Bay Street Bull
Mission Critical is a podcast hosted by Bay Street Bull Editor-in-Chief Lance Chung about the purpose and values that drive today's most inspiring leaders. From innovative entrepreneurs to cultural game-changers, each episode will introduce you to someone new who is defining their community and redefining the status quo.
Bold by Veuve Clicquot: https://bit.ly/30rmbIlBay Street Bull's 2021 Women of the Year: https://baystbull.com/women-of-the-year-2021/See photos from Penny Oleksiak's Cover Shoot: https://baystbull.com/women-of-the-year-2021-penny-oleksiak/At just 21 years old, Toronto-born swimmer Penny Oleksiak has already been crowned as Canada’s most decorated Olympian with seven medals to her name. Before her dominant display this past summer in Tokyo, Penny became the first Canadian to win four medals in the same Summer Games and the country’s youngest Olympic champion. If that weren’t enough, she closed out her Olympic debut by becoming the first athlete born in the 2000s to claim a medal in an individual event, further underscoring her status as a generational talent.Five years later, Penny returned to the Olympic stage to compete under the bright lights of the Tokyo Summer Games and, once again, represented Canada in spectacular fashion. By securing a silver and a pair of bronze medals, she immortalized herself as Canada’s most decorated Olympic athlete. But holding a reputation like hers comes with its own set of challenges. When you’re thrust onto a podium and heralded as one of the greatest athletes in the world, that can sometimes affect your mental health, as we’ve seen in other instances with athletes (notably, young female athletes) like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka. Despite these challenges, it’s undeniable that Penny (and her contemporaries) have all earned their success—and have every right to celebrate it without apology or validation. In today’s episode, Lance chats with Penny on the set of our very first Women of the Year issue about navigating the discomfort of high-pressure environments, her philosophy on victory, and what it means to own your ambition.
34 min 11 sec
If you’ve walked through an airport or hotel lobby in the last few years, you may have noticed people using a specific luggage brand, distinguished by its horizontal lines and array of different colourways. That brand is Away and on today’s episode, we're joined by co-founder and CEO, Jen Rubio.Throughout her career, Jen has become one of the foremost authorities on modern retail, using her business philosophies to help redefine exceptional travel standards. It’s not an easy mission, especially following a time where travelling was viewed with perhaps more skepticism than ever before, but Jen and her company are helping to reignite the spirit of exploration and adventure.As the leader of her company, she’s also had to navigate how to run a successful retail enterprise while being pregnant with her son, who was born right on the heels of her stepping into the CEO role. Months later, she’s excelling at both the role of executive and mother, helping to break down archaic and misogynistic stigmas surrounding working parents. In this episode, Jen joins Lance to discuss the importance of a company’s parental policies, advice for ambitious and career-driven parents, and how to be an empathetic leader.
38 min 33 sec
As a decorated astronaut, engineer, communicator, author, and musician, Chris Hadfield’s illustrious career has made him one of the most renowned and universally beloved figures in Canadian history. His reputation spread into the international mainstream after becoming the first Canadian to walk in space, flying two Space Shuttle missions and serving as commander of the International Space Station. He then cemented himself into pop culture history for his legendary performance of David Bowie’s Space Oddity while floating aboard the ISS, garnering over 27 million views on Youtube.Inspired by witnessing the famed Apollo 11 moon landing on television when he was a child, Chris’ achievements have helped encourage the next generation of explorers and scholars. His books, which include three national bestsellers in The Darkest Dark, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life, and You Are Here have become some of the most valuable resources available for those searching for fascinating and accessible introductions to the field.His influence on young Canadians and the realm of space exploration at large is simply incalculable. And as we continue to embark towards a future full of more question marks than ever before, the presence of strong leaders and scientific thinkers such as himself is more necessary than ever before.In this episode, Chris joines Lance to talk about his otherworldly experiences, the importance of big-picture perspectives, the future of space exploration, and what it was like writing his latest book (and first fiction), The Apollo Murders.
37 min 17 sec
At just 35 years old, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has firmly established himself as one of the most influential minds in professional hockey. But those who have followed Kyle’s career know that being the youngest person in the boardroom is nothing new to the executive. Kyle began his hockey career by becoming the youngest agent ever certified by the NHL Players Association before working his way up the ranks as an OHL executive at just 25 years old. He then moved up and was promoted to the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the 17th in the club’s history.His identity as an executive has always been defined by bold – and sometimes unpopular – decisions, many of which are featured in the new Amazon Prime Video original series, All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs.On today’s episode, Kyle discusses what viewers can expect from the series while offering his philosophies on leadership, managing criticism, fostering young talent, and a wealth of other insights into the world of hockey and business. .
22 min 5 sec
Aurora James is a force to be reckoned with. Those of you who are tuned in to the world of fashion will likely recognize her name as the designer behind sustainable accessories brand Brother Vellies, a favourite amongst fashion heavyweights like Beyonce, Zendaya, and Solange (to name a few). You may also recognize her for gracing the cover of American Vogue’s coveted September issue in 2020 and, more recently, as the designer behind US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 'Tax the Rich’ gown worn to the 2021 Met Gala. But beyond the fold of fashion, she’s also been hard at work to create real and meaningful change within the larger community.In 2020, the Toronto-native and New York City transplant started her non-profit, the Fifteen Percent Pledge, in direct response to the wave of corporate statements issued during the Black Lives Matter movement. Focused on keeping these businesses accountable to racial equity, Aurora challenged the corporate community to commit at least 15 percent (which is roughly the proportion of the Black population in America) of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. Today, that has manifested in a movement that has seen some of the world’s largest retailers sign on to help decrease the racial wealth gap.On today’s episode, Aurora and Lance talk about progress, community, and what it means to take the pledge.
32 min 39 sec
Death is inevitable. The one true guarantee in life is, ironically, the end of it. So why don’t we plan better for something that is so obviously going to happen? Willful is a Toronto-based startup that is looking to normalize our conversations around death. That is, how we prepare for, talk about, and deal with death. Their first product (as their name may suggest) is an online platform that makes the process of creating a legal will more affordable and convenient for individuals to access.In today’s episode, Willful CEO and co-founder Erin Bury joins Lance to talk about how she’s grown her company, destigmatizing death, and everything you need to know about creating a will.
44 min 32 sec
Harley Finkelstein lives and breathes entrepreneurship. As the president of global e-commerce platform Shopify, he's not only witnessed countless entrepreneurs launch their own companies, he’s had a direct hand in helping them lift off. It’s part of Shopify’s bigger picture to cultivate a thriving and vibrant economic ecosystem by empowering entrepreneurs and the small business community. On today’s episode, Harley joins Lance to talk about the power of entrepreneurship, how to overcome imposter syndrome, and future-proofing your business.XERO: www.xero.com
38 min 31 sec
Architectural design is like a language. There’s a lot that we can learn about ourselves and the society we’re a part of simply by observing the structures around us. It tells us about what we value as a society, how we gather and migrate throughout the day, how we work, how sustainable we are, and more. It’s a snapshot of culture, our history, and our future.Joining us on the podcast today is world-renowned architect Jeanne Gang, the founding principal and partner of the award-winning Studio Gang. Named one of 2019’s most influential people in the world by TIME magazine, Jeanne's work is recognized for its forward approach to design. She’s a changemaker that has championed social impact strategies to improve ecological biodiversity in cities and close the gender wage gap within her industry.Today, Jeanne joins Lance to talk about great design, using architecture as a force for social change, and her first project in Canada, One Delisle.
27 min 56 sec
Register to attend the Veuve Clicquot BOLD Woman Award virtual ceremony: https://www.veuveclicquot.com/en-ca/bold-woman-award-canada-ceremony-2021Kayla Grey is an award-winning journalist who became the first Black woman to host a flagship sports highlight program in Canada when she made her Sportscentre debut in 2018. She’s since done everything from covering the Toronto Raptors NBA Championship parade in 2019 to making history (again) in early 2021 when she joined an all-female broadcasting team for the first time in the NBA when the Toronto Raptors faced off against the Denver Nuggets. It’s very clear that Kayla is a force to be reckoned with and has a vision for the future of sports media—and the part that she wants to play in it.In today’s episode, Kayla and Lance chat about her professional journey, the intersection of sports and politics, and how we can learn to say 'yes' to ourselves.
Psychedelics are making a big comeback from their controversial history thanks to major breakthroughs in their ability to treat a range of mental health disorders—opening the doors to a future of incredible possibilities. In today’s episode, Lance speaks with Ronan Levy, co-founder and executive chairman of Field Trip Health, a therapy and research centre that uses ketamine (yes, ketamine)-enhanced psychotherapy to help those suffering from treatment-resistant mental health conditions. Ronan and Lance chat about his journey into the psychedelics industry, the science behind ketamine-enhanced therapy, and the impact that psychedelics can have on mental health.
39 min 28 sec
Finding and harnessing happiness was an effort that many tasked people themselves with throughout 2020. At the forefront of this campaign? Influencer and social media’s unofficial Chief Joy Officer, Donté Colley. Known for his infectious TiKTok videos full of encouragement and signature dance moves, Donté established his platform (which now boasts over one million followers) to bring more positivity to people’s lives.While he may count celebrities like Ariana Grande and Beyonce as fans, his true power is his ability to put his audience at ease while tackling topics like mental health and self-love. It is this journey of affirmation that he invites his followers on daily that has made Colley a beacon of joy for those in need of a positive boost.On today’s episode, Lance chats with Donte, who is featured in the 2021 Bay Street Bull 30X30 guide, about cultivating and protecting your joy.Bay Street Bull 30X30: https://baystbull.com/2021-bay-street-bull-30x30/Xero: https://xero.com/ca/
29 min 34 sec
It can be objectively stated that drag queens are masters of marketing and are some of the most impressive entrepreneurs out there. In addition to RuPaul's core tenets of a winning queen—that is, charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent—they also possess all of the traits that we often associate with entrepreneurship, like resilience, agility, and resourcefulness. Today’s top drag queens are not only the ultimate entertainers but also powerful brands that companies are more than eager to work with. There’s a lot that we can learn from drag queens as business owners and stewards of our own brands.In today’s episode, Lance sits down with Priyanka on the set of her Bay Street Bull cover shoot to discuss her journey, the mainstreaming of drag culture, and the most important lessons in business we can learn from today’s top drag queens.Bay Street Bull 30X30: https://baystbull.com/2021-bay-street-bull-30x30/Priyanka's Cover Story: https://baystbull.com/drag-queen-priyanka-entrepreneurship/Xero: www.xero.com
39 min 33 sec
Since 2005, Reddit has been a pioneer in building passionate online communities. The company’s mission is to instill a sense of belonging amongst its users—to empower them to share information, have authentic conversations, and drive change. There’s no better recent example of how digital communities can influence transformational change than the GameStop stock-buying frenzy that occurred in early 2021.In this episode, Lance chats with Reddit Chief Operating Officer Jen Wong about driving real-world change, what brands can do to build an engaged online community, and the most interesting things she’s found on the platform.
26 min 55 sec
Denzel Spencer (you may know him by his stage name Roy Woods) is a rapper, singer, and songwriter signed to OVO Sound. Known for his signature R&B and hip-hop sound, the Canadian artist has already accomplished what many would only dream of in his early twenties. But despite his success and having the support of the biggest names in the industry today, Roy understands what it’s like to struggle as an artist, which is why he’s giving back as co-founder of LOOP/POOL. The Canadian cannabis brand offers a unique proposition in that it is owned by artists like Roy, Our Lady Peace, and dvsn (alongside CEO Ian Kwechansky), and gives five percent of its proceeds into a music fund earmarked for emerging artists in desperate need of support, especially due to the pandemic.In this episode, Lance speaks with Roy about his path to entrepreneurship and how to support emerging artists. Ian joins as well to talk more about LOOP/POOL and how artists are embracing an innovative mindset.
26 min 50 sec
Reformation is a popular women’s clothing brand with a mission to bring sustainable fashion to the masses. What started out in 2009 as a vintage clothing store quickly evolved into a fashion brand with a core focus on making people look great without hurting the environment in doing so. Since 2015, Reformation (or “Ref” as they’re colloquially known) has been carbon neutral and aim to be climate positive by 2025.But for a company built so firmly on a foundation of transparency and progressive values, they’ve also had to face their own demons along the way. In 2020, then CEO and founder Yael Aflalo stepped down from her position after allegations of racism from previous employees made their way online.Since then, Reformation has been committed to right their wrongs. They've launched a Diversity and Inclusion board, created an anonymous employee communication platform, joined the Black in Fashion Council to help advance Black and other underrepresented individuals in the industry, and more to keep themselves accountable.In this episode, Lance speaks with CEO Hali Borenstein and Chief Sustainability Officer Kathleen Talbot about how Reformation has grown as a company, the importance of sustainability, and how environmental and racial justice are connected.Reformation's 2020 Year in Review Sustainability Report: https://www.thereformation.com/pages/sustainability-report-2020-review
42 min 8 sec
We've learned many lessons from the pandemic but perhaps one of the biggest takeaways is the impact of burnout on our wellbeing and mental health. Arianna Huffington is no stranger to burnout culture. Back in 2007, the media mogul reached a breaking point when she collapsed from sleep deprivation and exhaustion after working 18-hour days building her news website, The Huffington Post. It was this experience that would set her on the path to eventually leaving her namesake site and starting Thrive Global, a behaviour-change technology company whose sole mission is to help others tackle the culture of overwork and burnout.In today's episode, Lance chats with Arianna and is joined by Nabeela Ixtabalan, Executive Vice President of People and Corporate Affairs at Walmart Canada. The trio sits down to discuss how Thrive Global works with today's leading companies, the new era of leadership, and how burnout culture uniquely affects women.
29 min 51 sec
From the coffee shop on the corner to the real estate agent that your friend keeps referring you to, family businesses are everywhere and have a significant impact on our economy. But running one can be a complicated matter, especially when the line between personal and professional boundaries is so easily blurred.Entrepreneur Manjit Minhas can certainly speak to the nuances of running a family business. At 19, the Dragons’ Den investor started her first company in the booze business with her brother, Ravinder. Today, that company they started—Minhas Brewery, Distillery, and Winery—has grown into a global empire with annual revenues in excess of $220 million dollars. In this episode, Lance chats with Manjit about how she built her global empire, the importance of giving back to your community, and what advice she has to offer when it comes to working with your family.
34 min 32 sec
Talking about money can often feel taboo when it should feel empowering. Let's face it, personal finance remains an uncomfortable topic to broach for many. When Michael Katchen arrived on the scene back in 2014 with his new fintech startup Wealthsimple, he had lofty dreams of simplifying our relationship with money. Fast forward six short years and Wealthsimple has become a certified unicorn company. And while they've certainly come a long way, their mission has stayed the same: to bring a sense of humanity to finance. On today's episode, Lance chats with Michael about the biggest challenges when it comes to financial literacy, what it means to be a human-centered brand, and how we can all get more comfortable talking about money.
28 min 18 sec
Over the years, the collecting and trading of sneakers has grown from past-time hobby into multi-billion-dollar global industry. Thanks to a passionate community of enthusiasts (or sneakerheads) the art of collecting kicks has fueled a category that is now considered a rising asset class. In this episode, Lance chats with Scott Cutler, CEO of online marketplace StockX, about "hype," redefining the rules of commerce, and the business of sneakers.
30 min 24 sec
Dating at the best of times can be an awkward experience. So how does one find romance during a pandemic? On today's episode, Justin McLeod, founder and CEO of online dating platform Hinge, joins us to talk about love and data. Described as a dating app designed to be deleted, Lance chats with Justin about Hinge, digital courtship in the age of a pandemic, and how he's using data to crack the code on dating.Read more about Justin and 14 other inspiring leaders (including Arianna Huffington, Seth Rogen, and more) in our 2020 'How I Did It' guide: https://baystbull.com/how-i-did-it-2020-lessons-on-leadership-from-arianna-huffington-seth-rogen-nick-nurse-and-more/
27 min 4 sec
What does it mean to embrace your culture? To reclaim your cultural identity? On today’s episode, Lance chats with James Jones (otherwise known as Notorious Cree) about connecting with and celebrating your culture. With a social media audience of over 2.5 million followers, James is applying a modern use of technology and social media to depict Indigenous culture and traditions. And what he is teaching his millions of followers is to be proud of your culture, to unapologetically embrace the path to discovering your heritage, and perhaps most importantly, that you are not alone in that journey.
29 min 39 sec
What does it mean to win? For Nick Nurse, head coach of the Toronto Raptors and the Canadian men’s national basketball team, victory is measured in more ways than one.On this episode of Mission Critical, Lance chats with Nick about what it takes to create a championship-winning team. Under Nick's guidance, the Toronto Raptors famously won the NBA Championship in 2019, marking the first time a Canadian team has won the elusive title in the sport’s history. The reigning NBA Coach of the Year talks about leadership on (and off) the court, using your platform for good, and why he keeps a literal elephant in his office.
25 min 53 sec
In a time characterized by "fake news" and conspiracy theories, it feels like we've reached a boiling point with our current culture of doubt. But misinformation (and the spread of it) is not a new phenomenon. One could even argue that it has existed for as long as the study of science, itself. In this episode, Lance chats with Greg Brown, one-half of the social media sensation that is AsapSCIENCE. Greg and his partner, Mitchell, are queer educators that have amassed a social media audience of over nine million followers who tune in daily to learn about a wide range of science topics. As cases continue to climb and various parts of Canada enter lockdown, Lance and Greg talk about how to talk to trolls, what we can do to curb conspiracy theories, and how to think more like a scientist.
34 min 41 sec
Since the dawn of humanity, humans have been enchanted and spellbound by the art of storytelling. Today, in a time characterized by the democratization of media, our ability to share stories has never been more powerful thanks to technology.Leading the charge of the next generation of storytellers is Wattpad, led by co-founder Allen Lau. They’ve helped launch writing careers and have adapted user-generated stories into hit movies and TV shows. Needless to say, they know what it takes to tell a great story.In today’s episode, Lance speaks with Allen about how (and why) he created Wattpad, the importance of telling diverse stories, and how they're using technology to unearth the next big thing.
41 min 59 sec
Travel. At some point this year, we’ve all probably daydreamed about our next big trip—the next adventure to go on after the pandemic is over, the people we would go with, the sights to see, and, of course, the food to eat. It’s no surprise that, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit. It begs the question: how—and when—will we as a society feel safe to travel freely again? In this episode, Lance chats with Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, an award-winning small group adventure travel company pioneering community tourism, about how we can embrace our spirit of exploration and make an impact at the same time.
29 min 53 sec
How important is optimism in a time where everything seems to be in a general state of chaos? One could argue that entrepreneurs are inherently optimistic given the nature of the business, what with the number of hurdles, uphill battles, and rate of failure that entrepreneurs often experience. District Ventures CEO and Dragons' Den investor Arlene Dickinson understands this well. In today's episode, Lance and Arlene chat about reinvention, mental health, and the importance of optimism.Apply to the Veuve Clicquot BOLD Women Awards: https://bit.ly/3mP1mwpKEY HIGHLIGHTS:[6:20] Entrepreneurs are inherently optimistic people given their tenacity, resilience, and persistence to grow a business.[12:30] Figuring out your 'Why' is more important than saying "following your passion" in order to discover your core purpose.[16:00] What does reinvention mean to Arlene, and how does she define it?[26:22] The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted entire industries. What does reinvention look like in the pandemic era?[28:03]: There are two words that come to mind when it comes to mental health and the new culture of work: empathy and flexibility.[32:31] What makes a great business? A long-term vision.SHOW NOTES: https://www.baystbull.com/mission-critical-e06-arlene-dickinson-ceo-district-ventures-how-to-reinvent-yourself/
37 min 3 sec
Fashion has always been about commentary. No one knows this better than Byron and Dexter Peart, juggernauts of the fashion industry who cut their teeth building their minimalist lifestyle brand, WANT Les Essentiels, into a global empire before departing to start something new. That something was Goodee, an online marketplace that focuses on “good people, good design, and good impact.” In this episode, Lance chats with Byron and Dexter about conscious consumption and the future of luxury.KEY HIGHLIGHTS[6:07] What lessons did Byron and Dexter learn from their experience building WANT Les Essentiels that they applied to their latest venture, Goodee? It's about looking forward.[9:00] What makes an exceptional brand? Story and consistency.[15:06] Why start a company like Goodee in the first place?[19:27] The future of luxury lies at the intersection of purpose and design.[25:15] Today's consumers look to retailers for a curated point of view to save time.[27:35] How does Goodee keep its supply chain, and itself, accountable to its values and mission?[34:25] Where is the balance drawn between shareholders and stakeholders within an organization?Show Notes: https://www.baystbull.com/mission-critical-e05-byron-and-dexter-peart-co-founders-goodee-what-does-the-future-of-luxury-look-like/
41 min 40 sec
Joey Zwillinger is the CEO and co-founder of Allbirds, a San Francisco-based material innovation company that specializes in making the world’s most comfortable shoes (and now, apparel!) More importantly, they’re a company on a mission to tackle what Joey calls the biggest problem of our lifetime: climate change. In this episode, Joey and Lance talk about sustainability, activism, and whether companies should pay for their pollution.Key Highlights[3:29] Allbirds was created to make better things in a better way.[6:53] What does it mean to create "apparel with purpose"? For Joey and his team at Allbirds, it's about creating something that can help consumers tackle climate change.[9:35] How do you maintain and protect your values as you grow into a billion-dollar company? It actually gets easier, in Joey's experience.[12:03] T-shirts made out of crustaceans and shoes made from sugarcane? Where do you even begin to look if you want to be innovative with your materials?[13:30] Why make the technology behind your innovation open-source? It's about collaborating and collective action if you truly want progress.[16:09] How important is perfection to progress?[18:46] Why is it so hard to define sustainability? If we can't define it, how are we to tackle it?[23:02] As a company, the key to tackling social issues is to maintain authenticity.[25:50] Enacting change means more than putting the onus on consumers. It means engaging with legislators to keep businesses accountable.Show Notes: https://www.baystbull.com/mission-critical-e04-joey-zwillinger-ceo-allbirds-should-companies-pay-for-their-pollution/
34 min 45 sec
As the world has collectively witnessed, tackling a pandemic like COVID-19 requires lightning-fast agility in order to disseminate critical information to key decision-makers. No one understands this better than Dr. Kamran Khan, epidemiologist and founder of BlueDot, a Toronto-based social enterprise that harnesses artificial intelligence as an early warning detection system for infectious diseases. In today’s episode, Dr. Khan and Lance chat about why he started BlueDot, profit-purpose harmony, and using big data to disrupt disease.Show Notes: https://www.baystbull.com/mission-critical-e03-dr-kamran-khan-ceo-bluedot-how-can-we-use-artificial-intelligence-to-disrupt-infectious-diseases/
32 min 41 sec
Mississauga-born Maitreyi Ramakrishnan beat out 15,000 other girls when she landed the lead role of the Netflix original series Never Have I Ever, a groundbreaking show that tells a coming-of-age story focusing on family dynamics, relationships, grief, and friendship through the lens of an Indian-American household. In this episode, Maitreyi chats with Lance about representation, identity, and leadership. Also, what's Mindy Kaling like as a boss?
31 min 32 sec
Entrepreneurs are built to withstand incredible pressure. As a result, they know a thing or two about supporting one another as a community. Michele Romanow is a serial entrepreneur, an investor on Dragons' Den, and co-founder of the world’s largest e-commerce investment company, Clearbanc. In today’s episode, Lance and Michele talk about equity and equality, humility, and how entrepreneurship can be a vehicle for solving today’s toughest problems—especially if we work together.
34 min 24 sec
Brought to you by Bay Street Bull, Mission Critical is a podcast hosted by Editor-in-Chief Lance Chung about the purpose and values that drive today's most inspiring leaders. This season, learn how entrepreneurship can solve today's most challenging problems with serial entrepreneur Michele Romanow, what the future of luxury looks like according to GOODEE founders Byron and Dexter Peart, how to detect infectious diseases with BlueDot founder Dr. Kamran Khan, and much more. Subscribe to this feed to get updates on new episodes released every week.
2 min 28 sec