Canadian finance manager Zita Cobb is well known for creating Fogo Island Inn. A social enterprise pioneer, Cobb enlisted her brothers to help her launch Shorefast, a Canadian trigger. She has a net worth of between $1 Million – $5 Million.
Early Life and Education
His ancestors hail from Fogo Island‘s eighth generation. The inshore fisherman who raised Cobb and her six brothers worked in the Gulf of Mexico. When she was a child, her family lived in a house without running water or electricity. Having battled and beaten tuberculosis at the tender age of six, she attributes her self-confidence to that experience. Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, is where Cobb earned a bachelor’s degree in business.
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|Nationality / Country||Canadian|
|Net Worth||$1 Million – $5 Million|
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Cobb began working for numerous oil companies in Alberta and traveled around Canada and Africa as a part of his job.
After ten years with Ottawa-based JDS Fitel, she rose to the position of CFO. In 1999, JDS Uniphase joined with the American corporation Uniphase. For four years in 2001, she executed stock options for US$69 million and departed the company.
Her first job out of college was at an Ottawa-based business called JDS Fitel, which made fiber-optic equipment. After working for various oil companies in Alberta and traveling around Canada and Africa, she finally found a home there in 1989. Cobb served as CFO by the time the company amalgamated with Uniphase in 1999. At the end of the second year, she departed JDS Uniphase and embarked on a four-year world cruise on her 47-foot boat, exercising $69 million in stock options.
One was a radio distribution project in Rwanda
The other was a scholarship program for kids from Fogo Island. Our scholarship program was being reviewed in the public eye when a woman approached and said, ‘Do you know what you are doing?'” The only thing you’re doing is paying for our children to leave,'” Cobb recalled. The beginning of this journey may be traced back to that.
The Shorefast Foundation is working on three major projects to help shore up the shaky economic prospects of the island. Architect Todd Saunders, who was born in Newfoundland but now lives in Norway, is designing six artist studios for the island’s Fogo Island Arts Corp. An angular prow juts out into the sea from the first studio, which was completed in June, and stands above the rocky shoreline on a pair of thin metal legs. It’s a powerful symbol of Cobb’s aspirations to build a new future on Fogo Island, as the typical house on the island is gable-roofed and stubbornly traditional. A residency program is offered by the Fogo Island Arts Corp., in which “accomplished artists” are invited to spend time on the island in self-directed programs. Another part of the organization’s mission is to create and host educational and artistic events.
Second, the Shorefast plan calls for the opening in 2012 of a low-slung, five-star modernist hotel with 29 rooms that will include a heritage library, art gallery, and a National Film Board of Canada “e-cinema,” where films can be downloaded and viewed on demand. The Fogo Island Inn is expected to open in 2012.
Lastly, a microfinance fund fashioned after Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank will provide loans to a wide range of deserving locals.
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Honors and awards
On June 30, 2016, Governor General David Johnston awarded Cobb the Order of Canada for her “contributions as a social entrepreneur who has helped revive the unique rural communities of Fogo Island and Change Islands through innovative social engagement and geotourism.”
She has received honorary doctorates from Carleton University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, McGill University, and the University of Ottawa. Junior Achievement inducted Cobb into its Business Hall of Fame in May of this year.
Cob interviewed Barack Obama on November 12, 2019, at Mile One Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Labrador, which was hosted by the St. John’s Board of Trade for a public event on November 12, 2019.
Discussion topics included community, climate change, and democracy. More than 5,000 people attended.
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