Engineering Now .: Volume 4 - Edition 6 .: March 2008

17th Annual Lynda Shaw Distinguished Lecture Series

The Shaw family poses with speaker Jennifer MacDonald (in the middle with glasses).

Thursday, March 6, 2008

This year the 17th Annual Lynda Shaw Lecture featured guest speaker Jennifer MacDonald, President of Cenabal Gourmet Organics.

Jennifer, who is a graduate from Western Engineering (BESc and MESc), founded her company in 2005 after discovering a manufacturing process through which she could produce and sell Canada’s first shelf-stable flax oil salad dressing.

The product came out of her desire to find ways to include healthy flax oil and omega-3 acids in foods – substances that were helpful in treating her young son’s eczema.

During her lecture, Jennifer traced her path from school to a successful professional engineer working in industry, to her time as a stay-at-home mom, and finally to her beginnings as a budding entrepreneur.

Previously, Jennifer has appeared on the CBC program the “Dragons’ Den”, where she pitched her business to several high profile Canadian business moguls in the hopes of attracting investment.

She screened her clips from the show for the audience at the lecture. It was no small feat, but Jennifer managed to impress with her product knowledge and business sense, and walked away with $200,000 in new funds.

Her company is now expanding and has just signed its first national distribution agreement.

On hand for the lecture were several members of the Shaw family, including Lynda’s mother, step-father and her brother Grahame.

The Lynda Shaw Memorial Lecture Series was established by Western Engineering in memory of Lynda Shaw, a third-year Western mechanical engineering student who was tragically murdered near Highway 401 in 1990.

Lynda was a graduate of Centennial Secondary School in Brampton where she received an Ontario Scholarship and was the winner of the school’s proficiency award in Mathematics and Accounting. Lynda entered Western with an Admission Scholarship in 1987 and served for two years on the Mechanical Engineering Club Executive.


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.: Becky Blue
Spencer Engineering Building, Room 2074
Telephone: (519) 850-2917 Fax: (519) 661-3808