Mohammed Ashour (MBA'14), co-founder of Aspire Food Group, received the Highly Commended Award at FoodBytes, a startup competition that supports innovative ideas in food and agriculture. The Aspire Group transforms crickets into high-protein powder and snacks, and are looking to expand their market into the U.S., where the aversion to insects as food seems to prevail.
For French native Ben Plomion (MBA’07), his early teenage years consisted of skateboards, Nirvana, and an unshakable dream of relocating to the U.S. After completing his studies in Canada, he made his dreams a reality by securing work at General Electric in New York.
Since then, he has moved into the startup scene in California, working as Chief Marketing Officer for GumGum, an artificial intelligence company. He remains, however, wary of Donald Trump’s stance on immigration and how this might impact his future in the U.S.
D. Jennifer Rhee (BCom’88, DPA’89) has been named Chief Financial Officer at Loop Industries, a manufacturer of environmentally responsible Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) and Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG). Ms. Rhee has over 25 years of finance, accounting, international tax and management experience, having worked, most recently, as a partner with Richter LLP since January 2007.
LIMRA has released its 2017 Rising Stars of Innovation under 40 list and Jean-Michel Lavoie (MBA’09), Assistant Vice President, Product Development, Group Benefits at Sun Life Financial has made the final cut.
The list recognises individuals across many areas of the financial services who are using an innovative approach to their business practice and day-to-day activities.
Alibaba hosted its Gateway’17 conference, which brought together an array of forward-looking retailers, along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who commented on the healthy trade relationship between Canada and China.
Also in attendance was Aldo Group International’s Director of Business Development, Martina Gimenez-Comas (BCom’11) who shared that, while Aldo continues to expand into global markets, it recognises the importance of meeting business objectives, while also leaving room to dream.
Imran Amed (BCom'97) has been named to the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for his contributions as CEO of The Business of Fashion, an online news site for the fashion industry. The list recognises people in the UK who have made significant contributions to society.
Founded in 2007, The Business of Fashion has since become one of the leading sources of news for the fashion world.
While looking into supplements as part of her treatment for breast cancer, Monica Ruffo (BCom’86) realized something was amiss. “I couldn’t actually understand what was written on the labels,” Ruffo says. Further research uncovered a lack of legal framework surrounding the use of the word “natural” in Canada and the U.S., and that most supplements labelled so are hardly natural at all. Even worse, the companies aren’t obligated to say where their ingredients are sourced.
David Levenson (BCom'96) has been nominated to the Board of Teekay Offshore Group as news of a completed comprehensive transaction with Brookfield Business Partners L.P. is also shared.
Mr. Levenson is a Managing Partner at Brookfield and oversees the company’s opportunistic credit initiatives, including the Brookfield Credit Opportunity Fund and Brookfield Private Credit. He has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and restructurings.
Light Reading reports that after leaving her position as Head of Ericsson North America, Rima Qureshi (BCom’87, MBA’96) has been hired as Verizon’s new Chief Strategy Officer. She will be working for CEO Lowell McAdam.
Qureshi has a deep understanding of the issues involved with running a successful tech company in today’s network-heavy reality: she started at Ericsson as a system analyst in 1993, before moving up through the ranks.
In an interview for Flare Magazine, Toronto-based Shereen Ladha (BCom’10) talks about finding success both as a brand strategist and as a busy Bollywood dancer in movies, Netflix shows, on Canada’s Got Talent and since 2014, on her own YouTube channel.
Ms Ladha says that the moment she realized that she could indeed balance her day job and her side hustle was when she left work late one night to go to a video shoot for which she’d hired dancers. She worked through the stress, and the video ended up going viral.
Nour Hadidi (BCom’10) is a comedian and TV writer who grew up in a family of doctors, earned a BCom, and spent a half-decade as a financial analyst before leaving Montreal for the comedy stages of Toronto.
In an interview with Flare Magazine, Ms Hadidi says that she got her big break in the form of an appearance on a CBC Radio special. That event led to other CBC appearances and gigs at comedy clubs.
Marie Laure Leclercq (MBA) started her career, and indeed her life, as a male. According to the Canadian Bar Association’s (CBA) National Magazine, when she began the process of changing her gender in 1995, it was what she calls an act of survival.
For years, the former Mr Leclercq had been hiding growing feelings of unease in his gender and suffering from depression, but at the time, transgender people had to jump through hoops before becoming eligible for gender-reassignment surgery.
Canadian Business’ Profit 500 ranking is out, and two companies led by McGill-HEC Montréal EMBA alumni are on it. Atypic is a Montreal-based professional-services firm that works with organizations in the plural sector, and is headed by President Pascal Lépine (EMBA’12).
At the inaugural session for the Université de Montréal Law faculty’s 2017-18 school year, Jean-François Gaudreault-DesBiens extended a warm welcome to the new and returning students, then invited Cogeco Connexion’s VP Legal Affairs, Chief Privacy Officer, and Desautels alumna Caroline Dignard (EMBA'10) to the podium to deliver the annual speech.
A recent piece in Le monde du droit announces that French business law firm Bersay & Associés has brought Thibault Lasserre (MBA'07) on board as an associate. Mr Lasserre concentrates on corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity. Before joining Bersay & Associés, he advised several corporations about international mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs; and worked at Law firms such as Veil Jourde, Coudert Brothers and Jones Day.