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ATB Financial and Small Business Institute Form Partnership

Friday, October 5, 2012 (All Campuses)

ATB Financial and Small Business Institute at University of Lethbridge Partner to Deliver Business Education Seminars in Southern Alberta

L to R: Dan Kazakoff, Rob Smith, Dr. Gordon Hunter

The University of Lethbridge joined ATB Financial officials at the new Highlands Crossing branch in west Lethbridge on Friday, October 5, 2012 to announce ATB Financial’s support of the newly-established ATB Financial Small Business Institute Speaker Series.

A $36,000 investment will help launch the series, which will see industry leaders and researchers visit communities throughout southern Alberta to share their knowledge, insights and experiences on topics related to small business.

"This gift demonstrates ATB Financial’s commitment to education, research and the business communities of Southern Alberta,” says U of L Faculty of Management Dean Dr. Bob Ellis. "The new speaker series will help forge ties among the small business community, ATB Financial and the University of Lethbridge, resulting in strong partnerships that benefit southern Alberta business.”

The widespread delivery of the speaker series is what makes the program so unique. Presentations from industry leaders and researchers will be made throughout southern Alberta, with a special focus on reaching rural communities.

“One of the things we love most at ATB Financial is being able to help small businesses succeed,” says Rob Smith, Vice-President, ATB Financial South. “At ATB, we like to think we know Alberta and Albertans better than any other financial institution. With that in mind, it’s exciting to partner with the U of L’s Faculty of Management for the ATB Financial Small Business Institute Speakers Series. Having established small business leaders share their knowledge and experience with the rest of southern Alberta can only make our local economy stronger.”

Led by Small Business Institute directors, Dr. M. Gordon Hunter and Dan Kazakoff, the series will be of interest to those currently involved or considering an investment or career in small business.

“The focus of our investigations is on privately held small businesses, varying from start-up businesses to those that are multi-generational,” says Hunter. “The small business is the lifeblood of many rural communities and it’s this unique focus of the Small Business Institute that makes its findings so relevant to the Lethbridge and Southern Alberta area.”

By further connecting with the rural communities that drive the southern Alberta economy, the SBI and students at the University of Lethbridge also realize a great benefit from this relationship.

“Our students will benefit from the exchange of ideas with the area’s business people,” says Kazakoff. “The whole notion is that with an institute, you get people together who might have a common interest in the subject area. By discussing ideas around the table with other individuals, you often find you get a greater depth of understanding. This series offers that opportunity for us to better connect with and understand the issues facing small business owners and operators in southern Alberta.”

Additional information

The Small Business Institute:

The Small Business Institute at the University of Lethbridge investigates issues related to small business. While the main focus will be Lethbridge and southern Alberta, investigations will incorporate the wider national and international community of small business and fellow researchers.

For more information on the U of L’s Small Business Institute, please visit


Upcoming ATB Financial Small Business Institute Speaker Series events:

Pincher Creek, AB
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Ramada Inn
1132 Table Mountain St.
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Vulcan, AB
Wednesday, February 6, 2012
Vulcan Lodge Hall
231 Centre St.
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Medicine Hat, AB
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Medicine Hat Lodge
1051 Ross Glen Drive SE
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Cardston, AB
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Cardston Civic Centre
67 3rd Avenue West
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Brooks, AB
Wednesday April 10, 2013
Heritage Inn
1217 - 2nd St. West

Lethbridge, AB
Small Business Forum
Date: April 2013
Location: TBA
Time: TBA


For more information or to register, please contact or call 403-329-5181


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