Odette building
Odette Building

Michael Grail MBA '09 Visits Odette

Michael Grail chatting with MBA’s l-r Shay Whiston, Christopher Easby, Paul Brereton, Michael, and Natalie Sykora

Michael Grail MBA ’09, on a recent visit back to Odette School of Business, posed this question to the current MBA Class of 2019.

He spoke about the benefits of what his MBA experience did for him. “It was one of the most enriching experiences of my life.” It taught me that academia was critical for use as a benchmark in making decisions in the business world and beyond, provides a basis for personal development, plus I had made life-long friendships,” Grail stated.  Early on he and his wife Paula, also an MBA grad ’94 (Flood), recognized the importance of continuous learning, “education coupled with experience creates “influence and power”.

Michael Grail, serves as the President of the Wallaceburg Lakers Jr. C Hockey Team. He is an Owner/Operator of multiple Tim Horton’s locations, both in Canada and the USA. Also he is the founder and Chairperson of the Children’s Treatment Centre Foundation of Chatham-Kent. 


He explained to the audience that he has “My 4 C’s of Leadership”, courage, confidence, commitment and compassion. Surround yourself with great people, empower your team to handle the details, know the details so that you can provide leadership in mitigating risk and creating value for your organization. Your team’s success relies on your focus on executing and achieving the strategic plan.


He also went on to say that Leadership is an obligation from the board room, to your team, your community and your family. Learn how to fail quickly and move on. Your greatest failure in life could simply be attaining this level of knowledge and choosing not to share it with others. Be a mentor, teach or volunteer – give back, choose to make a difference. It is all about balance to keep you sharp and focused.


When our friends are all planning their next trip, what to do on weekends and Paula and I are running a 24/7 operation – sure we would like to go and do things with them but our lifestyle was a choice we made and to answer the question I first asked – Yes, I Am!