Lifetime Achievement Alumni 1998 Donald Ziraldo

Join us as we a look back at our Lifetime Achievement Award alumni of the past 25 years. These outstanding individuals have truly left an indelible mark on Niagara and have inspired countless other entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses in Niagara.

Over the last 24 years, NEYA has inducted 33 entrepreneurs into our Hall of Fame by bestowing them with this prestigious recognition. Click here to see a complete list of our Lifetime Achievement Alumni and join us on March 1, 2019 as we bestow a new group of deserving entrepreneurs with this honour at our 25th Anniversary Awards Gala at the Fallsview Casino Resort.

Tickets for the 25th annual Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Gala to be held March 1, 2019 at the Fallsview Casino Resort are now on sale. Tickets are limited, so order early!


Like the Canadian wine industry, which he has fervently promoted for over 25 years, Donald Ziraldo merits world-class distinction. His entrepreneurial experience is deeply rooted in Niagara in a flourishing agricultural industry, specifically in the growing and production of Canadian wine.

Born in St. Catharines Donald Ziraldo was co-founder and president of Inniskillin Wines inc, Inniskillin Napa Vineyards Inc. and Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards, Inc. As founding chairman of the Vinters Quality Alliance, Donald Ziraldo inspired Canadian wine producers to join other leading wine producing countries in developing rigorous standards for their finest wines.

A pillar of community support, Donald Ziraldo holds several directorships and at the time of award was a member of the Team Canada Inc. Advisory Board and the Canadian Tourism Board. He also served as co-chair of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute Capital Campaign at Brock University and worked with both Brock University and Niagara College to fund and build the joint vineyard project at Niagara College’s new Glendale campus. Like his wines, Donald Ziraldo has received numerous outstanding awards including an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Brock University, Enterprise ‘95 Entrepreneur of the Year for Community Contribution, the 1995 Grindley Award, Canadian Institute of Agrologists, the Order of Ontario, the Order of Canada, and countless other local honours.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to enterprising entrepreneurs in our community who have significantly impacted the development of economic ventures in Niagara. Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients are individuals who have spent several decades of their lives shaping Niagara, building a legacy, and contributing positively to our community. Save the date and join us on March 1, 2019 for NEYA’s 25th Anniversary Awards Gala.