Elliott Gillespie, president, Gold Bar Whiskey

Elliott Gillespie
Editor's Note

Each year, OBJ and the Ottawa Board of Trade choose 40 of the region’s top young entrepreneurs and business executives and recognize them for their professional achievements, expertise and community service.


In these profiles, OBJ highlights some of this year’s recipients – their impressive accomplishments, what drives them and how they like to spend their downtime away from the business world.
See the full list of recipient profiles here and be sure to check out photos of the 2019 gala here.


Education: MBA, Fudan University, Shanghai (2008); master of arts in economics, Hamburg University (2007); bachelor of commerce, Carleton University (2004)

Biggest business achievement: Taking an idea to market, then bringing that product to more than 25 countries in less than three years. 

Biggest obstacle overcome: Learning an industry from scratch and then building a global network of partners one by one.

Biggest influence: My mother Felice. She is an entrepreneur, comedian, public speaker, charity fundraiser, artist and all-around amazing person. She shows me every day that it is never too late to follow your passions.

Most important lesson I’ve learned in business: It is all about relationships. Few things can be achieved over the phone; meet people face to face. 

First job: Serving Beavertails on the canal.

Advice I’d give the younger me: Listen and slow down. Things will work if you are patient. 

Favourite pastime: Being with my two sons aged two and three. 

I’m currently reading: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

Favourite movie: The Princess Bride