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CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2020 EMERGING LEADERS

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes the professional and philanthropic contributions of Ontario’s young CPAs, aged 34 and under. Emerging Leaders are passionate about innovation and esteemed for their strategic insights and leadership skills. They create new professional pathways and elevate the accounting profession.

MEET OUR AWARD RECIPIENTS

"The CPA path is an investment in yourself."

Narbe Alexandrian, CPA, CA

At age 24, Narbe became one of the youngest instructors at York University. Today, he is the President and CEO of Canopy Rivers, the largest cannabis venture capital fund in the world, and teaches technology entrepreneurship and venture capital at the Schulich School of Business. He volunteers his time on the board of the National Cannabis Industry Association and sits on the BEST Entrepreneurship Advisory Board at York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering.

"In our quest to be successful and achieve our career goals, it is important to empower others to do the same."

Margarita de Guzman, CPA, CA

As an Associate Vice President within TD Bank's Audit Division overseeing Fraud, Payments, and Projects across the US and Canada, Margarita focuses her time on strategy, innovation, and people development. A strong advocate for diversity and inclusion (D&I), Margarita credits her employer for giving her opportunities to make a difference as a CPA. She sits on the TD Finance Indigenous Peoples Committee, participates in mentorship programs, and shares her experiences through various D&I panel discussions. Outside of her work, Margarita is also Vice President, Marketing and Volunteer Engagement for Ascend Canada, a 100% volunteer-run organization that aims to enhance the visibility and influence of Pan-Asian business leaders. Volunteering has opened Margarita’s eyes to the work that remains unfinished in her community.

"There is respect and prestige that come with this designation no matter what industry or sector you belong to."

Vivienne Lutwama, CPA, CGA

A thought leader with a passion for helping others flourish, Vivienne is the Director of Anti-Money Laundering and Compliance Audit Oversight at RBC, where she leads and manages the roll out of a new targeted operating model approach, and trains and supports auditors, enterprise wide. When she’s not at the office, she serves as Vice President, Finance and Treasurer of the Canadian Association of Urban Financial Professionals (CAUFP). As a member-based organization that connects corporations and Black communities, Vivienne helps attract talent, offers mentorship to young professionals and uses her network to support its innovative programs.

"Our responsibility as CPAs extends well beyond the office."

Fahad Meer, CPA, CA

Fahad is a Director within PwC’s National Strategy & Operations team, where he helps develop and manage the firm's transformational initiatives. He is also a National Faculty Instructor for PwC’s Assurance program and is actively involved in the firm’s recruiting process. Beyond work, Fahad’s career is marked by a desire to give back – a responsibility he embraces as a CPA. He serves as a regular keynote speaker for educational and community organizations across the GTA and has most recently delivered his first TEDx talk.

"Don't be afraid to take on challenges outside of your comfort zone."

Matthew Roman, CPA

Obtaining the CPA designation was a real game-changer for Matthew, a Senior Manager in the National Tax group at KPMG. A recipient of the Common Final Examination (CFE) Gold Medal and co-author of "Canadian Income Taxation: Planning and Decision Making", Matthew uses his expertise to help shape the future of tax education. He is a lecturer at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, and he has extensive involvement in the CPA Professional Education Program, CPA Preparatory Program, and the CPA In-Depth Tax Program.

"The CPA program teaches you to work hard, act decisively, embrace ambiguity and value integrity above all else. These are the skills that will make you a leader."

Katie Sellers, CPA, CA

Katie prides herself on her ability to look beyond the numbers and provide practical insights to her colleagues. As the Senior Director of Finance at Mejuri, a fine jewelry direct-to-consumer e-commerce business, Katie oversees financial reporting, FP&A, treasury management, business strategy and transaction due diligence. Katie is also an active member of CPA Ontario’s Technology Community of Interest leadership team, where she contributes valuable insights that help the profession adapt and evolve alongside new technologies.

"In a world filled with distractions, find out what works for you to stay focused on the goals that matter to you."

Fahad Tariq, CPA, CA

Fahad credits the flexibility of the CPA designation for his foray into the nonprofit world. As the founder of Shift, Fahad helps build anaerobic digestion systems for remote communities in the developing world, turning waste into gas and fertilizer – a solution he believes can have a lasting global impact. Fahad's day job is an Equity Research Analyst at Credit Suisse, where he covers materials stocks. He was recently ranked #1 by Institutional Investor.

"The CPA designation acts almost like a resume. With only three letters I can explain my training, knowledge and skill set."

Lisa Thompson Horkins, CPA, CA

Lisa is the Senior Director of Finance at retail technology company, Flipp. As a strategic leader, she has helped the shopping and savings app double its revenue. Away from the office, Lisa works tirelessly to improve the social fabric of her community. She volunteers with WoodGreen Community Services, one of Toronto’s largest social service agencies, to tackle homelessness, poverty and inequality. A member of the WoodGreen Foundation's Young Leaders Council, Lisa brings awareness to critical social issues facing the City of Toronto and amplifies WoodGreen's innovative solutions to effect lasting change. Lisa has also volunteered with Lean In Toronto to support a network of women who empower each other to pursue fulfilling careers.

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