Oct. 27, 2021
Entrepreneurial UCalgary thinkers pave the way for what comes next
It’s been another monumental year of change, from the way we work and travel to how we learn, teach and innovate.
Evidence of that is apparent in the 2021 cohort of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 — many of whom embody entrepreneurial thinking. Visionaries, artists, scholars, researchers, activists — this year’s honour roll of our city’s brightest trailblazers highlights the rising innovators, creators and influencers who are paving the way for what comes next. The Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2021 were celebrated on Oct. 26 at an online gala.
“The Top 40 is always a celebration of individual success, but, moreso, it is a celebration of Calgary and the great things that people are doing in this city,” says Käthe Lemon, president of Avenue publisher RedPoint Media and Marketing Solutions who, along with a panel of judges, selected this year’s cohort from approximately 400 nominations.
- Read all the profiles of 2021 Top 40 Under 40 honourees from UCalgary. With files and photos from Avenue Magazine
UCalgary President Ed McCauley is thrilled and inspired by the list and its strong university presence.
“The 2021 edition of Top 40 Under 40 features an impressive breadth of mavericks and thought leaders in Calgary, and I applaud all of these talented individuals,” he says. “Each honouree represents the ingenuity and opportunity that are ingrained in our city’s DNA and demonstrated daily by its adaptability. Our university is proud to have empowered bold thinking and an entrepreneurial spirit in many of these leaders, and I cannot wait to see what they do next.”
From career highlights and guilty pleasures to favourite profs and embarrassing moments on campus — discover more about each of the 19 impressive honourees with UCalgary connections in the following three-part series.
Here’s the first set of profiles and links to 2021 Top 40 Under 40 honourees from UCalgary. Watch UToday for more profiles this week.
CEO, Milk Jar Candle Company Inc.
Holly Singer, BSc’12 (Kinesiology), is CEO of Milk Jar, a candle-making company with an inclusive workplace that donates $1 of every product sale to support organizations for children with disabilities. The 32-year-old powerhouse says her employees give Milk Jar a greater sense of purpose and wants to expand her initiative Canada-wide. Read the Q&A
- Second-year student, Master of Education Interdisciplinary program, UCalgary
Michelle Fournie, manager of the Iniikokaan Centre at Bow Valley College, believes there’s a critical lack of Indigenous voices at educational institutions in Alberta. Aiming to change that, the 35-year-old is not only a master’s student studying Blackfoot language, art and history at UCalgary, but she also works with Indigenous students to support their success. She also admits to living the dream: Fournie always wanted to go to university and be a Top 40 Under 40 recipient. Read the Q&A
Dr. Alexander McGirr, MD, PhD
- Assistant professor, Department of Psychiatry; psychiatrist, Foothills Medical Centre; researcher, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, UCalgary
Intent on improving treatments available to people with psychiatric disorders, Dr. McGirr’s field of expertise is non-invasive stimulation treatments, especially transcranial magnetic stimulation — a therapy that involves targeted brain stimulation from outside of the head. In July 2021, the 38-year-old created a company, SalvoStim, which patented certain protocols to help bring them to market. Read the Q&A
- Co-founder, president, RNDSQR (Round Square)
Alkarim Devani, BComm’06, is a residential developer who balances density with affordability to improve urban living and foster connection and community throughout Calgary. Devani is co-founder and president of RNDSQR (Round Square), a company that designs townhomes, condos, multifamily and mixed-use buildings with one goal: to make Calgary’s inner city feel more liveable and connected. Balancing density with affordability, the 38-year-old believes in a ground-up approach that places people’s needs first. Read the Q&A
- Co-founder, Cold Garden Beverage Company; chair, Inglewood Business Improvement Area (BIA)
For Dan Allard, BComm’09, it’s all about building vibrant gathering places. Whether it’s in the Inglewood brewery’s eclectic taproom or Gopher Park (unused green space across from Cold Garden) or during Car-Free Sundays (one of his initiatives, whereby 9th Avenue S.E. became a pedestrian stroll on Sundays during August) — Allard is unstoppable when it comes to getting people to mix with their neighbours. Read the Q&A
Dr. S. Monty Ghosh, MD
- Physician; clinical assistant professor, University of Calgary; assistant professor, University of Alberta
Triple-alumnus Dr. S. Monty Ghosh, BSc’03, MSc’04, MD’09, is so busy smashing barriers in our social and health-care systems, he doesn’t have time to hang out in his favourite spaces — libraries. Read the Q&A
Dr. Zahra Goodarzi, MD
- Assistant professor, Department of Medicine, Section of Geriatric Medicine and Department Community Health Sciences, UCalgary. Affiliated with the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and O’Brien Institute of Public Health, UCalgary
Triple-alumna Dr. Zahra Goodarzi, BHSc’07, MD’10, MSc’16, is as comfortable with a stethoscope as she is with a microscope. The 36-year-old clinician-scientist is an expert in combining research and clinical care to help Canada’s elderly population. Read the Q&A