CEO Summit 2018
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
7:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Fairmont Royal York
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100 Front St W, Toronto
BDC Capital is the investment arm of BDC- Canada's only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. With $3 billion under management, BDC Capital serves as a strategic partner to the country's most innovative firms. It offers a full spectrum of risk capital, from seed investments to transition capital, supporting Canadian entrepreneurs who wish to scale their businesses into global champions. Visit bdc.ca/capital
Generation after generation, Deloitte has been by the side of the entrepreneurs transforming Canada's economy. Deloitte Private is exclusively focused on serving private clients of all sizes. Find out more here.
Through our Global Commercial Services division, American Express offers powerful backing and support that helps companies of all sizes gain financial savings, control and efficiency. We provide a suite of payment and lending products, solutions for travel and everyday business spending, cross border payments, global currency solutions, and business financing.
Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering innovation, prosperity and security through great software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca.
Sun Life Financial Inc. ("SLF Inc.") is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life Financial has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2017, Sun Life Financial had total assets under management ("AUM") of $975 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com. Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
CEO Global Network is an exclusive CEO and executive peer group organization that creates opportunities for learning and development through monthly group meetings led by experienced CEOs, targeted one-to-one mentoring, and focused learning events throughout the year-including the GREAT CEOs Speaker Series. Our Members are successful individuals who have committed to working with other business leaders and our Group Leaders to develop action plans for improving their success on all levels-in their businesses, as well as in their personal and family lives. All Growth 500 winners are eligible to receive 50% off individual ticket and table pricing to the GREAT CEOs Speaker Series event on October 18th at the Mississauga Convention Centre with Keith Ferrazzi, best-selling author of Never Eat Alone and Who's Got Your Back and Founder and Chairman of Ferrazzi Greenlight. Please use promo code GROWTH500 to receive this discount. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets: greatceosspeakerseries.com/keithferrazzi
The Lazaridis School of Business & Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo is one of the largest and most selective business schools in Canada. It is also home to some of the most dynamic and industry-focused programs, research centres and institutes in the country.
The Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises combines leading-edge research, personalized mentorship and proven scale-up methods to support and accelerate Canada’s start-up tech industry.
In addition to the service-oriented Lazaridis Institute, the Executive Master’s in Technology Management is a unique program home to an intimate class of senior-level managers innovatively working in disruptive technology and business enterprises across the nation.
The 16th annual Growth 500 CEO Summit—formerly known as the PROFIT 500 CEO Summit—is an invitation-only event produced for ambitious, successful entrepreneurs, designed exclusively for the leaders of the 2018 Growth 500 ranking of Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies and its companion Startup 50 ranking of Canada's Top New Growth Companies.
The Growth 500 CEO Summit offers a unique forum to help you identify today's promising opportunities, overcome the challenges that growing companies face and forge invaluable relationships with your entrepreneurial peers.
This year's CEO Summit will feature the Growth 500 Awards Luncheon, numerous opportunities to meet and share ideas with fellow growth-oriented entrepreneurs, and a great lineup of speakers who will help you grow your business to the next level more easily and more profitably. Plus, the event will conclude with a luxe cocktail reception where you can celebrate your company’s achievement and toast 30 years of the Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies program with your peers.Register Now
"What an amazing line-up of inspiring, motivating and energetic speakers! I thoroughly enjoyed this year's event. It was our second time attending, and we hope to make next year's list just to attend again."
—2017 CEO Summit attendee
The 2018 Growth 500 CEO Summit is an invitation-only event. Given its emphasis on peer-to-peer learning, admission to the Growth 500 CEO Summit is restricted only to those chief executives explicitly listed during such on Growth 500 application process. Invitations and paid passes are non-transferable.
Please note the following:
- Passes are available at an earlybird rate of $449 (plus tax) before August 31, 2018.
- After August 31, 2018, passes will cost $499 (plus tax).
- Seating is limited! We can guarantee only 300 passes for sale
- You must enter your unique registration code to obtain passes for your company. This code was shared with all Growth 500 CEOs via email in early August.
- Don't delay! The deadline to register for the CEO Summit is Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 5:00pm EDT. Registration will close at that time.
- Cancellations with full refunds will be accepted until Wednesday, October 3, 2018.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
7:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
|07:45 am||Breakfast and networking|
Keynote: You've Mastered Bad and Ugly, Now Let's Tackle Good
Speaker: Melissa Nightingale founder and partner, Raw Signal Group, and co-author of How F*cked Up is Your Management? An Uncomfortable Conversation About Modern Leadership
You know how to motivate your team when the odds are stacked against you and your competitors are closing in. You long ago perfected your rallying cry. It's a large part of the reason you're sitting here today. Many leaders develop tools and strategies for succeeding when the wind is at their face. In this keynote, bestselling author, startup warrior, and Silicon Valley transplant Melissa Nightingale talks about what happens in those occasional moments as leaders when the wind is at our backs.
Built for Performance: Adapt Today to Win Tomorrow
Speaker: Pierre Cléroux Vice President, Research and Chief Economist at BDC
What sets top-performing businesses apart in their industry? To answer this question, BDC analyzed data from almost 950,000 Canadian businesses. Join Pierre Cléroux, Vice President, Research and Chief Economist at BDC as he presents the results of this fascinating study on Canada’s leading SMEs. Also discover what entrepreneurs can do to adapt to shifting demographic trends and the rise of new digital technologies.
|10:00 am||Networking break|
The Growth 500 Idea Exchange
Presented in partnership with CEO Global Network, the Growth 500 Idea Exchange features mediated small-group peer-to-peer conversations in which you can discuss, and help to solve, the top issues facing your business today. Come prepared to share, learn and establish invaluable connections with your entrepreneurial peers.
|11:30am||Cocktail reception and networking|
The Growth 500 Awards Luncheon
Over a three-course lunch, Canadian Business will celebrate the entrepreneurial successes of this year's Growth 500 and Startup 50 winners, and give special recognition to companies for achievements in such areas as revenue growth, international trade and job creation.
Lessons from the Best: Outlast and Outperform
Speaker: Peter Brown, Deloitte Private partner and co-leader of the Canada's Best Managed Companies program
In today's complex and ever-evolving economy, what does it take for ambitious businesses to outperform the market? At a time when sustained success is far from guaranteed in any industry, what can businesses do to outlast the competition? In this vital session, Peter Brown will draw from his unique experience working with private businesses in Canada, and from in-depth research drawn from more than 600 of Canada's Best Managed Companies, to provide actionable strategies you can use to outlast and outperform.
Growth Clinics, Block One
It's time to go deep and learn from your peers, as well as experts in the field. These interactive workshops will be chock-full of proven advice and useful takeaways you can apply to your business. Three workshops will run concurrently in Block One; the same three workshops will run concurrently in Block Two. You'll have a chance to attend two of the three sessions.
Workshop A: What Employees Want Now
For growing companies, attracting and retaining amazing employees isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a competitive differentiator and a key driver of success. But ever-evolving expectations and shifting demographic trends can make it difficult to know what employees really want. In this interactive panel discussion, veteran Growth 500 CEOs Andrés Aquino of TWG, Lisa Bragg of MediaFace and Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski of Rock-It Promotions, plus Amy Ferguson of Sun Life Financial, will draw from experience and data to discuss what incentives and conditions work, what don’t, and what smart employers need to do to today to attract tomorrow’s top talent.
Workshop B: Make Big Data Your Big Advantage
In 2018, businesses are drowning in information about their clients, their competitors and their employees. Big data holds the promise of radically transforming the ability of companies to sell, to compete and to thrive—and, in many cases, to change the world. Yet many businesses struggle to fully capitalize on this promise. What are some proven ways to harness that data as a means to make critical business decisions? Which tools, tactics and approaches should companies engage to manage the glut of information? What role can artificial intelligence and other bleeding-edge technology play in the process? In this timely and in-depth discussion, a panel of experts—including Growth 500 leaders Aamir Baig of Article, Jay Goldman of Klick's Sensei Labs and Patricia Riopel of Scribendi, and Harp Girn of Microsoft Canada—will share their secrets and show you how to make big data your big advantage.
Workshop C: How to Build a Global Empire
It’s not easy to build a great business in Canada, and the process gets even more complex beyond our borders. The Growth 500 contains some Canadian companies that have done so with aplomb, and they have a great deal to share on everything from making connections, to marketing, to harnessing the right processes and tools, to managing logistical and geographical complexities. In this session, the CEOs of internationally-renowned Growth 500 companies—including Stephanie Ciccarelli of Voices.com, Alan Lechem of Weston Wood Solutions and Alex Barrotti of TouchBistro, along with Paul Roman of American Express Canada, will talk about what works, what doesn’t and what’s needed to create an international empire.
Growth Clinic, Block Two
Keynote: How to Make Happiness Your Competitive Advantage
Speaker: Neil Pasricha, globally renowned happiness expert, entrepreneur and bestselling author of The Book of Awesome and The Happiness Equation
Does great work lead to happiness? Or… does happiness lead to great work? In this lively and constructive talk, Neil Pasricha—the so-called “pied piper of happiness—shares counterintuitive research-based answers in this fun, fast-paced, research-grounded tour of the emerging neuroscience and positive psychology landscape. He challenges your audience by asking: “Would you press a button and have 31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales, and 300% greater creativity on Monday morning?” Based on fresh research Pasricha published in Harvard Business Review together with the latest in neuroscience and positive psychology, this speech is just about motivation—it’s about application. Prepare to leave with the tools you need to build a happier, more successful, organization.
CEO Summit closing remarks, door prizes, cocktail kick-off
Growth 500 30th Anniversary Cocktail Reception
Celebrate 30 years of Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies, and your company's great achievement, by raising a glass with your peers.
|7:00 pm||Event ends|
* Agenda is subject to change. More speakers will be added as we get closer to the event date; please check back regularly for updates!Register Now
Andrés Aquino invests in people. As Managing Partner at TWG, he focuses on driving an organizational vision that enables great leaders to grow other leaders. During his tenure, TWG has grown exponentially and has expanded into a full service consultancy offering client insights across product strategy, design and development. Before joining TWG, Andrés founded and successfully exited ClickGreener/Green Rewards, a business in the Loyalty space that was acquired by AirMiles. Leading conversations on the role tech can play in every business, Andrés shares his insights with organizations and teams that have the will to grow their digital practices.
As co-founder and CEO of Growth 500 winner Article, Aamir Baig oversees the company’s day-to-day business operations. He works directly with teams across the organization, from engineering to warehousing and logistics, to marketing and creative, all to realize the company’s mission of engineering remarkably better furniture experiences. Aamir has a passion for developing and investing in technology companies that solve real-life problems. Prior to founding Article, he co-founded Etilize Inc. which provides mission-critical product data and solutions for retailers, distributors, and manufacturers to power their e-commerce operations. Etilize was acquired by GFK Group in 2009. Aamir holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Computer Engineering from the University of Alberta, and a MBA from INSEAD.
Alex Barrotti, CEO and founder of Growth 500 company TouchBistro, is a successful serial entrepreneur who has emerged as a visionary in the advanced technologies that help retail and hospitality businesses expand. From a deep understanding of the restaurant industry and the challenges restaurant operators face, Alex launched TouchBistro iPad POS solution in 2011. As of today, TouchBistro has helped over 12,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries to increase sales, improve the customer experience, and make better business decisions. Before TouchBistro, Alex was at the forefront of e-commerce development when he founded INEX in 1997. While others doubted online shopping would one day become the norm, Alex persisted in developing a novel turnkey solution that enabled storeowners to create online storefronts with pre-designed templates. At 29 years old, Alex sold INEX for $45 million.
CEO and founder Lisa Bragg is the strategic force behind MediaFace, a Growth 500 company dedicated to transforming the way people think about clients’ brands, products and people. The company designs strategies to help clients increase sales, build awareness, train teams and become thought leaders. Lisa’s expertise is in creating strategies that turn complex ideas into engaging stories across multiple digital platforms. She has a degree in journalism from Ryerson University and 15 years of experience as a TV reporter and news anchor. Her passion, drive, and eye for emerging trends built MediaFace into the content creation powerhouse it is today. What started as a one-woman shop in her spare room, has grown into a full-service company with a staff of 14 and its own studio space in Toronto’s Studio District.
Peter Brown is a Partner at Deloitte Canada. Peter joined Deloitte in 1985 and has over 30 years’ experience serving public and private clients in Canada and internationally. Currently he is the national co-leader for the Canada’s Best Managed Companies program and facilitates Best Managed Executive Labs for clients. Peter also leads the Global Best Managed initiative, preparing Deloitte member firms outside of Canada to launch similar Best Managed programs in their markets.
Stephanie Ciccarelli is the co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com, the Growth 500 company behind an industry-leading website that connects businesses with professional voice talent. Voices.com has been written about in The LA Times, The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur and The Wall Street Journal. A respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie is considered one of the most connected people in the industry, and was listed on PROFIT Magazine’s 2013, 2015, and 2016 W100 lists, a ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, Stephanie has been a contributor to The Huffington Post, Backstage Magazine, Recruiter.com, and Stage 32. She is also a public speaker and mentor, and has previously participated in the Canadian Technology Accelerator in Silicon Valley and the Canadian Technology Accelerator in New York City. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University.
Pierre Cléroux was appointed Vice President, Research and Chief Economist at BDC in 2012. Pierre leads a team of experts who analyze economic data to identify business and sector trends impacting Canadian entrepreneurs. A seasoned speaker, he regularly travels across the country to help business owners understand the risks and opportunities presented by the economic environment. Mr. Cléroux is also responsible for providing economic analysis and advice to the Bank’s senior management team, and supervises all marketing and industry research activities.
Over his 25-year career as an economist, he has held several influential positions that had a direct impact on entrepreneurs in Canada and abroad. Before joining BDC, Pierre worked for the Government of Saudi Arabia as Vice President, Business Analysis in the National Industry Clusters Development Program. His role was to create program strategies, define sector policies and conduct financial and economic analyses of industrial projects.
Previously, Mr. Cléroux was the Quebec Assistant Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, responsible for the implementation of economic policies and programs to support small and medium-sized businesses and encourage entrepreneurship. He was also a strategic advisor for Montreal International, where he was responsible for attracting foreign investment from India and the Middle East, and developing international relationships and partnerships. He worked for 12 years at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in various roles, including economist and Quebec Vice President. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a master’s degree in Economics from Laval University, as well as an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
As Director of Business Development, Sun Advantage, Amy Ferguson is responsible for driving business growth and market leadership, and increasing Sun Life Financial’s visibility in the Central region for the company’s Sun Advantage accounts market segment. She is responsible for both advisor-driven and direct sales in Central Canada, which includes maintaining key relationships with advisors and clients. Amy has been with Sun Life Financial since 2010 and is based out of 1 York in Toronto. She holds an Honors B.A. in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario and has over 20 years of experience in the group benefits field.
In his role as Small Medium Corporate Division Lead at Microsoft Canada, Mr. Girn focuses on growth expansion across this important segment and evolving the overall customer experience. Over the course of his career with Microsoft Canada, Harp excelled as the General Manager of the Cloud and Enterprise Business, the Director of Marketing & Strategy for the Developer Platform Evangelism Group, and last but not least, as the Chief of Staff to the Vice President Marketing & Operations. In these roles, Harp pioneered by partnering to drive technology adoption, deployment and usage of Microsoft’s technology solutions. This led to the modernization of customer and partner data centers. As the evangelist of the Microsoft platform, Harp drove mass adoption by winning over the startup community, its many technical audiences, and bright young students. Consistently recognized as a High Potential Leader in Canada for over 8 years, he’s participated in more than a dozen leadership development programs. Passionate about the time he spends with family and friends, Mr. Girn actively mentors aspiring professionals, and coaches his fellow team members and larger Microsoft community. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University, Harp completed his bachelor of business administration and obtained his CMA-CPA designation in 2005. He resides in Mississauga, Ont. with his wife Sharon and three kids Jaiden, Karina and Dylan.
Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski started veteran Growth 500 winner rock-it promotions out of her parents’ spare bedroom. Now, 18 years later, rock-it is a leading Canadian lifestyle PR firm that resides in the heart of downtown Toronto. A team of talented PR professionals create and execute campaigns for local and global clients including adidas, L'Oreal Paris, GUESS, Toronto Fashion Week, Fiji Water, Etsy, The JUNO Awards, Broadview Hotel, Club Med, Tissot, and many more. Debra has also worked one-on-one with top talent including Oprah, Madonna, Ryan Reynolds, Benedict Cumberbatch, Emily Blunt and Mariah Carey to name a few.
As the company’s president, founder and an innovator within the industry, Debra has appeared as a PR expert on shows like eTalk, ET Canada and Global News and has been featured in Toronto Life, The Globe and Mail and Forbes.com. In early 2016, Debra was featured on the PROFIT and Canadian Business W100 list representing Canada's Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs. The company was also recognized on PROFIT and Canadian Business's annual prestigious Growth 500 list—naming rock-it as one of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies for two consecutive years, in 2016 and 2017. 2017 brought further recognition when The Notable Awards awarded rock-it promotions with the Agency of the Year award. (Photo by Rachel Simpson.)
Jay Goldman is the Co-Founder of Sensei Labs at veteran Growth 500 company Klick and co-author of the New York Times Bestseller The Decoded Company: Know Your Talent Better Than You Know Your Customers (Portfolio/Penguin). Jay and his team leverage technology to help build cultures of human achievement. Previously, he was head of marketing for Rypple, a venture-backed startup acquired by Salesforce in 2012. Jay speaks frequently about the Future of Work and has given talks at NASA, Harvard Business School, TEDx, Google, Twitter, and other leading organizations and conferences. He has also been published in the Harvard Business Review.
Alan Lechem is the President of Growth 500 winner Weston Wood Solutions Inc., a specialty millwork distributor with offices in Canada, China and Chile providing global supply chain management solutions. Alan has worked throughout the lumber industry since 1990, including a relocation to the U.K. to establish a sales agency for Canadian products. Weston Wood Solutions has been recognized as one of the 50 Best Managed Companies in Canada, and has been listed on PROFIT 500 / Growth 500 for five consecutive years. Alan is a graduate of U of T Engineering, and holds an MBA from York University. He is active in the community, is an avid mountain biker and skier, and sits on the board of governors of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
Melissa Nightingale is a founder and partner at Raw Signal Group. She is editor of The Co-pour and bestselling author of How F*cked Up Is Your Management? An Uncomfortable Conversation About Modern Leadership. Melissa’s been a startup warrior since the first dotcom boom and has the branded t-shirt collection to prove it. She has held senior leadership roles in marketing, PR, and strategy at several fast-paced startups, including Wattpad, Edmodo, and Mozilla. Melissa cut her teeth in the agency world at OutCast Communications, SparkPR, and Edelman. Melissa is a frequent speaker at industry events and universities about leadership, entrepreneurship and women in tech. Melissa moved to Toronto after more than a decade of working in senior tech roles in Silicon Valley. She is gradually adjusting to seasons. You can find her on Twitter: @shappy.
A Harvard MBA, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning blogger, and one of the most popular TED speakers in the world, Neil Pasricha is “a pied piper of happiness” who dazzles audiences with ideas that skyrocket happiness into the stratosphere. With infectious enthusiasm, heartfelt authenticity, and a “what works” authority, Pasricha draws on the latest research in happiness to increase individual performance and create a more positive and productive workplace.
Pasricha spent a decade with Walmart, the world's largest company, directly working for two CEOs and as the organization's director of leadership development. He now travels all over the globe sharing messages on happiness to Fortune 500 companies, schools, and non-profits. In the past few years, he has spoken to over 200,000 people at hundreds of events, making him one of the world's most sought-after speakers. He has spoken to Royal Families in the Middle East, Ivy League Deans, and to CEOs at organizations such as Audi, Abbot and GE.
His first book, The Book of Awesome, is a runaway #1 international bestseller with millions of copies sold. His newest book, The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything (also an international bestseller), provides step-by-step guidelines to illustrate how to improve your time, your career, your bottom line, your relationships, and ultimately (of course), your happiness. His intentionally acclaimed blog, 1000 Awesome Things, has scored over 50 million hits and twice won the Webby Award for “Best Blog in the World.”
Pasricha's writing and work has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, CNN, BBC, The Guardian, The New Yorker, The Sunday Times, China Daily, The Jakarta Post, The Sydney Herald and Wired.
Patricia is the President of Scribendi, an English-language editing and proofreading company based in Ontario that is a veteran Growth 500 winner. She is also the Co-Founder and Principal of Associés Magnum Capital Partners, a private investment firm that focuses on the acquisition of private Canadian companies. Her newest project is the commercialization of Scribendi's proprietary artificial intelligence technology, the Scribendi Accelerator. In her previous roles, Patricia has launched and operated financial institutions in Africa and Latin America for the Desjardins Group and has acted as a financial controller for Distex M&M, a restaurant equipment distributor. Patricia is an MBA graduate from IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University in Montreal, Québec.
A dedicated partner and results-driven executive, Paul Roman has spent more than a decade at American Express Canada as a trusted advisor to companies coast to coast, helping them solve their financial challenges, attract new customers, and grow their businesses. As the Vice President & General Manager of Global Commercial Services, Paul is responsible for the strategic direction, management and growth of a market-leading portfolio of business clients and prospects that spans the small business, middle market, and global multi-national segments.
Fairmont Royal York Hotel
100 Front Street W
Toronto, ON M5J 1E3
A limited number of rooms are reserved at a discounted rate for Growth 500 CEOs. Guests can access the block by calling the Fairmont Royal York’s reservations department at 1-800-663-7229 or the global reservations centre at 1-800-441-1414. Guests can identify themselves as being with the group Rogers Growth 500 Conference or quote the group code ROGE1018
The Fairmont Royal York is located immediately adjacent to Union Station, and is easily accessible by TTC, Go Transit, VIA Rail and the UP Express. A full list of directions is available here.
If you need assistance with registration, please contact Adrian Li at 416-818-0645 or Adrian.Li@rci.rogers.com