Mike Zourhi, Edmonton, AlbertaMike Zouhri is the founder and CEO of SHAVE (a magazine promoting successful living to affluent males 25-40) which is one of the largest digital publications in the world, by readership numbers; and he has nearly tripled that figure over the last year now reaching between 60-75 million readers per month through expanded syndication deals with Microsoft owned MSN, Match.com and Pulse. He has successfully opened a luxury retail chain of stores, and in addition he has a long standing reputation as a world-class humanitarian leader and one of our most championed charity and community advocates.

While at the University of Alberta, Mike Zouhri built his reputation as a world-class humanitarian leader. His many years of leadership and tireless dedication to improving the world, our country, our province and our community has made him one of our most championed charity and community advocates.  He has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and fight ALS, social injustice, poverty, youth crime, AIDS, and more. He has earned his place as a highly respected leader, entrepreneur, speaker, writer, human rights advocate, community organizer and volunteer, because he has successfully brought Canada’s attention to both humanitarian issues around the world and domestically. His efforts have inspired thousands of people to get involved and addressed numerous social issues while promoting values of honour, empathy and passion.

Few university students consciously choose to fill the tight gaps between midterms, finals and assignments with huge amounts of volunteer work. But as Mike Zouhri wove his way through an undergraduate science degree at the University of Alberta, this is exactly the path he chose. Oh, yes, and he managed to make the dean’s list, too.  While Zouhri was studying neurology, he decided to apply his education at the university’s Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) clinic. He enjoyed working there but learned quickly that what he really wanted was a more intimate involvement with people coping with ALS.

Working at the ALS clinic was my first realization of death. I would go into the office and read a patient file and realize, hey, this gentleman is going to die. ALS became very real to me then,” says Zouhri. “It wasn’t just a disease in a textbook anymore.

So he decided to create and run Action ALS — and there has been no looking back. At the group’s first large event, he worked with major companies such as WestJet to raise money and increase awareness of this neurological disease.

I think people just need to dive right in; you can figure things out along the way. I figure that if someone else has done it before, then I can do it, too. I try not to have mental inhibitions.

As his organization has picked up steam, other non-profits have taken notice and recruited him to help with their campaigns. In addition to Action ALS, Zouhri works with the Youth Restorative Action Project, which helps young people in trouble with the law. It’s run by people under the age of 24. “Youth are placed with us and we learn about them, have them fulfil individualized mandates and, if they succeed, they avoid getting a criminal record.”

Zouhri also works with the Student Umbrella for Social Justice, which brings the presidents and directors of various groups together to share information and plan major collaborative fundraisers. He also volunteers with Campus UNICEF.

Despite his young age (he’s now 25), Zouhri has been inducted into Alberta’s Wall of Fame. Only 54 others have achieved this recognition, and most are much older than this recent graduate. He has also received the Star of Alberta Award, was nominated by Avenue Magazine Edmonton’s Top 40 under 40 in 2009 and was recognized as Alberta’s Top Influential People in 2011.