Jodi Kovitz
Toronto, Ontario
Business school graduate, business development strategist and coach, non-profit venture conceptualist, lawyer, volunteer, mom, “Just Say Hello” founder… These are just some – that’s right just some – of the many titles, talents and accomplishments of the incredibly energetic Jodi Kovitz. Read on to be intrigued, impressed and inspired.
Photography by Brogan McNab

Personal experiences have directed your philanthropic endeavours. Can you share one of those with us? JK - I owned a little clothing company about 10 years ago called “Boobalicious Tanks and Tee.” We created tanks, scarves and long-sleeve shirts featuring the breast cancer awareness symbol in custom-designed Swarovski crystals in partnership with the Breast Cancer Foundation and gave them 10% of all gross revenue. I love to marry my passion with entrepreneurial spirit and philanthropy. This project was in honour of Mari Ellen Murray, a mentor of mine when I spent the summer consulting at the Boston Consulting Group, who passed away from breast cancer.

A deeply personal experience also led you to your involvement with Sick Kids Hospital. Can you tell us about that? JK - My daughter Lily was very ill when she was between the ages of 2 and 4. We spent countless nights at the hospital, seeing 13 different specialists, battling numerous strange life-threatening unconnected infections starting with a bacterial blood infection and culminating in a rare illness called Kawasaki Disease. At times doctors were uncertain as to whether she had a compromised immune system, or if it was something more serious. Thankfully she is perfectly healthy now and has totally outgrown those challenges.

You’ve reworked this experience so that it has positive impacts in terms of personal resilience and much-needed fundraising. Was that difficult? JK - Lily taught me how to find my way through difficult times. First, accept what is, and put your energy into solving the problem. Bumping up against it does not make it go away. Embracing reality and finding determination to solve the problem is much more productive. It was one of the only ways I was able to survive some of the most difficult moments of my life. I felt so privileged to walk out of Sick Kids Hospital with such a good news story. Many people don’t. And I feel so blessed to have a world-class institution in our own city.

Are you still connected with the hospital? JK - Yes. I joined their Innovators Program, which is a group of up-and-coming, like-minded professionals who make a significant collective donation to an under-funded priority that we choose as a group. The work that I’ve done and continue to do raising money for Sick Kids as an active volunteer is nourishing. I feel grateful for the opportunity and have met and continue to meet incredible people through this experience.

How do you begin your day? JK - I have my gorgeous daughter half of the time. When I have her, my day starts with journaling and setting an intention for the day before she gets up. This practice was inspired by reading the Greatness Guide by Robin Sharma. He counsels on the need for white space and thinking time every day. Then, we have a healthy breakfast, piano practice, packing lunch then off to school. When I don’t have Lily, I start my day with a 6:00 am workout at the gym or at my favourite Rocket Cycle. My spin teacher shares lots of inspiring thoughts as we push ourselves on the bikes. One of my favourites is that you need to look up in life, not down at your feet – you can’t see where you are going if you’re looking at your feet.

What’s your motto? JK - Dream it. Plan it. Go get it. I believe that you actually can accomplish ANYTHING in life that you put your mind to. The Lululemon founder is a huge believer in writing down his goals. He posts them in very specific spots in his kitchen so he can look at them every day. I feel the same way. I have my goals on a little cue card that I carry around in my purse. Then, it’s about the dogged pursuit of those goals. My step-dad always says you can always eat an elephant – one bite at a time. So, dream it, plan it, go get it. One bite at a time.

Hair by Brennen Demelo | Makeup by Haley Bogaert Face | Clothing Provided by Narwhal Boutique