Gatis Roze first came to SFU in the early 1970s as a visiting student from the University of Waterloo. A track and field athlete, the Ontario native was recruited by SFU coach, Hal Werner. At first uncertain about continuing his studies on the West Coast, he soon found his way, creating lasting friendships with teammates and forging a lifelong entrepreneurial path. Gatis stayed at SFU and completed his undergraduate degree in business. Today, he’s made a generous commitment to his alma mater by dedicating a gift to SFU in his estate plan.
Gatis’ business acumen caught the attention of professors and senior administrators early on. Soon after his arrival at SFU, he opened a sporting goods store on campus. He successfully secured space in the gym and pitched Olympic Sports in Vancouver to place their goods on consignment in the store for 50% of the profits. Gatis opened Convenience Sports in 1975 with no risk and no capital.
Convenience Sports was a highly successful enterprise, providing both merchandise and jobs. Run exclusively by SFU student-athletes, the store offered many popular promotions on hot items such as squash rackets. The store also became the first in Canada to import and sell New Balance shoes.
Gatis was encouraged to pursue graduate studies in business. Selling the store to another SFU graduate cemented this opportunity and enabled him to afford tuition to Stanford where he received his MBA in 1981.
With degrees in hand, Gatis went on to help launch several start-ups in Silicon Valley, including DataTech which went public on the NASDAQ in the early 1990s. Due to his early career success, he was able to retire at age 40. For the past 25 years, Gatis has worked full-time as a stock market investor. A Certified Market Technician, he has shared his financial expertise by teaching courses to thousands of investors in the Seattle area and beyond. In 2016, Gatis co-authored an investment book with his son, Grayson, entitled Tensile Trading: The 10 Essential Stages of Stock Market Mastery. His bi-weekly blog, The Traders Journal, on StockCharts.com has achieved a global following.
Reflecting on his years in Vancouver, Gatis shares an abiding appreciation for his SFU education. “SFU provided a strong foundation for everything I’ve achieved,” he says, “and my hope is that SFU graduates make the same claim and long term commitment.”