Here are Ottawa’s 2021 Forty Under 40 recipients

A pair of executives from a global e-commerce powerhouse, a founder of one of the capital’s fastest-growing companies and business leaders from the construction, real estate, retail, tourism and communications sectors 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 under the age of 40.

Despite the current 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. 

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The 2021 judging panel was chaired by OBJ publisher Michael Curran and included Gregory Richards from the Telfer School of Management Executive MBA and Robert Rhéaume from BDO Canada as well as 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, the director of Telfer’s EMBA program. “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 at 8 p.m. Click here for details.

“The celebration will be virtual again this year, but it will be inspirational,” says Curran, who has overseen 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, echoes those thoughts.

“Every year, the young leaders recognized in this program represent the best of what Ottawa has to offer today and for our future,” she says. “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, partner, Gowling WLG Canada LLP
  • Darryl Arvai, corporate controller, Shopify
  • Jonathan Atwill-Morin, president, Atwill-Morin Ontario
  • Cynthia Benoit, CEO, CB Linguistic Services
  • Bradley Bezan, CEO and founder, Spark Lifecare 
  • Kevin Brennan, general manager, Cavanagh Concrete
  • Matthew Carr, president and principal broker, Gifford Carr Insurance Group
  • 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
  • Kurtis Funai, chief technology officer, Fullscript
  • Shawn Gandhi, worldwide head of AI/ML solutions, Amazon Web Services
  • Meseret Haileyesus, CEO, Canadian Center for Women’s Empowerment Ottawa
  • Kelly Haussler, manager of destination development, Ottawa Tourism
  • Dr. Samuel Hetz, owner and medical director, Concept Medical
  • Sarah Howard, manager, buildings & structures, WSP Canada
  • Ken Jennings, owner, Jennings Real Estate
  • Taylor Johansen, director, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
  • Elnaz Kanani Kuchesfehani, senior manager of data and artificial intelligence, Deloitte
  • Jason Kealey, vice-president of strategy, FranConnect
  • Ashleigh Kennedy, CEO, Neurovine
  • Jordan Latimer, operations manager, PCL Construction
  • Benjamin Leikin, program manager of mental health and substance, Ottawa Public Health
  • Diego Matute, CEO, Cyphercor
  • Dave McCann, managing partner and general manager, IBM Canada
  • Nick McRae, president, Roxborough Bus Lines
  • Chris Murray, chief strategy officer, Wake Network
  • James Nguyen, co-founder and CEO, Quantropi
  • Kailin Noivo, co-founder and vice-president of sales, Noibu
  • Sergey Poltev, CEO, CAPITALTEK
  • Christopher Redmond, director, Distant Red Pictures
  • Allan Reesor-McDowell, executive director, Matthew House Ottawa
  • Sandro Ricci, president, ASL Agrodrain
  • Ronald Richardson, co-founder, Benbria  
  • Solmaz Shahalizadeh Kalkhoran, vice-president of data science and engineering and head of commerce intelligence, Shopify
  • Connor Shea, director of investment management, Colonnade BridgePort
  • Trevor Szutu, director of corporate development, Descartes Systems Group
  • Emilie Wilcox, managing partner, Baiame Consulting

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