About Us

We want to impart the importance of leadership to the new generation.

With a focus on impact, inspiration and introspection, we aim to empower the future generation by sharing the stories and philosophies from leaders of today.

Engage youth and young professionals by interacting directly with exemplary individuals through live event experience and digital media

Our Objective

Our
Objective

Provide industry leaders and next generation leaders a shared platform to communicate, learn, mentor - and network

Our Journey

Inspire North was founded in February of 2011 by five Toronto-area entrepreneurs. We’ve come a long way since then thanks to our events committee, student leaders, advisory board and generous sponsors. Inspire North has grown into a vehicle for mentorship and inspiration to take the next generation on the path to become who they aspire to be.

2011
SPRING
  • Inspire launches on June 25, 2011 in Toronto.
  • Inaugural Guest Speakers are from business, entertainment, media, music: Rick Campanelli, Enrico Colantoni, Anthony Lacavera, Nick DiDonato & Ivana Santilli.
2011
FALL
  • Inaugural event at Rotman Commerce (UofT business school)
2012
  • First York University Event
  • Scotiabank becomes Title Sponsor for Inspire
  • First UofT Arts & Sciences event
  • Launches University of Guelph chapter
2014
  • Launches chapter with Schulich School of Business (York University)
2015
  • Inspire registers as a non-for-profit organization. MacMillan joins as partner/sponsor
  • McMillan LLP joins as partner/sponsor
2016
  • Inspire launches with McMaster DeGroote School of Business in Hamilton
2017
  • Inspire partners with Nestlé Canada
2019
  • Inspire launches Behind Greatness podcast series to meet the demand of a growing international audience

Our People

Founding Committee

Gianni Creta

Co-Founder

Gianni Creta

Co-Founder

Gianni is one of the founding members of Inspire and continues to participate in its efforts to help empower and inspire youth. Gianni currently holds the position of President and CEO of ENVI Network. ENVI Is a municipally owned entity in the Town of Newmarket whose goal is to build a fibre network to help service the local community. Gianni graduated from the University of Toronto Computer Engineering program and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and Engineering.

Lawrence LaPianta

Co-Founder

Lawrence LaPianta

Co-Founder

Lawrence is a founding member of Inspire North. With 20 years of production location scouting experience, Lawrence took over the former 1910 Dominion Bank in the Portlands – turning it into his dream counter-service barbecue joint and named it Cherry St BBQ. Today, Lawrence competes and judges on some of the largest barbecue competitions alongside some of the world’s best – including the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Lawrence holds a BSc from the University of Toronto.

Luciano Volpe

Co-founder

Luciano Volpe

Co-founder

Luciano is a founding member of Inspire North and contributes to much of the strategic growth for the organization. He acts as Managing Partner of SLV International which owns and manages food and non-food brands and executes national and international distribution (Latin America, Europe and Asia) at retail and food service. He also lectures at the University of Toronto with a focus on International Business and Marketing. Luciano also remains involved in the community as an active mentor to UofT and York University students in Toronto. A conceptual thinker, Luciano likes to ask questions, find a solution and ask questions again. And again.

luciano.volpe (at) inspirenorth.com

Rino Spano

Co-founder

Rino Spano

Co-Founder

Rino is one of the co-founding members of Inspire North. Rino and his team of creative professionals oversee the marketing and communications on behalf of Inspire North. Rino is also active with mentoring student teams for each Inspire North speaker series event. Rino Is CEO of Casam, a group of companies specializing in creative services, real estate and development.

rino.spano (at) inspirenorth.com

Rob Grossi

Co-Founder

Rob Grossi

Co-Founder

Rob co-founded Inspire North in 2011, with the goal of motivating youth to achieve their aspirations. Rob is the CEO of Coactuate, a healthcare focused international strategy consultancy.

Organizing Committee

Frank Colella

Co-Chair

Frank Colella

Co-Chair

Frank joined Inspire North as an undergraduate student where he helped launch the first University of Toronto event in 2013. Dedicated to the team’s mission, he now contributes to the development of the organization’s strategic direction. On a day-to-day basis, Frank works at RBC as a Digital Product Manager.

frank.colella (at) inspirenorth.com

Brandon Sousa

Marketing Committee

Brandon Sousa

Marketing Committee

Brandon Sousa joined Inspire North in 2011 as the Communications Advisor, helping develop the public relations and marketing strategy of the organization. He is an experienced corporate communications professional who has worked for some of Canada’s largest brands and publicly traded companies. With a passion for travel, Brandon writes articles on destinations around the globe for magazines and online news publications and is accredited by the Travel Writers’ Network.

Stacey A. Berry

Events Committee + Mentor

Stacey A. Berry

Events Committee + Mentor

Stacey joined Inspire North as a graduate student in 2014 and helped revamp the York University speaker event. Dedicated to the team’s mission, she contributes to the development of the organization's community engagement strategy. Stacey is an author and CEO of Bstellar™ Consulting Group.

James Lee Chiahan

Graphic Designer

James Lee Chiahan

Graphic Designer

Working closely with marketing & creative agency Casam Inc., James has helped build out much of Inspire North’s evolving visual identity over the years as well as handling its front-end web development. He is an award winning graphic designer as well as an avid fine artist and illustrator.

hi (at) jlee.ca

Christy Lundy

Illustrator

Christy Lundy

Illustrator

Christy Lundy is a Canadian illustrator, currently based in Toronto. With a background in designing locations for animated shows, Christy brings her love of environmental and character design to illustration. She’s inspired by printmaking, a good composition and mid-century modernism. Likes old cars, can’t drive.

hello (at) christylundy.com

Senior Advisors

Rita DeMontis

National Food Editor at Sun Media

Enrico Colantoni

Hollywood actor

Alex Rechichi

President/Owner of CraveIt Restaurants

Mary Dalimonte

Former SVP, Sobeys

Carmela Laurignano

Vice President, Marketing, Stn Manager at Evanov Radio Group

Frank Ferragine

"Frankie Flowers" Weather Anchor and Garden Specialist, Breakfast Television, Best Selling Author

Rick Campanelli

Former Host of ET Canada and Veejay at MuchMusic