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2023 Gala Luminescence: Meet Our Award Winners

Preparations are underway for HEC Montréal’s third annual alumni awards ceremony

October 3, 2023

We are delighted to announce the names of the five HEC Montréal alumni who will be recognized at the 2023 Gala Luminescence, to be held on November 15 in the brand-new Hélène Desmarais Building.

These exceptional individuals were selected for having made a mark on the business world and society at large in one of five categories: Growth and Performance — Large Business, Growth and Performance — Small and Medium Business, Entrepreneurship, Social Impact and Global Recognition.


2023 winners

Growth and Performance — Large Business

GUY CORMIER (BBA 1991 and MBA 2000)
President and CEO, Desjardins Group

Embracing a member- and client-focused approach to decision-making, Guy Cormier has successfully led Desjardins Group’s sustained growth since becoming President and CEO in 2016. In keeping with his commitment to supporting the development of the next generation, he is a mentor at Academos and Women in Governance and sits on committees at several non-profit organizations, including Centraide and Kids Help Phone. He is a Knight of the French Legion of Honour and holds an honorary doctorate in law from the John Molson School of Business.

Growth and Performance — Small and Medium Business

CAROLINE MÉNARD (MSc Management 2002)
President, Brio Management Boutique

Caroline Ménard, an alumna of HEC Montréal’s Centre d’études en transformation des organisations, became President of Brio in 2016. Her objective upon assuming the role was to expand the services and renown of the company, which she has achieved with great success. Under her careful stewardship, Brio has grown steadily and now has an office in Paris. Caroline blogs for Gestion magazine and is heavily involved with a variety of initiatives and associations centred on social transformation. In 2021, she was named to Femmessor’s list of 100 female entrepreneurs who are changing the world and, in 2018, she was honoured with a Mercure Award in the entrepreneurship, succession planning and leadership category. In 2023, Brio Management Boutique topped the list of women-owned businesses in Quebec and received the Groupe entreprise en santé’s Prix Distinction. The company was also certified a Great Place To Work for 2022–2023.


President, Talsom

In 2010, Olivier Laquinte founded Talsom, a management consulting firm specializing in digital transformation that seeks to create a positive impact through people, innovation and technology. His dynamic leadership and commitment have established him as a thought leader in his sector. Olivier produces an annual publication called Tech Radar, which helps business owners understand the potential of digital transformation and technology integration. He writes for Les Affaires and sits on the boards of several organizations. He also cofounded Services professionnels d’ici. Olivier’s tireless efforts have earned him several awards, including PMI-Montreal’s Carrière MGP award in 2019 and UQAM’s Bâtisseur award in 2022.

Social Impact

Executive Director, Microcrédit Montréal

In 2008, Indu Krishnamurthy’s desire to make a difference led to her becoming involved with Microcrédit Montréal. Today, as Executive Director of the organization, she continues its mission of supporting individuals who are unable to access traditional sources of financing. A graduate of the McGill-HEC Montréal EMBA program, she has a solid background in finance, management, corporate relations and strategic planning. She currently serves on the boards of PME MTL Centre-Ville, MicroEntreprendre and the Fédération des femmes du Québec. She is also a member of HEC Montréal’s Women in Philanthropy Committee and sits on the advisory board of Concordia University’s Barry F. Lorenzetti Centre for Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership. A woman of action, Indu is committed to realizing her vision of a more inclusive and prosperous Quebec.

Global Recognition

JUSTINE HUTTEAU (BBA 2016 and MSc Marketing 2018)
Co-founder, Respire

After Justine Hutteau was diagnosed with a benign breast tumour, she teamed up with Thomas Meheut to found a company that makes all-natural, high-performance skincare products, starting with deodorant, their flagship product of which today one is sold every 30 seconds in Europe. Respire came into being in 2019, and Justine has since led the business to global success with more than 8 million products sold to date. An expert in digital communities, Justine relied from the outset on her customers to co-create the company’s products with her. In 2021, she was named the most influential female French entrepreneur by Forbes France and declared entrepreneur of the year at Chef d’entreprise magazine’s CEO Awards, and more recently featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list. Since its creation, Respire has evolved and flourished, all while helping to safeguard the future of our planet.

Together, these five winners of the HEC Montréal Alumni Awards embody excellence, creativity, leadership and social commitment. They are a source of inspiration not only for the HEC Montréal family, but also for the entire business community and society in general. The third annual Gala Luminescence, taking place on November 15, 2023, promises to be a memorable celebration of the award winners’ achievements and impact. The honorary title of Distinguished Alumnus will also be bestowed at the ceremony. Stay tuned to learn more about this event honouring HEC Montréal’s most extraordinary alumni.


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