Thanks to all who joined us at RCC’s 2015 Retail Human Resources Conference on April 1.


HR 2015 is designed by retailers, for retailers, to offer you practical takeaways, a toolkit of fresh ideas to tackle today's challenges and excellent networking opportunities. Don't miss out on this day of new connections and industry insights, register now!

What will I take away?
  • Industry insights from leading professionals in the field of Human Resources
  • Trends and best practices on hot HR topics such as unionization, recruitment and retention
  • Information and solutions from our retail HR specific exhibitors

Who should attend?
If you're engaged in HR operations, you won't want to miss this education-based conference and networking event.

The Retail Human Resources Conference 2015 will be relevant to:

  • Senior HR Professionals
  • Senior operations professionals
  • Employee relations professionals
  • HR team leaders in:
    • - Finance
    • - Retention
    • - Recruitment
    • - Talent Management
    • - Succession Planning
    • - Compensation & Benefits

Last year's Retail Human Resources Conference brought together professionals from over 100 different companies across the retail industry.

International Convention Centre Mississauga

6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON L4V 1E8

Register Now

Four Points by Sheraton

6257 Airport Road, Mississauga L4V 1E4

Book Hotel Now

Register by telephone: 1-866-716-8133 / 905-678-1400 or by email: *mention Retail Council of Canada

Rate: $110 plus HST (CAD) /per night
Parking Rate: $8 per day /per car overnight
Cut-off Date: March 18th

Event Map


Click here to view a full PDF agenda.

  7:00AM - 5:00PM    Registration Open

  8:00AM - 8:45AM    Breakfast & Exhibits Open

  8:45AM - 9:00AM    Opening Remarks

Diane J. Brisebois
President & CEO, Retail Council of Canada

Jim Cormier
Director, Atlantic Provinces, Retail Council of Canada; Chair, RCC’s Human Resources Committee

  9:00AM - 9:45AM    Driving Transformational Change at Hudson’s Bay Company

Stephen Cerrone, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Human Resources and CHRO, Hudson's Bay Company

As North America’s longest continually running company, HBC has faced and embraced change at the forefront of the retail industry. In his keynote presentation, Stephen Cerrone will cover four key components of transformational change at HBC. He will focus on the evolutionary journey from start to finish, challenges and opportunities faced along the way and HR innovations that were used in the process to shape the company today.

  • Best practices in integrating financial and business models

  • Defining culture, values & behaviors and embedding culture through people processes

  • Identifying leaders internally and externally and aligning them to a common set of beliefs and values

  • Incorporating analytics into high-level decision making

  9:45AM - 10:30AM    Transforming Strategy: Aligning HR with Organizational Vision and Culture

Panel Moderator & Presenter:
Parvaneh Nilforoushan, Principal, ATKearney


  • Wendy Swinden, VP, Human Resources, Walmart Canada
  • Sharla Paraskevopoulos, VP, Human Resources, Loblaw Companies Limited

Now more than ever HR leaders need to use their knowledge to help the organization set its strategic direction and develop its business plans in ways that are consistent with a talent decision science. In this panel discussion, senior HR executives will discuss best practices in identifying company’s strategic vision, developing and implementing business plans that are aligned to it, achieving results on the operational level and continuously driving collaboration between HR, Operations and the C-suite. Discussion points will include:

  • Aligning HR with corporate strategy and culture

  • Best practices in strategic workforce planning

  • Understanding the role and driving collaboration between HR and Operations

  • Moving strategic initiatives forward to all areas of store operations

  10:30AM - 10:45AM   HR Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony

Presented by:
Graff Retail

10:45AM - 11:15AM    Networking Break / Exhibits Open

11:15AM - 12:00AM    2014 Hottest Labour and Employment Case Law Developments

Michael Sherrard, Partner, Sherrard Kuzz LLP

Lisa Bolton, Partner, Sherrard Kuzz LLP

2014 has been busy with important legislative amendments and the release of significant labour and employment decisions from courts, tribunals and labour arbitrators. Join this session to learn how developments in the following areas can impact the way retailers do business:

  • Labour law: store closure following union certification – analysis of the recent decision by Supreme Court of Canada

  • Employment law: medical marijuana – an examination of how new marijuana laws are creating a buzz in the workplace for retailers

  • Human Rights: family status – an analysis of the impact of the Federal Court’s decision on what has to be accommodated and how

  • A look at how a retail franchiser can become bound to a trade union as a “related employer” to a franchisee

  • An examination of how the terms of outsourcing and franchise agreements can impact employment-related liability

11:15AM - 12:00AM    HRPA and Collabogence Are Uncovering Secrets to Team Collaboration


Peter Smit, Founder, Collabogence

Collabogence, together with HRPA, are in the midst of conducting a research project on measuring Organizational Collaborative performance through the use of Big Data and Analytics. Preliminary results of this study have already revealed remarkable findings that could benefit the Canadian retail industry. This session will provide practical strategies for promoting organizational collaboration, how to achieve desired results on time and on budget, and how to drastically increase team effectiveness and productivity. This presentation will also help answer questions like:

  • How well are we collaborating?

  • How do we develop plans to better work cohesively?

  • Can we “teach” collaboration?

  • Are we using the right tools?

11:15AM - 12:00AM    Recruitment Innovation: How to Attract and Engage Talent Through Mobile Technology

Joe Essenfeld, CEO, Jibe
Rebecca Wood, Manager, Employee Services, Genuine Parts Company

A recent survey revealed that more than 80% of job seekers expect to conduct at least part of their search via their mobile devices, with 70% saying they expect to be able to complete and submit applications directly from their phones and tablets. After years of talk about mobile recruitment, hiring organizations are now starting to take action to optimize their career sites and application processes for mobile. Attend this session to learn how Genuine Parts Company which consists of 6,000 NAPA Auto Parts stores and 14,000 repair centers in US and Canada have adopted mobile recruiting as a key component to their hiring efforts and the results they've achieved by doing so.

11:15AM - 12:00AM    How Retailers Attract and Retain Top Talent to Increase Customer Loyalty and Profitability

Stacy Parker, Managing Director, Blu Ivy Group


  • Ted Moroz, President, The Beer Store
  • Kristen MacLellan, National Manager, Talent Acquisition, Starbucks

Today, more than ever, retailers in Canada need enthusiastic and satisfied workers. There is a tremendous link between motivated employees, customer service and profitability. This session will provide real life examples from Starbucks and The Beer Store on developing an employer branding strategy, and the impact it has made on their organizations. These retailers will also outline key recruitment and retention principles, including:

  • Innovative branding best practices

  • Creating award winning cultures

  • Engaging top talent by differentiating yourself from the competition

  • Global employer branding best practices that can be applied to the Canadian market

12:00PM - 1:00PM    Lunch & Networking

  12:40PM - 1:00PM    Lunch & Learn Session - Attendance and Disability Management: Overcoming Barriers to Implementing Change

Kristen Coady, Director of Absence Management Solutions, Morneau Shepell

In this interactive lunch & learn session, Morneau Shepell will discuss proven solutions to some of the top barriers that the majority of organizations fear to address when it comes to attendance and disability management in the workplace. Learn how to position disability management as a strategic issue at the executive table and improve workplace health and productivity by creating an effective attendance and disability management program in your workplace.

  1:00PM - 1:45PM    We’ve Got You Covered. Get The Information You Need To Be AODA Compliant.

Moderator and Presenter:
Andrew Pinto, Partner, Pinto Wray James

Additional Presenters and Panelists:
Jeff Poirier, Senior Policy Analyst, Ontario Human Rights Commission
Alfred Spencer, Director, Outreach and Strategic Initiatives Branch, Accessibility Directorate of Ontario

Important revisions to employment standards under the AODA are coming. Even if you’ve already established strong internal practices, do you fully understand what compliance with these new standards mean? In this session, leading AODA human rights and legal experts will break down AODA into simple terms and practical steps, including:

  • Creating and documenting individual accommodation plans

  • Keeping accessibility needs and plans in mind when redeploying persons with disabilities

  • Discussion on accessible formats and communication supports

  • Maintaining and improving workplace emergency response information

  • Measuring and defining undue hardship – what exactly does it mean?

  1:00PM - 1:45PM    Retailer’s Podium: How To Develop Innovative and Effective Training Programs

Facilitator & Presenter:
Mary Hayes, CEO, Engage Learn

Podium Participants:

  • Wynne Elmitt, Director, Training & Communications, Town Shoes Limited
  • Jane Akiki, Director, Learning, The Home Depot Canada

Retail is changing fast and technology is transforming the retail experience. Is your training strategy keeping up? This session will explore the latest innovations in training and provide great case studies.

  • New training initiatives for all levels of employees

  • Different types of training: recruitment training, sales training, customer service, eLearning, etc.

  • What formats of training work best?

  • Effective training tools and metrics: performance management tools and accountability

  • How to Incorporate training best practices into your culture

  1:00PM - 1:45PM    Effective Social Media Recruitment Strategies for Millennials

Facilitator & Presenter:
Nathan Laurie, President,


  • Rabbiya Hussain, Senior Manager, Talent Management, Adidas Group Canada
  • Sherri Marshall, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, Loblaw Companies Ltd.

Most Canadian retail opportunities are entry-level. Students and recent graduates make up the largest demographic to fill those jobs. Millennial and Generation Z cohorts are the most active users of social media. Due to these simple ingredients, recruiters need to be more adept in using this medium to attract top talent. This session will outline successful recruitment campaigns that have integrated social media as a key driver of job applicants.

  1:00PM - 1:45PM    H&M Canada Case Study: The Impact of High Trust Cultures on Key Performance Indicators


  • Emily Scarlett, Communications & Press Manager & Spokesperson, H&M Canada
  • Laura Hammond, Country Human Resources Manager, H&M Canada
  • Ron Grey, Senior Vice President, Great Place to Work Institute Canada

In this session, participants will learn how trust and culture dimensions can impact their bottom line and important key performance indicators such as turnover, sales and efficiency. Ron Grey, Senior Vice President of Great Place to Work Canada will introduce the collaborative research done by GPTW and H&M, while leaders from H&M Canada will talk about the practices that have increased employee engagement within the organization.

  1:45PM - 2:30PM    Leadership Development: What’s in the DNA of Your Culture?

Clint Mahlman,
Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, London Drugs Limited

Clint Mahlman, who formerly led human resources at London Drugs, will share his views on the next generation of HR leadership. He will also share his perspective on how to develop culture that extends itself to company’s valued customers, how to look for and develop future leaders, and what he thinks is the key ingredient in organizational success and excellence.

  2:30PM - 3:15PM    Speed Networking

You've heard of speed dating, now try speed networking! Vendors will have 3-4 minutes to make their initial introductions and converse before moving on to meet the next group of delegates. An emcee will provide instructions and keep things moving. A must attend for all conference delegates wishing to learn more about how our HR solution providers can benefit your retail business.

  3:15PM - 4:00PM    Roadmap to Creating Psychologically Safe and Healthy Workplaces in Retail

Mary Ann Baynton, MSW, RSW, Program Director, The Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace and Expert Panel Member and Consultant, Mental Health Commission of Canada

Your mental health is at risk every day. What do you do to protect it? In this session, Mary Ann Baynton, a leading Canadian mental health expert will outline how retailers can address psychological health and safety in the retail workplace, including:

  • Mental health in the workplace is impacted by what others say and do. How can HR influence that?

  • Improving retention by providing psychologically safe and healthy work environments

  • Practical strategies and tools to begin making a difference immediately

  • Incorporating mental health strategies into daily retail operations

  4:00PM - 4:45PM    Achieving Long Term Organizational Excellence by Creating Passion Capital

Paul Alofs, President & CEO, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

Brett Abram, Vice President, Human Resources, Sleep Country Canada
Heather Briant, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Cineplex Entertainment LP
Norm Sabapathy, Executive Vice President, People, Cadillac Fairview

Do you know what Passion Capital is and what does it take to be a Passion Capitalist? Hear directly from Paul Alofs, the #1 Passion Capitalist himself, and the 2014 Finalists. What are the values and beliefs needed to achieve sustainable success among yourself and your team? The principles of Passion Capital are based on:

  • Establishing a values-based culture and selecting and developing people aligned to that culture

  • Building strong brands that guide strategies, people and operations

  • Engaging teams to get the best out of them and promoting excellence and passion in organizations

  4:45PM - 5:30PM    Omni-Channel Impact on Organizational Structure and People


MEC is 2014 Best Omni-channel Integration Finalist for the Canada Post  E-Commerce Innovation Awards

David Labistour, CEO, MEC

The most impactful and most challenging aspect of implementing omni-channel selling is the need to redefine the organizational structure. In this closing keynote session, David will assess the impact of multi-channel retailing on the following:

  • Organizational structure and reporting relationships

  • Integrated, cross-functional delivery and the new reality of collaboration

  • Skills availability and development

  5:30PM – 5:45PM    Closing Remarks & Conference Adjourns

  5:45PM – 7:00PM    Networking Reception



To see a complete listing of sponsorship opportunities, click here

Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development (Recertification)

RCC is proud to announce that the 2015 RCC HR Conference has been pre-approved for 7.25 Continuing Professional Development Hours from HRPA.

Continuing professional development (CPD) is an essential component of HRPA's designation framework. The objective of the CPD requirement is to ensure that members who have earned the CHRP, CHRL and/or CHRE designation participate in ongoing professional development activities. For more information from HRPA, click here.


All prices shown are in Canadian (CAD) dollars.

Members Non-Members
Early Bird
Sep 1 - Dec 31
Jan 1 - Mar 31
Early Bird
Sep 1 - Dec 31
Jan 1 - Mar 31
Retailer $275 $425 $525 N/A $595 $695
Non-Retailer $295 $475 $575 N/A $695 $795
Jan 1 - Mar 31
Student $95 $195

To register by fax, download the registration form and fax to 1-877-790-4271.

GROUP REGISTRATION DISCOUNT (applies to full conference only)

Apply a 20% group discount to each registration when (five) or more forms are submitted from the same company at the same time.

For more information, please contact Josephine Chan, at 416-467-3760, ext 243, or by email at


Registrations/ticket orders will not be processed without full payment. Payment must be made by cheque or credit card in Canadian dollars only. Retail Council of Canada reserves the right to cancel this event and will only be responsible for refunding registration fees/ticket prices.

Substitutions: All substitution requests must be emailed to Josephine Chan. Substitutions are permitted up to two days prior to the event by providing RCC with a replacement Registration/Ticket Order Form.

Cancellations: All cancellation requests must be emailed to Josephine Chan. Refund requests will be permitted up to 30 days prior to the event, but are subject to a $75 processing fee (plus HST).

Refunds will not be processed after March 1st, 2015.
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