Zita Cobb is not afraid of the unknown. At the age of 16, she left her home in Newfoundland to attend Ottawa’s Carleton University. After graduating, she and a friend bought a van and drove it around North America, “anywhere there was a road,” she says, for six months until the vehicle eventually died in Calgary, a convenient time and place to begin a career in business finance in the oil patch.
Fast-forward 20 years to 2001: Cobb chose to celebrate retiring from her executive position at JDS Uniphase (at the end of a successful career during which she saw the company grow to 40,000 employees) by sailing the world for four years. “When you’re in the middle of the Atlantic, how well you’ll do depends on your own wit and how you plan and take care of the boat,” she says.