eTail Canada 2019

07 - 09 May, 2019

Hyatt Regency Toronto, ON

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Don Romano
President and CEO
Hyundai Canada

Don Romano is President and Chief Executive Officer of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. He joined Hyundai in December 2013. Since taking the helm of Hyundai Canada, Don has been steadily transforming Hyundai into a premium brand through the successful launch of industry leading products, expansion and redesigning of the Hyundai retail facilities, effective implementation of more customer centric service processes and certification programs, and the modernization of the retail buying experience through industry leading online processes like Hyundai Buy Right.

In addition to managing the success of Hyundai, Don has been focused on the development and launch of Canada’s fastest growing luxury car brand Genesis. Genesis represents an entirely new, unique retail model, and a first for Hyundai globally, which allows customers to buy a Genesis, hassle free, online direct from the manufacturer with delivery direct to their home or office.

Don was also instrumental in launching the first fuel cell vehicle for retail sale in Canada and continues to promote the expansion of zero emissions vehicles and infrastructure throughout the country.

Don began his career in 1985 with Nissan Motor Corporation, where he held a number of key sales and marketing positions for both the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2000, he left Nissan to join Mazda Motor Corporation where he supported the development and execution of the award winning Zoom Zoom campaign. In 2006, he was promoted to President of Mazda Canada while maintaining his responsibilities as Chief Marketing Officer for Mazda North America. During this time he oversaw Mazda’s recording setting growth in Canada while leading Mazda’s marketing activities across North America including oversight for the company’s brand development and business planning. He also supported Mazda’s headquarters in Japan with their global brand integration activities.

In 2012, Don became the Senior Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer for Toyota in the Middle East during which Toyota achieved an unprecedented 50 percent share of the automotive market. At the same time, Don served on Toyota’s global brand council in Japan.

When he's not working, he’s snow skiing, wake boarding or swimming. He is a competitive long distance swimmer and an Ontario Masters Swimming gold medalist. He lives in Stouffville, Ontario with his wife of 26 years and four children.

Don holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State University and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University.

Lee McCabe
VP, North America
Alibaba Group
As Vice President of North America at Alibaba Group, Lee leads the company’s North American business. As head of this effort, Lee works closely with all verticals to set the course for how to best utilize Alibaba Group’s family of brands and services.
Prior to joining Alibaba Group, Lee was Global Head of Vertical Strategy at Facebook. He has also held roles with Expedia, eBay, Telstra and Warner Music.
Lara Skripitsky
Vice President & Chief Technology Officer

Lara is a digital storyteller and change agent with over 20 years experience leading organizational and technology transformation at a number of Canada's leading companies including Rogers Communications, General Mills, Torstar and Johnson & Johnson.

Currently Lara is Vice President & Chief Technology Officer at McDonald’s Canada, where she leads the transformation of the Canadian business through technology.  Her team is focused on leveraging technology to drive business results with a mandate that covers the digital marketing space as well as the omni-channel restaurant and technology experience, encompassing everything from CRM, marketing technology, mobile, kiosk, in-store technology and more. 

Lara holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours from Queens University as well as an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business.  She is a self-professed digital nerd and Netflix junkie - and her favourite McDonald’s meal is McNuggets and a Chocolate Shake.

Krista Collinson
VP E-Commerce Merchandising
Walmart Canada
Dina Fifadra
Head of North America Retail Expansion

Dina Fifadra is the Leader for Amazon Canada and Mexico’s Marketplace business, with executive responsibility for ensuring Selling Partners can have a successful business serving our customers.

Dina has been with Amazon for three years, joining after two years at Samsung Mobile, where she was the Head of Sales for T-Mobile, leading US retailer sales strategies and re-designing the in-store shopping experience. Before Samsung, Dina spent 12 years at Procter & Gamble, managing a variety of retail partnerships ranging from regional grocers to home improvement retailers and club warehouses.

Dina is a lover of languages, travel, and dance, and she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in the Japanese language. 


Simon Rodrigue
Staples Canada

Simon Rodrigue is a recognized leader in the retail transformation taking place in retail today, with over 14+ years of executive experience in the space. Most notably, Simon is the SVP and Chief Digital Officer at STAPLES Canada where he is a key member of the leadership transforming one of Canada's most iconic retail brands.

Simon was also the former SVP of eCommerce for Walmart Canada where he was responsible for all aspects of the online business, technology, digital marketing, and integration with all stores in Canada. During this time, in addition to rapidly growing the business, he introduced lockers (store pickup) and grocery home shopping to the Canadian market. 

Simon was also the VP of Product Management / Site Experience North America as well as General Manager of Canada at Travelocity. Simon was the Associate Vice President of eCommerce at Sears Canada and held several operational and merchandising leadership roles within The Home Depot Canada before serving as their Senior Manager of eCommerce and Interactive Marketing launching into the Canadian marketplace. He also served as a Senior Business and Marketing Consultant with Nortel Networks Global Services, enabling start-ups and aiding Fortune 50 companies to develop global emerging business strategies. 

Nancy Modrcin
Vice President, Marketing
Metro Inc.

Nancy Modrcin joined Metro Inc. in January 2012 to oversee the marketing and communications functions for the Ontario Division. She is accountable for brand strategy, advertising, shopper marketing, consumer promotions, PR & in-store experience, as well as building integrated marketing solutions for the Ontario market in conjunction with the loyalty and digital teams. Prior to joining Metro, Modrcin managed many globally recognized brands and product portfolios at entertainment and lifestyle focused companies, including Mattel, NBC Universal, Harlequin and The Walt Disney Company. She has an Honours BA from York University.

Ian Brooks
CEO and Founder
HelloFresh Canada

Ian Brooks founded HelloFresh Canada in early 2016, as the Canadian operation of the global leader in meal kits, Berlin-based HelloFresh SE. Ian started his career in Calgary as an environmental consultant, and has since lived and worked in Zurich, London, and lately Toronto, as an IT project manager with Scotiabank, a strategic sourcing professional with Johnson & Johnson, and a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. He has an MBA from IMD. He is married with two young boys, and his family happily eats HelloFresh six nights a week.

Bonus fact:

Ian has a great passion for the environment; he's travelled over 5,000 kilometres by canoe, and planted over 250,000 trees.

Chris Tarrant
Vice President, Store Development & Design
Starbucks Canada
Chris holds the position of vice president, Store Development & Design. In his role, Chris manages all facets of retail development and facilities for Starbucks Coffee Canada. Prior to joining Starbucks, Chris has held a number of senior roles within the industry with both dominant and first to market retail brands. He brings extensive retail development experience both in the USA and in Canada.
Veronica Castillo
Head of Marketing, Taco Bell Canada
Yum! Brands

Head of marketing leading Taco Bell's big turnaround in Canada.  Since joining TB, I have created and launched highly disruptive social driven campaigns such as "eat your words", #DLT4life, "the waiting game", Steakcation in partnership with AirBnb, Cheetos Sliders, etc. All these campaigns have been extremely successful, this in combination with deeper consumer insights, breakthrough innovation, strategic media buying strategy, menu board and pricing optimization have drove turnaround with 6 consecutive years of significant growth. Today, the brand is one of the fastest growing in Canada and outpacing the QSR industry for the 4th year in a row. Highly-regarded by the organization and franchisee partners.

Matthew Cebulski
Head of Discovery and Partnership Success
Loblaw Digital
Dave Bigioni
Chief Commercial Officer, Recreational Cannabis
Canopy Growth Corporation

David is a senior marketing and sales executive with deep expertise across consumer goods. Prior to joining Canopy Growth Corporation as Chief Marketing Officer in August 2017, and currently the Company’s Chief Commercial Officer, Recreational Cannabis, David served as both Vice-President, Marketing and Vice-President, Sales for Molson Coors Canadian operations. Over his time at Molson Coors, David led the marketing team to top marketing honours in 2010, 2011 and 2014 before moving to sales in 2015. Under David’s leadership Molson’s brand valuation increased by $137M over a 6-year period. David is renowned as a change agent who motivates teams through a clear vision, a collaborative leadership style and entrepreneurial approach.

David holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing) with a minor in Economics, from Wilfrid Laurier University (1995). David’s career includes progressive roles with both Unilever and Venture Communications as well as having served on the board of The Beer Store. David’s passion for inspiring innovation has lead him to frequently share his insight and perspective within the Canadian marketing industry and is a frequent speaker at Canadian Universities.

Felicia Snyder
VP Tokyo Smoke Brands
Canopy Growth Corporation
Ray Gracewood
Chief Commercial Officer
Organigram Holdings

Ray Gracewood is Chief Commercial Officer at Organigram Inc., a leading publicly-traded licensed producer of cannabis in Canada. Previously the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing for Moosehead Breweries Ltd., Ray has led Organigram’s strategic approach to the adult use recreational market in Canada as well as stewarding the company’s corporate and medical brands.  As CCO, Ray oversaw several new product development initiatives including The Edison Project by OGI, an ultra-premium line of cannabis offered to patients in November 2017 resulting in data and insights used to validate future segmentation opportunities.  He is also responsible for the development of Organigram’s strategic approach to adult recreational cannabis, including a targeted suite of brands including the Edison Cannabis Company, Ankr Organics, Trailer Park Buds and Trailblazer.

Kerry Munro
Senior Vice President - Connected Retail
Canadian Tire Corporation
Eva Salem
Vice President, Marketing
Canadian Tire Corporation

An innovative and entrepreneurial marketing executive with a proven track record for delivering award-winning creative and strong results, Eva Salem is the vice president of marketing for Canadian Tire Retail. Eva oversees the Canadian Tire marketing team, where she is responsible for brand building, creative ideation, and marketing initiatives for Canada’s most beloved retailer.

She spent the early years of her career in the heart of the cosmetics industry in New York City with some of the world’s most important brands, including Estee Lauder, Clinique, and L’Oreal.

Prior to joining Canadian Tire, Eva founded Canada’s first high-end, brand-driven maternity store, Belly, growing a $20,000 investment into more than $1-million in sales in its first year.

Eva holds a business degree from Western University’s Ivey School of Business.  Eva lives in Toronto with her husband and three children.

Dan Park
Head of Uber Eats Canada

Dan Park is General Manager and Head of Uber Eats Canada. Over the past 2 years, he has led the extraordinary growth of Uber's food delivery platform in Canada, which now services hundreds of thousands of customers in over 50 cities across the country.

Previously, Dan was a Venture Partner at Azure Capital Partners and led the firm’s Canadian investment efforts. He served as a Board Member for Kissmetrics and FanXchange, and Board Observer for Ranovus and The Bouqs. Dan also worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions group at Deutsche Bank Securities in New York focusing on technology, media & telecommunications and at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto.

Dan received an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Honors Economics & Finance (First Class Honors) from McGill University. Dan lives in Toronto with his son and his wife Kristen and enjoys skiing, running, cooking and photography.

Kerri Dawson
Vice President, Marketing & Customer Intelligence

A marketing executive with over 20 years of experience, Kerri is Vice President, Marketing & Customer Intelligence at the LCBO.

She is responsible to set the creative direction for the LCBO, Vintages and Food & Drink brands, and to create marketing and content strategies that drive the retail and e/m commerce businesses, enhance LCBO brands and engender customer loyalty.

Her team creates and delivers on brand, marketing and content strategies in advertising, print publications, LCBO stores and in digital channels including eCommerce, social media, customer apps and for CRM, all backed by customer insights and data.

She holds an MA in International Relations from Dalhousie University, a BA (with 1st class honours) in politics and history from Mount Allison University and a certification in International Trade from the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) program at Carleton and Ryerson Universities.  Kerri is a member of the Canadian Marketing Association’s Board of Directors.

Nicolas Gaudreau
Chief Marketing Officer
Reitmans Canada

Nicolas Gaudreau is a Canadian marketing executive, corporate director and lecturer, known for his track record for driving digital transformations and his key role in the early development of the digital media industry in Canada.

A C-level executive with over 25 years of experience as CMO, VP Marketing and VP Digital for multi-billion dollar companies, Nicolas is now CMO of Reitmans Canada. Prior to this, Nicolas was CMO at Groupe Dynamite, CMO at Yellow Pages, and VP Marketing at Bell.

With his strong background in strategic planning, traditional and digital marketing, and product development, Nicolas has a track record for driving digital transformation. Nicolas has taken the threats of digital transformation and turned them into opportunities and competitive advantage across several industries, including media, telecom, and retail.

Nicolas holds an international MBA from INSEAD, and an electrical engineering bachelor degree from McGill University. He is also a certified corporate director from ICD.D. Nicolas serves on several boards, including start-ups and non-profits.

Peter van Stolk

Peter van Stolk is the CEO of Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery or™, the largest pure play online grocer in Canada. is focused on creating meaningful relationships with Canadians around the benefits of local, organic food within the $100 billion annual Canadian grocery market. 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, 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 Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vitamin Angels© from 2013 to 2016, a non-profit global organization that provides vital nutrition to 48 million children annually throughout the world.

Tara Conway
VP, Omni-Channel and Customer Care
The Source
Tara is a passionate retailer, determined to find the balance between instore and online to bring out the best experience for the customer. As Vice-President, eCommerce at The Source she is responsible for the eCommerce strategy and vision for the organization. Tara has been focused on pushing the boundaries of eCommerce in Canada, leveraging technology and innovation to build an unparalleled Omni-channel experience. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from the University of Guelph, and has been in retail for the majority of her 20 year career as a customer-centric advocate, with a focus on marketing, ecommerce and technology.
Marie Eve Prevost
Co-founder and CEO
Mike Gettis
Founder and CEO
Frederick Lecoq
Vice President, Marketing & eCommerce
Golf Town

Frederick has joined Golf Town as Vice President of Marketing and eCommerce, to turn the brand around by elevating its digital footprint and creating an interconnected retail landscape that allows eCommerce to successfully coexist with brick and mortar. From designing and implementing a cutting-edge omni-channel plan to enhancing Golf Town’s digital presence, Frederick applies an innovative approach to building emotional connections with customers. 

Before engaging in the journey to establish Golf Town Ltd.’s brand as Canada’s home of golf, Frederick led the Sport Chek digital marketing and eCommerce transformation as SVP of Marketing within the Canadian Tire Corporation. He also brought forward ground-breaking digital change with the launch of Canada’s first digital flyer program with Facebook and rollout of several eCommerce sites for the FGL and Marks banners (Sport Chek, Sports Experts, Atmosphere, Marks). 

For over 15 years, Frederick has influenced top organizations in roles such as Vice President for Global Brand Marketing & Digital Strategy at LG Electronics Corp in Seoul, Marketing Director for Microsoft Europe, and Marketing Director at Nokia. Prior to revolutionizing brands as a digital disruptor, Frederick’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to take part in two successful start-ups projects in Europe — one in eCommerce and another in media. 

Danielle Brown is an experienced marketing leader, responsible for building and growing a number of successful marketing teams at national and global organizations. She builds deep, broad teams with wide brand/ performance/ revenue scopes. An expert in change management, she is also a trained negotiator and facilitator, who is skilled at building consensus and driving businesses forward. Her experience stretches across the worlds of entertainment, wireless, loyalty, retail and tech.

In November of 2018, Danielle joined Knix as Chief Marketing Officer. She is charged with leading the growth and development of the Revenue, Brand, E-commerce, Creative, Analytics, Acquisitions & Retention aspects of the business.

Danielle is also co-owner of M’Eat Resto Butcher in Toronto’s trendy east end, a neighbourhood butcher shop and meat-forward restaurant that serves and promotes ethically raised, locally sourced beef. 

Liz Ridout
VP, Digital & eCommerce
Spinrite Yarns

I have spent most of my career focused on the intersection of business, multi-channel marketing, and technology, and have played key marketing leadership and advisory roles for a variety of companies from digital agencies, to start-up internet businesses, to large global and national brands.

Andrea Feiderer
EVP & Chief Marketing Officer
goeasy Ltd

Andrea Fiederer is Executive Vice President and CMO of goeasy Ltd., an alternative financial services company that operates through two business units, easyhome, Canada’s largest lease-to-own retailer and easyfinancial, a non-prime consumer lender that bridges the gap between traditional financial institutions and costly payday lenders. Andrea’s background includes a broad range of business expertise acquired in both management consulting having worked at BearingPoint, and through a variety of marketing roles that span the past 15 years. Over that time, Andrea has held progressively senior roles at some of Canada’s top organizations including TELUS, XM Satellite Radio and more recently Mobilicity. In addition to Andrea’s Executive leadership role at goeasy, she is also responsible for founding goeasy’s Women in Leadership program designed to help grow and develop female talent within the organization through mentorship, learning and professional development. In 2016, Andrea was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Woman through the Women's Executive Network (WXN), Canada's leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles. Andrea holds a Master of Business Degree from the Schulich School of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from McGill University. 

Richard Proud
Vice President, Planning, Allocation and Regional Buying
Groupe Dynamite

Richie Proud is Vice President of Merchandise Planning, Allocation, and Product Insights for Groupe Dynamite in Montreal, Canada - parent company of Garage & Dynamite female clothing brands and one of the top fashion retailers in Canada.  He is responsible for the global inventory management & product financial strategies across the 350+ worldwide stores of Groupe Dynamite.

Richie brings more than 13 years of retail experience - managing $1B+ businesses. His retail career started with Abercrombie & Fitch where he had success as both a Merchant and a Merchandise Planner.  As the Senior Director of Merchandise Planning, Richie led A&F’s international transformation initiative - a fleet review of all international store locations to optimize sales, inventory, and real estate strategies.  Prior to joining Groupe Dynamite, Richie led the Merchandise Planning & Allocation teams for American Signature, Inc - owner of Value City Furniture and American Signature Furniture.  He has extensive international supply chain experience - building strong relationships with factories, suppliers, and vendors all over Asia and South America.

Sam Kashani
Head of Retail Sales – North America
Kristine Owram
Cannabis Reporter
Bloomberg News
Nathan Yang
Assistant Professor in Marketing
McGill Desautels Faculty of Management

Nathan Yang is an Assistant Professor in Marketing at McGill Desautels Faculty of Management, as well as Project Coordinator for the BSRM-IVADO Research Initiative. He is also a Research Fellow at the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative (CIREQ), Researcher at the Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations (CIRANO), Academic Member at the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE), Faculty Associate at the Canadian Centre for Health Economics (CCHE), Member at the Group for Research in Decision Analysis (GERAD), Associated Member at the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO), and Affiliate Member at the McGill Bensadoun School of Retail Management (BSRM).

His main research interests are in big data and machine learning, health and wellness, behavioral science, retail, and empirical industrial organization. Much of his earlier work aims to gain a better understanding about market expansion strategies in various retail sectors (e.g., convenience stores, fast food restaurants, fast casual restaurants), whereby market expansion is a key instrument to grow a retailer's brand, and ultimately, sales. In addition to retailer expansion strategies, he has worked on (or is currently working on) projects that focus on various aspects of customer relationship management in a diverse set of industries, including appliances, bike sharing, car rentals, electronic health platforms, fast fashion, loan markets, social media, large international commercial weight loss programs, mobile weight loss apps, video games, and WiFi tracking. His most recent research attempts to blend together behavioral science, big data, economics, and machine learning to help nudge people towards healthier lifestyles.

His research has been published (or is forthcoming) in Marketing ScienceManagement ScienceQuantitative EconomicsInternational Journal of the Economics of Business, and the Review of Network Economics, and has been widely cited by popular press, including The EconomistFinancial Times, and LA Times. He has secured numerous grants to fund his research (e.g., MSI, IVADO, SSHRC, NET Institute). 

Carl Boutet
Lead for Bensadoun Retail School of Management Lab
McGill University
Alex Kozjak
Vice President, eCommerce
Alex Kozjak is an accomplished eCommerce executive with over 20 years of retail experience. He launched back in 2000 as one of Canada’s first national eCommerce sites and has also developed significant omni-channel experience through ongoing collaboration with the company’s retail division. Over his time at Staples, Alex has overseen everything from retail inventory and pricing strategy, online merchandising and marketing, analytics, product management and user experience. Alex and his team have helped make Staples one of Canada’s largest eCommerce companies and he also partners with the international divisions of Staples to lend a global perspective to his approach on eCommerce strategy.
Janelle Shiplett
Sr. Director, Digital Business

Digital thought-leader and problem-solver excited about identifying growth opportunities, and delivering results.

Erin McKeever
Senior Strategist, Digital Engagement
Nestlé Purina PetCare

Erin has spent the last decade immersed in all things digital, a passion she currently funnels into her job leading the in-house digital communications agency, HyperLab, at Nestle Purina Canada, and which recently earned her a spot on Marketing Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30.

As a strategic planner with a focus on digital & emerging channels, her experience includes technology, creative & content, user experience, research & data science, media, PR, shopper marketing, and more. She has worked on major brands and at top agencies with clients across CPG, Media & Entertainment, Health & Beauty, Non-Profit, B2B, Financial Services, Retail, QSR, and Healthcare. Her diverse experience across categories and capabilities allows her to bring a unique perspective to her work that embraces today’s omnichannel world by viewing consumer behavior, technology, creative and data holistically.

When she’s not working, she can be found researching and testing the latest technology and gadgets, following her artistic passions through photography, video and writing, or simply spending time with friends and family. She is a self-proclaimed Netflixaholic, and loves to read blogs, online magazines, and scroll endlessly through Instagram.

Andrew Go
Senior Director, e-Commerce and Advertising
The Home Depot Canada

Andrew Go joined The Home Depot Canada in 2016 as Director, e-Commerce and was recently promoted to Senior Director, e-Commerce and Advertising. In this role, Andrew is responsible for overseeing and developing the company’s e-commerce platform, which also includes leading the strategic vision of the interconnected customer experience, data analytics, and digital marketing.

Andrew is an accomplished executive operator who possesses a unique mix of strategic, operating, and entrepreneurial skills, which were refined in Toronto, London, and Mumbai. He has cultivated expertise in building new business and empowering multi-disciplinary teams to innovate and deliver results. Prior to joining The Home Depot Canada, Andrew was the Vice President, Strategic Initiatives for the Star Media Group, as well as Vice President, Digital Commerce for Metroland Media Group.

Andrew holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, and continues to be involved with the school as an Alumni Mentor. His community involvement also includes serving as a director on the board of the Nikkei Voice, and as a Strategic Business Advisor at the Ryerson DMZ. Andrew is also an advisor for two innovative startups, and, both of which provide elevated user experiences in digital health and beauty industries respectively.

Richard Downe
Director of Data Science
Loblaw Digital

Richard earned his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Iowa in 2013, where he cut his teeth on messy data sets building models of coronary artery disease.  He comes to Loblaw Digital after 4 years in Silicon Valley, helping early stage startups bootstrap their data science operations in domains including law and medicine, and while he’s a relative newcomer to retail, he’s no stranger to large complex problems.  At Loblaw Digital, he’s working to apply modern software development practices, like continuous integration and deployment, to the data science world, and in the process accelerating the team’s ability to rapidly iterate on ML solutions to difficult problems ranging from personalization to forecasting. 

Brendan Toupin
Senior Director, e-Commerce and Advertising
The Home Depot Canada

Charmaine Classens
Director of Marketing
Tom Maryniarczyk
Director of Analytics, Data Science, Experimentation and SEO

Tom is a Director of Analytics, Data Science, Experimentation and SEO for Walmart Canada's ecommerce business. As owner of all things data at, Tom drives analytical rigour, mindset and decision making across a business experiencing accelerated growth.

Over the last 5 years Tom has grown, developed and led the site merchandising, deployment, digital studio, analytics and optimization teams at Before Walmart, he spent 4 years at in various digital roles spanning analytics, site experience and strategy. Before a career shift to retail, Tom worked as an design engineer in the factory automation industry and a manufacturing program manager at Magna International. This is where, through Lean Six Sigma and Statistical Process Control disciplines, he honed his analytical approach to problem solving, one that works exceptionally well in a data rich industry like ecommerce.

Tom is a licensed Professional Engineer in Ontario, holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Toronto and a Master in Business Administration from the Ivey Business School at University of Western Ontario.

Marina Negoescu
Team Leader E-commerce & Customer Service
Pierre-Paul Larivière
Director – Digital Ecosystem
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group
Rocky Sharma
Sr. Director, Product Management, eCommerce
Becky Quanch
Senior Manager, Marketing – Digital, CRM & Culinary
Kraft Heinz Canada
Matthieu Houle
Senior Director of Digital Technology
ALDO Group

I am digital product executive, with first-hand experience of digital transformation in a senior leadership role. I have assembled and lead a team of 150+ talented product and tech people, working in a start-up culture within a corporate environment. I have launched and am responsible for multiple innovative and award-winning products used by 10M+ monthly unique visitors monthly in Canada, supporting nine-digit annual revenue.

I actively participate in the Montreal start-up community by mentoring entrepreneurs and being an advisor to multiple early-stage companies. I am a self-taught intrapreneur coming from a non-traditional background: from dropping out of college physics, founding an agency and surf magazine in Costa Rica in my early 20’s to be running digital media in a major corporation. In the process, I’ve developed competencies and gathered experience in multiple fields.

Ashley Hood
eCommerce Operations Manager
Lowe’s Companies Canada

Ashley has been the eCommerce Operations Manager at Lowe’s Canada since 2013.  Focused on the customers’ experience especially after they click the ‘submit order’ button, her days are filled with everything from order fulfillment to customer service.  Touching upon such a broad range of responsibilities means every day is like an adventure with no two days ever the same.  Never hesitant about questioning the status quo, she is always ensuring the voice of the customer is heard.  Ashley previously worked at Hudson’s Bay Company in various departments including HBC Rewards, Olympics (Vancouver 2010 games) and eCommerce.  Prior to finding her niche in eCommerce operations, Ashley lived a very different life getting a degree in zoology and living on a remote tropical beach protecting sea turtles.

Carly Steinberg
Director, Marketing

Carly joined in January 2017 as the Director of Marketing. She leads the content & community strategy, which spans blogs, videos, social media, and influencer and expert partnerships, and more. She also spearheads several other strategic projects including services, subscriptions, and brand partnerships. Last year, she redesigned and oversaw’s Sherway Gardens pop-up store and evaluated several other bricks & mortar locations and concepts.

Prior to joining, Carly worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company where she helped retail clients define and execute transformative strategies. She holds an MBA from Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

Sameer Bandeali
Digital Marketing & eCommerce Lead
Maple Leaf Foods
Jackson Lau
Jackson Lau is the Co-founder, Marketing and Technology Development Lead of Together with high school friends Benny Lin and Garcing Chen, they founded in year 2012 and vowed to make aftermarket auto parts and accessories accessible to Canadian customers coast to coast. Jackson is a firm believer in the customers first approach in the Canadian e-commerce market. “Focus on Customers, Trust your Customers, Know your customers” is one of the company’s mottos. The traditional rigid corporate structure was abandoned during the restructuring in 2016, empowering all employees to align their focus towards customer experience that is unparalleled in the industry. With the improved innovative corporate structure along with Jackson’s leadership, is ranked 4.7 out of 5 stars on shoppers approved by 27k Users and received the coveted Consumer Choice Award for Business Excellence in both 2016 and 2017 with pride.
Idan Driman
Director of Marketing
Toys R Us

Madison Norton
Director of Marketing, North America
Bailey Nelson

Madison Norton is a seasoned marketing leader and Director of Marketing and eCommerce at Bailey Nelson, an exciting eyewear company founded in Australia now expanding their unique focus on eye health and high quality, honestly priced glasses across North America. Prior to joining Bailey Nelson, he was Head of CRM and Strategy at Indochino, the global leader in made to measure apparel, where he oversaw the omnichannel customer retention program and total marketing strategy. Madison has also built and led the CRM program for BuildDirect, an online marketplace disrupting the home renovation product industry, and spent several years creating integrated digital marketing campaigns in the real estate investment industry.

Kristy Wieber
Co-Founder & President
Rent Frock Repeat

Kristy started her career in retail with leading cosmetics brands in the U.S. and Canada, including Clinique, Prescriptives, Stila, and Philosophy for over fifteen years. Throughout her experience in the cosmetics industry, as both a makeup artist and manager, Kristy oversaw event planning, inventory control, sales strategies, team building and training.  Relocating to Canada in 2003, Kristy shifted gears and worked in executive recruiting for a few years, but went back to sales and eventually became a VP of Marketing where she oversaw SEO, SEM, PPC, direct mail and email campaigns, lead generation, conversion, user experience and account management.  With this wide range of experience and skills she was ready to start something that would bring together her talents and be part of the sharing economy at the same time.  Along with her business partner, Rent frock Repeat came to life, allowing women all across Canada to RENT a new designer dress for a fraction of the retail cost.  Becoming an entrepreneur to a collaborative consumption business that disrupts the retail norm has taught Kristy countless new skills and lessons and gives her a chance to make an impact on women, the environment and the retail landscape. 

Jeremy Robinson
Chief Marketing Officer

Cloud Software Connoisseur, Above Average Squash Player,  Enjoys debating with children under the age of 10, Recovering music snob (currently tolerating moderate doses of Ed Sheerhan)

Lily Varon
Analyst - Digital Business Strategy
Forrester Research

My research focuses on the strategies and technologies firms need to win, serve, and retain customers in the age of digital business, including recurring customer and billing management solutions, the translation and localization of global websites, and the commerce service providers helping firms transform their commerce experiences. My research also analyzes consumer online shopping behavior around the globe, with a particular focus on Asia Pacific and Latin America.

I've been a featured speaker at vendor and industry events and I've contributed to leading publications and programs including CBS News, CMS Wire, CNBC, Forbes, Internet Retailer, The L.A. Times, Luxury Daily, APM's Marketplace, Retail Touchpoints, The Paypers, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and ZDNet among others.

Before joining Forrester, I worked as an advocate at an antipoverty nonprofit agency, providing case management for clients in areas such as housing, utilities, insurance, immigration, and financial literacy.

I hold a B.A. in American Cultural Studies from Bates College. I am fluent in Spanish as well as proficient in Portuguese.

Sam Galanis
Head of Retail, Canada
Facebook Canada
Ann-Marie McIntosh
Managing Director - Marketing & Corporate Communications
FedEx Express Canada
Sean Seraphin
Head of Omnichannel Technology and Global Strategy
Wayne Pommen
President and CEO

Wayne Pommen is the President and CEO of PayBright, a provider of instant point-of-sale financing for Canadian consumers. Wayne also serves on the Boards 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.

Maggie Bettinson
Country Manager, Canada
Return Path
Paul Cyr
AVP of Online Channel
Krishna Patel
Program Director
eTail Canada

Krishna has held four of the following five jobs (one is something she decided at age 7 was the ultimate dream job): wildlife rescuer, Renaissance Fair wench, comic book store clerk, lawyer, and National Geographic photographer.  Which one is the fake, and why did she choose working on eTail Canada above all else?  Feel free to reach out and ask – that, and any other questions you may have!

Advisory Board

Johnny Russo
Associate Vice-President, Ecommerce and Digital Marketing

Johnny Russo joined Mark’s, one of the largest apparel retailers in Canada, as the Associate Vice President of Digital Marketing and Ecommerce in January 2016. Previous to joining the Mark’s team, Johnny worked at Bentley Leathers Inc. and was brought on to lead their Ecommerce and Digital Marketing. He was tasked with re-launching the new, fully responsive Bentley Ecommerce experience in May 2015. Prior to Bentley, Johnny worked in similar capacities for Mexx Canada and Buffalo David Bitton, overseeing everything from digital marketing, ecommerce, social media, operations, customer service, web design, and digital analytics. 

Johnny has over 13 years of Digital Marketing and Ecommerce experience in the retail, manufacturing, mobile, and software sectors. Johnny is energetic and passionate about the Ecommerce and Digital Marketing fields, often speaking at numerous industry events, as well as sitting on the Board of Advisors for Etail Canada, National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Digital Council, Retail Council of Canada’s (RCC) Ecommerce Advisory Board, and on the Board of Directors of the Calgary Marketing Association. Johnny is obsessively trying to optimize and improve upon the online and omni-channel customer experience. He believes vendors are partners, and the IT and finance departments are friends (usually).

Georgia Genovezos
Head of eCommerce

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 has held executive roles for a number of national and international companies where she developed and grew successful marketing and sales organizations, such as Fido/Rogers, Positron,, Woozworld, Groupe Dynamite, Paysafe & Ardene.

She currently sits on the advisory board of e-Tail Canada, and is a frequent speaker at industry events. She has also been called upon to judge and offer mentorship at the John Molson School of Business (Concordia University).

Georgia is the Head of Ecommerce for Ardene where she leads the online experience for North America as well as social media and customer service.

Noah Goldberg
Senior Director, GM, Joe Fresh eCommerce
Loblaw Digital
Alaa Hassan
Director of Digital Marketing
Tara Conway
VP, Omni-Channel and Customer Care
The Source
Tara is a passionate retailer, determined to find the balance between instore and online to bring out the best experience for the customer. As Vice-President, eCommerce at The Source she is responsible for the eCommerce strategy and vision for the organization. Tara has been focused on pushing the boundaries of eCommerce in Canada, leveraging technology and innovation to build an unparalleled Omni-channel experience. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from the University of Guelph, and has been in retail for the majority of her 20 year career as a customer-centric advocate, with a focus on marketing, ecommerce and technology.
Tanbir Grover
Vice President, eCommerce & Omnichannel
Lowe’s Canada
Tanbir Grover is the Vice President, eCommerce & Omnichannel for Lowe's Canada. He joined Lowe's in the summer of 2012, to lead and establish as a comprehensive destination for home improvement products and inspiration. Since 2016, he has assumed responsibility for both and In that time he has worked to bring both of those banners fully transactional while also expanding the customer experience on both websites. Prior to joining Lowe's, Tanbir was the Director of eCommerce at The Hudson's Bay Company where he successfully launched the site and was instrumental in its growth and success. Tanbir has also worked for Sears Canada in managing their online business and has a diverse set of experiences through his work with Coca-Cola and Bombardier. With an Honours Degree in Commerce from McMaster University and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, Tanbir is a well-known and well respected advocate of Canada's eCommerce industry.
James Connell
Chief Ecommerce and Customer Experience Officer

Renee Racine-Kinnear
Director, Digital Experience Design, OMNI
Enrico Del Grande
Senior Manager, Online Groceries
Metro Inc.

Richard Sejean
Director, eCommerce
Browns Shoes
Richard is currently Director of E-Commerce at Browns. In this role, Richard leverages technology and marketing to reach, engage, and retain customers, consistently delivering multimillion dollar growth. Previously, Richard led North American digital strategy and e-commerce for a number of brands within L’Oréal’s Luxury Products Division. In addition to his work in the trenches, Richard is a passionate thought leader in the world of e-commerce. He has been a presenter, panelist, and moderator at several major conferences and currently sits on the advisory boards of eTail Canada and the Retail Council of Canada.

We're always looking ahead to book a roster of inspiring speakers. Contact us today to reserve your spot.

Want to see who spoke previously? View the list here.