2019 STORE Conference Speakers
Chief Executive Officer
David Boone is Chief Executive Officer of Staples Canada ULC, a role he’s held since in January 2018. He is responsible for over 10,000 associates and the company’s retail and online operations, overseeing more than 300 stores and Staples.ca, which carries over 250,000 products. Boone is an experienced leader with a wealth of knowledge across multiple functional areas that include merchandising, marketing, data analytics and operations, and has had Profit and Loss responsibility for several multi-billion-dollar corporate divisions. Prior to his appointment at Staples Canada, Boone served in a number of leadership roles at TD Bank Financial Group and Loblaw Company.
President & Founder, SageBerry Consulting
Steve Dennis is a consultant, author and keynote speaker on retail growth and innovation. He has been named a top 5 global retail influencer by two leading organizations and his thoughts on the future of shopping are regularly shared in the media and in his role as a contributor for Forbes. During a 30 year career as a senior executive at two Fortune 500 retailers--and more recently as a strategic advisor, Steve has worked with dozens of retail, luxury and social impact brands to inspire, catalyze and design their journey from boring to remarkable. Steve has delivered keynote talks on five continents, sharing his unique take on what it takes to win in the age of Amazon and digital disruption. Steve is currently the President of SageBerry Consulting. Prior to founding SageBerry, Steve was the chief strategy officer and SVP, multichannel marketing for the Neiman Marcus Group. He received his MBA from Harvard and a BA from Tufts University.
Helena Foulkes was appointed CEO of HBC in February 2018, where she is responsible for HBC’s global strategy and operations for all businesses, overseeing approximately 45,000 associates worldwide. Prior to joining HBC, she spent 25 years at CVS Health Corporation, most recently as Executive Vice President of CVS Health and President of CVS Pharmacy, a position she held since January 2014. Before joining CVS, Ms. Foulkes worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Tiffany & Co. Ms. Foulkes has received numerous professional honors, including being named to Fortune’s list of Most Powerful Women in Business, as well as Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business list. She serves on the boards of The Home Depot and the Harvard University Board of Overseers. Ms. Foulkes holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She lives in New York with her husband and they have four children.
Founder, Principal, Managing Director
Smash + Tess
Ashley is a loving wife and mama to her baby girl Francesca aka “Frankie.” Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, she was an educator for the better part of a decade before co-founding Smash + Tess with her mother in 2016. Ashley graduated from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC with two Bachelor Degrees in English and Education, along with a Masters in Education. Now a resident of Los Angeles, Ashley started Smash + Tess after finding a void in the loungewear market. She attended the summer fashion program at Conde Nast in London, UK, and the rest is history! As Managing Director of Smash + Tess, Ashley oversees everything from designing, to financial planning and forecasting, to dreaming up fun and creative marketing campaigns. Under Ashley's vision and management, Smash + Tess has grown exponentially and transnationally, both in market share and public notoriety. Ashley is passionate about creating clothing for women that celebrates and encourages femininity, strength, and comfort- while, of course, never sacrificing beauty or fashion.
Chief Corporate Officer
Restaurant Brands International
Duncan Fulton is Chief Corporate Officer at Restaurant Brands International, one of the world’s largest restaurant companies with 25,000 locations in 100 countries under the brands of Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Duncan was previously President of FGL Sports, responsible for the company’s $2.5B P&L and 420 retail locations across Canada, including Sport Chek and Sports Experts. Duncan led the company's digital transformation in its store network, marketing and e-commerce. Previously, Duncan served as Senior Vice-President, Communications & Corporate Affairs, for Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC) and Chief Marketing Officer for FGL Sports and Mark’s. Throughout his time at Canadian Tire, Duncan was been widely recognized for his leadership in the company's brand and digital transformation, including being named Canada’s Marketer of the Year by the Canadian Marketing Association. Before joining Canadian Tire Corporation, Duncan was the General Manager and Senior Partner of the Toronto flagship office of international communications company Fleishman-Hillard. Prior to his agency experience, Duncan served as a communication advisor and spokesman for several political leaders, including former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, and New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna. Duncan also serves as the Chairman of the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation – one of Canada’s best-known charities that focuses on at-risk youth from low-income families and provides them with exceptional programming and life-changing experiences at one of Tim Horton’s seven camps across Canada and the U.S.
Brian Hill is a founder and the CEO of the vertically integrated, innovative design house of exclusive brands, Aritzia. As a third generation retailer, Hill’s vision for Aritzia has always been to offer high-quality, beautifully designed product, in aspirational environments at a truly attainable price. With an unwavering commitment to quality, design and service, Hill’s influence has established Aritzia as the premium retailer and brand it is today. Thirty-five years later, with a global ecommerce experience and nearly 100 boutiques across North America, Aritzia continues to delight new markets and clients across the fashion landscape. Under his leadership, the Aritzia team have conceived and developed a portfolio of exclusive brands with an unparalleled depth of design and quality. These lines, such as Wilfred, Babaton, Tna and the most recently launched, Denim Forum each have a unique design point of view and following. In recognition of his creative vision and business leadership, Brian was awarded the Henry Singer Award for Retail Excellence presented by the University of Alberta (2013), Distinguished Retailer of the Year, presented by the Retail Council of Canada (2012), and was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® for the Pacific Region (2008).
An advisor to consumer brands, B2B companies and private equity partners for 30+ years, Joe Jackman has proven invaluable to leaders intent on sharpening strategy and orchestrating brand-driven reinventions of their businesses. Throughout his career as strategist, creative director, and reinventionist, he has helped companies create the most powerful and relevant versions of their brands in record time, and is widely considered to be the leading expert on rapid reinvention.
Founder Club Monaco and Joe Fresh, Former Dragon on CBC Dragon's Den
President JM&A Inc, Chairman Gibraltar Ventures
Joe Mimran is a retail, fashion, and business pioneer who has founded and co-founded such iconic brands as Club Monaco, Joe Fresh, Pink Tartan, Caban and Alfred Sung. In 1985 he founded Club Monaco successfully expanding the store network across Canada, United States and internationally. In 2000 he sold the company to the Ralph Lauren Corp. which to this day has maintained the design ethos of the brand. In 2006 Mimran as founder and former Creative Director of Joe Fresh, oversaw the brand’s design, marketing and retail concept for Loblaw Companies, with a vision of well-designed, well-priced clothes for a broad audience. It was launched in 40 supermarket locations and today Joe Fresh is sold in approximately 350 stores in Canada and internationally. Additionally, Mimran oversaw creative direction of Home and Entertainment brands for Loblaw, including PC Home, Life at Home, Everyday Essentials, Jump Kids World, Jogi and Tera Gear. Joe Mimran retired from Joe Fresh and Loblaws in 2015. Mimran also founded Joseph Mimran & Associates Inc. and New York Brands Studio Inc., consulting firms that work with global retailers to transform their design and product development processes to meet the challenges of today’s retail environment. He also serves as Chairman of Gibraltar and Company a private investment firm and serves on two public company boards. From 2015 to 2018 he starred as a Dragon on CBC’s hit show Dragons Den now in its 13th season. He is married to Kimberley Newport Mimran, has four children and divides his time between, New York, Toronto and Palm Beach.
President and CEO
As President and Chief Executive Officer of LoyaltyOne Co., Bryan leads a global set of enterprises organized by Alliance Data under the LoyaltyOne umbrella: The AIR MILES Reward Program in Canada, BrandLoyalty, Precima, and LoyaltyOne Global Solutions. Joining the organization soon after its founding in 1992, Bryan moved through a series of progressively senior roles, becoming President of the AIR MILES business in 1999 and assuming his current position as President and CEO of LoyaltyOne, Co. in 2006. A highly regarded expert on enterprise loyalty, retail marketing, coalition marketing and customer relationship management, Bryan has spoken at industry events around the globe, with his views on loyalty, data analytics and privacy widely quoted in national and international publications. The author of the bestselling book The Loyalty Leap: Turning Customer Information into Customer Intimacy as well as The Loyalty Leap for B2B, Bryan regularly contributes to the Forbes retail column, among others. Bryan supports a number of community and charitable groups including the CP24/CHUM Christmas Wish foundation and Kids Help Phone. Bryan has an MBA and a BScH (Microbiology and Biochemistry) from Queen’s University.
Kevin Peesker is President of Microsoft Canada responsible for leading a world class team who delivers transformative outcomes for Canadians. Through Microsoft’s partner ecosystem, citizenship efforts and employee engagement programs, Kevin's objective is to empower every person and organization across Canada to achieve more. A proven transformational leader with more than 28 years of experience in technology that has taken him to over 70 countries, Kevin has held leadership roles in finance, marketing, operations, sales, and general management. Kevin is passionate about the development of teams, building customers for life and driving collaboration between government/industry and technology. He focuses his time with Microsoft’s customers, partners and teams, traveling extensively so he can hear first-hand how Microsoft can better serve each stakeholder as a true technology partner. Most recently, the President of Dell EMC Canada, Kevin held multiple senior leadership roles spanning every customer/industry segment over his 14 years with Dell including leading the UK & Ireland Consumer, Small and Medium Businesses (CSMB), and leadership of the CSMB business units spanning Europe. Born in Western Canada, Kevin holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management. He resides in Toronto with his wife Karen and is active in the community, volunteering his time coaching youth and serving on boards. Kevin is Chair of the Information Technology Association of Canada.
Principal, Stonewall Robb Advisors and former Co-CEO
Whole Foods Market
Walter Robb’s passion for organic, all-natural produce began over 40 years ago, starting on a farm, and leading him through various jobs as a retailer, business owner, consultant, and eventually to Co-CEO of the Fortune 500 Company Whole Foods Market. Through his board positions at organizations such as FoodMaven, the Organic Trade Association, the Organic Center for Education and Promotion, and others, Robb continues to strive toward providing accessible, healthy products to consumers across the country. Robb’s long and varied entrepreneurial career began in 1976 when he opened the local grocery store Mountain Marketplace in Weaverville, California. 15 years later he sold the store to Whole Foods, joining the team as the local owner and operator. Robb’s savvy business expertise was recognized and two years later he was promoted to President of the Northwest Pacific Region. From there, Robb gradually climbed the chain of command to the roles of Executive Vice President of Operations, Chief Operating Officer, and Co-President. From 2010 through 2016, Walter served as co-CEO alongside Whole Foods founder John Mackey. Within the role he oversaw the operations of six of Whole Foods Market’s twelve regions, as well as purchasing, marketing, distribution, and quality standards. An ardent organic advocate Robb works his own organic garden and has served on the Board of Directors of the Organic Trade Association and the Organic Center for Education and Promotion. In late 2013, Robb was appointed director of The Container Store. He currently sits on the Whole Planet Foundation Board of Directors and the Board of Regents for the University of the Pacific. He serves as Chairman of the Board for the Whole Kids Foundation and on the Board of Directors for the Retail Industry Leaders Association. He also sits on the board of FoodMaven, an online marketplace and logistics company bringing agility and flexibility to the U.S. food system. Robb graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University in 1976 and is a proud father and grandfather with two sons, a daughter, and four grandchildren.
Founder & President
Doug Stephens is one of the world’s foremost retail industry futurists. His intellectual work and thinking have influenced many of the world’s best-known retailers, agencies and brands including Walmart, Google, Home Depot, Disney, BMW, Citibank, and Intel. Doug is also listed as one of retail’s top global influencers by Vend.com. Prior to founding Retail Prophet, Doug spent over 20 years in the retail industry, holding senior international roles including the leadership of one of New York City’s most historic retail chains. His unique perspectives on retailing, business and consumer behavior have been featured in many of the world’s leading publications and media outlets including The New York Times, The BBC, Bloomberg Business News, TechCrunch, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and Fast Company.
Billie Whitehouse is the CEO, designer and director of Wearable X. The recent winner of the Design Technology Award from Fashion Group International New York, Billie specializes in the combination of hardware, software and apparel for wearable technology products. Known for her development of Nadi X, the first smart yoga experience with guidance on the body through smart textiles. Billie is invigorating the fashion industry and transforming it into a business focused on improving the quality of our lives. Billie is an aesthetic specialist with a naturally inquisitive nature towards technology and innovation. As a garment engineer she strongly believes people should not have to look like the technology that they have grown to love and depend on. Billie’s designs are sharp,experimental, naturally confident and subtly feminine in appearance integrated with the latest technology. Business Insider recently named Billie as one of the 30 most important women under 30 in tech and she was named in the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. The highlight for Billie in 2016 was winning The Wearable Award in Paris at Show Room Privé as well as being featured on the Jimmy Fallon Show. In 2017 the highlight was being named one of the most innovative companies in Fitness by Fast Company. Billie is a renowned keynote speaker with presentations stretching from World Retail Congress 2018, WT Conference San Francisco 2018, Business of Sports Conference 2018, WORLDZ 2017, Synergy Global 2017 at Madison Square Garden, The New Yorker Tech Fest 2016, Fortune’s Elevate 2016, Belgium Fashion Congress 2015, Cannes Lions 2015/2016, Wired UK 2015, Conde Nast Digital Russia 2016, India Fashion Forum 2016 and many more.
Born and raised in Ottawa, Jeff received an honours degree in Economics from Princeton University and achieved his Chartered Accountant Designation, while holding a position with Ward Mallette Chartered Accountants. Making the leap to retail, Jeff joined Giant Tiger Stores, where after a number of years in operational and management roles, assumed the presidency. In this capacity, Jeff helped grow the business from a regional discount chain with 250 million in sales, to 1.4 billion in sales nationally as the third largest discount chain in Canada. In 2009, Jeff joined Farm Boy with a mandate to expand the business. Under his leadership, the company has grown from a nine store chain in the Ottawa region to now 26 stores in Ottawa, Kingston, the GTA and Southwestern Ontario with further expansion plans underway.
VP, Marketing & Communications
Duri Alajrami is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Moneris - Canada’s leading payment solutions provider. He is a marketing veteran with over 20 years’ experience establishing & managing digital and integrated marketing practices within leading global brands and Ad agencies. He has worked for Tribal DDB, Blast Radius / Wunderman, Ogilvy, and Mindshare on large brands such as Starbucks, Nike, and Microsoft.
Manolo Almagro is the managing partner of Q Division, a global consultancy dedicated to offering best in class IoT, connected commerce solutions, data-driven innovation strategies and emerging technology. Manolo’s team of industry experts provide clients with enterprise transformation services, data driven customer experiences and connected commerce solutions. Manolo is a 25-year veteran in transformative tech. He is a sought after speaker, thought leader and shares his cross-industry knowledge as a subject matter expert in emerging trends for international conferences like CES, NRF, Aviation World, Infocomm, Retail Design Institute’s Collaborate and GSMA’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Among his technical achievements, Manolo is a named inventor on digital signage software patent #6038545 and was recognized by AVIXA as an inaugural Emerging Trend Fellow.
Director, Retailing, Global Equity Research
Patricia Baker is a research analyst with Scotiabank covering the Retail and Consumer sectors. Her coverage includes Canadian and US companies. Prior to joining Scotiabank GBM, she was employed by two other major investment dealers as a merchandising and consumer products analyst. Ms. Baker holds a doctoral degree from Concordia University, an MBA from McGill University, an M.Phil from University of Sussex and a Bachelor of Science degree from Dalhousie University
Vice President, Industry Relations
Food Marketing Institute
Doug Baker is a food retail industry relations vice president for the Food Marketing Institute where he facilitates professional, non-competitive collaboration among member communities across private brands, technology and asset protection issue areas. In addition to his oversight of the private brands council and their efficiency-driven initiatives to encourage brand owner innovation, Doug also leads FMI’s CIO Technology Board, Asset Protection Council, and joint industry initiatives, SmartLabel and Information Accuracy. Prior to FMI, Doug began his career in the food retail industry in 1984 with Fry’s Food Stores. His 30+ years in food retail have included leadership roles at Fry’s (a division of Kroger), Kraft/Nabisco and Federated Foods with focuses on retail operations, consumer packaged goods and private brand development and marketing.
Executive Vice President and Senior Partner
Christian has over 20 years of experience in the fields of public opinion and market research. Christian is Executive Vice-President at Leger and manages its Montreal research team. He is also a partner in the firm and acts as a senior consultant to the firm’s major clients. As a spokesperson for the company, Christian is a political commentator for the CBC and consumer trends columnist on Radio-Canada. One of the many projects that Christian oversees is the Leger annual WOW Customer Experience Index which is an industry benchmark that provides amazing insights for Retailers. Christian still teaches research methodology at Université de Montréal
CEO and Co-Founder
Steve Buors is a leading authority on digital marketing for multi-location businesses. He works with national and international brands to develop inventive strategies using existing and emerging technologies to find new customers, increase sales, and combine the best of national brand strength with local relevance. Steve is CEO and co-founder of Reshift Media, a full-service digital agency that specializes in developing and implementing industry-leading social media, search and website/mobile strategies to enable brands to achieve tangible business results. Reshift Media often collaborates with other advertising agencies to develop, implement and manage digital strategies that amplify existing media campaigns. As a senior executive, entrepreneur and thought leader in the digital marketing industry, Steve has spoken at a variety of events, hosted many webinars and actively contributes to a number of blogs.
Director of Sales - Canada
As the Director of Sales for Canada, Paul works helps major retailers and manufacturers create more efficient customer return operations and highly effective liquidation processes. He has 35+ years of management experience in building sales teams, developing sales channels and improving supply chain processes. For the past two decades he has focused on reverse logistics and inventory remarketing, in the IT, consumer electronics and appliance industries.
Director, Financial Compliance
John was first introduced to retail management over 40 years ago. His career moved through automotive, industrial distribution and manufacturing sectors before coming full circle 15 years ago when joining Canadian consumer electronics retailer The Source. As Director, Financial Compliance, John engages in all areas of corporate compliance: evaluation of entity and IT risk, IFRS reporting controls, Payment Card Industry data security, recycling, environmental and stewardship compliance, and commodity taxation. His team also manages national inventory control and reverse logistics for 400+ retail locations.
Tony Chapman speaks his mind at Conferences and on National Television, Radio and in Social Media. He also does half day 'deep dives' with Boards and Leadership teams. Tony is one of Canada's most successful speakers. In the past two years, he has delivered inspirational talks to audiences in China, Brazil, Spain, the United Kingdom, Poland, Mexico and across North America. Tony prepares for and customizes each talk by working with his client, understanding the unique nuances of their marketplace and then drawing upon his three decades of experience helping Leaders of organizations large and small, locally and globally engage and persuade their customers and employees. This enables him to pack each talk with relevant and actionable ideas, insights and strategies. In 2008 Tony became one of the youngest individuals to be inducted into the Marketing Hall of Legends, and two national and two international documentaries showcase his approach to branding.
Director of Information Technology
Alcool New Brunswick Liquor
Future oriented and a courageous leader of change who believes that organizations are best served when IT is a strategic partner contributing to business success, and a driver of organizational change. Specialized in those areas that define IT value in business terms. Brings over 20 years of combined experience in Information Technology, Strategy Development, Organizational Change Management, LEAN, Project Management, Planning and ITIL. Challenges current thinking, is a creative problem solver, an enthusiastic facilitator, and a team player who is focused on the customer. Brings a strong sense of commitment, perseverance and integrity.
Vice President Retail Sales
Chris Churchill is the Vice President of Retail at Purdys Chocolatier, Canadas leading Chocolate company. Chris is known for his leadership, vision and innovative approach to sales that has led several companies in his career to record revenue results. Chris’ goal is simple; lead a high caliber team to exceptional results, by being a benchmark in the industry for Customer Experience. Prior to his role at Purdys, Chris has worked with top brands nationally, and internationally. Brands include Aldo, Urban Barn, and Armani. With experience in Luxury, Hard goods, and fashion, Chris has a broad scope to the Retail business, allowing him to contribute both operationally and continue to improve each service model. Chris believes in making a positive difference in others’ lives through mentoring others inside and outside of his work. His style of being authentic, enthusiastic promotes an environment of collaboration and performance as a team. Having been a high performance athlete for much of his early life, the relationship between winning and self-improvement is a trait bred from an early age.
Vice President of Retail Strategy
Darrell is currently Vice President of Retail Strategy at Geomedia. He is a specialist in retail advertising with an aptitude toward innovation. With his experience as an executive leader in a diverse range of marketing and technology companies throughout North America and Western Europe, Darrell brings top tier consulting expertise to the retail community. Darrell completed his undergraduate studies at York University, his Executive Business Education at The Wharton School of Business and recently completed his Certificate in Applied Neuroscience at MIT.
Paula Courtney, a retail strategist with 20 years’ experience, published in 35 countries and advisor to Fortune 100 companies, is trusted by Canadian and American retail leaders to help them refine and create a superior customer experience. She is the product founder and chief strategist of WisePlum®, a SaaS-based research tool designed to measure retail customer insights. WisePlum® is a collaboration between LoyaltyOne, a global leader in customer analytics and loyalty program design, and the Verde Group, a customer insights consultancy specialized in identifying, measuring, analyzing and resolving the financial impact of customer dissatisfaction.
Director of Marketing, Domestic Intermodal
Gary leads the domestic marketing team for CN, and is located at CN’s Intermodal headquarters in Brampton, ON. He is a 22 year veteran of CN, having filled various roles over his career in operations, sales and marketing mostly surrounding the intermodal portion of CN. Gary also is a Member of the Board of Directors at The University of Denver’s Transportation Institute, his alma mater where he graduated with a Masters of Science Degree.
Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards
James is an award-winning comedian and lecturer, and most recently, bestselling author. James is the hilarious host and associate producer of the TV series Eat St., which airs on Cooking Channel USA, Food Network Canada, and in more than a dozen other countries around the world. He is the author of the bestselling cookbook of the same name (Eat St.), wherein he shares recipes from the most daring, delicious, and inventive street food that can be found anywhere. James can also be seen regularly on The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV. James has been featured on many national and international network television shows including Last Comic Standing, Just for Laughs, and Comedy Now. When not filming Eat St., James keeps himself busy performing at comedy clubs and corporate shows everywhere.
Vice President, Marketing & Customer Intelligence
A marketing executive with over 20 years of experience in building brands, Kerri is Vice President, Marketing & Customer Intelligence at the LCBO. She is responsible to develop the corporate marketing strategies and activities to support the LCBO’s overall strategic direction and to set the creative direction for the LCBO, Vintages and Food & Drink brands. Her marketing team creates content, digital and consumer event strategies that drive the retail and e/mCommerce businesses, enhance LCBO brands and engender customer loyalty, leveraging insights and data uncovered by her customer intelligence team. She holds an MA in International Relations from Dalhousie University, a BA (1st class honours) in politics and history from Mount Allison University and a certification in International Trade through the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) program. Kerri holds a Chartered Marketer (CM) designation with the Canadian Marketing Association, where she is also a member of the Board of Directors.
VP, Product & Client Solutions
Patrick Diab, VP, Product & Client Solutions at Moneris, oversees the ongoing evolution of the organization’s product portfolio. Mr. Diab evaluates emerging technologies and how they can be leveraged to create more agile and robust business solutions. With over 16 years of experience in the payments industry, Mr. Diab has implemented solutions for a multitude of industry segments. He has also held roles in technology, product and client integration. Mr. Diab has a Bachelor of Science in both Software Engineering and Economics from the University of Toronto, as well as his certificate of Strategic eBusiness Management. Previously, he has also sat on McMaster’s Ecommerce Fraud Committee.
Partner and National Human Capital Leader for the Consumer, Retail Sector
Daria is Deloitte’s National Human Capital Leader for the Consumer | Retail Sector. Having spent 20 years in the industry, Daria brings great passion and deep US and Canadian retail experience. She has internally led organizations, from start up to large corporations, in all facets of the retail merchandising life cycle – vendor/retailer collaboration and negotiations, competitive intelligence, service/product sourcing, category insights, process and human capital design, training and team building/ retention. Over her career she has worked with some of the largest US and Canadian retailers – Target, Loblaw, Federated Depart Stores, Aveda - and has been a trusted advisor and partner to the major players in the manufacturing world – P&G, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Hershey to name a few. Today Daria leverages her deep industry expertise to help clients leverage an insight-data driven approach to identify opportunity, drive change and deliver growth across their businesses and ensures a smooth adoption and full comprehension across all key stakeholders. She concentrates a great deal of her time in helping clients navigate workforce transformations (leadership change/team development, executive coaching, culture evolution, D&I, etc.) as well supporting clients through large scale transformational changes in the organization.
Head of Digital Marketing & Media Group
To be posted
Country Manager, Canada
Erin (@eelofson1099) recently joined Pinterest as the Country Manager for Pinterest Canada. In her role, Erin partners with Canadian business leaders to discover how Pinterest can help them meet their ambitious business goals. Erin was formerly the national lead for the Financial Services, Technology and Media, and Travel and Tourism verticals at Facebook Canada and also led their Auto, CPG, and eCommerce verticals at various stages throughout her time at the company. Prior to Facebook, Erin was the global lead for Microsoft's partnership with BMO Financial Group. She also led the transformation of Microsoft Canada’s national partnership with HP Canada, spanning both organizations’ respective software, hardware, and consulting businesses. In 2008, Erin earned a M.A. at York University with a specialization in Technology in Practice, completing a thesis on media choice theory. Erin is currently saving ideas about turtlenecks and child language development.
Senior Vice President, Customer Experience
To be posted
Director, Supply Chain Optimization
Jim Flannery is CEO of SummitVentures LLC, a Consumer Products consultancy focused on helping brands grow their business by building consumer and trading partner trust. Prior to starting SummitVentures in 2019, Jim was Senior Executive Vice President at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). He was responsible for GMA’s overall Member Value Creation efforts and had primary responsibility for developing and implementing collaborative relationships, initiatives and programs with retailers and their trade associations across all retail channels. Jim led the consumer products industry’s effort to develop and launch the SmartLabel™ transparency initiative, which enables consumers to get access to information about hundreds of attributes on thousands of food, beverage, personal care, household product and pet care products. Jim joined GMA in 2013 from after 36 years at Procter & Gamble (P&G), where he most recently served as Managing Director, Customer Development, P&G Global Operations. Prior to that position, Jim was Director, Global Customer Marketing, from 1998 to 2003 and had responsibility for P&G’s industry-wide commercial collaboration efforts and the internal capabilities required to deliver them. Jim’s responsibilities at P&G began in the U.S. soap and detergent and food and beverage businesses from 1977-1994, where he had sales and management roles in the coffee, orange juice, shelf stable drink, peanut butter and snacks businesses. He served as Market Strategy and Planning Manager for P&G’s food and beverage business before departing to Australia in 1994. From 1994-1998 he directed customer business development and customer marketing in Australia and Asia. At P&G, Jim held volunteer leadership positions at GMA, the Food Marketing Institute, ECR-Australasia and ECR- Asia, and played an instrumental role in the creation of the Consumer Goods Forum. A native of New York, Jim holds a B.A. degree in Human Resources Management from Upsala College in East Orange, New Jersey
Vice President, Financial Planning & Analysis
American Eagle Outfitters Inc.
Brandon Friez is the Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis for American Eagle Outfitters. In his role he has financial responsibility covering Digital Technology, IT & Data, Marketing, Supply Chain, and Capital Investment. Brandon has been with AEO for 18 years and held numerous roles thru out the organization ranging from Finance, Digital Product Management, Omni Transformation, & Merchandise Planning.
Assistant Vice President
Andrew Fuller has been a part of the CN organization for 24 years, holding progressively more responsible positions in Operations, Costing/Finance, Intermodal Sales & Marketing and Director of Marketing for CN's Forest Products Division. Andrew was recently promoted to the position of Assistant Vice President, Domestic Intermodal overseeing the Sales and Marketing activities for Domestic Intermodal located in Canada, United States and Mexico. Andrew holds an MBA from Concordia University and an undergraduate degree in business from the University of New Brunswick and has volunteered on the board for the Food Shippers of America and within his local community.
Director, Multi-Channel Logistics
Best Buy Canada
Stephen Gordon is Director Multi-Channel Logistics for Best Buy Canada, delivering an effective supply chain for over 170 stores nationwide and for purchases via the company’s award-winning website. He oversees a team of 500 people across six wholly-owned and third-party warehouses with more than two million square foot of storage capabilities and manages Best Buy’s distribution via ocean, rail, road and air freight. With over 25 years’ with the company, Stephen has led and implemented extraordinary change during the digital revolution of retail and fulfillment. Stephen is a customer-first, forward-thinking and dynamic leader, with a keen eye on new and emerging technology that facilitates exceptional customer experience.
Graff Retail TV
Kevin Graff is the President of Graff Retail, based in Toronto, Ontario. Since 1988, Graff Retail has specialized in working with retailers around the globe to increase their revenue through improved staff performance. Kevin is widely respected as one of North America’s best retail speakers and trainers and was recently chosen as one of the Top 50 Retail Influencers. His principle belief is that retailers are losing too many sales each day in their stores that they should be capturing. Kevin’s approach to store operations and his intense focus on real, bottom-line issues continually produce outstanding results. Kevin is also the creator of Graff Retail TV, the retail community’s leading source of online sales and management training. Since being launched in 2008, Graff Retail TV has provided thousands of sales associates and store management teams with the skills they need to succeed.
Chief Supply Chain Officer
To be posted.
David Ian Gray
President & Founder
David Ian Gray founded DIG360 to help retail and “retail minded” executives deeply understand their customers and their business environments to help discover where healthy growth will next come from - and to transition their organizations accordingly. David has an innate ability to understand the “human” side of change and tailors the DIG360 approach to work best with cultures and personalities. In times of change David Ian Gray delivers insight, provocative questions, and new metaphors as catalysts for reinvention. David helps retail organizations become more relevant to the right target audiences and connect deeply to them. Senior Executives respect David for his fresh counsel on defining customer-relevance, rethinking customer-experience and tailored roadmaps for evolution. He is a recognized expert on retail and shopper trends, consistently producing high-impact knowledge for over 23 years. He has a rare blend of experience integrating business intelligence: operating and financial data, trends and trend spotting, and various forms of customer and market research. Amongst other topics, he presents on emerging retail trends, the role of retail in a sustainable future and the need for strategic adaptation and management of innovation. David has taught senior executives globally for the prestigious London Business School and is widely sought for insight by business media.
Partner, Global Chair Consumer & Retail, Partner-in-Charge High Growth Markets
Willy Kruh has served as the auditor and advisor to many premier, multinational companies for more than 30 years. He is currently the Global and Canadian Chair of KPMG’s Consumer Markets practice which serves many of largest international consumer brands in the world within the Retail and FDCG (Food, Drink & Consumer Goods) sectors. He has responsibility for the customer strategy and growth of the Consumer Markets practice in 155 countries, while managing over 30 global retail accounts. In addition, he has substantial experience helping consumer and industrial companies, both public and private, in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, initial public offerings, restructuring and transaction services. Willy is a regular contributor of articles to major publications throughout the world, and a speaker at global seminars and conferences. He is also well known in the media, often speaking about trends and issues faced by consumer markets companies, including topics related to cross-industry investment and global expansion.
Founder & Principal
M.E. LeBlanc & Company
Michael has 20+ years of brand/retail/marketing leadership experience and is considered by many as a pioneer in the Canadian omni-channel and e-Commerce retail space. As an award-winning insight driven strategic marketer with a passion for holistic retail brand/customer experience, Michael has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career with brands such as Black & Decker, Levi Strauss & Co, Hudson’s Bay, CanWest Media, The Shopping Channel and Herbal Magic. After spending almost three years advocating and lobbying for the Canadian retail industry at Retail Council of Canada (RCC), Michael formed M. E. LeBlanc & Company to leverage this knowledge and experience back onto the front lines and regularly is invited to share his insights on the current and future retail industry in Canada and around the world.
Partner, Consumer Advisory & Analytics Practice Leader (incl. Cannabis)
Jennifer is Partner, Consumer Advisory & Analytics Practice Leader (incl. Cannabis) for Canada within Deloitte LLP. Her mandate is to leverage her Retail and Consumer expertise in Omnichannel to help clients make sense of the vast quantities of data which exists in their organizations. Jennifer’s clients range from leading global brands and manufacturers, internet gaming, fashion, retail and grocery. She is an accomplished thought leader and has presented at key industry platforms such as Deloitte's Retail Outlook, ICSC, Marketing Magazine, and BNN. Jennifer’s clients include: HoltRenfrew.com, Lord & Taylor.com, HBC.com, Kit and Ace, Winners/TJX, Birks, Walmart, Constellation Brands, LCBO, SAQ, Andrew Peller and Loblaws, among others. Jennifer holds a Masters of Business Administration from the RotmanSchool of Business, University of Toronto, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo.
Vice President Marketing
Marks & FGL Sports
David Lui is the Vice President of Marketing and leads a team of marketing professionals to expand Mark’s and Sport Chek’s identity through the development and implementation of innovative brand, digital, ecommerce and marketing strategies. He is passionate about the ever-changing retail market, supporting the needs of marketers and retailers. He is a member of the Retail Council of Canada’s Marketing Advisory Committee and a member of the Retail Leadership Committee for the Canadian Marketing Association. As an avid competitive athlete, David has participated in numerous destination marathons and competitive cycling events around the world. David holds an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western
AIR MILES Reward Program
As the Vice President of AIR MILES Marketing, Rachel is responsible for overseeing the strategy, social programs and marketing communications designed to increase the engagement and profitability of the 10 million plus Collectors in the AIR MILES Reward Program, Canada’s premier coalition loyalty program. With over 20 years of national and global marketing experience in B2B and B2C environments, Rachel has a proven record of executing programs and strategies centered around customer segmentation, direct marketing, brand management, loyalty program design and public relations, to increase customer engagement while driving sustainable business results. Since joining LoyaltyOne, operator of the AIR MILES Reward Program, in 2004, Rachel has assumed several roles integral to the organization’s brand development, including leadership positions within LoyaltyOne’s International division, Corporate Marketing and Communications, and the Knowledge Office. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Acadia University. Rachel’s previous speaking experience includes the NBA Partner Summit, Shell Leadership Conference, and she has been the invited speaker at several York University Marketing classes, various internal MAB, and internal AIR MILES Reward Program Town Hall events.
Vice President, Digital
Passionate about digital technology with a strong acumen for corporate and business development at the international level, Kais has a proven ability to generate opportunities, establish relationships and manage cross functional teams to implement technology solutions and marketing programs at an enterprise level. Today, Kais is Vice President, Digital Solutions at Thinkmax, responsible for fostering and leading the practice with a mission to provide clients with technological and creative ideas and solutions to help them achieve their business digital transformation. Prior to joining Thinkmax, Kais held the position of VP, Strategic Partnerships at Nurun (a global full service interactive agency) and Orckestra (Commerce Cloud Software), where he led and managed major multi-million dollar international accounts in the travel, retail, distribution, media, manufacturing and CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) sectors. In these positions, Kais has also developed new offers and established long standing partnerships and alliances with world class technology organisations such Microsoft, IBM, SAP, Sitecore and many others. Fluent in 5 languages, Kais enjoys traveling the world and exploring new cultures.
Nourish Food Marketing
Jo-Ann specializes in food and beverage marketing, She creates marketing strategies that help move products off shelves across Canada, the US and Europe, into the consumer’s shopping basket, on their plates and into their hearts. Jo-Ann also lectures on Marketing at the Schulich Executive School of Business, the Association of Canadian Advertisers and Food Starter, formerly the Toronto Food Business Incubator. She is founding chair of the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada, a Past President of The Empire Club of Canada and serves on the board as Vice-Chair of ABC Life Literacy Canada.
VP Analytics & Insights
AIR MILES Reward Program
As Vice President Analytics & Insights, Jane leads a team of analytical professionals and oversees the analytic strategy for the AIR MILES Reward Program. For the past 10 years, Jane has been developing methodologies to help businesses capitalize on the power of data, using techniques such as machine learning, agent-based modeling, data mining and network analysis. Jane has applied these techniques within the CPG, retail, and digital spaces. Prior to joining AIR MILES, Jane led the Behavioral Data and Analytics Group at Ipsos where she was responsible for introducing new sources of digital consumer data into the business. She has also worked at Mars Inc, with a focus on developing advertising effectiveness metrics in digital and social media. Jane has a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jane is a frequent speaker on the topic of data and analytics at local meet-ups and analytic community events. She has also delivered talks at both Wharton and Stanford Business Schools.
Director of Strategy
To be posted
Director of Retail & Services
Eric Morris is the Director of Google's Retail practice in Canada, where since 2002, he has worked alongside the country's top marketers and advertising agencies. Eric has held several leadership roles at Google Canada, leading sales, operations, research, strategy and analytics for Google's advertising business. Most recently, he led Google Canada's search and performance advertising business. In 2016 Eric was named inventor and issued a patent in the United States for identifying rising search queries and trends at scale for advertisers worldwide. Eric was elected to the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada’s board of directors in 2009, and elected Chair of the board in 2015.
CTV's Your Morning and eTalk
Ben Mulroney With more than 16 years of experience in broadcasting, Ben Mulroney is one of Canada’s most respected journalists. As the co-host of both CTV's new program, Your Morning, and Canada’s number one entertainment show, eTalk, he brings the best to what he does as a speaker, emcee, event moderator, and interviewer. Whether on stage or in front of a camera, Mulroney draws on his incredible expertise to create memorable and entertaining experiences for all his audiences. Throughout his career, Mulroney has covered renowned events such as the Oscars, the Golden Globes, the Emmys, and the Juno Awards. Before joining eTalk, Mulroney was a correspondent for The Chatroom, and the entertainment reporter for Canada AM. He was also the host of Canadian Idol for six seasons, which was--and remains--the most successful English language show in Canadian history. In addition to eTalk, he also hosted eTalk 20, a weekly two-hour radio show that aired on 11 CHUM stations across Canada. In 2010, Mulroney reported from the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games for CTV, and in 2012 he joined Live! With Kelly host Kelly Ripa to co-host shows from both Banff, Alberta, and from her set in New York City. 2012 is also the year he began as a correspondent for Good Morning America. Mulroney has hosted Free The Children’s “We Day” youth-empowerment events, and was a national spokesperson for WaterCan, a charity focused on bringing drinking water to those most in need. He helped to raise funds for the organization by climbing in the highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, in 2012. Mulroney earned a law degree from Laval University and a history degree from Duke University. He is married to lifestyle expert Jessica Mulroney, and is the father of their two twin boys, Brian and John, and daughter Ivy.
Client Partner, Retail
Sarah is a marketing professional and digital expert with 15 years of experience at top tier media agencies in both Europe and North America. She is passionate about using technology and data insights to connect consumers and brands, and has spent the last three years at Facebook working with some of Canada’s largest retailers, helping them utilize the platform to meet their core business objectives.
Senior Vice President of Marketing
Sally Parrott is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Aritzia. Sally began her career in Beauty Care at Proctor and Gamble where she worked in Brand Management on global brands like Olay. She joined the team at Aritzia in 2004, where she was integral in the development of the company's marketing programming. After taking a few years away to work as an independent brand strategist, Sally returned to Aritzia in 2017 as Vice President of Marketing. She was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2018 and now leads a team of 65, overseeing Digital and Retail Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, and Creative.
Head, Industry Relations
Paul is Head, Industry Relations at Payments Canada, leading the team that works daily with financial institutions and other users and stakeholders across the ecosystem to inform the modernization of Canada’s core payment infrastructure. He is a senior business development and partnership professional with 15 years of experience in the payments space, most recently at Amex and Visa. While at Visa, Paul and his team supported the successful modernization of payments acceptance infrastructure, including EMV, contactless, mobile pay launches, and mobile acceptance proliferation to name a few. Prior to this, Paul worked in corporate banking and management consulting with leading Canadian and global firms.
Vice President and General Manager of Merchant Services Canada
A skilled executive with a passion for partnerships and collaboration, Kerri-Ann Santaguida is the Vice President and General Manager of Merchant Services Canada at American Express, where she leads the Global Merchant Services Business across Canada. Kerri-Ann and her team work closely with millions of merchants across Canada that accept American Express and serve as an acquirer, processor and marketing partner for merchants of all sizes, including small, regional and global businesses. Since taking over the role in September 2015, Kerri-Ann is responsible for leading a high performing team of more than 100+ employees with a focus on providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.
Head of Growth
Matthew is a relationship builder, problem solver and creative thinker who is passionate about activating innovative ideas. He brings a diverse background of Politics, Business Development, Performance Marketing, and Product Management to Raange. He believes the success of a business is realized by remaining focused on solving a problem for its customer. This concept has guided him as he’s worked on several successful startups in the Non-Profit, AutoTech and RetailTech spaces. Believe it or not, Matt’s love for problem solving was cultivated while working in politics at Queen’s Park, where he spent several years as a senior advisor managing high profile issues for several Ministries.
Director Engineering Innovation
Priya career in supply chain spans over a decade. She currently leads the distribution design team at Walmart Canada, a team focused on facility design and automation within distribution centres and ways in which the Walmart Canada supply chain can be more effective both through network planning and channel optimization techniques. Prior to Walmart, Priya worked for Union Gas and was responsible for planning and mapping out pipelines needed to support both industrial and private growth. Priya holds a degree in Bachelor of Applied Science- Industrial Engineering with a minor in Business Administration. Priya is fluent in Hindi and Punjabi and is also an avid traveler, enjoys the outdoors, and enjoys watching tennis and soccer. It is her dream to see one of the Grand Slams in person.
Chief Financial Officer
Since joining the Executive team in 2014, Lucy has worked to develop Eagle Eye’s ability to transform digital marketing by helping businesses understand their customers better and has been instrumental in establishing its partnership with leading Canadian retail group, Loblaw Companies Limited. Prior to this, she was the CFO of the 5one group, the global consultancy providing services, analysis and software to help retailers achieve a customer-centric strategy. The global role covered Europe, South Africa and setting up America. She previously also worked for Adapt Group Ltd, and in 2006 at iSOFT plc as an integral part of the turnaround team that successfully sold the business to IBA Health Group at the end of 2007. Lucy began her career at KPMG in 1999 and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.
Director of Editorial and Media Strategy
North Strategic and MSL Canada
Hollie Shaw began her career in journalism as a writer and editor at Canadian Press/Broadcast News before joining the National Post, where she covered retail business for close to two decades. Hollie is Director of Editorial and Media Strategy at North Strategic and MSL Canada, where she leads the media training practice and works with corporate clients on storytelling, media strategy and effective communication techniques.
Vice President, Loyalty and Customer Insights
Shawn joined Canadian Tire in 2014 to lead the launch of the digital loyalty program and has since led the launch of the recent Triangle Rewards Program. He also leads customer research, insights and is accountable for building and integrating Canadian Tire’s #1 Retail Brand NPS program. Prior to Canadian Tire he led Retail and Customer Analytics for the Air Miles loyalty program and during his consulting career with Accenture and McKinsey he worked with over 30+ retailers on marketing, merchandising, loyalty and analytics programs. Earlier in his career he was a statistician specializing in econometrics
Vice President of Product Development, Regulatory Affairs and Innovation
Albertsons’ Own Brands
Elizabeth Strydom is the Vice President of Product Development, Regulatory Affairs and Innovation as part of the Albertsons’ Own Brands Leadership Team. She holds B.S and M.S degrees in Food Science from universities in her home country of South Africa and received her MBA from the Tepper School of Business. Elizabeth’s career grew with the growth and acceptance of Private Brands. Her expertise in product development was honed by working for the leaders in the development of private label brands such as President Choice and the international renowned Marks & Spencer. Initially at Albertsons Elizabeth engineered the implementation of the new labelling legislation for the Own Brands portfolio and now works diligently with the Leadership Team to execute the exiting innovation strategy from a technical and culinary perspective.
National Vice President for Canada Retail
Peter Theocharis, National Vice President for Canada Retail is responsible for customer success and growing the retail customer community in Canada. Peter joined Salesforce in 2013 as a Strategic Account Executive where he was able to help Retailers across multiple sub-segments including fashion, specialty luxury, food, drug and mass merchants realize success with the Salesforce Shopper Success Platform. In recognition of his passion for Retail and his desire to serve his customers, Peter was appointed to the role of VP in February of 2016. In his current role, Peter works with retailers across Canada to help them achieve sustainable growth, enhance customer experiences, drive profitability, increase operational excellence and efficiencies through digital transformation. Peter received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Concordia University, in 2005.
Senior Manager, Product Marketing, Worldwide Campaign & Sales Enablement
Passionate about retail, Djamel Toubrinet strives to help brands strengthen their operational foundation, seize new growth opportunities locally and internationally and, equally important, convert every possible sale, be it online or in-store. He is currently Senior Product Marketing Manager for the Americas at Cegid, the world leader in retail and POS software. Aside from work, Djamel has three passions: dance, soccer and languages. For two years, he was a member of “Vagabond Crew”, a World Champion break dance company, and participated in many international competitions. In his spare time, he plays soccer and takes advantage of the diversity Montreal has to offer to practice his foreign language skills. Djamel received a Master’s degree in International Trade from Université d’Angers, France, and a bachelor’s degree in Applied Languages from Belmont University, USA, and TEC de Monterrey, Mexico. He is fluent in Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish, and English.
Retail System Administrator
Lolë - Coalision
Retail System Administrator at LOLË, David Turcotte is in charge of the management of the brand's POS system. In this capacity, he is involved in all store opening projects in North America and Europe, while always thinking of ways to digitize store operations and tools to improve the customer experience. He is committed to finding solutions that transform and improve the lives of both his colleagues and clients. LOLË has 40 stores to date and makes high quality clothing for active and trendy women and men. The LOLË collection is also available in more than 2,000 stores around the world. The brand is recognized for its "Lolë White Tour" event, which is a gathering of a large group of yogis celebrating peace, hope, equality and uniqueness.
Senior Vice President and General Manager
As senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Retail, Mike Webster is responsible for strategy, enablement, development, sales, service, and support. Oracle Retail provides deep, industry-specific domain expertise to deliver mission-critical solutions that help customers realize their most important business initiatives. Webster has more than 28 years of retail industry experience, working with hundreds of retailers in more than 30 countries. His expertise spans enterprise applications, data warehousing, and store-automation solutions. He is widely acknowledged for leading the global expansion of self-checkout across multiple formats. Throughout his career, Webster held various senior management positions in business strategy, corporate communications, and government affairs in service to the retail and hospitality industries. He also led the acquisition of leading self-service solutions for the retail, travel, and healthcare industries. Webster holds a bachelor's degree in management from the University of Dayton.
Divisional Vice President Supply Chain Strategy & Solutions
Nico is an Industrial Engineer with more than 14 years of comprehensive international logistics and supply chain management expertise in retail, consumer goods, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. He has been with HBC for more than 3 years-, and, prior to that, he led cross-functional Supply Chain teams in fast-paced customer-driven European businesses. At HBC, Nico' scope includes Supply Chain strategy definition, solutions design, analytics, PMO / multi-project management, as well as Supplier Relationship Management.
Vice President Customer Service & Retail Operations
Lara has spent more than 20 years, following a winding career path that has led her to leadership roles in brand management, project management, digital strategy, e-commerce and operations. After starting her career in international marketing for a tech start-up, she moved on to business development role Kodak Canada, and then spent over a decade at Atlantic Lottery where she played an integral role in the development, launch and marketing of the first regulated eGaming platform in North America. She spent almost 8 years working as a senior marketing consultant, focused on digital strategy and brand development and three years ago was introduced to the cannabis industry when she joined Civilized. Throughout her career, Lara has enjoyed taking on challenging projects, building strong teams and continuing to learn with every new role. Most recently, Lara joined the leadership team at ANBL as Vice President Customer Service & Retail Operations at Cannabis NB. It was an opportunity to leverage her varied past experience, and build on the amazing work that had already been done by the team at ANBL, to responsibly deliver adult-use cannabis in the province of New Brunswick in 2018.
Allan Zander has spent more than 25 years following his passion for creating companies focused on building new value for customers. Allan revels in the business development challenge of finding two or three companies who wish to extend their scope and increase their customer base, revenues and profits, and building true partnerships. Even better, Allan loves the entire process around the “art of the possible” - whiteboard sessions with these partners where he gets to turn ideas into products and solutions. Allan could tell you all about his amazing track record of helping companies ranging from startups to the Fortune 500 but he’d much prefer to talk to you about the great people (colleagues and clients) he’s worked with and how, working closely together, they’ve helped do some pretty amazing and transformative things. But, if you’re looking for a sure fire way to have a fun conversation with Allan, then the key is to talk about food. Before pursuing his calling in engineering and computer science, Allan spent his teen years and early adulthood training in the culinary arts – including a period with some great mentors in the Executive Chef ranks at the Westin hotel in downtown Toronto. Today, food and cooking is his happy place – restricted to family and friends. If he invites you to dinner, even at a restaurant, then you know he likes you and you are in for a treat.