Oakville is a Hub for Leaders in Business & Education

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Oakville is home to a diverse community of businesses with strength in four leading industry sectors: advanced manufacturing, professional and financial services, digital media, and life sciences.

A new wave of talent is emerging in the community and leading change by re-thinking traditional business models through technological disruption, innovation and a focus on social justice.

Oakville is proud of the companies that have chosen to call the community home. For more information on stories of business success and innovation, follow Oakville’s Economic Development Office on Twitter @InvestOakville.

Sam Sebastian, President & CEO of Pelmorex

Pelmorex is the parent company of Oakville-based The Weather Network. Sebastian left Google Canada and became President and CEO of Pelmorex in September 2017. The Weather Division connects with more than 40 million users worldwide – and growing. Pelmorex is a global leader in multi-platform weather information, which is evolving beyond weather and media, into a data driven business, creating the Pelmorex Weather Networks Division and the Pelmorex Data Solutions Division to reflect those changes.

“My family moved here from the US 3+ years ago, looked in the city and a few other suburban locations, but we fell in love with Oakville the first time we saw it. We’ve loved the community, the schools and the family feel of Oakville…oh, and living right near the lake is a great bonus too! And now both working and living in Oakville is very special and we plan to be here for years to come.”


OddBird Studio       

OddBird Studio is a collaboration of Sheridan Game Design students operating out of Oakville. The studio created a successful game, called Arrowheads, available to play on the multi-player platform “Steam.”

Now in their fourth and final year at Sheridan College, the studio is looking to graduate and locate OddBird in the Oakville/Halton area.

Their game, Arrowheads, won the Level Up Showcase in 2016 and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada’s National Student Competition in 2016.


Peter Pesce, Owner & Adam Pesce, Director of Coffee – Reunion Island Coffee

Reunion Island Coffee is Canada’s largest roaster of coffee completely powered by renewable energy. They are a Certified B Corporation, meaning a company that incorporates social and environmental benefits into their definition of success as a business.

Their Farm Development Fund provides farms with investment opportunities that support quality and sustainability. The company’s Columbia Las Hermosas Project collects funds that are donated annually to support school renovations, computer labs, and improved agricultural infrastructure in the community.


Dr. Michael Alcott, Dean of International Students, Sheridan College 

Michael Alcott has been an educator for over 30 years and was appointed Dean of International Students at Sheridan College in 2017. He is comfortable communicating with people in many cultures who speak many languages, and is fluent in English, French, and household Russian.

“The passion that drives my personal and professional work is the belief that international experience is transformative and a gateway to worlds of learning.”


Karla Stephens-Tolstoy, Stand Up Speak Up

Stand Up Speak Up is an advocacy-wear clothing company dedicated to raising awareness about social issues affecting teens and creating social change through fashion.

Stand Up Speak Up offers in-your-face fashion designs that are meant to spark conversations and help wearers to speak out about issues that are important to them in the hopes that those conversations could lead to more help and solutions.

The Stand Up Speak Up podcast came out of a desire to tell the stories of those who had been ignored or neglected by conventional media, and has grown to have an impressive listener base.

Each design and episode focus on topics that are taboo, commonly swept under the rug and are difficult to talk about. StephensTolstoy has always been passionate about helping others, especially teens at risk but was frustrated at how reluctant some people are to see the truth behind these issues and what they can do to help.


Mandy Rennehan, Freshco     

In 1995, Rennehan founded Freshco, Canada’s #1, full-service, reconstruction and retail maintenance provider operating across Canada and the eastern United States. Freshco’s impressive client list of Fortune 500 retail giants include Tiffany & Co., Apple, Nike, Sephora, The Gap, Banana Republic, Lululemon, Anthropologie, Home Depot, Restoration Hardware and many more.

She also established the Chris Rennehan Scholarship, named after her late brother, as an initiative to get youth and women more involved in the trades.

As one of the country’s top female entrepreneurs, Mandy Rennehan is one of The Women’s Executive Network’s (WXN’s) Top 100 Most Powerful Women (2015, 2016 & 2017), Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEOs and Profit Magazine’s W100.

Mandy wants to change the answer to ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ She recently partnered with Barbie’s You Can Be Anything Mentorship Program to give Canadian girls with big hopes a real-life, hands-on career experience.

Read the full Perspective Oakville Fall 2017 feature here.