Alumni Achievement Award nominee:
By transforming her passion for yoga in a remarkable business success story, Environment grad, Debbie Fung and her husband, Jason Lu, deserve credit for making yoga “mainstream and accessible” in the Greater Toronto Area.
Debbie is the co-founder of Yoga Tree Studios, the premier yoga studio in the GTA. Taking root in 2007 as a single studio located in Thornhill, Ontario, the company has grown to the largest yoga chain in the Greater Toronto Area, with studios in Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Midtown and Downtown Toronto. With over 2,000 yoga classes each month, Debbie has realized her goal of creating an inclusive yoga community, accessible to practitioners of any and all levels. She’s also embraced, acknowledged and educated the public on the many benefits of an wide array of yoga lineages.
For her efforts, Debbie was awarded with the 2016 “Canada’s Next Top Entrepreneur,” award presented by KPMG & Ivey School of Business. She has also been recognized for three consecutive years as one of Canada’s top 100 female entrepreneurs in PROFIT’s annual W100 list. Most recently, Yoga Tree Studios was ranked 173rd in the 28th annual PROFIT 500 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by Canadian Business and PROFIT magazine. Debbie's journey is also featured in Stacey Kravetz's newest book, SHE'S SO BOSS, a guide to entrepreneurship for women.
As a graduate of the Environment and Business program at the University of Waterloo, Debbie actively incorporates sustainability initiatives in her business strategy, from using energy efficient building materials like cork flooring and denim cotton insulation, to installing the first green wall inside a yoga studio. Debbie has also been an active supporter of the World Wildlife Federation since 2001. Her event, “Candlelight Yoga” raises awareness for Earth Hour and raised over $1,000 for WWF.