Michael Zawalsky named recipient of the Engineering Young Alumni Award

Western Engineering proudly announces Michael Zawalsky, BESc/HBA’14, as the recipient of the 2023 Engineering Young Alumni Award. This prestigious accolade recognizes Zawalsky's exceptional contributions to his profession and community. 

“We introduced the Young Alumni Award to recognize the outstanding achievements our alumni are making at an early stage of their career,” says Ken Coley, dean of Western Engineering. “What Michael has accomplished, not only his contributions to a purpose-driven investment organization but also his advocacy for the LGBT+ community, is truly exceptional. 

“At Western Engineering, we are immeasurably proud of the great engineers and even greater people that we get to call our alumni. Michael is a brilliant representative of our alumni and incredibly deserving of this award.” 

mikez-insAs a Managing Director in the Portfolio Value Creation (PVC) team at CPP Investments, Zawalsky has demonstrated his impact-driven approach in working with the C$100B+ of private companies in CPP Investments portfolio. Through his expertise and guidance, Zawalsky advises direct investment teams and portfolio companies on identifying and implementing value-creation programs. 

Working across offices in Toronto, London and currently San Francisco, he has achieved significant milestones working in various capacities within CPP Investments including playing a key role in advancing the Fund’s digital and analytics strategy for private investments.  

Zawalsky's recognition as the 2023 recipient underscores the significance of his contributions and sets him apart as a role model for aspiring engineering professionals. 

“Western Engineering has an alumni network filled with remarkable people that are doing such impressive things – so it is an incredible honour to receive this award. My time at Western was a foundational step in my journey – I met lifelong friends, learned lessons I’ll never forget and had a great time doing it. Western set me up to be the person I have become.” 

Zawalsky's journey in engineering began at Western University, where he pursued dual degrees with a Bachelor of Engineering Science (BEsc) in Integrated Engineering and an Honors Business Administration (HBA) from the Ivey Business School. 

He excelled in his studies, earning several prestigious awards, including the Integrated Engineering Gold Medal for achieving the highest graduating average in the program in 2014 and the Dual Degree Gold Medal for achieving the highest graduating average in the HBA program at Ivey in the same year. 

He was also revered for his dedication and leadership to Western Engineering, where he served as the president of the Undergraduate Engineering Society and co-chair of the Canadian Engineering Competition in 2014. Zawalsky's commitment to volunteerism was also acknowledged with the Bizmo Award for Volunteerism in the same year. 

Beyond his professional endeavours, Zawalsky actively engages with the alumni community and has made significant donations to advance the mission of Western Engineering. His commitment to fostering inclusivity and equality is exemplified through his involvement with Out Investors. As a co-founder and co-chair of this global network, Zawalsky plays a pivotal role in creating a more welcoming environment for LGBT+ investment professionals. Out Investors' networking events and mentorship programs, which span across chapters in New York, London, Toronto, and San Francisco, have garnered participation from over 100 leading venture capital firms, private equity companies, and asset managers globally. 

“I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of so many extraordinary communities that have supported me over the years, including Western. I hope that by giving back I can play a small role in propelling someone else forward to achieve their potential.” 

Looking ahead, Michael Zawalsky continues to pursue his passion for purpose-driven investment and driving positive change in the companies he works with. With his exceptional track record and visionary mindset, he aims to make a lasting impact on industry and society at large. His dedication to advancing inclusivity within the direct investing profession through Out Investors serves as a testament to his commitment to equality.