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An Interview With Business Leader George Scorsis

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Below is our recent interview with George Scorsis, a Toronto entrepreneur who has over 15 years of experience leading companies to growth and profitability.

Q: From your experience, what combination of marketplace knowledge, resources and talent does it take to position a company for expansion?

George Scorsis: Successful leaders understand how to “read” the marketplace, identify the opportunities in a dynamic marketplace and anticipate customer needs with a platform or business model that adresses the core consumer needs. It’s important to build the strategy while also doing so in an agile manner. What is the strategy that motivates growth? There are a lot of factors to consider, so it’s something that needs to be carefully evaluated. There’s also an element of risk involved. Many entrepreneurs who have led their companies to significant growth and increased revenue need to be laser focused and somewhat fearless if they believe that the reward will outweigh the risks.

Q: What has been your most unexpected lesson in leading for growth?

George Scorsis: It was probably something I learned way back when I was starting my career: that is, in order to learn about a business from the ground up, you have to show the desire to learn. Listen in on all of the executive meetings and challenge yourself to be put into uncomfortable scenarios that will force you to grow. Make the necessary calls to network with the people who can help. Research, research, research. Do everything that you can to become credible and enlist support inside the company before you start trying to make changes. If you think you’re going to make change happen easily, you’d better think again.

Q: You serve on the Board of Directors for two research and development companies committed to advancing treatment efforts for traumatic brain injury. What breakthroughs has this area seen since you’ve been involved?

George Scorsis: The potential for amazing breakthroughs are happening right now.
Tassili Life Sciences is working in conjunction with doctors at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine to develop psilocybin-based therapeutics to treat mild traumatic brain injuries and PTSD. The work is promising. In fact, preclinical studies are underway, with results expected in 2021.

Ultimately, the company is aiming to combine psilocybin and CBD in a certified drug that is approved by the FDA and other regulatory agencies. Working with the University of Miami, we aim to shift the mainstream perceptions about psychedelics by establishing the scientific underpinnings of the two compounds’ medical benefits and then developing a prescription-based therapeutic medicine for this combined disorder and a number of other disorders on the horizon, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Additionally AWKN Life Sciences is on the verge of launching a CRO that will further support the positive impacts that emerging psychedelics can have on the well-being of individuals that suffer from PTSD.

Q: You’re well-regarded for the time and energy you spend helping those in need, especially in your hometown. What is it about philanthropy that attracts you, and why should other business leaders get involved in addressing needs?

George Scorsis: These uncertain times have really reinforced how important family and community is. I never forgot where I came from, and so I’m fortunate to be in the position to give back to my hometown and the community that raised me. People will always need our help. The idea of giving back needs to be more prevalent than ever since we have no idea what our future is going to look like.

Q: What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

George Scorsis: Besides that first cup of coffee, I am motivated by trying to make a positive impact on others. Knowing that there is an opportunity to educate another person or help them achieve their own business success is what gets me out of bed every day. I love feeling like I have made a difference and seeing others success.

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