Heather LoPresti was a Co-Chair of Focus 2040 for the 2013/2014 year. Heather graduated from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in June 2014, earning an Honours Bachelor of Commerce with a focus in Human Resource Management and a minor in Economics. Heather is currently developing her career by working to obtain the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation. Heather’s role on the Focus 2040 executive team led her to her current position with McLean & Company. As a Project Specialist in the area of Organizational Effectiveness, Heather leads the project management, development, and logistics of the New Hire, Exit and HR Business Vision programs. Heather continues to use all that she learned through Focus 2040 in her professional career, and she cannot wait to see how the program runs in years to come!
Julia Piccioni was Co-Chair of Focus 2040 in the 2013/2014 program year. She completed an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree with a focus in marketing and a minor in economics. Julia has started her career in marketing as a Marketing Coordinator at GE Lighting Canada. She takes an active role in the implementation of marketing programs and campaigns, advertisements, market research and analysis, lead generation and event coordination. She appreciates the experience Focus 2040 has given her and is grateful for the fantastic people she met along the way.
Darlene D’Souza works in the marketing department at SC Johnson in Brantford. She completed an Honour Bachelors of Commerce from McMaster University. She is a Big Sister in the Big Brother/Big Sister Program of Hamilton and volunteers with a community outreach program called WrapAround Hamilton. Darlene is the President of the GenNext committee which is a sub-committee under the Brant United Way. Darlene is also a Member on the Brant United Way Board of Directors and the Incoming PR Chair for the Network of Executive Women Toronto. Co-chairing Focus 2040 has given Darlene numerous skills and experience that she applies in her career.
Chelsea White, Focus 2040 Co-Chair during the program’s 2010-2011 year, has a long-standing history with DeGroote. First introduced to DeGroote in her grade 11 year as a participant in DeGroote’s High School Business Heroes program, Chelsea participated in and worked as a camp counselor for DeGroote’s Synergy Business Camp and Co-Chaired High School Business Heroes prior to Co-Chairing Focus 2040. Chelsea specialized in marketing in her undergraduate career. Today, she uses her marketing expertise in corporate healthcare as the Program Coordinator for Advanced Gerontological Education Inc., a not-for-profit social enterprise within Hamilton Health Sciences dedicated to enhancing the care of older adults. By the year 2040, Chelsea hopes to have made a difference in many people’s lives. Chelsea will be forever thankful for the friends and colleagues she met through Focus 2040, who she still keeps in touch with to this very day.
Ashley Milne was the co-chair for the inception and first year of operation of Focus 2040. She, along with her team, conceptualized and laid the foundation for the competition. Since graduating from DeGroote’s Commerce program, as well as with a B.A. in Sociology from McMaster, she went on to work for the McMaster Human Resources Department. She now finds herself working in the IT Department for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, configuring the HRIS and finding new ways of integrating it with different systems to maximize efficiencies. She has also taken on project management, communications, and metrics tracking responsibilities in her evolving role. Looking back, Ashley acknowledges Focus 2040 as her launching pad to a successful and fulfilling career. Focus 2040 was the first place she learned and exercised all of the skills she uses today, as well as taught her to always look to the future and strive for improvement.
Since co-chairing the first Focus 2040 competition Grace McGeachie has graduated from her undergraduate degree at McMaster and begun her foray in managing tomorrow’s next great leaders. As an Executive Team Leader for Target Canada, Grace has held roles in two different stores and engages and inspires her team to drive new store priorities to win back guest confidence. Looking for further leadership development, Grace recently returned to the DeGroote School of Business in Fall 2014 to complete a part-time Masters of Business Administration. Personally, Grace is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her family (including her cat Collins!).