Message from our
Chair of the Board

Unlocking our Spark

Putting customers first is at the heart of everything we do. As a purpose-driven organization, the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation has been in the business of helping Canadian families save for university and college for close to 60 years.  It’s a beautiful mission to have and even better when being customer-centric means innovating to help future generations of young people achieve their dreams.

Innovation requires a different approach to business. Which is why Management, with the support of the Board of Directors began the implementation of a multi-year digital transformation strategy fundamental to providing an exceptional customer experience and helping even more families achieve higher learning outcomes.   

Innovation challenges us to continuously evolve and transform as a Foundation, to keep pace with emerging technologies so that we can meet the changing expectations of the families we serve.  New technologies bring new ways of interacting with our customers, new values and services. A brilliant customer experience is no longer confined within an industry, instead it seamlessly transcends across multiple industries (retail, commerce, finance, etc.,) because it is defined by technology and the people who use it. Which is why we at CST are always leveraging customer insights and data analytics to better understand and predict the needs of our customers so that we can design a more personalized experience for families benefiting from a CST RESP.

This past year, the cumulative affect of these strategies and insights resulted in the launch of Canada’s first ever digitally centric RESP company CST Spark and its Bright Plan.  This was the first time in our 59-year history the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation welcomed a new subsidiary to its family alongside CST Consultants Inc.  But our work didn’t stop here.

In 2018, we also leveraged data science to anticipate the needs of CST families ready to send their children to school, resulting in two-thirds of our Education Assistance Payments being performed in self-serve channels. We’ve seen a year-over-year increase in this number and anticipate it growing significantly as we move to a digital future. We’ve also grown our customer analytics capabilities within our sales channels, so we can reach even more families.  All of this is just the beginning as we pivot toward a more digitally and customer focused strategy. 

As a Foundation, we are making investments in growing our talent to be adaptable and agile to leverage technology, creativity and business acumen to ensure families in Canada get a better start in life.

I would be remiss if I did not recognize the departure of two our Directors from our Board in 2018, Giselle Wilson and Rodney Seyffert who were instrumental in helping the Foundation advance its strategies. I’d also like to welcome two new Directors, Bonnie Patterson and Bruce Philp, both have already demonstrated their passion for making a difference in the lives of Canadian families.

On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Sherry MacDonald and her Management team for this year’s accomplishments and commitment to our mission as an organization.  We would also like to acknowledge the hard-working associates at CST for their dedication to helping families achieve their post-secondary dreams. 



Dr. David R. Lewis Chair of the Board Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation

Dr. David R. Lewis
" (B)eing customer-centric means innovating to help future generations of young people achieve their dreams."