FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2003
Contact: Mitra Kiamanesh
(NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)—From the magnificent ski runs of Québéc to the tree-lined mountainside of Vancouver's North Shore to the bustling business community of Hong Kong, Canadian expatriate David Levy has left little doubt that he knows quality when he sees it.
This fact was reinforced on Tuesday, March 25 when he signed an agreement to fund two lucrative entrance scholarships worth $20,000 at North Vancouver’s Capilano College. These funds are for deserving students wanting to enrol in the Asia Pacific Management Cooperative program (APMCP), offered by the College’s groundbreaking McRae Institute of International Management.
“David Levy’s patronage is very encouraging,” said Institute chair, Mitra Kiamanesh. “It is a sign of his approval of the quality of our programs.”
The Fely Carlos Levy Scholarship for Asian Studies recognizes the contribution of David’s wife, Fely Carlos Levy. It will cover the cost of tuition for the student’s two years of study in the APMCP. Criteria required includes full-time enrolment in the APMCP program, Canadian citizenship, strong leadership and academic performance in previous studies and a proven interest in Asian studies.
The second scholarship is called the David Levy Chinese Heritage Scholarship. It provides $10,000 towards the cost of tuition for the two years of study in the APMCP and is for an international student of Chinese descent (not a landed immigrant), who is interested in Chinese cultural heritage.
Both scholarships will be awarded during the fall 2003 term and applied to tuition for 2003-04 and 2004-05.
“Since my introduction to the APMCP, I have been extremely impressed with people’s commitment to the program,” Levy said. “These individuals and the Institute’s programs offer an opportunity of tremendous success to their students.”
As a defiant young man, Levy eschewed entering the family watch business in Montréal and instead took to the neighbouring mountains to pursue a life of moguls and ski instruction. He continued his teaching job, which had originally begun when he was only 14 years old, but eventually decided to make a career change. He entered the world of life insurance and at the ripe old age of 17, was named rookie of the year. While Levy’s destiny began to take shape, his father finally convinced him to bring his obvious business talent to the family company.
“I am the fifth generation within my family that has worked in the watch industry,” Levy said, while on a recent visit to the College. “I joined the family business in the early ‘80s and went on a business trip to Switzerland. While there, another company offered me a sales job in Hong Kong.”
In 1985, Levy opened the largest watch import office in Hong Kong. He stayed with the organization for two years and in 1987 decided to open up his own business. The Watch People Co. Ltd. provided agency and quality control work for the watch and clock industry. His first office in Southern China was opened in 1989.
“All my friends and family started calling me for their overseas needs,” he said with a laugh. “They were asking me to coordinate everything from their cord business to their plush business, so I started to broaden my horizons from the watch industry.
“In 1991, I changed the name of my company to Quality Control Services Ltd. and concentrated totally on quality control work. At that time there were lots of products coming out of China, but few had quality regulations. It was an obvious need.”
In 1992, Levy opened his second office in Guangzhou, China where he began providing quality control work for other industries. That same year he set up a plastics facility for plastic hangers for Kmart and Walmart. It wasn’t long before he was tasked to set up distribution networks of their hangers in the Philippines, then Bangladesh, and then Indonesia.
“I would set up a company’s business standards program and guarantee quality, then hand it over to its local manufacturers,” he explained.
In 1995, QCS started doing inspections for Kmart on everything in China except clothing.
“From there, all other retailers started approaching us,” he said. “Everything we do is completely unique in the industry from systems to billings.”
Today, QCS’s main area of business is in the inspection of hard line items ranging from watches and clocks to jewelry, toys, electronics, furnishings, hardware and other consumer goods. Headquartered in Hong Kong, the company has branch offices in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Shanghai with approximately 250 inspection staff working in more than 1,500 different factories.
In 2000, Levy had a serendipitous encounter with his cousin, John Bell, honorary consulate of the Ivory Coast and former Canadian Ambassador of Malaysia. At that time, Bell was a senior advisor to Capilano College on its international programs.
“John asked me to hire some APMCP students for cooperative work placements,” Levy said. “At that time we were in China visiting the Canadian consulate. The Canadian government had just cancelled it internship program, so we discussed the viability of setting up a partnership between QCS, the Canadian consulate in Guangzhou and Capilano College. An APMCP student would be hired to do a co-op work placement with my company and then spend time working for the consulate. The first year we tried this, the student split time working for me and for the consulate in Guangzhou. The next year, another student gained experience with QCS and the consulate in Shanghai.”
These events culminated with Levy signing on March 25, 2003 a terms of reference that sees the establishment of two entrance scholarships for students choosing to study in the APMCP at Capilano College.
“I’ve become very fond of the APMCP and the benefits it brings to Canada and the rest of the world,” said the 41-year-old. “I want to build relations between Asia and Canada and be involved in enhancing the transfer of knowledge. This includes offering students an opportunity to get more involved in business ventures overseas.”
Levy’s generosity continues to be extended towards students in the McRae Institute. In 2003, QCS is going to hire at least two more students to work in co-op placements in Shanghai and in Guangzhou. Levy has also hired an associate (student) from the McRae Institute’s Latin American Management program (LAMP) to work in a new business venture he recently opened in Vancouver.
“David is a mentor to the associates he hires and is a great source of reference for McRae’s faculty, providing them with feedback on industry’s needs,” Kiamanesh said. “He is truly an example of a creative and effective entrepreneur.”
Known for its innovative programs, some of which are unique in Canada, Capilano College is committed to the continued development of international education programs. Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, the College’s three campuses serve 7,500 credit and 7,000 non-credit students annually. For more information, visit: www.capilanou.ca
The award-winning APMCP and LAMP are unique internationally recognized post-graduate education programs. They create a supportive community of well-trained internationalists who form a management network and enhance Canada’s global connections. Through their educational and professional experience, graduates acquire the competencies to succeed in today’s new economy incorporating areas of change management, leadership, flexibility and entrepreneurial initiative. Candidates for these two programs are selected from across Canada and around the world, bringing a range of diverse backgrounds to the classroom. The programs combine nine months of academic training in Vancouver with a one-year paid work term placement with various companies, non-profit organizations and government agencies in the Asia Pacific region and Latin America.
For more information on the McRae Institute, call 604.984.4981, or visit these Web sites:
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For more information, contact Mitra Kiamanesh at 604.984.1793