Each EMBA cohort will be assigned a champion, a well-respected business leader who will remain in contact with the group throughout the two-year program.
2019-21 EMBA Class Champion
Lino A. Saputo, Jr.
Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Saputo Inc.
Lino A. Saputo, Jr. holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Concordia University and a Doctor of Laws honoris causa from St. Francis Xavier University. He has been actively involved in the Company’s operations for over 30 years. He first started working in Saputo’s plants when he was only 13 years old, and officially joined Saputo in 1988 as an Administrative Assistant. In 1993, he became Vice President, Operations, and in 1998, Executive Vice President, Operations. From July 2001 to January 2004, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company’s Dairy Products Division (USA). Since March 2004, Lino A. Saputo, Jr. serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Company. In 2011, he was appointed to the position of Vice Chair of the Board, and since August 2017, he serves as Chair of the Board.
Saputo has truly evolved since its founding in 1954. Today, Lino A. Saputo, Jr. oversees this prosperous Québec-based company comprised of approximately 16,800 employees and 65 plants worldwide. Saputo is one of the top ten dairy processors in the world, a leading cheese manufacturer and fluid milk and cream processor in Canada, the top dairy processor in Australia and the second largest in Argentina. In the USA, Saputo ranks among the top three cheese producers and is one of the largest producers of extended shelf-life and cultured dairy products. In the United Kingdom, Saputo is the largest manufacturer of branded cheese and a top manufacturer of dairy spreads. Saputo products are sold in over 50 countries worldwide.
Recognized for their community involvement, Lino A. Saputo, Jr. and his family support multiple organizations and contribute to various projects and initiatives. Moreover, their commitment to sports, specifically soccer, is noteworthy. In 2011, Lino A. Saputo, Jr. and his wife Amelia founded the Amelia and Lino A. Saputo, Jr. Foundation. This Foundation is dedicated to supporting a variety of organizations and causes which contribute to the betterment of the community for future generations.
Over the years, Lino A. Saputo, Jr.’s involvement in Centraide of Greater Montreal has been significant. In 2012, he co-presided the organization’s annual fundraising campaign and led the Food and Retail Trade Cabinet’s fundraising efforts for the two following years. In 2014, he accepted a four-year mandate to preside the Centraide’s Major Donor’s Campaign, and in 2018, he was appointed Honorary Chair of the Major Donors Cabinet.
Lino A. Saputo, Jr. was named Chair of the Board of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation in July 2018 after having been actively involved as a Board member since 2015. As well, in 2018, he acted as Co-Chair of the 15th edition of the Soirée des Grands Philanthropes and this year as Co-Chair of the 2019 Annual Fundraising Event for the Canadian Red Cross.
Lino A. Saputo, Jr. sits on the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Canada, and is a member of their Risk Management Committee. Since 2018, he has also been a member of their Conduct Review and Corporate Governance Committee.
In 2019, Lino A. Saputo, Jr. was appointed to the Board of Directors of Global Dairy Platform Inc. and he was recenlty named the Raymond Chabot Grant Thorton - John Molson School of Business Person of the Year.
2018-20 EMBA Class Champion
President, WATERAX Inc.
Raffaele Gerbasi is President of WATERAX Inc, a Division of Wildfire Group Holdings Inc. His professional career reflects over 35 years of leadership experience in start-up, entrepreneurial and corporate environments.
He began his career in the cable broadband industry in 1979. By 1989, he founded a manufacturer of advanced test equipment, managing to survive all the highs and lows of a business start-up, including a critical financial shortfall that almost led to bankruptcy. By the end of 2000, he had turned the company around, growing revenues while generating excellent profit margins. He continued to manage the business for several more years after its acquisition by a US based corporation in 2001.
In 2010, he backed the management team in the buyout (MBO) of the Wildfire Fire Equipment (re-branded WATERAX) division from Tyco International, where he is currently serving as the President. The company’s roots go back in time to the Watson Jack & Co. Ltd.’s entry into the forest fire control industry in the 1920s. Raffaele has now led WATERAX through a major turn around /renovation/re-branding effort, positioning the business for growth, as it carries on its purpose to place powerful water pumps into the hands of the men and women who protect our lives, property, and forests.
He is proud to be a part of the Italian-Canadian Community Foundation as a Governor member.
He holds an MBA from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business (Executive Option).
2017-19 EMBA Class Champion
VP and Portfolio Manager at 3Macs
CEO, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
France Chrétien Desmarais
President of the Board of Directors of the Society for the Celebration of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary, and Vice-President and founding member of both the Guy Laliberté Foundation and ONE DROP
Partner and chairman of RES PUBLICA Consulting Group and vice-chairman of the board of Molson Coors