Luana Harris- How Her Time at De La Salle Has Allowed Her to Succeed in the Business World
By Thomas Nosella
The Office of Alumni Affairs is always looking for candidates to profile for publications in the Signum Fidei Newsletter and Year in Review Magazine. In March of 2021, a group of teachers at the school took the initiative to plan a Women in Business Speaker Series for our current students. It was a fantastic idea that garnered tremendous interest from our high school students looking to pursue careers in various fields of business.
On May 3, 2021, the Office of Alumni Affairs joined the virtual session to observe Luana Harris, a graduate of De La Salle College in 2002, share her experiences and knowledge with students and staff who wished to attend. At that moment, it was clear to us that Luana would be a great candidate to be profiled based on her success, professionalism, and willingness to give back to the Del community which to this day still means so much to her.
Upon graduating from Del in 2002, Luana attended Queen’s University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. As a motivated, lifelong learner, she continued her education after graduating from Queen’s at the University of Toronto where she obtained a Master of Education Degree focused on equity studies. and completed executive education certificates at the University of Toronto and Columbia University in marketing and sports management. Through her current work, she has also partnered with Harvard Business School and Ivey Business School to build customized education programs for professional athletes and ultra-high net worth families, which she continues to learn from each year.
Luana began by performing in several marketing and product roles with companies such as Holt Renfrew, PC Financial and BMO Wealth Management. Through building her resume and leveraging connections she had made through networking, Luana joined RBC’s Wealth Management team where she has worked for the past seven years in various roles.
Currently, Luana is the Managing Director of the RBC Sports Professionals Division in which she leads a team of global advisors and bankers to implement strategies for clients and businesses in the sports and entertainment industry.
From professional athletes to franchise owners to leagues and many more, she works with them all. Networking and relationship building have been important skills that have helped her climb the ranks in her career and achieve success at all levels. She credits her time at De La Salle College for helping her develop these skills as well as a foundation for success.
When asked about her time at De La Salle College, Luana reflected on the benefits of attending a small school and the strength of the alumni community. She stated, “The beauty of the school being small was that you had friends in every grade, and the alumni network is strong. Like many grads who have been generous with their time with me, I will always try to make time for Del alums. Everyone is busy, but when I have an opportunity to work with someone from high school, or I see Del on an intern’s application, it always makes me smile. It’s also amazing coming up in my career how many people of all ages connected to Del helped me along the way. Whether I knew them at Del or we bonded over the connection to the school years later, teachers, parents of my former classmates, or current colleagues who now have kids at Del - it’s a really special network.”
Luana attributes her success to the continued support she had from her family, teachers, as well as friendships that she forged at De La Salle College. The shoe is on the other foot now, as she has become a resource for our graduates and current students to leverage in pursuit of their career goals and ambitions.
What Luana found most helpful about her time at Del was the foundational values she had instilled in her. She believes De La Salle fosters and cultivates competitive, purpose-driven people who care about one another and want to make a difference in their surrounding communities. Service to others is a core principle De La Salle College emphasizes to its students while they are here. Service is not always monetary; donations can also be measured in the time given. Luana gave us her time to speak at the Women in Business Speaker Series and our students and staff were extremely impressed and appreciative.
Luana looks back on her time at De La Salle College with fond memories. She credits the amazing experience to her decision to get involved in co-curriculars at the school. Some sports she played while on campus were soccer, badminton, and volleyball. She also spent time serving on the student council, was a volunteer coach for the junior girls’ soccer team and debated in the annual United Nations Symposium. These activities helped Luana forge friendships she still holds to this day and opened the doors to some great school trips including a volleyball trip to Hawaii, as well as annual trips to Montreal for the United Nations Symposium.
Getting involved in activities beyond the classroom is critical to students meeting like-minded people and maximizing their school experience. Luana made a point to do so while Del and it’s a major reason for her continued affinity for the school.
The school community is truly blessed to have Luana Harris giving her time to its current students. Her career and accomplishments are an inspiration to all students striving to achieve success in the world of business.
We would like to thank Luana for her participation in the Women and Business Speaker Series and for allowing the Office of Alumni Affairs to profile her. A common phrase associated with De La Salle College is “enter to leave, leave to serve.” Luana Harris is a true example of this as she has always been willing to devote her time to the Del Community.