Joan Volgelesang

Former President and CEO
Toon Boom Animation Inc.

Joan Vogelesang is a seasoned consultant specialized in international business development, SME globalization and education.

Ms. Vogelesang has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Toon Boom Animation Inc. from 1998 until 2014. Under her leadership, Toon Boom continued to maintain its position as a world leader in digital contentand animation technology not only in high-end studios but also in education and consumer markets using the online platform.

Ms. Vogelesang has over 35 years of experience as a senior executive responsible for the product design and engineering teams, international business development, customer care and operational management in large and smaller organizations.

Ms. Vogelesang led Toon Boom from being a single product company to a multiple product company. As a result of her personal involvement in the field, she opened and developed new markets in China, India, Africa, South America, the Caribbean and the Middle East resulting in thousands of studios, schools and jobs creation throughout the years. In 2013, the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, granted the Toon Boom Pipeline the prestigious Ub Iwerks Award, acknowledging its extensive implementation throughout the industry. In 2012, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has granted a Primetime Emmy® Engineering Award to Toon Boom Storyboard Pro, recognizing its significant contribution to the industry. That same year, Frost & Sullivan granted Toon Boom the 2011 Global Animation Software Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award. In 2011, Toon Boom was awarded the HSBC International Business Award, in the small and medium enterprise category. Both awards are a remarkable testament of Ms Vogelesang and her team’s true and ongoing dedication to their global clientele. Ms. Vogelesang managed the acquisition of Pegs N’ Co and Cambridge Animation Systems as well as motivated the team to bring out modular product designs which enabled Toon Boom to maintain high-end products, while leading the Company into education and consumer markets. In the educational arena, Ms. Vogelesang is an influential advocate of bringing industry and education together, while partnering with value-added partners to help students achieve their goals.

Ms. Vogelesang is regularly invited as a guest speaker at international events. These include Asia Animation Conference, ChangZhou Animation Festival, HangZhou Animation Festival, eLearning Africa, FICCI, FRAMES and NASSCOM Animation India. She also speaks at universities such as McGill Business School and Telfer School of Management as well as export organizations such as the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters about building international business. In addition, she acts as a judge on jury panels at animation competitions. Ms. Vogelesang seats on the Board of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University as well as of the Columbus College of Art and Design.

In 2012, Ms. Vogelesang received a special Humanitarian Prize at The World Animation Feature Films & VFX Summit. The award, presented by Animation Magazine, was given to her in recognition of her ”tireless efforts to develop new markets in animation all over the world and helping numerous studios and educational institutions train animators and create jobs in a fast-changing market.“ In 2011, Ms. Vogelesang has been profiled in the Canadian Business “Portraits in Leadership 2011”, alongside the CEO’s of corporate giants such as GE Canada, Ericsson Canada, Barrick Gold Corp., Bombardier, SNC Lavalin Group and Manulife Financial. Ms. Vogelesang was also granted a Recognition Award by Animae Caribe 2011 for her support throughout the years. In addition, the Minister Stephen Cadiz, Minister of Trade and Industry, Trinidad and Tobago, honored her with another Award in recognition of her sterling contribution to the animation industry of Trinidad and Tobago over the last ten years. In 2009, Ms. Vogelesang was elected as Animation Mentor of the Year by Animation Magazine. In 2006, she received the Movers’N’Shakers Award from the Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics in recognition of her valuable contribution, support and unique initiatives towards the growth and promotion of the India Animation and Media Industry worldwide. In 2005, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has granted a Primetime Emmy® Engineering Award to Toon Boom’s leading animation software solution for studios. Toon Boom technology was recognized for its major contribution made to the advancement of the television animation industry. Ms Vogelesang was selected as La Presse Personality of the Month that same year. In 2004, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry honored her with the Life Time Achievement Award for promoting the Indian Animation Sector on the global map. In 2001, she was also nominated as one of the Top 25 Women in Animation by Animation Magazine. Prior to joining Toon Boom in 1998, Ms. Vogelesang was Chief Operating Officer of Qsound Labs, Inc., an audio technology firm. Before then, Ms. Vogelesang was Vice-President, Business Operations at Hitachi Data Systems, Inc. She also worked for Philips Electronics Limited for ten years and held the position of Vice-President, Product Line Management, responsible for the manufacturing and design of the first multimedia PCs. Prior to this, Ms. Vogelesang held senior marketing and sales positions during her ten-year tenure with IBM Canada.

Joan Vogelesang is an active member and contributor to the Jewish General Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Women’s President Organization, the Montreal Children’s Hospital as well as in her community church.


“When I was traveling the world promoting DQE almost a decade back, Joan was one of my truest friends and guides. I still remember how we put our first show reel together using Toon Boom, and how it was greeted with a big round of applause when we viewed it in her office with her team… She will always be a special friend and a guide for me and for our group.”
—Tapaas Chakravarti, CEO, DQ Entertainment

“Joan has been a business associate, industry peer and a friend. She has displayed how leadership, strategy and focus can take a small company and position it as #1 company on the global stage. She is the unofficial 'ambassador' when it comes to bringing the technologies of the West to the East and the "ideas" of the East back to the West! I can safely say that she is one of the most valuable resources in this industry for both the professional and the person that she is!”
—Biren Ghose, General Manager, Technicolor India