Vancouver BC – June 13, 2019 – This morning, Zeeshan Hayat Co-founder & CEO of Prizm Media Inc., returns to school to receive the Douglas College Distinguished Alumni Award for his achievements as an entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Amongst a crowd of business graduates, family, and friends, Hayat provided an acceptance speech to the audience, expressing his gratitude to the college institution, his grandfather, his wife/co-founder, and the team at Prizm Media for his success and the honour of being a Distinguished Alumni. Here’s a full video of the speech:
In the midst of his college studies between the late 90s and early 2000s, Hayat established an online e-commerce site with his co-founder (and wife) Karina. By the time Hayat graduated in 2001, the business had grown beyond the original intent of generating supplemental income. Hayat decided to put his acceptance into SFU on hold, stating: “We said we’d give it three years, and if it didn’t work out, we could always go back to school.“
18 years later, the business would evolve into a digital healthcare technology and media company that connects with patients across North America for mail-order delivery services and discount offers on their medical prescriptions, devices, supplies, and services.
Under his leadership, the company has created an impact in the lives of so many people. From building a global team of 600, his personal commitment to giving back to the community from education, healthcare advancement, poverty alleviation, and interfaith dialogue. Hayat’s most notable work includes co-establishing the 100 Meals a Week initiative since 2007, which has delivered over 160,000 meals and necessities to the homeless community in DTES as well as being a member of the Future Leaders program at St. Paul’s hospital, an arm of the St Paul’s hospital foundation which focuses on awareness and fundraising for programs that tackle the Opioid crisis, the new St. Paul’s hospital and the promotion of innovative technologies developed by the hospital.
Hayat is also no stranger to helping students with career development as well as providing insights on his role as an entrepreneur as a guest speaker and mentor at Douglas College, SFU’s MiB program, and Junior Achievement.
In Hayat’s speech, as he reflects on his time at Douglas College, he describes learning tenacity at the institution:
“When my co-founder Karina and I had a discussion about starting a business in these very hallways, it took tenacity to believe that we could build a business while balancing the obligations of school and work. Giving up on my dreams was never an option.”
As Hayat closes his remarks upon the graduation class, he encourages everyone to take a moment to reflect how they got there:
“Let’s acknowledge the people who have helped you get to this point in your life.
From family to friends.
From teachers and professors.
Even those people who may no longer be a part of your life but taught you valuable lessons, that helped you get here.
Let’s be grateful for living in a beautiful and peaceful country.
Let’s be grateful for being afforded the opportunity to receive an education from an institution that challenges, enlightens, and opens doors to lives of passion and purpose.
And when you get an opportunity…
Don’t forget to pay it forward.”
To learn more details on the Douglas College Distinguished Alumni Awards, visit: https://www.douglascollege.ca/student-services/post-douglas/alumni-association/distinguished-alumni
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