Meet the proud winners & finalists of CAMSC’s inaugural Pitch for Success competition who received $5,000 USD Scholarship for the Tuck School of Business sponsored by EY!
(From left to right) Mimi Okabe and Sachi Kikuchi; Jennifer Ménard-Shand; Mahima Tripathi; Colin George
Mimi Okabe and Sachi Kikuchi – Co-founders of Japanese for Nikkei
Meet Mimi Okabe (Ph.D.) and Sachi Kikuchi (MA), two Nikkei women on a mission to reconnect people to their heritage language for generations to come!
“We are thankful for the opportunity to have participated in an exciting competition that celebrated various companies—all minority-owned. A special thanks to our pitch coach, Myriam Gafarou! Winning this competition has enabled us to connect and network with like-minded business owners and provide us with insight to grow our business.“
Mahima Tripathi – Founder & CEO of UNITE by Saleint
Mahima has been associated with the hospitality and tourism industry since 1999. She started her career at Marriott WelcomHotel in New Delhi, India as an events coordinator and moved over to sales with Ananda in the Himalayas at their Delhi sales office. She moved to Canada in 2006 and her last job in India was with the Imperial Hotel, New Delhi. She re-started her career in Canada with Starwood Hotels & Resorts and worked at 2 of their properties in Toronto before moving out west as a Director of Sales with Magnolia Hotel & Spa in Victoria, British Columbia. In 2011, she took on the additional responsibility of chairing the Four Points Coop, which comprised of Directors of Sales & Marketing and the General Managers of 9 hotels within Ontario.
In 2012, Mahima took on a new path within the industry by becoming an entrepreneur and in 2013 she established her own company, Saleint. Today, she is the Chief Brand Ambassador of Saleint Inc., serves as President & COO of XCIX Inc., and is a Director at UNITE by Saleint, a company handling Virtual Trade Shows and Webinars.
” An entrepreneurs hard-work is validated by the recognition that their brand receives and CAMSC provided a perfect platform for just that and more. It gave us an opportunity to showcase UNITE by Saleint to a broader audience. An appreciation which has motivated us to aim higher as we take our business to the next level.“
Jennifer Ménard-Shand – Founder & CEO | Director, Client Happiness, Staff Shop Inc.
As an Indigenous-French-Canadian woman and entrepreneur, Jennifer dreamed of leading a purpose driven organization, from anywhere in the world – that employs top talent who are hungry to serve, grow and leave a legacy worth following. Staff Shop now provides the platform to keep that dream alive as an award-winning diverse supplier.
After growing up in Northern Ontario with a heart for Hospitality, Jennifer made her mark in Staffing by joining The Bagg Group (now TalentWorld) in 2008, and excelling with one of Toronto’s most trusted full-service agencies since 1971. In 2013, Jennifer created Bagg @ Your Service – The Bagg Group’s first Hospitality & Event division. In late 2018, she purchased her creation, and Staff Shop Inc. was born.
“A big thank you to EY and CAMSC for their support and leadership when it comes to giving minority businesses a voice and opportunity to shine. My team and I are proud to be certified members and grateful to be winners of CAMSC’s Pitch for Success Competition. The real win is seeing all of the contestants rally together to move Supplier Diversity forward and encourage all businesses across the globe to keep Diversity & Inclusion at heart for success.”
Colin George – CEO of Canadian Distrubution Network
Today, Colin is a loving father, husband, mentor, businessman and serial entrepreneur.
He is the founder and CEO of The Canadian Distribution Network. Colin is renowned in the charity sector for his extraordinary gift for fundraising. He has operated multiple office locations throughout Canada, while establishing a reputation with some of the biggest names in charity. Colin has also mentored people through his business SOS Performance Enhancement Group, where he would introduce people to personal growth and development. Although Colin has faced many challenges being a black entrepreneur, he has never given up. Throughout his business life, Colin has developed the persistence, desire, determination, grit and ambition necessary to execute on his vision.
Colin grew up in the city of Mississauga, Ontario with his family of three sisters, two brothers, his mom and his dad. His most noticeable trait would be his tendency to never give up when faced with adversity or failure. His unwavering faith in himself stems from his battle with and overcoming past adversities in his life. Going from living in a run-down house to running the best sales team in the country has taught Colin the value of persistence and not giving up on his dreams, no matter how hard it may seem at first.
“CAMSC has been a phenomenal partner for The Canadian Distribution Network. They have opened up unique connections and opportunities for our business across Canada and the US.”