[Ottawa] April 22, 2016

The Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ottawa Business Journal announced Rob Villeneuve, CEO of Rebel, as a 2016 Forty Under 40 recipient, one of Ottawa’s most prestigious business awards recognizing accomplished and rising business leaders under the age of 40.

As the CEO of Rebel, a domain registrar that creates simple, useful tools to empower participation in the world’s bravest communication space, Rob’s expertise is the cumulation of two decades of work in domains, software development, and web solutions. With Rebel, he steered a mature, shrinking business into a company that has seen year-over-year growth. By focusing on a number of factors, including improving customer support through empowering employees to take an active role in contributing to their success rather than just selling them products, Rob was able to galvanize the Rebel team to experiment with innovation at every opportunity.

Rob has a passion for building Agile teams and authentic corporate cultures, and has used this dedication to transform Rebel’s culture. Where once there existed frustration and distrust, Rebel has now fostered a culture of celebrating contribution and embracing open, authentic, and brave communication between employees at all levels. This transition has led Rob to be championed by Startup Canada as their Fellow for Culture.

Rob has become a leader in employee engagement, sharing his expertise and insights on stage, on podcasts and in publications, including Entrepreneur. He also contributes to national and international Internet policy development through his involvement with CIRA and ICANN.

The Forty Under 40 award has become the symbol of leadership, innovation, business acumen and community involvement in Ottawa, all of which enhances and validates our current and future business leaders.

The 2016 awards yet again saw an impressive number of people engaged in the nomination process. More than 260 applications were submitted, making the selection process even more gruelling for a panel of seven independent judges.

This year’s recipients come from varied backgrounds ranging from craft brewing to aerospace, representing the diverse nature of the local business landscape.

“It’s great to see the recipients hailing from different industries and backgrounds” says Chamber President and CEO Ian Faris. “These young business leaders exemplify the enormous amount of talent we have in this city. Their pioneering nature and visionary thinking will generate economic benefits in the years ahead as we strive to become the centre of talent attraction and innovation.”

“I’ve judged the award for 17 years. I found this year to be a mountain of work” said Michael Curran, Publisher of the Ottawa Business Journal. “The number of recipients and, generally speaking, the across-the-board quality made it very difficult to pre-screen applicants. As evidence of that, we passed along more than 100 finalists to be judged by our seven-person committee. That's never happened before.”

Click here to view the 2016 Forty Under 40 recipients.

Media Contact:
Jana Dybinski