1997 Distinguished Alumnus
Jay Westman (BA '84), Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Jayman BUILT; Chairman and CEO, JWI Investments; Co-Founder of the Westman Charitable Foundation
"A few years ago, I set up the Westman Charitable Foundation. Since then, we've worked with the MS Society on a campaign in conjunction with the Flames and the Oilers. That generated about $700,000 and we did a $1-million donation for MS trial research (at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute) and then another $1 million as part of a group donation that donated $5 million to create more human trials for MS research. My sister, Diana Joseph, is president of the foundation. My sister and her daughter have been fighting MS their whole lives. And I like to get involved in things that make a difference in the community.
On the company side, we've decided to become a legacy company, which means we are going to be professionally managed and governed. I've created a board of directors and we're getting the company ready so it will continue on past me and for generations to come. My next challenge is to become a very good mentor and move away from being a doer. It's my biggest challenge because I am a get stuff done kind of guy.
And we're doing the biggest project we have taken on in the 37 years we've been a company. It's called Westman Village after my dad. It's a resort community on Lake Mahogany, something that has never been done before in North America.
I'm not winding down. I want to template things. Once we have Westman Village done, I can foresee us doing multiple versions of it before I am not here."
Jay Westman co-founded Jayman Homes in Calgary with his father in 1980 and graduated from Business Administration at SAIT in 1984. The father-and-son team built the company into one of Western Canada's largest homebuilders. Heavily involved in giving back to the community, Jay has donated time and money to a variety of organizations and recently established the Westman Charitable Foundation. In 2016, the company announced its biggest project yet, the $300-million resort community of Westman Village in Calgary.