CEOs of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. and Wealthsimple named DesignThinkers of the Year
Michael Friisdahl and Michael Katchen accepting their awards

The Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) is excited to announce that Michael Friisdahl, President & CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE) and Michael Katchen, Co-founder & CEO of Wealthsimple are the DesignThinkers of the Year for Eastern Canada in 2018.



The DesignThinker of the Year award is given to Canadian corporate leaders who have incorporated design thinking into their organizations to achieve business objectives and drive innovation.


"We are thrilled to recognize leaders from two more companies this year that display purposeful investments in design," says Wendy Millard, RGD's President. "Wealthsimple's dedication to putting humanity into their branding strategies and MLSE's customer-centric design approach to thoughtful campaigns demonstrate their ongoing commitment to design thinking and an appreciation for the value of design in business."


MLSE and Wealthsimple see design as integral to their customers' and clients' experiences.


"We think of every single element of design as it impacts our fans," explains Shannon Hosford, Senior VP Marketing & Fan Experience at MLSE. "We take a customer-centric approach, so we try to think of the customer journey at every part and touchpoint. This gives us an opportunity to impact and influence that conversation.”



"We're trying to create what we think is the most human financial services company in the world," says Katchen. "When we think about what that means from a brand and design perspective, it's always been the Venn diagram of simple and smart. Getting something right in the middle of that Venn diagram is where the magic happens."



Friisdahl and Katchen received their awards during a special ceremony at the DesignThinkers Conference in Toronto on October 25.



For photos of the awards ceremony, visit our Flickr page.