By Laura Lennie, News Staff
Fred Losani has garnered top marks for going above and beyond inside and outside the office.
The owner and chief executive officer of Losani Homes has been named the Goodman School of Business Distinguished Graduate for 2012/13. The award is presented to a graduate of the school – formerly the faculty of business – at Brock University for outstanding business or personal achievement.
He received the award during a special ceremony last Wednesday at the St. Catharines Club.
“When I got up to receive it, I said, ‘Clearly, you’ve made a mistake because I went to school with a lot of people who I thought were smarter than myself,’” laughed Losani, who graduated from the school in 1987. “I just felt very honoured. I had a great time when I went to school there.”
Goodman School of Business dean Don Cyr said Losani is more than deserving of the honour.
“Fred has had outstanding professional success as the CEO of Losani Homes, a company that has won numerous awards and has held its status as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies since 2007,” he said, adding recipients are selected by a committee comprised of himself, associate deans, chairs of the departments and two graduates. “He also has shown great dedication to his community through his adventurous efforts to raise funds and awareness for Hamilton children’s charities. For these reasons, he was considered to be an outstanding candidate for our distinguished graduate award.”
Losani joined the Losani Homes team in 1985, when he was in his second year at the school.
The company opened its doors as a builder in 1976. It was founded by Losani’s father John and brother Lino.
“From the time I was about 17, I knew exactly how I was going to fit into the business,” Losani said. “My experience was a bit different than the normal student when I was there (at the school) because I was already an owner of the company; I was experiencing my education from the perspective of having a business and being involved in one since I was a kid. It was an undergraduate program, but for me it was almost like a graduate school situation because I was always able to relate what I was learning to the business.”
Losani Homes is renowned for its award-winning designs, craftsmanship and customer service.
Losani said it has been a “privilege” serving Stoney Creek and the surrounding community for so many years.
“I think that, to a large extent, we think we know our way around housing, we know our way around communities and I think a large part of having a good understanding of that is our family’s a very tight unit and we celebrate family occasions in a big way. We’ve done a lot of living and a lot of sharing as a family, so on the design component side of it, we’ve been solid,” he said, when asked the key to the company’s success. “We’ve been able to establish a brand that has an identity; it takes a long time to get to a position like that. We’re all very proud of it and we treat it with a great deal of respect and our employees see it the same way, our partners in business see it the same way.”
In addition to his business success, Losani is passionate about adventure and charity.
He has travelled to both the north and south poles and recently, along with a few other influential business leaders in Hamilton, successfully completed a 30-day, 855-kilometre trek of the Bruce Trail, called the Bruce Trail Expedition for Kids, to raise funds and awareness for Hamilton children’s charities.
Losani and his team, through these initiatives, have raised more than $3 million for inner-city kids.
“If you continue to try to grow your business and keep running successfully, you kind of have to redefine what that starts to mean,” he said. “For us, it meant becoming more involved in the community and leveraging the brand that we’ve created, in order to be able to make an impact from a social responsibility perspective, so we involve ourselves in helping a lot of charities in the community and then leveraging our relationships with our vendors and partners to get them to come to the table to make contributions for these charities as well. When you are able to achieve some business excellence in the building of a brand and then you’re able to bring it back home, kind of complete the circle, and give it back to the community, it starts to make sense.”
Losani said real leadership means being a leader in many perspectives.
“Being able to pound the desk and tell people to get back out there and increase sales, it’s hard to be able to do that unless you can show that you’re leading in a number of different areas,” he said. “Since we’ve become more socially-minded, more community-minded, since we’ve made it very much one of our top five principles that we’ve put out there every day, we’ve done nothing but grow and had more success. There is an absolute correlation of success between what you do in the community and what happens within your own corporation.”