NSB Logo Mohamad Fakih Mohamad Fakih

Mohamad Fakih

Speaker Featured

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Canada's Corporate CEO Citizen of the Year

Paramount Fine Foods, led by Mohamad Fakih, is one of North America’s fastest growing Middle Eastern Halal food chains, due to his turnaround leadership. Mohamad is equally renowned as a respected philanthropist as he is an award-winning entrepreneur. As the face and voice of UN Refugee Agency Canada, he’s an unwavering advocate for refugees, diversity, and anti-hate movements. Mohamad inspires audiences to grow their businesses and provides them with sustainable ways to give back to their communities and change the world.   

Keynote Speeches

Virtual Keynotes & Webinars
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Leadership, Innovation & A Kinder Capitalism

With restaurants shut down in the early days of COVID-19, Mohamad had to innovate to find ways to diversify and pandemic-proof his business; he worked to keep his 1500+ staff employed while also continuing personal and corporate donations to charities and local communities.

In this talk, audiences will learn more about Mohamad’s work as an unwavering advocate for refugees, diversity, and anti-hate movements, and his help to fund employment support resources for Syrian refugees. 

It’s all part of what Mohamad calls “kinder capitalism” – an approach that earned him the Order of Canada and title of Canada’s Corporate Citizen CEO of the Year in 2021.

Key takeaways from this conversation will include:

  • How to keep your business adaptable and innovative during a pandemic
  • Investing in community and a kinder capitalism
  • Leadership by Example
Innovating Your Business Model

With a focus on the growth of Paramount Fine Foods from a restaurant close to bankruptcy to the largest Middle Eastern chain in North America, Mohamad Fakih talks about how innovating your business model, giving back to your community, and pivoting to a new format has led to ongoing success. In 2020, Mohamad’s pivot to survive through COVID included launching Canada’s first fully automated restaurant.

Diversity and Inclusion

An advocate for immigration, Mohamad shares his messages built upon the concepts that diversity is a fact but inclusion is a choice. He works to lead by example and create opportunities for others, to show the success possibilities for immigrants and refugees. He’s hired hundreds of Syrian refugees and has shown the country that accepting immigrants and newcomers is beneficial for all.

Corporate Philanthropy

Mohamad has raised and contributed millions to a range of causes to support his community and country. He does this with a philosophy of ‘it’s not about how much money you have or how many days you live. It’s about what you do with your money and what you do with your days.’ He shares ‘the opportunity to change other people’s lives is what gets me up in the morning. I feel like I owe it to Canada. When I came to Canada, people helped me, so I want to give back. I believe that when you give, you get so much more.’

Audience reviews:

  • He’s just an outstanding, hardworking, dedicated individual who happens to be a newcomer to our country. - Mayor of Mississauga
  • He’s just a good quality person representing the new, emerging Mississauga. - Regional Chair, The Region of Peel
  • Mr. Fakih demonstrated a true sense of courage and civic responsibility...in standing up to this virulent Islamophobia, Mr. Fakih spoke out on behalf of all who have suffered racism, bigotry and hatred. He made it clear that anyone promoting hatred can and will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law. - Chair, The Canadian Anti-Hate Network
 

Speaker Biography

Arriving in Canada, Mohamad Fakih had $1300 in his pocket.  He bought a near bankrupt restaurant and built it into one of North America’s fastest growing Middle Eastern Halal food chains – Paramount Fine Foods. And all while becoming one of the country’s most respected philanthropists.

In 2021, Mohamad Fakih was recognized the Ontario Chamber of Commerce CEO of the Year and the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Corporate Citizen CEO of the Year.

The Globe and Mail notes: ‘Awarded to a CEO whose personal leadership exemplifies the idea that businesses can do well by doing good. This leader’s decisions have made his/her company an excellent corporate citizen via its environmental, social, advocacy, community and/or other corporate social responsibility initiatives.’

In 2020, when COVID hit, Mohamad needed to ensure both his business and community would continue to thrive.  Forbes magazine covered his pivot – launching  Box’d; Canada’s first fully automated ‘safe’ restaurant – and with an even larger staff than before to support his team. His Paramount business also donated nearly 2,000 meals to food banks and shelters.

Mohamad inspires audiences to implement strategies that result in successful teams and businesses while ultimately giving back to the community in effective and sustainable ways, and sharing your success with others in order to create lasting change.

He’s also renowned for his philanthropic work and a believer in ‘the more you give, the more you make back’.  In early 2020, he led the “Canada Strong” campaign to raise over a $1million for the families of the victims of the Iranian plane crash.  

In mid 2020, after the devastating explosion in Beirut Lebanon, as a Muslim-Canadian he launched the Lebanese Canadian Coalition, in effort to raise millions to help provide medical care, food and shelter for those affected.

An award-winning entrepreneur Mohamad has more than just a few accolades to his name, including 2019 Business Person of the Year in his home city, both for his success as a business man, and for his unwavering dedication as a community leader who advocates for diversity, inclusion and supporting those in need. 

During the Syrian Refugee crisis, Mohamad travelled to the frontlines in Syria to better understand what relief efforts where needed to support refugees and has hired over 150 refugees to work at Paramount Fine Foods over the past few years.

He also secured the largest defamation award ever in Canada, after his defamation suit against hate crime, hate speech and Islamophobia. Mohamad donated the $2.5million earned in damages to an anti-hate fund.

He’s also received the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Food & Beverage in 2014 followed by the 2016 Business Person of the Year Award by the Toronto Board of Trade, the 2017 Leadership Award by Restaurants Canada, and the 2017 Top 25 Immigrants Award by Royal Bank Canada (RBC).