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Zita Cobb

Zita Cobb

Founder and CEO

Shorefast & Fogo Island Inn

Zita Cobb is an eighth-generation Fogo Islander, Founder and CEO of Shorefast, and Innkeeper of the Fogo Island Inn. A registered Canadian charity, Shorefast uses business-minded means to help secure economic and cultural resilience for Fogo Island, Newfoundland: a centuries-old settler fishing community off Newfoundland’s northeast coast. Zita graduated high school on Fogo Island before leaving home to study business in Ottawa. Following a subsequent successful career in high-tech, Zita returned to Fogo Island to help grow another leg on the Island’s struggling economy to complement its ever-important fishery.

Shorefast’s notable achievements to date comprise a holistic set of charitable initiatives, including the world-class artist-in-residence program Fogo Island Arts (fogoislandarts.ca), and three innovative social businesses whose operating surpluses are returned to Shorefast for reinvestment in further community development work. Specifically, Shorefast is behind the award-winning, 29-suite Fogo Island Inn (fogoislandinn.ca), Fogo Island Workshops (fogoislandworkshops.ca), and Fogo Island Fish. Shorefast has pioneered the innovative practice of economic nutrition labelling for its social businesses, transparently demonstrating “where the money goes.” Shorefast’s model is both unwaveringly specific and universally applicable, holding relevance for communities worldwide.

Zita has been a Member of the Order of Canada since 2016 and was a 2020 inductee to Canada’s Business Hall of Fame. She holds honourary doctorates from McGill University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, the University of Ottawa, and Carleton University. She is an active CEO and volunteers her full time and energy for Shorefast’s work on Fogo Island.

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