John Zinati, owner and broker of record, Zinati Realty

John Zinati
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: Entrepreneurship program, Algonquin College (2005)

Biggest business achievement: Starting Zinati Realty.

Biggest obstacle overcome: Maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I’ve often asked successful businesspeople what their biggest regret is, and the answer is always missing out on their spouses’ and kids’ lives when they were young. I’ve made it a priority to be there for my family every day. 

Biggest influences: My parents, who immigrated to Canada with nothing and sacrificed everything to provide their kids with opportunity. Knowing that drives me to succeed.

Most important lesson I’ve learned in business: Be persistent. When I was trying to break into the commercial real estate industry, I did my research and made a coffee appointment with a well-known broker. We met, and he said he was impressed but didn’t have a job for me at the time. I continued to keep in contact and never gave up until I sold him on giving me a chance to make my own position.

Favourite movie: Elf. Basically on repeat after Remembrance Day!

Favourite song: Party in the U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus