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Forty Under 40 Recipients Revealed

Monday, May 3, 2021 - Technology sector executives, startup founders, health care entrepreneurs and business leaders from construction, real estate, retail, tourism and communications are among the 40 rising young business stars recognized in the 2021 Forty Under 40 awards.

The program is a joint initiative of Ottawa Business Journal and the Ottawa Board of Trade. It’s widely recognized as the region’s most sought-after business award for people aged less than 40 years.

Despite the health and economic crisis, this year’s awards competition attracted hundreds of applicants, who were assessed and ranked based on business accomplishments, professional experience and community involvement.

The 2021 judging panel was chaired by OBJ publisher Michael Curran and included Gregory Richards from the Telfer School of Management Executive MBA, Robert Rhéaume from BDO Canada and two alumni, Joelle Hall from Richardson Wealth and Pascal St-Jean from TEC Canada.

“The first thing that struck me this year was balance,” says Richards, director of EMBA program at the Telfer School of Management. “We saw nominees from health care, non-profits and profit generating businesses. I welcome that. The other thing is that judging is getting harder each year. These folks are generating impressive results. I think it’s quite fascinating. It’s good for the community, but challenging for the judges.”

To celebrate the 2021 Forty Under 40 recipients, OBJ, the Ottawa Board of Trade and Rogers Sports & Media are producing an online and television broadcast on Wednesday, June 23.

“The celebration will be virtual again this year, but it will be inspirational,” says OBJ publisher Michael Curran, who has led the awards program for 20 years. “We’re going to put the success of these young entrepreneurs in the spotlight. This is something that our region really needs, as we’re more than one year into this pandemic.”

Sueling Ching, the president and CEO of the Ottawa Board of Trade, shares, “Every year, the young leaders recognized in this program represent the best of what Ottawa has to offer today and for our future. This cohort has demonstrated excellence in a year of extreme change and challenge. And their contributions are a beacon of energy, innovation and optimism. Congratulations and thank you to each of you.”

Forty Under 40 is sponsored by the Telfer School of Management Executive MBA, BDO Canada, TEC Canada and OakWood Design Build.

Congratulations to this year’s Forty Under 40 recipients:

Roberto Aburto Lawyer, Gowling WLG Canada LLP
Darryl Arvai Corporate Controller, Shopify
Jonathan Atwill-Morin President, Atwill-Morin Ontario Inc
Cynthia Benoit CEO, CB Linguistic Services
Bradley Bezan Commerce Intelligence, Spark Lifecare
Kevin Brennan General Manager, Cavanagh Concrete Ltd.
Matthew Carr President, Principal Broker, Gifford Carr Insurance Brokers Inc.
Michelle Coates-Mather Vice President, Syntax Strategic
Sean Cochrane President, TCC Canada
Sarah D'Angelo Director of People Operations, You.i TV
Dr. Tracy Dalgleish Clinical Health Psychologist, Integrated Wellness
Gareth Davies Founder, Maker House Co.
Kurtis Funai Chief Technology Officer, Fullscript
Shawn Gandhi World Wide Head of AI/ML Solutions, Amazon Web Services
Meseret Haileyesus CEO, Canadian Center for Women's Empowerment Ottawa
Kelly Haussler Manager, Destination Development, Ottawa Tourism
Dr. Samuel Hetz Owner & Medical Director, Concept Medical
Sarah Howard Manager, Buildings & Structures, WSP Canada Inc.
Ken Jennings Owner, Jennings Real Estate Corporation
Taylor Johansen Director, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Elnaz Kanani Kuchesfehani Senior Manager, Deloitte
Ashleigh Kennedy CEO, Neurovine Inc.
Jason Kealey VP, Strategy FranConnect
Jordan Latimer Operations Manager, PCL Construction
Benjamin Leikin Program Manager, Mental Health and Substance, Ottawa Public Health
Diego Matute CEO, Cyphercor Inc.
Dave McCann Managing Partner / General Manager, IBM Canada
Nick McRae President, Roxborough Bus Lines Ltd.
Chris Murray Chief Strategy Officer, Wake Network
James Nguyen Co-Founder & CEO, Quantropi Inc.
Kailin Noivo Co-Founder & VP Sales, Noibu
Christopher Redmond Director, Distant Red Pictures
Allan Reesor-McDowell Executive Director Matthew House Ottawa
Sandro Ricci President ASL Agrodrain Limited
Ronald Richardson Co-Founder , Benbria Corporation
Solmaz Shahalizadeh Kalkhoran VP of Data Science & Engineering, Head of Commerce Intelligence, Shopify


Connor Shea Director, Investment Management Colonnade, BridgePort
Trevor Szutu Director, Corporate Development, Descartes Systems Group
Emilie Wilcox Managing Partner, Baiame Consulting Ltd.