Here are Ottawa’s 2020 Forty Under 40 recipients

Annual awards take on special significance amid COVID-19

Forty Under 40
Forty Under 40

One of Ottawa’s leading artificial intelligence entrepreneurs, an IT executive revolutionizing retirement homes and the head of one of the city’s most celebrated cultural institutions are among this year’s recipients of the Forty Under 40 awards.

A joint initiative of the Ottawa Board of Trade and the Ottawa Business Journal, the annual Forty Under 40 awards recognize rising business leaders under the age of 40 in the National Capital Region.

The 2020 recipients represent a wide range of business sectors and companies, including one of the city’s most-loved ski shops, the construction heavyweight rehabilitating Centre Block and several leading law firms.

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Despite the health and economic crisis, this year’s awards competition attracted almost 200 applicants, who were assessed and ranked based on business accomplishments, professional experience and community involvement. 

The 2020 judging panel was chaired by OBJ publisher Michael Curran and included Greg Richards from the Telfer School of Management Executive MBA, Robert Rhéaume from BDO Canada and two alumni, Jennifer MacKinnon of Fenix Solutions and Joelle Hall from Richardson GMP.

“I am continually amazed and delighted by the calibre of candidates who are nominated for this prestigious award. Congratulations to all who were nominated and to the new recipients of Forty Under 40,” says Richards, recently named executive director of Telfer Executive MBA. “This event really highlights the creativity, determination and entrepreneurship skills in our local community.”

This year’s edition is taking on added importance with many businesses facing unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To celebrate the 2020 Forty Under 40 recipients, OBJ, the Ottawa Board of Trade and Rogers Sports & Media are hosting an online and television broadcast on Thursday, June 25 that will also feature compelling stories from local businesses that demonstrate how they are adjusting rapidly to this new economic reality.

“Having worked on Forty Under 40 for more than 20 years, I’m thrilled that we keep on finding and recognizing these amazing entrepreneurs and leaders,” says Curran. “The process of reviewing nominees is really quite inspirational. It makes me hopeful about the region’s continued economic growth, even in the midst of a pandemic.”

Sueling Ching, the president and CEO of the Ottawa Board of Trade, shares, “This is one of our most important programs as it highlights the talent we have in our midst today and the leadership that will move our community forward in prosperity. On behalf of the Ottawa business community, congratulations and thank you to all the recipients for your tenacity, creativity and commitment to community. We are honoured to recognize you.”

Complete information on the broadcast can be found at

Congratulations to this year’s Forty Under 40 recipients, all of whom will be profiled on in the coming days:

  • Solon Angel, Mindbridge AI
  • Graeme Barlow, Iversoft
  • Tara Barnes, Manitobah Mukluks
  • Brandon Bignell, BDO Canada LLP
  • Erin Blaskie, Fellow 
  • Josée Brisson, The Co-operators – Josée Brisson Insurances
  • David Coyle, PCL Constructors Canada
  • Neha D’Souza, Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP/s.r.l.
  • Ricardo Evangelho, Hit Point Press
  • Brad Ezard, Keynote Group
  • Justin Ferns, Iron Horse Security & Investigations
  • Jeremy Francis,
  • Alex Gray, Fullscript
  • Jessica Greenberg, Osgoode Properties
  • André Grzela, Beachcomber Hot Tubs Orléans
  • Shan Gu, Foci Solutions
  • Nathan Hall, Simple Story
  • Amanda Holtstrom, Ross Video
  • Ashley Hopkins, Paradigm Properties
  • Katharine Im-Jenkins, WUSC
  • Chase Irwin, Dentons Canada LLP
  • Bree Jamieson-Holloway, Jamieson Law
  • Anna Keller, Canadian Commercial Corporation
  • Monica Kunstadt-Landon, Kunstadt Sports and Ski Show
  • Simon Lavigne, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • Daniel Mackinnon, BLACKBOOK Lifestyle
  • Hesam Mahdavi, Zodiac Light Waves
  • Melissa McGuirk McNeil, Ottawa Network for Education
  • Michael McNaught, RVezy
  • Patrick Nadeau, Ottawa Riverkeeper
  • Brian Rogic, Modis Canada
  • Dr. Caitlin Schwartz, CWIM
  • Andrew Scott, Pita Pit
  • Sasha Suda, National Gallery of Canada
  • Jennifer Teoh, Deloitte LLP
  • Shawna Tregunna, Shawna Tregunna Consulting 
  • Hussein Valji, H&N Hospitality
  • Michelle Weger, Venture Creative Collective
  • Jennifer Welsh, Indiva Limited
  • Jamison Young, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

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