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Young leadership in action

I write this on the eve of the Forty Under 40 gala, the 25th anniversary of this awards ceremony where we named the 1000th recipient in Ottawa. This event was the final in a series of events since we named the 2022 top young leaders almost two months ago. The events along with online and print recognition of these recipients is a compilation of information, inspiration, and words of hope for our future.

Why is this award so highly sought after? Why do sponsors, friends and family go above and beyond to celebrate the recipients and their achievements? Why do the recipients identify themselves as a Forty Under 40 for years to come? Why do the alumni continue to support the program and build community excitement for it? In the short time I have had the honour to be part of this program, this is what I found.


  1. Inspiring all ages. The achievements, business acumen and community involvement of our recipients serve as inspiration not just for other young leaders, but to those who have known success and continue to achieve.
  2. Recognition gets repeated. When we look at the list of past recipients, we see the names of many of today’s business and community leaders, making a difference and honouring their early successes by city building and giving back.
  3. Community in cohorts. There is a synergy created by aligning a group of ambitious, creative, and energetic young leaders. Many recipients have created long standing relationships with like minded leaders and our national capital region reaps the rewards.


  1. Get to know Ottawa’s young leaders. Start by reading the special edition of the Ottawa Business Journal here. Connect with them online. Send a message. Encourage your teams to reach out and let them know our city is behind them.
  2. Invest in leadership development. As if your future depends on it. Now is the time to find new and innovative ways to build our leaders of tomorrow. True leaders always gravitate to learning opportunities. Foster a culture of fail forward and let them fly.
  3. Invite them to the room where it happens. Innovative thinking, talent development, cultivating diversity are some of the top business strategies of the day. Harness the energy and ideas of young leaders to drive business and community success.

In closing, thank you to everyone who made the 25th anniversary edition of Forty Under 40, an absolute success. It takes a village to raise a leader. Together, we are creating a city of leaders.

Yours in prosperity,

Sueling Ching
President & CEO | Ottawa Board of Trade

About the Ottawa Board of Trade

The Ottawa Board of Trade is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan member driven business association. We are the voice of business and key advocate for economic growth in our Nation’s Capital. Our mission is to cultivate a thriving world class business community in Ottawa by influencing economic development through leadership and partnerships. We advocate key priorities at all three levels of government and support business growth through relevant benefits and programs. Join us today!