Wendy is currently based in Vancouver, BC as the CEO of SAXX Underwear Co, a Global Wholesale and Direct to Consumer Brand on its way to becoming the #1 Premium Men’s Underwear brand in North America. Prior to that, across more than twenty-five years in the retail industry, she held multiple senior executive positions inside of great Canadian brands such as Roots Canada where she was President and Mark’s Work Wearhouse. She says the greatest reward of all for her has been the opportunity to build highly engaged organizations that succeed through significant periods of growth and change in an ever evolving industry.
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
Carl is a Montreal based retail strategist and board advisor with over 25 years of hands on operational, marketing, merchandising and retail executive experience. He has worked across a full array of retailer environments from the very large, such as 10 years with Costco Wholesale to working as a strategy consultant for a group of 800 independent retailers across Canada. As founder of StudioRx, he guides senior retailer leaders to better leverage their combined choices of technology, analytics & design to create positive outcomes both for their customers and bottom line. He also advises technology companies on how to best tailor their solutions to address needs that matter most to retailers. He spent the last year working with a team of computer vision (AI) researchers as their retail strategy & global commercial lead. He holds an MBA from Queen’s University and advices on several retail innovation labs including CieTech and the recently announced Bensadoun Retail Management School at McGill University
Sonny Brar comes with over 15 years of Corporate Retail, Human Resources, Health, Safety, Energy and Environmental experience. He is currently the Vice President, Member Programs & Services at Retail Council of Canada and is an honors graduate of Criminology, Justice and Public Safety from Manitoba. Along with other functions, Sonny leads and supports RCC’s Membership, Benefit Partner Programs, Human Resources, Heath, Safety, Energy initiatives and RCC’s Advisory Councils. Sonny has also had great successes in his tenure and has been a recipient of 3 Presidential Excellence awards with Maple Leaf Foods and Toys“R”Us along with several successes and recognitions with his tenure at Sobeys and Ikea.
Diane J. Brisebois, CAE, oversees the largest retail association in Canada serving over 45,000 retail establishments including independent merchants, chain stores, mass merchants, big box and online retailers. RCC’s membership covers all segments of the retail market including general merchandise, grocery and pharmacy. Diane joined RCC as its President and CEO in January 1995. Diane has held CEO positions in the not-for-profit sector representing various industries for the past 35 years.
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.
Patrick Cadieux is currently Marketing Director for M&M Food Market, Canada’s largest frozen food retailer. With over 20 years in Marketing, Patrick’s broad experience has been shaped by his time at leading global organizations such as Kraft, Whirlpool and Weight Watchers. Since 2015, he has lead the re-positioning of the M&M Food Market brand across its commercial go-to-market, media and communication platforms. This re-positioning has been dramatic in how M&M has approached product innovation, flyer, print, POP, mass media, digital platforms and content. To address changing consumer media consumption and its fragmentation, the brand has optimized its Marketing mix and have adopted industry leading digital strategies to increase store traffic, bring net new consumers to the franchise while driving incremental sales.
Howard Chang came by his passion for retail marketing honestly. Long before running an ad agency was even a twinkle in his eye, Howard (at the tender age of 20) created a bicycle retail concept and quickly grew it to 3 GTA locations through innovative marketing and exceptional customer service. His passion for branding found its perfect expression when he established Top Drawer Creative in 1992. With his retail pedigree, Howard focused on helping specialty retailers win share through great storytelling and innovative channel strategy. With Top Drawer now celebrating its 25th anniversary, Howard has had the privilege of helping many blue-chip North American retailers win in an ever-challenging environment. Howard continues to spread the gospel that the brand story must lead in every channel - including the ever important and evolving flyer.
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.
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.
In January 2017, Sarah Davis was appointed President, Loblaw Companies Limited, overseeing the day-to-day operations of Canada’s largest retailer and the nation’s food and pharmacy leader. With more than 2,400 corporate, franchised and Associate-owned locations, Loblaw, its franchisees, and Associate-owners employ approximately 200,000 full- and part-time employees, making it one of Canada's largest private sector employers. Ms. Davis joined Loblaw in 2007 and, prior to assuming the role of President, served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, responsible for Real Estate, Strategy, Information Technology, Supply Chain and Human Resources. Ms. Davis has a strong corporate-finance background, which has served her well in supporting some of the company’s most transformative programs in recent history, including the implementation of SAP, the creation of Choice Properties REIT, and the acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart. Ms. Davis is the chair of PC® Children’s Charity, and served as chair of the [email protected] network from 2009 to 2017. She also sits on the Board of Directors for PC Financial, AGF Investments and T&T Supermarkets. Ms. Davis holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Honours degree from Queen’s University, a Chartered Accountant and is a Fellow of the CPA.
Peter's expertise centers around the analysis of behavioral data to understand and forecast customer shopping/purchasing activities. Managerial applications focus on topics such as customer relationship management, lifetime value of the customer, and sales forecasting for new products. Much of his research highlights the consistent (but often surprising) behavioral patterns that exist across these industries and other seemingly different domains. These insights are reflected in his book, “Customer Centricity: Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage.” In April 2017, Professor Fader was named by Advertising Age as one of its inaugural “25 Marketing Technology Trailblazers,” and was the only academic on the list.
Harley Finkelstein is an entrepreneur, lawyer, and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Shopify. He founded his first company at age 17 while a student at McGill. Harley completed his law degree as well as his MBA at the University of Ottawa, where he co-founded the JD/MBA Student Society and the Canadian MBA Oath. Harley is on the Board of the C100, is an Advisor to Felicis Ventures & Omers Ventures, and is one of the “Dragons” on CBC’s Next Gen Den. In 2016, Harley was inducted into the Order of Ottawa, and in 2017 he received the Canadian Angel Investor of the Year Award as well as Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award. In December 2017, Harley was appointed to the Board of Directors of the CBC.
Many different experiences have provided the tool box for Karen to successfully lead Purdys, the largest Chocolatier in Canada. Karen is from Queen's, living in Japan and Asia for 2 years, speaking fluent French, being trained in classic packaged goods marketing at General Mills for 6 years, developing innovative new products at Product Development Partnership in the UK for 1 year, and growing a popular chain of 140 restaurants: Swiss Chalet, for 6 years. Over the years, Purdys and Karen have won a number of awards: 50 Best Employers in Canada (7 times!). Karen has also been the recipient of WXN Hall of Fame, BIV's Women of Influence, EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Family Busi-ness, Henry Singer Award, Queens U. KBH Award and YWCA Women of Distinction.
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.
As Chief Operating Officer, Justin is responsible for the organization’s information technology and corporate functions, including operationalizing Payments Canada’s vision and strategic plan to become the centre of excellence for payments in Canada. Justin is a leading expert on large-scale organizational transformation with over 25 years of experience in the field, as both an executive and a consultant. He has worked with complex and sophisticated global companies (e.g. British Telecom, Unilever, Philips) and has been involved in many advanced and challenging public sector transformations, working across the political, executive and operational levels in federal, regional and municipal governments. Most recently, Justin was the President and Managing Partner of TotemHill Consulting, an international management consulting firm focused exclusively on large-scale transformation projects. Prior to that, he held Vice-President and Senior Vice-President Positions with CapGemini and Calian Technologies.
Debbie Gamble is the VP Digital Products and Platforms at Interac responsible for the delivery of the digital commerce and faster payments strategies. With over 35 years of experience, Debbie has been involved in early iterations of the digital economy including crypto currency, mobile commerce, electronic cash, prepaid, EMV, contact and contactless solutions on an international scale. Previous roles include co-founder and SVP Product and Strategy at Dexit Inc. and Head of North America for Mondex International (a subsidiary of MasterCard). She is currently a Fintech Advisor at MaRS, a member of the FINCA Advisory Board and is one of Canada's most influential and leading authorities on digital payments, speaking passionately on fintech and innovation in payments and business transformation.
Myles is a Partner with PwC’s consulting practice, and leads the National Retail Industry team. Bringing over 25 years of Retail experience working with tier one organizations in North America and Europe, in areas of Inventory Optimization, Merchandise Planning & Assortment Strategies and using analytics to drive higher precision performance. Prior to joining PwC, Myles led large transformational programs as a North American Practice Lead at Accenture. He assisted clients to become ‘first movers’ in new capabilities using advanced analytics. His accomplishments include developing new business capabilities that transform clients’ operations with measured improvements in Gross Margin and Working Capital Efficiency.
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.
Drew Green is an award winning entrepreneur and expert in managing fast-paced, high-growth companies. A visionary leader, Green has created one of the world's fastest growing apparel brands. Since 2015, he has established over $90M CDN in strategic capital commitments for INDOCHINO, with less than 27% shareholder dilution via these transactions. Green’s focus, dedication and decisiveness has tripled the size of the company, helped it achieve profitability in 2017 and improved EBITDA by just under $8 million USD year-over-year. Through a commitment to an experience-based Omni channel commerce strategy the past three years, INDOCHINO has expanded its retail network across North America to include 22 showrooms as of March 2018, with as many as 37 showrooms by year end and dramatically increased its product assortment to become the undisputed global leader in custom apparel. Prior to INDOCHINO, Green founded and was Chief Executive Officer of SHOP.CA, Canada’s first multi-merchant marketplace, which is now owned by EMERGE COMMERCE, which he leads as Chairman and major shareholder. EMERGE has successfully combined several eCommerce brands globally over the past two years. Throughout his career, Drew has helped create billions in shareholder value through leadership roles at DoubleClick (acquired by Google), SHOP.COM (acquired by Market America) and Flonetwork (acquired by DoubleClick). Green is a shareholder, mentor and/or member of 15 Canadian private company boards across Technology, Commerce, Ed-Tech, FinTech, Block Chain and Real Estate and is also a proud to be a member of the Board of Directors at The Scarborough Hospital Foundation, which oversees a network of hospitals in one of the most underprivileged and underfunded urban areas in Canada. This is an area he plans to significantly develop in the decades ahead.
An inspired team-builder dedicated to delivering dynamic retail experiences, Patricia Heath is a proven marketer whose 20+ years of tech-retail industry knowledge continues to bring Canadians closer to their passions through innovative retail and product experiences. As Samsung Canada’s Vice President, Retail Excellence, Patricia leads Samsung’s overall retail strategy in Canada, including consumer-led, creative marketing campaigns for all of Canada’s Samsung Experience Stores. This includes the Samsung Experience Store at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, an unprecedented retail footprint in both scope and size for Samsung in Canada. Prior to joining Samsung, Patricia held senior management roles at both Glentel and Apple. Her leadership drove innovative marketing and retail campaigns and generated industry recognition and accolades. Patricia currently resides in Toronto with her family. Her passions include travel (the farther off the beaten track, the better) cooking and running.
Steve Holder is responsible for creating and driving the SAS solution strategy with our Canadian customers. A key part of this is providing thought leadership for the AI, Analytics, and emerging technology portfolios. A Canadian subject matter expert and AI & analytics evangelist Steve has seen first-hand how the use of SAS technology can help customers solve business problems; make the best decisions possible and unearth new opportunities. Steve’s passion is making technology make sense for everyone regardless of their technical skillset.
Cathy Hotka knows most of the retail chief information officers in North America, and creates opportunities for senior retail leaders to network with one another. Her firm creates networking events like the Retail Insiders Parties, dinner discussions, summits, and executive events that bring retail CIOs together, and is retail’s go-to player when technology companies need marketing strategies for the retail industry. Clients have included nearly all the largest technology companies pursuing the American market. She was selected by VendHQ as the 12th most influential person in retail. She created the CIO Council for the National Retail Federation, consulted to the Retail Industry Leaders Association, and staffed the American Petroleum Institute’s IT Committee and its subcommittees, after six years in the White House and on Capitol Hill. She has extensive experience in working with senior-level decision-makers. She is a Computerworld Premier 100 winner, is a Wharton School of Business and Infosys Transformation Award qualifier, and serves on the Advisory Board of the [email protected] retail conferences.
Craig is leading several major game changing activities in the Supply-Chain with major objectives such as re-engineering the global Supply-Chain network serving over 95 countries, delivering products and services to Retail, Wholesale, On-Line, Franchisee Operations and deploying a Regional Organisation to further enhance the Supply-Chain Speed to Market and Cost Efficiency. Previous to joining the ALDO Group Craig had a successful and long career at the IKEA Group as Chief operating officer for the Middle East and global responsibility of their Global Retail Supply-Chain. He brings a wealth of international experience serving in Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North America. He has over 25 years of Supply-Chain experience across all corners of the globe from Raw materials to the end Consumer including Multi-Channel high volume Supply-Chain Retailing. Craig shares insights and experiences of Leadership, Corporate Culture, end to end Supply-Chain and International Growth and is a regular key note speaker at Supply-Chain events. Known for having lots of energy and the ability to get the best out of people of all cultures and backgrounds he is well suited with the global growth ambitions of the ALDO group.
Nancy Krattli has 21 years of financial services experience working with Merchants, Issuers and Payment Networks in a variety of roles. Today Nancy leads the Merchant Client Management team for American Express Canada. Nancy’s breadth of financial services experience spans: Strategy Development, Product Management, Payments Consulting, Cobrand, Loyalty, Innovation, and Marketing. Nancy has worked in the U.S and Canada for reputable companies including: Synchrony Financial, Visa, Washington Mutual, Brann Worldwide and Hunt Marketing Group. Prior to joining Amex, Nancy served as the Senior Vice President and Head of Marketing for the Gap Inc. Cobrand Portfolio at Synchrony Financial a US cobrand card issuer, where she was responsible for managing all aspects of marketing, product and customer experience for the Gap Inc. family of credit cards (Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta). Nancy is originally from Seattle, Washington and is a University of Washington graduate. She resides in Toronto, Ontario with her husband and two kids.
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.
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.
Jennifer is the National Retail Leader and Consumer Analytics Practice Leader 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.
Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder and Publisher of RetailMinded.com, a well-respected industry publication that has been recognized worldwide for its leading retail insight. With a core concentration on independent retailers and small businesses, Reyhle is a frequent guest and contributor to various media outlets that include The Today Show, Forbes and countless B2B publications. Additionally, Reyhle has been the Spokesperson for American Express’s Small Business Saturday since 2014 and is the Author of the book “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business” from McGraw-Hill. Reyhle writes regularly as a retail thought leader for various industry resources that include Entrepreuner.com, Fiverr.com, Forbes and more, as well as recognized by IBM as a commerce "futurist". Finally, Reyhle is also the Co-Founder of the Independent Retailer Conference. Learn more about Reyhle at RetailMinded.com.
Mario joined DAC Group in the 1990’s as an Account Director after spending a few years in leading marketing roles at Hertz Canada. Over the course of his career at DAC, Mario has been a driver of change at the agency – leading the three Canadian offices and working with senior management to transition 45 year-old DAC Group from a largely directory shop to one of the largest independent digital marketing agencies in North America with a growing international footprint in the US, Canada and Europe.
Dusty is Vice President and General Manager of NCR’s Store Transformation business. In this role, he has global responsibility for bringing to market Store Transformation solutions across all Retail Industries and engaging with retailers around the world to improve the customer experience and gain operational efficiencies. NCR is the #1 global provider of Store Transformation solutions and Dusty led the team that introduced NCR’s first Self-Checkout in 1998. Mr. Lutz earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in computer engineering. He holds 15 patents for his technical work on self-checkout, retail POS terminals and financial teller terminals.
Ann Mack oversees Facebook IQ, Facebook's insights offering of studies, tools and resources designed to fuel great campaigns. In her role, she directs the global insights marketing team, responsible for packaging and amplifying research, industry thought leadership and scaled insights solutions for internal and external audiences. Since joining in May 2014, Ann and her team have launched and built the Facebook IQ insights brand and channel and have led content and activation on large-scale global insights projects, such as “Coming of Age on Screens,” “The Thumb is in Charge” and “Shifts for 2020.” Most recently, under Ann’s leadership, Facebook IQ launched Cross Border Insights Finder, a tool aimed at helping marketers explore growth opportunities beyond borders, and Insights to Go, a data discovery engine. Previously, Ann was the Director of Trendspotting at J. Walter Thompson Worldwide. There, she built the JWTIntelligence trends and insights group and teamed with brands to turn cultural shifts into opportunities. During her 10-year tenure at JWT, her annual “10 Trends” and “100 Things to Watch” became highly anticipated cultural markers not only for marketers but for the public as a whole. Ann has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, The Early Show on CBS, Fox and Friends, and Sky News; has been interviewed by numerous radio outlets, including the BBC and NPR; and has been quoted in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, USA Today and International Herald Tribune for her thought leadership. Some of Ann’s speaking engagements have included SXSW Interactive in Austin, the AdReview Conference in Johannesburg, AMAP in Mexico City and Social Media Week in New York. Before joining JWT, Ann led Adweek's coverage of the digital advertising industry as Interactive Editor. She started her career as a crime reporter for the Mansfield News Journal in Ohio after graduating magna cum laude from Ohio State University with a BA in journalism.
Dave is a strategic and energizing e-commerce/retail leader known for driving new business growth through innovative and entrepreneurial thinking. With over 25 years of experience in retail and a tireless effort on placing the customer at the center of his growth strategies, he’s one of those E-commerce professionals who got into the industry early enough to have seen it evolve over the past 15-20 years. He’s lead the E-commerce business from the ground up for major retailers like The Source, RadioShack and Sears Canada and therefore has a unique big picture understanding of Omni-Channel retail.
Lee McCabe is Vice President of North America at Alibaba Group. As head of the company’s North American initiatives, McCabe works closely with all verticals to set the course for how to best utilize Alibaba Group’s ecosystem of brands and services. An expert on the Chinese consumer and ecommerce, McCabe helps U.S. companies understand and maximize the massive opportunity in the Chinese market. McCabe has built his career at some of the world’s most influential technology companies including Facebook, ebay, and Expedia. He was the first Global Head of Travel at Facebook, responsible for tailoring the colossal social network and media company’s relationships with the travel industry. At Expedia, McCabe held various market management positions, overseeing regions from APAC to North America. McCabe holds an MBA from the Warwick Business School in business management and an MA from Sheffield Hallam University in media.
Shauna McMillan is a passionate leader dedicated to continuing to develop and improve organizations through achieving operational excellence and continuous improvement, leading to opportunities for ongoing growth and success. A creative individual who fosters collaboration in problem solving to achieve robust and effective solution. Shauna was appointed Director of Marketing for the Domestic Intermodal group at CN in Spring 2016. In her role, she is now responsible for a wide array of commercial matters including establishing marketing and pricing strategies as they relate to that business unit. Ms. McMillan originally started with CN in June 2013 as the Director of Marketing for the Automotive business unit. Prior to joining CN, Mr. McMillan was with another very large Canadian company, Canadian Tire. During her nearly 14 years with the organization she gained experience across a broad range of project management, operations and analytical environments. Ms. McMillan is a professional engineer with Professional Engineers Ontario and graduated from the faculty of engineering at Dalhousie University in 1999.
Blending keen consumer insight, a passion for thought leadership and a relentless pursuit of creativity and innovation on her clients’ behalf, Kelly Mooney is IBM iX North America’s first Chief Experience Officer (CXO). Kelly provides leadership to the iX North America strategy, creative and design disciplines. Prior to this role Kelly was CEO of Resource/Ammirati, one of the country’s largest independent digital marketing agencies and the first acquired by IBM iX. Under her direction, the agency attracted clients such as CVS, P&G, Kohl’s, Nestlé/Purina and Victoria’s Secret, and drove a legacy of innovation across ecommerce, social media, content creation and analytics A past Ad Age “Woman to Watch,” Kelly is also a frequent speaker at industry events and author of The Open Brand and The Ten Demandments. She is chief architect of the IBM iX Brand Belonging Study and POV, and hosts The Belonging Brief podcast on the same topic.
Eric joined B-Stock in 2010 and has since grown the company’s client base by over 500%. He’s responsible for establishing and overseeing partnerships with some of B-Stock’s largest clients including Amazon, Whirlpool, Wayfair, Sears Holdings, and Lowe’s. Eric has decades of experience building successful B2B and B2C online marketplaces. Before B-Stock, Eric served as eBay’s first category manager and was a key contributor in developing and implementing category strategies, including writing the original business plan for category management.
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.
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.
Beth Newlands Campbell is a highly accomplished retail executive with significant turnaround experience in food and drug retailing, both in Canada and the U.S. Beth is currently leading the transformation of Rexall Pharmacy Group, recently joining the group of companies with McKesson in Canada. Previously, Beth, led as the President, Sobeys East, Food Lion and Hannaford Food and Drug Supermarkets. Her expertise lies in creating and aligning an organization around a differentiated strategy and leveraging an organization of talented retailers and pharmacy professionals. Beth has a proven track record of connecting with people and delivering results. Beth received her B.S. Applied Economics and Food Industry Management from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Beth also serves on the Board of Directors of REI, an omni-channel specialty outdoor gear and apparel retailer, headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
Augustin is the National Retail Lead for Retail solutions at SAS Canada. He has 20 years of professional experience in the design and the implementation of mission critical solutions in the retail and distribution sector. Over the years, he has contributed to the success of many large scale enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation projects where he occupied leadership and advisory roles. In his current role at SAS, Augustin focuses on leveraging technology and advanced analytics to design solutions for retail customers spanning many business units, including: Merchandising, Supply Chain, Marketing, Finance and Operations. He also assists retailers to leverage technology and advanced analytics to combat shrink and prevent fraud.
Andy O’Brien has over 25 years of experience in the food industry. He has been the Chief Executive Officer of M&M Food Market since July of 2014, after assisting with the transfer from the original founder to private equity ownership. Since joining the company, Andy has led the charge to oversee everything related to the company’s sweeping transformation and rebrand including nation-wide store renovations, franchise redevelopment, a comprehensive overhaul of the company’s food portfolio, and recruitment of a new leadership and Head Office team. Andy is an accomplished food industry operations and acquisitions expert having led growth and expansion strategies for some of the country’s best-known restaurant brands. He held various executive positions in the restaurant industry, most recently as the President and CEO of The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro where he led the acquisition and development of the restaurant chain. Prior to that, he was the President of both Montana’s Cookhouse and Kelsey’s Bar & Grill, two business units at Cara Operations Ltd. Andy began his career in the CPG industry working in Brand Management at General Mills Inc, and progressed through various marketing roles at the Campbell Soup Company and Sunkist USA, to become the Vice President of Marketing at MARS Inc.
Craig Patterson is a senior retail consultant specializing in retail strategy, real estate and related urban planning. Craig is the founder and editor-in-chief of Canadian retail industry news publication, Retail Insider, a Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing, and a retail research consultant at Retail Council of Canada. Craig has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years, and has been involved with strategy pertaining to urban revitalization in several cities. Craig is a graduate of the University of Alberta and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and Bachelor of Laws degree. He is also on the Board of Advisors for the University of Alberta School of Retailing.
Daryl started his career with Walmart Canada in 1995 as a store associate, and has been a student of retail ever since. In 2003, he was promoted to Store Manager and later progressed to hold many single and multi-unit operational roles. In February 2016, Daryl transitioned to the eCommerce business unit in the role of Vice-President, Omni Channel and Online Grocery. He is currently responsible for advancing Walmart Canada’s digital efforts in the omni-channel space, as well as leading the team to develop and deploy the Online Grocery business across Canada. Daryl’s team has been responsible for innovations such as urban hub and spoke, mobile check-in, co-branded pickup and crowd-sourced home delivery. He also leads Walmart Canada’s eCommerce acceleration strategy. Daryl is proud to have served in the Canadian Forces Reserve. He held the role of Infantry Sergeant and retired after 11 years. He recently served for 3 years as President of the Lorne Scots Regimental Association and now sits on the Board of Directors of the Juno Beach Centre. Daryl earned his Masters of Business Administration in Executive Management at Royal Roads University in 2014.
Academic Director, Bensadoun School of Retail Management, Professor of Operations Management, McGill University. Saibal Ray leads the development of all aspects of the Bensadoun School of Retail Management, including its academic curricula (BCom, Masters, and PhD), collaborations with local and international industry partners, and interdisciplinary partnerships with other Faculties and Schools, both at McGill and other universities. Dr. Ray's research interest can broadly be categorized as supply chain management. He is specifically interested in studying supply chain risk management, retail operations management, and supply chain issues related to agri-food and natural resources sectors. He is a Member of the Royal Society of Canada and holds the Desautels Chair in Business Leadership.
Ben Reynolds leads Business Development, Go-to-Market and Product Strategies for the Walkbase sensor technology. Walkbase is a leading in-store analytics and marketing platform for retailers, QSR's, Entertainment venues and airports to measure, optimise and personalise the customer experience. Walkbase is a division of STRATACACHE which provides scalable customer experiences, empowering retailers and QSRs to learn deeply about their customers’ shopping preferences and behaviors, allowing for personalized shopper interaction Ben has 20+ years of experience is applying technology solutions to the media, technology and CPG industries. He has held Executive, Business Development, Marketing and Finance roles with MaxPoint, HookLogic, PRN and Sara Lee Corporation. Ben has an MBA in Marketing and a BS in Accounting from Indiana University.
Dave Rodgerson is the Retail Industry Lead at Microsoft Canada. His career includes experience both as a line of business executive for some of Canada’s leading retailers and more recently with technology leaders that support the industry. Dave works closely with clients and industry associations that share an interest in creating a new consumer experience. More recently, he has been sharing stories about digital transformation and its impact on consumers and the Omni channel experience, helping his clients create their own vision for the future of retail.
Based in Woodbridge, Michael oversees Canadian operations for adidas, Reebok and shared services for adidas Golf in his role as President of adidas Canada. Under Michael’s leadership, adidas Canada has transformed its business, driving healthy, profitable growth across its wholesale, retail and ecommerce channels. A strong advocate for leadership and culture, Michael has helped create a unique environment of empowerment, development, creativity and authentic commitment to sport and fitness across his Canadian team. Michael was previously VP of Reebok in Canada, during which time he successfully built the brand’s fitness positioning through partnerships with CrossFit, the CFL and GoodLife Fitness. He also spearheaded the launch of Reebok’s BOKS before school fitness program in conjunction with the Public Health Agency of Canada, a program now helping get Canadian children moving in over 800 schools across the country. In his 15 years with the company, Michael has held a variety of roles in Marketing, Sales, and Product Management. Michael has recently been appointed to the Board of the Terry Fox Foundation, a cause he’s personally passionate about. An accomplished public speaker, Michael continues to share his thoughts and insights at a variety of industry events and university conferences. Michael also serves on the Strategic Advisory Council for The DMZ at Ryerson University, Canada's #1 university-based tech incubator. His volunteer work includes serving as a Mentor and a Member of the Selection Committee with the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada's Activate Mentorship Program and also as a Judge of the SMCC's Annual Canadian Marketing Awards. Identified as an emerging talent in the sports industry, Michael was recognized as one of George Brown College’s “5 to Watch” in Canadian sports, as well as by Sporting Goods Business as one of North America’s Top 40 Under 40.
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.
Rachel Shechtman has always believed in the power of objects to tell human stories. Stories that connect, inspire and engage. As the founder of NYC concept store STORY, she has created a venue where these stories come to life inside a 2000-square foot space that takes the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery, and sells things like a store. It’s retail as theatre - a living magazine where the objects pique our sense of wonder. Rachel’s journey to create STORY was informed by a 10-year career as a consultant, founding Cube Ventures as an independent firm that introduced brands like TOMS, Bliss Spas, Kraft Foods, JCPenney, and the CFDA to the power of non-traditional, merchandise-driven storytelling. However, with four generations of retail entrepreneurship in her DNA, Rachel had always flirted with the idea of owning her own store. In December 2011, she took the leap and opened STORY – a challenge to reinvent and rethink the traditional brick and mortar business model. As she saw it, retail had more to say and brands had the opportunity to reach customers and new ways beyond traditional advertising – but it would require doing everything differently. So STORY invented its own model, “Retail Media” to embrace these observations and opportunities. In place of articles, STORY would curate merchandise and events around a specific conversation as its editorial narrative. And partner brands would serve as sponsors for the experience, benefitting from the exposure and opportunity to experiment, create content and generate awareness in a new format. Today the ever-changing store has told over 37 unique branded stories, updating its themes to include Color, Well Being, and an annual Home for the Holidays installation. In five years it has successfully partnered with companies including Intel, American Express, Target, Microsoft, and Cigna – each benefitting from Rachel’s special sauce of content, community, and commerce. STORY’s approach to retail has become a new North Star for the industry and the business has been widely lauded by press including features in the New York Times, Ad Age, and WWD. Rachel has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, Fortune’s 40 Under 40 List, Crains’ 40 Under 40 list, Ad Age’s Most Creative People, and was awarded the FGI Rising Star Award for Retail. Most recently, Rachel was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s 2017 Advertising Hall of Achievement.
Jamie is the Co-Founder & CEO of Chef’s Plate, an e-commerce food company and leader in the rapidly growing food-tech industry. In 2014, Jamie left the corporate world to disrupt the traditional grocery category and build Chef’s Plate from the ground up with Co-Founder Patrick Meyer. Chefs Plate was built with the mission of creating human connections through food. Over the past 3 years, now with a team of 400, Chefs Plate is delivering millions of meals nationally. Chefs Plate is focused on changing the way Canadians cook at home by leveraging technology and rebuilding the food supply chain. Before Chef’s Plate, Jamie started his career in Management Consulting at Accenture. He later joined CARA, where he held a variety of strategy and brand management roles focused on building national food brands in Canada. He is a graduate from the Queen’s School of Business.
Stacey Shulman has over 2 decades of experience in retail focused technology. She is currently the Chief Innovation Officer within Intel’s IoT/Retail Solutions Division. Shulman’s career has been split between building innovative products for the retail industry and working as a CIO or head of Technical strategy in leading retail brands. Currently, she is a passionate advocate of the transformative changes that can be brought to retail through increasing the speed of Innovation and in driving retail towards a more autonomous future
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.
Chris Tyghe joined Ingenico Group Canada in January 2016 as VP of Strategic Development to focus his expertise on growing the company’s ecosystem of IoT (Internet of Things) partners to collectively anticipate and capitalize on opportunities in the rapidly evolving payments industry. As a passionate believer in the vast opportunities presented by the ever expanding IoT sphere, his subject matter expertise lends itself to strategic areas of focus for the organization. As a co-founder of two successful software start-ups and executive team member of an IoT focused international joint venture, Chris fully understands the need to build exceptional software experiences.
Peter van Stolk is the CEO of Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery or SPUD.ca™, the largest pure play online grocer in Canada. SPUD.ca is focused on creating meaningful relationships with Canadians around the benefits of local, organic food within the $100 billion annual Canadian grocery market. SPUD.ca operates in 4 markets and utilizes proprietary technology. This allows the company to provide free delivery throughout the 4 Western Canadian cities it services. With 400 employees, SPUD.ca is building community among its customers both online and off with a unique omni-channel strategy of hyper local small markets through its retail brands, Be Fresh Local Market and Organic Acres Market. Van Stolk believes: “Food will have the greatest impact on our generation. How we think about food, how we buy food, and how we consume food will change, and we are excited to be a part of this transformation”. As founder of Jones Soda Company in 1987, van Stolk served as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors until 2007. Jones Soda was one of the first consumer branded companies that recognized the potential of Social Media in creating emotional connections with its consumers. Jones Soda invited its followers to participate and interact with the brand through proprietary custom labelling and unique flavour development. Van Stolk has been recognized for his business savvy and innovative branding strategies in various publications such as The New York Times®, CNN®, Wall Street Journal®, Fast Company™, Inc.Magazine™ and People Magazine®. Peter has received numerous business awards including Price, Waterhouse, Coopers’ 40 under 40, Brand Week’s Top 100 Marketer, and was chosen as one of Canada’s Top One Hundred Canadians by MacLean’s Magazine®. He continues to speak internationally, challenging various audiences on a broad range of marketing and business topics including: How to compete in today’s market place, relating and remaining relevant to an apathetic and fickle consumer, and creating market demand and brand loyalty in a difficult economy. Through the contribution of all proceeds from his speeches, van Stolk is directly responsible for building numerous schools in developing countries, as well as countless donations to organizations that focus on women, children, and cancer research. He is also the current Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vitamin Angels©, a non-profit global organization that provides vital nutrition to 48 million children annually throughout the world.
Cathy Vigrass is Head of Canada at Square. In her role, she is focused on the growth of Square’s business in Canada. Cathy leads the charge in bringing integrated payments and business tools to Canadian sellers that make commerce easier and more accessible. Cathy has spent several years at technology and commerce companies in Silicon Valley. Prior to Square, she was the Head of Business Development and Product Operations at Sosh, a social platform for discovering local experiences. Her career has also included strategic and operational roles at eBay, where she worked on category management and corporate strategy, and Apple, where she focused on retail innovation. Cathy holds a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Derek Weidl is the Digital Marketing Strategist at M&M Food Market. He has spent the past 4 years increasing customer frequency through a loyalty-focused email program, leading explosive growth for M&M’s Click & Collect service and shepherding M&M’s optimization and personalization of the digital marketing mix through the use of an industry leading customer loyalty database containing decades of retail sales data. With 10+ years of varied marketing experience, including agency, non-profit, tech and even broadcast documentary, Derek brings a mix of consumer-focus drive backed with evidence-based marketing decisions to help the reinvention of M&M Food Market, one of Canada’s most iconic brands.
Deborah Weinswig is an award-winning global retail analyst and a specialist in retail innovation and technology. As the Managing Director of Fung Global Retail & Technology, she is responsible for building the team’s research capabilities and providing insights into the disruptive technologies reshaping today’s global retail landscape. She was ranked a top Retail Influencer by Vend for 2017.
As Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sephora Canada, Terry brings an entrepreneurial and omni-channel approach to help her team engage clients to learn from, be inspired by, and play with the Sephora brand. Her talent for building teams around a strong vision and moving an organization toward its goals helped her build her own highly successful retail business as well as contribute to the success of brands including Bath and Body Works, La Senza, Victoria Secret and IKEA. With a passion for mentoring and supporting Canada’s next generation of business leaders, Terry continually advises and supports new and future industry members through speaking engagements and mentorship networks to help foster leadership and business skills for future success. A bilingual graduate of McGill University, Terry is an adventure traveler with a passion for understanding different cultures and cooking. At home, she finds balance through running, hiking, biking and getting her hands dirty in the garden.