Following completion of high school on Fogo Island, Zita pursued a business degree at Carleton University. Progressing in her field, she became the CFO of JDS Fitel, subsequently JDS Uniphase, and contributed to building the company into one of the leaders in high-tech innovation.
Zita returned to Fogo Island and in 2006, along with her brothers, Alan and Anthony Cobb, formed Shorefast, a registered Canadian charity whose mission is to build economic and cultural resilience on Fogo Island. As CEO, she dedicates her time and energies to the active direction and management of the organization.
Shorefast has created a number of social enterprises and charitable programs, which include the Fogo Island Inn, Fogo Island Fish and Fogo Island Shop. Micro lending, boatbuilding, geology on the edge and academic residencies are some of the organization’s charitable programs.
Zita’s vision, innovativeness and social entrepreneurship have been recognized in this province and beyond. In 2016, she was awarded the Order of Canada. As well, Memorial, McGill and Carleton universities have conferred honourary degrees upon Zita.
Growing up on Fogo Island, Zita developed a deep belief in the inherent value of place and a profound respect for the human ways of knowing that emerge from respectful relationships with nature, culture and community.
Zita’s vision and stewardship have earned her a place in the Junior Achievement Newfoundland and Labrador Business Hall of Fame.