Ron Southern, Canadian businessman, Died at 85


Ronald D. Southern was born on July 25, 1930, and died on January 21, 2016.

He was a Canadian businessman.

Mr.Southern was the founder and chairman of Calgary-based ATCO Group and was also the founder of the Spruce Meadows equestrian centre.

Himself and his father each invested $2,000 in the original Alberta Trailer Hire 1947, which later became ATCO.

Ron gained a bachelor of science degree from the University of Alberta in 1953 and began to work full-time for the company.

Since the year 2007, the southern familily remain majority shareholders of ATCO.

Ron has passed the title of Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer to his daughter, Nancy Southern, in January 2000.

He and his wife Margaret Southern are the founders and co-chairs of Spruce Meadows.

Completed in 1975, it was built for their daughters who had long been involved with competitive equestrian riding.

The current President and Chief Executive Officer of Spruce Meadows was Linda Southern-Heathcott.

Mr. Ron Southern had received Canada’s highest civilian honor when he was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada in 1986.

Mr. Southern was inducted as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1990, in recognition for his promotion of Anglo-Canadian relations in the fields of commerce, culture and sport.

He was promoted to the level of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), in June 1995.

In August 2003, Southern was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion in 2006.

In 2012, Southern was appointed to the Alberta Order of Excellence, while in the same year himself and wife Margaret were awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Donald Ethell.

Ron has received honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Calgary (1976)and the University of Alberta (1991).

Mr.Southern received the International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award in the 90’s, it was presented by the University of Manitoba through the Faculty of Management and in 1995 Southern was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

Southern was named Financial Post CEO of the Year, in 1996.

Ron and his wife were inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

Ron Southern passed away ay 85 yrs old.