Three of Canada’s top CEOs aim to INSPIRE Schulich MBA students Friday

Schulich School of Business at YorkU

At INSPIRE 2014, a Schulich School of Business student-run event, three of Canada’s most accomplished business leaders will share personal stories about how they achieved success.

The aim of the event is to encourage Schulich MBA students to reach further in their careers and personal lives for success. INSPIRE is presented by the Schulich Marketing Association, Women in Leadership, and Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital clubs.

Allan Cosman, CEO of Ferrero Canada Ltd and VP of Ferrero International; Shelley Martin, CEO of Nestlé Canada Inc.; and Alex Rechichi, co-founder and CEO of Crave it Restaurant Group, will be the evening’s speakers.

From left, Allan Cosman, Alex Rechichi and Shelley Martin
From left, Allan Cosman, Alex Rechichi and Shelley Martin

Schulich MBA students looking for real-world leadership advice are invited to attend for free Friday, Jan. 24, from 4 to 6pm, Robert R. McEwen Auditorium, Seymour Schulich Building. The presentations will be followed by networking and refreshments. RSVP: or Facebook Event. Dress Code: Business Attire.

INSPIRE is a non-profit organization that gives students and recent graduates the chance to hear about the real-world experiences of some of Canada’s top leaders,” said Schulich MBA student Peter Giampuzzi, chair of INSPIRE 2014’s Junior Steering Committee.

Each year, INSPIRE holds an annual conference to empower and encourage Canadian youth to pursue their dreams through interactive dialogue with Canadian leaders. At last year’s event, second-year Schulich MBA students Gianluigi Ongaro and Simone D’Urso, and INSPIRE 2014 steering committee members, approached Giampuzzi to discuss bringing the event to Schulich.

“We approached different clubs at the school and asked them what kind of speakers they’d be interested in hearing from,” explained Giampuzzi. “Working together, we planned an event that we hope will be inspiring to every Schulich MBA student, regardless of what they’re specializing in.”

The event will be INSPIRE’s largest on-campus event in its history.

“There is a big demand for events like this one, but we wanted to step it up and give students the opportunity to hear from some of Canada’s top CEOs,” said Giampuzzi. “Students want to learn how they can be successful, what it takes. None of the speakers on Friday started out as superstars – they made mistakes along the way, learned from them and were motivated to get ahead – and that’s part of what they’ll talk about, not only their struggles but also what they did overcome them to get to where they are today.”

Luciano Volpe (IMBA ’99), founding member & acting chair of INSPIRE, said the impetus behind INSPIRE was the lack of a substantial presence for educating Canadian students and recent graduates on the realities of the workplace.

“When I was an MBA student, I thought I was on top of the world. I thought that when I graduated I would get a job and be on top of the working world. I thought that things would come fairly easy because I was graduating from a distinguished, high-profile Canadian business school, but life is not all peaches and roses,” said Volpe.

“What students get out of these events is a little bit of the reality they might face when they join the working world. They will face adversity, they will face challenges and it will be an uphill journey. But what you employ in terms of your skills, in terms of your grit and your focus, is what matters.”