Edmonton has a rich community of individuals who contribute to its well-being and support the Concordia University of Edmonton (CUE) in some form or another. To recognize these exceptional individuals, CUE awards the Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes individuals who performed exceptional acts of service benefiting the CUE and the community of Edmonton.
The 2016 winner was Sid Braaksma.
Building from Scratch
Sid Braaksma is the owner and founder of Northgate Industries. However, he went through a long journey before finally reaching that position and achieving success.
Sid came from Holland in 1952. He completed a 4 year-long apprenticeship and earned a Journeyman Machinist Certificate from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. After that, Sid began renovating industrial modular buildings. He realized that there was a large market for this.
Founding Northgate Industries
By 1970, Sid Braaksma started Northgate Industries. He built a unique business model offering field repair services, and leasing industrial modular buildings. From there, Northgate Industries began manufacturing modular structures and sophisticated complexes.
Through Sid’s shrewd business instinct, he kept expanding Northgate Industries into new markets.
Supporting Concordia University of Edmonton
As his business grew, so did Sid Braaksma’s philanthropic activities.
“Sid doesn’t deviate from making a margin, making money, and he’s very shrewd. However, when it comes down to being generous with charities and the community, he goes that extra mile. He’s not looking for any accolades. He’s just looking to help people out and help the community” – Todd Tetz, Executive Vice President Northgate Industries.
With CUE, Sid found a place where he could be charitable and have a real impact on the community. Sid has donated to many educational initiatives and provided assistance in raising funds for scholarships. CUE particularly remembers him for saving their Thunder Hockey team by stepping up when no one else could.
“Sid’s support of Concordia goes back 30 years. He’s not just a part of the Edmonton community but a part of the Concordia community. To have a supporter such as Sid makes it possible to have the University and to have the kind of environment where students can thrive. Sid recognized the importance of what a university education brings and he has always looked at Concordia as part of his contribution to the Edmonton Community” – Gerald Krispin, President & Vice Chancellor of Concordia University of Edmonton
While Sid Braaksma continues to push the boundaries of Northgate Industries, he also continues to give back and contribute to the community.