Tommy Europe ’93
In his graduating year, Tommy Europe was drafted by the BC Lions—and the next year found himself on the roster of a Grey Cup winning squad. But after 11 years in the CFL, Tommy retired from football and turned his attention to helping Canadians get into shape, saying that fitness had been very important to him from his time as a Gaiter through his CFL career. Since then, he’s built a fitness empire across the country, and he shows no signs of slowing.
Since 2007, Tommy has hosted ‘Bulging Brides’ and ‘The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp’ on Slice TV. In these hugely successful shows, Tommy is “everyone’s best friend and worst enemy” as he helps Canadians slim down in just four weeks, before a special event.
The TV shows quickly spawned an online fitness community (tommyeurope.tv) and Shred Bootcamp, a cross-country tour of fitness classes for any and all Canadians. Tommy says that since he began working in fitness, he has seen “a lot of great success stories, because [I’m] at the ground level,” but there is more work to do.
“We’re just a busy society,” he adds.
This year, Tommy added ‘published author’ to his resumé with the release of The 10-Pound Shred: From Flab to Fit in 4 Weeks, based on his shows and traveling bootcamp.
Tommy’s latest project is a partnership with the 60 Minute Kids’ Club, an initiative that encourages Canadian kids to live healthy, active lifestyles. Tommy says this project will be his main focus for the years ahead—but that won’t stop him from expanding his brand in other ways, too.
Tommy Europe graduated with a BA, Major in Social Sciences and lives in Coquitlam BC.
Wade Felesky ’92
Wade Felesky has enjoyed a highly successful career in investment banking for the oil and gas sector, currently serving as the Managing Director, Investment Banking for GMP Securities. Wade joined GMP in 2004, and since then he has overseen more than $10-billion in mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. On top of his duties as Managing Director, Investment Banking, last year Wade created the GMP Oil and Gas Index, to establish a real-time benchmark to track the relative securities performance and accurately reflect some of the key fundamental investment features of Canadian junior oil and gas companies.
Wade has given just as much to the community as he has to the success of GMP. In 2004, he decided to “bring a bit of Calgary to Toronto,” so he and several friends started the Bay Street Stampede. Held each June in the heart of Toronto, complete with a chuck wagon race, the Stampede raises approximately $150,000 annually for various charities, including Kids Help Phone and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Stampede soon led to the creation of the Yellow Bus Foundation, which aims to enrich the lives of children living with serious illnesses as well as provide enriching opportunities for disadvantaged youth in Canada. Between the Bay Street Stampede and an annual golf tournament in September, YBF has raised over $2 million for organizations such as the Hospital For Sick Children’s Cochlear Implant Program.
A family man in every sense of the word, Wade attributes his charity work to his parents, both of whom were awarded the Order of Canada for their philanthropic endeavours. “We were taught it’s important to give back,” Wade says. “Everyone should do it.”
Wade Felesky earned a BBA in Marketing from Bishop’s and an MBA in Accounting from the University of Toronto.
Michelle Flaherty ’92
Since completing her Bachelor of Law at the University of Ottawa in 1998, Michelle Flaherty has been an active member of Ontario’s legal community. Just one year after completing her LLB, she clerked for Madame Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé.
Michelle, who studied Business at Bishop’s, says she initially thought she would be a corporate lawyer, but adds, “I was always interested in social justice issues… they felt, somehow, more meaningful to me.”
Michelle put in three-year stints at two major law firms, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP, where she worked in areas such as administrative, labour, employment and human rights law.
She then worked for her (other) alma mater for two years. Michelle was legal counsel for University of Ottawa from 2006-08, providing advice to the University and representing it before the courts and various administrative tribunals. From 2004-08, she also lectured at U of O, teaching a course (which she developed) on advanced constitutional rights.
Michelle now serves as Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, where she mainly presides over hearings dealing with discrimination in areas such as employment, housing and access to services. She also recently completed an MA in Civil Law theory from the University of Ottawa, where her studies focused on the impact of human rights on private law.
Michelle keeps busy when she’s not at her day job—she belongs to several legal organizations in Ontario, volunteered with Big Sisters, and sat on the Board of Directors of CPE Maison Montessori de Chelsea.
Michelle Flaherty graduated with a BBA from Bishop’s and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Law from the University of Ottawa. She lives in Chelsea ON.
Annie-Kim Gilbert ’95
Annie-Kim Gilbert has spent the past seven years at AstraZeneca, working her way to becoming the Principal Scientist and Discovery Project Leader for the department of Bioscience. After obtaining a PhD in Neuroscience at McGill, Annie-Kim held post-doctoral fellowships at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/Cornell University and at the Université de Sherbrooke before landing at AstraZeneca in 2004.
Since then, she has worked at the biopharmaceutical company’s research centre in Montreal. Annie-Kim works primarily on ensuring the safety and efficacy of molecules that are being investigated as potential medicines for chronic pain, and says she is “delighted to be working for a company that demonstrates commitment to scientific research.”
Annie-Kim’s work kicks in at the preclinical stages of the drug development process—a process which can take years of work before a new drug is tested in humans. She tests molecules in the laboratory to see if they’re effective. To that end, she has developed new ways to model human pain conditions—all to develop effective medicines to treat chronic pain effectively and safely.
Annie-Kim is also a member of the Continuous Improvement initiative at AZ, one of the world’s leading research-based biopharmaceutical companies with 62,000 employees around the world. The initiative’s work on the DMT (design, make, test) cycle at the Montreal research centre was recognized by a Breakthrough Award last year. Her current ambition is to “progress molecules to clinical trials that will deliver life-changing medicines to patients as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible.”
Annie-Kim Gilbert earned a BA in Honours Psychology from Bishop’s and a PhD in Neuroscience from McGill University. She lives in Montreal.
Sasha Jacob ’95
Sasha Jacob got his first brush with the energy sector in the mid-1990s, working as a special assistant to the Ontario Minister of Energy. From there, he switched to the private sector, eventually working for Dundee Securities Corporation as the firm’s Director of Investment Banking, Power and Infrastructure.
At Dundee, Sasha was the country’s first investment banker focused exclusively on renewable power—an increasingly major player on the world stage, as old-school power sources like coal are passed over in favour of more eco-friendly ways of making sure the lights come on.
In 2006, Sasha saw an opportunity to do his work on a larger scale. “We saw an outlook that was a 20-year cycle,” he explains, as demand outstripped supply, renewable power sources became more affordable, and governments began providing incentives for green technology.
Sasha left his job at Dundee and established Jacob Securities, an independent investment bank focused on the power, energy and infrastructure sectors.
Renewable energy is a booming sector, and Sasha explains that more countries—especially in emerging markets—are cutting back on large-scale, long-distance power sources in favour of smaller, more local generators.
Jacob Securities is at the forefront of energy finance, providing financial advisory services to small and mid-cap issuers, primarily in North America. Although it specialises in renewable energy, Jacob covers the entire sector, from oil and gas to rare earth. In addition to his role as President and CEO of the company that bears his name, Sasha also sits on the Boards of Directors of several organizations, including Plan Canada and the World Wildlife Fund.
Sasha Jacob earned a BA in Political Studies from Bishop’s and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. He lives in Toronto.
Ilona Jerabek ’93
Combining her background in psychology with her husband’s expertise in artificial intelligence, Ilona Jerabek runs Psych Tests AIM, which owns and operates a handful of hugely popular psychological testing websites. Ilona is the President, CEO and Scientific Director of the company.
Psychological tests actually began as a sideshow to Ilona’s and her husband’s company, whose focus was selling software online. Ilona developed a small handful of tests, including an emotional intelligence quiz and an IQ test, to bring more eyeballs to the website. But then they discovered that traffic was coming to the website just to do the tests, which were quickly gaining in popularity as more computers got hooked up to the Internet. Eventually, they launched psychtests.com, which remains their flagship website.
“There was nothing like our site at the time,” Ilona says of their online startup.
Today, the company lists as clients heavy hitters such as Major League Baseball, the Discovery Channel and Psychology Today. Ilona says their company does not advertise much, but word of mouth via their clients sends business their way.
Between their client base and their websites, Ilona has written or collaborated on the development of more than 200 psychological tests and quizzes, from a coping skills test to light-hearted quizzes for magazines like Cosmopolitan and Glamour.
Ilona is also a published author, with more than a dozen articles to her name.
Ilona Jerabek received a BA in Honours Psychology from Bishop’s and an MSc and a PhD in Clinical Sciences from Université de Sherbrooke. She lives in Montreal.
Ches Nadeau ’90
Upon graduating from Bishop’s with a BBA in Marketing, Ches Nadeau landed a job as a sales representative for TransX Transportation, after which he worked as Eastern Regional Manager for a freezer warehousing company.
In 1994, after a few highly successful years, Ches thought asking for a raise was a reasonable thing to do.
His boss disagreed.
Rather than trudge on in the same direction, Ches went off the beaten path and started his own company, Total Logistics Control. He started with two Mack trucks. Since 1995, Ches’s brainchild has grown into the Total Logistics Group of Companies, with logistics, trucking, warehousing and value added divisions. He remains President and CEO of Total Logistics, which operates one of the top 100 trucking fleets in the country.
The company attributes its success (it boasts a myriad of Fortune 500 companies as clients) to its corporate philosophy, “Customer service above all,” and Ches says he is most proud of the “honest and safe way” the business and fleet are run. The company was recently named Regional Carrier of the Year for Kraft Foods, its largest client. Total Logistics also supports local charities, including the Montreal Children’s Hospital and the CHU Sainte-Justine. The company also makes gifts on behalf of their clients to charities such as the Canadian Red Cross.
Although Total Logistics has been affected by the economic downturn, Ches remains optimistic his company that began with just two big rigs will continue to grow.
Ches Nadeau graduated with a BBA in Marketing and lives in Kirkland QC.
Sean O’Brien ’90
A captain of the Gaiters football team, Sean O’Brien has spent the years since his last game on Coulter Field climbing the corporate ladder, winding up at Acklands-Grainger where he has worked for the past four years. One of Sean’s first jobs after leaving Bishop’s was an Account Executive with Purolator; it took him just seven years to go from there to Managing Director of Sales for western Ontario. This rapid move up the ranks would hardly stop when Sean left the company in 2000.
After stints at Veredex Logistics, Group4Securicor and Recall, Sean landed at Acklands-Grainger as Vice-President, Sales in 2007. Two years later, Sean was named President of Canada’s leading distributor of industrial, safety and fastener products.
Sean says he was honoured by the job offer and was “proud that W.W. Grainger trusted [him] to be the steward of a 122-year-old company.”
Sean, who says that leadership “is more than the position one holds… it is about how you achieve results,” has achieved some impressive results in his career. Under his guidance, Acklands-Grainger has managed a four-year compounded annual growth rate of 12% and was an official supplier for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. But Sean is equally proud of his company’s achievements that can’t be measured in profits and growth rates. “What makes Acklands-Grainger special,” he says, “is our award-winning culture and our charitable spirit.” Last year, the company donated more than $350,000 to the United Way and, when a fire devastated the town of Slave Lake in Alberta earlier this year, 30 of Sean’s team members went to help the town recover from the disaster.
Sean O’Brien graduated with a BA, Major in Social Sciences, and lives in Oakville ON.
John Rowe ’95
John Rowe has been an entrepreneur since a very young age, building an impressive CV before he even enrolled at Bishop’s in the early 1990s. Since leaving BU, John has continued on an inspiring career path, spending seven years in Vancouver and Dallas working for various companies, from a software developer to an office product manufacturer. In 2004, he left Dallas and returned home to Prince Edward Island. But the island was far from a vacation for John; he and his wife founded Island Abbey Foods that same year, and he began working with the Timeless Group of companies, which specializes in health care technology. Island Abbey gained national attention two years ago with its flagship product: Honibe (pronounced “honeybee”), a solid drop of pure honey.
John came up with the idea for Honibe more than ten years ago, and finally put the unique product on the market in 2009. Honibe has taken off since then; the product has been featured in countless national publications, was featured on Dragons’ Den earlier this year, and last year was named the best new food product at the SIAL d’Or awards in Paris.
Today, John is President of both Abbey Island Foods and the Timeless Group, as well as an active member of several community organizations, including the PEI AgriFood Alliance and the IT Association of PEI.
John says he owes his remarkable success to the lessons learned from his many mentors, including the importance of surrounding himself with people who are “creative, innovative, driven and honest in their approach to life as well as business.”
John Rowe earned a BA, Major in Political Economy and Minor in Music, and lives in Charlottetown P.E.I.
Tim Wallace ’95
Tim Wallace has a knack for finding ways to make surgery less invasive. After studying craniofacial trauma and reconstructive surgery at the University of Bern in Switzerland, he came back to Canada with an idea for a minimally invasive way of fixing the floor of the eye socket.
Now, he’s working on new technology to perform endoscopies on the esophagus by going in through the nose, rather than the mouth.
In addition to maintaining his busy practice of otolaryngology, Tim enjoys training nurses, paramedic students and medical students as an assistant professor with the department of surgery at Dalhousie University.
Tim also serves as the Chief of Perioperative Medicine at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Amherst NS.
“I honestly felt kind of overwhelmed,” he says of getting the job in 2005, at the age of 31. “I mean, what did I know about running a hospital?”
To help himself and others get a firm grasp on complicated inter- and intra-district issues, Tim founded the Council of Surgical Chiefs of Nova Scotia, which has evolved into the Nova Scotia Surgical Care Council. The NSSCC brings together representatives from government, the district administration, and the surgical and anesthesia leadership.
Tim says his vision is “to continue leading this committee to encourage appropriate clinical and fiscal standardization of surgical care across all districts.” He would also like to see a national version of the council.
In recognition of his tireless efforts, Tim received the Dr. William Grigor Award last year, which is given to “the physician under the age of 50 who has made an outstanding contribution benefiting the health of Nova Scotians.”
Tim Wallace completed a BSc (Biology) from Bishop’s, a Doctor of Medicine from Dalhousie and a Residency in Otolaryngology from the University of Western Ontario.