Heather Reisman is a businesswoman, philanthropist and the founder and CEO of Canada’s largest book retailer, Indigo Books & Music. Born in 1948 in Montréal, Reisman completed a Bachelor of Social Work at McGill and began her career as a caseworker with troubled teens. Several years later, divorced and with two small children, she joined her brother Howard’s computer company. In 1979, Reisman co-founded Paradigm Consulting, a strategic change consultancy, and in 1982, she remarried and moved her business to Toronto. She served as Paradigm’s managing director until 1995, when she was invited to invest in American book retailer Borders Group, which planned to enter the Canadian market. When the Borders’ bid failed, Reisman went ahead and established Indigo Books & Music. She bought out Chapters, her main competitor, in 2001. Reisman, who has been inspiring readers with her “Heather’s Picks” since 1988, expanded into the e-reading market with the launch of Kobo in 2009. An outspoken feminist, advocate for women and the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the Order of Canada, Reisman was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 2015.
“I have never passed a book store in my life that I didn’t stop in — and I still have every book I was ever given or bought.”