Liza is a Retail Industry expert with over 21 years of experience. In her career, Liza has worked with familiar brands including Holt Renfrew, Ralph Lauren Europe and Canada, Club Monaco, Nike, Walmart, and several others. Her experience encompasses brick and mortar, e-commerce and omni-channel in the areas of product creation, merchandising and go to market strategies. In shifting to consulting, she played an integral role in Accenture's Retail Strategy group, where she was responsible for consulting with fashion brands and retailers, supporting several major business transformations across product creation, merchandising, speed to market and materials management. Liza is currently the Principal at Retail Strategy Group - a consulting practice which helps companies in the retail space dramatically improve profitability. She is a respected voice on topics such as responsible retail and sustainability, the future of retail and the urgency of technology enablement in merchandising, assortment optimization and demand planning. You can find Liza on all social platforms under @theMerchantLife and follow her on LinkedIn and RetailWire for her POV from a retail insider.
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).
With a business administration degree, Fabio initially worked in investment banking. Since 2001, Fabio has been working in various capacities related to public and privately funded socio-economic development programs in areas such as entrepreneurship and business education, employment, immigrant and youth services. Since October 2014, Fabio has been part of United Way Greater Toronto's Youth Initiatives team where he leads the implementation of the innovate Career Navigator program – a workforce development model for youth facing multiple barriers to employment.
Leading a multifaceted team focused on the people experience, Chris’ expertise and passion is on cultivating an environment for high-performing talent. Creating innovatively engaging campaigns and programs spanning talent acquisition, high-volume recruitment, on-boarding, performance development and leadership support, creating jobs people love is always the goal. Chris is the organizational lead and a long-term partner with Kids Help Phone and is a member of the executive advisory committee of Opportunity For All Youth, an employer led coalition striving to connect under-employed youth with meaningful early career work.
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.
Andrew is a CIO with a passion for creating and leading top performing teams, leveraging his experience in architecture and program management to drive change. As an executive, he has led major ERP, CRM, ecommerce, Order Management and many other digital transformation efforts. He is proud of his ability to understand his business' current and future needs, and then to lead my teams to make the technology enhancements come to life. His last role was leading the Information Technology team to great success at The Source.
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 - IT Delivery, Business Applications at The Source. She leads her IT team to deliver business applications in the areas of POS, ERP, WMS, and Finance systems. She was previously responsible for The Source eCommerce site, and Parts & Repair systems. 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. Previously, a member of the team who implemented POS in Belgium for InterTAN European stores, and the BatteryPlus acquisition in Canada. She was once a panelist of the International Women’s Day at The Source.
Karen Malone specializes in ESG - Sustainability strategy, executive training and ESG program design. She started LitPark to help companies and non profits transition and future proof their business by embedding ESG into their organization and culture. LitPark is also the Canadian Affiliate and Trainer for the global firm, The Centre for Sustainability and Excellence, CSE. Her experience in ESG is dominant in the "S" and "G"(social and governance) space. For 15 years she has lead teams to design and deliver their organization's corporate impact programs. Karen is an experienced facilitator of ESG - Sustainability, expanding ESG knowhow for 200+ executives in over 25 different industries. LitPark clients range from global inter-governmental organizations, to real estate firms to non profits. The leaders in these organizations have a core belief that ESG - Sustainability drives value, and their commitment to that belief results in measurable, positive growth.
As VP of Marketing & Account Management for Call2Recycle Canada, Jon leads the Marketing and Account Management strategy and execution to enhance the Call2Recycle brand and increase public education and awareness to grow battery recycling collection efforts. Jon oversees all advertising, media, public relations, communications, special events and account partner programs to continue raising awareness of the importance of end-of-life battery recycling. Jon joined Call2Recycle Canada in October 2020 bringing over 15 years of B2B and B2C experience in multi-unit retail and hospitality prior to joining Call2Recycle.
Gary is a Retail Supply Chain Transformation Accelerator, specialising in supply chain convergence. He advises Canadian retailers to create “singles” fulfillment platforms which develop scale quickly. He is a leading advocate of “backroom sortation” and “fulfillment versatility” as key to winning the “speed to market” race. Gary is a recognised as a thought leader in Retail Supply Chain Transformation and Last Mile Fulfillment execution by RCC and is a contributor at many events as individual retailers digitally transform. His 30-year experience within the logistics of retailing is notable for rapidly transforming underperforming fulfilment and distribution networks. Prior to coming to Canada, Gary was a Retail Supply Chain Transformation Consultant in the UK where he provided expertise and leadership to organisations across the end to end retail value chain, completing more than 50 separate mission critical assignments, including many supply chain transformations, accelerations and “shock event” recoveries.
David is the Founder and CEO of The Poirier Group, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategy execution, operational efficiency and sustainable business transformations for clients across the retail, private equity, manufacturing and healthcare sectors in North America. He provides oversight and perspective acquired from 25+ years of successful C-Suite experience across major National and International organizations. David works with leaders to create and translate strategic roadmaps into actionable goals, helping organizations achieve their full potential. He thrives at running multiple global divisions in complex and everchanging business environments and effecting positive cultural shifts that impact bottom line performance.
James has been part of the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years with a variety of iconic Canadian companies such as Shoppers Drug Mart, Petro-Canada and most recently Parkland Fuels. In his current role, James is leading the Merchandising teams at Parkland Fuels.
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 over 35 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 in the past.
Vanessa is the Managing Director of Match Retail, a leading sales, merchandising and branded retail agency inspired by an endless desire to help transform brands so they can be retail ready. With more than 25 years in the agency environment, Vanessa is responsible for the day to day operations, people, growth and most importantly, the quality of our output to clients at Match Retail. Over her career she has worked in Sales, Merchandising and Experiential Marketing driving employee and client growth representing brands such as Dairy Farmers of Canada, Nespresso, LG, Mars and L’Oreal. Vanessa leads with passion and by example as she believes in putting people first.
As an award-winning sales, ecommerce, marketing and technology leader, Sean has over 20 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. While helping Stitch It drive traffic & sales, he discovered a problem; every retailer pays significantly for digital and physical marketing opportunities each month through their leases; via gross rent, CAM fees, marketing/promo/ad funds, merchant association fees and/or percentage rent. However, only 10% of retailers engage the benefits of these significant investments, collectively costing retailers hundreds of billions in sales every year! As a result, Sean developed Engagement Agents, www.EngagementAgents.com, a world-class solution to help retailers promptly maximize these already-paid-for opportunities to drive more traffic & sales (in-store and online), prevent lost traffic & sales to competitors, save measurable amounts of time, money and resources while ensuring compliance + the proper cadence of their marketing campaigns! A number of the world’s most recognizable retailers rely on Engagement Agents’ award-winning solution, including Adidas, Levi’s, Lacoste, Sephora and Nespresso. Prior to joining Stitch It Sean founded Trend Trunk, Canada’s largest fashion marketplace, which was a finalist for three Canada Post Ecommerce Innovation Awards and Preferred One, one of the largest retailer gift card marketing companies in North America driving hundreds of millions of dollars to retailers. In addition, Sean was recognized with “Guy Who Gets It” Award by Illuminessence Magazine for valiant contributions to gender equality, social justice and community development.
Ted is Co-Founder of Stream Commerce. Stream Commerce is the fastest growing Shopify Plus e-commerce agency in North America. Stream Commerce serves high growth, high volume Shopify Plus merchants with expert e-commerce consulting, site design & development, site optimization and digital performance marketing. Lawyer by training, Ted is an e-commerce executive and entrepreneur. Ted started selling online in 1996 - over 25 years of e-commerce experience. Ted built and scaled the QVC of Canada, The Shopping Channel, first taking the business from scratch to over $125m in annual online sales and later as President of The Shopping Channel, building out its multi-channel offering to over $350m in DTC sales. As an executive operator and agency entrepreneur, Ted has a unique perspective, with a combination of client side, agency side, start-up, public company, private company and private equity backed e-commerce experience. A frequent speaker at retail industry events, Ted loves to share his experience as a digital retail and consumer product innovator.
Paul Taylor is currently the Vice President of People & Culture at Purdys Chocolatier. His career spans several industries including: retail, manufacturing, banking, and other professional services. Since joining Purdys, he has continued to build and implement successful people and culture practices to continue the company’s reputation as an employer of choice. Paul also is an active member of RCC’s HR Advisory Council. He holds an M.B.A. from Arizona State University as well as CPHR and SHRM-SCP designations.
Marty is a Partner and National Retail Leader for Deloitte in Canada. He has been exclusively focused on serving the Retail industry for the past 20 years in The US, Canada and South America. Marty’s focus is on developing and implementing enterprise-wide, end-to-end retail transformation and operational improvement programs that impact business processes, organization accountabilities, and technology enablement. These programs result in his clients realizing significant improvements to sales, margin, SG&A and working capital in an ever changing and complex world of retailing where traditional ways of operating are no longer sufficient. Marty has advised over 35 retailers on programs to drive growth, programs, merchandising effectiveness, store and customer experience, and supply chain performance. Prior to joining Deloitte, Marty held an officer level role for a large retailer during their first international greenfield expansion. Prior to his industry role, Marty spent 12 years co-leading the retail practice at a global consulting firm. He is a retail thought leader that has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, BNN and Supermarket News and initiated several retail point of view studies and industry leading benchmarking programs.
Respected professional with over ten years of entrepreneurial experience as a co-founder and president of award-winning start-up that disrupted Canadian retail. Extensive experience in operations, marketing, and e-commerce. Built an innovative and well-loved company from the ground-up through lean practices, exceptional customer service and strong company culture. Strong roots in the cosmetic industry with a well-rounded path through executive recruitment, sales, and education. Creative problem solver, process improver, team builder, engaging speaker, multiple-hat wearer, export pivoter and full-belly laugher.