intelligent, warm, evolved person. Working alongside Ali and his fabulous team at the Beedie School has been a huge privilege. Ali's very sudden departure has left us all feeling very sad. He will be deeply missed.
Charles Chang
3 years ago
Ali was such a kind, open and humble person. I am so sorry and sad to see him go so early. He had such great vision, energy and spirit. It was truly a pleasure and honour to know him. Condolences to his family, know that he will be missed and remembered always.
Gwen Bird
3 years ago
Ali was a wonderful colleague at SFU--intelligent, kind, always human, compassionate, and with such a compelling vision. I miss him tremendously. My sincere condolences to Ann and his entire family.
Eugene Fiume
3 years ago
There is nothing I can add in tribute to Ali that has not already been better stated. I can say that to me the world feels diminished with him no longer here, and it is up to us to take up the slack. What an inspiration he has been to me.
Jane Purdie
3 years ago
It was my pleasure and honor to be Ali's Travel Agent for close to 30 years! He was a true gentle man and I shall miss him. I am so very sorry for your loss Ann, Niki and Kia. We spoke earlier in the year of his thoughts of retiring soon, I am sad that he did not make this milestone, as he achieved so many others. What a wonderful man and Educator he was. My fondest thoughts are with all his family and friends.
Charmaine Stack
3 years ago
Ali was a visonary leader who inspired his teams to achieve incredible results. He was also a warm, kind mentor who saw the potential in others (inlcuding me during our time together at Gustavson and encouraged them to grow. He left this world a better place. I remember a few years after he had left our School he had heard I was ill and phoned me to inquire how I was doing. It was such an "Ali thing" and I was deeply touched. My deepest sympathies to Ann, Niki and Kia. May reminiscences such as this bring some small comfort in your loss.
Andrew von Nordenflycht (Beedie professor)
3 years ago
While I am a Beedie faculty member, I do not get to the school very often, so I did not get to interact with Ali much. However, in the few times that I had one-on-one interactions with him, I came away feeling that I was listened to, respected and supported -- and from the other notes here, that seems to have been the experience of many of you. I liked Ali, I respected him greatly, and I was certainly glad that he was reappointed as our Dean. Now, each time I turn my attention to Beedie matters, I think about the fact that he passed away and am sad, for all of us. My sincere condolences to his family.
Cail Smith
3 years ago
It's incredible to read over the tributes here and remember Ali's professional accomplishments. To me, he was first Nikisa's Dad, a caring man who was interested and engaged with the world and his family. With Ann, he always provided a safe place for movie nights and small parties for Nikisa's friends. There are few parents who could balance engaging with a roving band of regular visitors while giving them space to goof off as well as they did. He never needed to be involved but always on board whenever he was called upon.

Like the time he happily presented Laura with a substitute diploma wearing his Dean regalia then worked a small crowd making sure everyone was having a good time. Then sharing my annoyance when everyone wouldn't eat together. I thought that night of how rare it is to get to eat with a group of young adults together with their parents to eat together. I never imagined it would be the last time we would all sit and share stories together.

Ann, Kia and Nikisa, I cannot imagine what this loss feels like, but the enormity is easy to sense. I hope you feel the love of this community for you as you move forward to one day smile and laugh again. My deepest condolences and most heartfelt wish that you feel Ali's presence every day.
jennifer fleming
3 years ago
Ali was a presence in our lives for over forty years - and we shared many happy times with him and Ann and later on with Kia and Nikisa.
We remember him for his warmth, generosity, curiosity and endless energy.
He was an inspiration to those he worked alongside; an adoring husband, devoted father, supportive to his wider family and a great friend.
Ali made everyone around him feel special; he will always have a special place in our hearts.
With love and deepest condolences to Ann, Kia and Nikisa.
Pauline and Gerard
Per Cramér
3 years ago
I feel sorrow, sadness and strong empathy with Ali’s family. I do also feel despair and anger because of everything we will miss when Ali is not among us any longer. I have learned to know Ali better and better during the last five years. We have cooperated as PRT members and have had intense and stimulating discussions about the changing roles of business schools and the general state of the world. During the last years we have also initiated successively closer cooperation between our respective schools.
I remember Ali for his clear and sound judgement, his strong commitment to academic values and his profound engagement and curiosity. A good friend who always was open for a stimulating conversation.
Eric Werker
3 years ago
Ali, I’ll miss you.
We came to Beedie around the same time, and where I was working before I had been junior faculty and never too involved in the operations of the place. You invited me into the “room,” encouraged me to serve on your reform committee, made my contributions feel valuable, and gave me advice and support along the way.
You were always warm and generous, with your focus and your time. I appreciated how you listened more than talked, and worked hard more than dictated. You modeled thoughtful, inclusive leadership, bringing people together and balancing their views while charting out a path forward. You left Beedie a stronger, kinder, more engaged place. You made me comfortable at Beedie, like you did with so many others.
I remember when we were recruiting PhD students this spring, you even made an RA offer to the spouse of one of our admitted students to help recruit them. I can’t imagine another leader getting so personally involved to make the School a better place. It reveals your dedication: to excellence, to people, to place.
Thank you for everything you taught me. I’m devastated that you were fighting cancer this summer while I pictured you enjoying a much-deserved break from dean duties. My sincerest condolences to Ann, Kia, and Nikisa for your loss.
Jasmine Hasselback
3 years ago
I keep trying to find words to express the enormity that is the loss of Ali to me. I suppose explaining what Ali meant to me, as I so often described to my friends, would help - he was my "second dad".

His support, respect and love were precious to me and I cannot imagine a future without him. No major choice made was quite right without a consultation with him. He knew me so well and knew the questions I needed to ask myself to make sure I considered the best course.

He was always there when you really needed him, as busy as he could be, which gave me a sense of never being entirely alone.

I know I won't get to hear his laughter or his words next time I need them with my ears, but I know I still will. Memories if him will be with me forever.
Daniela Blettner
3 years ago
I will remember Ali’s smile and generosity. I will remember our conversations that were always warm and pleasant. Ali was so interested and curious. He took lots of time to talk to us and valued our efforts and contributions. My deepest condolences to Ann, Niki and Kia.
Mia Maki
3 years ago
Ali was so alive and so warm. The world is indeed less without him. He was driven and made a difference, but he did so in conversation and compassion. A true leader. A wonderful human being. I will miss him very much....
Rick Cotton
3 years ago
My most sincere condolences to Ann, Niki, and Kia - and to Ali’s extended family, from GLOBE to Gustavson to Beedie and beyond, literally to every corner of the world.

I struggle, I cry, I feel regret. I feel robbed. I feel blessed.

Ali's death is so difficult to deal with because he offers so much to learn from and to emulate - his vision, drive, empathy, caring, support, leadership, vision, persistence, to name a few. I feel honoured just to have been in his presence and I feel unworthy of his unwavering confidence and support. But alas, I've found that time and again, Ali knows our potential better than we can judge it ourselves. And for that (among many other qualities), I am eternally grateful. I just wish I had more time to learn from him though his example will forever live on...

A famous proverb says, "Tell me who you walk with and I will tell you who you are". As the many posts here from far and wide only begin to show, Ali walked with all of us and will continue to walk with all of us and us with him. Ali could relate to anyone, inspire anyone and connect with everyone in a personal and meaningful way - an amazing feat for one as busy and driven as Ali. He made me feel special, important, critical in way that made me want to not let him down. He was a one-of-a-kind person not to be replicated but forever emulated.

Thank you Ali and for everything and everyone you touched.
Natasha Fox
3 years ago
Ali hired me in 2005 to look after the GLOBE project and handle the day to day administrative operations of GLOBE. As a young grad student with the world in front of me I had no idea that this would be a life changing offer. During my tenure as Ali's RA, my world has opened. I have been able to support myself and my family while finishing my MA, beginning and (nearly) finishing my Phd and becoming a parent once, and then again. Throughout these milestones Ali was there to congratulate me and support my growth. I have heard a few folks reflect on how he seemed to take personal pleasure and joy in watching the achievements of those around him. I felt that very much. When my first child was born I remember checking the mail to find the sweetest and most unexpected hand written note and baby book. I couldn't believe that he and Ann would trouble themselves to find the time for such a gesture. Then again, the same thing when my second son was born. Ali's heart was big enough for every single person in his life no matter their role or level of "importance". Over the years, I often told my friends and colleagues in GLOBE that I had never worked for a better person, and I really meant it. As I grow in my role as a parent and an aspiring academic in my field I will look to his example often. I will ask myself what would Ali do. I will recall the way he seemed calm and trusting in moments of uncertainty, like he knew some greater truth that I didn't. I will try to emulate the way in which he seemed to meet and respect each and every person where they are, and how they are without judgement. I will try to use my gifts in the way that he did his--always in the service of others, and always with a smile. Thank you Nikisa, Kia and Ann for sharing Ali 's light with us. I am so honoured to have known him and I will treasure his memory.

With love and gratitude,

Natasha and family
Elicia Maine
3 years ago
Like so many who have written heartfelt tributes here, I felt seen, heard, and valued by Ali. These leadership qualities, coupled with strategic vision, deep organizational experience, curiousity and the willingness to experiment, enabled Ali to bring the best out of the many people and organizations he led. Informed by his research and through leading faculty accreditation assessments around the world, Ali had rich insight into how and why a faculty and a university might work better and the courage and skill to enact meaningful change.

Ali’s death came as such a shock to those of us who had pictured him relaxing and regenerating (and perhaps catching up on research) between 5 year terms as Dean. It’s taken me this long to process that he’s no longer with us. I am very grateful for his mentor ship and support these past 5 years. Reflecting on our many interactions, looking back on email correspondence, reading these tributes through tears, and hearing the memories of my colleagues, I appreciate even more how kind and generous and genuine he was. And how many lives he touched. We feel his presence in the very culture of SFU Beedie, and elements of his organizational and leadership legacy will continue to make positive impact for decades to come through the many faculty and staff he mentored.

To Ann, Kia, and Nikisa - my deepest condolences on your heartbreaking loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Nicole Coviello
3 years ago
Dear Ann, Kia and Niki. As I read through these tributes to Ali, I am struck by impact he has had on students and scholars all over the world. For decades.
He was a very special man.
As I sit here crying, I think of the early days at the UofS, eloquently captured by Colin Boyd (above). My first recollection is Ali as a young Assistant Prof who was a big football (soccer) fan. He was wrangled into supporting a new project by David Boag: an Msc in Tech Mgmt. I was one of the first two students. In that small program, we all got to know each other and I remember the day Kia was born. He was so over the moon. And amazed by Ann. The same again when Niki was born.
When he moved to UofA, Ali had time for me, providing advice and guidance on doing a PhD. Always thoughtful, quietly funny and 'just there' for support.
Over the years we have kept in touch and I was lucky enough to be at UVic for his retirement party. It was extraordinary. SO MANY faculty and staff to support him in his decision to step down. That's a remarkable situation for a Dean to be in, but I was not surprised. I always wanted him as a Dean. And I had the chance. I'm so sorry it never worked out.
Anne, Niki and Kia - I am struggling to find the words. I am thinking of you and especially, your lovely Ali.
Gaye KARACAY
3 years ago
I am deeply saddened by learning the loss of “Dear Professor Ali”, a beautiful person, a great leader and an impressive researcher. His lost is causing an inexpressibly deep agony. My prayers, thoughts and condolences are with his family.

Ali was a great mentor who patiently listens, motivates, inspires and unites his mentees by his wisdom and humble leadership. I first met Ali during my PhD studies at Bogazici University, and honored to have worked with him since then for many years on his research projects. He had an overwhelming impact not only on the way I approach research, but also on how to value my academic career as a way to contribute to the community.

Beyond all his virtues, first and foremost Ali was a kind, loving and caring person who was always there for you as one of your family. Ali and Ann shared the most important facets of my life; my birth to my twins, the first birthday party of Ela and Can, the hard times when I struggled with my son’s speech therapy, and at so many other times they were there as a loving uncle and aunty.

Dear Professor Ali: You are a special soul who has touched our hearts beyond our lives. We are all grateful to you for giving us a place in your beautiful heart. You are in our lives, and you will always be. Hope to come together one day….
Gaye Karacay (from Istanbul / Turkey).
Pek Hooi Soh
3 years ago
I was very fortunate to have known Ali and enjoyed his humor and wisdom at work. Ali was not only a humble leader who treated everyone with respect, but also an engaging and caring person. Through Ali, I had the pleasure to meet with Ann in our social events and enjoyed their gracious and warmth personality. I interacted with Ali most when we were recruiting and interviewing job candidates, and a common remark the candidates made was “he is such a nice Dean,” and “very easy to talk to,” which resonate with all the sentiments in this tribute. Ali was genuinely interested in directing our school towards a more inclusive and respectful workplace for staff and faculty, a legacy which we all appreciate and will continue. You will be sadly missed but fondly remembered by everyone. RIP Ali. My deepest condolences to Ann, Niki and Kia.
Patricia Wong
3 years ago
Ali is an exceptional, kind-hearted and amazing leader. When he first started as Dean at the Beedie School of Business, he made it his mission to meet everyone within the first 90 days of his term. Ninety days is a long time, I thought in my head. It will be awhile until it’s my turn! But no longer than I thought, my supervisor told me Ali wants to meet with us tomorrow. At first, I felt very nervous meeting the new big boss. But Ali’s genuine caring attitude and his willingness to include staff as much as possible, made me realize the next few years at Beedie were going to be great!

Over the past few years, I feel very honoured to have learned from and worked alongside Ali. Whether it was B3 or his Ali’s updates, there was always something special about the way he did things. Every year, Ali and I would be working on set of 50+ letters to faculty. Of which, he told me in his first year, he could write all of them if he didn’t sleep for 1.5 days. Thankfully, that did not happen. All jokes aside, you can see Ali’s thoughtful comments and encouragement towards his colleagues in every letter he wrote.

To Ann and his family, my sincerest condolences for your loss.

Ali, I will miss your Christmas Cards, hallway chats, your passion for cooking and your secret recipes.
Dave Thomas
3 years ago
It has taken some time for the shocking news of Ali’s passing to reach me. I am rarely at a loss for words. However, on this occasion I struggle to convey the profound sadness I feel at the loss of such a good man. To Ann and family I am so sorry for your loss. I hope it will give you some comfort to know the positive influence that Ali had on so many people.I consider myself fortunate to be among them.
Peter Tingling
3 years ago
I know exactly the first time and second time I met Ali, I think everyone remembers their encounters. He had a unique ability to connect with and bring out the best in pretty much everyone. He also had a great sense of humour and one of the most even keels in a person. Thoughtful, authentic and genuine - he will be missed by thousands.
Marissa Funaro
3 years ago
Dear Ann, Nikisa, and Kia,

I am so saddened with the news of the loss of your father and husband. My sincerest condolences to your family during this sorrowing time.

Ali was a tremendous person as you know better than any of us. First and foremost he was one of the most genuine and caring individuals I have ever had the privilege of knowing and working with. He was always warm and engaging, making time for our students, faculty, and staff. He always began any interaction with checking in with us first, always seeming to know what you were working on and offering encouragement. He personally made me feel welcomed, appreciated, and heard as a member on the B3 review team - a process through which I learned a great deal by having the opportunity to work with him. I truly appreciated his inspirational leadership and genuine drive to transform not only our organization but our people.

He also usually had a lighthearted story to share when you saw him in meetings or at events - such as at the CaseIt dinner when he shared how he and you, Ann, moved to Canada and went looking for a restaurant and thought Swiss Chalet would be a Swiss restaurant but to your surprise found it to be otherwise! - no matter the situation, he always made the best of things and showed you how it was possible to look on the bright side, reminding you to be hopeful.

I truly hope that your family can find some comfort during this difficult time in knowing the lasting impact Ali made and how much he will be missed.

With great sympathies,
Marissa
Evelyne Glaser
3 years ago
Dear Ann,

I apologize that it has taken me a few days to be able to write these lines. The devastating news about Ali’s passing has reached us fully unprepared. But can we ever be “prepared” for something that is so ravaging as the loss of a person like Ali? Words cannot express the sadness that I feel. Ali was such an exemplary and admirable person: warm, full of understanding, tolerant of different perspectives, never tiring when trying to achieve a goal, in short: a role model for the people who were privileged to know him in private and in professional life.

Memories of our encounters fill my mind: invitations at your home, your visit at our place, the liquor tasting at my brother’s and of course the professional conversations, when Ali was trying to reconcile diverging ideas and thereby contributed substantially towards giving birth to such wonderful things as the MGB program and many other fabulous projects. Ali was able to accomplish so many things and to bring out the good in the people who were working with him. For this reason, he will never be forgotten.

I realize that this is only a small consolation for you. At this point, there is very little except for the support of your children and your close family that can help you live with the deep grief and the emptiness that fills your heart. Nevertheless, it may be a solace at a later stage to know how much Ali was appreciated and loved by the people who knew him.

If life ever takes you to this part of the world again, please understand that you will always find a warm welcome at our home.

Please accept our deepest condolences for your and your family's loss.

Evelyne and Karl Glaser
Séan Haffey
3 years ago
There's nothing I can add to the tributes already paid to Ali the educator and leader: He was excellent at both. One of the unexpected highlights of my MBA program at UVic was taking a class taught by Ali. I had recently gotten back in touch with Ali and was looking forward to meeting up one day soon, a hope unfortunately delayed by COVID-19 and now lost.

I will keep Ali, his family, and friends in my prayers.
Andrew Burke, Trinity Business School
3 years ago
All of us at Trinity Business School are very saddened to hear of the unexpected passing of Ali. We first came to know Ali when he chaired our EQUIS panel review for accreditation. He not only conducted the review with a high degree of expertise and professionalism but very clearly took a personal and collegiate interest in the development of our school. After the accreditation visit Ali generously offered us his full support extending a warm and caring fellowship with all at Trinity Business School. He really was somebody who took a personal interest in others wellbeing and was very much a force encouraging business to excel and to make a difference for good. He will be a big loss to the global business school community but his influence will extend well into the future.

We are sad to lose our friend and extend our deepest sympathies to his family and his colleagues.

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