Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Lisa Tompkins, Director, Marketing & Communications, CN Tower
Board Chair, Executive Committee

Lisa Tompkins has worked in event marketing, operations and retail management for over 25 years. She has spent the last 14 years with the CN Tower — Canada's celebrated iconic attraction, a world-class entertainment and dining destination - in a variety of leadership roles.   In her current role, she is responsible for the marketing and communication functions, as well as having responsibility for the gift shop operations. Lisa holds a degree from Queens University and serves on a number of industry and community Boards.


Barry Crystal, Sr. Vice-President, Operations, Direct Construction Company Limited
Past Chair (2009-11)

Executive Committee

Barry Crystal is an experienced retail executive with extensive operations and managerial expertise. Barry has over 20 years of retail experience, driving business results and innovation for success and most recently joined Direct Construction as the Vice President of their Retail Construction and Maintenance Division.    Formerly, he was with Premier Salons as Senior Vice President, Operations, with more than 1,000 spas, salons, and stores across the United States and Canada operating as Halcyon Days Salons and Spas, Premier Salons and Spas, Winston's Barbershop, Trade Secret, Pure Beauty, Beauty Express, Beauty First and operate within retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue, Holt Renfrew, Neiman Marcus, Macys, The Bay and Sears. Prior to Premier Salons, Barry was an executive of Sony of Canada and held other positions with retailers such as Mark's Work Wearhouse. Barry is a graduate from the University of Toronto, BA in Commerce and Economics.


Tim Leys, Partner, Sales and Strategy,  Consumer Intelligence Group

Executive Committee/Platinum Sponsor

Tim is the co-founder of Consumer Intelligence Group Inc. 19 years in the marketing analytics business provides Tim with deep insights into marketing intelligence and the ability to bring successful solutions to complex objectives for some of the largest marketers in Canada in the financial, retail, consumer goods and telecommunications industries


Jim Danahy, President & CEO, CustomerLAB
Executive and Education Committee

Headquartered in Toronto with affiliate offices in New York and San Francisco, CustomerLAB is a Retail Productivity firm that has been serving retailers, consumer products companies and financial institutions across the U.S. and Canada since 1994. A third generation retailer and seasoned marketer, Jim and his teams of specialists boost cash-flow and productivity in retail advertising, store operations, customer service centres, real estate, supply chain and franchising. Jim has extensive experience turning around underperforming companies and providing operational expertise for re-financings, mergers and acquisitions. Often quoted in national and international business media, Mr. Danahy is a frequent contributor to retail-related trade journals and is a popular public speaker. Jim holds a degree from Ryerson University and serves on a number of industry and community Boards.



Board of Directors

Andrew Boisvenue, Director, Retail, Aimia

Platinum Sponsor

As Director, Retail at Aimia Inc., Andrew holds a dual mandate on the Key Account Management team – being responsible for both proprietary and coalition businesses in the retail sector. In this role, Andrew oversees the myHusky Rewards loyalty program for Husky Energy, as well as Aeroplan’s new partnership with SHOP.CA. Andrew has more than 19 years’ marketing experience including loyalty strategy, database and digital marketing and advertising strategy. Prior to his role at Aimia, Andrew worked in the financial service and retail sectors at OgilvyOne worldwide and Bensimon & Byrne. Andrew is a three time judge for the CMA Awards and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto.


Brian Cordingley, Sr. Promotions and Brand Manager, Toronto Star

Sponsorship Co-Chair/Platinum Sponsor

Brian Cordingley is a marketing and advertising professional with over 15 years experience in the media business.  With experience in sales and in a number of management roles in marketing and strategy, Brian is currently the Senior Promotions & Brand Manager at the Toronto Star.  In this role he is responsible for building the Toronto Star brand in the minds of both consumers and advertisers through sponsorships, promotions and integrated marketing plans.


Brian Miles, VP, Strategy & Business Development, Commport Communications Inc.

A seasoned, senior executive with a proven ability to create new business opportunities and models and effectively implement them. The experience acquired as a corporate executive, independent consultant and entrepreneur brings compelling leadership strengths required to successfully execute strategy through motivated management teams and engaged stakeholders. Specialties include general management, marketing, merchandising, strategic planning, operations, real estate and content management / data synchronization.

Brian has served on the RAC Board since 1994, chaired the Membership and Strategic planning committees, was Board Chair in 1999 & 2000, and member of the Executive from 1998 until 2011.


Bruce Smith, FFR Merchandising

Events Committee

Bruce was initiated to the world of retail at a small marine store during his teens. He has consulted on retail environment design to such respected firms as T Mobile, Bell Canada, Cotton Ginny, Sheridan Nurseries, Rona, The Beer Store, and Source for Sports. His passion for retail business realities helps shape the direction of FFR Merchandising's work.

FFR Merchandising has the point of purchase display industry’s largest inventory and widest selection of stock merchandising products – all ready to ship same day! Our products are high-quality, long-lasting display solutions you can rely on. From display fixtures, fasteners, hundreds of sign holders, product merchandisers, sign hanging hardware, shelf management and thousands more retail display products.


Byron Ells, Vice President, Media and Digital, Shoppers Drug Mart

Lead the Media and Digital team with responsibility for all Shoppers Drug Mart, PharmaPrix, and Murale customer touchpoints outside of store. This includes the weekly flyer, paid media across TV, newspaper, radio, out-of-home, digital mediums, and digital channels including websites, email, mobile apps, and social presences (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube). Launched and run the Murale eCommerce business, the first online business for Shoppers Drug Mart.


Darrell Cook, Vice Presdient-Retail Strategy, Geomedia Inc.

Education Committee Chair & Symposium Committee Co-Chair

Darrell is currently the VP Retail Strategy at Geomedia. His career as an executive leader spans a wide range of marketing and technology companies throughout North America and the UK. He has also been a senior executive with many prominent digital /interactive organizations excelling at bridging offline business processes with effective online channels. He is currently a Board of Director of the Retail Advertising and Marketing Council of Canada (RAC), and former Board of Director of the Internet Advertising Bureau of Canada.


Darren Moffett, Managing Director eBusiness & Digital Marketing North America BMO Financial Group

Events Committee

Darren Moffett is Managing Director eBusiness & Digital Marketing who joined BMO on March 2013. In his role he is accountable for delivering strategic thought leadership and consultation for BMO stakeholders in delivering a best in class digital customer journeys across BMO’s digital ecosystem. He leads the digital marketing COE for BMO. Darren is accountable for the digital strategy and implementation for all customer experience within BMO’s public digital destinations, maximizing paid for marketing initiatives, optimization of digital performance and enhance conversion to our secure digital channels. Darren, an Irishman who grew up in the GTA and spent a long period working in senior roles in Europe, has deep digital marketing experience on both the corporate and agency sides with over 20 years working in digital marketing. Darren has extensive experience in building customer centric digital solutions with a background in e-commerce, mobile marketing, digital acquisition & CRM communications, social media, digital media, search optimization and digital analytics. Prior to joining BMO, Darren was Vice President, Customer Programs at Canadian Tire where he was responsible for the strategic evolution of the most famous and long standing Canadian loyalty program and was the overall business leader for the consolidation of the customer centric identity across the corporation. Prior to Canadian Tire, Darren was Director of Digital Marketing at WestJet Airlines where, among many other things, he devised the strategy and implemented the redesign / rebuild of WestJet’s 4 digital storefronts -- delivering a 20% increase in conversion within 6 months.


Dave Mathews, Managing Director, Prospect Media Group Ltd.

Events Committee Chair

Dave Mathews has over 19 years of experience in the household distribution media industry. He founded StrataFly in partnership with Prospect Media to create an innovative and multi-faceted distribution management firm.

Dave's career began at Metroland newspapers, where he focused on flyer, catalogue and specialty distribution business for 7 years. He spent 10 years at Netmedia managing national distribution media programs for retailers and other advertisers based in Canada and the U.S. Prospect Media Group Ltd. is a leading Canadian media / marketing services company providing marketers with analytics, distribution and production options for flyers, door hangers, direct mail, samples and variety of other products.In January of 2014 Prospect Media Inc.(founded 1998) and Stratafly Inc. (founded 2006) merged to create an organization offering a broader range of services for the retail, CPG, telecom, financial industries. 


David Thorpe, General Manager, Marketing, London Drugs Ltd.

David Thorpe is a marketing and advertising professional with over 20 years of retail marketing experience.  As General Manager of Marketing for London Drugs Limited,  David heads up the marketing team and is responsible for all integrated marketing activities for the Western Canadian brand.  As well, David is also GM, Marketing for Sonora Resort, a Relais & Chateau Eco-Adventure travel destination in beautiful British Columbia along with London Air Services, a private charter airline, specializing in executive travel.  Prior to joining London Drugs, David was VP Marketing at Giant Tiger Stores Limited. He also serves on a number of industry boards.


Denise Darragh, Vice President Marketing, Spinrite Yarns LP

Denise has 20+ years experience in both CPG and Retail marketing. She led both the Revlon and Hallmark brands to leadership in the Canadian marketplace and was named one of the 10 Marketers That Mattered Most by Marketing Magazine. Before returning to CPG Denise was VP Marketing at Rexall Drug Stores. Currently Denise heads up the marketing team at Spinrite Yarns, the North American leader in the yarn category. This dynamic category is at the forefront of the ‘Do-It-Yourself’ movement. Denise has worked with all of the major Canadian Grocery and Pharmacy retailers in Canada throughout her career. Her current work at Spinrite is primarily with U.S. Craft and Hobby retailers and building e-commerce platforms. Her passion is leveraging key insights to maximize the Customer Experience. Denise is a graduate of the Ivey Business Program at Western University.

Dimitra Maniatis, Solutions Consultant, Medallia Inc.

Research Committee Chair

Dimitra Maniatis has been with Leger Marketing since 2006 and currently holds the position of Associate Vice President.  In her five years with Leger, Dimitra has worked on a variety of client accounts, focusing in the Financial, Services and Retail industries.  She is a senior member of Leger Marketing’s consulting team and provides high-level strategic advice and client services.  Her extensive quantitative and qualitative research experience includes market assessment, corporate branding and marketing strategy development, stakeholder research, and communications.  Dimitra has considerable corporate experience having worked at American Express for a number of years prior to joining Leger Marketing.  She is also an expert on customer satisfaction research and was responsible for all Canadian satisfaction research while at American Express.  In addition, she sat on a global committee on satisfaction measurement and presented findings and recommendations to senior level executives from Canada, Europe, Japan, Asia Pacific, Australia and Latin America.


Drew Cashmore, Sr. Director of Digital Marketing, Walmart

Drew Cashmore is the Sr. Director of Digital Marketing at Walmart Canada. He currently leads Walmart Canada's Digital and Shopper Marketing groups focusing on delivering integrated marketing solutions and digital innovation for Walmart and their vendor partners. He also played an instrumental role in the launch of Walmart’s eCommerce platform and continues to support its growth in the Canadian market. Drew started his career at the Internet Television company JumpTV Inc. where he supported the development of their online advertising strategy. From JumpTV, Drew moved to MySpace Canada implementing new sales strategies, product and marketing programs in the Canadian market. In 2013, Drew was selected as one of Marketing Magazine's Top 30 Under 30 marketers in Canada.


Jay Bertram, President, TBWA\Canada

Renowned team builder and motivator, Jay has been a leader in the highly-competitive world of retail all his professional life.

Jay lives by the motto “None of us is as good as all of us.” Teamwork, where everybody bears and shares the responsibility of success, is essential to being a winner in fast-paced, perceived commodity categories such as the ones he’s worked in.

From Petro-Canada, Canadian Airlines, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Nissan, and McDonald’s, to name a few, by putting their needs first, almost to the point of taking it personally, there are few categories that have not benefited from his energy, drive, and desire to see them make and exceed their objectives. After a senior leadership role at Cossette where he helped transform McDonald’s national franchise business, Jay returned to TBWA\Toronto as president and quickly transformed its culture. This resulted in significant business success, new clients, and the attraction and retention of some of the best talent in the industry.


Jeffery McBain, President, idig Marketing

Marketing & Communications Chair

Jeffery is a multi-disciplined entrepreneur and senior executive with a cross section of experience within complementary verticals. He has worked with Canadian and U.S. based retailers for over 20 years.

In 2005, Jeffery formed idig (information digital integration group) Marketing.  idig is a digital solutions company focused on innovation through the integration of web based technologies, social media, and compelling content.  idig has a legacy of developing and deploying client specific business-aligned solutions –applications, sophisticated software, and applications delivering invaluable insights, “clarity” and superior results to some of the most successful organizations in North America.


Jeff Wright, VP Field Marketing, Mango18 Field Marketing

Events Committee

Jeff has a diverse background having worked in marketing in some of Canada's largest CPG companies and has held senior positions in some of Canada's top Ad Agencies and Field Marketing Services providers. For the past 25 years he has been responsible for Sales & Marketing in field marketing service providers (e.g. sampling, merchandising, auditing, contract selling and mystery shopping) and is fluently bilingual. Mango 18 Field Marketing, specializes in Mystery Shopping (customer service verification, staff integrity, sale of age restricted products verification, brand preference / recommendations), auditing (retail performance, promotional compliance, operational verification) and merchandising.


Jim Green, VP, Product Management & Client Services, Environics Analytics

Symposium Committee

Jim has recently accepted a position at Environics Analytics as Vice President Product Management and Client Services. Jim has over 20 years’ experience in the Marketing Research field, having worked with A.C. Nielsen (Media) and one of North America’s largest Direct Response advertising agencies. Over the years, Jim has been involved in Product Management, Client Service, Sales, Marketing and Various Operations functions. Jim holds a BA in Economics (Econometrics specialty) from the University of Waterloo.


Lisa Orpen, Director, Marketing & Corporate Sales, Metroland Media Group

Education Committee

Metroland Media Group Limited is a dynamic media company delivering community, business and advertising information to millions of readers across Southern Ontario. In addition to publishing more than 100 local weekly newspapers and 3 local daily newspapers, they offer countless advertising venues, a distribution network, specialty printing, internet and web publishing — all in Canada's economic heartland.


MaryBeth Brown, Garden Centre Marketing Manager, Sheridan Nurseries

Brock University Graduate – Bachelor of Business Administration with Honours, Celebrating 25 years working at Sheridan Nurseries this year. Current Position: Garden Centre Marketing Manager at Sheridan Nurseries (13 years) Prior to working in the marketing department worked at 2 of our retail locations (Mississauga, Toronto) gaining extensive knowledge of retail. In her current role at Sheridan Nurseries she oversees retail marketing programs including: Online programs including: website, social media, email programs; Print Campaigns including: flyers, newspaper and magazine ads; Marketing Business Plans & Budget ; In-store Sign Program


Rick Chad, President, Chad Management Group

Sponsorship Committee Co-Chair

  • President of Chad Management Group since 1981. Previous experience in marketing with Proctor & Gamble and William Neilson Ltd (now Cadbury Adams). Wife — Claudia and four teenagers at home. Commerce graduate of McGill.
  • Community Involvement: Kids Help Foundation; Board of Directors (6 years)
  • Numerous fundraiser committees, tied in with kid's schools/religious organizations, sports organizations, etc
  • Previously: Coached hockey/"Trainer".   Sports Enthusiast — primarily cycling, hockey and skiing.


Rochelle Ezekiel, Divisional Vice President Digital Marketing, Hudson’s Bay

Rochelle is the Divisional Vice President of Digital Marketing at Hudson's Bay. She is a senior leader with over 14 years of experience working in Canada and the US, developing and managing digital strategies for retail, financial and technology verticals. At Hudson’s Bay she is responsible for all aspects of digital including Search, Email, Display, Affiliates, Mobile and Social Media. Her current focus is driving digital growth and creating multi-channel marketing plans that align digital, print and in-store.


Sue Borthwick, Vice President, Black Press Group Limited

Events Committee

Sue began her newspaper career in England, working with one of the major daily newspaper chains and extended her portfolio to include community newspapers and specialized publications.  Sue has many years experience in the advertising industry and has been in Canada since 1996, working with the Black Press group of newspapers in B.C.  Sue works with local, national and agency accounts and assists in developing marketing and business strategies.


Sylvia Guenther, Business Director, Market Focus Direct

Symposium Committee

Sylvia has cultivated her skills in supplier relations, customer service, client development and long term relationship building. For the last 15 years at Market Focus, Sylvia has played an intricate roll of developing, managing and servicing high profile retailers. She is a positive, energetic and dedicated team and project leader with proven skills in many areas of advertising. She has worked with many large retail clients over the last 15 years. Prior to joining MFD she spent 10 years at Sony of Canada in various capacities. 


Wanda Yu, VP National Advertising, Glacier Media Group

For over 25 years Wanda has spent her career in the media business working successfully with clients to assist and drive market sales both Locally and Nationally Wanda’s early roots stem from her role as a local sales representative with the Surrey. Now, a successful community newspaper within a large diverse urban population. Her success in this role working with a variety of clients soon led to her promotion to the Van Net National leadership team where she was responsible for a substantial portfolio of clients. In this position Wanda had the opportunity to demonstrate her creative approach with clients to enable them to develop and implement successful and impactful media campaigns. With a strong National Team of resources, she leveraged company assets to drive client ROI, while focusing on customer satisfaction as the end goal.


Wayne Yang, Sr Manager- Production Services, Best Buy Canada

Education Committee

Wayne Yang has over 30 years experience in retail, information technology and business consulting. For the last 11 years, he has worked for Best Buy Canada and has held managerial roles in Market Intelligence and Strategic Pricing. Wayne is currently the Senior Manager of Production Services. He is responsible for the Canadian print production for Best Buy and Future Shop as well as Translation Services, Photography Services and digital production.  Wayne has an MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business and a Bachelors Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. He was awarded the 2013 DAMMY award for Best Strategy or Solution for Digital & Media Asset Management during Acquisition of Content.