Clinical Director for Ontario and Digital Clinical Services
Michel J. Arsenault is the Clinical Director for Ontario and Digital Clinical Services. Michel has obtained his Masters of Social Work from McGill University in Montreal and has worked in a clinical setting for over 25 years. He has worked as a counsellor, trauma debriefer, trainer and manager within Employee Assistance Program industry. Currently, Michel oversees our clinical network in Central Canada as well as oversees all of Morneau Shepell’s Digital Clinical Services. For over 15 years, Michel has been helping 100s of organizations who have employees who are transgendered. He has provided consultation, coaching and training to companies in the financial, government, manufacturing, information technology and media sectors who are dealing with these issues. Michel was an on-camera expert in a video documentary called “Erica, a life in Transition”. This documentary explores the transition of a transgender person from the personal, family, work and community perspective. He has provided this specialized service in both Canada and Asia.
Director, Member Services
Retail Council of Canada
Sonny Brar comes with over 14 years of Retail, Human Resources, Health, Safety, Energy and Environment experience. He is currently the Director of Member Services at Retail Council of Canada and is an honors graduate of Criminology, Justice and Public Safety from Manitoba. Along with other functions, Sonny leads and supports RCC’s HR, Health, Safety, Energy and Accessibility programs and sits on the Workplace Safety and Prevention Services H&S Steering Committee and Canada’s Retail Health & Safety Committee. Sonny has also had great successes in his tenure and has been a recipient of 3 Presidential Excellence awards with Maple Leaf Foods and Toys“R”Us along with several H&S successes with his tenure at Sobeys and Ikea.
Diane J. Brisebois
President & CEO
Retail Council of Canada
Diane J. Brisebois, CAE, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Retail Council of Canada (RCC). She oversees the largest retail association in Canada serving over 45,000 retail establishments including independent merchants, chain stores, mass merchants, big box and online retailers. RCC’s membership covers all segments of the retail market including general merchandise, grocery and pharmacy. Diane joined RCC as its President and CEO in January 1995. Diane has held CEO positions in the not-for-profit sector representing various industries for the past 35 years. Diane has and continues to serve on a variety of Boards across North America. Ms. Brisebois is Immediate Past Chair of the Fair Factory Clearinghouse (FFC), an organization established to enable collaboration between vendors and retailers in assessing and improving workplace conditions globally. Ms. Brisebois is also the Immediate Past Chair and a member of the Executive Committee of the Forum of International Retail Association Executives (FIRAE) which represents retail associations from more than 30 countries brought together to collaborate on issues affecting the retail sector globally. Ms. Brisebois also served for many years on the Board of Covenant House Toronto, on the Board and as Chairman of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation and on the Board and as Chairman of the Canadian Society of Association Executives.
Executive Vice President, Big Box Retail Stores
As Executive Vice President of Lowe's Big Box Retail stores, Jim has had responsibility for the leadership of all Lowe's branded stores in Canada since he joined the company in June 2016. Prior to Lowe’s, Jim served as the President of The Brick leading the retail, commercial, franchise, Trans Global Service, Trans Global Insurance, Trans Global Warranty and First Ocean’s Overseas Sourcing Divisions from 2013-2016. He also served as Senior Vice President of Store Operations at The Brick from 2010-2013. Jim has over 35 years of retail leadership experience with national companies such as Wal-Mart Canada Corp., The Bargain Shop and Woolworth Corp., holding positions such as Store Manager, Regional Manager, Vice President Store Operations, Vice President Specialty Divisions, Vice President General Merchandise and Chief Operating Officer. He is on the Board of Directors for the Retail Council of Canada and a past member of the Retail Council of Canada’s Energy Advisory Committee, as well as, the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Council of Representatives.
Human Resource Professionals Association
HRPA Certified Course Content (6.5 Hours)
This program (PROGAM ID PROVIDED ONSITE) has been approved for 6.5 continuing professional development (CPD) hours under Section A of the Continuing professional development (CPD) Log of the Human Resource Professionals Association (HRPA).
Sr. Human Resources Manager
Andrea is a seasoned HR professional with 20 years’ experience as an HR practitioner. As a Senior Human Resources Manager at Microsoft Canada, Andrea works with senior leaders to drive Microsoft’s People Priorities and create a culture that delivers business impact. Andrea works to help create programs that contribute to an environment where people are able to do their best work. This includes a focus in Diversity & Inclusion, Talent Management, Organization Effectiveness and Leadership Development. Andrea joined Microsoft Canada in 2009 as an HR Manager. Her previous work experience includes HR roles at Apotex, Magna and The Donwood Institute. Andrea obtained a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario and a post graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management at Seneca College.
Senior Vice President, HR, Loss Prevention & Customer Service.
Town Shoes Limited
Kelly Davis is the Senior Vice President of HR, Loss Prevention & Customer Service for Town Shoes Limited (Town Shoes, The Shoe Company, Shoe Warehouse, Sterling and DSW Canada). She leads these three functions for the company’s 5 banners and 4000+ associates. Prior to joining Town Shoes Limited, she was the Vice President of People Development at Cara Operations (Milestones, Kelsey’s, Harvey’s, Montana’s and Swiss Chalet) where she worked with the corporate office and franchise partners to deliver HR services to the company’s 700+ restaurants and 30,000 associates. Kelly spent most of her career prior to joining Cara Operations with the Hudson’s Bay Company where she worked for over 12 years in a variety of progressive HR roles including leading the HR function for all Bay and Home Outfitters stores across Canada. Her last role with the Hudson’s Bay Company was in a more specialist function where she led Compensation, Benefits, Associate Relations and Services for the Hudson’s Bay Company in Canada and Lord & Taylor in the U.S. Kelly holds her B.A. from McGill University and her CHRE, CHRL and H.R.C.C.C. (Human Resources & Compensation Committee Certification) designations. Kelly is passionate about supporting not for profit organizations. In the past she has actively contributed to the HR Committee of the Board of Directors for Eva’s Initiatives and to the Leadership Committee of the Board of Directors for Big Brothers, Big Sisters Canada. Currently she serves as a Board Director and Chair of the HR & Governance Committee for White Ribbon (the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls).
Senior Manager, Strategic Business Development.
Mr. Demers serves on the executive team, as the senior manager of Strategic Business Development responsible for the sustainable future of CannAmm. Mr. Demers is an accomplished international speaker on the topic of managing marijuana in safety sensitive workplaces. Mr. Demers servers on the board of the Substance Abuse Administrators Association (SAPAA) as well as national and international legal committees aimed at advising employers on the political, legal, social and occupational considerations of successfully implementing safe for duty standards.
Executive Vice President, Retail and Human Resources
Gil Dennis joined Indigo in December 2015 and is responsible for driving customer centric strategies and employee engagement that aligns with Indigo’s vision, values and culture. Additionally, Gil has overall responsibility for Indigo’s retail store operations. Gil has spent his entire 28 year career in retail. From 2011 to 2015, Gil was Senior Vice President of Stores at dressbarn, a division of Ascena Retail Group. Prior to dressbarn, Gil worked at Best Buy for 10 years in various retail and human resource leadership roles.
Corporate Loss Prevention, Health and Safety Manager
Andy Freitas has been in the Loss Prevention, Health and Safety profession for over 22 years. Over his career he has had progressing degrees of responsibility leading up to his current assignment as Corporate Loss Prevention, Health and Safety Manager for Sears Canada. Andy supports the Sears Canada multi-channel platform for all Loss Prevention and Health and Safety needs. Andy is a strong advocate for building and maintaining a Health and Safety culture in the workplace. In fact, Sears Canada has been recognized on several occasions including 2015 winning the Retail Council of Canada’s excellence in retailing award for Health and Safety. Andy is an active member of the RCC Safety Group and participates in many committees to ensure Health and Safety remains a high priority in their pursuit of excellence.
Kevin Graff is the President of Graff Retail, based in Toronto, Ontario. Since 1988, Graff Retail has specialized in working with retailers around the globe to increase their revenue through improved staff performance. For 27 years they have had the privilege of working with many of world’s best and brightest retailers. Kevin is widely respected as one of North America’s best retail speakers and trainers and was recently chosen as one of the Top 50 Retail Influencers. His principle belief is that retailers are losing too many sales each day in their stores that they should be capturing. Kevin’s approach to store operations and his intense focus on real, bottom-line issues continually produce outstanding results. In fact, work he has completed for his retail clients has captured the Retail Council of Canada’s Award for Best Employee Development Programs on six separate occasions.
Country Human Resources Manager
Miles Lucas is on a mission to help grow and develop the best leaders in the retail industry. Though new to his role as Country Human Resources Manager for H&M Canada, Miles has had over 13 years of professional retail experience in operations, sales, financial controlling and one of his passions People Development. In 2016 alone, H&M Canada promoted over 10% of the employee population to develop 269 future leaders! In addition, H&M Canada was the proud recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Retail award for Talent Development. Today, as the Country Head of HR Miles’ vision for H&M Canada is to continue to drive H&M’s “Your Leadership” training program forward to engage and develop millennial and future leaders to achieve all of the possibilities provided by H&M!
Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition
Best Buy Canada
Kristen is a strategic and creative leader in the talent acquisition space. Her experience building recruiting teams and programs is specialized to retail environments and rooted in customer experiences however she has spanned many industries including banking, foodservice and technology. Her approach is thoughtful (aka she likes to have a detailed plan and make decision based on data) and refreshing (aka she isn't afraid to try something out of the box). She has proven success in talent branding, employment advertising, university programs, forecasting, workforce analytics and motivating recruiters to meet aggressive goals. (When she isn't working you can find her skiing the slopes with her son or in an epic dance party with her daughter.) As part of the employer brand panel, Kristen will share her experiences developing EVP strategy, perspective on segmented research and talent personas as well why putting employer brand and culture first will help companies win the customer experience as well.
Vice President of Programs and Priorities
A highly motivated visionary and an expert at building partnerships, engaging stakeholders, and inspiring change, Ed has led innovation and improvement in healthcare for over two decades. As Vice President of Programs and Priorities at the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Ed is dedicated to promoting mental health and changing the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and illnesses. By collaborating with stakeholders to improve mental health services and supports, he leads the way for change. Ed pays particular attention to reducing stigma and increasing mental resiliency through innovative measures like Mental Health First Aid, the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, the Mental Health Strategy for Canada, the Knowledge Exchange Centre and Prevention and Promotion activities. Ed is accustomed to wearing many different hats. He was CEO of the Physician Recruitment Agency of Saskatchewan and Senior Operating Officer of the University of Alberta Hospital. As an Accreditation Surveyor with Accreditation Canada, he contributes to quality and safety in healthcare across Canada and internationally. Ed is also a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, holds a Master’s of Science Administration, and is a Certified Health Executive.
Senior Consultant, Human Resources - Workplace Health
Monika Mielnik is an experienced Human Resources professional with expertise in both a consultative role as well as in a specialized capacity. Celebrating 9 years at Bell Canada, she passionately leads the Workplace Health pillar under the Bell Let’s Talk initiative and is responsible for workplace mental health initiatives across the company. Her passion and dedication to developing and sustaining a culture of psychological safety has lead to moving the mental health program forward by successfully driving strategic initiatives. Monika holds a Bachelors of Arts in Criminology, with a minor in Psychology from Ryerson University, and a Workplace Mental Health Leadership certificate from Queen’s University.
The Beer Store
With over 25 years of professional experience, Ted Moroz specializes in Retail and Logistics Management. As the President of The Beer Store (TBS) and Brewers Distributor Ltd. (BDL), he is responsible for managing all aspects of the business, from day to day activity to long term strategic planning. He received his Master's Degree in Political Science from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario in 1988. He began working part-time at The Beer Store in 1983 while attending Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. After graduating, he attained a full-time position, starting as a management trainee and worked his way up to management functions in inventory control, human resources, finance, retail, and logistics management. Eventually he served as VP, Logistics, VP, Retail, and since 2009, he has been president of the company. Ted is now proud to serve as a volunteer member and chair of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada and also serves on the board of directors for the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.
Blu Ivy Group
Stacy is an employer branding thought leader who successfully communicates value through her holistic approach to talent and culture, married with marketing and branding best practices. She brings more than 20 years in HR, Marketing and Recruitment experience to Blu Ivy, after holding leadership positions at several globally recognized organizations. As the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Blu Ivy Group, she has led and implemented employer branding strategies for top brands both in Canada and globally, including H&M, Lowes, Starbucks, The Beer Store, Scotiabank, Manulife, PCL, Cadillac Fairview, Mattamy Homes, Morneau Shepell, and BMO. Several of her clients employer brand initiatives have been featured in global best practice case studies with Employer Brand International and in 2016 was a featured speaker at World Employer Brand Day in Prague.
North American Retail Trainer
Rod Power’s retail career began in 1993 which eventually brought him to Michael Hill in 2008. Beginning as an MIT in Ontario when Michael Hill only had 23 stores in Canada, moving to Western Canada to aide in it’s amazing growth. Michael Hill currently has 74 stores in Canada and 10 in the United States. For the past 4 years, Rod has been the North American Retail Trainer. The training implementation and the Retail Academy has been Rod’s primary focus and he is energized to be part of an expanding retailer’s continued growth. Rod has held many positions within the retail scope. However, having the ability to design, implement and review training packages within the workplace while utilizing different learning techniques to best reach the advancing audience has been an amazing experience.
President & Creative Strategist
Clean Slate Strategies
Jennifer is a recovering corporate executive who now helps organizations Do Things Differently and work UnScripted. Prior to starting Clean Slate, Jennifer was VP of both HR and Marketing for a national retailer and understands the importance of both employee and customer engagement. As a graduate of both Ivey’s Executive MBA program and Second City, Jennifer operates where the business and creative worlds collide. Jennifer has worked with diverse groups including Bell, the HRPA and NASA and has spoken at numerous industry and professional conferences. Jennifer and sits on the Board of Directors for the BEICC, the Business Events Industry Coalition of Canada, as the representative of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. Jennifer is the Author of the upcoming book “UnScripted”.
Director, David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing
Sobey School of Business
Ramesh Venkat is the Director of the David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services at the Sobey School of Business. He was previously Associate Dean and Director of MBA Program at the Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary’s University. Ramesh’s research expertise is in customer experience and engagement and brand strategy. Ramesh is the author the book “E-Marketing: A Strategic Approach” (by McGraw-Hill) and has a forthcoming book on Customer Engagement (by Springer). Ramesh is also founder and president of CeQuotia Consulting, which provides customer experience measurement and analytics solutions. Ramesh holds an MBA degree Simon Fraser University and a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of British Columbia, Canada.
Strategic Account Advisor – Retail
Matthew has over 30 years of experience exclusively in the retail Labour Management industry and has served in various positions as VP Solution Consultants, Product Manager, Sales Manager and Retail Industry Strategic Consultant. He has played major roles in the creation and implementation of the most successful WFM applications in the Retail Industry and has led many successful enterprise wide labor management implementations for such companies as Kroger, Safeway/Albertsons and The Home Depot.