2009 Honorary Diploma Recipient – John Buhler

John BuhlerEach year Red River College awards a Red River College Honorary Diploma to an individual who demonstrates high standards of excellence in their personal and professional achievements and whose involvement in the community is widely recognized.

John Buhler is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Buhler Industries Inc., one of Canada’s largest manufacturers of agricultural equipment.

John’s first job was as a CPR Telegraph Operator and Assistant Station Agent. While owning an automobile dealership for 15 years, he also acted as Secretary-Treasurer for Standard Gas Engine Works. John purchased this company in 1969 and renamed the Morden factory “Farm King Ltd.”

In 1981, he also purchased the Winnipeg factory.

Known as the “turnaround king”, John acquired Standard Industries in 1983, as well as Morden Fine Foods, Birchwood Furniture, Ideal Glass and Mirror, Greensteel Industries, Riteway Industries and Craftech Manufacturing.

He amalgamated all these companies in 1994 to form Buhler Industries Inc., which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

He has been a leader within the agricultural equipment industry, serving on numerous boards and committees, including the Prairie Implement Manufacturers Association and the Canadian Farm Industrial Institute.

As a result of his business success, John has been an active and generous philanthropist, contributing over $13 million to a variety of community organizations and capital campaigns. Notable donations include $6 million for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, $3.75 million for the John Buhler Research Centre at Health Sciences Centre, and $500,000 toward construction of Red River College’s Exchange District Campus. John was the recipient of the “Manitoba Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 1997 and awarded Morden, Manitoba’s “Citizen of the Year” in 1998. In 2002, he was presented the Queen’s Jubilee Medal symbolizing the award for community service.