About Saint Mary's
Honorary Degree - Joey Adler
16 September, 2016
Canadian fashion visionary Joelle (“Joey”) Adler is the former President and CEO of Diesel Canada Inc. An innovative entrepreneur and humanitarian, she is the driving force behind ONEXONE (One by One), a charitable foundation dedicated to reinventing the business of philanthropy.
Born in Morocco and raised in Montreal, Joey Adler paid her own way through school, balancing daytime work for marketing companies with full-time enrolment in Concordia University’s Commerce faculty. Following university, she entered the fashion world working for Sergio Valente. After securing Canadian exclusivity for the Italian-based Diesel brand, she and her future husband, Louis Adler, sacrificed early profits to build one of Canada’s foremost fashion labels.
After Louis Adler’s death in 2003, Ms. Adler established a foundation in his name to raise funds for cancer-related charities. Born of a desire to honour her late husband, that foundation evolved into ONEXONE, a charity that has helped deliver millions of dollars in aid, including more than $7 million to Haiti.
Humanitarian visits to Haiti and Africa showed Ms. Adler the difficulties related to philanthropy. From that discovery, she developed a philosophy of inculcating a philanthropic component in every business model and coined the expression, ‘LEVERAGE EVERYTHING YOU DO EVERY DAY FOR GOOD’.
Ms. Adler has been honoured by Montreal’s Hope and Cope Wellness Centre for her unwavering commitment to creating a support centre for cancer survivors. Other tributes to her philanthropy and business acumen include the ‘I’m Philanthropic Power Award’ from The Foundation for Advancement of Women Now Inc., and the Laurie Normand-Starr Humanitarian Award.
Named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2011, Ms. Adler is a trustee for Partners in Health, a TED Talk speaker, a board member for New York’s Dress for Success, and a member of Minister Leitch’s advisory committee for STRONG GIRLS - STRONG WORLD. She holds an Executive MBA from McGill-HEC Montréal and an Honorary Doctorate from Concordia University.
Today, one year after retiring from Diesel Canada, Ms. Adler lives in California. Her new venture – a platform and mobile application called DEPT OF GOOD – reflects an understanding that disruptive business models, steeped in innovation, community building and giving back, will be an exciting area for future generations to embrace. Collaborating with those who will lead the way is an ongoing, incredible adventure for Joey Adler.