Carman Allison

VP of Consumer Insights - Nielsen

Carman has his finger on the pulse of the FMCG landscape and is relied on by manufacturers and retailers to provide insights they need to make strategic business decisions. With over 28 years of experience, he shares his research on industry trends, consumer shopping and attitudes through thought leadership reports, industry presentations and his two monthly columns in Canadian Grocer and Grocery Business magazines.


David Coletto

David Coletto delivers strategic advice and research design expertise to many of Canada’s foremost corporations, advocacy groups, and political leaders. A leader in online research methodologies, public affairs research, corporate and organizational reputation studies, and youth research, Coletto has led projects for top-tier companies in many sectors including pharmaceutical, transportation, financial services, educational, natural resource, telecommunications, media, arts and cultural, tourism, and retail. David’s clients have included Nestle, Sysco, Google, Ernst & Young, the RCMP and Hudson’s Bay, among many others.


Derrick Ash

Senior Manager, Business Development and Technical Services
Canada Beef

As one of Canada Beef’s business development leads, Derrick specializes in strategic retail merchandising while infusing a consumer-centric approach to signature product and program development.


Dr. Sylvain Charlebois

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is a Professor in food distribution and policy in the Faculties of Management and Agriculture at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He is also the Senior Director of the Agri-food Analytics Lab, also located at Dalhousie University. He is as well the former Dean of the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University. Before joining Dalhousie, he was affiliated with the University of Guelph’s Arrell Food Institute, which he co-founded. While at the University of Guelph, he was also the Associate Dean of Research for the College of Business and Economics.

Known as “The Food Professor”, his current research interest lies in the broad area of food distribution, security and safety. He is one of the world's most cited scholars in food supply chain management, food value chains and traceability.

He has authored five books on global food systems, his most recent one published in 2017 by Wiley-Blackwell entitled “Food Safety, Risk Intelligence and Benchmarking”. He has also published over 500 peer-reviewed journal articles in several academic publications. Furthermore, his research has been featured in several newspapers and media groups, including The Economist, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, BBC, NBC, ABC, Fox News, Foreign Affairs, the Globe & Mail, the National Post and the Toronto Star.


Gina Lipton

Director of Sales, McLean Meats
Gina has proudly represented McLean Meats for the past 6 years as Director of Sales and is based out of Toronto, though she is Atlantic Canadian at heart. Humanely raised meat and healthy food choices are what drive her passion for the business.


Prashant Gupta

Analytics & AI – Practice Lead, Western Canada, BDO Canada

Prashant brings over eighteen years of Data, Analytics, Software solution experience in both consulting and management roles across different verticals having successively managed complex IS/IT projects across Canada, U.S.A, Europe and Middle East.

His focus to detail, strong analytical, inter-personal and problem solving skills have helped geographically distributed teams successively deliver Data Analytics, ERP, CRM, Customized application development, projects leveraging Microsoft Dynamics NAV, CRM, PSA, SharePoint, Office 365, MS SQL, Oracle and LAMP technologies.


Josh Ray

Co-Founder of ShopHero
Josh Ray is a veteran in the tech industry with a unique background in logistics, marketing, and entrepreneurship – three key areas to eCommerce success. He has a passion for helping small business owners and loves supporting independent grocers successfully launch, market, and operate online grocery programs.


Joyce Parslow

Executive Director, Marketing and Consumer Relations
Canada Beef

As the lead on the ThinkBeef.ca program at Canada Beef, Joyce has been instrumental in ensuring that #BeefBelongs as part of the healthy plate conversation when it comes to the new Canada Food Guide.


Katie Martin

Progressive Grocer magazine

Katie is a 20-year business media veteran, has covered the supermarket industry, specializing in independent and specialty grocers, for the last four years.


Marcel Joaquin

Managing Director, IQFoodChain

Marcel Joaquin is the managing director of IQFoodChain, a food traceability company which revolutionizes the food business, incentivizing honesty in food labeling, cutting product sourcing costs, and easing regulatory burden. IQFoodChain reduces the incidence and costs of food recalls, thereby generating shareholder and brand value. Most recently, Marcel was the VP of Finance with Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods, a BRC AA+ food manufacturer with products carried by thousands of independent grocers and specialty food stores.


Robin Sherk

Vice President, Canadian Market, Kantar Consulting
Robin leads Kantar Consulting’s Canadian retail, sales, and shopper practice. She oversees the research and client advisory across channels and trends, helping brands navigate Canada’s dynamic selling landscape. She helps guide brands on shoppers’ evolving demands and behaviors and on digital technology’s impact on retailers’ strategies and manufacturers’ positioning. She is a sought-after speaker and trainer, providing guidance to numerous Fortune 500 CPG companies across North America. In addition to maintaining a public blog for the trade magazine Canadian Grocer, Robin is a frequent contributor to Kantar Consulting’s various publications. She graduated magna cum laude from McGill University with a B.A. in psychology and earned an M.S. in mass communication research from Boston University.


Sage Russel

Sage Russel is a former Lighting Designer, educator and a published author and currently the west coast sales manager for LumenWerx. He speaks nationally on topics of Lighting Design theory, application and the evolution of design trends and technology. CDm2 partners with world-class manufacturers such as LumenWerx, offering innovative, fully integrated, cost effective and sustainable lighting solutions.


Sam Burman

VP of Planning & Design
Off the Wall

Sam was born and educated in England and has over 40 years’ experience as a retail store designer in Europe, S Africa, Canada and the USA. For 20 years Sam was VP of planning & Design for A&P and Lind Design International. Off The Wall is a design and décor fabrication firm in PA, and has worked with Whole Foods, ShopRite, Target, Ahold, Aldi, Dollar General and more retail outlets in USA.


Sooky Lee

Division Vice President / General Manager, Human Resources Outsourcing - ADP Canada Co.

As General Manager of ADP’s Human Resource Outsourcing practice in Canada, Sooky Lee is responsible for the growth and management of this strategic business unit. ADP Canada HRO provides clients HR support and services in a variety of ways from self-service access to HR knowledge, compliance and tools via ADP HR Assist or fully managed HR administrative services through WFN Comprehensive Services. In this capacity, Sooky is also a member of ADP’s Canadian Senior Leadership Team.

Prior to assuming this role in October 2015, Sooky led the company’s Human Resources function for more than five years. During her tenure, Sooky led the talent and culture strategy to support ADP Canada’s expansion into Human Capital Management. She was a tireless champion for investing in ADP associates through people analytics, advanced recognition and organizational development programs.


Stewart Samuel

Program Director, IGD Canada
Stewart is responsible for running IGD’s operations and research program in North America. Stewart is an expert on North American food retailer strategies, trends and channel developments. In addition to working with leading retailers in the region, he also supports CPG companies to navigate the pace of change in the sector. His key areas of focus include store of the future, grocery ecommerce and retail technology.

Stewart also works with international business leaders as part of our strategic projects service, is a regular presenter at international conferences and media commentator. He has led several international study tours in the US and Canada working with retailer CEOs and senior leadership teams.


Suzanne DiMichele

Western Canada Sales Manager, McLean Meats
Suzanne has worked in the health industry for the past 30 years. As Western Canada Sales Manager for McLean Meats, she is passionate about truly clean, healthy foods that support and heal the body. Suzanne enjoys educating her customers on how quality ingredients make the difference in our daily lives.