Honourees stated roles and organizations reflect positions held at the time of award.
Jason is accountable for resource evaluation, responsible development, and subsurface operations of Cenovus’s Oil Sands, Thermal and Cold/EOR assets, producing an average of 560,000 bbls/d. Starting his career as a Reservoir Engineer, he has been with Cenovus and its predecessor company since 2006.
Jason is active in his community and sits on the board of Calgary Reads, which equips communities with books and knowledge in support of literacy at a young age.
Mike is an Indigenous entrepreneur and proud member of Doig River First Nation. As an owner, President and CEO of Scott Hydro-Vac and EnviroBore Directional Drilling, Mike oversees the strategic vision and business development of both organizations. Prior to Scott Hydro-Vac and EnviroBore, Mike was a founding partner of M & M Resources, which is now a leading Civil Earth Works and Clearing Company in Northeast BC.
As President of dentalcorp, Guy oversees day-to-day operations. Since joining in 2014, he has been fundamental in working with senior leadership to scale dentalcorp to Canada’s largest and fastest growing network of dental practices. Guy has a robust background in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and strategic commercial transactions. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law and an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Meghan holds the Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease. She co-directs the Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Centre (MILC), where her team studies breast milk and the infant microbiome to understand their role in child development. Meghan is Deputy Director of the CHILD Cohort Study involving 3500 Canadian families, co-Director of the International Milk Composition Consortium, and co-founder of the international Perinatal Outcomes in the Pandemic (iPOP) Study.
When Mark and Louis met as Engineers Without Borders Canada alumni, they shared one question: How can we help aid organisations and emerging market governments use tech to meet the needs of people who aren’t being reached? Their answer was in founding VOTO Mobile – now Viamo – in 2013, using the ubiquitousness of mobile phones to create new feedback loops at scale, and empower millions of people with new access to vital information. They have since grown the company to 33 countries and reached over 30 million people with hundreds of diverse services. Mark has a PhD in Physics from the University of Saskatchewan, and Louis has an MBA as a Skoll Scholar at the University of Oxford.
Candace is the Partner and President of Anomaly Toronto: a difficult to define, but thoughtfully progressive 'new model' agency. A socially minded change agent herself, Candace has been with Anomaly since its founding in Toronto and in that time, been instrumental in shaping the organization into the company it is today: A passionate entrepreneurial culture, encompassing a diverse, elastic set of skills and talent, aimed at providing full-service business, marketing, and communications solutions for a roster of world-class clients. Outside of Anomaly Candace remains active in her family business, a renowned livestock and genetics company. Their newest venture is Rapid Bay Akaushi – a fullblood Japanese Wagyu business that focuses on and advocates for premium, ethically raised beef.
Janice is a mission-driven leader for Indigenous, philanthropic, and educational organizations. She currently serves as the CEO for the Assembly of First Nations with 170+ employees. The AFN is an advocacy group which is mandated by 630+ First Nations in Canada.
Described by peers and employees alike as an innovative guide and lead-by-example CEO, Janice liaises, collaborates with governments, public sector, private sector, and the general public in partnership with First Nations communities across the country to make positive change for First Nations.
Jacqueline is the COO at Vendasta. She is responsible for the development and execution of Vendasta’s revenue and go-to-market strategy, with the core mandate of empowering Vendasta’s Channel Partners to leverage its platform and marketplace to help over 5M small businesses transition to digital. She played an instrumental role in Vendasta’s $40M capital raise in 2018, and more recently, helped lead its IPO process which resulted in an oversubscribed $120M private investment.
Jonathan is the Vice President of Indigenous Financial Services at Scotiabank and a proud member of the Six Nations of the Grand River. He provides banking and wealth solutions that will positively impact future generations. Before joining the bank, he was a Federal Crown. Jonathan also serves as a Captain in the Canadian Armed Forces & is an Aide de Camp to the Lt. Governor of Ontario. He holds a MPA from Cornell University, JD from Osgoode Hall & First Class Honours BA from Brock University.
Josh & Daryl are innovative entrepreneurs in logistics, real estate and technology. They teamed up in 2015 to disrupt the Canadian transportation industry. Together with their amazing team they built one of the fastest growing logistics companies in Canada due to their relentless focus on building the most customer centric company in the Nation. A key part of their rapid growth is due to developing their own cutting-edge, award-winning logistics software – Stark TMS.
Ryan is CEO of SAF Group, which is one of Canada’s largest alternative asset management firms. Founded in 2014, SAF Group is a multi-strategy credit manager and has allocated more than $3B. Ryan sits on several boards and committees of non-for-profits and offers several bursaries to students at the University of Calgary. Prior to SAF Group, Ryan worked with Vancouver based Second City Capital Partners, and at ATB Capital Markets. Ryan earned his B.A. in Economics from the University of Calgary.
From a young age, Derrick has connected people with environmental stewardship. At 16, he and his brother, Kalen, founded a tree planting company that sold carbon offsetting credits to businesses – this venture saw $1M+ in contracts and planted 150,000 trees. After graduation, Derrick became tentree's CEO, where he has been steering the company's vision since. Today, tentree is a global leading sustainable business, with a progressive supply chain, completely carbon neutral business model, and plants over 60M trees globally.
Brittany is a talent, culture and human expert. Spending the past 11 years, in her role as Chief Talent Officer at Shopify - a leading global commerce platform and one of the world’s fastest growing companies. She recently left Shopify to pursue Backbone Angels and Advisory roles. She now spends her time advising and investing in founders, with a focus on women and non-binary founders.
Brittany began her career at Shopify in 2010 as an office manager, but through hard work, drive, and her appetite to learn, she built Shopify’s Talent function from the ground up, growing a local startup of 20 employees in Ottawa to an international team of over 7,000. She also partnered to take Shopify public in 2015, and managed the acquisition and integration of eight companies over the last nine years. Brittany spearheaded the growth of her teams and has developed Shopify’s Culture, Internal Operations, Talent Operations, Business Partner, Talent Acquisition, Diversity & Belonging and Talent Development teams who form the unique, yet impactful Talent team at Shopify. In recent years, she has led the charge n various talent programs that directly impacted the company’s culture, community involvement, and growth.
Brittany currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Ottawa’s Boys and Girls Club and recently graduated from Harvard Business School's Executive leadership Program.
Vincent, a University of Concordia graduate is the Vice President, COO and Co-Owner of Rustica Foods, a leader in pizza manufacturing in Canada.
In 2011 after having invested in Rustica Foods, the company grew by acquisitions and strategic partnerships. Vincent has embarked on an aggressive expansion plan to build an additional 145,000 sq ft facility to secure future growth while bringing leadership and experience to the food industry and contributing to charitable endeavors in the community.
Jesse is CEO of Avid Apparel, an industry leader in production and distribution of clothing and branded products. He founded the company over ten years ago in a dorm room at Dalhousie University. Today, he proudly employs nearly 100 talented individuals in two countries, oversees a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, and has partnered with major brands, retailers, influencers, and celebrities throughout North America. He’s also a dedicated supporter of the Nanny Angel Network.
Siba is a double board-certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon-Scientist with a subspecialty in microsurgery. She serves as Assistant Professor and Divisional Director of Senior Education at the University of Toronto. Her clinical work focuses on complex, oncological reconstruction and microsurgical reconstruction of the head & neck, breast and extremities. Her research involves tissue-engineered techniques for tracheal reconstruction and the immunology of vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA). Additionally, Siba is considered a foremost expert in the clinical research of lymphedema with many peer-reviewed grants, publications in high-impact medical journals and keynote presentations at prominent educational institutions. Siba is also the recipient of numerous awards for her clinical, academic and research work. These include the American Society for Reconstruction Microsurgery – Women in Microsurgery Travel Scholarship and the Hugh G. Thomson Humanitarian Award.
As Senior Vice President of E-Commerce for Sobeys Inc., Sarah is revolutionizing the face of grocery delivery in Canada. Sarah not only led the implementation of Ocado Group’s cutting-edge robotic technology, but she also mobilized thousands of teammates and partners to accelerate the launch of Voilà by Sobeys in the middle of the pandemic. Voilà offers a superior e-commerce solution unlike anything else in the market. Under Sarah’s leadership, Voilà will continue to expand across Canada.
Andrew leads Tricon Residential’s Canadian rental apartment platform and is responsible for setting strategic direction, sourcing investment opportunities, overseeing dedicated teams responsible for development, construction, and asset management, and managing joint-venture and government relationships. Tricon has grown into the most active developer of rental apartments in downtown Toronto, with units ranging from affordable to upscale, and a focus on amenities, service, and lifestyle programming that puts people first and builds community.
As a SickKids Senior Scientist and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, Jean-Philippe is leading novel research on the molecular characterization of immunity. His team studies the interactions between antibodies and antigens, providing the blueprints for the design of next-generation therapeutics and vaccines that harness the power of antibodies. Jean-Philippe is the Canada Research Chair in Structural Immunology, a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar, and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of emerging biotech company Radiant Biotherapeutics.
As a new immigrant, Yash started the trading company in 2002 which has now grown to occupy a purpose built 110,000 sq ft packaging facility in Bolton that processes beans, lentils and grains for major retailers in North America. The success of the business is grounded in supply chain and relationship management with key global suppliers. Agrocrop is now entering its next phase of expansion by putting together 5-year strategic growth plan, adding 75,000 sq ft, adding new categories and leveraging its strong customer relationships within North America.
Michael is Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary for Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, a Crown-owned utility that is responsible for generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. He is responsible for oversight of the company’s legal, governance and commercial matters.
Michael is a strong advocate for advancing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion through his governance work. He was the recipient of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association’s Up and Comer Award for 2020.
Dr. Alika Lafontaine (MD, FRCPC) is an award-winning physician, innovator, health leader, and the first Indigenous doctor listed in Medical Post’s 50 Most Powerful Doctors. In August 2021, he became the first Indigenous and Pacific Islander physician to be confirmed President-Elect of the Canadian Medical Association in its 154-year history.
From 2013 to 2017 Alika co-led the Indigenous Health Alliance, one of the most ambitious health transformation initiatives in Canadian history. Alika was recognized for his work in the alliance by the Public Policy Forum, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented the award.
Alika serves on the board of several charities and non-profits, including the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation and the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund. He continues to practice anesthesia in Northern Alberta and is an Associate Clinical Professor in the College of Medicine, University of Alberta.
As Wattpad’s Chief Product Officer, Seema Lakhani leads the company’s product strategy and team, with a focus on building people-centric, responsible products. Seema has played a key role in growing Wattpad to over 94M+ readers and writers worldwide. As General Manager of Wattpad Labs, Seema also leads the company’s R&D innovations around the future of storytelling. She founded and chairs Wattpad’s Diversity & Inclusion committee, introducing important equity initiatives across the company.
Isaac is the CEO and Co-Founder of Open Farm, a premium pet food brand on a mission to deliver exceptional pet nutrition while driving a positive impact on animals and the planet. Isaac leads Open Farm’s team across Canada and the US in bringing innovative, healthy products to pets through over 6,000 pet stores & online. A serial entrepreneur, Isaac has also co-founded two other pet product companies – Canada Pooch, a leading pet accessories company and Diggs, an innovative pet supplies company.
As President of Liberty Mutual Canada, a branch of one of the largest insurers in the world, Rob has championed an innovative and market-leading culture, leading a team that produces exceptional results. He is an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, and a key contributor to Liberty’s global environmental, social, and governance strategy.
Rob has been a passionate community builder, non-profit founder, and business leader for over 20 years while growing up on the East Coast, and while living and working in both Central and Western Canada. He is a Founding Curator of Global Shapers, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, and was the runner up in the national competition, ‘Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister’.
Rob lives in Toronto and is a proud father of three young boys.
Mat is BMO’s Chief Digital Officer. He is responsible for driving the digital transformation of the bank’s customer-facing businesses and has been at the vanguard of enduring change in BMO’s customer experience and ways of working. Prior to this role, Mat held progressively senior roles in BMO’s Digital and Strategy teams and worked as a Consultant at Monitor Group. Mat is on the Board of Good Shepherd Ministries in Toronto, and a proud husband and father of two.
Leon is an innovative business leader and entrepreneur in the proptech industry, championing a synergetic group of companies focusing on creative media, real estate visualization, and emerging technology. Leon has a passion for innovative technologies like VR and AR and upholds it as a core value for LNG Studios and their projects. With a background in broadcasting and film, Leon is a strong supporter of minority representation in cinema and sits on the advisory board for the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. In 2021 Leon spearheaded the Pixel Moments campaign, a micro-philanthropy activation focusing on mental health awareness. Leon is a strong community leader, sitting on several boards such as St. Paul’s Foundation Future Leaders, SUCCESS Foundation, and the Heart & Stroke Foundation (BC & Yukon).
Jessica, a technology executive with an MSc in Applied IT currently serves as COO of one of Canada's fastest growing SaaS companies, ThoughtExchange, where she aims to rethink corporate innovation and operationalize moxie. Her career trajectory has seen her leading transformational change and growth in several multinational companies, serving as the first Chief Digital Officer for global travel group and Swedish institution STS Education, Head of Business Development at Google, and as Managing Director in Stockholm, Dubai, and Vancouver for SaaS growth wonder Meltwater. She is a renowned thought leader, speaker and contributor for outlets like Forbes and Inc. Magazine, featured alongside Mark Cuban – for her thoughts on the future of work, leadership and corporate innovation.
As a consummate business professional, Lekan intentionally honed his expertise in his roles spanning from local non-profit organizations to government advisory boards to corporate executive boardrooms. As lead executive, Talent Development at the MaRS District, Lekan helped ensure talent had the skills and adaptability needed to thrive in modern work environments. Throughout these roles, Lekan has earned a reputation for effective leadership and peerless vision, resulting in industry awards and accolades.
With his proven insight and tireless dedication to the future of work, Lekan’s perspective is frequently sought by both businesses and Black tech professionals across many fields. By being approachable and communicating in a powerful and accessible way, Lekan has been published across North America by outlets such as The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and TechCrunch, and the annual BPTN summit is the largest Black tech summit globally, with thousands of attendees.
Teresa is a neurosurgeon, scientist, entrepreneur and mom-of-3. While pursuing her PhD at Stanford, she employed a multidisciplinary approach to identify a novel drug target in medulloblastoma, the most common pediatric brain tumor. She went on to repurpose a drug based on her work and launched a multi-institutional first-in-child trial for the management of medulloblastoma in collaboration with the PBTC. She also co-founded Cerebelly, veggie-first baby food that provides 16 brain-supporting nutrients. Cerebelly is the 1st shelf stable baby food to earn the Project Purity Award.
Salima is a finance executive with international experience directing corporate strategy and building high-performance teams. Currently, she drives organizational change as Vice President, Operations & Corporate Strategy at Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd. Previously, Salima was the COO of Global Private Investing at D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P., a multi-strategy hedge fund headquartered in New York City. Salima is a graduate of Yale University and a Palmer Scholar of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, from which she holds an MBA. In the community, Salima is the Chair of the Vancouver Hospice Society, and a Director of both LIFT Impact Partners and the BC Business Council.
Tyler is a born entrepreneur. From humble beginnings, he built Valens with a vision to bring purposeful cannabis to the people. He recently repositioned the company’s core offering from extraction to product development and manufacturing – and has now become the largest third-party cannabis consumer packaged goods manufacturer in Canada as well as a leading innovator in the world of cannabis. Tyler has expertise in biochemistry, plant genetics and extraction processes, with a strong interest in advancing the use of cannabinoids to treat various medical conditions. He was included in the International Forum on Advancements in Healthcare’s Top 100 Leaders in Healthcare in 2019. More recently, he was celebrated in the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s Top 40 Under 40.
Adam leads the diverse, multinational, and growing team at Storkcraft – one of the fastest-growing juvenile furniture companies in North America. Assuming the role of President and CEO in 2017, Adam put in place Storkcraft’s first-ever design and innovation teams, invested in building best-in-class customer care and operations teams, and opened multiple strategic distribution centres across North America.
Adam currently resides in Vancouver, BC with his wife, two daughters, and family dog.
Sonia leads CDL’s strategy, operations and programs across 10 sites at University of Toronto, Oxford, Washington, Calgary, UBC, HEC Montréal, HEC Paris, UW-Madison, Dalhousie and Georgia Tech. Sonia is also Executive Director of CDL Rapid Screening Consortium, a non-profit that delivers a free program to launch COVID-19 rapid screening in workplaces and schools across Canada. In 2020 they founded the Sonia Sennik Resilience Fund, the largest multi-donor endowment in McMaster Engineering history.
Carolyn is the Executive Director at Feed Ontario, where she has served the organization in various roles for over a decade, taking on the role of Executive Director in 2016. She has led the organization through rebranding, expansion of programs, growth in advocacy/research, and most recently, their COVID-19 pandemic response/recovery. Carolyn is a University of Guelph graduate who is passionate about food security, social justice and Feed Ontario’s vision of ending hunger and poverty.
Angela serves as VP, Project Services & Director, Environmental Services at ClearStream. She is accountable for project delivery as it pertains to Project Controls, Estimating, Supply Chain Management, Real Estate, Field Administration, and operational oversight for the Flint Environmental Services division. Angela holds a Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge. In 2020, she was recognized as One of Canada's Most Powerful Women and she sits on the Board of Directors for KidSport Calgary.
Amelia Warren is the CEO of Epicure. Since becoming CEO in 2009 and launching the global Good Food. Real Fast.™ movement in 2014, her leadership has secured Epicure's position as one of the fastest-growing direct sales companies in North America. Amelia's mission is to better the lives of 20 million families with healthy 20-minute meal solutions. Through her focus on product innovation and a dedicated community of ambassadors, Epicure has grown into a 9-figure company.
Vikramaditya G. Yadav is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, where he directs the country’s premier program in Sustainable Process Engineering. Vikram is one of Canada’s top biotechnologists and has made notable contributions to research, education, commercialization and regulation of synthetic biology. He also founded Metabolik Technologies Inc., which was acquired by Allonnia, a Bill Gates-backed company, and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Tersa Earth, a mining biotechnology company.
An entrepreneur and disability activist, Maayan launched AccessNow, a social enterprise that shares information about the accessibility of places worldwide. As CEO, she has created a powerful shift in thinking about the importance of accessibility, from accessible technologies to infrastructure, public policy, media and more. An internationally acclaimed voice for the disability rights movement, Maayan’s leadership has been recognized with many awards including the Governor General Innovation Prize and WXN’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.
Jennifer is the Director of Health Policy at the School of Public Policy, associate professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, and the Deputy Scientific Officer for Kids Brain Health Network. A Canada Research Chair (II) in Disability Policy for Children and Youth, her research assesses socioeconomic impact of interventions and informs policy to improve access to and integration of services for families (and care communities) of youth with disability. Recently she has contributed to the Royal Society of Canada COVID-19 Disability working group and Canadian Academy of Health Sciences National Autism Strategy development.