• Speakers
  • Speakers

Speakers

Aaron Ames

Chief Financial Officer
FirstOnSite Restoration

Aaron Ames is Chief Financial Officer of FirstOnSite Restoration and works out of the national office in Mississauga. FirstOnSite is a leading disaster restoration company, providing remediation, restoration and reconstruction ser... More

Aaron Rotenberg

Owner
Nutri-Health Corporation

Aaron Rotenberg is the owner of Nutri-Health Corporation and is based in Toronto. Nutri-Health specializes in all natural, non-GMO foods for service hospitals, retirement homes, schools, restaurants and the grocery market. The co... More

Adam Breslin

Partner
Penfund

Adam Breslin is a Partner at Toronto-based, Penfund, Canada’s oldest independent private equity firm. Penfund provides junior capital to mid-market companies throughout North America, including through mezzanine debt, preferred ... More

Alison Nankivell

VP, Co-investment and Govt Initiatives
BDC Capital

Alison Nankivell is Vice President, Co-investment and Government Initiatives, BDC Capital. A financial institution owned by the Government of Canada, BDC supports over 30,000 small and medium-sized enterprises across the country, ... More

Andrew Shoyer

Partner
Sidley Austin LLP

Andrew Shoyer is a Partner at the law firm Sidley Austin LLP and is based in Washington, DC. Sidley has a broad transactional practice. Major practice disciplines include corporate and securities, mergers and acquisitions, securit... More

Bernadeen McLeod

President and Founder
Mentor Works Ltd.

Bernadeen McLeod is the Founder and Owner of Mentor Works Ltd. She operates her business and executive mentor practice from Cambridge, Ontario with clients across Canada. Bernadeen worked in the corporate arena for 18 years as an ... More

Bill Truffen

Asst VP and Team Lead, Business Banking, GTA West
HSBC Bank Canada

Bill Truffen is the Assistant Vice President and Team Lead, Business Banking, Greater Toronto Area West at HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, and the leading international bank in Canada. HSBC provides the tools ... More

Brock Philp

President and CEO
Doc-IT Software

Brock Philp is the President and CEO of Markham-based, Doc-IT Software. Doc-IT is a leading provider of Document Management and Workflow software to accounting firms in Canada and the United States. In 2012, Brock partnered with t... More

Bruce Bailey

Vice President, Finance
Alcohol Countermeasure Systems Corp.

Bruce Bailey is Vice President, Finance at Alcohol Countermeasure Systems Corp. Alcohol Countermeasure Systems, based in Toronto, is a global leader in alcohol testing solutions. ACS designs and manufactures innovative technology,... More

Charles Wachsberg

President and CEO
Apollo Health and Beauty Care

Charles Wachsberg is the founder, President and CEO of Apollo Health and Beauty Care (Apollo), a premium developer of private label health and beauty care products offering complete product categories designed to compete equivalen... More

Chris Wiegand

CEO
Jibestream

Chris Wiegand, based in Toronto, is CEO and co-founder of Jibestream. Founded in 2009, Jibestream has been pioneering solutions that enhance navigation and deliver real-time information messaging in busy public hubs and private ve... More

Christopher Sands

Senior Fellow
Hudson Institute

Christopher Sands is Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute and is based in Washington, DC. There, he directs the Initiative on North American Competitiveness and concentrates on regional economic integration and policy coordination. H... More

Christopher Sheeren

Partner
Huron Capital Partners LLC

Christopher Sheeren is a Partner at Huron Capital Partners. He is based in Detroit and is responsible for sourcing and evaluating investments made by Huron Capital, as well as the firm’s overall marketing and business developmen... More

Cindy Staffieri

CEO
Zenan Group of Companies

Cindy Staffieri is CEO of Zenan Custom Cresting and president of the Zenan Group of Companies, with sales of 30 million dollars in North America. Zenan Glass, based in Brampton, is the largest glassware decorator in Canada and o... More

Craig De Pratto

Vice President Finance
Freshii

Craig De Pratto is Vice President Finance at Freshii. Freshii opened its first store in Toronto in 2005, providing fresh and nutritious meal choices that energize people on the go – fiber-rich, slow-burning carbs, essential ... More

Cristina Falcone

Vice President of Public Affairs
UPS® Canada

Cristina Falcone is Vice President of Public Affairs for UPS Canada.  UPS is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and dep... More

Dan Ujczo

Counsel
Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dan Ujczo is counsel at Dickinson Wright PLLC, a leading law firm that provides full legal services on each side of the Canada-US border, with over 360 lawyers in offices located in Detroit, Troy, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Lansing,... More

David Fransen

Executive in Residence, Global Partnerships
Ontario Centres of Excellence

David Fransen is currently Executive in Residence, Global Partnerships, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). From 2008 to 2014, he was Canada’s Consul General in Los Angeles, serving as the country’s senior representat... More

Denis Stevens

Deputy Head of Mission
Canada’s Embassy to the USA

Denis Stevens has been Deputy Head of Mission at Canada’s Embassy to the United States of America, in Washington, DC, since September, 2013.  During his career with the Government of Canada, Denis has served variously as Execut... More

Didi Caldwell

Principal
Global Location Strategies

Didi Caldwell is Senior Principal of Global Location Strategies, based in Greenville, South Carolina. Global Location Strategies provides companies with advice on site selection, incentive negotiation and real estate acquisition, ... More

Don Hambly

President and CEO
Olon Industries

Don Hambly is President and CEO of Olon Industries, based in Georgetown, ON. Olon is one of the leading designers and manufacturers of drawer components, profile wrapped moldings, edge treatments and decorative laminate products f... More

Dr. Justin Miller

President
Nanowave Technologies Inc.

Dr. Justin Miller the President of Nanowave Technologies Inc., located in Toronto. Nanowave is a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced microwave, millimeter-wave and electro-optic components and sub-systems for custom desi... More

Ezer Mevorach

C.E.O.
Mevotech LP,

Ezer Mevorach is the C.E.O. of Mevotech LP, based in Toronto, Ontario.  Mevotech is a North American market leader in the design and manufacture of high quality steering and suspension aftermarket parts.  The company is known t... More

Frédéric Dugré

Co-Founder, President and CEO
H2O Innovation Inc.

Frédéric Dugré is Co-Founder, President and CEO of H2O Innovation Inc, founded in 2000 and headquartered in Quebec City. H2O Innovation specializes in the design, fabrication, commissioning and operation of water treatment plan... More

Harold Franks

Senior Finance Advisor
St. Regis Crystal

Harold Franks is Senior Finance Advisor at Markham, Ontario-based, St. Regis Crystal. St Regis Crystal is a supplier of crystal gifts and recognition products, each individually etched by highly skilled craftspeople. In 2012, it a... More

Howard Pezim

Co-founder and Managing Partner
Bedford

Howard Pezim is co-founder and Managing Partner of Bedford, Canada’s largest, independent executive search firm. In addition to executive search, Bedford offers a range of services, relating to critical business transformation a... More

Jacqueline Sava

Founder
Soak Wash Inc.

Jacqueline Sava is Founder and Director of Possibilities at Mississauga-based, Soak Wash Inc. The company’s primary product line of delicate detergents, also called Soak, is manufactured in Canada. These products are eco-friendl... More

Jason Sorens

Lecturer of Government
Dartmouth College

Jason Sorens is Lecturer of Government at Dartmouth College. His research has been published in more than a dozen peer-reviewed journals, including International Studies Quarterly, Regional Studies, Constitutional Political Econom... More

Jason Stoter

Founder and President
Vivere Ltd.

Jason Stoter is Founder and President of Vivere Ltd., which began in 2004 and is headquartered in Guelph, ON.  Vivere is an outdoor living company that sells hammocks, hammock chairs, stands and outdoor seating.  Vivere hammocks... More

Jennifer Carlson

Founder
Baby Gourmet Foods Inc.

Jennifer Carlson is founder of Calgary-based, Baby Gourmet Foods Inc. Baby Gourmet is a producer of organic-pouched, baby food. In 2014, the company hit $19 million in sales and expanded into the U.S., with national distribution i... More

Jim Webster

Vice President, Risk Management & Chief Compliance Officer
Roynat Capital

Jim Webster is Vice President, Risk Management & Chief Compliance Officer of Roynat Capital, a subsidiary of Scotiabank, and Canada’s leading private lender focussing exclusively on providing long term capital to mid market ... More

Joel Guberman

Chair and Founding Partner
Guberman Garson Segal

Joel Guberman is Chair and Founding Partner of Guberman Garson Segal LLP, a Toronto-based law firm that practices exclusively in the area of immigration law, primarily for the corporate, business and legal sectors. In August, 2014... More

John Leslie

Partner
Dickinson Wright LLP

John Leslie is a lawyer in the Toronto and Windsor offices of Dickinson Wright LLP. Dickinson Wright is a leading law firm that provides full legal services on each side of the Canada-US border, with over 360 lawyers in offices lo... More

John M. Weekes

Senior Business Advisor
Bennett Jones

John Weekes is a senior business advisor at Bennett Jones, based in Ottawa. Bennett Jones LLP is one of Canada’s premier business law firms with more than 380 lawyers and business advisors with offices in Calgary, Toronto, E... More

Joseph LaMotta

Senior Director, Fresh
Daymon Worldwide

Joseph LaMotta is Senior Director, Fresh, at Daymon Worldwide and is based at its corporate office in Stamford, Connecticut. Daymon is the global leader in consumables retailing, with expertise in private brand building, experien... More

Joy Nott

President
Canadian Importers and Exporters Association

Joy Nott is President of the Canadian Importers and Exporters Association (I.E.Canada). Joy brings over 25 years of experience in customs compliance to the I.E.Canada team. She started her career in Montreal and worked for over 10... More

Judy Bradt

CEO
Summit Insight LLC

Judy Bradt is CEO of Summit Insight LLC, a company that she founded in 2003 and that is based in Alexandria, VA. She serves as a strategic adviser on U.S. government business for established companies who want to win faster and sp... More

Justin Kramer

President and CEO
Talent Payment Services

Justin Kramer is President and CEO of Toronto-based, Talent Payment Services and Executive Vice President of its parent, The TEAM Companies, with offices in Los Angeles, Portland, Detroit, and New York. The TEAM Companies provide ... More

Kimberly Stevenson Chow

CFO and a Director
Labstat International ULC

Kimberly Stevenson Chow is CFO and a Director of Labstat International ULC, a mid-sized and privately held Contract Research Organization, based in Kitchener. Labstat is the largest, independent tobacco testing laboratory in the w... More

Laura Dawson

Director
Canada Institute at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Laura Dawson is Director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. The Canada Institute works to increase awareness and knowledge about Canada and U.S.-Canadian relations a... More

Laurel Walzak

Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer
Fitneff Inc.

Laurel Walzak is Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer of Fitneff Inc. She is based in Toronto. Fitneff manufactures the WalkTop™, a stylish, light, compact and adjustable treadmill desk, designed specifically to attach onto ... More

Lee Meagher

Founder and CEO
Scootaround Inc.

Lee Meagher is Founder and CEO of Scootaround Inc., and is based at the company head office, in Winnipeg, MB. Through over 1,500 North American locations, Scootaround provides personal transport rentals and sales to customers of a... More

Luc Fournier

Head of Sales, Global Trade and Receivables Finance, Business Banking
HSBC Bank Canada

Luc Fournier is the national Head of Sales, Global Trade and Receivables Finance, Business Banking at HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, and the leading international bank in Canada. HSBC provides the tools and e... More

Maria Severino

Partner
Collins Barrow Toronto LLP

Maria Severino is a tax partner at Collins Barrow Toronto LLP and has more than 20 years of extensive public practice experience. She advises private, public and multinational corporations across a wide range of industry sectors i... More

Mark Falbo

President
Mircom Group of Companies

Mark Falbo is President of Mircom Group of Companies, which is North America’s largest independent designer, manufacturer and distributor of Intelligent Building Solutions: Fire Detection & Alarm, Nurse Call, Communications ... More

Mark High

Member
Dickinson Wright PLLC

Mark High is a lawyer and Member in Dickinson Wright’s Detroit, Michigan office. Dickinson Wright is a leading law firm that provides full legal services on each side of the Canada-US border, with over 360 lawyers in offices... More

Matthew Wilson

Partner
Collins Barrow Toronto LLP

Matt Wilson is a partner in the US Tax Advisory practice of Collins Barrow Toronto LLP and has more than 20 years of US taxation experience. He has extensive experience with US corporate and commercial tax consulting, including M&... More

Mike Timani

President and CEO
Fancy Pokket Corporation

Mike Timani is President and CEO of Fancy Pokket Corporation in Moncton, NB. Fancy Pokket, employs 59 people in its 45,000 sq. ft. bakery and is the largest producer of pita bread, bagels, tortilla wraps and flatbread in Atlantic ... More

Nik Nanos

Chairman
Nanos Research Group of Companies

Nik Nanos is Chairman of Nanos Research Group of Companies, one of North America’s most trusted pollsters, and is regularly called upon by senior decision-makers to conduct research and provide strategic counsel. Recognized ... More

Paul Fransway

Member
Dickinson Wright PLLC

Paul Fransway is a lawyer and Member of the law firm, Dickinson Wright PLLC., working out of their Ann Arbor, Michigan office. Dickinson Wright is a leading law firm that provides full legal services on each side of the Canada-US ... More

Paul Miretta-Barone

VP & Head of Business Banking, Ontario
HSBC Bank Canada

Paul Miretta-Barone is the Vice President and Head of Business Banking, Ontario at HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, and the leading international bank in Canada. HSBC provides the tools and expertise that Canad... More

Peng-Sang Cau

President & CEO
Transformix Engineering Inc.

Peng-Sang Cau is President & CEO of Transformix Engineering Inc., in Kingston, ON. Transformix is a supplier of high-speed Continuous Motion machines for factory automation, efficiently capable of both high and low rates of ha... More

Peter Megoudis

Partner, Global Employer Services
Deloitte LLP

Peter Megoudis is a Partner with the Global Employer Services (GES) Group of Deloitte LLP in Toronto.  He has over 17 years of tax experience, and has been extensively involved in the field of Canadian and U.S. executive compensa... More

Rahul Sharma

Regional Head of Sales, Payments and Cash Management, Ontario
HSBC Bank Canada

Rahul Sharma is the Regional Head of Sales, Payments and Cash Management, Ontario at HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, and the leading international bank in Canada. HSBC provides the tools and expertise that Can... More

Rick Jamieson

President and CEO
ABS Friction

Rick Jamieson is the President and CEO or “Chief Energizing Officer” of ABS Friction, based in Guelph, ON. Producing “Brake Pads REALLY Made in Canada”, ABS Friction is an industry leader in the manufacture and testing of ... More

Roy Verstraete

CEO
Anchor Danly

Roy Verstraete is CEO of Anchor Danly, headquartered in Windsor, Ontario. Anchor Danly manufactures and distributes high quality die sets, components, steel plates, and metal fabrications used in the production of tools, dies, and... More

Ryan Murphy

President
Wade Antenna Inc.

Ryan Murphy is President and co-owner of Brantford, ON-based, Wade Antenna Inc. Wade Antenna specializes in commercial VHF/UHF cable television antennas for cable operators, offering solutions to minimize signal interference for t... More

Sami Aita

Chairman and CEO
Oilsteam Corporation

Sami Aita is Chairman and CEO of Oilsteam Corporation and is based in Toronto. OilSteam offers an affordable and environmentally conscious solution for enhanced oil recovery in small and medium-sized, shallow wells, above 3,000 fe... More

Shaun McKaigue

CEO
FER-PAL Infrastructure Ltd.

Shaun McKaigue is Chief Executive Officer of FER-PAL Infrastructure Ltd. Headquartered in Toronto, Fer-PAL offers complete water main rehabilitation solutions. It specializes in projects utilizing trenchless technologies of all ty... More

Stephen Callaghan

Regional Vice-President
Export Development Canada

Steve Callaghan is responsible for the leadership of Export Development Canada’s Commercial Markets and Small Business team in Ontario. EDC is Canada’s export credit agency, offering innovative commercial solutions to help Can... More

Stephen Granovsky

CEO & Principal
Grano Retail Holdings

Stephen Granovsky is the CEO and principal of Grano Retail Holdings, a firm he founded with partners Lawrence Pollack and Naomi Levinson, to acquire merchandising businesses with significant turnaround or growth opportunities.  S... More

Stuart Bergman

Assistant Chief Economist
Export Development Canada

Stuart Bergman is the Assistant Chief Economist and the Director of the Economic and Political Intelligence Centre at Export Development Canada. EDC is Canada’s export credit agency, offering innovative commercial solutions ... More

Susan Sanderson

Vice President
Jackman Reinvention

Susan Sanderson is a Vice President at Jackman Reinvention and lives in Cincinnati. She is also currently Interim DVP, Brand Experience at a Fortune 50 Retailer, driving an end-to-end reinvention of an iconic retail brand across m... More

Tom Creary

Managing Director
WestbridgeOne

Tom Creary is Managing Director of WestbridgeOne and is based in Montreal. WestbridgeOne provides strategic counsel and hands-on management of start-up activities in cross-border market entry for emerging Canadian technology-based... More

Tom Greenwood

President
Factum Partners

Tom Greenwood is President of Factum Partners, a business advisory firm based in Oakville, Ontario. Factum Partners offers hands-on solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises for market expansion into Canada, the USA, Mexico,... More

William F. Rogers

Managing Director and CEO
CCC Investment Banking

Bill Rogers is Managing Director, CEO, and majority shareholder of CCC Investment Banking, based in Toronto. CCC provides a full range of investment banking advisory services to privately held corporations, small to mid-cap public... More
Aaron Ames

Aaron Ames

Chief Financial Officer

FirstOnSite Restoration

Aaron Ames is Chief Financial Officer of FirstOnSite Restoration and works out of the national office in Mississauga. FirstOnSite is a leading disaster restoration company, providing remediation, restoration and reconstruction services for residential and commercial customers, across Canada.

In the U.S., FirstOnSite specializes in the commercial and ‘large loss’ restoration markets. Its U.S. headquarters, located in Hendersonville, TN, acts as a hub to support nationwide response efforts, calling on established relationships with networks of contractors, subcontractors and specialty responders, as situations demand.

Between the U.S. and Canada, the company has over 1,100 employees, 40+ locations, and 20 affiliate partners.

Aaron has over 20 years of experience in various senior finance positions in multiple industries. Previous CFO roles included at Cookie Jar Entertainment; two TSX-listed companies – Coretec Inc. and Centenario Copper; and Atlas Cold Storage. He began his career at Ernst & Young, where he focused on the automotive and aerospace industries. In the firm’s national office, he also worked on IPOs in the United States, implementing new accounting standards, and reviewing financial statements and SEC and TSX filings.

Aaron received his Master of Accountancy from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio in 1993 and is a CPA, CA.

Speaking session

The Taxmen Cometh: Watch out!

Web site:

www.firstonsite.ca

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Aaron Rotenberg

Aaron Rotenberg

Owner

Nutri-Health Corporation

Aaron Rotenberg is the owner of Nutri-Health Corporation and is based in Toronto. Nutri-Health specializes in all natural, non-GMO foods for service hospitals, retirement homes, schools, restaurants and the grocery market. The company is committed to offering gluten-free, healthy foods that are made with simple and delicious ingredients, with no artificial flavours or artificial preservatives, hydrogenated oils, or high fructose corn syrup. A significant amount of its products, baked in Canada, are exported to the United States.

Aaron has diversified holdings in North America, Africa and the Middle East. In addition to Nutri-Health, he is also currently focusing on Gobana International, an Ethiopian-based commodities trading and processing firm, which specializes in coffee, rice, cereals and oil seeds and caters to customers in North America, the Middle East, and Asia.

Aaron was educated in Canada and earned his MBA in the United States.

Speaking session:

Selling through retail: Choosing the right strategy.

Website:

www.nutri-health.ca

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Adam Breslin

Adam Breslin

Partner

Penfund

Adam Breslin is a Partner at Toronto-based, Penfund, Canada’s oldest independent private equity firm. Penfund provides junior capital to mid-market companies throughout North America, including through mezzanine debt, preferred equity, common equity and convertible securities. It can acquire companies through a buyout or provide capital to finance strategic acquisitions, organic growth, shareholder liquidity and recapitalizations. Its investments range from $10 to $90 million per transaction the current focus is on the following industries: non-hazardous solid waste, post-secondary education, restaurants, industrial distribution, food processing, and transportation and logistics. Penfund’s investee companies typically generate annual EBITDA of at least $5 million and annual revenue of at least $40 million. It seeks companies that have clearly defined, focused business strategies; competent, in-place management teams; and entrenched market positions; are operating in stable markets and generating superior returns on capital; and have high and stable free cash flow.

Adam has 20 years of experience as a strategy consultant, investor and entrepreneur. He began his career as a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, where he provided strategic and operational consulting to Fortune 1000 companies. He later joined Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., where he was an equity analyst covering the media and publishing sectors. He then served as CEO of Excentia, a venture-capital backed e-learning and corporate training company that he co-founded. Immediately prior to joining Penfund, Adam was an investment professional at Imperial Capital, a mid-market oriented private equity fund.

Adam has a B.A. from McGill University and an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School.

 

Speaking session:

Looking for private equity: Is now the time?

 

Website:

penfund.com

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Alison Nankivell

Alison Nankivell

VP, Co-investment and Govt Initiatives

BDC Capital

Alison Nankivell is Vice President, Co-investment and Government Initiatives, BDC Capital. A financial institution owned by the Government of Canada, BDC supports over 30,000 small and medium-sized enterprises across the country, complementing services available from private-sector financial institutions. Its subsidiary, BDC Capital, also offers a full spectrum of specialized financing, including venture capital, equity, as well as growth and business transition capital.

Alison leads BDC Capital’s efforts as the key execution agent for the Government of Canada’s Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP) and oversees other government initiatives. She also manages the development of BDC Capital’s fund co-investment and private equity framework, as well as BDC Capital’s Diversified Portfolio and GO Capital teams.

Alison has over 20 years of corporate financing and investment experience in Canada and Asia. Most recently, she served as BDC Capital’s Vice President, Venture Capital Action Plan. Before joining BDC, she was Director, Funds Asia with Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investment arm of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Prior to this, she was Head of Funds at Export Development Canada (EDC), where over a seven year period she built out the Canadian and Asian private equity and venture capital fund investment platform for EDC’s Investments Team. During her 15-year tenure with EDC, Alison served in a number of financing and investment roles and spent seven years over two postings based in Beijing, first as Chief Representative for Greater China, and then as Principal and Head of Asia Fund Investments.

Alison lived in Beijing and Hong Kong from 1990 to 1995, where she served as a China economic analyst and editor for the Economist Intelligence Unit. Fluent in Mandarin, she has also served as an independent economist undertaking consulting work for the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Development Program and CIDA in both Beijing and Ottawa.

Alison holds a BA from the University of Toronto a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Speaking session:

Looking for private equity: Is now the time?

Website:

http://www.bdc.ca/EN/bdc-capital/Pages/default.aspx

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Andrew Shoyer

Andrew Shoyer

Partner

Sidley Austin LLP

Andrew Shoyer is a Partner at the law firm Sidley Austin LLP and is based in Washington, DC. Sidley has a broad transactional practice. Major practice disciplines include corporate and securities, mergers and acquisitions, securitization, intellectual property, funds and other pooled investments, bankruptcy and corporate reorganization, bank and commercial lending, public finance, real estate, project finance, tax and employee benefits, as well as trusts and estates. The firm has U.S. offices in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Overseas, it has offices in Beijing, Brussels, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo.

Andy co-leads the firm’s international trade practice and focuses on the implementation and enforcement of international trade and investment agreements. He also advises companies on compliance with sanctions administered by U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Drawing on his experience at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and with the World Trade Organization (WTO), Andy advises companies, trade associations and governments on the use of WTO, NAFTA and other treaty-based trade and investment rules to open markets and resolve disputes. He works extensively with manufacturers and service providers on WTO compliance in Asia, and on protection of intellectual property in bilateral and regional free trade negotiations.

Andy spent seven years at USTR, serving most recently as Legal Advisor in the U.S. Mission to the WTO in Geneva. He was the principal negotiator for the United States of the rules implementing the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding, and has briefed and argued numerous WTO cases before dispute settlement panels and the WTO Appellate Body. Prior to his arrival in Geneva, Andy was Assistant General Counsel at USTR in Washington, D.C., where he served as principal legal counsel in the negotiation of the market access rules of the NAFTA, as well as the framework agreements with various Latin American countries. He also worked on numerous trade policy issues with Congress and the economic agencies of the Executive Branch.

Andy is an adjunct professor in international trade and investment policy at the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University.

He holds a BA, Economics from University of Pennsylvania, a JD, Law from Georgetown University Law Center, and a Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) in International economic policy from Georgetown University.

 

Speaking session:

More free trade deals ahead? Challenges and opportunities for Canadian SMEs in the US.

Website:

www.sidley.com

 

 

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Bernadeen McLeod

Bernadeen McLeod

President and Founder

Mentor Works Ltd.

Bernadeen McLeod is the Founder and Owner of Mentor Works Ltd. She operates her business and executive mentor practice from Cambridge, Ontario with clients across Canada. Bernadeen worked in the corporate arena for 18 years as an executive and general manager in the manufacturing sector. With considerable expertise in government funding, both on a federal and provincial level, Bernadeen has secured grant funding as well as low interest loans for SME owners in Southern Ontario. She says she likes to play to win, and understands the importance of cash flow and margins. She seeks to enable her clients to succeed through her passionate belief that there are no boundaries or limits to what can be achieved.

Speaking session:

Ramping up for exports: How will you finance the growth?

Website:

www.mentorworks.ca

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Bill Truffen

Bill Truffen

Asst VP and Team Lead, Business Banking, GTA West

HSBC Bank Canada

Bill Truffen is the Assistant Vice President and Team Lead, Business Banking, Greater Toronto Area West at HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, and the leading international bank in Canada. HSBC provides the tools and expertise that Canadian businesses need to grow in the U.S and beyond.

Bill spent the last 25 years in the Banking industry in various roles including commercial and retail banking, as well as various strategy roles at the national level. Bill has been with HSBC since 2011 and now leads a team of commercial experts that provide banking and trade solutions to their clients.

 

Speaking session:

Managing the day-to-day financial operations of your US subsidiary.

Website:

www.hsbc.ca

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Brock Philp

Brock Philp

President and CEO

Doc-IT Software

Brock Philp is the President and CEO of Markham-based, Doc-IT Software. Doc-IT is a leading provider of Document Management and Workflow software to accounting firms in Canada and the United States. In 2012, Brock partnered with the National Equity Group of Roynat Capital to acquire Doc-IT.

In the three years since the acquisition Doc-It has increased U.S. sales from 30% of revenue to over 85% this past fiscal year. Success in the US marketplace was a key part of the Investment thesis he submitted to Roynat, when raising the funds for the purchase.

Prior to joining Doc-IT, Brock was President, Public Sector, at Irondata Solutions, Inc. There, he was responsible for all software solutions and services to federal, state and local agencies, including sales, implementation, and development. Prior to that, he was President and CEO of Versa Systems, a leading provider of licensing and regulation software to state and federal agencies in the United States; CEO of Jonas Software where he grew US sales via organic growth and acquisition; and a VP Business Development of the telecom practice of CGI.

Brock has an MBA from University of Toronto; a Bachelor of Administrative Studies from York University; and a Business Administration Diploma from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology.

Speaking session:

Looking for private equity: Is now the time?

Website:

www.doc-it.com

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Bruce Bailey

Bruce Bailey

Vice President, Finance

Alcohol Countermeasure Systems Corp.

Bruce Bailey is Vice President, Finance at Alcohol Countermeasure Systems Corp. Alcohol Countermeasure Systems, based in Toronto, is a global leader in alcohol testing solutions. ACS designs and manufactures innovative technology, such as the ALCOLOCK(tm) V3 alcohol interlock, to prevent drinking and driving. Using an ACS product, a vehicle operator can be required to provide a successful breath test before a vehicle engine can be started. Options include random running retests, service reminders and violation resets in cases of non-compliance. ACS provides not only measurement devices, but also an array of data reporting services. ACS’s product line serves automotive, law enforcement, industrial, public and personal safety markets.  Bruce is responsible for the financial, business information systems, and operational requirements of the ACS global group of companies.

Bruce has worked across many industries, including manufacturing and distribution, hi-tech, construction, real estate, design, and architecture, in both domestic and international markets. He has particular expertise in merger and acquisition integration, financing, cash and debt management, foreign exchange, ERP conversions and integration, multi-site and multi-company reporting including IFRS, private and public company exposure, and enterprise risk management.

Bruce is Chair of the Board of 360ºkids, an organization that helps isolated and vulnerable children, youth and families to overcome adversity and crisis and to move to a state of safety, stability and well-being.

Bruce is a graduate of University of Toronto and is a CPA.

Speaking session:

Ramping up for exports: How will you finance the growth?

Website:

acs-corp.com

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Charles Wachsberg

Charles Wachsberg

President and CEO

Apollo Health and Beauty Care

Charles Wachsberg is the founder, President and CEO of Apollo Health and Beauty Care (Apollo), a premium developer of private label health and beauty care products offering complete product categories designed to compete equivalently with the most popular national brands.  As the largest private label and control label personal care manufacturer in Canada, Apollo manufactures products for major retailers in addition to contract manufacturing for many reputable national brand companies and marketing houses.

Established in 1991, Apollo is located in a state-of-the-art facility in the City of Toronto and currently employs approximately 500 people. Charles has governed Apollo’s exponential growth as North America’s innovation and creative manufacturing leader in personal care, championing oversight of sales and client relations functions within the organization. Throughout its 22-year history, Apollo’s positioning has progressively strengthened and evolved, with change in the marketplace, consequently establishing itself a market leader that has resulted in 12 consecutive years as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies.

A strong culture of teamwork, exceptional client service, and dedication to quality have been the hallmark of Charles’ penchant to position Apollo separate from its competition, with consumers enjoying Apollo’s products in fifteen countries on four separate continents. Superior product development and service have led to multiple awards across skin, bath and body care categories including the coveted Category Colonel for North America.

Charles holds a degree in Microbiology and Business Administration from the University of Toronto.

Speaking session:

Closing panel of champions: How two Canadian SMEs succeeded in very different ways.

Website:

www.apollocorp.com

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Chris Wiegand

Chris Wiegand

CEO

Jibestream

Chris Wiegand, based in Toronto, is CEO and co-founder of Jibestream. Founded in 2009, Jibestream has been pioneering solutions that enhance navigation and deliver real-time information messaging in busy public hubs and private venues, including health care facilities, shopping malls and corporate campuses. The venues it serves are also able to exploit sophisticated capabilities, including real-time marketing, messaging and data mining. Its platforms introduce innovative new mapping, directory and customer-service engagement strategies and solutions.

Jibestream has sold its solutions to various departments of the U.S government, including for facilities at the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs.

Chris is a long-time entrepreneur, with a proven track record of success in both business growth and business transformation.

Chris is also Chair of the Marketing Program Advisory Committee at Centennial College.

 

 

Speaking session:

Selling to the US government: Your next big win?

Website:

www.jibestream.com

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Christopher Sands

Christopher Sands

Senior Fellow

Hudson Institute

Christopher Sands is Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute and is based in Washington, DC. There, he directs the Initiative on North American Competitiveness and concentrates on regional economic integration and policy coordination. Hudson Institute is an independent research organization promoting new ideas for the advancement of global security, prosperity and freedom.

Christopher is also Senior Research Professor and Director of the Center for Canadian Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and the G. Robert Ross Distinguished Professor of Canada-U.S. Business and Economic Relations at Western Washington University. He has taught at the American University School of Public Affairs, and has lectured at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State and for the US Department of Homeland Security.

Christopher currently serves as treasurer and a member of the executive committee for the Canadian Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. He is a member of the research advisory board of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute in Ottawa, and a member of the advisory board of the Canada-United States Law Institute jointly established by the law schools of Case Western Reserve University and the University of Western Ontario. He is a fellow of the Border Policy Research Institute in Bellingham, Washington and of the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas. He is also a member of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States.

Christopher has been interviewed by NBC, CNN, CNN International, Fox News Channel, NPR, the BBC, and Canadian networks: CBC, CTV, Report on Business Television, and Global television news. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, and Canadian publications Maclean’s magazine, the Globe and Mail, and the National Post. He has written extensively on policy conflict and coordination related to manufacturing, the automotive industry, energy, labor markets, regulation and border security.

Christopher holds a B.A. in political science from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Canadian studies and international economics from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University. In 1999-2000, Christopher was a Fulbright Scholar and visiting fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Speaking session:

US trade and investment: 10 things to watch for over the next two years

Website:

www.hudson.org

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Christopher Sheeren

Christopher Sheeren

Partner

Huron Capital Partners LLC

Christopher Sheeren is a Partner at Huron Capital Partners. He is based in Detroit and is responsible for sourcing and evaluating investments made by Huron Capital, as well as the firm’s overall marketing and business development activities. Huron, with offices in Detroit and Toronto, is an operationally-focused private equity firm, investing in lower middle-market companies. For more than two decades, the firm’s partners have worked closely with strong operating executives in helping niche companies reach their full potential.  Founded in 1999, Huron has raised over $1.1 billion in committed equity capital dedicated to this market. Its primary types of transactions include recapitalizations, management buyouts, family successions, executive-backed industry market-entry strategies, and corporate carve-outs with transaction values up to $200 million. The firm’s strategy is to combine an operational approach, committed capital and transaction experience, with proven operating executives, who have the vision, expertise and commitment to successfully grow their businesses. Huron’s Canadian portfolio has included Labstat International in Kitchener, Olon Industries in Georgetown, Artissimo Designs in Montreal, and OE Quality Friction in Mississauga.

Chris’s experience includes serving as a financial advisor for middle market businesses in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Prior to Huron, he was with Conway MacKenzie, a crisis-management and turnaround consulting firm. He gained extensive experience guiding clients through various bankruptcy and out-of-court workout situations, serving as interim CFO, controller or financial advisor. Prior to Conway, Chris was with PricewaterhouseCoopers as an audit manager and Revlon as a sales professional.

Chris has served as a Director for numerous Huron portfolio companies, including Maple Leaf Automotive (OEQF) and Apex Laboratories International. He is also a Board Member for Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit.

Chris has a B.A. from the University of Nebraska and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. He is a registered CPA.

 

Speaking session:

Looking for private equity: Is now the time?

Website:

www.huroncapital.com

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Cindy Staffieri

Cindy Staffieri

CEO

Zenan Group of Companies

Cindy Staffieri is CEO of Zenan Custom Cresting and president of the Zenan Group of Companies, with sales of 30 million dollars in North America. Zenan Glass, based in Brampton, is the largest glassware decorator in Canada and one of the top five in North America. Zenan Glass brands millions of glasses per year in its Toronto facility, which specializes in beer glasses, liquor glasses, wine glasses and glassware accessories for the food and beverage industry.  In operation since 1990, Zenan has been featured by Profit as one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies for four consecutive years. Its subsidiary, Zenan USA, operates two plants south of the border – one near Rochester, NY and the other, in Ohio state, near Pittsburgh.

Prior to joining Zenan in 2002, Cindy was the National Sales and Marketing manager for Browne and Company, in Markham, Ontario, a distributor of kitchenware products for the retail and food service sectors.

 

Speaking session:

Thinking of setting up a U.S presence? Canadian SMEs share their experience.

Website:

www.zenan.ca

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Craig De Pratto

Craig De Pratto

Vice President Finance

Freshii

Craig De Pratto is Vice President Finance at Freshii. Freshii opened its first store in Toronto in 2005, providing fresh and nutritious meal choices that energize people on the go – fiber-rich, slow-burning carbs, essential fats and lean proteins. The menu includes custom-made green wraps, salads, quinoa bowls, and fresh pressed juices. The company was named “2013’s Top Franchise of the Year in Canada.” The chain has been expanding at an average of over two new stores a week and now has over 100 stores and locations in over 60 cities and 12 countries worldwide.  Freshii also has an office in Chicago.

Prior to joining Freshii, Craig was Vice President, Finance and Administration at Freeze-Dry Foods Limited. He began his accounting career at BDO Canada.

Craig earned his BAcc at Brock University. He is a CPA/CA in Ontario.

Speaking session:
The Taxmen Cometh: Watch out!

Website:

www.freshii.com

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Cristina Falcone

Cristina Falcone

Vice President of Public Affairs

UPS® Canada

Cristina Falcone is Vice President of Public Affairs for UPS Canada.  UPS is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business.

During her fourteen year tenure at UPS, Cristina has held several management roles in the areas of Product Management, Customer Loyalty and Public Relations. In her current role, she works actively with governing bodies to enable global trade opportunities for Canadian businesses, particularly on solutions that help to reduce friction at the North American border.

Cristina serves on the board of the Canadian Courier and Logistics Association (CCLA), which represents a broad-based membership of time-sensitive delivery and logistics services providers operating in Canada. She also serves on the board of the Canadian American Business Council, which is dedicated to elevating the private sector perspective on issues that affect Canada and the United States.

Cristina leads UPS’s Women’s Leadership Development Committee, including mentorship of candidates for development into future leadership roles.

Cristina earned her BA from York University.

Speaking session:
Moving goods across the border: Will it get better or worse?

Website:

www.ups.com

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Dan Ujczo

Dan Ujczo

Counsel

Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dan Ujczo is counsel at Dickinson Wright PLLC, a leading law firm that provides full legal services on each side of the Canada-US border, with over 360 lawyers in offices located in Detroit, Troy, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Saginaw, Mich.; Columbus, Ohio; Las Vegas, Nev.; Nashville, Tenn.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Washington, D.C. Dickinson Wright LLP has nearly 40 lawyers in Toronto and Windsor, Ontario.

Dan is an international trade and customs lawyer who specializes in Canada-United States matters. He regularly assists businesses that are entering and navigating cross-border markets on issues such as customs and regulatory compliance, corporate structuring, business immigration, intellectual property protection, and financial incentives. Dan also provides public policy counsel to government officials and industry leaders on matters relating to Canada-US regulatory cooperation, border security and management, trade and investment attraction initiatives, government procurement, and public-private-partnerships.

A US-trained lawyer, Dan previously served as an officer in the Canadian government where he was responsible for coordinating a network of government departments and Canada-US industry associations toward improving North America’s borders and ports-of-entry. Dan also served as a liaison between government officials in Canada and the US, as well as routinely assisted companies in dealings with Canada-US regulatory agencies.

Dan additionally served as the Managing Director of the Canada-United States Law Institute, an organization of cross-border corporate leaders, law firms, public policy experts and the media. Dan was a member of the visiting law faculty at Case Western Reserve University (2004-11) where he taught Canada-United States Legal Relations as well as a program operated in partnership with the US Department of Homeland Security/United States Coast Guard. Dan was the co-faculty advisor to the Canada-United States Law Journal and the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law.

Dan’s prior US litigation experience includes labor and employment defense, civil rights, products liability, and criminal matters. Dan served as a Senior Judicial Law Clerk to United States District Judge Peter C. Economus (OHND) for more than five years where he participated in federal criminal and civil litigation, including performing by designation in cases pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Dan did his undergraduate studies at Ohio State University and received his J.D at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Professional Involvement

  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Columbus Bar Association
  • Vice-President, Henry T. King, Jr. Greater Cleveland International Lawyers Group
  • Association of Ohio Commodores

 

Speaking session:

Agents and distribution partners: What does it take to up your game?

Website:

www.dickinson-wright.com

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David Fransen

David Fransen

Executive in Residence, Global Partnerships

Ontario Centres of Excellence

David Fransen is currently Executive in Residence, Global Partnerships, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). From 2008 to 2014, he was Canada’s Consul General in Los Angeles, serving as the country’s senior representative in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.

OCE co-invests with private companies to commercialize innovation originating in the province’s publicly funded colleges, universities and research hospitals. It also supports and invests in early-stage projects, where the probability of commercial success and potential total return on innovation are substantial, focusing on energy and environment (including water); advanced manufacturing; advanced health technologies; and information, communications technologies and digital media. David leads OCE’s efforts to forge stronger partnerships in Canada and around the world. He is also working to bring Ontario companies and academic institutions together to take advantage of collaborative global opportunities.

David is also Chair of the Waterloo Innovation Summit at the University of Waterloo. He is a past Executive Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing and Associate Vice-President (Strategic Relations) at the university.

David initially joined the Canadian public service at the Department of Finance. He later worked in the Privy Council Office, providing policy advice related to such developments as the Green Plan in 1990, the drafting of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the creation of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and the creation of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. From there, he moved to Industry Canada, as the Director of Economic Framework Policies in the Strategic Policy Branch, and then went on to become the Director General of the Office of Consumer Affairs. David next became the Director General of the Centre for Healthy Human Development at Health Canada, returning to Industry Canada as Associate Assistant Deputy Minister in the Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunication Sector. David then became Assistant Deputy Minister of the Industry Sector, where he was primarily responsible for providing policy advice and delivering programs related to some of Canada’s key economic sectors, eg. automotive, aerospace, life sciences, steel, and forestry. David later became Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy at Industry Canada, as well as the Director of Investment Canada.

David was also a member of the founding Board of Governors of the Council of Canadian Academies, a member of the Board of Directors of the Standards Council of Canada, and the Secretary of the Minister’s Expert Panel on Commercialization.

David received his Bachelor of Theology degree from Canadian Mennonite Bible College. At the University of Waterloo, he obtained an Honours BA and an MA. David then obtained his PhD in History at the University of Toronto.

Speaking session:

Regions rule: How regions dance to their own tune and state governments do odd things.

Website:

www.oce-ontario.org

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Denis Stevens

Denis Stevens

Deputy Head of Mission

Canada’s Embassy to the USA

Denis Stevens has been Deputy Head of Mission at Canada’s Embassy to the United States of America, in Washington, DC, since September, 2013.  During his career with the Government of Canada, Denis has served variously as Executive Director of the National Parole Board; Director of Operations at the Privy Council Office, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; Consul General in Seattle.

He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government with great honours from Harvard University, and a law degree and Master of Business Administration from McGill University.

A native of Montréal, Denis is married to Genevieve Chanteloup, and they have two daughters.

Speaking session:

US trade and investment: Key things to watch for over the next few years.

 

Website:

http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/ci-ci/index.aspx?lang=eng

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Didi Caldwell

Didi Caldwell

Principal

Global Location Strategies

Didi Caldwell is Senior Principal of Global Location Strategies, based in Greenville, South Carolina. Global Location Strategies provides companies with advice on site selection, incentive negotiation and real estate acquisition, across North America and around the globe.

Now in her second decade of consulting in the site selection, incentive negotiations and capital financing arenas, Didi has led consulting projects in both the United States and Canada, as well as in South America, Europe and Asia, in industries including energy, automotive, pulp and paper, chemicals, mining, textiles, logistics, consumer products and biotech. She has assisted numerous companies with site selection, incentive negotiations and capital finance with a total investment value of over $15 billion.

Didi is on the Board of Directors of The Site Selectors Guild, of which she is a member.

Didi has a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Clemson University and an International M.B.A. from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. She is a native of Savannah, Georgia, and has also lived in Argentina, Australia, Mexico and Spain.

 

Speaking sessions:

Regions rule: How regions dance to their own tune and state governments do odd things.

Thinking of setting up a U.S presence? Canadian SMEs share their experience.

 

Website:

http://www.globallocationstrategies.com

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Don Hambly

Don Hambly

President and CEO

Olon Industries

Don Hambly is President and CEO of Olon Industries, based in Georgetown, ON. Olon is one of the leading designers and manufacturers of drawer components, profile wrapped moldings, edge treatments and decorative laminate products for the North American furniture, residential remodeling and cabinet-making industries. With Canadian and US-based manufacturing facilities in Georgetown, Ontario; Washington and Jeffersonville, Indiana; and Geneva, Illinois, the Company sells its products primarily to Canadian and United States office furniture and cabinetry OEMs, wholesalers and distributors.

Don joined Olon in 2008 as President and COO, before becoming CEO in 2009.  During this time, he has successfully guided the building products company through a devastating recession, divested a core product line, acquired a competitor, consolidated & closed two plants and expanded heavily into the United States.

Prior to Olon, Don worked for six years as the President of AO Smith Canada and GSW Water Heating, based in Fergus, Ontario, where he led a team of over 500 employees and doubled revenue.

After completing his MBA from the University of Western Ontario in 1992, Don joined Ernst & Young’s consulting practice in London, Ontario.  Over the course of 10 years, he became a Partner at E&Y and ultimately became responsible for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young’s Canadian supply chain practice across four offices with 70 people.

Don also earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering and held several increasingly senior positions with General Motors over a seven year period.

 

Speaking session:

People are key: Putting the right teams in place.

Website:

www.olon.ca

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Dr. Justin Miller

Dr. Justin Miller

President

Nanowave Technologies Inc.

Dr. Justin Miller the President of Nanowave Technologies Inc., located in Toronto. Nanowave is a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced microwave, millimeter-wave and electro-optic components and sub-systems for custom designed tele-communication and radar systems. Serving the leading suppliers for the aerospace, avionics, defense and communication markets, its products are found in the world’s most advanced airliners, business jets, helicopters, and military aircraft, as well as in electronic warfare and terrestrial radar and communications systems.

Prior to joining Nanowave, Dr. Miller was Vice President of Engineering at Lucas Aerospace Microelectronics Division and earlier, Vice President of Engineering at M/A-COM MA Electronics.

Dr. Miller holds a Masters degree in Physics and Ph.D. in Electronics.

 

Speaking session:

Ramping up for exports: How will you finance the growth?

Website:

www.nanowavetech.com

 

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Ezer Mevorach

Ezer Mevorach

C.E.O.

Mevotech LP,

Ezer Mevorach is the C.E.O. of Mevotech LP, based in Toronto, Ontario.  Mevotech is a North American market leader in the design and manufacture of high quality steering and suspension aftermarket parts.  The company is known throughout the industry for its engineering excellence and innovative, first-to-market product solutions which improve upon OE replacement parts.

Ezer has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University.  He has built his career, and the company, on the principles of innovation, collaboration and a focus on continuous improvement.  This philosophy has allowed the company to successfully compete in the US, which has now become its largest market.

Ezer co-founded the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) Young Executive Society (YES) in 2003 and received the AIA’s Distinguished Service Award in 2014.  He is actively involved with the AIA and has served on various committees throughout his many years with the Association.

In recognition of his visionary leadership, Ezer was selected by Ernst & Young to be a Finalist for their Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2012.

Speaking session:

Opening keynote session: Major differences between doing business in Canada and the USA – Things that can really trip you up.

 

Website:

www.mevotech.com

 

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Frédéric Dugré

Frédéric Dugré

Co-Founder, President and CEO

H2O Innovation Inc.

Frédéric Dugré is Co-Founder, President and CEO of H2O Innovation Inc, founded in 2000 and headquartered in Quebec City. H2O Innovation specializes in the design, fabrication, commissioning and operation of water treatment plants using membrane filtration technologies.  It has more than 600 water plants installed in North America and its speciality products are distributed in more than 40 countries. The company has a total of 170 employees among its plants and regional offices in the U.S. and Canada, including those in Minneapolis and San Diego. The company is publicly listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Frédéric has more than 20 years of experience in the management, financing and business development of publicly traded companies. His expertise in financing and marketing of clean technologies and his passion for the water treatment industry were instrumental for H2O Innovation’s growth.

Frédéric earned his Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from Laval University in Quebec City. He has served as a board member of the Canadian Sciences & Technologies Museum in Ottawa. He is also a business advisor for entrepreneurship and innovation, through the crowd-funding platform, “Ruche Québec”.

 

Speaking session:

The cultural divide: How business is conducted from such very different perspectives.

Website:

www.h2oinnovation.com

 

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Harold Franks

Harold Franks

Senior Finance Advisor

St. Regis Crystal

Harold Franks is Senior Finance Advisor at Markham, Ontario-based, St. Regis Crystal. St Regis Crystal is a supplier of crystal gifts and recognition products, each individually etched by highly skilled craftspeople. In 2012, it acquired Chicago-based, R.S. Owens & Company, a manufacturer of upscale awards, including Oscar statuettes and awards for the Emmys and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Harold is responsible for acquisitions and financing, with a focus on cross-border expansions and acquisitions.  He joined the firm in 2011, after serving it for several years in private practice.

Over his 30+ year career, Harold has advised mid-size companies operating in Canada and the U.S., providing audit, income tax planning, and financial advisory services.  In addition to his work in private practice, he has held senior finance roles in many industries, including commercial real estate, manufacturing, distribution and services.

Harold serves as a Director & Treasurer for a non-profit organization. He is a CA and member of the Chartered Accountants of Ontario.

 

Speaking session:

Managing the day-to-day financial operations of your US subsidiary.

 

Website:

http://www.stregiscrystal.com

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Howard Pezim

Howard Pezim

Co-founder and Managing Partner

Bedford

Howard Pezim is co-founder and Managing Partner of Bedford, Canada’s largest, independent executive search firm. In addition to executive search, Bedford offers a range of services, relating to critical business transformation and effectiveness, benchmarking, executive compensation, coaching, and organizational and team diagnostic needs. Bedford is the Toronto partner of TranSearch International, which has 59 offices worldwide, including in Houston, San Francisco, and Chicago. Twice in the past five years, Bedford has been named Global Office of the Year, based on client satisfaction, innovation and revenue growth.

Howard’s particular areas of specialization include Life Sciences, Retail, Consumer Products, and Financial Services. His current customer base includes a composite of multinational and privately held organizations and he has completed a broad range of C-Level assignments for those clients.

Prior to founding Bedford, Howard served in a regional management capacity with a service corporation.

 

Speaking session:

People are key: Putting the right teams in place.

Website:

bedfordgroup.com

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Jacqueline Sava

Jacqueline Sava

Founder

Soak Wash Inc.

Jacqueline Sava is Founder and Director of Possibilities at Mississauga-based, Soak Wash Inc. The company’s primary product line of delicate detergents, also called Soak, is manufactured in Canada. These products are eco-friendly and require no rinsing. They offer a “modern care solution for the laundry you love”, including cashmere sweaters, lacy lingerie, quilts, workout clothes and delicate fabrics.  Soak is currently distributed primarily through lingerie, apparel and craft stores and online. In addition to Canada and the U.S., it is also sold in Europe, Japan and Australia. The company also has a second range of products for fiber care.

Sava has pursued many entrepreneurial ventures from product development consulting (for which she holds Canadian and U.S. patents) to designing knit accessories. One of her recent designs was the winner of the 2015 Business Innovation Award from the U.S.-based, ‘National Needle Arts Association’.

Jacqueline also teaches design strategy at George Brown College and lectures on business development.

Jacqueline has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design, as well as an MBA from York University – Schulich School of Business.

 

Speaking session:

Moving goods across the border: Will it get better or worse?

Website

https://www.soakwash.com

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Jason Sorens

Jason Sorens

Lecturer of Government

Dartmouth College

Jason Sorens is Lecturer of Government at Dartmouth College. His research has been published in more than a dozen peer-reviewed journals, including International Studies Quarterly, Regional Studies, Constitutional Political Economy, and State Politics and Policy Quarterly.

Jason’s work on regulation across the U.S. shows how states vary significantly in their labor, insurance, occupational, land use, and competition rules, and how states with better policies see more economic growth and migration.

Jason has worked on fiscal federalism across the OECD and on state and local economic policy in the U.S. Along with William Ruger, he is author of Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom, a biennial, book-length publication. The fourth edition of Freedom in the 50 States will be published by the Cato Institute in fall 2015.

Jason received his PhD in political science from Yale University and BA in economics and philosophy from Washington and Lee University.

 

Speaking session:

Regions rule: How regions dance to their own tune and state governments do odd things.

Website:

dartmouth.edu

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Jason Stoter

Jason Stoter

Founder and President

Vivere Ltd.

Jason Stoter is Founder and President of Vivere Ltd., which began in 2004 and is headquartered in Guelph, ON.  Vivere is an outdoor living company that sells hammocks, hammock chairs, stands and outdoor seating.  Vivere hammocks are found in over 20 countries, in line with its vision of “relaxing the world”.  The company currently manufacturers in China and sources materials from the USA and Taiwan.  Vivere has distribution facilities in southwestern Ontario, Buffalo, NY and Born, Netherlands.  It was ranked 27th in the 2014 Profit 500 list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies.

Jason has more than 15 years of experience managing an import/export business and has a passion for marketing and strategic development.  He enjoys helping people live a balanced lifestyle that involves the right amount of rest and relaxation.  He is actively engaged with many NGOs and more recently has been helping to raise seed funding for Matt Dickson, founder of www.eggpreneur.com, a brand new development in Kenya, aiming to tackle child malnutrition and extreme poverty through Women Eggpreneurs.

Jason earned his Bachelor of Science degree and an MBA in agribusiness from the University of Guelph.  He is actively involved in the Southwestern Ontario Chapter of the Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO).  He enjoys spending time with his family, playing soccer and working on his farm.

Speaking session:

Selling through retail: Choosing the right strategy.

Website:

www.vivereltd.com

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Jennifer Carlson

Jennifer Carlson

Founder

Baby Gourmet Foods Inc.

Jennifer Carlson is founder of Calgary-based, Baby Gourmet Foods Inc. Baby Gourmet is a producer of organic-pouched, baby food. In 2014, the company hit $19 million in sales and expanded into the U.S., with national distribution in Safeway and Target stores. Today, across Canada, its products are available in most banners that sell baby food, with 25% market share in the baby food category, doubling sales for the third year in a row.

Jen began her business at the Calgary Farmer’s Market in 2006, but by 2011, had secured distribution through Walmart Canada and operations were scaled nationally.

Jen is ranked 7 on the 2015 PROFIT/Chatelaine W100, a list celebrating Canada’s Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs. In 2014, she received the Women of Influence Trailblazer award. In 2012, Jen was named to Avenue Magazine’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’ list, honouring exceptional people active in the Calgary business community. She was the 2012 recipient of the Star Women in Grocery award, receiving national recognition for innovation, influence, leadership and dedication in the grocery industry. In 2011, she was named Ernst & Young’s Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year (Prairies).

Jen is the mother of two well-fed children, an innovator, an inspirational speaker and a contributing parenting expert on Huffington Post Canada. Her cookbook will hit shelves in spring, 2016.

Speaking session:

Selling through retail: Choosing the right strategy.

Website:

babygourmet.com

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Jim Webster

Jim Webster

Vice President, Risk Management & Chief Compliance Officer

Roynat Capital

Jim Webster is Vice President, Risk Management & Chief Compliance Officer of Roynat Capital, a subsidiary of Scotiabank, and Canada’s leading private lender focussing exclusively on providing long term capital to mid market companies.

Jim is responsible for structuring, authorizing and administering capital solutions for companies to assist with growth, acquisitions, asset additions, and cross border expansions.

In his 36 year career, Jim has been a member or director of a number of financial organizations including the Association for Corporate Growth-Toronto, Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, and the Ontario Securities Commission—Small Business Advisory.

Jim is a graduate of Concordia University, Montreal and is a CPA, CGA.

 

Speaking session:

Financing a U.S. operation or acquisition

Website:

www.roynat.com

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Joel Guberman

Joel Guberman

Chair and Founding Partner

Guberman Garson Segal

Joel Guberman is Chair and Founding Partner of Guberman Garson Segal LLP, a Toronto-based law firm that practices exclusively in the area of immigration law, primarily for the corporate, business and legal sectors. In August, 2014, the firm joined with an independent, global, immigration law firm, allied with Deloitte in Canada.

Joel has been practicing in the field of immigration law for over thirty years. He has been named in “International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers” (the official research partner of the International Bar Association) “the leading lawyer in Canada for corporate immigration matters” and is included in its list of “most highly regarded individuals” internationally.

Joel’s clients include senior executives and individuals, as well as institutions and large multinational organizations. He advises on various matters including North American free trade, treaty investors and treaty traders and other issues related to worldwide skilled worker immigration.

Joel is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Immigration Law. He is a Past-Chair of the Ontario Bar Association, Immigration and Citizenship Section, a Past-Chair of the Canada Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association – of which he was a founding member. He is also listed in the “Lexpert Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada” and the “Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals” and Best Lawyer in Canada.

Joel lectures and participates in numerous seminars, panels and symposiums on both Canadian and U.S. immigration law. He has been a panelist, lecturer and moderator on immigration law topics for numerous organizations including the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the New York State Bar Association and many others.

Joel is a graduate of the University of Manitoba and received his LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School. He is a member of the Ontario Bar.

Speaking session:

Cross-border travel and transfers: Immigration and tax complications.

Website:

www.ggsilaw.com

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John Leslie

John Leslie

Partner

Dickinson Wright LLP

John Leslie is a lawyer in the Toronto and Windsor offices of Dickinson Wright LLP. Dickinson Wright is a leading law firm that provides full legal services on each side of the Canada-US border, with over 360 lawyers in offices located in Detroit, Troy, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Saginaw, Mich.; Columbus, Ohio; Las Vegas, Nev.; Nashville, Tenn.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Washington, D.C. Dickinson Wright LLP has nearly 40 lawyers in Toronto and Windsor, Ontario..

John represents debtors, financial institutions, receivers, trustees, customers, suppliers and other creditors and stakeholders in major insolvency and restructuring proceedings. Over the past several years he has been extensively involved in a number of auto industry-related insolvency cases in the United States and Canada. John also has extensive experience in a variety of litigation matters relating to insolvency, bankruptcy, commercial fraud and general commercial and priority disputes, including those arising from equipment and inventory financing. He advises on cross-border issues as they relate to the protection and realization of assets. John’s focus is on counseling inbound Canadian investment and businesses seeking to establish operations in Canada.

John has been an instructor for the business law and insolvency sections of the Ontario Bar admission courses and has conducted many seminars on bankruptcy law, litigation, security enforcement and other insolvency matters for various professional organizations.

John is a Past Board Member of Regional Children’s Centre, Hospice of Windsor, and Windsor Chamber of Commerce.

John received both his LL.B. degree from University of Windsor Law School and his B.A. degree from University of Windsor.

Speaking session:

Sue or be sued: Beware the litigious USA

Website:

www.dickinson-wright.com

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John M. Weekes

John M. Weekes

Senior Business Advisor

Bennett Jones

John Weekes is a senior business advisor at Bennett Jones, based in Ottawa. Bennett Jones LLP is one of Canada’s premier business law firms with more than 380 lawyers and business advisors with offices in Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver, Washington DC, Doha, Bermuda and Beijing.

John provides advice on how trade agreements and negotiations impact on business. He was Canada’s chief negotiator for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He subsequently served as the senior official in Ottawa charged with responsibility for managing Canada’s relations with the United States and the implementation of NAFTA. From 1995 to 1999 he was Canada’s ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Earlier he served as ambassador to GATT during the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations which led to the creation of the WTO.

John also serves on the Board of the Washington-based Cordell Hull Institute and the Management Board of the Advisory Centre on WTO Law in Geneva.

He is a graduate of the University of Toronto.

 

Speaking session:

More free trade deals ahead? Challenges and opportunities for Canadian SMEs in the US.

Website:

www.bennettjones.com

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Joseph LaMotta

Joseph LaMotta

Senior Director, Fresh

Daymon Worldwide

Joseph LaMotta is Senior Director, Fresh, at Daymon Worldwide and is based at its corporate office in Stamford, Connecticut. Daymon is the global leader in consumables retailing, with expertise in private brand building, experiential consumer marketing, and retail-driven services. It is collaborating with more than 100 major retailers and nearly 6,000 manufacturers in 51 countries, handling more than 1,700 brands globally. Daymon also has extensive experience working with Canadian ministries of trade and trade missions and is interested in helping Canadian suppliers expand in the U.S. and other international retail markets, both as private brand suppliers and under their own brand names.

Joe joined Daymon Worldwide in 2006 as Business Development Manager and has held a series of leadership positions in sales, marketing and product development, assuming his current role in 2012. Most recently, before joining Daymon, Joe was Senior Director of Meat & Seafood at A&P Atlantic Region.

Joe has a degree in business management and marketing and an MCSE certification in Computer Science from Bergen College.

 

Website:

www.daymon.com.

 

Speaking session:

Selling through retail: Choosing the right strategy.

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Joy Nott

Joy Nott

President

Canadian Importers and Exporters Association

Joy Nott is President of the Canadian Importers and Exporters Association (I.E.Canada). Joy brings over 25 years of experience in customs compliance to the I.E.Canada team. She started her career in Montreal and worked for over 10 years for well-known customs brokers/freight forwarders, giving her hands on operational experience.

Prior to joining I.E.Canada, Joy was a Vice President and Managing Consultant for JPMorgan Global Trade Management Services, based in the Toronto area, and specialized in matters of customs and international trade for both Canadian- and U.S.-based clients. Prior to that, Joy was also a Senior Manager with the public accounting firms of KPMG LLP and Deloitte & Touche LLP, specializing as a Customs and International Trade consultant. The accounting firm environment provided her with extensive experience related to advising multinational clients in terms of meeting import and export requirements while minimizing costs. Her experience with professional tax and supply chain advisers has given her a background rich in understanding of how customs and trade issues play important roles in developing corporate strategies. Her experience in advising on how matters, such as income tax transfer pricing and customs valuation, fit into complex international restructuring plans, has been key to her success as a consultant.

Joy sits on various committees as advisor to federal ministers and has testified before both the House of Commons and Senate Committees on International trade, on matters directly impacting Canadian importers and exporters.

Joy’s received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University in Montreal. She qualified as a professional customs broker in 1990, with honours and has also been awarded a “P.Log” designation (Professional Logistician).

Speaking session:

Moving goods across the border: Will it get better or worse?

Website:

www.iecanada.com

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Judy Bradt

Judy Bradt

CEO

Summit Insight LLC

Judy Bradt is CEO of Summit Insight LLC, a company that she founded in 2003 and that is based in Alexandria, VA. She serves as a strategic adviser on U.S. government business for established companies who want to win faster and spend less doing it.

Judy served as a Trade Commissioner at the Canadian Embassy in Washington for over 15 years, where she helped more than 5,000 Canadian firms win over $250 million in US government contracts. In that role, she negotiated and implemented policy in procurement trade and export controls, presented seminars on U.S. federal contracts for aerospace, systems integration, construction, and transit, small business set-asides, and Buy America. She published guides on U.S. federal solicitations, as well as the markets for technology, architecture/engineering services, and construction services. She created the Canadian Women’s International Business Initiative ($12M+ international sales & partnerships); the Award for Canadian-American Business Achievement (now in its 12 year); and the Technology Partnership Programme (3-year results: over 200 international business matches).

Judy is the author of Government Contracts Made Easier (2010.)

Originally from Canada, Judy has an MBA in Business Policy from McMaster University and a B.A. from the University of Toronto.

 

Speaking session:

Selling to the U.S. government: Your next big win?

 Website:

www.summitinsight.com

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Justin Kramer

Justin Kramer

President and CEO

Talent Payment Services

Justin Kramer is President and CEO of Toronto-based, Talent Payment Services and Executive Vice President of its parent, The TEAM Companies, with offices in Los Angeles, Portland, Detroit, and New York. The TEAM Companies provide payroll and business affairs services to advertising agencies, production companies, studios, and broadcasters throughout North America.

In 2003 Justin, together with group of private equity investors, purchased Talent Payment Services and was appointed CEO. A majority interest in the business was acquired by The Team Companies in 2012. Since then, Justin has led TPS’s growth and expanded its core business of performer payroll and associated broadcast business affairs offerings to Canadian, U.S. and international advertising agencies and brands producing commercials and other advertising content in Canada and the United States. As the Executive Vice President of The TEAM Companies, he is also spearheading the introduction of multiple, state-of-the-art, technology initiatives throughout the group.

Justin has over 20 years of experience in executive management, sales, operations, and finance in Canada, the United States and South Africa.

Justin graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

Speaking session:

The cultural divide: How business is conducted from such very different perspectives.

Website:

http://www.talentpayment.com

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Kimberly Stevenson Chow

Kimberly Stevenson Chow

CFO and a Director

Labstat International ULC

Kimberly Stevenson Chow is CFO and a Director of Labstat International ULC, a mid-sized and privately held Contract Research Organization, based in Kitchener. Labstat is the largest, independent tobacco testing laboratory in the world, offering a comprehensive scope of testing services.  In her present capacity, Kimberly is responsible for the Company’s finances, risk management strategies, and capital market activities. She is a key member of the management team, and on behalf of the company, both led the transaction for the entrance of a U.S. private equity firm as a shareholder, as well as the negotiations for a subsequent management buyout.

Before joining Labstat in 2003, Kimberly was CFO at DELEX Therapeutics Inc., an early-stage, privately held, drug delivery company and, prior to that, CFO at MedcomSoft Inc., a publicly traded company, focused on designing, developing and marketing software solutions for healthcare providers.  Prior to becoming a CFO, Kimberly was Vice President and Director of Deloitte & Touche Corporate Finance, a global professional services firm.

Kimberly’s roles have provided her with valuable experience in public and private equity offerings, debt and equity restructurings, due diligence, and post-acquisition integration.

Kimberly has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a CPA.

 

Speaking session:

Looking for private equity: Is now the time?

Website:

www.labstat.com

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Laura Dawson

Laura Dawson

Director

Canada Institute at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Laura Dawson is Director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. The Canada Institute works to increase awareness and knowledge about Canada and U.S.-Canadian relations among U.S. policymakers and opinion leaders.

Named one of Canada’s Top 100 foreign policy influencers by the Hill Times in 2014, Dawson is a speaker, writer, and thought leader on Canada-U.S., NAFTA and international trade issues.

Laura has more than fifteen years’ experience providing advice to businesses and government around the world on trade, regulatory, and border issues. She has served as senior advisor on U.S.-Canada economic affairs at the United States Embassy in Ottawa.  As a specialist in U.S.-Canada economic relations, she contributed to the launch of the U.S-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council, the Border Vision Strategy, and the bilateral Government Procurement Agreement.

As a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center and a Senior Fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Laura has conducted research in North American competitiveness, supply chains and energy policy. She has also conducted research for clients and scholarly publications in investor-state dispute settlement, cross-border labor mobility, government procurement, technical barriers, energy, telecommunications, financial services, softwood lumber, foreign investment review and corporate-social responsibility in the extractive sector.

From 1998 to 2008, Laura was a senior associate at the Centre for Trade Policy and Law at Carleton University, advising governments in developing and transition economies on trade and investment issues. She has also taught international trade, Canada-U.S. relations, and policy analysis at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton and

She is a Fellow at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute and serves on the board of the Council of the Great Lakes Region.

Laura continues to serve as Emeritus Advisor at Dawson Strategic, which provides advice to business on cross-border trade, market access and regulatory issues.

Laura holds a PhD in political science from Carleton.

 

Speaking role:

Chair of the Expand in the USA conference.

Website:

www.wilsoncenter.org/about-canada-institute

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Laurel Walzak

Laurel Walzak

Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer

Fitneff Inc.

Laurel Walzak is Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer of Fitneff Inc. She is based in Toronto. Fitneff manufactures the WalkTop™, a stylish, light, compact and adjustable treadmill desk, designed specifically to attach onto the majority of popular treadmills on the market. The company has offices in Toronto and Calgary.

Laurel oversees manufacturing, supply chain management, sales and distribution, quality control, product liability, and day-to-day commercial activity. She is a member of the company’s Board of Directors.

Prior to her role at Fitneff Inc., Laurel spent over  16 years in brand marketing, event management and operations and sales, with blue chip companies in the sport, fitness and the consumer packaged goods industries. Her experience includes roles at the National Hockey League and Molson Coors Canada.

Laurel was appointed to the George Brown College Applied Arts and Technology Board of Governors in fall of 2014. She is a graduate of Western University and has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Sport and Event Marketing from George Brown College. She also has a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s School of Business, with a Certification in Doing Business in China, issued by the Chinese European International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai, China.

 

Speaking session:

Moving goods across the border: Will it get better or worse?

 

Website:

www.fitneff.com

 

 

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Lee Meagher

Lee Meagher

Founder and CEO

Scootaround Inc.

Lee Meagher is Founder and CEO of Scootaround Inc., and is based at the company head office, in Winnipeg, MB. Through over 1,500 North American locations, Scootaround provides personal transport rentals and sales to customers of all types, from individual travelers through to Fortune 500 companies. It also provides mobility enhancement services for conventions and tradeshows through fleet rentals and onsite-programs, as well as a nationwide airline-related mobility equipment repair service. Its special needs services include rentals for motorized scooter, wheel chair, ECV, and powerchair equipment types. Disability services are available for the elderly and those with mobility issues, event and convention attendees and vacation, business, cruise and convention travelers. The company has offices and teams in Florida, Nevada and Georgia.

Lee founded Scootaround in 1997 as a home-based business and has been instrumental in seeing Scootaround grow into an International company. Since then, Scootaround has expanded its coverage and service offerings each year and continues to develop partnerships with some of the biggest companies in the industry. Scootaround is North America’s only nationwide mobility equipment company that provides both, rentals, repairs and equipment sales to all customer types, making them the industry leader and world’s most trusted provider, of Personal Transportation Solutions and Total Mobility Management.

Lee has served on many boards and volunteer committees, including her role as past Chair of the Board of the St. Boniface Hospital Research Foundation, where she spent 18 years volunteering, St.Mary’s Academy Foundation Board and Co-Chair of the capital campaign, St.Paul’s High School Board and for the past 10 years, has been involved on the Board of Day Nursery that manages four inner city daycares in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Lee has been included in the W100 ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs, produced by PROFIT Magazine and Chatelaine. She has a double major in Political Science and French from the University of Manitoba and L’Institute Catholique in Paris, France, where she spent one year studying.

 

Speaking session:

People are key: Putting the right teams in place.

Website:

www.scootaround.com

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Luc Fournier

Luc Fournier

Head of Sales, Global Trade and Receivables Finance, Business Banking

HSBC Bank Canada

Luc Fournier is the national Head of Sales, Global Trade and Receivables Finance, Business Banking at HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, and the leading international bank in Canada. HSBC provides the tools and expertise that Canadian businesses need to grow in the U.S and beyond.

Bringing over 20 years of extensive knowledge in International Trade, and having spent over ten years in Asia, mostly in China, Luc constantly works at building bridges between Asia and North America. A strong believer in cultural adaptation and a notorious entrepreneur, Luc has worked in several industries, as well as the Federal Government as Head of Protocol at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing. Luc has been with HSBC since 2011, and leads a national business development team for Global Trade and Receivables Finance.

 

Speaking session:

Managing the day-to-day financial operations of your US subsidiary.

Website:

www.hsbc.ca

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Maria Severino

Maria Severino

Partner

Collins Barrow Toronto LLP

Maria Severino is a tax partner at Collins Barrow Toronto LLP and has more than 20 years of extensive public practice experience. She advises private, public and multinational corporations across a wide range of industry sectors in the areas of cross-border tax planning and financing transactions, mergers, acquisitions & divestitures, and corporate restructuring, as well as tax dispute resolution, and estate, wealth preservation and succession planning. Her industry experience includes manufacturing, distribution, service industries, technology, construction, and real estate. Maria’s strategic tax advice and tax-efficient solutions have proved integral in structuring many business transactions involving mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, as well as inbound and outbound investments and business expansions.

Maria is a graduate of the University of Toronto and obtained her CA designation in 1997. She is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and a participant in the ICAO focus group. She is also a member of the Canadian Tax Foundation and a former member of the Women’s Executive Network.

Speaking session:

The Taxmen Cometh: Watch out!

Website:

www.collinsbarrow.com

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Mark Falbo

Mark Falbo

President

Mircom Group of Companies

Mark Falbo is President of Mircom Group of Companies, which is North America’s largest independent designer, manufacturer and distributor of Intelligent Building Solutions: Fire Detection & Alarm, Nurse Call, Communications & Security, Building Automation & Smart Technologies, Mass Notification, and ‘SmartCondo’ solutions. The company is headquartered in Vaughan, Ontario and employs over 600 people. It has regional offices throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, Bangalore, Dubai, and Singapore.  Mircom was founded in 1991 by Marks’ father, Tony Falbo, who remains CEO.

Mircom has been named a Canada’s Best Managed Company, a Profit Magazine Canada’s Fast Growing 500 company, a US Edison Award Gold Medalist, an Ontario Export Award – Value Added Manufacturing winner, and a Vaughan Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement winner.

Mark is responsible for legal, financial, operational, and strategic initiatives. Prior to joining Mircom, he was VP & Partner at Orenda Corporate Finance Ltd., providing financial advisory services to medium size enterprises seeking capital, balance sheet restructuring, M&A, divestiture or succession planning assistance. Before that, after being called to the bar in Ontario, he was a Global Investment Banking Associate at CIBC World Markets.

Mark is on the Board of McKenzie Health (formerly York Central Hospital) and Chair of its Governance Committee.

Mark has a B.A. from University of Toronto and a J.D/MBA, Law & Business from University of Toronto – Rotman School of Management.

Speaking session:

Closing panel of champions: How two Canadian SMEs succeeded in very different ways.

Website:

www.mircomgroup.com

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Mark High

Mark High

Member

Dickinson Wright PLLC

Mark High is a lawyer and Member in Dickinson Wright’s Detroit, Michigan office. Dickinson Wright is a leading law firm that provides full legal services on each side of the Canada-US border, with over 360 lawyers in offices located in Detroit, Troy, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Saginaw, Mich.; Columbus, Ohio; Las Vegas, Nev.; Nashville, Tenn.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Washington, D.C. Dickinson Wright LLP has nearly 40 lawyers in Toronto and Windsor, Ontario.

Mark serves as counsel to buyers and sellers in mergers or acquisitions in the high tech, manufacturing, retail, food service, real estate, automotive, defense, and natural resource industries in transactions valued between $5 million and $150 million. He also serves as counsel to domestic branches of Canadian and other foreign businesses (English, Swiss, Brazilian, Russian, Italian, South African, Taiwanese) in automotive and other industries. Mark assists clients in the formation, succession planning, and business divorce situations.

Mark is the President and Member of the Board of Directors for the Canada-U.S. Business Association and former Chair of the Canadian Investment Committee for the Detroit Regional Chamber. He is a frequent lecturer and speaker at seminars across the country. He is listed in Best Lawyers in American, Chambers USA, DBusiness Top Lawyers, and Michigan Super Lawyers.

Mark received his B.A. from the College of Wooster and his J.D. from Duke University’s School of Law.

Speaking session:

Sue or be sued: Beware the litigious USA

Website:

www.dickinson-wright.com

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Matthew Wilson

Matthew Wilson

Partner

Collins Barrow Toronto LLP

Matt Wilson is a partner in the US Tax Advisory practice of Collins Barrow Toronto LLP and has more than 20 years of US taxation experience. He has extensive experience with US corporate and commercial tax consulting, including M&A structuring and corporate planning for Canadian businesses expanding into, operating or exiting the US; U.S. tax compliance, including corporate, partnership, personal, state & local, and federal and state initiatives to help U.S. taxpayers become compliant with filing and reporting requirements; US state & local planning including issues associated with income as well as sales/use tax; and US tax due diligence in connection with business acquisition planning. Matt’s expertise also includes outbound U.S. tax planning, including issues surrounding controlled foreign corporations, Subpart F income inclusions and PFICs; and U.S. personal cross-border planning, including issues related to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and non-resident aliens as well as the acquisition of US real estate. His industry experience includes manufacturing, , eCommerce, service industries, technology, real estate, transportation, mining, and farming.

Matt is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, as well as the University of Toledo, where he obtained his MBA and Masters in Tax in 1998 He received his U.S. CPA designation (Ohio) in 1991 and is a member of the Ohio Society of CPAs and the Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce. He is also a participant in the activities of the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada (AmCham) and is a past volunteer in the Mississauga North Baseball Association, the Leaside Baseball Association, and the Leaside Hockey Association.

Speaking session:

The Taxmen Cometh: Watch out!

Website:

www.collinsbarrow.com

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Mike Timani

Mike Timani

President and CEO

Fancy Pokket Corporation

Mike Timani is President and CEO of Fancy Pokket Corporation in Moncton, NB. Fancy Pokket, employs 59 people in its 45,000 sq. ft. bakery and is the largest producer of pita bread, bagels, tortilla wraps and flatbread in Atlantic Canada. Mike is currently completing construction of a 58,000 sq. ft. dedicated, gluten-free facility in Lancaster County, South Carolina, which will begin producing a variety of gluten-free products in the summer of 2015.

Mike is a native of Lebanon and came to Canada in 1976. He opened his bakery in Moncton, following a 12 year career with Hilton International Hotels.

Mike is President and CEO of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council, a member of the Moncton Cultural Board, and Chairman of the Food Processing Human Resources Council of Canada. He is also Past President of Multicultural Association of Greater Moncton (for which he continues to sit as a Board member), New Brunswick Food and Beverage Processors Association, and Atlantic Food and Beverage Association and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Cultural Board (City of Moncton).

Speaking session:

Thinking of setting up a U.S presence? Canadian SMEs share their experience.

Website:

www.fancypokket.com

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Nik Nanos

Nik Nanos

Chairman

Nanos Research Group of Companies

Nik Nanos is Chairman of Nanos Research Group of Companies, one of North America’s most trusted pollsters, and is regularly called upon by senior decision-makers to conduct research and provide strategic counsel. Recognized as a leader in the market and public opinion research industry, Nik has led over 1,000 quantitative and qualitative research projects using telephone, online and in-person data collection methods.  Apart from being one of North America’s foremost researchers, he is a past president of a leading government relations company.

Nik has led research and management consulting initiatives on a full range of issues including the government privatization of services, evaluating logo changes for a Fortune 500 company through to providing expert research and advisory services for litigations before the courts. In addition to his weekly Nanos Power Index which charts the strength of the federal political parties, he leads the team behind the weekly Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, considered a must-have resource for senior executives.

As the founder and President of Nanos Research, Nik has among the strongest election research track records in Canada. Additionally, the firm’s polling information and his analysis have appeared in major media outlets including the CBC, Bloomberg News, CTV, The Globe & Mail, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, The Guardian Newspaper in the UK, The National Post, The Toronto Star and The Economist Magazine. He is also featured in a weekly segment on CTV’s PowerPlay, Nanos on the Numbers, which focuses on the latest political, business and social trends.

In addition to his responsibilities in leading the team  at the Nanos Research Group, Nik is a Research Associate Professor in Canadian Studies at The State University of New York at Buffalo and a contributing writer to Policy Options, the magazine of the Institute for Research in Public Policy. He is a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC focusing on energy research.

Nik has served as a National Past President of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) and is a Certified Marketing Research Professional (CMRP).  He has also been elected a Fellow of the MRIA (FMRIA), the highest professional designation in the marketing research industry in Canada. The MRIA is Canada’s national organization governing professionals engaged in marketing, advertising, social and political research.  As the Past Publisher of the Canadian Journal of Marketing Research, Past Editor-in-Chief of Vue, the monthly magazine of the market research industry, and former president of one of Canada’s leading government relations firms, he is one of the foremost research practitioners and experts.

 

Speaking session:

The cultural divide: How business is conducted from such very different perspectives.

 Website:

www.nanosresearch.com

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Paul Fransway

Paul Fransway

Member

Dickinson Wright PLLC

Paul Fransway is a lawyer and Member of the law firm, Dickinson Wright PLLC., working out of their Ann Arbor, Michigan office. Dickinson Wright is a leading law firm that provides full legal services on each side of the Canada-US border, with over 360 lawyers in offices located in Detroit, Troy, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Saginaw, Mich.; Columbus, Ohio; Las Vegas, Nev.; Nashville, Tenn.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Washington, D.C. Dickinson Wright LLP has nearly 40 lawyers in Toronto and Windsor, Ontario.

Paul concentrates his practice in franchise, trademark and unfair competition law. He serves as primary franchise counsel for a number of national franchisors and helps them comply with disclosure and registration requirements under the Federal Trade Commission and various state laws. He is also an expert in all aspects of franchise contract enforcement, including covenants not to compete, trademark infringement, and post-termination remedies, both in court and in arbitration.

Paul’s experience in the areas of business and intellectual property law have included the drafting and negotiation of services, nondisclosure, trademark licensing; mergers and acquisitions; information technology and intellectual property management and compliance policies; and the prosecution of trademark registration applications and management of trademark portfolios including the defense and prosecution of opposition and cancellation proceedings before the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Paul is also actively involved in local government and non-profit community activities. He has served as Board Trustee for the Charter Township of Lyon in Oakland County, Michigan and as a member of its Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Commission. Paul also acts as special counsel and as a director or trustee for a number of community organizations including various primary schools, post-secondary educational institutions and national non-profit educational organizations.

Paul received both his J.D. and LL.M. degrees from University of Houston Law Center and a B.S. degree from Michigan State University.

Speaking session:

Agents and distribution partners: What does it take to up your game?

Website:

www.dickinson-wright.com

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Paul Miretta-Barone

Paul Miretta-Barone

VP & Head of Business Banking, Ontario

HSBC Bank Canada

Paul Miretta-Barone is the Vice President and Head of Business Banking, Ontario at HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, and the leading international bank in Canada. HSBC provides the tools and expertise that Canadian businesses need to grow in the U.S and beyond.

Paul is a seasoned banker with more than 20 years of experience in Canadian financial services including retail banking, wealth management, corporate banking and real estate. Since 2009, Paul has been focused on helping Canadian companies expand into the US market and beyond as a senior leader in the Ontario Region at HSBC.

Born and raised in Toronto, Paul resides in Thornhill, Ontario with his wife and 2 teenage children.

 

Speaking session:

Financing a U.S. operation or acquisition.

Website:

www.hsbc.ca

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Peng-Sang Cau

Peng-Sang Cau

President & CEO

Transformix Engineering Inc.

Peng-Sang Cau is President & CEO of Transformix Engineering Inc., in Kingston, ON. Transformix is a supplier of high-speed Continuous Motion machines for factory automation, efficiently capable of both high and low rates of handling per minute, requiring low rates of tooling. Most of its sales come from outside of Canada.

Peng co-founded Transformix in 1995. Before that, she held sales and marketing posts at Quantum Information Resources and Lever Pond.

Peng and her family came to Canada from Pol Pot’s Cambodia as refugees in 1980.

Peng has been inducted into the Kingston Chamber Business of Hall of Fame and was Kingston Business Woman of the year in 2012.

Peng serves on the Board of Kingston General Hospital and the Research Matters Panel Advisory Board for Ontario Research Council and is a past member of the Economic Advisory Board to the Kingston Economic Development Corporation. She is active in a peer-to-peer support group that she founded, a group promoting engineering and business to high school students, and the mentoring of new immigrants.

Peng has a B.Com. from Queen’s University.

 

Speaking session

The cultural divide: How business is conducted from such very different perspectives.

Website:

http://www.transformix.com/

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Peter Megoudis

Peter Megoudis

Partner, Global Employer Services

Deloitte LLP

Peter Megoudis is a Partner with the Global Employer Services (GES) Group of Deloitte LLP in Toronto.  He has over 17 years of tax experience, and has been extensively involved in the field of Canadian and U.S. executive compensation and benefits, as well as cross-border personal tax planning, for the past 17 years.  Peter consults with Canadian, U.S., and other international employers on various employee benefits, payroll, deferred compensation and equity compensation matters, as well as with high net worth individuals on cross border entity, trust, and estate planning.

Peter is a frequent speaker in both Deloitte and external conferences on various compensation and cross-border topics, and has published several articles in various publications on cross border issues.  He also heads the Learning & Growth team for the GES group in Canada.

Peter received his B.C.L. (Civil Law) and LL.B. (Common Law) degrees from McGill University and his LL.M. Master of Laws degree from the University of Toronto.  He is currently a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Canadian Tax Foundation.

Speaking session:

Cross-border travel and transfers: Immigration and tax complications.

Website:

www.deloitte.ca

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Rahul Sharma

Rahul Sharma

Regional Head of Sales, Payments and Cash Management, Ontario

HSBC Bank Canada

Rahul Sharma is the Regional Head of Sales, Payments and Cash Management, Ontario at HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, and the leading international bank in Canada. HSBC provides the tools and expertise that Canadian businesses need to grow in the U.S and beyond.

Rahul has spent the last 15 years in Vancouver and Boston, before recently moving to Ontario, working in various roles in sales, product management and operations. Bringing extensive knowledge in Global Cash Management, Rahul has been with HSBC since 2007, and now leads the Ontario Sales team across business banking, commercial real estate, corporate banking and international subsidiary banking.

 

Speaking session:

Managing the day-to-day financial operations of your US subsidiary.

Website:

www.hsbc.ca

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Rick Jamieson

Rick Jamieson

President and CEO

ABS Friction

Rick Jamieson is the President and CEO or “Chief Energizing Officer” of ABS Friction, based in Guelph, ON. Producing “Brake Pads REALLY Made in Canada”, ABS Friction is an industry leader in the manufacture and testing of aftermarket disc brake pads, supplying to over 20 markets around the world, including the United States and Mexico.

Rick co-founded ABS in 1995. He is also an alumni of Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he earned his CPA, CA designation.

Rick is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and past Chapter Chair of the Great Lakes Chapter of YPO, a member of the International Events Committee of YPO and also a past Co-Chair of the Toronto Chapter of EO (the Entrepreneurs Organization.)

Rick serves his industry through participation as Board member of the Automotive Aftermarket Supplier Association, as current Chairman of the Brake Standards Association, as former President and Chairman of the Friction Materials Standards Institute and as former chairman of the Brake Manufacturer’s Council.

A dedicated lifelong learner, Rick is a graduate of the Ivey Quantum Shift Program and the MIT Birthing of Giants Program. Rick is also an annual participant in the GOT Entrepreneurs’ Conclave at MIT.

In 2012, Rick was recognized for his contributions to the automotive sector in Canada and was awarded The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, one of only 38 Canadians in the industry to receive this accolade.

Speaking session

More free trade deals ahead? Challenges and opportunities for Canadian SMEs in the US.

Web site:

www.absfriction.com

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Roy Verstraete

Roy Verstraete

CEO

Anchor Danly

Roy Verstraete is CEO of Anchor Danly, headquartered in Windsor, Ontario. Anchor Danly manufactures and distributes high quality die sets, components, steel plates, and metal fabrications used in the production of tools, dies, and molds for metal working and plastics injection molding, machine bases, mining and construction equipment, and general fabrications. In addition to Windsor, Tilbury, and Cambridge, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec, the company has manufacturing plants in Michigan, California, Germany and China.

Roy has been CEO of Anchor Danly since 2001. Previously, he was with the Velcro Corporation for 17 years in various senior roles including Group Vice President, Americas, Managing Director for Velcro Europe, and President of Velcro Canada.

Roy serves on the Board of Directors of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA), the Windsor Essex Development Corporation (WEEDC), and Wall Colmonoy Corporation. He is also a member of the CEO Council of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, Vice-Chair of the Japan America Society of Greater Detroit and Windsor, and a Member of the Ontario Manufacturing Council.

Roy holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from McMaster University, earned an MBA from York University and is a Professional Engineer.

 

Speaking session:

People are key: Putting the right teams in place.

Website:

www.anchordanly.com

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Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy

President

Wade Antenna Inc.

Ryan Murphy is President and co-owner of Brantford, ON-based, Wade Antenna Inc. Wade Antenna specializes in commercial VHF/UHF cable television antennas for cable operators, offering solutions to minimize signal interference for the reception of TV broadcast signals. A division of the company, TACO Antenna, manufactures VHF and UHF antennas for civil and military aviation and shipboard communications. Its U.S. customers include the Federal Aviation Administration, all branches of the US Military (DND), and the Department of Homeland Security. TACO and Wade Antennas can be found in over 60 countries around the globe.

TACO Antenna was a separate business that was acquired by Wade in 2001. TACO already had established sales to the U.S. military, among its customer base and this was, in fact, how Wade began doing significant business with the U.S. government.

Ryan joined Wade, his family’s business, fifteen years ago. For 10 years, he was VP, Marketing & Sales and he took on the role of President in 2010. Prior to joining Wade, Ryan spent five years with Scotiabank as Manager, Client Implementations and, initially as Technical Support Analyst.

Ryan earned his Hons BBA, Business Administration at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Waterloo, Ontario.

Speaking session:

Selling to the U.S. government: Your next big win?

 

Website:

http://www.wadeantenna.com/

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Sami Aita

Sami Aita

Chairman and CEO

Oilsteam Corporation

Sami Aita is Chairman and CEO of Oilsteam Corporation and is based in Toronto. OilSteam offers an affordable and environmentally conscious solution for enhanced oil recovery in small and medium-sized, shallow wells, above 3,000 feet. Using a combination of steam and gas injections, applied through its mobile technology, it offers a new and economically feasible solution to extract more oil in mature wells with declining production. The company has operations in Texas.

Sami established Oilsteam’s corporate infrastructure, including subsidiaries in three U.S. states. He has overseen the successful completion of multiple rounds of live technology testing on oil wells in Texas. He also developed the corporate financing strategy, securing the necessary funds for operations, growth and oil field acquisitions.

Sami is a serial entrepreneur and innovator, with more than 30 years of experience as a top executive in private and public corporations. He is currently also President of MedcomPharma Inc., a distributor and contract manufacturer of Canadian generic pharmaceuticals in the Middle East.

In past roles, he was Chairman and CEO of MedcomSoft Inc.,a health care information systems company, which traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange for more than 10 years and received many top industry technology awards in the United States; President of AMCS (Advanced Medical Computer Systems and Management Inc.); President of the Health Transaction Network(HTN); President of SuperTimeInc.; and CEO of Advanced Health Services Inc.

Sami holds a Medical degree from the University of Montpellier in France and was the founder and CEO of SOSMedecins92, a medical emergency and primary care service in Paris.

Speaking session:

Financing a U.S. operation or acquisition

 

Website:

http://www.oilsteam.com/

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Shaun McKaigue

Shaun McKaigue

CEO

FER-PAL Infrastructure Ltd.

Shaun McKaigue is Chief Executive Officer of FER-PAL Infrastructure Ltd. Headquartered in Toronto, Fer-PAL offers complete water main rehabilitation solutions. It specializes in projects utilizing trenchless technologies of all types and sizes for municipalities across Canada and the United States. Under Shaun’s direction, the company opened offices for a subsidiary in Taylor, Michigan in 2007 and in Elgin, Illinois in 2013.

Before Shaun joined FER-PAL he was active in the legal surveying, engineering surveying as well as inspection, with both legal and engineering firms. Joining FER-PAL in 1987, Shaun helped introduce different methods of water main rehabilitation to the company, such as cured-in-place-piping, which is the company’s specialty today.

Currently a member of several organizations (such as the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists, the Centre of Advancement for Trenchless Technologies, The American Water Works Association, American Public Works Association, Ontario American Water Association, Ontario Public Works Association) Shaun is an active member in the trenchless water main rehabilitation society.

Shaun grew up in Shediac (New Brunswick) and graduated from George Brown College (Toronto).

 

Speaking session:

Thinking of setting up a U.S presence? Canadian SMEs share their experience.

Website:

ferpalinfrastructure.com

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Stephen Callaghan

Stephen Callaghan

Regional Vice-President

Export Development Canada

Steve Callaghan is responsible for the leadership of Export Development Canada’s Commercial Markets and Small Business team in Ontario. EDC is Canada’s export credit agency, offering innovative commercial solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business. EDC’s knowledge and partnerships are used by more than 8,200 Canadian companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide each year.

Steve joined EDC in 2000 as an Account Manager, and has previously held a variety of positions, including District Manager for the regional office in Mississauga, and Manager of the Ontario Regional Contract Insurance and Bonding team.

Steve has a Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University.

Speaking session:

Ramping up for exports: How will you finance the growth?

Website:

www.edc.ca

 

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Stephen Granovsky

Stephen Granovsky

CEO & Principal

Grano Retail Holdings

Stephen Granovsky is the CEO and principal of Grano Retail Holdings, a firm he founded with partners Lawrence Pollack and Naomi Levinson, to acquire merchandising businesses with significant turnaround or growth opportunities.  Stephen is currently also CEO of Luxury Men’s Apparel Group, a Grano portfolio company that owns Samuelsohn in Montreal, and Hickey Freeman in Rochester, New York.  Until 2007, Stephen was President of Karabus Management Inc., one of North America’s leading retail consulting firms.

Grano and its principals have owned and restructured several business including Pindoff Record Sales (a multi divisional wholesale, retail and production business) before entering the menswear business with its acquisition of Samuelsohn in 2010.  Since the initial acquisition, the Grano menswear portfolio, under Luxury Men’s Apparel Group, has grown almost fivefold and is now the largest manufacturer of luxury tailored clothing in North America.

Stephen is the founder of Kids Autism Network, a small private fundraising charity for children with autism. He is also the father of 3 children.

 

Speaking session:

Financing a U.S. operation or acquisition.

Website:

www.granoretail.com

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Stuart Bergman

Stuart Bergman

Assistant Chief Economist

Export Development Canada

Stuart Bergman is the Assistant Chief Economist and the Director of the Economic and Political Intelligence Centre at Export Development Canada. EDC is Canada’s export credit agency, offering innovative commercial solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business. EDC’s knowledge and partnerships are used by more than 8,200 Canadian companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide each year.

Stuart provides leadership and direction for a group of diverse and highly-specialized economists and political risk analysts, advising EDC business teams and senior management on transaction and portfolio risk mitigation, corporate planning and business development activities. Prior to assuming his current role in 2011, he was the Director of EDC’s Economic Analysis and Forecasting unit and, before that, Senior Economist, Latin America. He also worked as a country risk analyst for Zurich Emerging Markets Solutions and was a senior analyst at the Foreign Policy Institute in Washington, DC.

Stuart holds a degree in International Economics and International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Speaking session:

Networking lunch with keynote address on the U.S economic outlook.

Website:

www.edc.ca

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Susan Sanderson

Susan Sanderson

Vice President

Jackman Reinvention

Susan Sanderson is a Vice President at Jackman Reinvention and lives in Cincinnati. She is also currently Interim DVP, Brand Experience at a Fortune 50 Retailer, driving an end-to-end reinvention of an iconic retail brand across more than 8,000 stores.

Jackman Reinvention is headquartered in Toronto. For retailing clients, the firm offers management consulting, research and analytics, brand strategy and marketing, and 360° customer experience design. Current and past Jackman partners include Walgreens, Duane Reade, Hertz, Dave & Buster’s, CD&R, Earth Fare, FreshCo, KKR, Oak Hill Capital, Old Navy, Rexall, Beer Store and Sobeys.

Susan, over her lengthy career as a creative director, brand strategist and marketer, has helped retailers develop a customer insight that is translated into a clear, compelling and growth oriented customer experience. She has worked on all brand touch-points, including store design/architecture, private brand, product development, CPG shopper marketing, loyalty programs, MARCOM and digital, across a multitude of retail channels, with particular emphasis in FDM and department store, not only in North America, but also the U.K. and South America. Past clients include Target, Safeway, Walmart Canada/US/ASDA, Waitrose, Kroger, Pharmasave, The Hudson Bay Company, Town Shoes, Sobey’s, Meijer, Smart and Final and Walgreens. At Kroger, she was Director, Corporate Brands, Brand Strategy, Design & Innovation. She is a former Executive Vice President, Creative and Brand Strategy, at Watt International, in Toronto. Prior to that, at Publicis /Frankel & Co, in Chicago, she was a VP Group Creative Director and was also a Creative Director at Mars Advertising.

Speaking session:

Selling through retail: Choosing the right strategy

Website:

www.jackmanreinvents.com

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Tom Creary

Tom Creary

Managing Director

WestbridgeOne

Tom Creary is Managing Director of WestbridgeOne and is based in Montreal. WestbridgeOne provides strategic counsel and hands-on management of start-up activities in cross-border market entry for emerging Canadian technology-based companies.

Tom currently advises emerging Canadian companies on developing their businesses in the United States, with a focus on technology, software, media, web and business to business applications companies.

Over the course of his career, Tom has served as Vice-President and Group Leader, Public Affairs, Hill+Knowlton Strategies; Executive Vice President and Head of U.S. Business Operations for Eloda Corporation; Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales of iPerceptions Inc., and a Principal at Hay Management Consultants. He began his career at Petromont Inc. and SNC Group.

In the late 1980’s, Tom served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Industry and President of the Treasury Board of the Government of Canada. In 2009-2010, Tom was also Chief of Staff to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for the Quebec City Region.

Tom founded the Quebec Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada and continues to serve as its Chairman.

Tom earned his B.A. at the University of Kansas and his MBA at Laval University.

Speaking session:

Thinking of setting up a U.S presence? Canadian SMEs share their experience

Website:

www.westbridgeone.com

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Tom Greenwood

Tom Greenwood

President

Factum Partners

Tom Greenwood is President of Factum Partners, a business advisory firm based in Oakville, Ontario. Factum Partners offers hands-on solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises for market expansion into Canada, the USA, Mexico, and overseas. Recent clients include Hayward Gordon ULC, KN Rubber LLC, Tyrolit Abrasives, and Canadventures Inc.

Tom has over 20 years of experience across a number of industries, successfully heading up operational, sales, and marketing efforts for SMEs during high growth phases. He concentrates on market penetration strategies and the deployment of strategic sales and marketing resources. He is particularly adept at assisting companies in the sustainable and profitable expansion of their business outside of their borders, designing and integrating long and short-term growth plans, either as a senior in-house executive or as a trusted outside advisor.

Speaking session:

Agents and distribution partners: What does it take to up your game?

Website:

www.factumpartners.net

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William F. Rogers

William F. Rogers

Managing Director and CEO

CCC Investment Banking

Bill Rogers is Managing Director, CEO, and majority shareholder of CCC Investment Banking, based in Toronto. CCC provides a full range of investment banking advisory services to privately held corporations, small to mid-cap public companies and divisions of large, publicly held corporations.  Its advisory services include mergers & acquisitions, divestitures, financing strategy and placement, restructuring, strategic reviews, valuations and fairness opinions

Bill has been in corporate finance for more than 30 years and has been involved in more than 200 successful transactions. His areas of expertise include financing, restructuring, value-creation strategies, advising the boards of public and private companies and corporate governance. He has extensive experience in a wide range of industries, with particularly deep knowledge of steel-related businesses, agriculture, food and financial services.

Bill currently serves on the board of SIR Royalty Income Fund, whose restaurant brands include Jack Astor’s, Canyon Creek, Alice Fazooli’s, and Far Niente, and is a past director of Cuddy International Corporation and the Trillium Health Centre.

Bill graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, where he was awarded the Gold Medal for being the outstanding student in his graduating year. He has successfully completed the Directors Education Program, offered by the Institute of Corporate Directors at the Rotman School of Business.

 

Speaking session:

Financing a U.S. operation or acquisition

Website:

www.cccinvestmentbanking.com

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