2016 Top 40 Under 40 Judges

The nine judges that determined the 2016 Top 40 Under 40s.


Joyce Byrne

Joyce Byrne is Avenue‘s publisher. Prior to Avenue, she was the associate publisher of the award-winning business magazines Alberta Venture and Unlimited, and a consulting publisher with the Canadian literary magazine Eighteen Bridges. She was also the publisher of This Magazine from 2001 to 2005. Byrne has also been the proofreader of the Toronto literary magazine Taddle Creek for more than 10 years.

Byrne is the current president of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association and past president of the National Magazine Awards Foundation. Among her industry awards and recognitions are Magazines Canada Volunteer of the Year (2011), the National Advertising Benevolent Society Honour Roll (2012) and the Advertising Club of Edmonton’s Fellowship Award in 2013.

Dr. Breanne Everett

Dr. Breanne Everett is a medical doctor and resident in the section of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Calgary as well as the CEO and co-founder of Orpyx, a company that creates wearable technologies that address diabetic foot complications, creating meaningful, life-changing impacts for patients and relieving the burden these complications pose for the healthcare system.

Everett was awarded the Governor General’s Innovation Award in 2016. In 2014, she was named one of Avenue‘s Top 40 Under 40, as well as the U of C’s Graduate of the Last Decade. She is a member of the scientific review committee for the Pedorthic Foundation Association of Canada and the Canadian Medical Association’s Joule Innovation Council. Her pride and joy is her family and, when not working, she loves spending time with her two young sons.

Jennifer Hamilton

Jennifer Hamilton got her start in TV news in 1995, working as a reporter for CBC in Regina, covering mainly thin-ice warnings and petty crimes. But it wasn’t very long before a job at a city magazine and the promise of a better climate and better sushi lured her to Vancouver, where she began her 20-year career in magazines.

She is currently the executive editor of Avenue Calgary, and has been with the magazine since 2005. She loves travel, food, wine and stand-up paddleboarding with her dog.

PJ L’Heureux

In the past 22 years, PJ L’Heureux has become one of the most prominent and visionary restaurant operators in Western Canada. Having opened more than 15 restaurants and bars since the age of 24, he not only has a passion for food, beer and entertainment, but also a passion to make the community a better place.

L’Heureux’s biggest success to date has been opening Craft Beer Market in Calgary’s Beltline neighbourhood in 2011. With Craft, L’Heureux decided he was going to change the way people looked at restaurants by creating the largest sustainably operated restaurant in Canada. He now owns the two largest LEAF-certified (Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice) restaurants in Canada and the only LEAF-certified restaurant in Edmonton.

Brenda Lieberman

Since graduating from her studies in arts and cultural management in 1999, Brenda Lieberman has positioned herself as the go-to person for film programming on a year-round basis in Calgary. Currently, her work is divided between her roles as festival director, co-founder and programmer for the Calgary Underground Film Festival and the programming manager and features programmer for the Calgary International Film Festival. In addition to that, Lieberman has been involved with several start-up festivals, curates off-season events and screenings, and participates on industry juries and panels internationally. She is a member of Avenue magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 class of 2009.

Chima Nkemdirim

Chima Nkemdirim is a born-and-raised Calgarian who is passionate about building strong communities through local action and good government. He currently serves as chief of staff to the mayor of Calgary, a position he accepted after managing Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s successful 2010 election campaign. Prior to that, Nkemdirim was a partner at Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (now Dentons LLP), one of Canada’s largest law firms, in the capital markets practice group. His legal practice focused on helping clients navigate Canada’s complex securities regulatory system and assisting them with equity and debt financings and mergers and acquisitions. He currently serves on the board of directors of Alberta Theatre Projects and is a volunteer with the Calgary Foundation.

Shelley Vandenberg

Shelley Vandenberg is the president of First Calgary Financial and she is all about business, all about Calgary and all about her team. Leading a lineup of more than 300 employees who serve 80,000 member-owners, Vandenberg’s career in financial services has spanned 25 years with portfolios including risk management, privacy, facility services, contact-centre management, retail banking, business banking and wealth management. Vandenberg believes banking is about more than money – it’s about positively impacting the lives of those around us and making Calgary a great place for everyone to live, work and thrive.

Gena Rotstein

Gena Rotstein has been providing philanthropy advising and social-capital management solutions for individuals, families and family enterprises since 2002. The founder of Dexterity Ventures Inc., Canada’s first philanthropic brokerage firm, and Place2Give Foundations in Canada and the United States, Rotstein works closely with financial and legal advisors to assist them in their efforts around social-impact investing and legacy planning for their clients. Rotstein is actively involved in a number of organizations focusing primarily on the role of women in business and finance.

Ricky Zayshley

Ricky Zayshley’s sartorial aspirations found a natural fit when he moved from his hometown of Yorkton, Sask., to Toronto to pursue a bachelor of fine arts in acting and a bachelor of journalism, both at Ryerson University. After a stint at CTV National News, Zayshley joined the team at Fashion Quarterly magazine – and thus his mentorship with fashion icon Jeanne Beker began. He went on to serve as senior production coordinator at Beker’s internationally celebrated show, Fashion Television. He is currently the senior editor at Avenue Calgary, where he handles all fashion-, shopping- and decor-related coverage.

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