Forty Under 40 recipients reveal new wave of business leadership

OBJ Staff
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A medical marijuana CEO, a feature film producer, a celebrity chef, a pizza kingpin, an internationally recognized blues guitarist and an analytics expert are among this year’s Forty Under 40 recipients.

The recipients of this year's Forty Under 40 awards were announced in April.

This year’s awards saw a record number of people engaged in the nomination process. More than 250 applications were started, making the selection process even more gruelling for a panel of six judges.

“Even as it approaches 20 years in Ottawa, the awards program continues to gather momentum,” says OBJ publisher Michael Curran, who has chaired Forty Under 40 for more than a decade. “It’s great to see young business leaders eager to share their success stories and seeking one of the city’s top business honours.”

Forty Under 40 recognizes accomplished leaders who are under the age of 40 and also give back to their community. The awards are co-hosted by Ottawa Business Journal and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce.

“The recipients hail from so many industries,” says Ian Faris, the president and CEO of the chamber. “It really demonstrates leadership across so many business categories, from high tech to hospitality.”

Besides Mr. Curran and Mr. Faris, the judging panel included Sophia Leong of Telfer Executive MBA, Bruce Lazenby of Invest Ottawa and past recipients Marie Boivin of Accu-Rate and Nick Quain from CellWand.

Each judge spent a dozen or more hours individually assessing almost 80 finalists on a 40-point system. Recipients received a maximum of 20 points for business accomplishments, 10 points for professional expertise and 10 points for community involvement.

The 2014 recipients will meet in early June at the Telfer Executive MBA facility for an afternoon of introductions and sharing.

OBJ will profile each recipient in a special issue of its newspaper on June 9.

On June 19, the group will be celebrated at a gala at the Hilton Lac-Leamy, an event that will also raise funds for the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health through a charitable draw.

Twitter users are encouraged to tweet their congratulations to the group using #OTT40.

The 2014 recipients are:

Norman Aitken, Juniper Kitchen & Wine Bar

Iwona Albrecht, Soloway Wright

Monica Alongi, Sure Print & Graphics

Robert Assaf, Kardish Health Food Centre

Michael Baker, Bunk 11 Pictures

Virginie Bastien, Macadamian

Jean-Luc Boissonneault, Free Form Fitness

Samantha Brown, Silver Star Swag

Jim Cain, Napkyn

Christa Casey, Welch LLP

Ken Craig, Altaview Financial Group

Dr. Cathy Deschênes, Deschênes-Poitras Dental Centre

Nilufer Erdebil, Spring2 Innovation

Daniel Feeny, National Capital Commission

Solomon Friedman, Edelson Clifford d’Angelo Friedman Barristers LLP

Nina Grimes, Deloitte

George M. Hanna, Gabriel Pizza

Leigh Harris Fowell, Halo Management Consulting

Karen Hennessey, Gowlings

Michael Horne, Meldrum Horne & Associates

Reid Ivens, N-VisionIT Interactive

JW Jones, Solid Blues Entertainment

Julien Leblanc, Blueprint Management Consultants

Andrew LeValliant, Fine Touch Dental

Dominique Levesque, Dominique Levesque Bridal

Shelley Maclean, Nordion

Jay Nordenstrom, NAIMA Canada

Ian O’Meara, Green Rebel

Ali Osman Ors, CogniVue

Megan Paterson, Kinaxis

Katy Pelletier, Spartan Bioscience

Marco Perron, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

Vinod Rajasekaran, HUB Ottawa

Jay Rampersad, Millennium CreditRisk Management

Chuck Rifici, Tweed

Matthew Rinfret, PCL Constructors

Tim Snelling, Palladium Insurance

Pascal St-Jean, Synergiq Solutions

Amber Stratton, Pure Yoga Ottawa

Darcy Walsh, Hill+Knowlton

Organizations: Ottawa Business Journal, Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, Hilton Lac-Leamy Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health Michael Baker Financial Group National Capital Commission Gowlings Meldrum Horne Associates Management Consultants Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton PCL Constructors

Geographic location: Ottawa, Silver Star

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Recent comments

  • Monique Levesque
    May 03, 2014 - 10:42

    Félicitations à tous, spécialement à Dominique Levesque, ma gentille fille,.

  • Theresa Delorme
    April 27, 2014 - 02:19

    Marco Perron, a very intuitive , intelligent and hard working person. He certainly merits the recognition .

  • John
    April 25, 2014 - 15:13

    Some truly impressive winners there. Not surprised to see Nilufer Erdebil, Spring2 Innovation. I hear only good things about that organization.

  • Norm
    April 25, 2014 - 14:25

    I don't understand how someone is awarded this honour when the related business is one that was purchased by a parent after that startup & original concept with decades of growth by the previous owners & the new generation has not contributed much to the business that was built by someone else. I think this award should be given only for new & original companies,otherwise only those with deep pockets can 'buy' this honour.

    • Frank
      April 30, 2014 - 09:14

      Norm- Maybe you should read the qualifications for this award. Its not about starting a business from scratch. Its about people under the age of 40 who balance strong business accomplishments with strong community involvement and have built excellent business expertise. Quit being a downer and congratulate these people.