Six members of the Jewish community were recipients of Forty Under 40 awards.
The awards, organized by the Ottawa Business Journal and Ottawa Board of Trade, recognize “accomplished and rising business leaders under the age of 40 in the National Capital Region.”
This year, over 160 applications were submitted. All nominees were scored by several judges using a 40-point system: 20 points for business accomplishments, 10 for expertise in their field, and 10 for community and charitable activities.
The award recipients gathered at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer Executive MBA facility, May 29, to network and share their stories ahead of a gala celebration, June 21, at the Hilton Lac-Leamy Hotel and Casino.
Stephanie Appotive of Howard Fine Jewellers said she felt “humbled” to be chosen for the award. “I never thought to apply, much less imagined being acknowledged. It was the encouragement and support of friends and colleagues that inspired this achievement,” she said.
Appotive said her Jewish upbringing has always taught her the importance of giving back to the community, “whether it be supporting children, hospitals and schools for many charitable events, or providing learning opportunities for our staff.”
Jacob Shabinsky, managing director at Glenview Homes, said the award is a great way for young business leaders in Ottawa to “celebrate their accomplishments and share ideas with one another.”
Shabinsky also said his goal is to use the award as a platform to “emphasize the importance of giving back to the local community through philanthropy and volunteering.”
Joelle Zagury of Merivale Vision Care said she was “proud and humbled” to be recognized, and hopes the award will “help some of the newer and younger doctors build up their patient base.”
Zagury said Ottawa’s Jewish community has been supportive of her clinic, by bringing their families and “always coming in with kind words.”
Danya Vered, vice-president at StrategyCorp Inc., said the award is a “testament to the hard work and long hours that I have put into my professional and volunteer career.”
Vered said the recognition, along with being the first female vice-president in her firm and incoming chair of the board of directors of the United Way, gives young women “reassurances that there is a path to success for you.”
Sender Gordon, director of investments and leasing at Regional Group, said he too feels humbled by the award, but finds it “difficult” to be in the spotlight.
Gordon said his study of Talmud, which to him is about “taking a story and looking at it from different angles and cutting it into many pieces,” has carried over to his job at Regional Group.
“I analyze investment opportunities and try to uncover things others have not yet seen, and I think the way I was taught definitely plays a role in that,” he said.
Josh Garellek, co-founder of Arctic Leaf Inc., said he could not have achieved the award without the “support and dedication” of his team.
Garellek said the Jewish values of “community, work ethic and perseverance” have given him the motivation to build his business, and he hopes to continue to “give back to the Jewish community and help support the new generation of entrepreneurs.”