Home » Meet SFU’s 2024 Outstanding Alumni Award recipients

Meet SFU’s 2024 Outstanding Alumni Award recipients

Kluane Adamek (Aagé), Anne Giardini, Elio Luongo & Poh Tan
Kluane Adamek (Aagé), Anne Giardini, Elio Luongo & Poh Tan

SFU shone a spotlight on the remarkable achievements of our grads with the 2024 Outstanding Alumni Awards, celebrating members of our community who are serving society, advancing knowledge and making many other positive impacts on the world.

SFU’s honourees this year are Kluane Adamek (Aagé), a visionary leader and the youngest woman to hold the title of Yukon Regional Chief; Anne Giardini, a business executive, lawyer, writer and community advocate who served as SFU’s chancellor; Elio Luongo, an esteemed CEO, international board director, and advisor dedicated to creating opportunities for Canadians and improving equity in the boardroom; and Poh Tan, an entrepreneur and scientist advancing more inclusive STEM education.

Read more about how these dynamic individuals exemplify the spirit of SFU's vibrant community: demonstrating how determination, leadership, and a passion for meaningful change can lead to extraordinary outcomes.

Kluane Adamek (Aagé), EMBA IBL ’19
Yukon Regional Chief, Assembly of First Nations
Award category: Service to the Community

Regional Chief Kluane Adamek (Aagé) is a citizen of Kluane First Nation, and is from the Dakl’aweidi Clan. In 2023, Kluane and her family proudly welcomed their daughter, Tayāna Copper-Jane.

Kluane is passionate and committed to uplifting and creating opportunities for the next generation of leaders. She has worked in support of youth leaders throughout her life and career, most recently, supporting the advancement of the Yukon First Nation Climate Action Fellowship and the Yukon First Nation: Reconnection Vision, led by 13 Yukon First Nation youth climate leaders.

In 2019, Kluane completed her Indigenous Business Leadership Executive MBA at SFU, where she further expanded her governance and leadership experience. In 2021, she was named one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence, and was part of the WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100. She was also awarded with the 2023 David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award.

Kluane has served as the Assembly of First Nation (AFN) Yukon Regional Chief since 2018. She approaches issues and solutions through a values-based leadership approach, and is deeply committed to advancing the interests of the 14 Yukon First Nations.

Kluane proudly leads the AFN National Portfolios for Environment, Climate Change, Water Stewardship, and Modern Treaties. Her leadership has been critical in advancing environmental action as a top priority for First Nations, both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Anne Giardini BA ’80, LLD ’22 (honorary)
SFU Chancellor Emeritus and Corporate Director
Award category: Service to the University

Chancellor of SFU from 2014 to 2020, a member of SFU's Board of Governors from 2010 to 2014, and an alumnus herself, Anne Giardini, OC, OBC, KC, is a long-time champion of the university.

As a celebrated corporate director, lawyer, community advocate and author, Anne is acclaimed for her groundbreaking leadership in the Canadian resource industry and contributions to numerous community and nonprofit boards, and for supporting the advancement of women, the environment, higher education and the arts.

In the business community, Anne pursued a successful two-decade career with the Canadian subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser Company, where she enhanced sustainability and ethical practices in a variety of leadership roles including as president from 2008 to 2014.

Anne has written two best-selling novels, and has been a news columnist and public speaker, covering topics including the environment, law, diversity and inclusion.

For her contributions to SFU, the business community and society as a whole, Anne was presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2022.

Elio Luongo, BBA ’83
Chief Executive Officer and Senior Partner, KPMG in Canada
Award category: Professional Achievement

With three decades of experience serving clients at KPMG, Elio Luongo has advised some of Canada’s largest companies, helping these businesses grow and achieve long-term success.

He has held senior leadership roles at one of the world’s most prominent professional services firms, including acting as KPMG Canada’s CEO and Senior Partner and a member of the Global Board of KPMG International.

Through his inclusive and visionary leadership, Elio has created career development opportunities for thousands of aspiring CPAs growing KPMG in Canada from 6,000 to 10,000 employees. As a champion of diverse teams, he has led by example, appointing women to more than 50% of the roles on his executive team. Elio oversaw the appointment of the company’s inaugural Chief Mental Health Officer – the first in corporate Canada – and KPMG Canada has been recognized for numerous employer awards, including  by Forbes Canada for being the  Best Employer for Diversity in 2022. He is also a member of the 30 percent Club which advocates for greater representation of women in Board Seats and C-Suites.

As a proud SFU alumnus, Elio has served on SFU’s 50th Anniversary Campaign Cabinet, as a member of SFU’s Board of Governors and as a Chair of the Dean’s External Advisory Board for the Beedie School of Business.

Dr. Poh Tan, BSc ’02 and PhD ’24
Founder and CEO, STEMedge Academy Inc.
Award category: Rising Star for Service to the Community

Poh Tan is an entrepreneur, stem cell scientist, and one of BC’s most renowned STEM educators.

As an educational consultant for BC Hydro’s Power Smart for School’s program, a long-term volunteer at Vancouver’s Science World, and a researcher at Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association, Poh has spent hundreds of hours helping the community build culturally-inclusive education programming. Through her initiatives, she has inspired hundreds of fellow educators to adopt inclusive teaching materials, including post-secondary instructors in SFU’s Decolonizing and Indigenizing STEM Community of Practice.

The two-time TEDx speaker previously served as the President of the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology and is a delegate of the National Council of Women of Canada to the UN Commission on the Status of Women contributing to the UN’s Zero Draft on Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective. Poh was the inaugural recipient of the Kris Magnusson Emerging Leaders Award in Education, a YWCA Women of Distinction Award Nominee in Education, Training, and Development, and was recently the recipient of the Mantella Corporation Entrepreneur BIPOC Grant Award in recognition of BIPOC business leaders.

In 2019, Poh established STEMedge Academy Inc, a cultural-inclusive education consultancy that advises organizations on local STEM outreach programs.

She holds a PhD in Experimental Medicine from UBC and is completing her second doctorate in SFU’s Educational Theory and Practice Program, having successfully defended her thesis research on understanding the development of scientific literacy through different lenses, including Indigenous Hawaiian epistemology.

Poh is proud to be an SFU alumnus where she continues to mentor SFU undergraduate students across different disciplines.

This story is part of our summer 2024 edition of Engage, our magazine celebrating the impact of SFU’s donor community.
To read more stories, please visit the Engage landing page.