Malz brings 15 years of broad financial leadership experience in start-up and high-growth companies.
WATERLOO, ON | MAY 24, 2023— Profound Impact™ Corporation is pleased to announce the appointment of Kasia Malz to the company as Chief Financial Officer.
Malz joined Profound Impact in April 2023 and brings more than 15 years of experience working in diverse financial leadership roles in start-up and high-growth environments. She holds her Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) designation and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of Illinois.Malz is no stranger to Waterloo Region and the surrounding area as she received both her Masters of Accounting and Honours Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo.
“Adding Kasia as our CFO signals a time of growth, expansion and investment here at Profound Impact,” says Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, Founder and CEO at Profound Impact. “We know Kasia will be an invaluable member of our team as we grow. We’re looking forward to her guidance as we continue this upward trajectory.”
Profound Impact, which operates out of the Toronto-Waterloo technology corridor, offers Research Impact, an AI-powered tool that helps academic and industry researchers find the perfect funding match. More than just a search engine, Research Impact offers automatic, targeted and timely grant matching.
Prior to joining Profound Impact, Malz spent four years as CFO of Titanium Transportation Group Inc. and two years as CFO of Next Hydrogen Solutions, both of which she took public, supported with multiple capital raises and grew through M&A. She currently sits on the board of the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy at McMaster University and Nets for Net Zero and is an Executive in Residence with Foresight Canada.
“I’m honoured to be part of Profound Impact and incredibly passionate about our solution, which brings together industry and academia with government and other funding organizations,” Malz says. “Our work at Profound Impact will continue to innovate in matching research funding, and I’m looking forward to our team’s journey.”
ABOUT PROFOUND IMPACT CORPORATION
Profound Impact’s AI-powered tool, Research Impact, helps academic and industry researchers find the perfect funding match. With over $300B in funding, 100,000s industry partners and 8.8M researchers globally, finding a match between academia, industry and grants is often overwhelming and time-consuming. More than just a search engine, Research Impact offers automatic, targeted and timely matching. Our customers include top Canadian research institutions. Profound Impact’s CEO and Founder Sherry Shannon-Vanstone is a serial tech entrepreneur with an unparalleled track record in building high-performing teams and led start-ups to successful exits both in Silicon Valley and Canada with two IPOs and two acquisitions. The company is located in the Toronto-Waterloo technology corridor. Our Canadian and US team members are passionate about connecting great people to do great things while maximizing their worldwide impact.
Two of Profound Impact’s core values are open collaboration and making a positive impact. This month, we’re proud to feature stories about how researchers and communities are working together to address issues like mental health, climate change, refugees and asylum and the intergenerational trauma caused by residential schools.
This month’s Research Spotlight on Social Innovation and Collaboration focuses on how researchers from a range of disciplines are working with social agencies, businesses and not-for-profits to develop programs to improve the health and well-being of communities across Canada and internationally. And we look at how the Government of Canada has broadened its understanding of innovation beyond traditional research funding to include resources for collaborations that engage charities and community groups who are addressing complex social challenges.
One of these researchers is Georgina Martin, an Indigenous scholar who is heeding the guidance provided by her grandfather as she was growing up by working with her community of origin to address the significant issues in physical and mental health and culture caused by residential schools and Indian hospitals. You’ll meet Georgina and learn how the team she leads will not only address these issues but will also inspire Indigenous youth to follow her path as a scholar and researcher.
This month’s Impact Story features technology entrepreneur, investor, CEO and philanthropist Jim Estill, who is also a longtime friend and one of my treasured mentors. Jim’s commitment to doing the right thing provides inspiring leadership to his employees at Danby Products and the community in Guelph and across Canada. His work in personally sponsoring refugees from Syria to come to the safety of Canada and of setting up networks, systems and resources for the community at large to sponsor people from around the world has been recognized through a range of awards and accolades. But it’s the work that’s important to Jim as he describes himself as “a regular person doing a tiny bit and even doing that imperfectly.”
Do you also know someone who has or is continuing to make a great impact? Nominations are now open for Profound Impact’s Impactful Action Awards, the annual program that recognizes leaders from around the world who are making a profound impact on the global community by inspiring collaborative solutions to difficult problems. Learn more about the award criteria and how to nominate in either the Young Leader or Lifetime Achievement category. Nominations are open until June 14 and the winner will be announced on September 14th, Profound Impact Day.
Finally, are you interested in learning how our Research Impact product can help your institution get more research funding? You can sign up here for a Demo Day to see Research Impact live.
We can’t wait to review the nominations for the Impactful Action Awards and look forward to meeting you at one of our Demo Days. As always, thanks for connecting with us and the Profound Impact community!
Food security, mental health, climate change, equitable access to healthcare, safe water, refugees and asylum, marginalized populations—these complex social and environmental challenges are faced by communities, both urban and remote, across Canada and internationally. Can a collaborative research approach, engaging researchers from a range of disciplines and geographies, use social innovation in the form of new programs, inventive use of technology and development of social enterprises, to address these issues?
The Government of Canada has responded to these challenges through the creation of the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy and a steering group to guide that strategy. In February of 2023, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development announced the launch of the Social Innovation Advisory Council (SIAC), a group of experts representing a diverse range of Canada’s social innovation and finance sector. SIAC’s role is to provide advice to the government to establish programs and support organizations, including charities, not-for-profits, businesses and social enterprises, which promote inclusive social innovation in Canada.
A key priority for the SIAC is to advise on the implementation of recommendations in the report Inclusive Innovation: New ideas and new partnerships for stronger communities. The report, which was delivered in 2018 by the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy steering group, focuses on how the government can support networks of organizations, both business and non-profit, that are working collaboratively to make communities healthier and more sustainable and inclusive. These recommendations include implementing government policy focused on social innovation through federal legislation, establishing a permanent Office for Social Innovation and a multi-sectoral Social Innovation Council to advise the federal government, creating a Social Finance Fund, and improving access to federal innovation, business development and skills training programs for social purpose organizations.
Canadian researchers have access to funding for collaborative research in social innovation via NSERC, the National Science and Engineering Research Council, and Mitacs.
The College and Community Innovation program offers researchers in Canada’s colleges and polytechnics opportunities to apply for College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) grants of up to $120,000/year for 1 to 3 years. CCSIF grants are managed by NSERC in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) with the goal of facilitating collaborative and innovative research that brings together researchers and students in the social sciences, humanities, health sciences, natural sciences and engineering to work with community partners to address challenges in social innovation.
One of the more than 50 CCSIF grants totaling over $38 million awarded in 2021 was to Georgian College in Ontario, in partnership with the Simcoe County District School Board and Ashoka Canada, a non-profit organization that promotes social entrepreneurship by connecting and supporting individual social entrepreneurs. The goal of this research is to create changemakers and active citizens to build stronger, safer, healthier and more inclusive communities. The three-year project will develop evaluation tools that measure growth in the four competencies associated with social innovation and transformation: empathy, shared leadership, teamwork, and change-making. The project team will work with educators from kindergarten through to postsecondary to incorporate these tools into their classrooms.
In British Columbia, researchers at Langara College, in partnership with the Williams Lake First Nation and the University of British Columbia’sIndian Residential SchoolHistory and Dialogue Centre, received CCSIF funding for Secwepemc Culture to Wellness: An Intergenerational Model of Healing from Trauma Caused by Indian Hospitals & Residential Schools in British Columbia. The project responds to the harm caused by residential schools and Indian hospitals through the interruption of the transfer of knowledge of elders, the land, community leaders and educators. A key objective of this community-based research is to restore the transfer of ancestral knowledge from elders to youth with the goal of reducing alienation and suicide among Secwepemc youth.
Mitacs has partnered with universities and community, business and non-profit organizations across Canada to fund a range of research projects addressing issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity, health and wellness and the delivery of food and medicine to remote communities.
In 2020, Mitacs and Mental Health Research Canada partnered to fund over 20 projects covering a range of topics related to mental health and COVID-19. Projects included research at the University of Calgary, working with the Association of International Medical Graduates of Alberta, to better understand the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on front-line workers who are members of vulnerable populations.
In a project to address the issues of food insecurity for more than 1,700 Nisga’a Indigenous people living in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, a University of Toronto Mitacs Accelerate-funded Anthropology graduate student worked with Ecotrust Canada’s North Coast Innovation Lab and the Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society on a plant-based food initiative that combines traditional and current methods and to develop and launch a food production and distribution hub.
Social innovation and collaboration, through inventive partnerships between researchers, social service agencies, business and non-profit organizations, are developing innovative processes, programs, services and methods to solve complex social problems and have transformative impacts on communities across Canada. Support for this research from federal funding agencies is leading to increased capacity for social innovation to develop and mobilize the resources, tools and methods needed to address the ongoing challenges facing communities in Canada and around the world.
When Dr. Georgina Martin was growing up as a member of the Secwepemc Nation in Williams Lake, British Columbia, her grandfather, Ned Moiese, taught her the importance of both receiving an education and of bringing what she learned back to her people. That advice strongly influenced her career path as she earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in Political Science and her PhD in Educational Studies. And her role as one of the 18 Indigenous scholars from across Canada on the Reference Group for the Appropriate Review of Indigenous Research, established to help guide the Tri-Council funding agencies (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC) to develop culturally appropriate practices for research conducted by and with Indigenous peoples in Canada, is an important milestone as well.
“I am a passionate life-long learner and I look for ways to facilitate learning and teaching”, says Dr. Martin. She studied for her undergraduate and master’s degrees while raising her children and working full-time jobs managing and administering programs and services within Indigenous communities, and education and health organizations. For almost three decades prior to earning her PhD, Dr. Martin worked in a range of federal and provincial government departments, serving in roles including Native Program Officer, Community Health Development Officer, Land and Community Coordinator and Aboriginal Liaison Equity Officer. In 2014, she completed her PhD research, Drumming my way home: An intergenerational narrative inquiry about Secwepemc identities, which focussed on Indigenous knowledge pedagogy and intergenerational knowledge transmission.
Dr. Martin’s focus on community, collaboration and knowledge transfer and her research interests in intergenerational trauma from residential schools and Indian hospitals, cultural identity, Indigenous self-determination, Indigenous education and Indigenous voices are reflected in her current research project, Secwepemc Culture to Wellness: An Intergenerational Model of Healing from Trauma Caused by Indian Hospitals & Residential Schools in British Columbia. Residential schools and Indian hospitals destroyed the transfer of Secwepemc language and cultural knowledge between generations. Dr. Martin leads this project, working in collaboration with the Williams Lake First Nation and the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC) at the University of British Columbia. The goal of the research is to develop a healing model that responds to the needs of the community and aligns with Indigenous values to benefit and support the Secwepemc Nation and Indigenous communities across the country.
As a scholar and an experienced community-based researcher, Dr. Martin emphasizes the importance of listening to and working with the community to conduct research. Her approach is strongly influenced by the work of Dr. Robert Morgan, an Aboriginal researcher who has worked throughout Australia and internationally in the field of Aboriginal knowledge and is committed to Aboriginal self-determination and sovereignty. Unlike “helicopter research”, where data is collected and results published without the involvement of local communities, this work will include the significant and meaningful participation of collaborators and participants.
In addition to using social innovation and collaboration to address crucial issues in physical and mental health and culture, the project will build capacity for future researchers, with more than 16 students receiving funding during its three-year duration.
“My grandfather taught me that people learn from what you do, not what you say”, recalls Dr. Martin. Her work in the classroom and the community as an Indigenous scholar, teacher and researcher makes her a powerful change agent and a formidable role model to Secwepemc Nation youth.
Do the right thing. That’s the imperative that drives Jim Estil—in everything business, in community service and in humanitarian work.
Jim has been President and CEO of home appliance manufacturer Danby Products in Guelph, Ontario since 2015. His focus on doing the right thing is reflected in Danby’s operating values, where ethical working conditions throughout the supply chain, diversity and inclusion, sustainability and philanthropy are at the heart of the company’s culture. And Jim has found that this way of doing business results in greater engagement by employees and attracts new staff. “People want to work for a company that does social good.”
Encouraged by his father to study engineering, Jim graduated from the Systems Design Engineering program at the University of Waterloo in 1980. He had developed an interest in computing and technology and was more interested in a career in business. “I would have made a terrible engineer!”, he claims. He started his first company, EMJ Data Systems, while in his final year of university. When the company was sold in 2005, it had grown from one where he sold hardware and software from the trunk of his car to a publicly traded corporation on the Toronto Stock Exchange with a staff of over 300 and $350 million in annual sales.
Beyond his success as an entrepreneur and investor, Jim is perhaps best known as a humanitarian. In 2015, he personally sponsored the resettling of 50 Syrian refugee families in Canada and, as CEO of Danby, set up a community network of hundreds of volunteers in Guelph to sponsor hundreds of people from countries around the world. Danby’s latest venture in this area is the Circle Home Furniture Bank, an ongoing resource to help provide furniture and housewares for newcomer families from Afghanistan, Ukraine and Syria as they establish their homes in Guelph and neighbouring communities. Through the work of local volunteers, community organizations and the federal government, Danby’s refugee sponsorship program has helped settle hundreds of newcomer families, helping them find and furnish homes, secure employment, and start their new lives in and around Guelph. “People are grateful to help and to be part of the better, bigger good,” notes Jim of the massive community effort of more than 800 volunteers that donated their time and resources to help people from around the world start a new life in Canada.
Jim has long been concerned about environmental issues. He started a recycling program in his university residence, has installed solar panels on his roof and invests in alternative energy. “I’m worried about climate change and the social upheaval it will cause as people will be forced to leave their homes.” This concern Is reflected in Danby’s focus on sustainability and the company’s goal to work toward a more sustainable future. The company refurnishes units as “Danby Certified” to help to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and to lower greenhouse gas production at their manufacturing plants.
Thanks to Jim’s leadership, and Danby’s ongoing commitment to do the right thing, the company continues to work to make the world better by supporting women’s shelters, programs for youth and for people experiencing homelessness. In recognition of his work, Jim was named to the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada, received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Guelph and an Everyday Heroes Award from the Global Hope Coalition. Despite the awards, he says “I’m a normal guy, trying to do my part.” And Jim hopes that Danby’s commitment to a corporate culture of philanthropy, volunteerism and servant leadership can serve as a model for much larger companies across Canada and internationally. “Everybody can do their part by taking on something that’s the right size for them to do their version of good.”
You can see more of Jim’s impact in the visualizations below.
Do you have an Impact Story to share? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to have your story featured in an upcoming newsletter!
The Impactful Actions Award recognizes leaders making a profound impactin communities globally.
WATERLOO, ON | MAY 1, 2023— Profound Impact is now accepting nominations for the 2023 Impactful Actions Award.
The annual award presented by Profound Impact™ Corporation recognizes leaders who are making a profound impact on the global community by inspiring collaborative solutions to difficult problems. The award launched in 2021 and has now grown to include two categories–Young Leader and Lifetime Achievement – in hopes to attract and honour a wider range of nominees.
“We received so many incredible nominations for the Impactful Actions Award last year and we wanted to expand the award to honour a second nominee and their work to make our world a better place. It’s truly inspiring to see the calibre of accomplishments from members of our community,” says Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, Founder and CEO of Profound Impact. “At Profound Impact, we’re passionate about collaboration and making an impact, and our nominees all showcase the absolute best of those core values.”
The inaugural Impactful Actions Award was presented to Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, former President & Vice-Chancellor (2010-2021) and Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo, in 2021. In 2022, Profound Impact presented the Impactful Actions Award to Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M., who is the Founder and President of the Green Hope Foundation.
“Our past winners truly exemplify what it means to make a profound impact through their actions and career achievements,” says Shannon-Vanstone. “We can’t wait to meet this year’s nominees and learn more about their impressive work.”
Nominations are open now until June 30. The top three finalists will be contacted on July 20, and the 2023 Impactful Actions Award winners will be announced during the Profound Impact Day virtual event on September 14, 2023. Please take a moment to review the award criteria and nominate someone you feel is making an extraordinarily positive impact.
ABOUT PROFOUND IMPACT CORPORATION
Profound Impact is a female-founded Canadian company located in the Toronto-Waterloo technology corridor. Profound Impact’s data, AI and analytics driven solutions help education, research and social impact organizations automate their processes, measure program impact, tell their story and inform strategy.
Profound Impact’s products include Research Impact, which automatically matches researchers to funding opportunities; Career Impact, which provides organizations with actionable insights by analyzing the career trajectory of program participants; and Connection Impact, which provides a platform for connecting organizations’ stakeholders to measure and visualize impact. These three products involve different stakeholders, but all work towards the important goal of connecting great people to do great things and maximizing their worldwide impact.
More than a billion people around the world will celebrate Earth Day on Saturday April 22. This year’s Earth Day theme, Invest in Our Planet, is designed to encourage businesses, governments and citizens to invest in solutions that will support the protection of the environment. Profound Impact is marking Earth Day with our Research Impact article on the evolution of the automobile industry in Canada over the last 120 years and how the federal and provincial governments, along with Canadian companies, are leading the way in investing in and developing innovative technology that is transforming the industry as it transitions to zero-emission vehicle production.
In this issue, you’ll meet Flavio Volpe, President of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA). Flavio was key in renegotiating the NAFTA agreement between Canada, the US and Mexico and is passionate about his work as an advocate of the automobile industry. He tells us about Project Arrow – the prototype automobile that is a showcase for made-in-Canada technology to meet the federal government’s call for a Zero-Emissions future by 2050. I am honoured to be a member of the Project Arrow Advisory Committee and to have the opportunity to contribute to this impactful initiative.
This month’s Impact Story introduces Deborah Rosati, corporate director, entrepreneur, Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant and founder and CEO of Women Get On Board. Deborah works closely with the corporate governance community and is a powerful role model and mentor for women as she promotes and empowers women to join corporate, public sector and not-for-profit boards. I am excited to announce that Deborah is joining this month as Chair of Profound Impact’s Board of Directors.
We’re thrilled to announce that the Impactful Actions Awards, which recognize leaders from around the world who are making a profound impact in the global community, will accept nominations in two categories in 2023. Read more about the nomination procedures and timelines for the Young Leader and Lifetime Achievement categories here.
And finally, we hope you’ll check out the webinar on researcher/industry collaboration Profound Impact presented in partnership with CS-CAN|Info-Can in March, as well as the highlight demo video of our Research Impact product. We have another webinar coming up in April!
Happy Earth Month and thanks for connecting with us and the Profound Impact community!
So much has changed since Canada’s automotive industry was launched with the invention of the 1903 Redpath Messenger. Manufactured by the Redpath Motor Vehicle Company in Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario, the one-cylinder Messenger had a shaft drive (instead of the then standard chain drive), two transmissions and a tilt steering wheel – believed to be the first in the automobile industry.
The production of the Messenger was followed by the large-scale manufacture of automobiles in Walkerville (now part of Windsor), Ontario in 1904 when the Walkerville Wagon Works factory produced 117 Model “C” Ford vehicles.
Today, Canada is one of the top 12 producers of light vehicles internationally. More than 1.4 million vehicles are assembled each year in Canadian plants supplied by nearly 700 parts suppliers. The automobile industry plays a vital role in Canada’s economy, providing a $12.5 billion contribution to GDP in 2020 and directly employing more than 117,200 people, with an additional 371,400 people in aftermarket services and dealership networks in 2020. Ontario is the only place in North America where five major automakers – Honda, Toyota, Ford, General Motors, Stellantis and truck manufacturer Hino – build vehicles.
The innovations that are fundamentally transforming automobile technology are also strengthening Canada’s role as a leader in the industry. Canadian research in areas including AI, neural networks, computer vision, lithium-ion energy density and hydrogen fuel cells has provided significant contributions to the development of connected and autonomous vehicles.
Transportation is responsible for approximately 25% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. In 2021, Canada joined over 120 countries, including all other G7 nations (United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Italy, France, and Japan) in its commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050. By 2026, 20% of new passenger vehicles sold in Canada must be emission-free and that figure rises to 100% in 2035.
The Canadian automobile industry’s innovative response to the Zero-Emissions mandate is Project Arrow, a showcase for electric-drive, alternative-fuel, connected and autonomous technologies. The Project Arrow concept vehicle will also act as a blueprint for battery development and integration, tech transfer and intellectual property development.
Launched by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA) and funded by the federal, Ontario and Quebec governments, this first, original, full-build, zero-emission concept vehicle was designed, engineered and built via a unique collaboration between more than 50 Canadian automobile parts suppliers and three universities and features:
Design, based on a small sport utility, by a team of students from Carleton University’s School of Industrial Design.
Engineering specifications and aerodynamic testing to convert those designs into a prototype conducted within Ontario Tech University’s ACE Innovation Garage, a collaborative laboratory and office space that brings together industry, academics and students.
Powertrain, which includes two 180-kilowatt electric motors, transmissions and differentials and a huge battery pack, designed and partially assembled at the University of Waterloo’s Mechatronic Vehicle Systems Laboratory.
Testing and validation of connected and autonomous (CAV) technologies prior to their integration into the physical car conducted in the Virtual Reality CAVE at Invest WindsorEssex.
Investment in electric vehicle (EV) technology is now a key industrial policy strategy for the federal and Ontario governments. The federal government’s $680 million Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) provides funding to deploy EV chargers and hydrogen refuelling stations across Canada. The Canada Growth Fund (CGF) is being established by the federal government to accelerate the deployment of technologies, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage and low-carbon hydrogen, to reduce carbon emissions.
Canadian expertise in emerging technologies is attracting major investments in autonomous and connected vehicle research and development from global companies. In December, 2022, General Motors of Canada, with support from the Ontario government, opened its first full-scale EV manufacturing plant in Ingersoll, the first all-electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Canada. And in March, 2023, the Ontario government announced Volkswagen’s first EV battery manufacturing plant, to be built in St. Thomas.
From the wooden carriage-bodied 1903 Redpath Messenger, currently on display at the Canadian Automobile Museum, to Project Arrow, now on a two-year international tour of auto and technical shows, the automobile industry in Canada has been and continues to be a showcase of Canadian innovation. And thanks to government and industry investments in made-in-Canada EV and battery ecosystems, Canada is becoming a global leader in designing and building the vehicles of the future.
“I’m crazy about cars!” declares Flavio Volpe, President of the Automotive Parts Manufacturer’s Association (APMA), which represents more than 200 suppliers to the automotive industry globally. That passion is evident in his role as an internationally recognized champion of Canada’s automotive industry.
Volpe originally planned to work in land use planning or the foreign service after completing his MBA in International Business at York University. But his role as Chief of Staff at the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth, followed by work in the renewable energy semiconductor manufacturing sector, led to being recruited as President of APMA in 2014.
A major achievement in his work with APMA was his leadership, during the 2017-19 NAFTA renegotiations, which led to a significant increase in regional content for suppliers in the new USMCA. This increase benefits car manufacturing workers from all three countries and helps spur investment in the North American automotive industry.
COVID-19 and its after-effects provided extraordinary challenges for Canada as well as the opportunity for the country’s manufacturing industry to work together. When the pandemic resulted in a dangerous shortage of medical equipment across the country, Volpe turned to APMA members to produce the largest build-orders of ventilators, PPE and test swabs in Canada’s history. He was recognized as a “Manufacturing Hero” for his leadership in this essential project.
When anti-government protestors illegally blockaded the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor in 2022, the cost to the automotive industry was $1 billion. Informed by the injunction to enforce noise and idling bylaws related to the ongoing anti-vaccine mandate protests in Ottawa, Volpe worked APMA legal counsel to secure an injunction in Ontario Superior Court to force the reopening of Canada’s most critical international border crossing. “We were facing the biggest crisis, (the) biggest acute trade and delivery crisis the industry has ever seen. And, as the trade association whose members were being impacted by $100 million in lost production per day and 100,000 people sitting at home without getting paid, we took action.”
The combination of the vital gains resulting from the NAFTA negotiations, the unprecedented response to produce PPE in a time of national crisis, and the effective solution to the border closure have cemented APMA’s reputation as a trusted partner to the automotive industry as well as to provincial and federal governments.
Volpe is perhaps most enthusiastic about his response to the Prime Minister’s challenge for a net-zero economy by 2050. He launched Project Arrow, a zero-emissions, autonomous concept prototype inspired by the innovation story of the Avro Arrow. This all-Canadian demonstration of technology was funded with $8 million from the federal, Ontario and Quebec governments and, in an outstanding collaboration with the Canadian automotive industry, $12 million of cash, in-kind and research and development funding from APMA partners.
Project Arrow was unveiled at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to global coverage and was at centre stage during the opening events of the 2023 AutoShow’s media preview event in February 2023 in Toronto. “Project Arrow is a ground-breaking show of Canada’s most advanced zero emissions, lightweight, connected and autonomous automotive technology,” says Volpe. Project Arrow is currently on a two-year international tour of auto and technology shows to showcase the future automotive technologies, developed, commercialized and built in Canada.
Volpe believes that Project Arrow will inspire the next generation of the Canadian automotive industry – including students and established and start-up companies that will develop the technologies to meet Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
When asked about his professional future plans, Volpe notes that government and community service are the family business. His father, Joe Volpe, served as a member of the federal parliament from 1988 to 2011 and as a cabinet minister from 2003 to 2006. “I may consider a position in government when I’m ready to step away from industry,” says Volpe.
In the meantime, Flavio Volpe is recognized internationally as a top industry leader, as an effective and passionate champion of Canada’s automotive industry, and an outspoken advocate for Canada’s automotive suppliers and the automotive industry as a whole.
Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant Women Get on Board
Deborah Rosati always knew that she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps by pursuing a career in business. “He immigrated to Canada from Holland at age 14, and was placed in a grade one class. My father built his life in Canada and his business from the ground up,” she says. “My parents taught me that I could do whatever I wanted. And I’ve always had a deep love for business.”
Deborah’s focus on a career in business attracted her to the co-op accounting program at Brock University’s Goodman School of Business. By her mid-twenties, thanks to co-op work term experience, Deborah had developed the skills that led to corporate roles ranging from controller to CFO. The appeal of emerging technologies and her inclination to entrepreneurship drew her to new roles as company co-founder and partner. It was during this phase of her work that she found herself to be one of only a few female partners or board members.
The lack of women at the board table and the absence of women mentors motivated Deborah to found Women Get On Board (WGOB) in 2015. In the ensuing 8 years, Deborah and her team have grown this member-based, social purpose company to more than 850 members. Collaborations with corporate sponsors have resulted in programs that have helped more than 300 women prepare and effectively engage on corporate, public sector and not-for-profit boards. These programs include:
WGOB Mentorship Program, which matches aspiring women corporate directors with accomplished leading and serving women corporate directors to elevate their board effectiveness and advance their board journey to a corporate board seat.
WGOB Financial Intelligence in the Boardroom Program, designed to empower women with practical insights and tools to enhance their financial intelligence in the boardroom. This unique online program offers practical and hands-on support in a combination of micro-learning, virtually facilitated by financial experts.
WGOB has also worked with corporate partners to celebrate the accomplishments of women. WGOB created the BMO Celebrating Women on Boards in 2020 to annually recognize 5 women across Canada who excel in and out of the boardroom. In 2022, WGOB announced KPMG Canada as its first EMPOWER Partner to connect, promote and empower women to lead and serve on boards through events and thought leadership.
In addition to her work on WGOB, Deborah is actively engaged with the wider corporate governance community through frequent speaking engagements, panel discussions, podcasts, and authoring articles and e-books How to Get Yourself on a Board and Elevating Your Board Effectiveness, to share her expertise and thought leadership..
Deborah has been recognized through numerous nominations and awards including The SustainabilityX Magazine’s inaugural Global 50 Women in Sustainability Award in 2022. In 2021, she was recognized as one of the Women’s Executive Networks Top 100 Canada’s Most Powerful Women in the Entrepreneur award category. Deborah has also been honoured as a 2020 Director to Watch and a 2014 Diversity 50 candidate. And in 2012, Deborah was selected as one of WXN’s Top 100 Canada’s Most Powerful Women in the Corporate Director award category.
Deborah’s career and WGOB are guided by the same principles:
Be passionate in everything we do;
Be engaged and take initiative; and
Be communicative beyond expectation.
Recognized for her success as a successful businesswoman, entrepreneur, corporate director, speaker and supporter of women in the boardroom, Deborah Rosati is a powerful role model and mentor. Her advice to women in business? “Be fearless and never doubt yourself. Lean in and learn up – because knowledge is power.”
You can see more of Deborah’s impact in the visualizations below:
Do you have an Impact Story to share? Reach out to us at email@example.com for a chance to have your story featured in an upcoming newsletter!
Nominations for Profound Impact’sTM Impactful Actions Awards will open May 1st!
The Impactful Actions Awards is an annual awards program recognizing leaders worldwide who are making a profound impact on the global community by inspiring collaborative solutions to difficult problems. This program brings together two of Profound Impact’s core values: open collaboration and making a positive impact.
New for 2023
Now in our third year, the 2023 Impactful Actions Awards will include two award categories:
The winner will be announced annually on September 14th, Profound Impact Day, which is a celebration of the world’s diverse leaders and changemakers who are leaving their mark on the global community through their initiatives, influence, and impact.
To meet the judging criteria for the Impactful Actions Award, the Nominee must:
Significantly contribute to the area(s) of leadership, mentoring, gender equality and inclusiveness, academic excellence, or research;
Be a living person over the age of 18 years old;
Have achieved professional recognition in their field of study or expertise;
Exemplify the core values of open collaboration and positive impact;
Demonstrate innovative ideas or actions for solving challenging problems with the scalable potential for global impact.
Key dates in this annual award cycle for 2023 include:
MAY 1 – Award nominations open
JUNE 30 – Award nominations close (nominations will be accepted until 11:59 PM ET)
JULY 20 – Three finalists selected and notified
SEPTEMBER 14 – Winner honoured on Profound Impact Day
The top 3 finalists in each category will be profiled in early September in Profound Impact’s newsletter. The award winners will be recognized on Profound Impact Day and a donation to their charities of choice will be made by Profound Impact Corporation.
Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur was the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2021. Dr. Hamdullahpur is the former President & Vice Chancellor and Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He was selected for the impact he has made on university education, research and scholarship in our broader society through constant reform and innovation in the higher education sector, in addition to his involvement in the United Nations’ HeForShe initiative to take action on gender inequality.
Kehkashan Basu M.S.M. was the Impactful Actions Award winner in 2022. Basu, who was just 22 years old, started working towards improving the world around her at the age of seven. Basu planted her first tree at eight and founded her own humanitarian organization, Green Hope Foundation when she was 12. The foundation focuses on empowering vulnerable populations by providing education for sustainable development. The global social enterprise has worked with more than 300,000 people across 26 countries, focusing on water, sanitation, clean energy, and food security.
The Nominator must contact the Nominee(s) to inform them of their Nomination. Nominee(s) has the right to decline to be nominated, in which case, no nomination should be submitted. Self-nominations are accepted and nominees who were previously nominated are eligible to be nominated for this awards cycle. The nomination submission must be completed using the online nomination form which will be available May 1, 2023.