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Adam and Yien Watson


Adam Watson’s enterprising spirit, nurtured by a university environment that encourages innovative thinking, has led to great achievements in this young alum’s life.  As a student at UTSC, Adam served as President of the SCSU. In this leadership role, he played a large part in securing support and in the planning and development of the UTSC Student Centre which is now central to student life. He credits the leadership experiences he had at UTSC as critical to his successes.  To assist with paying for his own tuition fees, Adam and his best friend, Jonathan Agg ventured out one summer manicuring lawns, building decks and maintaining the grounds of their neighbours. The quality of their work garnered them more and more clientele so that what started as a part-time hobby grew into a full-time lucrative business. By 2005, while still students at UTSC, they founded Pristine Property Management Limited, a full service grounds-keeping and landscaping maintenance services enterprise which today employees approximately 350 people and services the greater GTA. In addition, Adam is President and CEO of Adam Watson Holdings which holds interest in a number of Canadian and American companies. Largely focused on real estate investment and management, AWHI Inc. also has ownership in sectors such as shipping, industry, and retail wholesale and trade. 

Adam met his wife Yien Ha on campus, and as their relationship blossomed, so did their dedication to UTSC.  As a student, Yien was actively involved in student life and upon graduation she held a position in Student Affairs.  However, Yien also shared the entrepreneurial spirit! She left the academic field to pursue her passion in floral design and arrangement and seized the opportunity to obtain ownership of Ellis Flowers. Today she is President and Creative Director of Ellis Flowers in Scarborough which has been serving the Greater Toronto Area since 1932. 

In addition to managing hectic schedules and raising two wonderful young children, Adam and Yien are active supporters of UTSC and of their community.  Yien volunteers at a seniors’ retirement residence teaching seniors the art of flower arrangement and she is actively involved in the Rotary Club of Scarborough and Lion’s Club – Highland Creek.

Earlier this year, they demonstrated their continued commitment to UTSC by establishing the Adam and Yien Watson Awards in Achievement.  The award will support UTSC students entering their second, third or fourth year of study with financial need and who demonstrate excellent academic achievement.  In previous years, they generously supported the Leadership Development Program at UTSC which enables students to build leadership and life skills that foster personal development. Adam and Yien are a testament to the unique experiences offered at UTSC that inspire leadership and community spirit, along with exceptional academic opportunities. Leadership indeed!

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News/Events / Giving Back
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