Oct 25-26, 2022 | Toronto Congress Centre

John Rossman

Former Amazon Executive
Author of book series "The Amazon Way"

John Rossman is sought-after keynote speaker, former Amazon executive, and business strategist. Rossman is most known for launching and scaling the Amazon Marketplace, which Jeff Bezos called “one of his magical businesses”, accounting for over 50% of all Amazon units sold and shipped. Rossman also served as Director of Enterprise Services at Amazon.com under CEO Jeff Bezos, where he managed worldwide services to enterprise clients such as Target.com, Marks and Spencer, and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Since leaving Amazon, he has advised clients across most industry verticals on innovation, digital strategy, and culture as Managing Partner of Rossman Partners. Offering guidance through the maze of challenges and options, Rossman is adept at finding the business strategy for businesses of all sizes. His approach helps audiences tackle the technology, business and internal challenges in innovating with the internet of things and their digital business strategy.

Ward Hanlon

Ward was involved with many Industry related organizations throughout his career. In 2005, Ward joined CFIG and became VP Industry Relations. During his tenure, he has developed close ties with manufacturers, suppliers and retailers alike, and is respected for his encyclopedic knowledge of Canada’s grocery industry. Ward help to create and institute many of the CFIG programs that recognize excellence in retailing. In 2017, he received the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers’ Spirit of the Independent Award.

Waleed Ayoub

CTO, Rubikloud Technologies Inc.

Waleed Ayoub is a product and technology leader with over a decade of hands-on experience empowering talented teams and building impactful enterprise SaaS products. His experience spans a broad enterprise landscape, including banking, CPG retail, loyalty, telco, pharmacy and other specialty B2C domains. Waleed specializes in transforming data and machine learning from an operational afterthought to a revenue-generating asset with some of the world’s largest enterprises. At Rubikloud, Waleed is on a mission to bring “intelligent decision automation” to the enterprise. Prior to joining Rubikloud as their Chief Technology Officer, Waleed most recently ran the Customer & Advanced Analytics practice at Shoppers Drug Mart. Waleed holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and Engineering with a specialization in Quantum Physics from the University of Toronto.

Robert Graybill

President & CEO at FMS

Robert Graybill, President & CEO of FMS, joined the company in 2000, and has over 20 years of experience in the retail grocery industry. Currently, Robert leads the FMS team in meeting their goal of helping retailers to succeed through benchmarking, best practices, and decision support.

Robert Carter

Foodservice Industry Analyst, The NPD Group

Robert Carter is a highly-respected consumer behaviour industry expert and a dynamic speaker with a passion for tracking trends and consumer activity. Robert is a sought-after and energetic presenter who is regularly recruited to deliver subject matter expertise on consumer behaviour trends, market activity, and operator and retailer performance. A regular keynote speaker at numerous industry events such as The Canadian Coffee Conference, The Canadian Tea Conference, The Connect Show, The Canadian Restaurant Investment Summit, and The Restaurants Canada Show, Robert is frequently quoted in major newspapers and magazines, appears on television newscasts, and writes a regular column for Foodservice and Hospitality magazine.

Joe Jackman

Founder and CEO of Jackman Reinvents

Joe Jackman is a reinventionist. An advisor to CEOs and private equity partners for 30+ years, he has proven invaluable to those intent on sharpening strategy and orchestrating brand-driven transformations of their businesses. Throughout his career as a strategist, creative director, marketer and reinvention advisor, he has helped companies create the most powerful and relevant versions of themselves in record time. He is widely considered to be the leading expert on rapid reinvention and corporate transformation. His unique firm, Jackman Reinvents, works closely with CEOs and their leadership teams to build Category of One businesses, systematically transforming their value propositions and customer experiences to catalyze value creation: financial value, cultural value, and human value.

Jeremy Scott

HST Resource Partner, BDO Canada

As a Partner in BDO’s Indirect Tax practice, Jeremy advises clients in various sectors in the areas of the Federal Goods and Services Tax/ Harmonized Sales Tax, and Provincial Sales Tax, Tobacco Taxes, Fuel Taxes as well as Environmental Stewardship Levies. With over 15 years of indirect tax experience, and a particular focus on the Wholesale and Retail sectors, as well as mergers and acquisitions including complex structures, Jeremy proactively advises clients and also assists them with audit defense.

Formerly, Jeremy served as the head of tax for one of Canada’s largest wholesalers/retailers of grocery products, and was involved with a number of industry associations. He is also a member of the Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society.

Harold Lloyd

Harold is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago. He has been the president of a company with 1000 employees and 14 stores and was a franchisee of a 3-unit, award-winning family restaurant group.

For the last 34 years, Harold has been the featured speaker at the food industry’s most popular events. He has created 30 top rated seminars and written 4 books. He has also created and currently facilitates nine industry related share groups. Harold is a proud father of 3 and grandfather of 2 and lives in Virginia Beach, VA with his wife, Deanna.

Shenela Tavarayan

Manager, Retail Commerce at Interac Corp

Shenela Tavarayan is the Manager, Retail Commerce at Interac Corp., working on a portfolio that includes Interac Debit, Interac Flash and mobile products in Canada. Her responsibilities include merchant acceptance and usage, growth of new products and interchange pricing controls and process.

Purvi Desai

Senior Consultant, Quality and Regulatory

Purvi Desai has several years of experience overseeing the Quality Management System in various food industries and has held managerial roles. She is ASQ – Certified HACCP Auditor with several years of practical experience in GMP and food safety audits. Purvi has developed and implemented HACCP programs, FSEP and SOP’s. She has training and experience in developing and implementing SQF and FSSC 22000 quality management systems. She also has extensive practical experience working with a cross-functional continuous improvements projects which identified ways to streamline procedures and customer satisfaction. She holds a Master of Science degree in Industrial Microbiology.

VJ Bala

Founder, HeyJute

An experienced business owner and change agent, VJ is a passionate environmentalist with an intention to bring accurate awareness about relevant truths and untruths. His company, HeyJute, offers natural plant alternatives to plastics. For the past 26 years, VJ has used his engineering and business backgrounds to marry ethics with corporate profitability; empowering projects to help companies with sustainable planning and future friendly branding. VJ is vegetarian, loves tennis, yoga, golf, and philanthropy.

Eric Matusiak

National Retail Leader, BDO Canada

As national retail leader, Eric has a passion for retail and the broader consumer business sector. He has over 20 years of experience consulting consumer facing businesses in North America on business and technology strategy and operations.

Andrea Wynter

Head of People, ADP Canada

Since joining ADP in 2006, as the company’s people leader, Andrea’s focus is on developing talent, building the organizational people strategy and driving forward the culture and values that ADP Canada holds dear. She is passionate about the critical role her function plays in enabling ADP Canada’s focus and vision where nothing gets in the way of people doing great work and creating conditions that allow everyone to reach their full potential. It’s the ideal that ADP was built upon, and what drives her today. Helping people work smarter, embrace new challenges, and unleash their talent

During her 13-year tenure at ADP, and through ADP’s transformation journey, Andrea has redesigned all aspects of the company’s people agenda and management systems to shape a culture of continuous learning, innovation and agility. At the same time, she has begun the journey of digitally transforming the HR function, incorporating AI and automation across several HR offerings including driving ADP’s global adoption of design thinking and agile methods, championing ADP’s new Talent Activation Platform, “Stand Out”.

David Burnett

Chef, McCormick

Chef David Burnett attended The Stratford’s Chef School and has done two shows on Food Network Canada. After leaving restaurants and television he turned his focus to manufacturing and product development working in both the foodservice and CPD sides of the market.

Laura Nicklin


Laura Nicklin is a seasoned market researcher with extensive experience in research consulting and storytelling with Fortune 500 clients. Within EnsembleIQ, she oversees a team of senior-level research consultants and partners with the Path to Purchase Institute to provide business intelligence relevant to brands, agencies, and retailers in the shopper marketing industry. Nicklin has worked closely with hundreds of clients in consumer goods manufacturing, retail, technology, and agencies to understand their business goals and design research programs to inform their decisions.

Prior to EIQ Research Solutions, Nicklin led a research team at Maritz Research and was responsible for the design and execution of customer experience programs within the retail and hospitality industries. She has also worked in product development research with several large CPG manufacturers.

Nicklin holds a Master of Marketing Research (MMR) degree from Southern Illinois University and has about 20 years of experience in the market research field.