Toronto man helps Ave Maria University in Florida

  • January 17, 2008

{mosimage}TORONTO - A Canadian manufacturer is hammering its nails into an oratory which will be the centre piece of Ave Maria, a brand new Catholic town in Naples, Florida, that will host Ave Maria University and an oratory in the city centre. The town and university is the brainchild of Domino's Pizza chain founder Tim Monaghan.

Ave Maria University partnered with Soheil Mosun Limited, a Toronto-based manufacturer specializing in high-end custom fabrication and design about four years ago.

Ave Maria commissioned the Canadian company to create some of the ecclesiastical elements of the Ave Maria University oratory, including the main solid bronze entrance doors to the oratory, confessionals, the interior staircase and handrails and etched glass panes.

"We have an incredible habit of becoming an extension of our clients needs and desires," said Darius Mosun, CEO of Soheil Mosun Limited. "We actually immerse ourselves in what the customer is trying to do from an organizational, management, planning and public relations perspective."

After working together on the oratory, Mosun was asked to join the board of regents of Ave Maria University for a two-year term.

"A lot of my colleagues are the who's who in the Catholic world. It's just incredible. I think I'm probably one of the youngest and what's even more of an incredible honour is I'm not Catholic."

The 39-year-old practises the Baha'i faith, a world religion founded 150 years ago by Bahá’u’lláh, who taught there is one God, one human family and that all religions are spiritually united. Today five million people follow the Baha'i faith. 

Ave Maria could not comment about why it chose Mosun for its board.

"It's a policy of Ave Maria University not to make any comments regarding contractors in any capacity with the university," said Rob Falls, CEO of Robert Falls and Co. public relations firm, who deals with all media requests for the university. 

Board members meet once a year to oversee the goals of the university and keep updated with the progress of the university and city construction.

"I have to be very humble about how I fit in. I'll provide my opinion and be there as a pillar through the resources of my company. I'm basically there to really learn," said Mosun.

Mosun said he brings diversity and a different perspective to the board, not only because of his different religious beliefs, but also his age.

"I'm under 40. Some of the older faculty have great ideas, but with the way technology is changing they are losing an entire segment of the population. I'm not an academic or religious scholar, but I provide an entrepreneurial approach.

"I'm very interested in working with people of different faiths. I see it as working toward world peace; that's through being tolerant and respecting people's belief systems."

He said this philosophy has helped him win contracts to build a Bahá'í temple in Chile and the Jewish War Veterans International Memorial in Toronto.

"What I learned as a young businessman was respect and doing the very best you can with your skill set transcends cultural and religious beliefs."

Monaghan, who was also a former owner of the Detroit Tigers and is current chairman of the Ave Maria Foundation, sold his pizza chain in 1998 and donated some of the proceeds to the Ave Maria Institute, a two-year Catholic college in Michigan that grew into the four-year Ave Maria College, and now Ave Maria University.

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