Toronto Business Summit 2024

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    Jesse Asido is the passionate owner and founder of Scarborough Spots, a dynamic social media-based retail store located in Eglinton Square Shopping Centre. With a vision to uplift and celebrate his beloved hometown of Scarborough, Jesse has transformed a simple Instagram account into a thriving community hub and retail space that embodies the vibrant spirit of the area.

    Scarborough Spots began during the COVID-19 pandemic as a platform to promote local restaurants. Over time, it evolved to cover Scarborough news, memes, and unique merchandise, becoming a digital love letter to the community. Jesse's dedication to highlighting the positive aspects of Scarborough, from its diverse culture to its rich history, is evident in every post and product.

    The store itself is a unique experience, designed to resemble a subway station, with sections dedicated to different areas of Scarborough. It not only offers clothing and merchandise but also serves as a center for community events and initiatives. Jesse's efforts extend to supporting local causes, with proceeds from certain collections going to groups such as the Scarborough Health Network.

    Jesse's work with Scarborough Spots has not only redefined retail but also helped reshape the narrative around Scarborough, challenging negative stereotypes and celebrating the area's true essence. His deep love for Scarborough, coupled with his innovative approach, continues to inspire and bring positive change to the community.

    Few Canadians have contributed to the world of design as much as Paul Rowan. Throughout his nearly fifty-year career, Paul has worked tirelessly to create and promote thoughtful, elevated design with the dream of making the world a more beautiful place. In 1980, Paul co-founded Umbra with his childhood friend Les Mandelbaum. Initially the only designer, Paul was responsible for all product design and manufacturing, creating modern, affordable housewares that led Canada into a new era of design. As Umbra grew into a global brand, Paul built a design team, primarily recruiting from OCADU, establishing a long-lasting relationship with the university.
    Paul's passion for education and nurturing new designers led him to pioneer an innovative program in 2000 between design schools and Umbra, starting with Pratt University. Students collaborated with Paul to create products, with winning submissions produced and marketed by Umbra, providing royalties to both students and schools. This competition model was extended to numerous design schools worldwide, including Emily Carr, The Design Centre in Pasadena, and Humber College. These collaborations generated significant revenue and led to many internships and full-time jobs at Umbra and other leading design companies. Paul also sat on the OCADU board of directors for six years, contributing to initiatives like the Imagination Catalyst, an incubator promoting entrepreneurship among OCADU graduates.
    Paul's contributions extend beyond Umbra and OCADU. He has been involved in numerous educational initiatives and competitions, such as a design competition with EAFIT University in Medellin, Colombia, and advisory roles in various design startups. He has written articles for Misc Magazine and frequently speaks at design institutions and events globally, including TEDx Toronto and the Ontario Economic Summit. Paul's achievements include his mesh can design being added to the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and receiving multiple awards, such as the Best Design Strategy Award and the Premier’s Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Colleges of Ontario. Currently, Paul is a partner and senior advisor at the design consulting firm Arch've, where he continues to support design education and advise emerging designers.
    Upasana is a true trailblazer and a dynamic entrepreneur. She is the Vice President of TiE Toronto and the Managing Director of TiE Toronto’s Startup Visa program.
    An expert in the Canadian Start-up Visa Program, Upasana has successfully launched several global start-ups in the Canadian market. She is also the co- managing partner at Tangentia Ventures, a Designated Venture Capital group under the Canada Start-up Visa Program. With a wealth of legal experience from her time practicing law with one of Toronto's leading law firms, Lerners LLP, she brings unique insight into the Canadian legal and regulatory system - an invaluable asset backing her expertise in advocacy, negotiating, critical thinking, and problem-solving!
    Upasana is an unstoppable force in providing exceptional service, which has positioned her as a trusted advisor to business owners, start-ups, and organizations.
    With such formidable background knowledge and experience, she is arguably building a best-in-class Startup incubation program in Canada's Start-up ecosystem, helping startups succeed in breaking into Canada's competitive market.
    Being an entrepreneur herself, Upasana has the acumen and empathy to aid entrepreneurs through the daunting process of expanding their ventures to Canada. Her exceptional service has earned her numerous accolades, recognition, and affiliations. She sits on the Board of Angel One Network Inc. Named a MacArthur Foundation Scholar for her dedication and drive, Upasana achieved academic success by obtaining an LLM degree from the University of Toronto. Her impressive network brings together top investors, business consultants, lawyers, and industry experts, providing entrepreneurs mentorship and knowledge-based resources to ensure their success.
    Her achievements and contributions are a testament to her hard work, dedication, and unwavering commitment to excellence.
    Here's what you should know about Upasana: - There is nothing more important to her than hard work and determination. - Strategically navigating complex but lucrative markets, she hits goals, avoids problems, and tackles new possibilities. - She finds great people and assembles teams that perform and deliver. - She believes in the hustle and faces down challenges with grit and tenacity to bring people and ideas together to build successful businesses. - There is no greater thrill to her than digging into businesses and watching them grow.
    With over 30 years in healthcare management and advocacy, Marc Kealey is a leading voice for transformation. He is the Chief Advocate and founder of K&A Inc., a public policy, project management consultancy with clients in Canada and abroad. His success is honed through years of practical experience in governance, public policy development and management. Well networked, he serves clients in the areas of energy, gaming, healthcare, and agriculture with projects in several countries including Asia, Latin America, USA, and Canada. Kealey has been instrumental in crafting complex policy decisions in Canada and globally.
    From 2004 to 2007, he served as CEO of the largest pharmacy organization in Canada. He steered the organization through the toughest issues of the day including the Transparent Drug System for Patients Act. Recognized in North America as a leading advocate for the preservation of the multi-billion dollar prescription drug industry, he is an advocate for the elimination of cross border re-importation and drug security. Through his network, he lectures globally on related issues.
    Prior to 2004, Kealey served as GM of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) , he was part of AECL CANDU technology team in China and Eastern Europe. He delivered value by being interface with governments
    and linked CANDU technology with Canadian healthcare system design in Qinshan, China and Cernavoda, Romania. In China he capitalized on the great work of Dr. Norman Bethune and in Romania linked Canadian health and social services to the region where nuclear facilities are located. He continues advocacy for Bethune in China and CANDU nuclear.
    From 1990 to 1999, Kealey served as VP of Planning and Development at Whitby General Hospital and steered the transition from community hospital to part of a regional system now known as Lakeridge Health System. He facilitated collaboration among the six hospitals in Durham region and fostered consensus to integrate all hospitals into one system. He served as an advisor to former Prime Minster Rt. Hon. John N. Turner from 1984 to 1990 on federal/provincial relations. He and Prime Minister Turner remained colleagues even after they both left politics and campaigned for causes like water sustainability and democracy throughout the world.
    Mr. Kealey sits on a number of boards including Canada India Foundation, Jamaica Disaster Relief and Resilience Initiative, Doctors Federation for the World; China Association of TCM; the Bethune Foundation and Wounds Canada as well as publicly traded companies. He is well traveled internationally and lectures on healthcare and democracy. In 2005 he and Prime Minister John Turner represented Canada in Israel for the anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In 2004 he led a delegation to Ukraine to oversee that country’s move to democracy. In 2017, he became a Knight in the Order of France.
    He is a graduate of St. Jerome’s University at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and attended Kent State University in Ohio. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario Canada.

    David Tsubouchi is an author and former politician, regulator, and Integrity Commissioner. Mr. Tsubouchi holds a B.A. from York University, a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School, an LL.D. from Assumption University in Windsor, a D.S. Litt. from Huntington University and C.Dir. from McMaster University.

    David Tsubouchi is the first Japanese Canadian to be elected to a provincial legislature and be appointed to cabinet in Canada. He has served as the MPP for Markham for two terms and has held cabinet posts in the Ontario Legislature including Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Solicitor General, Chair of Management Board/Treasury Board and Minister of Culture. Prior to serving in the Ontario Legislature, Mr. Tsubouchi served as a Councillor for the Town of Markham for two terms.

    Mr. Tsubouchi currently sits on the board of directors for OMERS Administration Corporation and Tarion. He has served as the Honorary Consul General for Mongolia (Toronto). He has served on many boards of directors including York University, Seneca College, Trios College, Women’s College Hospital, Markham Stouffville Hospital, Hitachi Canada, Lakefront Utilities, Teranet Income Trust, and Ontario Arts Council.

    Mr. Tsubouchi has received numerous awards and honors including the Queen’s Diamond and Golden Jubilee Medals, North American Association of Asian Professionals 100 Award, The Bruce Bryden Award (York University), The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, The Award of Merit from the Japanese Canadian Community, and the Canadian Horse Racing Industry Award of Recognition.

    David Tsubouchi has been an international keynote speaker in many countries including Dubai, Macau, China, Japan, Canada and the United States. He currently lectures on diversity at York University, Department of Equity Studies and Politics and Governance at the Directors College, McMaster University.

    His memoir, Gambatte, was nominated for the Speaker’s Book Award and the Heritage Toronto Award. He contributed to Race In-Equity, Intersectionality, Social Determinants of Health, and Human Rights. He has written five sci-fi novels, The Chinese Door series and Zeke. He has also contributed to The Handbook of Board Governance 3 rd Issue.

    Trimel Fidely is a Business Centre Manager with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). He first came to Canada from Trinidad and Tobago to complete his Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons.) degree in Finance and Human Resources at the University of New Brunswick. His time in Fredericton and newfound love of the East Coast made it easy to call Canada his new home, where he launched his career in financial services.

    Over the past 15 years, he has worked in financial institutions holding various roles in retail banking, insurance and most recently, commercial banking. For the past 11 years at BDC, Trimel has been working with entrepreneurs to accelerate the growth of their businesses and helping to solve any challenges they face. He accomplishes this by providing a wide array of financing solutions, including venture capital, as well as a full suite of advisory services. His career at BDC has taken him to many new cities throughout the country including Halifax, NS; Calgary, AB; St. John’s, NL and most recently Toronto, ON where he currently resides with his wife and 3 kids.

    As Trend Hunter's Chief Growth Officer, Jonathon Brown is an expert in maximizing the innovation potential of ambitious companies. After hundreds of interviews with global innovation leaders, Jonathon has uncovered methods for sparking creativity and systematic innovation across many industries. He shares these reusable techniques through captivating keynotes and backed by real use case examples. Jonathon started at Trend Hunter in 2012 on the editorial team, where he wrote over 1,000 articles, garnering 6 million views. In 2015, he spearheaded the successful launch of Jeremy Gutsche’s New York Times bestseller Better and Faster. Along with his keynotes, Jonathon doubles as the Emcee at Future Festival, the world's highest-rated innovation conference. Throughout his career, he's served as an innovation keynote speaker for clients such as Cisco and Walmart, as well as events such as The Market Research Event and OmniShopper.

    Catherine Chandler-Crichlow, Ph.D. is the Dean at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies (SCS).

    Prior to joining U of T SCS, Catherine was the Executive Director of Career Management and Corporate Recruiting at Ivey Business School - Western University. She is a transformational leader and passionate advocate for an inclusive approach to addressing the supply and demand of talent for the Ontario workforce ecosystem. While at Western, she was an active member of Ivey’s EDI Executive Council.

    Prior to her leadership positions within universities, Catherine headed 3C Workforce Solutions that conducted human capital research in partnership with organizations such as Mercer International to determine talent needs across major sectors such as transportation, telecommunications and hospitality in Ontario. Such research she deems key to understanding the changing nature of work and tackling under- and unemployment of racialized youth, immigrants, newcomers, and marginalized Francophonie.

    With 25+ years as a human capital professional, her career focus has been in the financial services sector with executive roles at TD Bank Financial Group, the Centre of Excellence in Financial Services and the Toronto International Leadership Centre for Financial Sector Supervision. She has consulted to the World Bank and has advised clients in Canada, Europe, Latin America, South-East Asia and the Caribbean.

    Catherine has been a human capital advisor to different levels of government such as her membership on the federal Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy and as a member of the External Advisory Committee on Inclusion and Diversity of the Ontario Public Service. She is Board Chair of the largest immigrant mentorship network in Canada and in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, she was selected by The Philanthropist as one of Canada’s leaders in the non-profit sector.

    Catherine holds a doctorate in adult education from the University of Toronto, a Master of Education degree from Harvard University, and both a Diploma in Education and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the West Indies.

    A native of Scarborough, Ontario, Sam Ibrahim’s family immigrated from Egypt to Canada in the 1980s. He is an alumnus of the University of Toronto Scarborough who, at the age of 26, founded the Arrow Group of Companies. The Arrow Group is a collection of more than 20 corporations with a range of interests, including scientific research, diversified finance, temporary labour, health and wellness, sports and recreation and professional basketball. A self-made business magnet, the Arrow Group has grown to become one of Canada’s largest private corporations. It currently employs over 10,000 people and operates on four continents.

    Beyond entrepreneurship, Mr. Ibrahim is a father of two boys, an avid basketball fan, and the owner of the largest private collection of basketball facilities in the world. The Playground started off as a passion project and has become Canada’s largest employer in the sport of basketball outside of the Toronto Raptors. Performing arts is another passion for Mr. Ibrahim and he recently converted the East York Masonic Temple into a live theatre and concert venue, and an instructional facility for aspiring actors, singers and dancers.

    Sam Ibrahim believes in the transformative power of entrepreneurship and its abilities to uplift a community. His recent partnership with the University of Toronto is a testament to these values. The Sam Ibrahim Centre of Inclusive Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership was established to provide students with world class access to greater opportunities in Scarborough.

    His advice for success is to “See where the crowd is moving and go the other way”.

    Lee Soda is the Executive Director at Agincourt Community Services Association.  A non-profit, multi-service agency in Scarborough whose core business is addressing the needs and supporting those struggling with systemic poverty.

    Lee Soda is committed to addressing the root causes of poverty and marginalization through community work. Her focus is on re-imagining possibilities for the communities ACSA serves, and as an experienced thought leader in the not-for-profit sector, she excels at partnership development, nurturing and fostering collaborative endeavours and driven by the belief that success belongs to all people.

    Lee is a strong advocate of inclusive social policies and works toward breaking down systemic barriers through access, equity and the creation of programs and services within communities that promote strong, vibrant, safe and healthy neighbourhoods where people can live, work, play and thrive within.

    A graduate of York University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology and an Early Childhood Educator, Lee believes the basics of life are ingrained in the Early Years of our development and practiced throughout our lives.

    Lee’s experience includes, leadership building, succession planning, program development and evaluation. Lee is passionate about thought leadership, experiential learning, integrated program delivery models, partnership building, developing community capacity and working alongside community to self determine their needs.

    Recognized for her endeavours in Scarborough communities from the Province of Ontario as a Leading Women Champion in 2015. With ongoing efforts to empower girls and women at being the best they can be, and leading by the example that making our communities better, begins with each one of us, and you never leave it to someone else to get the job done. Lee Soda’s professional experience includes coaching and mentoring women and girls in recognizing their potential and capacity to influence and be change makers within their communities. Lee believes that building and nurturing the capacity of others is a privilege and responsibility for the next generation of leaders.

    Recognized as a key influencer in generational wealth planning, Michael is renowned for his expertise in navigating complex estate planning matters and transforming them into advantageous solutions.

    Over the course of his professional journey, Michael has assisted thousands of families in devising and safeguarding their legacies, thereby cultivating a positive influence on their lineage for generations to follow. He has delivered lectures regarding estate planning, insurance, and philanthropy across Canada, and is frequently interviewed on podcasts focused on financial matters.

    Michael is a Trust & Estate Practitioner (TEP), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), and Certified Financial Planner (CFP). He is also a member of the Sick Kids Professional Advisors Network, The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Canada, Advocis – The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, FP Canada – Advancing Professional Financial Planning and a sponsor at McMaster’s Incubator Program, The Forge.

    Generational Wealth Planning aims to create a positive influence not only on the present generation but also on those to come. Michael has embraced the role of an educator in this realm as a fundamental aspect of his professional mission.