ROBERT PALTER, Financial services executive
POONAM PURI, Law professor
KAREN RADFORD, Telecom executive
ALAIN RAQUEPAS, Aviation services CFO
BRIAN SCUDAMORE, Entrepreneur
SCOTT ARMOUR MCCREA, Real Estate Executive
LINDA MCCURDY, Services company CEO
ERIFILI MORFIDIS, Telecom services CEO
KEITH MULLETT, Aviation executive
SEAN MURRAY, Newspaper publisher
KARIM NADER, Psychology researcher
ANTOINE NOHRA, Financial services executive
STEPHEN SEGAL, Marketing executive
PHILIP SMITH, Investment banker
IAN WILSON, Energy services executive
LORNE ABONY, High-tech entrepreneur
PHILIP ZELAZO, Neuropsychologist
STEVEN JONES, Geneticist
DENNIS KAVELMAN, high-tech CFO
ROMA KHANNA, Media executive
CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER, Diplomat
ISABELLE HUDON, Business promoter
C.J.LOVETT LEWIS, Surveyor
BRENDA BANWELL, pediatric neurologist
CRAIG KIELBURGER, Activist
MARK COHON, High-tech CEO
DOV BERCOVICI, University administrator
PATRICK LUKE, Surgeon
JOSEE DYKUN, HR executive
PAUL CLARK, Banking executive
STEVEN DOUGLAS, Mining company CFO
ANTHONY LACAVERA, Telecom entrepreneur
JAMES DEAN, Alternative energy entrepreneur
DAVID CEOLIN, Business services entrepreneur
RUDYARD GRIFFITHS, Cultural campaigner
JASON CLEMENS, Think-tank director
JONATHAN CARROLL, Travel entrepreneur
NEIL HETHERINGTON, Charity director
JORDAN BANKS, E-commerce executive
JEAN-FRANCOIS COURVILLE, Financial services CEO
This year's awards
This is the 11th year of the Top 40 Under 40, an annual awards event organized by executive search firm The Caldwell Partners International.
The honorees are drawn annually from an initial list of 1,200 to 1,400 nominations from across Canada.
From this year's shortlist of 100, a panel of 29 business and community leaders selected the top 40 based on five criteria: vision and leadership; innovation and achievement; impact; growth/development strategy; and community involvement.
The profiles of this year's honorees were researched and written by Augusta Dwyer, Kathy English, Lisa Stephens, Michael Ryval andSalem Alaton.
Lorne Abony, 36 Chief executive officer, Fun Technologies PLC, Toronto
BY KATHY ENGLISH
As chief executive officer and co-founder of one of the world's most successful on-line gaming companies, Lorne Abony's work is all about fun with a capital F.
Mr. Abony heads Fun Technologies PLC, a market-leading developer of on-line gaming technologies. Traded on the TSX and the London Stock Exchange, the company has built an on-line community of more than 16 million gamers who pay to play games of skill on-line. Among Fun Technologies' games are the popular Bejeweled as well as solitaire, checkers and spelling quizzes. They are played on some of the busiest websites on the planet including AOL, Disney, Virgin Games, MSN and NASCAR.com.
Last November, Liberty Media Corp., controlled by U.S. billionaire John Malone, paid about $194-million (U.S.) for a 51-per-cent stake in the company, giving it a market value of about $480-million. Mr. Abony remains at the helm of this new gaming empire now set to expand into television and wireless hand-held devices.
Mr. Abony puts much stock in the value of hard work. "I'm the hardest working human being I know," he says. "I slept in a hotel room 207 nights last year. I'm a high-energy individual. My mind never stops and I'm constantly thinking of new ideas and new ways to build my businesses."
Mr. Abony, who earned a BA from McGill University in 1991 and a law degree from the University of Windsor in 1994, is an "absolute entrepreneur at heart." He briefly practised law with Aird & Berlis but left in 1998 to launch his first on-line venture: Petopia, a pet supplies company. He sold that to Petco in 2000, just prior to its IPO. In 2002, while working on his MBA at Columbia Business School, Mr. Abony and lifelong friend Andrew Rivkin became fascinated by on-line skill gaming and launched CES Software. The name was changed in 2004 when the company went public and could not obtain the CES symbol on the TSX.
But building the company has not been all fun and games. Like most Internet start-ups the company has gone through trying times -- in April, 2003, it nearly ran out of operating cash. But hard work and perseverance won out.
"You must never give up even when things are excruciatingly difficult and it would be easy to do so."
Linda McCurdy, 37 President and CEO, K-Bro Linen Systems Inc., Toronto
BY LISA STEPHENS
Changing a hotel or hospital's fresh linen may be one thing, but changing the culture of the company that delivers those linens is another.
Linda McCurdy is up to the challenge. She has transformed K-Bro Linen Systems, the supplier of linen services to the hospitality and health-care sectors, from a privately held company into an income trust traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.