Bill Tatham has come a long way since the day in 1990 when he started a business in his basement. Janna Systems soon became a world leader in software for financial services, and Tatham sold the company to Siebel Systems ten years later for $1.76 billion.
Tatham (BASc '83) has enjoyed enormous success in his professional life and he regularly touts University of Waterloo's co-operative education as the foundation for his achievements. The William M. Tatham Centre for Co-operative Education and Career Services is named in recognition of his generous University of Waterloo support.
"Waterloo is where I decided what I wanted to do with my career," says Tatham. "I learned that work and school might actually be related; that an academic approach to business was possible, and in fact useful. The co-op program is what gave me my opportunity in business."
Currently, Tatham is the Chairman and CEO of NexJ Systems Inc. He is also a member of the boards of Elizabeth Arden and of the North York General Hospital. In 2001, Tatham was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for software and information systems and in 2006 he received the Distinguished Angel Award from the National Angel Organization for angel investors. In 2005-2006, he was inducted into the National Commission for Co-operative Education Co-op Hall of Fame.
In addition to his financial gifts to the University of Waterloo, Tatham has also been a regular guest speaker at seminars and is a vice-chair for Campaign Waterloo. Tatham is a member of the advisory board of the Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research and he has been awarded the Faculty of Engineering Alumni Achievement Medal for professional achievement.