Five Western alumni have been named to this year’s list of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, an annual recognition of the country’s most outstanding young achievers, visionaries and innovators under the age of 40.
Adam Segal, BA’06, Dr. Teresa Purzner, MD’09, Derrick Emsley, HBA’12, Seema Lakhani, HBA’07, and Mathew Mehrotra, HBA’09 were among the 40 honourees this year, selected from 1,200 nominations from across Canada by an independent advisory board.
“It’s important to celebrate and nurture the ideas, aspirations and ambitions of these talented Canadian business leaders. Through the Top 40 Under 40 recognition, we are encouraging and shining a spotlight on talented leaders, which better positions Canada to compete on the world stage,” said aid Matthew Wetmore, managing partner, industries and regions, at PwC Canada, which spearheads the Top 40 Under 40 program with Caldwell Partners, a Canadian-owned global executive search firm.
Get to know the Western alumni regarded among Canada’s most outstanding young achievers under 40.
Adam Segal is the president and CEO of Storkcraft Manufacturing Inc., one of the fastest growing juvenile furniture companies in north America. Assuming his role at the company’s helm in 2017, Segal implemented a number of innovative initiatives: establishing Storkcraft’s first-ever design and innovation teams, developing best-in-class teams in customer service and operations, and expanded the company’s North American reach with multiple strategic distribution centres.
A neurosurgeon, scientist, entrepreneur and mother-of-three, Dr. Teresa Purzner successfully implemented a multidisciplinary approach to identifying a novel drug targeting medulloblastoma, the most common pediatric brain tumor. She launched a groundbreaking, multi-institutional trial for the management of medulloblastoma in collaboration with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium. She also co-founded the award-winning Cerebelly, veggie-first baby food that provides 16 brain-supporting nutrients. Cerebelly is the first shelf-stable baby food to earn the Project Purity Award.
To say Derrick Emsley has an extensive track record of environmental stewardship is an understatement. At age 16, he and his brother, Kalen Emsley, HBA’11, founded tree-planting company Tentree that sold carbon offsetting credits to businesses. After graduating from Ivey, Emsley became tentree’s CEO, growing the organization into a sustainable global business that plants more than 60 million trees across the world. Emsley was also recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for 2020. Emsley is also the co-founder and CEO of Veritree, a global technology firm providing an integrated management platform for global restoration projects.
In addition to leading Wattpad’s product strategy and team, Seema Lakhani founded and chairs Wattpad’s diversity and inclusion committee, which works on important equity initiatives across the company. As general manager of Wattpad Labs, Lakhani also leads the company’s R&D innovations around the future of storytelling. In 2020, she received the Report on Business Best Executive Award.
As BMO’s chief digital officer, Mathew Mehrotra is responsible for driving the digital transformation of the bank’s customer-facing businesses. Prior to this role, he held progressively senior roles in BMO’s digital and strategy teams, and worked as a consultant at Monitor Group. He is also on the board of Good Shepherd Ministries in Toronto.
– With files from Ivey Communications