Thomas J. Bata

About the founder of the Thomas Bata Foundation Zlin



Born Prague, Czechoslovakia on September 17, 1914

Died Toronto, Canada, September 1, 2008

Moved to Canada in 1939 and became a Canadian citizen in February 1942

Served as Captain in the Canadian Reserve Army; 1999 appointed Hon. Colonel of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment.

Married: Sonja Ingrid Wettstein, of Zurich, Switzerland

Thomas J. and Sonja Bata

Children: One son and three daughters

Thomas G. Bata

Monica Pignal Bata

Christine Schmidt Bata

Rosemarie Blyth Bata



Educated in Czechoslovakia, England and Switzerland




  • Companion of the Order of Canada (CC)
  • Canadian Decoration (CD)
  • Doctor of Laws, LLD, h.c., York University, Toronto, Canada
  • Doctor of Sciences h.c., University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Doctor h.c. of Technical Faculty, University of Brno, Czech Republic
  • Doctor of Laws, h.c., St. Francis Xavier University, Canada
  • Paul Harris Fellow Rotary International
  • Holder of the Order of T.G. Masaryk, (Czechoslovakia)
  • Holder of the Double White Cross, Slovakia
  • Gratias Award, Czech Republic




Honorary Chairman:

Bata Limited

Canada-India Business Council (CIBC).


Honorary Governor:

Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario



Bata Shoe Foundation

Committee on Non-Members Economies of the OECD Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC)

Advisory Council, International MBA Program, York University, Toronto

Tomas Bata University Board of Directors, Zlin, Czech Republic



Commission on International Trade and Investment Policy, International Chamber of Commerce


Dean’s Advisory Council, Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada

Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE)

Canadian Member Committee of the Council for Security Co-operation in Asia Pacific (CSCAP) Board

of Directors, Junior Achievement International, U.S.A

Board of Trustees of the Czechoslovak Management Centre, Czech Republic

Director-At-Large, Board of Directors, National Retail Federation Inc. New York.

Founding Member and Past Director, Young President’s Organization

Fellow of the International Academy of Management




Expert Advisor:

United Nations Commission on Transnational Corporations, 1985-1988



Commission on Multinational Enterprises, International Chamber of Commerce, (ICC)

Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the Organization for Economic

Co-operation and Development (OECD) – 1969-1971

Sub-Group for Development Issues, Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD



Canadian Member Committee of the Council for Security Co-operation in Asia Pacific (CSCAP)   


Director and Member of Executive Committee:

IBM World Trade Corporation, U.S.A.



World Bank Group’s Private Sector Development Research Advisory Group

International Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC) to the Government of Canada and Chairman, Asia-Pacific Task Force

Business Advisory Council, International Finance Corporation-IFC (World Bank affiliate)

Advisory Board of African Project Development Facility-APDF (an IFC affiliate)



IBM Canada Ltd.

Canadian Council for International Business (CCIB)

Canadian Pacific Airlines, Vancouver

The Rockefeller University Council, New York

National Ballet of Canada

Stratford Festival



Granite Club

Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Toronto

Rideau Club, Ottawa

Royal Automobile Club, London



Tennis, Skiing, Swimming

Thomas J. and Sonja Bata