Kevin applies his passion for sales, deep understanding of online marketing and audience conversion to help businesses deepen their customer relationships and ultimately, improve their bottom line. Kevin has over 10 years of experience in advertising and digital marketing at Metric Marketing. As a graduate of the Asper School of Business, with majors in Entrepreneurship and Marketing, Kevin fundamentally understands the marketing processes that help drive and run any business.
Yvonne Anyon has over 25 years’ integrated marketing expertise in CPG, retail and B2B in Canada and US. With a passion for retail she has worked with a diverse mix of leading retailers and as General Manager of Marketing at London Drugs is shaping the brand experience for BC’s Most Loved Retail Brand. In a time when the consumer is constantly evolving and the speed of change in the marketplace accelerates, Yvonne brings a deep understanding of how to build relevance through engaging customer communication and experiences.
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
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.
With nearly a decade of business, marketing, operations and sales experience, Adam Coates possesses strong business acumen, paired with an intrinsic ability to produce robust brand and marketing strategies. With an intuitive business perspective and ability to offer strategic direction, Adam cultivates strong teams while delivering productive business solutions that effectively drive sales and heighten consumer experiences. As the Chief Commercial Officer for Westleaf Inc. and its retail banner, Prairie Records, Adam has played a pivotal role in defining the company’s value proposition and brand identity, while developing the retail brand and in-store experience. His past experience working in a highly regulated industry allows for him to provide meaningful insights on key trends and consumer behavior.
Karly, a digital marketing strategist and founder of Influence Media, helps her clients to be found and loved through Email Marketing, SEO, Google & Facebook Ads, Content Marketing and more. She grows small to medium businesses by expanding their reach, growing their subscriber list, acquiring new customers and nurturing their community through strategic campaigns.
Instagram & Facebook: @influencemedia.ca
As President of Muse Cannabis, Geoff Dear combines his passion for people, design, branding, and construction. Geoff’s favourite part of leading Muse is connecting over cannabis and
learning something new every day, whether it’s about products, production, or innovations in the space. While Geoff is new to the recreational cannabis industry, he brings a decade of experience in liquor retail from his role as Director of Operations at JAK’S Beer Wine & Spirits, where he was responsible for leading the in-store design, branding, and construction process. Today he plays a similar leadership role at Muse.
Before his career in retail, Geoff was a helicopter engineer for 10 years, which took him to Angola, Taiwan, and the Peruvian Andes. He was eventually convinced to join the JAK’S family
business when he was at a crossroads about taking a contract in Afghanistan. He chose to take a chance on retail and hasn’t looked back! When Geoff isn’t at Muse’s flagship South Granville store, or spearheading the design and build of its next location, he can be found at the local hockey rink, coaching his two sons or playing himself. Geoff is also an avid golfer and surfer and is happiest when he’s near the water with his family.
From sleeping on the floor of one of his first stores, to now running 15 locations across BC and Alberta, House of Knives President, Andre Eng, has had quite the journey in establishing the company as the largest chain of cutlery stores in Canada.
Andre started working with his brother Allan in 1987, and has continued to keep the business family run. Today, he shares the responsibility with his wife and partner, Qua-Fung who is the Director of Marketing.
Through Andre's and his teams constant perseverence, the company continues to diversify through the upcoming launch of its corporate sales division.
John joined Google four years ago, and has helped lead partnerships with some of the fastest growing omni-channel retailers here in Canada over that time. John also leads Google Canada's digital shopper marketing / co op strategy team for retailers and their largest manufacturers, focusing on how to make meaningful digital connections with shoppers.
John is a past recipient of Marketing Mag's Top 30 Under 30 award, and has had his retail insights published in The Globe & Mail, Financial Post and Yahoo Finance, in addition to national TV interviews with CTV News Channel and Canada AM.
Rob is one of the founding partners of JRoss Retail Recruiters, Canada’s leading recruiting agency specializing exclusively in Retail. In this role he has worked with retailers from single unit owner-operators to large chains with hundreds of locations in Canada, and from multi-nationals entering Canada for the first time to iconic Canadian brands and startups.
His focus is on business development, in particular working with new clients to assess their needs and JRoss’ ability to deliver. His experience working in the distribution side of a manufacturing organization, and as a consultant implementing financial, distribution and manufacturing software systems has given him a solid grounding in the realities of how companies operate. Time in sales has helped him understand how to focus on value for clients. His 16 years with JRoss Retail Recruiters has given him a strong understanding of how retail operates.
Rob has been focused on Canada’s emerging cannabis retail industry since JRoss was selected to recruit for retail management roles for multiple leading and startup cannabis companies starting in 2017.
Francois is one of the founding partners at Relation1 and currently serves as VP of Consulting Services and General Manager of the Toronto office. Francois oversees Relation1's consultancy business practice and a diverse team of industry experts on retail, loyalty and data-driven marketing. Through his leadership, Relation1 is committed to working alongside our clients to solve their most difficult problems in reaching personalization and to harness its fullest potential. He is a regular speaker at conferences and industry events on this key topic. A graduate of the University of Sherbrooke, Francois is an expert in digital marketing and marketing technologies. His dual expertise on these subjects allows him to identify the most optimal way to leverage IT and customer data for the benefits of customer-centric marketing. He is passionate about developing data-driven strategies, pragmatic implementation roadmaps and innovative solutions that increase sales and drive customer engagement.
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.
Peter’s career has been focused in retail - specifically with high profile Consumer brands that are uniquely vertically integrated - currently working with LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics and prior to that as the President of Purdys Chocolatier.
Peter has recently taken on the role as the Executive Vice President with LUSH North America. LUSH North America is based out of Vancouver BC and has 250 stores across North America and is in the process of a continuing expansion phase with plans to open 100 new stores in the next 3 years while operating a strong e-commerce business.
Peter has wide experience in leading all aspects of a vertically integrated retailer and has a deep belief and focus on understanding the customer and ensuring the most relevant and highest standards of customer experience is at the heart of all decisions.
Peter is a people first leader where he is been a driving force in ensuring culture of high employee engagement as recognized by multiple Best Employer awards.
Peter is a member of YPO and has served on many different boards including most recently in his position as the Chair of the Board of the Retail Council of Canada.
Peter has been instrumental in establishing vertical integrated supply chains through his career and is passionate about sustainability having setup Sustainable farming operations. LUSH owns farms throughout the world to directly produce their own raw materials and providing improved livelihoods for our farming partners.
Dan Howe is currently Vice President of marketing, loyalty and digital strategies at Save On Foods. Save On Foods is a leading Western Canada grocery chain with 179 locations, extensive e-com business, with a strong focus on building powerful differentiated consumer brands. Over the past 6 years Dan and then entire Save On Foods has been working to balance and innovate the traditional paper flyer while also building digital consumer experiences. Dan also brings flyer experience from his time as Chief Marketing Officer of Yum Restaurants Europe and Canada developing strategies for Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell.
Christa Hull leads the strategic vision of the Canadian brick and mortar portfolio for Saje Natural Wellness, which connects thousands of Canadians to the healing power of plants. With over 15 years of business development experience working with some of Canada’s top retailers, Christa blends a deep understanding of the marketplace with Saje’s fresh perspective on outrageous customer experiences, driving growth and new connections in communities every day.
Christa’s passion for people development, revenue growth and business optimization impact the global Saje business – the Canadian market as well as the US and digital space – in an effort to create best-in-class experiences for both customers and Team Members. When she’s not introducing new friends to Saje’s remedies, you’ll find Christa on her yoga mat, in her garden or spending quality time with her husband and two young children at home in Vancouver, British Columbia.
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.
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.
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
Eleanor is a skilled retail executive with twenty years of experience across multiple leadership roles. Working with large national retailers, Eleanor has a track record in growing brands across Canada with both significant brick and mortar presence and experience in executing omni channel excellence. She focuses on building world class retail teams who deliver premium experiences and is excited to work with her team to bring this to the cannabis retail space.
Clint has held several senior positions with London Drugs since joining them in 1984 and became Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 2014. Under his leadership, the company has continued to expand and innovate while taking a greater role in philanthropic community-based activities such as environmental stewardship, health education and the support for youth at risk.
In addition to his operational leadership, Mr. Mahlman has been the catalyst behind London Drugs' environmental initiatives. He is widely recognized for the significant impact that London Drugs' "What's the Green Deal?" recycling program and waste-management stewardship has and is making in the retail industry. And reflecting the hallmark of a great leader, Mahlman will humbly state that he's happy to use his background and title to get things done, but quickly adds that there are large employee teams and many great business partners that are equally as important to making this happen.
In addition to his many contributions to London Drugs, Mr. Mahlman continues to serve and support 'retail as a career' programs through local and national academic programs and initiatives.
Dave leads a team of rock stars at Prospect Media, comprised of data geeks, strategy addicts, integrated media experts and retail-aholics. He is responsible for overseeing the agency team, leading PMG’s growth strategy as a retail focused, data-driven, integrated media agency— from digital to print to omni-channel. With 25+ years in the media and retail marketing industry, he is focused on using data to drive traffic & sales growth for retailers. His passion is to deliver actionable consumer insights, combined with integrated media strategy to create joyful retail client experiences that make working with agencies cool again!
Dave has served on multiple boards within the marketing industry such as the RAC Board, the RCC Marketing Committee, as well as for the charitable organization Youth Without Shelter. He is the founding partner of Cover Me Urban, an annual fundraising event that supports YWS, raising over $600,000 for the shelter since inception in 2010.
Frank Monteleone joined Rexall Pharmacy Group in 2008 and is the Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Relations at Rexall. As a member of the Executive Operating Committee, Frank oversees a diverse portfolio of strategic HR initiatives for Rexall, Claimsecure and Medicentres. He is responsible for all aspects of Employee & Labour Relations, Total Rewards (including Benefits), Talent Strategy and Acquisition, Organization Effectiveness, Learning and Development, and HR Shared Services for both the corporate office and over 400 retail locations. Frank also oversees the Communications and Corporate Relations functions for the organization. In his nearly 20 years of human resources experience, Frank has distinguished himself as a trusted advisor, a change champion, and a devoted employee advocate – leadership qualities that help to unlock the potential of Rexall employees and strengthen the brand. Prior to joining Rexall, Frank worked for Indigo Books and Music Inc. and RONA in a variety of progressive HR positions. Frank has been involved with supporting key priorities critical to the success of the business, such as employee engagement, cultural transformation, leadership talent planning, and strategic total rewards. Under Frank’s leadership, his team is currently stewarding diversity and inclusion efforts to advance diversity and women in business. Frank has completed his certified human resources executive designation (CHRE) from the Human Resources Professional Association, as well as being Prosci ADKAR certified in change management. He also has a Masters Certificate in Adult Training and Development from the Schulich Executive Education Centre. Frank holds a Bachelors of Arts, Mathematics for Commerce from York University in Toronto and also has a diploma in Human Resources Management from Humber College. Frank is proud to be the President & Chair of the Board for the Rexall Foundation. Since 2002, the Foundation has been helping build strong and vibrant communities by supporting numerous charitable organizations.
Steve Mossop is President of Insights West, a progressive, full-service marketing research company that offers insights-driven solutions via leading-edge tools and normative databases to public and private sector clients in Western Canada. Incorporated 7 years ago, Insights West now has 20 employees does over $3M in billings annually. We have publicly released over 350+ different opinion polls on topics diverse as municipal and provincial elections, bridge tolls, bike lanes, charitable giving, road safety, cyber-bullying, employee satisfaction, smart phone attitudes, and many other topics, and have correctly predicted the outcomes of 23/24 elections we have covered. Steve’s accomplishments include launching Insights West to be the fastest growing BC market research company, winning BCAMA’s 2001 Marketer of the Year Award, and winning Business in Vancouver’s “Top 40 Under 40” award in 2006 and in 2019 becoming a finalist in Small Business BC’s Best Employer award. Steve was chair of the BCAMA’s Senior Executive Program for four years, an exclusive group of BC’s top marketers that meets once per month, and was a five year member of EO Vancouver. Steve is a frequent media commentator and spokesperson, appearing frequently on CTV, News 1130, CFAX, CKNW, CBC and Global News. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University with a concentration in Marketing, and can be found weekends playing beach volleyball and mountain biking in the summer and hockey and snowboarding in the winters.
Luke O’Hare joined Urban Barn 10 years ago to support their cross-country growth, helping Urban Barn shape the brand from British Columbia to Quebec. Most recently, shifting from the Director of Sales and Store Operations to the Director of Logistics and Supply Chain Distribution, Luke is now leading Urban Barn in taking the next step in fulfilling an excellent customer experience, through the supply chain, from fulfillment to the final touch point in the customer journey, the customers’ home. Luke is passionate about retail and how the omni-channel world has and is impacting our marketplace.
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.
James Pelletier, Director of Marketing at Best Buy Canada, has more than 20 years’ experience in advertising and marketing, with a focus on multi-channel, integrated and digital marketing. James has worked with some of Vancouver’s top agencies, including Tribal, DDB and TBWA. At Best Buy, he manages brand marketing, creative services and digital marketing for one of Canada’s leading omni-channel retailers.
Wayne Pommen is the President and CEO of PayBright, a provider of instant point-of-sale payment plans for Canadian consumers. PayBright is partnered with over 4,700 e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar merchants across Canada, allowing them to offer their customers installment payments for purchases through a fast and easy experience. PayBright’s retail partners include Wayfair, Samsung, Casper, Endy, Steve Madden, Peloton, and eBay. By partnering with PayBright, merchants grow their sales through increased conversion, AOV, and repeat traffic. PayBright has approved over $1 billion in consumer purchasing power since inception.
Outside PayBright, Wayne serves on the Board of Directors of the Hudson’s Bay Company and IOU Financial. Wayne was previously a principal at TorQuest Partners and a management consultant with Bain & Company in the U.K., U.S., and Canada. Wayne holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge
Chris is an expert in launching and scaling major new payment, loyalty, analytics and marketing technologies in the retail and consumer space. Chris held senior leadership roles at Visa, MasterCard and TruRating where Chris was responsible for the launch and scaling of Visa Paywave, Visa Debit, Visa Checkout, MasterPass and TruRating. In addition Chris was also responsible for all merchant relationships at MasterCard and is no stranger to adding value to retailers.
To be posted.
Paul Roscoe is a seasoned business executive and technology evangelist. He has 20 years of experience leading technology companies, from the like of Blackberry (RIM) to innovative startups. He has helped companies around the world leverage technology to grow their business. In his current role as VP of Strategy at Atomic Reach, he is on a mission to empower brands and retailers to transform their eCommerce business with AI.
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.
Janelle Shiplett recently joined Saje as their VP of Digital in late Spring of 2019. Janelle’s previous experience in the marketing, creative and digital space includes incredible growth stories with two iconic Canadian brands – Aritzia and WestJet Airlines. Throughout her career, Janelle has been instrumental in leading high performance teams to accelerate growth, build brand awareness, elevate digital experiences, and scale operations. Janelle brings her dedication to testing new ideas and building best-in-class experiences to Saje where she will oversee digital marketing and eCommerce portfolio for the growing brand.
Harrison’s storied history in hospitality and marketing were married when he joined Donnelly Group as Vice President Brand to oversee and develop its portfolio of public houses, cocktail clubs, barbershops and restaurants. Experience in the consumer packages goods, retail, and beverage industries served Harrison well when being tasked to build out a new and progressive retail vertical called Hobo, now one of Canada’s leading adult-use cannabis stores.
Dale is the Vice President of Employer, Industry & Worker Services at WorkSafeBC, where he oversees four departments: Industry & Labour Services, Assessments, Strategic Engagements and Investigations.
Industry & Labour Services offers occupational health and safety resources, outreach, and consulting services to the workers, employers and industries of British Columbia. The Assessments department registers BC employers, assigns them to the appropriate classification units, and collect premiums to maintain the financial integrity of the worker’s compensation system. The Strategic Engagements Department works with employers and workers to develop strategies to improve injury prevention and return to work outcomes. The Investigations department conducts investigations of the most serious workplace incidents to identify the causes, makes recommendations to prevent future incidents.
Dale has been with WorkSafeBC for 13 years. Prior to this, Dale worked in the education and legal services sectors.
Greg Wilson, RCC’s Director of Government Relations (B.C.) advocates on behalf of RCC’s retail members on files related to British Columbia. Based on years of work in public affairs, Greg provides strategic advice on public policy to our members. Greg is a member of the board of directors of two extended producer responsibility agencies providing recycling services to British Columbians: Encorp Pacific, with annual revenues of $95 million, which recovered over 1 billion beverage containers in B.C. in 2018; and, the Major Appliance Recycling Roundtable.