Kirk Allen has a passion for growing other people’s businesses through the powerful combination of traditional media, social, search and mobile. Kirk’s experience includes 30 years of cross-platform media sales within Canada’s largest media companies. Prior to becoming Co-Founder of Reshift Media, he was EVP, Integrated Advertising Sales at Postmedia Network. When he is not busy driving sales to a client’s door (virtual or real), he can often be found driving to the links and rinks around town. Connect with Kirk on LinkedIn [ca.linkedin.com/in/kirkallen/]
Diane J. Brisebois is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Retail Council of Canada (RCC) and has held that position since 1995. Prior to joining RCC, Diane held the position of President and CEO of the Canadian Office Products Association for 14 years. Diane continues to serve on several boards across North America and has spent more than 37 years leading retail associations in Canada. Ms. Brisebois is a native of Montreal, Quebec and now resides in Toronto, Ontario.
Jim has been in the retail industry for 38 years beginning as a part time commissioned sales person with Woolco Dept. Stores in Winnipeg in 1980. Jim worked for Woolco until 1994 when Walmart acquired the company from Woolworth Corporation and continued working with Walmart holding several executive positions in operations and merchandising until 2008 when he joined The Bargain Shop as their Chief Operating Officer. In 2010 he was recruited by The Brick as Senior Vice President of Operations responsible for leading their Stores, Distribution Centers , Franchise Division and Commercial business and then moved to Edmonton in 2013 to become President of The Brick. Jim left the Brick in 2016 to return to Toronto as head of Lowes stores in Canada and in January of 2018 took on the role of President & CEO OK Tire Stores Inc based in South Surrey BC. Jim commented that "In OK Tire I found my forever job, I work with an amazing dedicated team of people, our suppliers are fantastic businesses in their own right and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them and work with them as partners, the automotive industry is going thru exciting changes so it’s fun to be on the forefront , driving newness and change and the cherry on top is I get to live in BC !!” During his years in the retail business he has had a wide variety of roles including Store Management, District Management, Corporate Human Resources, Store Operations, Distribution & Logistics, Franchise Operations, Buying and Commercial Sales.
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 lounge-wear 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 trans-nationally, 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.
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.
Kimberly Kuzmak is an experienced client management and business development leader with American Express Canada. As Director of Client Management - Western Canada for Global Merchant & Network Services, Kimberly is focused on developing and growing successful partnerships with key B2B and B2C brands across Canada. She is a passionate people leader, who consistently inspires creativity, collaboration, and drives a high level of employee engagement. She also leads the digital transformation strategy which is focused on launching capabilities to enable a better customer and merchant experience, while driving incremental value and loyalty.
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.
Mat Povse is the Senior Vice President of Retail and Geek Squad Services at Best Buy Canada. In this role, he is responsible for the employee and customer experience, sales and profits for over 180 retail stores across Canada as well as the development and fulfilment of Geek Squad programs and services. Mat joined Best Buy in March of 2014 as Vice President of Merchandising responsible for Home Theatre, Audio, Wireless, Digital Imaging, Geek Squad, and was instrumental in the development and execution of the Major Appliances expansion plan in Canada. Since then, he has held numerous leadership roles, most recently as Vice President of Geek Squad Services. Mat has a passion for inspiring people and teams, and has a knack for facilitating productive alignment between organizations. Mat’s multi-faceted experiences and work including service centric organizations has proven valuable in areas of convergence where he leads the optimization of current capabilities for future state, develops new and innovative partnerships, and integrates services at retail - all of which have helped to enhance Best Buy’s Total Retail experience and set foundations for future growth. Prior to Best Buy, Mat was Vice President of Sales for LG Electronics and has also held key positions at Compaq, TELUS & XM Satellite Radio. Mat holds a Bachelor of General Studies, Business and Liberal Arts from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia.
As Head of Sustainability for IKEA Canada, Brendan Seale is responsible for activating the IKEA “People & Planet Positive” strategy across the country – to inspire and enable Canadians to live a healthier & more sustainable life at home, to achieve circular and climate positive operations, and lead towards a fair & inclusive Canadian society. Previously Brendan served as Sustainability Advisor with The Natural Step Canada, and worked in communications with Barrick Gold Corporation. He holds an MSc in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability from Blekinge Institute of Technology (Sweden), and a BA in Communication Studies & Multimedia from McMaster University. Brendan’s feet like to keep the company of bicycle pedals, soccer cleats, ski boots, and infectious beats, and he is now a father to two young sons who have given his work a greater depth of purpose.