The 2017 RCC HR Conference has been approved for 5.75 Continuing Professional Development Hours from HRPA.

RCC HR 2017 (Program ID# 201001) has been approved for continuing professional development (CPD) hours under Section A of the Continuing professional development (CPD) Log of the Human Resource Professionals Association (HRPA)

Download the Full 2016 Agenda

See below for 2016's agenda. HR 2017 agenda coming soon!

Registration Open

Sponsored by:



7:30 AM - 8:00 AM
Breakfast & Exhibits Open

Opening Remarks



Leaders of the 21st Century: Leading Through  Complexity and Developing High-Potential Talent

The digital age created a major shift in leadership requirements, and many companies are now struggling with accurately capturing qualities of the modern-day and future leaders.

In this keynote session, Dr. David Weiss will discuss the new requirement for leaders to be able to lead through complexity by drawing out the innovative capacities of their employees and teams. He also will describe best practice methods for training and developing future leaders. Using his breadth of experience in working with companies around the globe, David will showcase best practices in strategic talent leadership development and succession planning through practical case studies and examples.

Dr. David WeissPresident & CEO, Weiss International Ltd.


Fast Five: Sobey School of Business + RCC Thought Leadership Series

Presented by:


Retail Success through Innovation and Evidence-Based Decision-Making

The retail sector faces many exciting opportunities as well as challenges. The David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services at Saint Mary’s University was established with the mandate to help create a vibrant retail sector in Canada. The David Sobey Centre has a three-pronged focus: (a) applied research, in collaboration with retailers, to help improve retail performance, (b) support and sponsor innovation and (c) training and professional education for current and aspiring retail leaders. We are excited to launch Canada’s first Executive Education Program that is designed specifically for retail executives in July 2016.

Ramesh VenkatDirector, David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services, Sobey School of Business


Networking Break


Morning Concurrent Sessions


Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace

The workplace can have a significant impact on our health, safety and overall well-being. Join the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) in this session to increase your understanding and recognition of mental health issues at work, develop effective approaches to promoting mental health in the workplace, and find resources and tools to help get you there.

Yvone DefreitasDirector of Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety


The Next Generation of Talent Attraction: Developing and Implementing a Mobile Recruiting and Engagement Strategy

In today’s recruiting environment, it’s even more important to build relationships with your talent audience and that often involves reaching them on a mobile device. Good recruiting is about connecting with candidates on their own terms. When your candidates are looking for you on their mobile device and they can’t find you - you simply don’t exist! Now is the time to build a long-term plan for your mobile presence. Join Phil Hendrickson, former global talent sourcing leader from Starbucks and Apple, as he provides you with the roadmap on how to develop and implement a robust mobile recruiting and engagement strategy using examples from his retail career.

Phil HendricksonPhil Hendrickson, Chief Talent Strategist, Qwalify, former Talent Sourcing Leader, Starbucks


Trends and Strategies for Effectively Delivering on an Holistic Compensation Philosophy and Strategy – How are progressive employers engaging talent through cash and non-cash innovation?

Presented by:

This session will cover research on emerging trends in delivering on the compensation promise. Engaging talent in holistic total recognition approach’s to cash and non-cash compensation and creating the ultimate value proposition. In addition to comparing and contrasting the Canadian and U.S. retail landscape, the speakers will not only explore U.S. trends and how they influence the Canadian market they will also discuss best practices while covering broader levers to recognize and reward employees.

Nigel BrankerPartner and Ontario Consulting Practice Leader, Morneau Shepell

Carina VassilievaSenior Principal, Korn Ferry Hay Group


Creating an Affirmative Work Environment for People Who Identify as Trans and Gender Non-conforming

It is important for every organization in Canada to strive to be a place in which all individuals can express their authentic selves and feel comfortable and safe. It is also your organization’s legal obligation to create spaces that are free from discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression, and to provide equal access to opportunities and benefits. With that in mind, this session will serve as your guide toward creating an affirmative work environment for people who identify as trans and gender non-conforming.

Jack Hixson-VulpeAuthor, Education and Training Facilitator, The 519


Fast Five: ClearFit + RCC Thought Leadership Series

Presented by:


Building a World-Class Retail Team is an Information Game — Here’s How to Win

In retail, more so than in any other industry, success is built on your people. The wrong people can hurt sales, wreck the brand, and bog down the organization with turnover. Unfortunately, most retailers haven’t had access to the information they need to make the best people decisions…until now. Jamie Schneiderman, CEO of Clearfit, the leader in performance insights, will show you how leading organizations are using WHY data to consistently find and develop high performers who stay longer and who embody their unique brand. Discover the new data empowering world-class retail teams.

Jamie SchneidermanFounder & CEO, Clearfit


Lunch & Networking


Afternoon Concurrent Sessions


Supercharge Your Employees to Deliver Better In-store Experiences

Presented by:

In the eyes of the shopper, an available customer service or store associate doesn’t always result in a positive customer experience. In fact, recent consumer research demonstrates nearly half of all consumers believe they know more about a retailer’s product offering than a store associate! To succeed in the Age of the Shopper, retailers must rethink how to address the in-store experience through personalized service to drive shopper engagement and, more ultimately, customer loyalty.

Join Peter Theocharis, Vice President at Salesforce Canada, to learn how leading retailers can unleash the power of social, mobile and collaboration technologies to supercharge employees across the organization to transform every customer experience into a delightful one.

Peter TheocharisVice President, Salesforce Canada


Developing a Young Pipeline of Talent: Drawing on Lessons from Successful Public-Private Partnerships

What are the key features of successful youth employment and training models between local government, community and private-sector employers? A diverse panel of retail employers will discuss how these partnership models have resulted in better talent acquisition, job retention, and career building in the retail sector. This session will help build knowledge and awareness among the retail community of successful youth recruitment and preparation models, and how they can get involved.

Jennifer PosthumusProgram Support Manager, City of Toronto/PAYE

Nation CheongDirector, Youth Initiatives, United Way Toronto & York Region

Wilfred LumilanArea Human Resources Manager, H&M Canada

Sara PresuttoVice-President, Partner Resources, Starbucks Coffee Canada


How to Support Transgender Employees: Legal Considerations and Real-Life Cases

Presented by:

Earlier in the day, Jack Hixson-Vulpe from The 519, talked about creating affirmative work environments for people who identify as trans and gender non-conforming. This concurrent session will cover the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy on preventing discrimination because of gender identity and gender expression and is meant to complement Jack’s presentation for a 360-degree outlook on how to support transgender employees from both legal and practical perspectives. Anneli LeGault will discuss legal considerations for employers and will cover real-life examples from her cases.

Anneli LeGaultPartner, Dentons Canada LLP


Networking Break


Fast Five: RCC Special Update - How to “Safety Group”

Come hear about one of the greatest industry secrets that you’re not a part of…. yet. Since 2006, Retail Council of Canada has been partnering up with retailers to sponsor an annual program that allows retailers to receive an additional rebate from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. To date retailers have recovered over $16.6 million dollars! Join Sonny Brar for this quick presentation to find out why Toys”R”Us participates, and the value that is in the program for you.

Sonny BrarNational Health and Safety Manager, Toys “R” Us Canada


HR Leadership Roundtable

In this highly anticipated panel discussion, a group of esteemed Canadian HR leaders will debate the latest industry trends while offering solutions to the most common challenges in the field of HR. Topics of discussion will include:

  • Engaging millennials and building high-performance cultures
  • Sustaining your culture in the digital age
  • Navigating the impact of technology on human resources

Our panel of experts will also discuss the mentorship programs, employee training and development initiatives within their organizations and offer best practices in succession planning as well as talent management strategies for retaining high potential employees.

MODERATOR:

Kevin GraffPresident, Graff Retail

HR Leaders:

Aliana RozenekVP, Human Resources,The Home Depot Canada

Kelly DavisSVP - Human Resources, Town Shoes Limited

Minal KamathVice-President, Human Resources, Canadian Tire Corporation


Rexall Canada’s Makeover and Its Impact on Human Resources

In this session, Brian McLaughlin will talk about Rexall Canada’s journey over the last few years including various company acquisitions as well as their brand’s reinvention. Brian will discuss how all of these changes impacted their HR function by showcasing real-life examples and sharing lessons learned along the way.

Brian McLaughlinEVP, Human Resources, Katz Group Rexall Pharma Plus


Understanding Business and Retail Brand Strategy

In this closing keynote session, David Kincaid, one of the most recognized and respected opinion leaders in the marketing industry will discuss the latest trends in retail brand strategy and how it folds over into the HR discipline. Learn how to envision HR as if it were a brand and how to add health and vibrancy to your company to attract (and retain!) customers. This is a session designed to help you participate more actively and directly with your counterparts in different parts of the business.

David KincaidManaging Partner, Founder, LEVEL5 Strategy Group


Closing Remarks



4:20 PM - 5:20 PM
Networking Reception