Past Speakers (2019)

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.

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
Daniel L. Zou
Head of Alipay Canada
Alibaba Group
Daniel, head of Alipay Canada, leads the Alipay business expansion and growth in Canada. Taking a key leadership role in Alipay for both domestic and cross-border business development over the past years, Daniel brings his experience and success of the most cutting-edge digital payment and marketing solutions to the Canadian market, enabling local business to cross a wide array of segments to utilize Alipay users marketing horsepower. Daniel works closely with all industry verticals to set the course for how to best utilize Ant Financial and Alibaba Group’s ecosystem of brands and services. An expert on the Chinese consumer, e-commerce, and digital payment, Daniel helps Canadian companies understand and maximize the massive opportunity in Chinese consumers market. He holds MBA and Engineering degrees from University of Toronto. 

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.
Matthew Cebulski
Head of Discovery and Partnership Success
Loblaw Digital
Lacey Norton
Vice President - Retail
Canopy Growth Corporation
Lacey serves as VP of Retail at Canopy Growth, exploring unique creative opportunities and experiences via the world of retail and design. Prior to joining Canopy Growth, Lacey served as Vice President of Retail at Hiku, as the company embarked on an aggressive growth plan to open multiple retail locations across Canada. Lacey's experience at Kit and Ace as a founding team member of the luxury technical clothing brand includes opening more than 50 locations across North America in just over two years. Prior to heading up North American retail at Kit and Ace, she spent 10 years with lululemon, helping grow the company from seven stores in 2005, to an global brand with a large international retail footprint. Lacey also led The Lab at lululemon, a customer-facing design and ideas incubator. Lacey holds a business degree with a focus in marketing from Simon Fraser University.
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
Former 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.

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

Marie-Eve discovered meal kits while living in Australia with her brother Bernard. As a foodie and hard-working professional, she instantly fell in love with the concept of getting recipes and pre-portioned ingredients delivered at home. Her adventure as an entrepreneur started then, in 2015 and at age 32, when she moved back to Montreal and co-founded MissFresh along with her brother and childhood friend Ritter. The company was acquired at 70% by Metro in 2017 and now employs over 270 employees in Canada. Prior to her entrepreneurial route, Marie-Eve graduated from HEC University with a diploma in Marketing and International Management and cumulated over 12 years of experience as a digital leader in various industries including Media (TVA, Yahoo!7 and Seven West Media), E-commerce (Mediagrif) and Telecommunications (Bell).

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.

Richard Proud
VP of Planning, Allocation, and Product Insights
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
VP, Wholesale

Sam is the vice president of wholesale for dosist. In his role, Sam manages the whole sale market for Canada responsible for building and implementing the growth strategies to achieve revenue targets, grow market share and build relationships with partners nationally. Prior to joining dosist Sam was the Head of Retail Sales for ecobee, a leader in the consumer electronics and home IoT industry and held various sales and marketing roles at both the LEGO Group and Walt Disney Company. 

Kristine Owram
Cannabis Reporter
Bloomberg News

Kristine Owram covers the cannabis industry for Bloomberg News. She has written on a broad range of topics including Canada's supply shortages, the CBD boom and deal-making in the industry. Prior to joining Bloomberg, Kristine worked as a business reporter at the Financial Post, BNN and the Canadian Press. She has a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Alberta.

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.
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 is the Senior Director, e-Commerce and Advertising for The Home Depot Canada, the world’s largest interconnected Home Improvement Retailer. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing and developing the company’s e-commerce platform, and leads the CRM, ecom, marketing and advanced analytics teams. He is also responsible for the planning and production of all digital and traditional media channels. This unique portfolio enables Andrew to help shape the strategic vision of the interconnected customer experience at The Home Depot.

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 and Vice President, Digital Commerce for Metroland Media Group.

Andrew holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, and spends his downtime with his wife, chasing after their two headstrong daughters.  
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. 

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.

Shawn Gandhi
Head of Solutions Engineering, AWS

Shawn Gandhi is the head of a team at Amazon Web Services (AWS), that is helping customers build solutions. Shawn has spent four years with AWS leading Solutions Architecture in New York, Boston, and across Canada helping our customers architect highly scalable cloud-native applications. Shawn was previously specialized in enterprise innovation and transformation helping customers like Comcast, Johnson & Johnson, The Weather Company, and The New York Times migrate to the cloud. Shawn also has a long-history in the financial services space, he was the Chief Digital Architect at RBC in Toronto, and has spent 5 years on Wall St. building next-generation trading applications for the world’s largest investment banks, hedge funds, and exchanges. His current focus is on helping customers around the world  transform their businesses using predictive analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Pierre-Paul Larivière
Digital Ecosystem & Experience Director
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group

Pierre-Paul Larivière is a creative manager from the Digital Media & platform, Television and Radio Industry, with a solid track record for elevating, innovating and expanding organizations. Throughout various work mandates, he fostered a strong passion for developing value-added products and services that broaden daily use of technology and make current and emerging communication tools available to consumers. Previously held positions include: Executive Producer for TV and Digital Media, Senior Product Manager for, Head of Digital and Strategy at, and Senior Director of Product Innovation at a Canadian e-commerce agency. Currently, he acts as Head of Digital Ecosystem & Experience for Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group. His role is to connect digital to all other aspects of the business and drive growth with the highest quality of commerce services & Fan experiences for Cirque's shows and brands, across all customer target groups worldwide.

Rocky Sharma
Sr. Director, Product Management, eCommerce
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

Tyler Handley
Cofounder and CEO

Tyler is the co-founder & CEO at inkbox - a tattoo ecosystem that empowers customers to own their now. Over the last 4 years he’s pioneered the development of a new product category and co-manages a team of 90 employees on a mission to celebrate and support the stories of customers around the world.

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. 

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.

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.

Jeremy Robinson
Chief Marketing Officer

Jeremy is CMO at wellness focussed lunch bag brand SoYoung, which was founded by his wife, Catherine Choi.  SoYoung products are sold online and in over 800 retailers across North America including Whole Foods Markets, Anthropologie and Nordstrom and are available globally through a growing network of distribution partners. SoYoung has won numerous design awards and has been featured in Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, People Magazine, and on national US cable shows like The Today Show and The View.

Prior to joining SoYoung, Jeremy ranUX agency Jar Creative,, where he spent 13 years helping clients such as Aeroplan, Mandarin Oriental Hotels, MacKenzie Investments, University of Toronto and Arcelor Mittal develop their digital presence.

Sarah Owen
Retail Client Partner
Facebook Canada

Sarah is a marketing professional and digital expert with 15 years of experience at top tier media agencies in both Europe and North America.  She is passionate about using technology and data insights to connect consumers and brands, and has spent the last three years at Facebook working with some of Canada’s largest retailers – helping them utilize the platform to meet their core business objectives.

Ann-Marie McIntosh
Managing Director - Marketing & Corporate Communications
FedEx Express Canada
Lou Mellet
Sales Director, East
Paul Briggs
Senior Analyst, Canada

Paul Briggs is eMarketer’s senior analyst covering the Canadian market. Since joining eMarketer in 2012, Paul has covered all forms of digital media including mobile, ecommerce, social media and digital advertising. He is based in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.

Danielle Rose
Ginger Rose

I created Ginger Rose with my friends in mind. At the time of it's inception in 2009 none of my friends were interested in cooking, claiming that they didn't know how, or just plain couldn't cook, despite the fact that many of them had never really tried. I wanted them to feel the same passion for cooking as I did, and wanted to show them how easy it truly was, and, more than that, how fulfilling it could be. I was sure that if I showed them that I could do it (someone just like them!), and gave them a resource for simple, accessible, and delicious recipes, they would feel empowered to take on the kitchen just as I had. It felt so rewarding to watch as my friends, family, and acquaintances began falling in love with the art of cooking and start taking chances in the kitchen, inspired by my blog.

Now, more than five years later, Ginger Rose has become so much more than just a stepping stone for my own cooking show. In fact, being "the next Food Network Star" isn't even the goal at all anymore. Ginger Rose is my way of publicly expressing my creative side, allowing me to write, cook, photograph, style, edit, play with graphics and design, voice my opinions, and so much more in one safe space. My blog has also afforded me the opportunity to work with many major brands in Canada such as Summer FreshKraft CanadaThe Dairy Farmers Of Canada, and more, which has ignited my passion for recipe development, food styling, and photography. My passionate curiosity for food also led me to enrol in the George Brown Culinary Continuing Education program last year, allowing me to refine my skills in the kitchen, and give me the freedom and confidence to turn my hobby into a career.

Today I continue to express myself on my own blog, as well as the Kraft Canada Food Hacks blog, being named The Ultimate Food Hacker by Kraft Canada in the Fall of 2014, after a Canada-wide search. I am also a food expert and contributor for fredi Magazine. I look forward to seeing where the next five years of Ginger Rose may take me, with hopes of working in a test kitchen environment and continuing to share my obsession with food on a larger scale.

Wayne Pommen
President and CEO

Wayne Pommen is the President and CEO of PayBright, a provider of installment payments for e-commerce and in-store purchases by Canadian consumers. Wayne also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Hudson’s Bay Company and IOU Financial, and is a member of the Stakeholder Advisory Council of Payments Canada. Wayne was previously a Principal at TorQuest Partners and a management consultant with Bain & Company. Wayne holds a BA from Harvard University and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.

Jake Edmiston
Financial Post
Lucas Stewart
Senior Product Marketing Manager
AB Tasty

Lucas Stewart is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at AB Tasty. He’s spent many years in the analytics world working for companies like Tableau and Datorama. Lucas advocates for the oft-neglected media type –owned– through organic efforts like SEO, A/B testing and personalization.

Andrew Jarvie
Senior Management Lead
Snap, Inc.

Energetic data and analytics professional with experience in research, data analytics, media measurement,team building and management. I excel in high-energy and challenging environments where I can use data to inform decision making and drive business strategy.

Maggie Bettinson
Country Manager, Canada
Return Path
Gaston Siri
Chief Technology Officer
Bianca Torchia
Manager, Email and Consumer Engagement / CRM
Spinrite Yarns

Bianca manages Consumer Engagement, CRM, and Email Strategy for North America’s largest consumer craft yarn company, Spinrite Yarns. Both customer-centric and data-driven, she acts as the champion of the one-to-one relationship between Spinrite’s brands and the digital consumer. 

While Bianca’s first love is everything Email Marketing, she also has expertise in Content Marketing, Loyalty & Retention, User-Generated Content Programs, and Influencer Partnerships. 

Laura Brinker
SVP Marketing

Seasoned Marketing and Communications leader with 15 years’ experience across a diverse range of areas: strategic planning and campaign development, capability- and team-building, traditional and social media, influencer marketing, branding, issues management, entertainment and cause marketing, public affairs, event planning, trend forecasting, and both client/agency relationship management.

Mitchell Wein
Vice President
Marathon Watch Company

Mitchell Wein was born into the watch business. He has been Immersed in the family business, Marathon Watch Company, for his entire life. From riding his tricycle through the building’s warehouse, offices, and neighbouring companies, as a young child; to working closely with his father Leon Wein and following grandfather Morris Wein; to leading the company himself in new directions. This company has been built on a century of watch making heritage; to a continued corporate success and brand growth for the future.

In 1939, Morris Wein founded Marathon Watch, supplying fine precision timepieces throughout North America. In 1941 Marathon began manufacturing timing instruments for the allied forces, and that tradition continues today with its fourth generation manufacturing fine quality innovative instruments. Marathon Watch is one of the last family owned and operated watch companies on the planet, and with each generation, Marathon has shifted focus to adapt to the changing environment. With Mitchell sensing the trend of consumer shopping habits, his tenure at the helm of Marathon has brought Marathon online.

Commerce has changed, and so has Marathon. Mitchell’s guiding principal has been “a branch that does not bend with the wind, will break.” Foreseeing the change in the wind, Mitchell has taken the know how of crafting military grade timepieces in wartime to consumer timepieces in peacetime and he has brought the modern world of e-commerce to Marathon. In 2014, Marathon Watch launched their online sales through Amazon; building the brand that it is today from those trials and successes. Understanding what the end-user requires and desires is the cornerstone of those successes. Be it reading reviews, talking to customers directly, or watching market trends, Mitchell’s focus is on quality and adapting the products to suit the consumer.

Marathon Watch exhibits the values that Mitchell has set forth, by creating a sense of community within the company. Whether it is in the Head Office in Vaughan, Canada, or the watch factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, Marathon is a family. A family that has stood the test of time and will for generations to come.

Harjas Rai
Director, Human Resources & Talent Acquisition
go easy

In my career I’ve been fortunate enough to lead cutting edge HR teams in the Financial Services, Retail and Entertainment industries. I’d describe myself as a serial innovator, rarely content with the status quo. Currently I lead Human Resources and Talent Acquisition for goeasy Ltd. an organization that services the needs of 7 million underserved Canadians.

I have over 10 years’ experience leading various strategic and operational HR teams with a focus on attracting, hiring, rewarding and engaging talent. I’ve led HR transformations and built award winnings cultures that offer a competitive edge. People are our greatest asset and it’s my job to unlock their potential.  

Kevin Bonilla
Sales Director

As a Sales Director at ContentSquare, Kevin works with digital teams across the retail, travel, finance and software industries to measure and optimize their on-site and mobile app experiences to increase engagement and conversions.

Starting his career in programmatic advertising, Kevin enjoys working with marketing, content, UX and eCommerce teams to create unforgettable digital experiences.

Outside of work, you can find Kevin running, at a comedy show and discovering new beers wherever he travels.

Ken McMillan
Director of Sales, Canada

Ken McMillan is the Director of Sales for Exponential Canada. He has over 20 years’ experience in pure online media with client categories ranging from B2B to D2C. He has worked with some of Canada’s largest media organizations like Bell, Rogers and Astral Media. While there he’s helped hundreds of businesses of all sizes navigate and profit during this exciting transition underway in the digital landscape.

Riccardo Badalone
C2RO Cloud Robotics
Riccardo Badalone is the Chief Executive Officer at C2RO. He joined C2RO in September of 2017, while the company was developing a patented parallel cloud processing platform. Since then Riccardo has transformed C2RO’s promising core technology into a successful enterprise machine vision solution.

This year, Riccardo and his team have been focused on the launch of a behavioural and demographic analysis platform called C2RO Perceive. C2RO Perceive works by anonymously capturing the customer journey, intent, and dwell-time via a novel cloud/edge infrastructure that delivers far superior accuracy compared to web-only video analysis. Among several practical use cases, the solution is disrupting a retail analytics industry that has previously used beacons and overhead door counters to improvise customer activity metrics.  In late 2018, with Riccardo at the helm, the company successfully launched C2RO Engage Facial Recognition with a resort in China that used C2RO’s real-time facial recognition to greet and personalize experiences for guests.

Before C2RO, Riccardo founded and led  Diablo Technologies and positioned the systems company to be at the forefront of Server Enterprise and Cloud revolutions, including ultra-high performance flash storage, and Software Defined Memory.   Diablo sold products across North America, Europe, and to the top OEM Server vendors in China. Riccardo helped establish partnerships with companies such as IBM, Inspur China, and SanDisk.

Stephen Aikman
Owner and President
All Natural Advice
Capitalizing on my broad experience with Canada’s largest bank, RBC, I will leverage my 22 years of Strategies for our Retail Businesses to lead one of Canada's fastest growing skin care companies both domestically and international.
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!

Past Advisory Board (2019)

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
Vice President of Marketplace

Alaa Hassan is a passionate eCommerce & digital marketing executive with over 18 years of experience leading digital growth for both online and retail brands. 

Currently, he is the Vice President of Marketplace at CBDMART, a new customer-centric B2C marketplace for hemp-derived CBD products within the cannabis industry.  His team is focused on leveraging the digital experience to drive business results with a mandate that covers branding, digital marketing, eCommerce, CRM, mobile and more.

Prior to joining CBDMART, he was the Director of Digital Marketing at Linen Chest (Home Retailer), helped Beyond The Rack expand onto marketplaces (Amazon/eBay) and was in charge of leading all eCommerce efforts at (Internet Retailer Top 500 & Inc 5000).  

Awarded as “one of the most knowledgeable eCommerce expert” by Channel Advisor, he considers himself as the most passionate eCom guy you’ll ever meet!  He’s the founder of eCommerce Training Academy, a foodie and a Porsche enthusiast.

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

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.