Scott Adel is currently Vice President of Retail Excellence at Tulip. He previously served as Head of Omnichannel Retail for the Canadian lifestyle brand, Frank And Oak. With an extensive 20 year retail track record at some of North America's largest brands, he continues to drive innovation in the companies he serves by integrating technology and business processes in unique ways to drive engagement and business growth.
Ask Marissa Andersson why she works in learning and leadership development and there is only one answer ‘Learning Changes Lives’. Marissa creates learning experiences that reignite the passion that we all innately have to explore, learn, and grow. Through these experiences, people become better at whatever they pursue, and lives can be changed for the better. Marissa’s has lived this mission in her learning career through progressive roles across industries and learning focussed organizations. Marissa has practiced what she preaches throughout and continually invests in her own development, most recently completing her Masters in Adult Education and Leadership. Currently, Marissa is the Senior Manager for Leadership Development and Learning Delivery at the Home Depot Canada where she leads teams who support learning across both The Home Depot store network and Store Support Centre (head office).
Will Burrows serves as Executive Director for the Coast Waste Management Association (CWMA), a membership association supporting the solid waste and recycling industry in coastal British Columbia. His waste and recycling career began 23 years ago as Project Manager for the largest metal recycler on Vancouver Island. In this role Will developed and implemented numerous strategies that increased the profile and environmental accountability for the company with a focus on; materials marketing, tire recycling, environmental compliance, construction/demolition waste recycling, government regulation, land acquisition and contract development. In 2007, Will took on the role of Executive Director for CWMA and has worked to increase the awareness, understanding, challenges and opportunities associated with the industry. Will was appointed to the Encorp Pacific (Canada) Advisory Committee in 2008 and the Recycling BC Advisory Committee in 2014.
Antonio Caivano is the Director for Audit & Health & Safety at Cineplex Entertainment. He has been with Cineplex for over 20 years and worked as a General Manager in Operations. He also worked as an LP investigator and internal auditor. Antonio is also manager co-chair in his Home Office JH&SC.
Hassan Chaudhry is responsible for leading the planning and implementation of store development, design and construction for Canadian retail and non-retail portfolios for Staples Canada. He provides leadership to the construction, fixturing, design and operations project teams.
Since October 2014, Fabio has been a part of UWTYR’s Youth Initiatives team, leading the implementation of the innovate Career Navigator program and also supporting all other Youth Success Strategy interventions that focus on economic security for youth facing multiple barriers.
With over 6 years in the retailing world, specifically within eCommerce, Sarah D’Souza Firestone leads the Digital Experience and Fulfillment teams at The Source. Here she is works relentlessly to offer best in class omnichannel experiences, while maintaining a Customer first approach. Prior to The Source, Sarah had a fruitful and successful career as Manager of Fulfillment and Logistics for Toys R Us Canada, where she was instrumental in its omnichannel transformation. Her mantra is to strive for continuous improvement, professionally and personally.
Jane grew up in retail, beginning her career as a part time sales associate. After taking care of her Customer within successful Store and District Management positions with companies such as HBC, The Gap, and Club Monaco, Jane moved to the role of Field Visual Director at Indigo. During the past 5 years as Organizational Development and Learning Manager at Red Apple Stores Inc, Jane brings her diverse retail experience and talent development expertise to her Home Office and Field Customers. A champion of corporate culture with a penchant for executing on strategy, Jane's true passion lies in developing her internal Customers in order to provide the very best external Customer Experience.
In 1987, Enterprise Property Group transferred Dora to Ottawa to manage another enclosed shopping centre and then moved to Billings Bridge Shopping Centre where she has been since 1994. Over this period, Enterprise was purchased by O&Y Enterprise and in 2009, 20VIC Management Inc. (now Cushman & Wakefield Asset Services Inc.) continues to assume the property management of this site and other sites in Ottawa with a team of 15 dynamic real estate professionals. In her capacity, Dora has managed several office towers, industrial properties and strip plazas for major banking institutions, REITS and private owners. She has been involved in major shopping centre and office building renovations, retail and office tenant fit ups and federal government leasing. Dora has achieved ICSC awards, BOMA awards and involved in generating LEED EB Gold certifications, BOMA best for several properties in the Ottawa area.
Rick has been providing advice in environment and transformation across a wide range of sectors across Canada, USA, South America, Europe, and Africa, for over 30 years. He has led the development of strategies, processes, operations, organizations, financial systems, for numerous programs and organizations in a wide variety of sectors including retail, energy, governments, banking, ICT, insurance, pharma, manufacturing and end of life material management. Rick was co-founder and the CEO of PSTG Consulting, an international firm focused on transformation design and implementation.
Recognized as a leader in the retail & Ecommerce space, Georgia Genovezos leverages her more than 20 years of marketing management experience in Telecom, Wireless & Ecommerce/Retail while forging ahead on the cutting edge of innovation. She currently sits on the advisory board of e-Tail Canada, and is a frequent speaker at industry events. She has been called upon to judge and offer mentorship at the John Molson School of Business. Georgia is also the Head of Ecommerce for Ardene where she leads the online experience for North America as well as social media and customer service.
Greg joined the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) in 2006, and currently leads customer relationship management, corporate communications, public and media relations, and all retail marketing, advertising, promotions and brand management for 28 corporate-run Liquor Stores and 140+ independently-operated Liquor Express agencies province-wide. Greg and his team of marketers have helped revitalize NLC’s retail operation through creative programs that have delivered a unique customer experience in the liquor category.
Genna’s path in retail hasn’t followed convention. Her roles have ranged from entrepreneur, to pastry chef, to buyer, with a breadth of knowledge ranging from vintage clothing and mid-century modern furniture to confectionary, third-wave coffee, and custom cakes. Most recently, she has been piloting the expansions of Toronto’s most eminent local restaurants and retailers, including Terroni’s Sud Forno, Pusateri’s Fine Foods and Saks Food Hall by Pusateri’s.
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.
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.
Graham Hillier is presently Vice President at Costco Canada and oversees the Ecommerce Division, Costco.ca, a role he has been in since 2007. He started his retail career at Zellers and spent 11 years in various store, buying and marketing positions before joining Costco in 1994. He was promoted to AGMM at Costco in 2001, in charge of Seasonal, Hardware, HABA, and Sporting Goods. Graham has participated as a judge for the RCC Excellence in Retail Awards as well as a member of the "Jury du Concours provincial ARISTA" since 2014
Dean Hillier has spent much of his 28-year consulting career working around the world, assisting executive teams and their organizations to realize step-change results by navigating through the constant, disruptive turmoil that is the retail industry. A proud Canadian, Mr. Hillier is a now a Partner with Deloitte Consulting, where he leads the firm’s Consumer and Industrial Products Practice. Mr. Hillier also serves as Board Vice Chair for the Associate Member Council, part of the National Retail Federation based in Washington D.C.
Raj Kapahi joined Wicker Emporium in 2001 and currently serves as its President. Since that time he has been focusing on improving and growing business. Raj is passionate about building a home decor lifestyle brand which will bring cutting edge home fashion to the masses and allow them to create a living space where they can really feel at home.
Simon is a passionate Safety professional with over 12 years of experience. He works for Longo’s Brothers Fruit Markets where he is responsible for the Health and Safety program for the company’s 6,100 employees. He has worked in various industries including the public sector, manufacturing, and private security. He is actively involved in the profession and chairs the Retail Wholesale and Office Advisory Committee with Workplace Safety Prevention Services.
David Kappele is an international sales and marketing leader in both direct to consumer channels as well as the business to business channels. Most recent roles include Vice President Wholesale Sales for Tilley Endurables, Vice President Sales and Marketing for Tilley overseeing a digital marketing department along with the quarterbacking a North American sales distribution.
Corinne Kepper is the Director of Employment Brand & Giving at Aritzia. Corinne oversees executive communications, community engagement and the Aritzia employment brand. She is a champion of corporate culture and led the development of Aritzia’s mobile enabled technology solution to connect more than 2,000 Aritzia team members in an aspirational way and she developed Aritzia’s first, and now annual, full company employee engagement survey. Corinne gives back personally as a Board Director for Dress for Success Vancouver.
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. 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.
Dionisia Lita is the Director of IT, Business Applications at The Source. She leads her IT team to deliver business applications in the areas of POS, ERP, WMS, Finance, and Marketing systems. She was previously responsible for The Source eCommerce site. Dionisia was employed with RadioShack USA, RadioShack Canada, The Source By Circuit City, and now The Source. She led The Source IT team during the transition to Bell and was the Canada IT Lead for the Circuit City business transformation project.
Laurie has been involved in workplace safety and security for over 40 years, he is a past President of the Retail Loss Prevention and Retail Safety Societies, a Criminal Justice Instructor, a first aid instructor and the winner of several awards including Governor General Lifetime Achievement award, Langara Outstanding Alumni, Order of Saint John Ambulance Priory award, CSSE Special Project and Leaders of Tomorrow Mentor of the Year award.
David Lui is the Vice President of Marketing and leads a team of marketing professionals to expand Mark’s identity through the development and implementation of innovative brand, digital, ecommerce and marketing strategies. 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. Over the course of his career, he has held senior executive roles with global retail brands including Nygård, The North West Company, The Daiso and Esprit.
Lisa MacGregor is the Director of Retail Planning & Analysis for the LCBO, one of the largest liquor purchasers in the world with annual sales of $6.3 Billion. Lisa holds a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Guelph and joined the LCBO in 1992. Before assuming her current role, Lisa was Director, Supply Chain for 19 years where she led the transformation that streamlined and re-engineered many key business functions across the LCBO. These improvements contributed to significant increases in sales, inventory turns and profitability.
You won't find anyone more passionate about retail than Linda Montalbano. She started in the industry 25 years ago on the front lines and worked her way up to become the Vice President of Retail Operations for a national retail chain. For the last 12 years she’s been the Vice President of Graff Retail, working with retailers to achieve the best results possible through their store management teams and front line associates. Although her expertise has always been in retail operations, Leadership has been the pillar to her success. Linda speaks passionately about leadership in the industry and has spoken to audiences about multi-generational workforces, personal branding and influential leadership.
A Retail Value Chain Strategist & eCommence fulfillment implementation expert, Gary is a recognised as a thought leader in Supply Chain Management and Last Mile Logistics by the Retail Council of Canada and a speaker/panelist at their events. His 30-year experience of retail logistics is notable for rapidly tackling and transforming underperforming distribution networks, alongside leadership within high growth organisations on a national and international basis. Gary is currently on contract with Gordon Food Service working on their Last Mile Strategy and is playing a pivotal role in the recent onboarding of the M&M Food Market business across Canada
Paul leads Kijiji’s Business to Consumer performance solutions efforts. He has been working with small businesses, national chains and strategic partners for over twenty years. Over the past few years at Kijiji he has focused on the retail industry, providing insights on the motivations and purchase behaviours of consumers; and deploying commercial solutions to influence and engage digital shoppers in their path to purchase.
James brings extensive retail knowledge as he returns to the Retail Council judging panel. He has over 20 years of retail experience with 2 industry leading companies; including Shoppers Drug Mart and currently Petro-Canada.
Karen Rossetti has been in the role of LCBO Director of Store Operations & Support for the last 14 years and been with the LCBO for 36 years. Her current portfolio includes overseeing operations, customer experience, store support, product knowledge and operational training for front-line talent including a comprehensive onboarding program for newly recruited Store Manager talent and potential future leaders and most recently the acquisition of helloLCBO/alloLCBO bilingual contact centre. Karen started her career working as a front line sales associate in LCBO Retail stores in the Kitchener-Waterloo Area and gained incredible experience as a district trainer/installer for the LCBO’s first-ever point of sale system. After 9 years in the retail stores, Karen joined home office as a training consultant for several years, until she was promoted as the Manager, Customer Service & Store Support for ten years. Karen has also had the opportunity to work in the LCBO’s Corporate Policy department where has the opportunity to work with ministry colleagues. Karen has been a member of the Retail Council since the mid-90s, a regular attendee at RCC Conference and has had the honour of judging the ERA Awards on two occasions.
As Vice President, Sales & Marketing at Bullfrog Power, Canada’s leading green energy provider, Anthony Santilli is responsible for growing Bullfrog's commercial business and leading the commercial sales & marketing team. Anthony brings deep expertise in sustainability, customer marketing, and management consulting to his role, allowing him to help Bullfrog's customers integrate their sustainability goals into their overall business strategy. He also advises clients on best practices in communicating sustainability initiatives to all stakeholders.
As an award winning sales, ecommerce, marketing and technology leader, Sean has over 15 years’ experience in high growth B2B, B2C and C2C industries. Prior to founding Engagement Agents, Sean was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Stitch It Clothing Alterations, North America’s largest alterations service provider with 85 locations in major shopping centres. With the support & involvement of Stitch It, Sean developed Engagement Agents, a world class solution to help retailers & shopping centres gain competitive advantages, save time and money, while increasing impressions, traffic and sales to their stores, website & social media!
David Thorpe is a high energy, results driven, customer-obsessed marketing professional. who loves working for challenger brands. Over the course of 15+ years, he’s held the senior marketing role with one of British Columbia’s most loved brands, London Drugs Limited. David also lead marketing for national discount leader, Giant Tiger Stores Limited, where he was responsible for all mar-com activities, including digital & social media, public relations, store signing & community involvement. David supported significant growth from 40 stores in Ontario and Quebec to over 200 stores across Canada.
Daniella van Weringh is the Director, Learning & Development for Lowe’s Companies Canada. In her role she is responsible for the learning and development of all store, distribution and corporate employees. Daniella joined Lowe’s in 2008 and has seen the company grow from 8 stores to over 500 stores with the recent RONA acquisition.
As Senior Vice President of Partnerships at Environics Analytics, Neil Weitzman is responsible for managing EA’s partner program and expanding the company’s strategic collaborations. A leader in the information and analytics industry for over 20 years, he’s held senior executive positions at Deloitte, Dentsu Aegis, Data2Decisions, Nielsen and Rogers Media.
Fatima Zaidi has had over nine years of experience in Business Development, Marketing, and Strategy. Her expertise in sales effectiveness and partnerships led to her role as VP of Business Development for Eighty-Eight, a Toronto-based creative communications agency, where she’s responsible for all inbound and outbound sales. Her work at the agency has led to projects with Telus, PayPal, Canadian Tire, and multiple startups and tech companies including Lyft. Fatima is a commentator for Global News and BNN, and she contributes to The Globe and Mail, Huffington Post, Financial Post and BetaKit.
Throughout Joe Zenobio’s executive career, he has established a strong reputation as a well-respected corporate leader with a proven track record of successfully building or transforming complex, multi-layered organizations. He has held a series of high level executive positions in both the private and NPO sectors both in Canada and the USA. Joe is currently President of Call2Recycle Canada, a multi stakeholder environmental organization that provides services to retailers, suppliers and municipalities. His current focus is strategic direction, organizational growth and operational efficiencies.