Alumni Successes

Ted Rogers School alumni are successfully taking on positions in the corporate world, starting their own companies and accomplishing remarkable things. They defined their career paths and built career connections and purpose at our school, gained experience in their fields and industries and have used their experience to support and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Brothers Stefan and Conrad Calabrese

Marketing grads crowned kings of nightlife

Calabrese brothers Stefan (Marketing ’16) and Conrad (Marketing ’19) know a thing or two about Friday nights on King West. Stefan had graduated, and Conrad was in his last year when they talked with the previous ownership team about taking over the ownership of Door Three – a long-standing lounge on King and Bathurst.

Conrad handles admin and operations and Stefan deals with branding and promotions. They have 33 direct employees including bartenders and photographers, and about 20-30 subcontractors like security and promoters.

Read about about the kings of nightlife

“The consensus in this city is that nightclubs are not approachable. Every place is trying to be the coolest in the city, but I’ve never heard of anyone trying to be the most enjoyable place,” says Conrad.

“We’re very hands-on. There are not a lot of places where the owners greet customers and pick garbage off the floor. We set a precedent as ownership, and that differentiates us,” adds Stefan.

And though the pandemic hit less than two years after the brothers assumed ownership of Door Three, they qualified for government relief during the lockdown and used the opportunity to revamp the establishment.

With the renovations and pandemic in the rearview, the Calabrese brothers are focused on integrating and elevating the Door Three experience for both new and repeat guests.

“There are places that are their own demise because they get too lazy or comfortable with the customer experience,” explains Stefan.

“We have multiple hours when this venue is empty, so looking at how else we can use this space functionally for activations and events – that’s what differentiates a good operator and owner, by going the extra mile,” says Conrad.

“How can we build a community that’s not just bottle service girls and liquor on King West?” smiles Stefan. “There’s more we can do with our platform.”

“The consensus in this city is that nightclubs are not approachable. Every place is trying to be the coolest in the city, but I’ve never heard of anyone trying to be the most enjoyable place,”

Conrad Calabrese

Marketing Management, 2019

Camden Maracle

Forging a path driven by purpose

Camden Maracle (Finance ’19) currently works as a Commercial Account Manager at TD Bank, a role that sees him manage a portfolio of 68 businesses across Ontario. He works across securities, private banking and other bank resources to ensure clients get the “one TD” experience.

“Looking at my job now, there’s a purpose held within aspects of my career that we don’t see on reserves. The stimulants that get pushed onto reserves do not meet a standard of purpose when it comes to job fulfillment.”

Maracle traces back his dedication to economic reconciliation throughout his career leading up to TD; at BMO, the role of Indigenous Banking Specialist was explicitly created for him. “I consider that portion of my career the learning portion. The Indigenous unit was around eight people. We were spearheading the work of financial institutions on reserves, like on-reserve housing programs that offer mortgage financing and trust valuations for land claim settlements.”

Read more about Camden

“After multiple years of me saying I want to be in this space, I was also working with campus recruitment and stakeholder engagement with Indigenous communities,” he adds.

For Maracle, however, true economic reconciliation will be achieved when growth opportunities are on reserves. “I don’t want kids to see their parents in the smokeshop and think they have to go [work] in the smokeshop. Some of our best talents need to leave their families to achieve greater prosperity in their careers. We lose some of our best talents,” he explains, discussing success for Indigenous youth.

“If we can bring all that we’re seeing outside, the impactful jobs, to the reserves – that’s what will lead to a generational break.”

He says his community is two hours east of [Toronto], and he was able to come to the city a few times before visiting, but for further communities, it’s a jump into the abyss. “I would not have had the same opportunities outside of the Ted Rogers School, especially being directly involved in the Financial District and starting to work with BMO in second year,” Maracle says.

Group photo of 30 students with a professor posing for the camera

HTM alumni named top 30 in Canada

Photo courtesy of Wayne Lindo.

Hospitality and Tourism Management graduates Christina Antonio (’15), Ellis Luo (’17) and Kimberly Crabtree (’19) were recognized at the 2023 Top 30 Under 30 in hospitality and tourism in Canada.

The annual awards, hosted by Kostuch Media Ltd. (KML), celebrates and salutes the food service and hospitality industry’s top young professionals.

“It was definitely a very humbling experience because I had no idea that I was going to be nominated,” says Christina Antonio, now the lake club manager at Friday Harbour Resort in Innisfil.

“Considering that this would be the last year that I would be eligible for it, it was definitely a happy ending…it was nice to see that my experience, hard work and the friends and connections that I’ve made along the way have brought me to this achievement. I plan to continue to develop my skills and experience, and hopefully inspire others to be a part of this exciting industry.”

Read more about HTM alumni

When Ellis (Yanyi) Luo was named to the Top 30, she was surprised, proud and flattered with the recognition. “I feel really proud to represent my company, represent my school, represent my race and ethnic background,” she said.

Now, as the university relations and recruiting manager for Marriott International, Luo gets to travel across Canada to share her passion for hospitality and tourism with youth. “I feel like I have a bigger mission, not just recruiting for Marriott, [but] to bring talent back into this industry… showing them that there are different career paths and great opportunities in hospitality. I think that has been really rewarding.”

For Kimberly Crabtree, a guest speaker in one of Chris Gibbs’ first year HTH 102 Service and Professionalism classes stuck with her through her career. “We had a gentleman come into the class who said whenever you see people working in housekeeping, that means they’re hard workers,” she explained. “I wanted to get that on my resume, to get some life experience.”

So, for one of her first jobs while still a student at the Ted Rogers School, Crabtree went to the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, to work in the rooms division, in housekeeping, where she spent 10 months. Following that, she worked at the Fairmont Royal York in the Library Bar and at the Ritz-Carlton.

“The hotel industry is a very demanding one,” Crabtree said. “It’s a 24-hour operation, so I was working a lot then going to school to finish things, and then doing it all over again.”

She graduated in 2019 with a full-time job which led her to where she is today, the director of events at Oretta Hospitality Inc.

“I feel like I have a bigger mission, not just recruiting for Marriott, [but] to bring talent back into this industry… showing them that there are different career paths and great opportunities in hospitality. I think that has been really rewarding.”

Ellis Luo

Hospitality and Tourism Management, 2017

Ivy Chen delivers successful Start‑Up

It would be too simple to label CMEOW as UberEats before there was an UberEats. Co-founded by Ivy Chen in 2013 as a marketplace app once known as Canada’s largest Asian food delivery platform, CMEOW pivoted during the pandemic to a third-party logistics company offering last-mile delivery services with a mission to help local businesses move faster and smarter.

Chen’s (Retail Management ’18) journey as a co-founder and chief growth officer began not long after starting at TMU, where she spent a lot of time building CMEOW.

“I was not involved in school events or groups,” said Chen, describing her early efforts to grow the company. “We invested in technology to build our team. Early on, we had employees who specialized in AI.”

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Ivy talks about CMEOW

Read more about CMEOW

At the time, Asian restaurants didn’t have food delivery, Chen explained. Simply having a website was an advantage in 2013. The CMEOW app could hold up to six orders at a time, versus UberEats which could hold one order at a time when it began. During its peak as a delivery service, CMEOW had over 180K users, 2,000 restaurant partners and was active in 24 cities across Canada.

CMEOW pivoted during the pandemic when the company struggled with maintaining a cash flow-oriented business, but the writing on the wall came earlier. “We noticed in 2018 that food delivery became very crowded. Drivers and restaurants were not earning money with the commissions, and we wanted to leave the unhealthy cycle,” Chen explained.

As a last-mile delivery service, CMEOW delivers to businesses’ end customers.

“Most clients have one or two stores. It wouldn’t be worth it for them to invest in their own e-commerce and CRM, and so we fill that niche,” explains Chen. “Local businesses have a lot to give back to the community; we help them scale efficiently. Some of our closer clients ask us to build their own e-commerce platform, which we integrate with our delivery services.”

Ivy Chen from CMEOW

Ivy Chen, Retail Management, 2018

Mallory Maynard at a desk holding remote control for a game

Mallory Maynard, Marketing Management, 2020

Game on: Using AI to inspire girls in STEM

When it comes to the topic of artificial intelligence (AI), Mallory Maynard is not the theatrical type. “There’s a lot of fear-mongering when it comes to generative AI,” explains Maynard (Marketing Management, ’20). “The critical thinking piece is important here – there’s a lot of education that needs to be done around cybersecurity and AI.”

Since graduating from Ted Rogers School’s Marketing Management program, Maynard has discovered her passion for advancing girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The interest in education led Maynard to co-found her first venture, Ripple Studios, which aimed to inspire students to consider a career in STEM through mobile games. “There are three main issues that are problematic for young girls: confidence in math and sciences, education in schools and role models,” she adds. “One of our focuses with Ripple was getting women in tech in front of students.”

Read more about Mallory

“I’m passionate about this cause because I don’t want girls to be put in my position, where I was not introduced to engineering as a kid interested in science.”

Today, Maynard works as the founder of Gibbly, a service that leverages ChatGPT for game-based learning for teachers. Most of her day is spent talking to teachers, working on front-end development and marketing/outreach efforts. Maynard hired one of her employees from Ripple, a TMU graduate, to work for her at Gibbly.

Maynard understands teachers’ hesitation but believes that tapping into tools like Gibbly, ethical use of AI and cybersecurity best practices are in the best interests of students. “Asking students not to use ChatGPT is like asking them not to use Google. We need to move forward, or we’re doing them a disservice in their education and for future employment.” As she describes it, the “race with AI” will come down to who can provide the most value.


Alumni artists draw views at awards reception

Five alumni artists and one student participated in an art showcase at the Ted Rogers Alumni Achievement Awards. The artists included Christina Essue (Retail Management ’06), Rina Kazavchinski (Marketing Management ’12), Mitul Shah (Business Technology Management ’19), Ruth Susi (Business Technology Management ’18), Shaina Hardie (Marketing Management ’12) and Shea Coughlan (4th year, Entrepreneurship).

Christina Essue

Christina Essue

Retail Management, 2006

Mitul Shah

Mitul Shah

Business Technology Management, 2019

Rina Kazavchinski

Rina Kazavchinski

Marketing Management, 2012

Ruth Susi

Ruth Susi

Business Technology Management, 2018

Shaina Hardie

Shaina Hardie

Marketing Management, 2012

Shea Coughlan

Shea Coughlan

4th year, Entrepreneurship

Ted Rogers School of Management, Toronto Metropolitan University

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The content of this report covers July 2022-August 2023.

In April 2022, the university announced our new name of Toronto Metropolitan University, which will be implemented in a phased approach. Learn more about our next chapter.