Aazar Zafar is a Director of Investment Risk (Private Equity, Infrastructure and Real Estate) at OPTrust, and Founder and CEO of one of Canada’s fastest-growing, minority-based not-for-profit organizations, the Muslim Awards for Excellence (MAX), which has over 600 volunteers across five provinces.
He is also an investment strategist for various for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. At OPTrust, Aazar received an Internal Achievement Award for Innovative Teamwork. As a volunteer mentor for the Pakistani Professional Forum in Toronto, Aazar helped internationally qualified accountants get acclimated to life in Canada, while providing them with local training and employment opportunities. Most recently, he was recruited by the Chair of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation’s investment committee to help manage its $500 million endowment.
Mujir Muneeruddin is Executive Vice President (M&A and Strategy) at Facedrive. He is a Partner at Abrahams LLP where he heads the Business Law Group, which includes all transactional, commercial, regulatory, and governmental practices within the firm. Mujir is also MAX’s Director of Legal and Organizational Affairs and was featured in the Top 100 Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 list.
A graduate of Queen’s University , Mujir earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and a Masters (LL.M.) in Corporate Law & Securities along with a number of academic awards. He also holds a Diploma in Islamic Finance from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (London, UK).
Mujir’s practice specializes in securities law, as he routinely advises mid-market technology companies in the raising of funds and corporate transactions. His experience includes having acted in initial public offerings, private equity & venture capital financings, exchange listings, and public company mergers & acquisitions. Mujir also frequently advises on corporate governance and other securities compliance matters and is also a co-founder/director of various technology startups.
Shahbaz Khan is the Managing Director of MAX Finance & Sponsorship. He is passionate about community service and draws inspiration from the achievements of the MAX family, its sponsors, mentors and scholarship applicants which encourages him to continue contributing to MAX that highlights such achievements and further encourages others within the community to accomplish their dreams.
He is a designated CPA, CA and a technology enthusiast; he leads the Customer Success team at CaseWare International and in his role he helps accounting firms realize new efficiencies by evolving their practice using cloud based software tools. He has experience working with regional, national and Big4 accounting firms in audit and tax.
Muhammad is a Corporate & Securities lawyer at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. His practice focuses on securities law, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financings and general corporate and commercial matters. He has assisted in numerous transactions relating to public and private acquisitions and offerings, reverse takeovers and IPOs, as well as venture capital and equity financings. Prior to joining Davies, Muhammad worked at a large Canadian law firm in Toronto.
Muhammad received his Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School, prior to which, he received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, majoring in Sociology, and minoring in English and Psychology. Muhammad has a strong passion for entrepreneurship. During his undergrad, he co-founded a business that specialized in cell phone accessories, which grew to have over thirty stores on consignment. More recently, during his final year of law school, Muhammad co-founded an agritech startup that promotes the use of precision agriculture by using modular and scalable IoT technology.
Amen Hammad provides Finance and Special Project support at MAX. Her passion for public service and community involvement stems from the desire to build up and support Muslims and the first-generation immigrants within the community.
She is a Consultant with the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and in her role she provides analytical support for a diverse portfolio of Government agencies, including analysis of business plans and financial statements. Her work helps improve the rigour of financial data used by Ministry executives for decision making and resource allocation.
Amen holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce from Rotman Commerce, University of Toronto and is currently pursuing a Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) designation.
Aitzaz completed his Masters of Business Administration (Co-op) from McMaster University, his Master of Science from University of Sheffield and his Bachelors from the University of Nottingham. He is currently an associate at Noble Corporation’s Leadership Development Program. The Leadership Development Program is a 2yr rotation program following which he will begin his role as a Manager.
With a passion for storytelling, Aitzaz believes in bringing ideas to life that serve the community, and starting conversations that drive progress!
He volunteers with MAX because of the vision and belief that drives the MAX team to serve the community, elevate muslims in our society, and inspire future generations. He has been with MAX since 2018, and along the way he has made great friends, mentored others, and also learned a lot. In his free time he enjoys playing sports, watching motor-racing, reading and traveling.
Nazia believes that strength in any community comes from empowering those within it. Therefore, she was drawn to the MAX team’s dedication to supporting and promoting the achievement of Muslim professionals across Canada as well as the work that MAX does to connect, cultivate and support the leaders of today and tomorrow.
With a combined background in project and non-profit management and a drive to inspire professionals to achieve personal and professional growth and success, Nazia aims to continually bolster the impact of MAX Business through innovative programs, events, and training resources.
By building their professional toolkit and deepening their connections with industry leaders, MAX Business offers young business professionals and entrepreneurs opportunities for skill building, networking and incubation. Knowledge sharing, along with the right tools and opportunities can be a catalyst not only for an individual’s career, but can change the face of a sector.
I got involved with MAX because I wanted to be a part of a team that fosters positivity and growth in our community. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of the network I built, and I want to help provide others with platforms that encourage building a strong professional network as well.
I’m a Life Sciences Graduate from the University of Waterloo and am currently working at Virica Biotech, a biotechnology company. My work focuses on strategizing product entry to market and business development initiatives through alliance management and supporting early business negotiations. Fun fact: through this role I experienced first-hand what the COVID-19 vaccine development efforts consisted of and gained an appreciation for all those who are working tirelessly to deliver the vaccine (fingers crossed!).
Besides MAX, I am also involved with The Citizens Foundation, currently volunteering as a Youthcan Manager. I act as a liaison between the university chapters and TCF Canada, support new chapter development and develop strategies to encourage fundraising initiatives from current chapters.
In my free time you’ll find me discovering new coffee shops, going on long runs or cheering on our Toronto Raptors (tough loss).
Merna is a business enthusiast who comes from the banking sector, with deep experience in program management, relationship management and executing strategic initiatives. Merna currently works at Maple – a virtual healthcare company, as the Manager of Strategic Partnerships. She has successfully led dozens of product launches and campaigns touching the finance, insurance and pharma industry. Merna joined MAX to make an impact across her local community and the Muslim community at large. She has taken on the role of Managing Director of MAX Scholarships Fund and works to award scholarships to over 30 deserving and well-rounded students, with the help of dozens of Muslim sponsors and volunteers.
She graduated from the Lazardis School of Business and Economics with a bachelor of business administration. What drives her to MAX Scholarships Fund specifically is the inspiring stories of the Muslim youth. Meeting students who are so well rounded and driven to make an impact makes her want to contribute to elevating the community as a whole. In her free time she likes to be in good company; whether she is going on a hike or watching a cheesy film. She is now volunteering with Bridge TO as a mentor to two wonderful high school students who she is looking forward to watching grow this year.
Sarah is the National Managing Director of MAX Mentors Canada, leading the growth of the MAX Mentors pillar across the country. She joined MAX in 2018 when she spearheaded efforts to expand MAX Mentors to Montreal, Quebec. After growing the program in Montreal, Sarah shifted her focus to scaling MAX Mentors to other cities in Canada to continue to empower Muslim professionals across the country.
Professionally, Sarah works as a Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Maple, Canada’s leading virtual healthcare provider. Prior to this, she was in management consulting at PwC.
Atiya Bussun joined MAX Mentors as a volunteer after experiencing firsthand the program’s positive impact on her career. She is currently co-leading the Montreal chapter. She firmly believes in the importance of early career mentorship and is passionate about making mentorship accessible to young Muslim professionals.
Atiya obtained her bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Concordia University and is currently working towards getting her CPA Auditor title while working at Deloitte Montreal.
In her free time, she loves watercolour painting and reading books. Her favourite books are Outlier by Malcolm Gladwell and Reclaim your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed.
Daniya is a dentist who obtained her Bachelor’s of Health Sciences from McMaster University, followed by her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the Schulich School of Dentistry at Western University. Besides academic excellence, Daniya also won accolades for providing exemplary care to pediatric & high needs individuals. Since graduating, Daniya has associated in both a busy downtown practice, as well as a family-centred suburban practice, meeting the demands of a diverse demographic patient base.
In addition to her profession, Daniya has always been a passionate and active member of the community. She has advocated for various social services initiatives to help both the Muslim and Canadian community obtain access to oral healthcare.
MAX Mentors is an important cause for Daniya, as she attributes her success to the generous time and guidance provided to her by various mentors throughout her academic and professional journey. Through MAX’s mentorship program, Daniya hopes to help other young Muslim professionals obtain this for themselves, so they can lead both fulfilling and successful careers.
Komal is a Bilingual Project Manager working as part of the Project Management Office group at Coreio Inc. As a leader who has the pleasure of working with clients all across Canada and managing different projects and teams, she enjoys bringing people together towards a common objective or goal with a belief that “Team work makes the dream work”. She has also worked at BMO as part of the DevOps group.
Komal has earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto specializing in business and information technology, along with a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification to pursue her passion and strength in leadership and project management.
As the Awards Co-Lead for MAX, Komal hopes to bring both her professional and personal experiences and serve as a positive role model and mentor for young professionals. As someone who believes in giving recognition to the amazing work that Muslims around Canada are doing both in our communities and in the professional world, she is grateful to be a part of MAX.
In her free time, Komal enjoys travelling, hiking and kayaking. She also loves fashion, as well as dessert but claims that she is not addicted. Lastly, she may or may not be able to sing. Guess you’ll just have to ask to find that one out!
Manal is an incoming Management Consultant in the Strategic Technology Advisory practice at Ernst & Young. Her past experience includes roles at CPA Canada, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Baxter International Inc. Manal has earned an Honours Bachelor of Science from University of Toronto and is an MBA Candidate at McMaster University. She enjoys driving solutions for business problems, managing organizational change, and learning about emerging technologies.
Manal is passionate about creating social impact and is excited to be leading MAX Board as a part of MAX Business with goals of creating opportunities for board training and enhancing board leadership and development.
She enjoys playing sports, hiking, reading and discovering new teas!
Mubashir Parkhani is passionate about helping others realize their own potential. He deeply believes in MAX’s vision of elevating the brand of Muslims in Canada. Mubashir leads the MAX Business Leadership team and came up with an idea, to run the Embrace Change event, during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professionally, Mubashir is on the Global Equities team at OMERS Capital Markets and helps manage money on behalf of its pensioners. He specializes in deeply understanding companies within the technology space, and capitalizing on those investment opportunities, long before they become conventional wisdom.
His past experiences include founding a successful startup in high school, which specialized in exporting smartphones globally, and more previously, he has also been fortunate to have worked at a leading private equity firm, Onex, and two other investment firms within CI Investments. Mubashir graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University.”
Neda Mohammad is the VP of MAX Scholarship Fund (MSF) and has been part of MAX since 2019. She’s inspired by all the amazing applications that come through from Muslims all over the country, and is honoured to celebrate Canadian Muslim talents and achievements. In 2019, MSF was granted Charity status which helped elevate the MAX brand overall and was an exciting milestone! In her professional career, Neda works at ZOLL Medical Canada as the Canadian Human Resources Business Partner, supporting staff across Canada.
Neda Mohammad is the VP of MAX Scholarship Fund (MSF) and has been part of MAX since 2019. She’s inspired by all the amazing applications that come through from muslims all over the country, and is honoured to celebrate Canadian Muslim talents and achievements. In 2019, MSF was granted Charity status which helped elevate the MAX brand overall and was an exciting milestone!