A college education in the creative industries gave ambitious graduate, Elizabeth Naumovski ’84 a pathway to success.
By Linda (Freeman) Rourke ‘90
Meet Mohawk alumni Elizabeth Naumovski, CM – Vice President Marketing, Caldwell Securities. A Mohawk Alumni from 1984 who remembers Mohawk feeling like a family. “The most important memory that has resonated with me was the comradery. It didn’t matter what your gender or background was, we were all equal and we were all there to get an education and help each other. The team spirit was strong and we did everything together during and after class.”
Upon graduation, Elizabeth joined the television broadcasting world with enthusiasm, drive, and positivity. Igniting a career that spanned over a decade. She started at Channel 47, now Omni Television, eventually landing a position with Southam News where she helped launch Canada’s first daily business show, Business World, on CBC Newsworld.
Eight years in, the show was shutting down and with changes happening in the media industry – specifically the convergence within the different media entities, TV, radio, and print, Elizabeth thought maybe it was time for a change. The producers at Business World suggested that she look at the Canadian Securities Course to understand the financial industry. “I was speaking to our Business World guests and asking them whether they or their firms were hiring. At that time, Thomas S. Caldwell, Chairman, Caldwell Securities Ltd. said you are welcome to use one of our client rooms. It will get you downtown and dressed up so that you are not at home sitting alone and feeling sorry for yourself. By the end of my six weeks of networking and looking for a job, Mr. Caldwell offered me a job as Marketing Manager. That was November 1997. So, here I am, twenty-five years later.”
Her eagerness to learn and grasp the world of finance paid off, Elizabeth wrote her Canadian Securities Course exam, the Conducts and Practices exam, and the Professional Financial Planning exam. If that wasn’t enough she got her Chartered Marketer designation and became Vice President of Marketing at Caldwell Securities along the way. Her next professional bucket list item – NACD Corporate Director’s Certification.
Her 25-year career on Bay Street, with the same company, is almost unheard of these days. A study from Columbia College in Alberta stated that although many Baby Boomers in Canada had spent 12 years at the same job and many longer than 20 years with a single employer, the tables are turning. With the changes in the economy and education, more people in the job force are being driven to explore new avenues of work. Today, research suggests that Canadians may hold about 15 jobs in a lifetime. So well done Elizabeth on your 25 years with Caldwell.
During her time in a male-dominated industry, Elizabeth found mentorship as an incredible form of giving back, and she has done plenty throughout her career. “Philanthropy isn’t just about donating money. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, I have given over 30 virtual speeches with a focus on financial literacy and female empowerment and talked about how they can be just as successful in their personal lives as they are in their careers. I hope to give the next generation the drive and education to be successful and to give back just as easily and passionately.”
Supporting that next generation is something Elizabeth is doing. One of her proudest moments was receiving a Mohawk College Alumni of Distinction award in 2020. Since then she has given back through facilitating a workshop for women in finance for Mohawk alumni and supports a Mohawk student each year with an award.
“When I won the Alumni of Distinction Award in 2020 I was impressed that the award came with a bursary or scholarship. I chose to use my award funds towards a bursary for a single mother enrolled in a STEM course. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. There are always fewer women working in STEM industries. This award came to me during the height of the pandemic and lockdowns. I spoke at the Empire Club of Canada in July 2020 and talked about how women, especially single moms were hit the hardest during the pandemic. Without child care, most single moms had to give up their jobs or lost them. This was not new news as child care has always been difficult for single moms, but it became common knowledge during the pandemic and the stories kept fueling the headlines. Then I thought about the bursary some more and decided to create a yearly bursary for a single mother enrolled in a Mohawk STEM course. I am proud of this bursary. It is extremely important to give back to support today’s students. We need to make sure that they are better than us and more successful than we were. We need to give them better opportunities so that the next generation can succeed”.
Elizabeth still uses the education in creative industries that she received at Mohawk, through the creation of a half-hour YouTube show ‘Finance is Personal’ and is also a seasoned speaker, moderator & emcee. She has moderated panels for the Canadian Securities Exchange, Women in Capital Markets and the DeGroote Women’s Professional Network. She hosts her own Financial Literacy webcasts & participates on panel discussions, most recently on International Women’s Day titled “Breaking the Glass ceiling”.
If you are interested in supporting student success, check out mohawkcollege.ca/foundation