Meet alumnus Anthony Lacavera (NJC ’93), Chairman of Globalive Capital, and named a CEO of the Year
by Report on Business Magazine in 2010.
Anthony Lacavera (NJC ’93)
Chairman of Globalive Capital
Named CEO of the year by Report on Business
On November 26, 2010, Anthony Lacavera (NJC ’93) of Globalive Communications
Corp. was named one of three CEOs of the Year by Report on Business Magazine.
It’s just the latest in a series of honours and awards bestowed on the affable
36-year-old, currently Chairman of Globalive Capital.
Anthony started Globalive in 1998, after graduating with an Engineering degree from
the University of Toronto. Since then, the company has been recognized as a leading
Canadian corporation, ranked No. 1 in Profit Magazine’s listing of Canada’s 100
fastest growing companies in 2004, named among Canada’s 50 Best Managed
Companies for five consecutive years, among Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 and among
Canada’s 50 Hottest Start-Ups, and one of Canadian Business Magazine’s Top 30
Workplaces in Canada. Anthony was named one of Canada’s Top 40
Under 40 in 2006.
“I travel a lot on business,” says Anthony. "Now when I pass through the Zurich airport
it is quite different than what it felt to be walking through there the first time so many years
ago. Now i travel with three cell phones on the go and a laptop, but back then, I was
walking through that airport alone and feeling scared about living away from home
for the first time.”
Growing up in Welland, Ontario, Anthony and his friends loved skiing and in Grade
12, instead of going for a beach vacation, they saved up for a ski trip to Switzerland.
His love of skiing and a desire to learn French was the motivation for persuading his
parents to let him return to Switzerland to study at NJC for a year. “There was no
internet back then but somehow I did the research and found out that it is easier to
learn French in Neuchâtel than it is in Montreal or Paris, because the French is so
pure,” he says, “and that persuaded my parents. My sister got the benefit too
because my parents allowed her to go for one semester in my year, so we were
there at the same time.”
“Mine was not the typical ‘pension’ family,” Anthony recalls. “Claude and Katrine
Lacaille owned a small bar/restaurant and lived in the flat above it. We became
good friends right away, and I helped out with the business, met all their friends and
was immersed in the French language from the first day. We were quite close and I
went back to stay and visit with them twice after graduating from NJC.”
“NJC added a lot to my life,” he says. “It added a lot of personal confidence and
independence. I played junior hockey and I was confident – but it was cocky,
young-kid confident – not real, personal confidence. That’s what NJC gave me.
I developed a sense of self, of independence. The administration at that time
was great – they let us have fun but they also kept the reins reasonably in place.”
Despite his demanding career, Anthony still finds time to have fun. He has his pilot’s
license and owns a Columbia 400, a low-winged four-seater. He also has a passion
for professional theater and his London production of Tennessee William’s
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof earned a coveted Olivier Award as the West End’s outstanding
revival, following a similar success on Broadway.
Anthony is also busy with philanthropy, primarily through the Shamba Foundation,
of which he is both founder and chairman. Since 2007, Shamba has provided
charitable groups with free venue space on the rooftop of Globalive’s headquarters
in downtown Toronto. “Shamba is a charity for charities,” explains Anthony.
“It is so difficult for small charities to be organized. We donate our staff, the food
and refreshments, so when they have a fundraising event here,
there are no overheads. All the charities have to do is sell the tickets and
100% of the proceeds come back to them.”
Anthony is a founding contributor to Galleria Italia, a Frank Gehry designed atrium at
the heart of a newly renovated Art Gallery of Ontario. In recognition of his support of
the AGO project, Anthony was given the designation of Commendatore in the Order
of the Star of Italian Solidarity by the Italian government in 2008.
The Next 36, an initiative designed to find Canada’s next generation of
entrepreneurial leaders, is another passion for Anthony Lacavera. “I got involved early
on in this project, to provide the software support, to be the back office to help get these
kids’ businesses off the ground. It’s very exciting to be part of the team giving them
the mentorship I did not have when I was starting out.”
Lack of a mentor did not stand in his way, as Anthony has started a new business
every year for the last 15 years. Start-ups are a tough business and doing this
continuously must feel like climbing a mountain, year after year. “I don’t feel like I am
climbing a mountain,” he says with a smile. “Coasting along would feel like climbing
a mountain to me! Some people say I am not balanced in my approach to life, but I
feel I am. There are hours at a time when I am flying the plane, for example, and
everything is off. You are thinking about one thing – no phones, no blackberry, no
laptop – no distractions – just concentrating on one thing – flying – that is two hours
of real downtime. Gym for an hour everyday – that is all I think about – work is not
in my mind. I have got myself disciplined in that I don’t let those activities spill into
each other so that I get stressed and feel rushed all the time. I insist on going to the
gym no matter how busy I am. I insist on going skiing even when I don’t have time
for it. I insist on making time for friends and family – always.”
With so much already accomplished, Anthony Lacavera has even more ambitious
plans in the works. NJC is proud to include him amongst our distinguished alumni.