Joelle Zagury, owner and optometrist, Merivale Vision Care

Joelle Zagury
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: Doctor of optometry, University of Waterloo (2007)

Biggest business achievement: Growing Merivale Vision Care to a team of 27.

Biggest obstacle overcome: Building the business while being an attentive parent to our three children.

Biggest influences: My father, who fostered the love of vision care and entrepreneurship at an early age. On the personal side, my husband has been the biggest influence. He is the kindest, wisest and smartest person I know.

Most important lesson I’ve learned in business: Always tackle issues right away in a direct, honest way. I learned that avoiding difficult conversations or dancing around the truth does not serve anyone and can act as a barrier to progress.

First job: Selling eyeglasses at Optique Le Cartier in Montreal in 1995.

Advice I’d give the younger me: Be more assertive ​– it is possible to do so with kindness if you are well-practised.

Favourite pastime: Listening to music with my family. Dance parties are a serious business in our home.

I’m currently reading: Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott