Joelle Adler

CEO, Diesel Canada/Founder, OneXOne Foundation

Topics: business, charity & humanitarian
Interview Date: July-31-2013
Extraordinary Insights:

Audio-only version:

Joey Adler is a visionary entrepreneur and humanitarian, seeking to reinvent the business of philanthropy through ground breaking sustainable models.

Driven by a vision to launch and develop a cutting edge fashion brand in Canada, in 1987, with her future husband, Louis Adler, Joey secured Canadian exclusivity for the Italian-based Diesel fashion label. Today, as President and CEO of Diesel Canada Inc., Joey’s keen understanding of the Canadian marketplace and entrepreneurial savvy have helped grow the brand into one of the most recognizable and sought after fashion labels in the country.

A passionate philanthropist, Joey founded the ONEXONE Foundation in 2005 in memory of Lou who passed away after a long illness. The Foundation’s philosophy is that every single life is precious and that individuals can make profound changes in the lives of others, one by one. ONEXONE’s mission is to improve the lives of children in Canada, the US, and around the world with programs dedicated to the fundamental pillars: water, health, education, play, and food.

ONEXONE’s reach and impact is profound with important initiatives operating in South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya and Haiti. In addition, through its “Feeding Our Children” initiatives, ONEXONE provides over 300,000 nutritious meals to over 3,000 Canadian and U.S. children in need, through ONEXONE’s First Nations School Breakfast Program and strong partnerships with communities in inner cities, and across North America.

Just days after the devastating earthquake in 2010, ONEXONE team members were on the first non-military flight to land in Haiti. In the missions that followed, ONEXONE delivered $7 million worth of goods including $5 million of medicine and medical equipment. ONEXONE remains committed to the country and recently announced $3 million to fund the construction of a state-of-the-art pediatric ward in the new Partners In Health hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti. Joey is also an active member of the Clinton Task Force on Haiti.

Joey is committed to pushing the envelope of sustainable investing, seeking new business models that offer solutions. As a founding partner of Industrial Revolution II (IRII), created in 2010, Joey is a key thought leader behind the initiative. Through entrepreneurship and creativity, IRII exemplifies a new business model for the 21st century where sustainable and environmentally responsible businesses are created with the objective of having measurable positive impact on the local communities in which they operate. These businesses represent a true partnership between the investors, the workers and the local communities, the first of which is a state-of-the-art apparel manufacturing facility being launched in Croix des Bouquets, Haiti.

In addition to sitting on the board for the Hope & Cope Wellness Centre in Montreal, Joey and her family are the main benefactors. Inspired by her late husband, Joey also founded Lou’s House, a Centre that helps cancer survivors resume healthy lives with the world’s leading psycho-social cancer support programs available to them, free of charge.

Putting her business savvy to good use locally, Joey is also presently in her fourth term as city councillor in a Montreal area municipality and has overseen matters ranging from the environment to finance. Joey recently became president of a community camp, where she has been instrumental in helping to continue and evolve a 92-year institution.

In 2011, Joey was honoured in the prestigious “Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100™”, Canada’s most recognizable award for the country’s highest-achieving female leaders in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. In 2010, Joey’s philanthropic efforts were recognized when she became the first recipient of the Laurie Normand-Starr Humanitarian Award, held at the Table of Hope event in Montreal to raise funds to fight childhood hunger. In June 2010, she received the I’m Philanthropic Power Award from The Foundation for Advancement of Women Now Inc. in New York City. She currently sits on the Concordia University Board of Governors, and was bestowed with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the John Molson School of Business for her numerous achievements in business and in charity.

Joey currently lives with her family in Montreal, Canada.