Shopify boss’s big year gets even bet­ter

Lütke to be named CEO of the Year at BOBs gala; Green­berg to re­ceive Lifetime Achieve­ment Award

Ottawa Business Journal - - BEST OTTAWA BUSINESS AWARDS - BY TOM PECHLOFF tom@obj.ca OBJ OBJ

Shopify’s To­bias Lütke will cap off a banner 2014 when he re­ceives the CEO of the Year award at the Best Ot­tawa Business Awards.

Mr. Lütke said he is hon­oured to re­ceive the award, which was an­nounced on Oct. 23, but was quick to share the credit with his co-work­ers.

“It takes a city to raise a company, and Shopify owes much of its suc­cess to be­ing head­quar­tered in Ot­tawa. A lot of our amaz­ingly tal­ented team are Ot­tawa na­tives, and it’s all of them, and our awe­some staff in Toronto, Mon­treal, and around the world, who de­serve this award,” he said in a state­ment.

Mr. Lütke led the e-com­merce company through a mem­o­rable last 12 months that saw it close a $100-mil­lion ven­ture cap­i­tal deal in De­cem­ber, hit 100,000 on­line stores in April, and move into its shiny new digs – six floors in all – at Per­for­mance Court at 150 El­gin St. in mid-Oc­to­ber.

Mr. Lütke said the company has come a long way since its first “of­fice,” a ta­ble at a Bridge­head cof­fee shop on El­gin Street, call­ing the company’s growth in the past decade mind-blow­ing.

“We couldn’t be a more proud Ot­tawaborn company, and I re­ally want to thank ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity who helped us grow along the way,” he said.

The CEO of the Year Award dates back to 2000, when OBJ be­stowed the first hon­our on Rod Bry­den of World Heart. Halo­gen’s Paul Loucks won the award last year, while Roger Green­berg, who will re­ceive the Lifetime Achieve­ment Award at this year’s BOBs, is another past re­cip­i­ent.

As last year’s win­ner, Mr. Loucks sat on this year’s se­lec­tion com­mit­tee, which also in­cluded Fran­cois Julien, dean of the Telfer School of Man­age­ment.

“The Telfer School is very proud to support the CEO of the Year award and to cel­e­brate ex­cel­lence in business lead­er­ship and in­no­va­tion. This year is no ex­cep­tion,” Mr. Julien said in a state­ment. “Shopify is a game-changer for the Ot­tawa land­scape and we are de­lighted to rec­og­nize Tobi for the out­stand­ing re­sults Shopify has achieved re­cently. Our con­nec­tion to Shopify re­ally mat­ters to us.”

The CEO of the Year is judged on a num­ber of cri­te­ria, in­clud­ing cor­po­rate per­for­mance, lead­er­ship and vi­sion, com­pet­i­tive­ness and in­no­va­tion, and com­mu­nity in­volve­ment.

Mean­while, Mr. Green­berg, the ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of the Minto Group, is be­ing hon­oured for his 30-year ca­reer with the Ot­tawa-based real es­tate de­vel­oper.

“It’s an hon­our to ac­cept this Lifetime Achieve­ment Award with the full ap­pre­ci­a­tion that many peo­ple – col­leagues, friends and fam­ily – have con­trib­uted to my suc­cess over the years,” Mr. Green­berg said in a state­ment. “While the award is ret­ro­spec­tive in its ap­proach, in as much as I am not yet 60 years old, it also en­cour­ages me to con­tinue work­ing on a day-to-day ba­sis to en­sure the pros­per­ity of part­ners I work with, com­pa­nies that I’m as­so­ci­ated with and the bet­ter­ment of our great city.”

It has been a mem­o­rable year for Mr. Green­berg, a part­ner in the Ot­tawa Sports and En­ter­tain­ment Group that was be­hind the ren­o­va­tion of Lans­downe Park, the rein­tro­duc­tion of CFL foot­ball and the launch of a pro­fes­sional soc­cer fran­chise.

Born and raised in Ot­tawa, Mr. Green­berg reg­u­larly at­tended Rough Rider games in his youth be­fore head­ing off to Toronto, where he earned a Bach­e­lor of Com­merce de­gree at the Univer­sity of Toronto and a law de­gree from Os­goode Hall. He has worked for Minto, the fam­ily business, since 1985, even­tu­ally tak­ing over the lead­er­ship from his fa­ther Gil­bert and un­cle Irv­ing.

Mr. Green­berg is in­volved in a num­ber of char­i­ties, es­pe­cially in health and ed­u­ca­tion.

“It’s hard to com­pletely es­ti­mate Roger Green­berg’s eco­nomic and so­cial im­pact on our city,” said pub­lisher Michael Cur­ran. “Whether it’s his decades-long lead­er­ship at Minto, his re­cent in­volve­ment in the re­vi­tal­iza­tion of Lans­downe Park or his phil­an­thropic pur­suits, he cer­tainly stands among the very elite in terms of business lead­ers of his gen­er­a­tion.”

The BOBs will be held Thurs­day, Nov. 20 at the newly re­named Shaw Cen­tre (for­merly the Ot­tawa Con­ven­tion Cen­tre), where a num­ber of com­pa­nies will be hon­oured in cat­e­gories such as out­stand­ing com­pa­nies and deals of the year.

The event is a joint pre­sen­ta­tion of and the Ot­tawa Cham­ber of Com­merce. More in­for­ma­tion about the event can be found at www.be­stot­tawabusi­ness.ca.

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