Executive Vice President and Senior Partner
Christian has over 20 years of experience in the fields of public opinion and market research. Christian is Executive Vice-President at Leger and manages its Montreal research team. He is also a partner in the firm and acts as a senior consultant to the firm’s major clients. As a spokesperson for the company, Christian is a political commentator for the CBC and consumer trends columnist on Radio-Canada. One of the many projects that Christian oversees is the Leger annual WOW Customer Experience Index which is an industry benchmark that provides amazing insights for Retailers. Christian still teaches research methodology at Université de Montréal
Diane J. Brisebois
President and CEO
Retail Council of Canada
Diane J. Brisebois, CAE, oversees the largest retail association in Canada serving over 45,000 retail establishments including independent merchants, chain stores, mass merchants, big box and online retailers. RCC’s membership covers all segments of the retail market including general merchandise, grocery and pharmacy. Diane joined RCC as its President and CEO in January 1995. Diane has held CEO positions in the not-for-profit sector representing various industries for the past 35 years.
CEO and Co-Founder
Steve Buors is a leading authority on digital marketing for multi-location businesses. He works with national and international brands to develop inventive strategies using existing and emerging technologies to find new customers, increase sales, and combine the best of national brand strength with local relevance. Steve is CEO and co-founder of Reshift Media, a full-service digital agency that specializes in developing and implementing industry-leading social media, search and website/mobile strategies to enable brands to achieve tangible business results. Reshift Media often collaborates with other advertising agencies to develop, implement and manage digital strategies that amplify existing media campaigns. As a senior executive, entrepreneur and thought leader in the digital marketing industry, Steve has spoken at a variety of events, hosted many webinars and actively contributes to a number of blogs.
Top Drawer Creative Inc.
Howard Chang came by his passion for retail marketing honestly. Long before running an ad agency was even a twinkle in his eye, Howard (at the tender age of 20) created a bicycle retail concept and quickly grew it to 3 GTA locations through innovative marketing and exceptional customer service. His passion for branding found its perfect expression when he established Top Drawer Creative in 1992. With his retail pedigree, Howard focused on helping specialty retailers win share through great storytelling and innovative channel strategy. With Top Drawer now celebrating its 25th anniversary, Howard has had the privilege of helping many blue-chip North American retailers win in an ever-challenging environment. Howard continues to spread the gospel that the brand story must lead in every channel - including the ever important and evolving flyer.
Vice President, Ecommerce and Marketing
James is responsible for leading the marketing efforts at Roots with a focus on brand, non-traditional and the blend of digital marketing and commerce. Additionally, he is responsible for the company’s digital and integrated omni-channel commerce programs. He joined Roots 20 years ago and has functioned in a number of roles within the organization primarily focused in the areas of digital commerce, marketing and direct to consumer sales.
Vice President, Retail Strategy
Darrell is currently the Vice-President of Retail Strategy at Geomedia, a consumer research analytics and media company focused on retail marketing. His career as an executive leader spans a wide range of marketing and technology companies throughout North America and the UK. For the past 10 years, Darrell has consulted with retailers helping build their offline & online marketing strategies. He is a former Board of Director for IAB and RAC and has spoken at many retail conferences in both Canada and the United States.
Paula Courtney, a retail strategist with 20 years’ experience, published in 35 countries and advisor to Fortune 100 companies, is trusted by Canadian and American retail leaders to help them refine and create a superior customer experience. She is the product founder and chief strategist of WisePlum®, a SaaS-based research tool designed to measure retail customer insights. WisePlum® is a collaboration between LoyaltyOne, a global leader in customer analytics and loyalty program design, and the Verde Group, a customer insights consultancy specialized in identifying, measuring, analyzing and resolving the financial impact of customer dissatisfaction.
Tobiasz Dankiewicz is the co-founder and director at reebee – A leader in Canada's digital flyer space. Through Tobiasz's direction, reebee has been helping shape the digital flyer ecosystem, long before the release of the first smart phone. While attaining a degree in mechatronic engineering from the University of Waterloo, Tobiasz was unable to find his local flyers digitally and recognized the enormous untapped opportunity for the flyer industry. From there, reebee was born with the mission to empower consumers to access their favourite flyers anywhere, anytime. Today, reebee is at the helm of flyer innovation working daily with Canada's leading retailers to develop and test new age flyer strategies.
Chief Customer Officer
Joyce Gray is responsible for the oversight and integration of LCBO’s customer-facing divisions including Marketing, Merchandising, Store Development & Real Estate and Retail Operations of +600 store network. Serving as the critical voice of our customers at the leadership table, Joyce ensures a seamless, efficient, and engaging experience across LCBO’s physical and digital channels. Joyce joined the LCBO in July 2017 and is a seasoned retail executive with global operational experience. She spent eight years as COO/EVP at Indigo Books in Toronto and prior to that was Vice President of Gap Inc. in New York. Additionally, Joyce spent nearly a decade working for the Walt Disney Company in a number of progressively senior roles including stores, product development, entertainment and global strategy operations.
Vice President, eCommerce & Omnichannel
Lowe’s Companies 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 Lowes.ca as a comprehensive destination for home improvement products and inspiration. 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.
Partner, National Retail Leader and Consumer Analytics Practice Leader
Jennifer's mandate is to leverage her Retail and Consumer expertise in Omnichannel to help clients make sense of the vast quantities of data which exists in their organizations. She focuses on assisting clients in developing strategies to deal with an increasingly connected consumer. These strategies include -transitioning from a multi-channel organization to an Omnichannel organization by building and operationalizing eCommerce platforms, mobile capabilities and the re-designing the retail network. She also assists clients in embedding Advanced Analytics into her clients’ business to deliver a one-brand (“Omnichannel”) experience. Jennifer leads a multi-faceted and cross-functional team ranging from strategists to and advanced analytics teams including market researcher and data scientists.
Vice-President of National and Multi-Market Sales
Lisa Orpen is the Vice-President of National and Multi-Market Sales at Metroland Media, a dynamic media company with a proud history of connecting communities across Ontario. With over 30 years of sales experience at Metroland, Orpen leads the team responsible for building and executing cross-platform campaigns on behalf of some of the country’s biggest advertisers. Orpen sits on the board of directors for the Retail Council of Canada’s RAC (Retail Marketing & Advertising Canada) and is a CCAB Canadian Newspaper Advisory Board Member.
Founder & President
Doug Stephens is one of the world’s foremost retail industry futurists. His intellectual work and thinking have influenced many of the world’s best-known retailers, agencies and brands including Walmart, Google, Home Depot, Disney, BMW, Citibank, and Intel. Doug is also listed as one of retail’s top global influencers by Vend.com. Prior to founding Retail Prophet, Doug spent over 20 years in the retail industry, holding senior international roles including the leadership of one of New York City’s most historic retail chains. His unique perspectives on retailing, business and consumer behavior have been featured in many of the world’s leading publications and media outlets including The New York Times, The BBC, Bloomberg Business News, TechCrunch, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and Fast Company.
Vice President, Marketing & eCommerce
Jeff is a senior marketing leader with over 10 years’ experience working to develop high profile omni-channel marketing campaigns and strategies with the largest brands and retailers in Canada. Prior to leading the Marketing and eCommerce divisions at Henry’s Jeff held multiple marketing and strategy management roles at companies such as Canadian Tire, The Home Depot and Walmart Canada.
VP of Partnership and Platform
Brad is VP Partnerships and Platform at SweetIQ. A seasoned local marketing and business development professional, Brad has delivered industry leading products such as the first global Yellow Pages open API platform, now copied +6 times across the globe. In his role at SweetIQ, Brad leverages his ability to build top tier relationships, and has been instrumental in the development of SweetIQ’s API.
Born and raised in Ottawa, Jeff received an honours degree in Economics from Princeton University and achieved his Chartered Accountant Designation, while holding a position with Ward Mallette Chartered Accountants. Making the leap to retail, Jeff joined Giant Tiger Stores, where after a number of years in operational and management roles, assumed the presidency. In this capacity, Jeff helped grow the business from a regional discount chain with 250 million in sales, to 1.4 billion in sales nationally as the third largest discount chain in Canada. In 2009, Jeff joined Farm Boy with a mandate to expand the business. Under his leadership, the company has grown from a nine store chain in the Ottawa region to now 26 stores in Ottawa, Kingston, the GTA and Southwestern Ontario with further expansion plans underway