2011 Emerging Leaders Award Honourees

Posted | 0 comments

In 2010 the Ivey Alumni Association established a new portfolio of awards, the Emerging Leaders Award, to honor a group of rising leaders from the global Ivey alumni community. This annual award recognizes the best examples of our leadership qualities, and serves as a vehicle to promote and celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of our recipients. Five categories were set up to reflect the Ivey mission: Community Advancement, Global Impact, Corporate Development, Entrepreneurship, and Student Leadership.

Over 35 nominations were received from across the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, US, and Canada. Congratulations to this year’s winners who will receive their awards at various Global Ivey Day Events around the world (listed below):

Community Advancement – Joshua Silvertown,  MBA ’07 (Toronto, Canada)

Global Impact – Nicole Verkindt, HBA ’07 (London, Canada)

Corporate Development – Mark Malerba, HBA ’03 (London, Canada)

Entrepreneurship – James Polson, EMBA ’11 (Hong Kong)

Student Leadership – Ghaznia Khan, MSc ’12 Candidate (London, Canada)

Community Advancement: Joshua Silvertown, MBA ’07

The Ivey Emerging Leader in Community Advancement Award honours an Ivey graduate for having a significant impact in his/her community. The honouree will have contributed in areas which could include the environment, human welfare, education, arts, health care, culture, peace, etc.

Josh is the founder and executive director of DreamCatcher Mentoring – an innovative e-mentoring and leadership program for high school students in Canada’s north. Josh has been involved in mentoring programs with Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1997, as both a Big Brother and as a member of its board of directors for Guelph-Wellington. Josh has also been responsible for implementing science and engineering leadership programs in Ontario and the Northwest Territories for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.

Josh is currently the vice president of corporate development of Quantum Dental Technologies and the CEO of Armour Therapeutics Inc., a Toronto-based biotechnology company developing anti-cancer therapies. Recently, Josh was director of business development and scientific affairs at AXON, consulting for biopharmaceutical and medical device companies engaged in clinical research and leading the global business development program in Toronto and New York City.

Prior to AXON, Josh was an NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellow for three years conducting prostate cancer research at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto. During his 10 years in translational and biomedical research, Josh published over 20 scientific works, including publications in notable endocrinology and oncology journals. Josh is on the scientific advisory board of iProgen Biotech Inc. Josh has taught courses at the University of Guelph (Guelph) and at the Michener Institute (Toronto). He has also acted as a research consultant for the Rotman School of Management and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on Ontario’s colorectal cancer care system.

Josh is a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, where he completed an MBA specializing in the health sector as a Canadian Institute of Health Research “Science-to-Business” Fellow. He also holds a PhD as an NSERC Scholar in biomedical sciences and an honours BSc in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Guelph. Josh is an Action Canada Fellow from 2004.

Global Impact: Nicole Verkindt, HBA ’07

The Ivey Emerging Leader in Global Impact Award honors an Ivey alumnus for embracing a global perspective and promoting the growth of international business. The individual will have experience spanning diverse cultures and have had a strong commercial impact by leveraging opportunities across countries and regions.

Nicole is the vice president of GMA Cover Corp. (“GMA”), a privately owned business with corporate headquarters in Ontario, Canada, three manufacturing facilities in Michigan, USA and an affiliated offshore manufacturing facility in the Dominican Republic. The company has more than 350 employees and operates with over 350,000 square feet of combined manufacturing space. GMA sells exclusively within the defense industry, as a prime contractor to DOD and DND and Tier 2 supplier to OEMs such as AM General, Navistar and DEW. GMA is ISO 9001:2008 certified

GMA specializes in advanced textile engineering, manufacturing and finishing. These core competencies allow the Company to be dynamic and to change product offerings based on market needs and opportunities. This is demonstrated in the range of projects GMA has been involved in over the last decade- soft-top covers, multi-spectral camouflage nets, 50,000 gallon flexible storage tanks, cargo parachutes, ambulance awnings, and textile based architectural components. GMA prides itself on being an innovation hub driven by engineering and manufacturing excellence.

Nicole graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business in 2007 with a focus on entrepreneurship and international business. Upon graduation she went to work for Big Media Group out of Belgium, and was stationed on projects across the Caribbean providing advertising and brand consulting to governments looking to target foreign investment.

In January of 2008, at the age of 23, Nicole founded an offshore manufacturing company in the Dominican Republic, supplying material components to the US Department of Defense. The company was called Tibuton, after a shark, the only fish that could eat her competitor, “Barracuda”. She was able to dramatically reduce costs for her sole customer, GMA, and take over 70% of the market share of a new business line for them. She later joined GMA as director of sales and marketing with a focus on growing the Canadian and international markets. In July of 2010, she was promoted to the position of president & CEO of GMA. In June of 2011, Verkindt lead the sale of Tiburon and GMA to a private equity firm, Admiralty Partners. She is now responsible for all business development, international sales and M&A.

Nicole is also the founder of a non-profit organization, GlassFrog, which provides shelters and water to disaster stricken areas, most recently focused on projects in Haiti. She is also one of the founders, and director of the Southern Ontario Defense Association (SODA), which represents over 50 defense companies across Ontario.

Nicole is fluent in English, French and Spanish

Corporate Development: Mark Malerba, HBA ’03

The Ivey Emerging Leader in Corporate Development Award honours an Ivey graduate for making outstanding strategic contributions which support his/her corporation’s growth and/or pursuit of corporate objectives. This honouree will have driven results beyond his/her position’s expectations, via a thorough plan and a directed effort.

Mark Malerba, 32, is vice president of Metropolitan Maintenance, a family-owned janitorial service provider located in London, Ontario. Employing over 140 individuals, Metropolitan Maintenance provides janitorial services to airports, professional office complexes, government buildings, medical facilities, industrial plants, financial institutions, retail centres, schools, institutional locations, and much more.  Metropolitan Maintenance is the recipient of the 2008 Southwestern Ontario Family Enterprise of the Year Award, the 2007 London Quality Award and the 2005 Business Integrity Award.

In 2009, Mark completed his Certified Building Service Executive (CBSE) designation through the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI).  He is the youngest to ever receive the designation, the only CBSE in Ontario and one of less than 10 in all of Canada.

Mark is a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business’ (Ivey) HBA program and also has a BA from the University of Western Ontario (UWO). In 2003, after successfully completing his HBA Degree at Ivey, Mark joined the Ivey Business Consulting Group (IBCG), where he worked as senior analyst for two years. In 2007, Mark was the Keynote Speaker at the American Society for Quality (London Chapter) Awards Gala and in 2008 he was elected to the board of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Western Ontario.

Mark is an active member of the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFÉ) and a regular Family Business Presenter at CAFÉ workshops and seminars. He is also a proud supporter of several local, non-profit organizations and charities and enjoys spending time with his wife (Caterina) and son (Luca), travelling, attending concerts and playing sports.

Entrepreneurship: James Polson, EMBA ’11

The Ivey Emerging Leader in Entrepreneurship Award honours an Ivey alumnus who, by taking risks, strategically creates and grows a successful business. The individual will have started a business based on a new idea, a new product/service offering and/or a new business model, and have achieved a recognized level of success.

James Polson graduated this year from Ivey’s Executive MBA Program based Hong Kong. He founded AIDD Group in 2004, a company that specializes in drilling services and mining infrastructure. Since then, the company has earned its name as a leading international mineral drilling service provider in the North East and Central Asian region by offering high quality services at best value to mineral exploration, mining, and geotechnical companies operating in the region. AIDD Group has focused on the development of drilling techniques for the exploration of both Energy and Metal in Mongolia, Kazakhstan and PRC. AIDD Group continues to build its market presence and reputation by continually striving to develop local human resource capacity through in-house training programs to equip staff with the skills and expertise to meet the needs of international mining companies.  To learn more about the company, visit http://www.aiddgroup.com

When nominating James for this award, his classmate noted: “Starting a company is an entrepreneurial feat in itself, but James’ real accomplishment was doing this in one of the most unforgiving industries (mining) in one of the most unforgiving environments (politics and climate) in Mongolia, Kazakhstan and China.  In class, James was always in a good mood, cracking jokes and offering insightful business analysis in equal measure. He is a great example of direct application of the Ivey EMBA program at an executive level.  He is a hardworking driller himself that leads by example and the Ivey EMBA has made James a more complete and confident business leader.”

Student Leadership: Ghaznia Khan, MSc ’12

The Ivey Emerging Student Leadership Award honours a current Ivey student (at time of nomination) who, in the eyes of their peers, demonstrates leadership potential based on his/her contribution to the Ivey community or volunteerism/community outreach or civic engagement activities while studying at Ivey.

Ghaznia’s commitment to accessible healthcare stemmed during her undergraduate degree in the life sciences at McMaster University. There, she established the first Canadian VIDA Volunteer Chapter in which she lead medical brigades to remote areas of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, and Honduras. Along with the local non-profit organization, health professionals and Latin American Ministries of Health, her teams provided services to indigenous populations that lacked access to healthcare. It is through interactions with patients that she became interested in preventative medical research. Ghaznia has worked with leading North American scientists in the fields of pharmacology, spinal cord injuries, HIV and stem cells. In her research internship at Johns Hopkins, she worked with Christopher Reeve’s neurologist on a project for the United States Department of Defence in which she helped develop cutting-edge technology for spinal cord injured patients. To further explore the limitations of rehabilitative research, she worked with Canada’s Stem Cell Chair in a project closely related to neural disorders. Ghaznia is excited to combine her scientific knowledge with her graduate education at Ivey, which focuses in International Business, to advance leading global health institutions and corporations. She hopes to pursue a career that will help bridge the gap between technology and the developing world.

No Comments


  1. Global Ivey Day » fungkeblog.com - [...] The event began with an award ceremony that recognized emerging leaders in various fields. Among the many awards, Joshua Silvertown’s caught …

Leave a Comment