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David Birnbaum Connection

True Connections. Real Community.

Each episode David connects with another human around topics of interest and enjoyment.
2019-4-1

Do the Right Thing: Building a Business, and Giving Back

Season 1, Ep. 8

Today David is joined by Jim Estill. They discuss Jim's history of running successful businesses, and personally sponsoring over 80 refugee families in Guelph. They also get into Jim's philosophy of life, which he believes is the reason for his success.


Jim Estill, CEO of Danby Appliances is a Canadian technology entrepreneur, executive, and philanthropist.

Jim started a computer distribution business from the trunk of his car while in university. That modest business grew into a company doing $350,000,000 in sales before selling to SYNNEX in 2004. Jim then became CEO of SYNNEX Canada and grew sales from $800,000,000 to $2 Billion over five years.

Jim has invested in, mentored and advised many technology companies including Blackberry. He joined their board before they went public and served for 13 years.

Recently Jim Estill has been making news for his sponsorship efforts to settle 80 refugee families in Guelph. The Financial Times, BBC News, The Guardian, and Toronto Life have all covered his story, including this viral video featuring his work.

You can also follow Jim on his blog jimestill.com, which documents his philosophies on leadership and time management. Or watch his TEDx talk

Jim was awarded the Order of Ontario, the provinces highest honour, in 2017. He is a multiple nominee of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and has been awarded an Everyday Heroes Award by the Global Hope Coalition. In 2018 Jim Estill was awarded the Order of Canada.