Reisman, Heather

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REISMAN, HEATHER (1948– ), Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist. Reisman was born in Montreal and went to McGill University where she studied social work. Later she moved to Toronto. Drawn to business, she co-founded Paradigm Consulting, a strategy and change management firm in 1979. She left Paradigm in 1992 to become president of Cott Corporation, the regional bottler which she helped grow into the world's largest retailer-branded beverage supplier. Harvard University developed two case studies focusing on the company's growth and development during Reisman's time as president. Reisman left Cott and in 1996 founded and became chief executive officer of Indigo Books, Music and More. The launch of Indigo was the culmination of a lifelong passion for books and music. After a merger with Chapters Books, Indigo became Canada's largest book retailer.

Reisman was recognized for her many contributions to the Jewish and larger community. In 2005, she was awarded the Canada Council of Christians and Jews (cccj) Human Relations Award for her contribution to a variety of initiatives that span social, religious, racial, and ethnic communities. She served as governor of McGill University and of the Toronto Stock Exchange, In addition to being the ceo of Indigo Books she was also an officer of Mount Sinai Hospital and a board member and adviser to many organizations, including World Literacy of Canada and Toronto's Holy Blossom Temple, where she and her husband established the Gerald Schwartz/Heather Reisman Centre for Jewish Learning, which sponsors lectures and study classes on a wide range of Jewish-interest subjects. Reisman and her husband were also active in support of the Liberal Party of Canada. Her husband, Gerald *Schwartz, served as chair and ceo of Onex Corporation.

[Mindy Avrich-Skapinker (2nd ed.)]