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Ivey alumni named to Canada's Top 40 Under 40®

Oct 29, 2020

Canada's Top 40 Under 40

Six Ivey alumni are 2020 recipients of Canada's Top 40 Under 40® award, an annual celebration of up-and-coming leaders. The 2020 recipients were announced today and will be honoured at a series of events to take place in 2021.

Founded in 1995, Canada's Top 40 Under 40® has recognized more than 800 outstanding Canadians and is the country’s most coveted award for young business leaders.

Here is a look at the Ivey alumni who made the list and how they feel about the recognition:

Michael Block, HBA ’07

Michael Block

Michael Block is Senior Vice President, Strategy and Asset Liability Management for OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension funds with more than $100 billion in assets and 500,000 members. He is responsible for developing OMERS’ overall strategy and the long-term target asset mix.

“It is truly an honour to be selected for this award among such a distinguished group of leaders. I continue to be so grateful for my experience at Ivey. It was deeply foundational for shaping my career and values.”

Joelle Faulkner, HBA ’05

Joelle FaulknerJoelle Faulkner is CEO of Area One Farms, an alternative asset management firm she co-founded in 2012. She is a Rhodes Scholar, Fulbright Scholar, a member of the New York Bar Association, on the list of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100, and one of EY’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women. She was recently named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

“Recognition is super nice. They make it look like it's just me, but it's never just a person. It's always the collection of people with them and behind them. I have recently been even better at seeking for and finding advice, that hopefully keeps making what we do work better. Like batting averages, there's a small percentage of things that I do that actually work, but so far they are working better than the places where what I try fails, and that's a great thing.”

Jason Mullins, EMBA ’13

Jason Mullins

Jason Mullins is President and CEO of goeasy Ltd., a leader in non-prime financial services. During his tenure, goeasy has received six awards for culture and performance.

"I am honoured to represent Ivey alumni as a recipient of Canada's Top 40 Under 40® award for 2020. Attaining an Executive MBA from the Ivey Business School was certainly a rewarding and impactful milestone on my professional journey."


Melissa Sariffodeen, HBA ’10

Melissa Sariffodeen

Melissa Sariffodeen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Canada Learning Code and a celebrated digital literacy advocate. She taught herself how to build websites from scratch using HTML when she was 11 and has been coding ever since.

“It's such an honour to be recognized along with so many leaders I truly admire. None of this – our work – would be possible without our incredible team of leaders coast to coast who go above and beyond each day to help our community learn and create a better more inclusive future for Canada. Thank you, all!” 

James Scongack, EMBA ’17


James Scongack is Executive-Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Operational Services at Bruce Power. He is responsible for operational services, business and market development, nuclear regulatory affairs, environment, external relations, and isotopes.

“We’re extremely fortunate to live in a country that has leaders across so many walks of life who demonstrate hard work, dedication, and a commitment to making a difference by bringing out the best in people. This award is about the future. I’m pleased to share this with the broader Bruce Power family who I’m immensely proud to work with every day.”

Shamez Virani, HBA ’06

Shamez Virani

Shamez Virani is President and Partner of CentreCourt, one of the most active and fastest-growing high-rise residential real estate developers in Canada. He is responsible for overseeing and managing all employees with a focus on rezoning, development, sales, and construction.

“As the son of refugees who came to Canada with nothing but the clothes on their backs in the 1970s, I am truly humbled to be included in this year's list of young Canadian business leaders. It was always a dream of mine from a very young age to make my family and community proud by growing into a leader within the Canadian business community, and receiving this award is a moment that I will never forget.”