Amanda O'Reilly

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An entrepreneur given less than a 10-per-cent chance to survive cancer, the founder of a chain of biofuel stations, a morning-show broadcaster who went viral, a boxing businessman and a PlayBook linchpin are among the recipients of Ottawa Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Awards for 2011.

“This year’s list of 40 recipients proves Ottawa has the talent, creativity and the ‘jazz’ that goes along with moving a city forward into a vibrant place to work and live. The city is alive and well,” said Michael Burnatowski, OCRI Entrepreneurship Centre manager and one of the panel of judges determining the awards.

The committee included Mr. Burnatowski, University of Ottawa Telfer EMBA director Terry Kulka, Ottawa Chamber of Commerce executive director Erin Kelly, CellWand Communications CEO Nick Quain, OBJ editor Peter Kovessy and OBJ publisher Michael Curran, who also chaired the process.

The judges collectively spent around 100 hours reviewing and ranking each of the submissions.

All nominations were assessed according to a 40-point system: 20 points for business achievement, 10 points for expertise and 10 points for community involvement.

“I really like the way the award itself is structured. It is a balanced scorecard, with a slight tilt to business achievements. It is a great way to think about what it takes to be a business leader in the city. It’s not just about business expertise – it is about being a part of the community,” said Mr. Kulka.

All recipients are invited to meet each other at a Telfer event on June 2 to share their business experiences, culminating in a wine-and-cheese reception from 5 to 7 p.m.

The recipients will also be feted June 16 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Hilton Lac-Leamy. The gala supports the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health through a charity draw that includes fabulous prizes.

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