A packed full-day of discussion and learning on today’s most pressing HR issues affecting retailers.

April 20, 2023

7:30 AM - 4:00 PM EST
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM EST
Networking Breakfast
8:30 AM - 8:45 AM EST

Welcoming Remarks

Diane J. Brisebois

President and CEO

Retail Council of Canada

Kevin Graff


Graff Retail

8:45 AM - 9:15 AM EST

Unlocking Growth with your Employee Experience

Tiffani Bova

Global Growth Evangelist


The fastest way to get your customers to love your brand, is to get your employees to love their jobs. In this session you will hear from Tiffani Bova, Global Growth Evangelist at Salesforce and WSJ bestselling author of Growth IQ, on the impact of aligning these two key areas. Tiffani discusses changing employee expectations, how companies can design effective EX- and CX-centered growth strategies and what executives need to consider when designing collaboration. Discover how employee first, customer-centric organization will help ignite more focused growth.

9:15 AM - 9:45 AM EST

Rethinking Change Leadership

Stephen Friedman

Adjunct Professor of Organizational Studies

Schulich ExecEd, Schulich School of Business at York University

Stephen Friedman, Adjunct Professor of Organizational Studies at the Schulich School of Business at York University, specializes in teaching about interpersonal communication and leadership. Stephen is teaching leaders how to rethink their thinking through complex problems and increase their agility to respond with ease. Leave this session feeling empowered to manage change and with new ideas to better equip your teams to get comfy with the uncontrollable change that is retail.

9:45 AM - 9:50 AM EST

Retail Briefing on Wage Fixing and No Poaching Agreements

Majid Charania

Director of Compliance

Competition Bureau Canada

Fast Five Highlight

Canada’s competition laws will soon prohibit wage fixing and no poaching agreements among employers. Learn more about this important development and the Competition Bureau’s resources designed to help businesses understand the law.

9:50 AM - 10:20 AM EST

Ghost-busting Strategies for Talent Attraction

Ghosting is not only a modern dating term, but employers are similarly getting left in the dust after with candidates going silent on communication, skipping interviews, or simply not showing up to the first day of work. This session looks at how retailers are navigating the roadblocks of talent attraction to build better connections with discussions on employer branding, the varied needs of in-store and hybrid team members, and the expectations of a values driven workforce. Leave this session with new ideas you can take back to the team for immediate and long-term impact.

Kelly Mawhinney

Partner and Career LOB, Toronto


Michael LeBlanc

Senior Retail Advisor, Retail Council of Canada

Retail Council of Canada

10:20 AM - 11:00 AM EST

Activating Employee Engagement and Transformation

Creating meaningful programs for improved overall employee wellness has incredible value but how are retailers who have had success and growth ensuring strong, sustainable engagement? In this session, Ardene’s Chief Leadership and Mindfulness Officer, Fil D’Urbano, is joined by two colleagues, Marie-Laurence Godon, CHRP, Manager, Culture and Engagement, and Martine Lamoureux, Head of Talent and Culture, to discuss the implementation of their innovative and strongly adopted mindfulness program. The Ardene team shares how employee feedback has driven success and the impact it has had on engagement and leadership development. Hear actionable tips for developing engaging employee programs to ensure high value and impact and how they monitor and measure success.

Fil D’Urbano

Chief Leadership and Mindfulness Officer


Martine Lamoureux

Head of Talent and Culture


Marie-Laurence Godon

Manager of Culture & Engagement


11:00 AM - 11:30 AM EST
Networking Break
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM EST

Driving Innovation with a Highly Engaged Diverse and Inclusive Workforce

New Ways to Work in a World Without Boundaries

12:15 PM - 1:30 PM EST
Networking Lunch
1:30 PM - 2:15 PM EST

Leveraging Psychological Safety for Long-Term Success

Cultivating Culture in a Hybrid World Through The Power of Technology

2:15 PM - 2:45 PM EST
Networking Break
2:45 PM - 3:15 PM EST

The Power of Belonging

Eamon Leonard

Manager, Learning and Knowledge Solutions

Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion

Creating a sense of belonging in the workplace can have a wide range of advantages for both employees and the organisation as a whole. Employees who feel a sense of belonging are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and productive, and organisations that foster a sense of belonging tend to be more innovative and collaborative. Eamon Leonard, Manager, Learning and Knowledge Solutions with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion will share the keys to help retailers understand how they can bring this to life within their own organization for the benefit of better employee and customer experiences.

3:15 PM - 3:55 PM EST

Boost Retention and Minimize Your Turnover

There are many factors that impact employee retention, from generational expectations to erosion of trust. With estimates that a lost employee can cost 6-9 months average salary, the cost can be staggering. This panel discussion responds to these challenges with tangible strategies including how they are overcoming the erosion of trust, identifying and developing competencies, and how to navigate sweeping changes in the workplace.

Frances Gunn

Interim Director, Retail Management

Ted Rogers School of Retail Management, Toronto Metropolitan University

Christopher Delledonne

Director, Human Resources


Michael Smyth

Chief Retail Officer

Mastermind Toys

John Benjamin

Vice President of People

Walmart Canada

3:55 PM - 4:25 PM EST

Creative and Agile: Modern HR Leadership

For many years HR leaders have found themselves navigating challenges like optimizing labour costs, meeting recruitment goals, and facilitating learning and development. In moving from crisis mode back to creative and collaborative management, modern leaders are eager to move towards people-centric strategies to create a more dynamic talent and work model. In this session Tanja Fratangeli, Chief People Officer with IKEA Canada and Alex Snelling, Chief People Officer with McDonalds Canada sit down to chat about the new priorities they’re focused on, the role for technology, and the skills sets that are now critical for HR executives.

Tanja Fratangeli

Chief People Officer

IKEA Canada

Alex Snelling

Chief People Officer

McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada

Kevin Graff


Graff Retail

4:25 PM - 4:30 PM EST
Closing Remarks
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM EST
Networking Reception