Laurier Grads Soar is a multi-part series that has returned for the 2017-18 year. The segment features former Wilfrid Laurier University athletes and student-leaders in the Athletics and Recreation Department, and the success they have enjoyed since leaving Laurier. Written by award-winning journalist David Grossman, different features will be released throughout the year that will emphasize the role Athletics and Recreation played in helping them achieve success.Todd Cooney: Vice President and Broker, CBRE Limited
One thing about Todd Cooney, he’s always searching for greatness.
As a teenager looking for a post-secondary institution, Cooney had gone scouring for just the right place to invigorate his already impressive credentials in the classroom and in athletics.
He found it: Wilfrid Laurier University.
“The culture of Laurier is what did it,” he said. “It was a communal place, where there was so much participation. You just felt good about how people treated you and, for me, getting to meet the President of Laurier meant a great deal. No one else matched it.”
To some, that may be trivial. Not to Cooney, who felt a lift and spur of encouragement that made his choice so much easier.
Cooney had been swayed by many things on his excursion through the Laurier campus and, despite being recruited by several Canadian universities and was close to attending Queen’s, he was just so overwhelmed with Laurier’s combination of excellence in academics, sports and community involvement.
“My parents liked the push on study halls and the coaches cared about us as people more than just athletes,” he said. “It was the complete package. Laurier turned out to be everything that I had expected. We went from boys to men and, overall, my years at Laurier made me a better person.”
Cooney admits that sports had been a big factor, especially coming from a Burlington-area high school that had been notorious for dominant teams.
A multi-sport athlete with huge aspirations, always focused on renewed diligence and attention to detail, he was devoted to football and basketball - since his days at Notre Dame Secondary included all-star recognition and academic grades that were on the honor roll.
At Laurier, there was plenty of hustle and hope as Cooney focused on basketball and had many fond memories with the highlight being an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) sudden death playoff game.
“Beating Brock, and scoring the winning basket is something I will always remember,” recalled Cooney, who scored 21 points and also dislocated a finger that day. “The game was one thing, but getting an opportunity to look around an see so many Laurier fans out to support us was remarkable.”
Win, lose or just having fun was captivating for Cooney, always motivated and committed. He capped his days at Laurier with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and Business.
One of Cooney’s major focuses in life has been to give back to the community devoting countless hours to support charities and organizations. That was obvious at Laurier as Cooney, and his colleagues, raised $50,000 between “Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer” and “Hockey Helps the Homeless”.
After his student days at Laurier, Cooney remained a committee member for the annual Laurier Golf Classic, devoted time to the Adopt-A-Hawk program, and is a board member for the men’s basketball team. And there’s more, when his sister-in-law died in 2015, Cooney, and family members, launched a “Raising Cancer Awareness” event.
“There have been so many things that have given me the drive to succeed and they include hard work and determination,” said Cooney. “I am also huge on mentorship and will take time to help others like people have done for me.”
These days, with Cooney having a diverse background in real estate development, investment and financing, he is working for the CBRE Group, also known as the largest commercial real estate company in the world.
As a Vice President and Broker in the company’s Waterloo Region office, Cooney has had many notable accomplishments while helping owners, investors and developers in making the best real estate decisions.
-END- David Grossman is a veteran award-winning Journalist and Broadcaster with some of Canada’s major media, including the Toronto Star and SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN, and a Public Relations professional for 40+ years in Canadian sports and Government relations.Previous FeaturesSteve Griggs - Chief Executive Officer and President, Tampa Bay LightningSophie Kotsopoulos - Senior Director of Integrated Marketing, National Hockey LeagueMike McKenna - Former Director, Telecom, Media and Technology Investment BankingNicole Lee - Director of Integrated Marketing, National Hockey LeagueMike Bartlett - Executive Director, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment FoundationRebecca Watts - Manager, 2017 World Junior Hockey ChampionshipHugh Lawson - Director of Business Development, Staples Promotional ProductsCheryl Pounder - Former Canadian National Women's Hockey Team MemberJohn Morris - 2010 Olympic Men's Curling Gold MedalistBill Burke - Chief Executive Officer and Owner, Niagara Ice DogsTania Pedron - Manager of Administration and Operations, Maple Leafs Sport and EntertainmentWayne Kemick - BMO Wealth AdvisorDenise Burke - President, Niagara Ice DogsKevin McDonald - Vice President of Football Operations and Player Safety, CFLDr. Megan Yaraskavitch - NeurologistAndrew Agro - Director of Corporate Sponsorship and Business Development, New York JetsMarcia Powers-Dunlop - Senior Manager of Professional Support Services, Toronto District School BoardJoe Vernon - Lawyer, Miller CanfieldEmily Rudow - Founder, Oneiric Hockey