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"In cancer, there's a large number of changes that occur and accumulate over a number of years, and we don't really know that much about this yet," Dr. Jones says. "What makes your tumour different than someone else's? Does that allow us to infer a therapeutic approach that's going to be more effective? It all comes down to a movement toward a more personalized therapy, and clearly this is a very potent technology we have."

Dr. Jones pursues such questions with a staff of more than 180 at the centre, which is deemed "high throughput," meaning in part a lot of rapid sequencing via computational tools and algorithms.

And Dr. Jones always prefers to talk about what's next rather than what's been done: "We've only just scratched the surface on what genomics can do for all cancers and human diseases."

Josée Dykun, 37 Vice-president, human resources, Yellow Pages Group Co., Montreal


One of the toughest challenges Josée Dykun faced in a 17-year human resources career was in 2003 when she helped Yellow Pages Group Co. redefine its corporate culture and make it more performance-driven.

"We had to take this organization with almost 100 years of history and make it a best-in-class culture and very dynamic -- which was not the case before," says Ms. Dykun, who came to Yellow Pages Group (YPG) from Bell Mobility Inc., based in Mississauga, Ont., after a three-year stint as senior director of HR.

Canada's largest publisher of telephone directories, YPG was formerly known as Bell ActiMedia Inc., part of the Bell Canada family. It has been part of Yellow Pages Income Fund since the income trust went public in August, 2003.

In March of that year, Ms. Dykun stepped into her post and brought the company's 12-person executive team together to define the vision and values that would guide the organization. The team took into consideration earlier findings from employee focus groups. Out of that exercise emerged six key values: customer focus, compete to win, teamwork, passion, respect, and open and honest communications.

As well, Ms. Dykun helped to identify human resource programs that would raise the bar on talent.

"As we broke away from Bell, it created a great opportunity. We had to rebuild some corporate functions. But we wanted to make sure we had the best-of-the-best around the table," says Ms. Dykun, who grew up in Drummondville, Que., and later moved to Toronto where she graduated with a human resources management certificate from Seneca College.

YPG had 1,400 employees at the time of the strategic redesign. It was part of Ms. Dykun's role to communicate the company's vision, mission and values. "Those three key elements have to be lived on a daily basis throughout the organization. If all the employees are pulling in the same direction it will drive our success."

Three years later, Ms. Dykun is proud that the company has created a best-in-class culture. "But most important, we have a retention rate of 94 per cent of the management team that we recruited over the last few years."

Indeed, as testament to the transformation of the company -- which has grown to 2,700 employees -- it was honoured last year by Canadian Business magazine. "We were ranked seventh in the top ten most admired corporate cultures in Canada," she says.

A mother of two boys, she is also a hockey mom and team manager.

Jean-Francois Courville, 37 President and chief executive officer, State Street Canada, Toronto


Jean-Francois Courville had the proverbial baptism by fire as a currency trader. Fresh out of McGill University, with a bachelor of commerce in 1991, he joined National Bank in Montreal and traded products such as currency forwards and options. Among other crises he had deal with was the European exchange rate mechanism debacle that caused global currencies to gyrate and the gradual decline of the Canadian dollar.

"It was an interesting time with a lot of tensions in the market," says Mr. Courville, who hadn't considered a career in financial markets until a personal invitation allowed him to see a trader in action.

"Back then, everybody was screaming and shouting. It was messy and noisy -- but a great adrenalin rush."

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