Shalom Life | June 03, 2014

Meet ShalomLife's Top 20 Under 40 of 2014

Over the last month, we have profiled twenty of the most exceptional and most talented individuals working in their respective fields, both locally and globally; in case you missed any, here's a recap of this year's Top 20 Under 40

By: Daniel Koren

Published: March 14th, 2014 in News » World

Over the past month, Shalom Life has proudly presented our 4th annual Top 20 Under 40 list, showcasing 20 individuals of diverse talents and backgrounds that have made a significant contribution to their field both locally and globally. From entrepreneurs to philanthropists, entertainers to doctors, this list places a spotlight on a small sampling of the spectacular, innovative, and passionate Jews that call Toronto home.

In case you missed any, here's a recap of the best and brightest Canadian professionals under the age of 40...

Top 20 Under 40: Daniel Dale

Age: 28

Since joining the Toronto Star in 2008, Thornhill’s Daniel Dale has found himself immersed in a world far more controversial, exciting, high-profile, and troubling than one would expect of an acting City Hall bureau chief.

While most City Hall reporters expect to primarily cover municipal concerns including infrastructure, taxes, arts and culture, and perhaps an election every 4 years, Dale investigates and discusses drug abuse, alcoholism, criminal scandals, and police raids… all thanks to Toronto’s current mayor, Rob Ford... (Click here to continue reading)

Top 20 Under 40: Sherry Malakhi

Age: 28

Working as a flight attendant, Sherry Malakhi has traveled the world, and visited well over forty different countries on at least four continents. Although this provides her “bread and butter” as it were, Malakhi has always had a passion for making jewelry. On a trip to India, something within her awakened a desire to design and create her own jewelry.

Upon her return home, Malakhi created the MWL (Made With Love) jewelry brand, which has evolved from a hobby into a business. Inspired by numerous cultures the world over, each piece is handmade with attention to detail. Likewise, said pieces are also very affordable. However, not content to merely design and create her own brand of jewelry, Malakhi is driven to make a difference in the world. She’s committed to the notion of fair-trade, and empowering women in developing countries to make their communities more sustainable... (Click here to continue reading)

Top 20 Under 40: Dan and Yael Kanter

Age: 32 and 29

Toronto’s artistic couple, Dan and Yael Kanter, may have found success on a global scale in their respective fields, but continue to proudly call Canada home.

Many of you (or perhaps millions of you) know Dan as Justin Bieber’s Musical Director and lead guitarist. In addition, he has directed and performed with Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, Usher, Miley Cyrus, Drake, Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman of Phish, Ludacris, Boyz II Men, Selena Gomez, Mary J Blige, Carly Rae Jepson and several other pop culture sensations. Dan co-produced Bieber’s albums ‘Believe Acoustic’ and ‘My World Acoustic’ and was featured heavily in his films ‘Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D’ and ‘Believe’... (Click here to continue reading)

Top 20 Under 40: Neil Closner

Age: 39

MedReleaf Corp. is a Canadian owned and operated medical cannabis producer and distributor licensed under Health Canada featuring a highly skilled team of experienced professionals with backgrounds and post-graduate degrees in business, molecular plant genetics, biotechnology, horticulture, clinical laboratory management and operations, and hospital administration. They maintain a 55,000 square foot facility that boasts the highest standard in both service and quality. 39-year-old Neil Closner is the man behind the entire operation.

Closner is the CEO of MedReleaf Corp. Prior to MedReleaf, he served as Vice President of Business Development at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, one of Canada’s pre-eminent patient care, research and academic health science centers. In this role he was responsible for spearheading the development of revenue generating, health and/or commercial related endeavours and for structuring partnerships and other new business opportunities. He joined Mount Sinai after serving as President and Director of Cascada Mobile Inc. a venture-backed mobile software start-up company (acquired by Grapple Mobile)... (Click here to continue reading)

Top 20 Under 40: Toben Kochman

Age: 34

Some people look at food as merely a method of sustenance, a necessary part of our daily lives that is neither luxurious or wonderful, but, rather, a mandatory occurrence in order to keep on keeping on.

Chef Toben Kochman, however, harbors an entirely different mindset.

The 34-year-old chef and entrepreneur has made a name for himself in Toronto's thriving culinary industry. He's been able to achieve such success by abiding his own individual mantra: "When it comes to food, the success of any dish begins with fresh, beautiful ingredients."

It's really as simple as that... (Click here to continue reading)

Top 20 Under 40: Samara Shuter

Age: 27

Toronto-based artist Samara Shuter has a joie de vivre that is evident in her work. Working primarily with acrylics and oils on canvas, Shuter’s pieces explore the components of menswear, in a vibrant, unique, and oft times, transfixing way.

"[The suit] has represented something for decades; power, productivity, strength, economic prosperity, and hard work,” she explained.

In a short number of years, Shuter has taken the art world by storm with exhibits throughout North America. With undeniable talent, what’s even more impressive is the fact that Shuter possesses no formal training in fine arts. That’s right ladies and gentleman - behold a raw talent... (Click here to continue reading)

Top 20 Under 40: Josh Singer

Age: 30

Today, googling 'what is experiential marketing' is a commonly asked question, as it continues to grow as one of the most wide-reaching and fastest-growing marketing tools.

According to Kognitive Marketing, a Toronto-based privately owned firm which specializes in promoting brand awareness and an intent to purchase from the consumer, it's 'the act of connecting consumers with a brand through a live interaction.'

Still hazy on the definition? So was I. That is, until I spoke to Josh Singer, a co-founder of the company, who explained the logistics to me, and how, after eight years in the business, they are now able to market to the entire Canadian population.

The 30-year-old Singer helped launch Kognitive during his last year, second semester, at University of Toronto in 2006, with a single business partner, who has since left (on good terms, Singer adds). Two of Singer's current partners joined five years ago... (Click here to continue reading)

Top 20 Under 40: Caissie Levy

Age: Never ask a lady her age, but definitely young enough to land on this list!

Canada’s rising Broadway star, Caissie Levy, was born and raised in southern Ontario in an artistic family. Her brothers, Robi and Josh, are film directors, writers, and producers that have gained notoriety as ‘The Levy Brothers’. Originally planning on pursuing her love for theatre through a Canadian Shakespearean program, she auditioned on a whim for New York’s world-renowned American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) and got in!

Immediately after graduating – literally a week later – Levy landed the lead role of Maureen in the U.S national tour of ‘Rent’. That was 12 years ago. Since then, she’s appeared in several popular Broadway and West End shows including ‘Hairspray’ as Penny Pingleton, ‘Wicked’ as Elphaba, ‘Hair’ and Sheila, and ‘Ghost: The Musical’ as Molly Jensen... (Click here to continue reading)

Top 20 Under 40: Hannah Alper

Age: 11

At only 11 years old, Toronto-born eco-blogger and activist Hannah Alper has accomplished more than many of us have in our adult lives.

Just a couple years ago (at age 9), she launched her blog to share thoughts, suggestions, and initiatives regarding the environment, animals, and social activism. Topics on her blog range from eco-friendly living and fair trade to bullying and the devastation of child labor.

In addition to writing her blog, Hannah is actively involved with various organizations and campaigns that she’s passionate about offline. She organized a shoreline cleanup in her local community, she became a World Wildlife Federation (WWF) Earth Hour Team Captain in 2013 and spoke at their Earth Hour event in Toronto, she was the official “eco-blogger” for the JUNO Awards, and was part of the team that launched Free The Children’s We Create Change campaign... (Click here to continue reading)

Top 20 Under 40: Michael Benadiba

Age: 30

At only 30, Michael Benadiba has nearly conquered the eCommerce industry.

He launched his first company at the age of 17, an eCommerce website creating custom solutions for retailers. Not even a year later, he founded the IT service provider, MBC Computer Solutions Ltd., where to this day he remains President and Chief Technology Officer. By 2005, Benadiba implemented his vision for a unified, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) framework through a company he co-founded, and is currently CEO of: OrderDynamics.

I had the chance to catch up with Benadiba over the phone about his upbringing, education, where his two companies are heading, but most astoundingly, how he's been able to manage and own two businesses all before the age of 30... (Click here to continue reading)

Continue Reading on Page 2 for the second half of our Top 20 Under 40 series

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