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Celebrating Business Success In Canada

Organised by CanadianSME Small Business Magazine
The CanadianSME National Business Awards 2022 is the perfect stage for you to stand out and shine with your accomplishments in the business world. It is a place where all your hard work, passion, dedication, and determination are recognized before everyone in the world. Furthermore, it is the perfect opportunity to materialize your outreach campaigns by attracting more probable clients, employees, and partners.

The Honourable Mary Ng

Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

The Honourable Mary Ng was elected as Member of Parliament for Markham–Thornhill in April 2017.

Minister Ng is a devoted community leader who has always believed in the power of public service. She has 20 years of experience in the areas of education, women’s leadership, job creation, and entrepreneurship.

Minister Ng immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong with her family, and grew up learning about the struggle and eventual success that many new immigrants experience in Canada.
Her years working for the Ontario Public Service, Ryerson University, and the Ontario Ministry of Education led to her being recognized as one of Canada’s top-performing public sector leaders. She later served as Director of Appointments for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Michelle Eaton

Vice President, Public Affairs, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

A communications and public affairs professional for close to 15 years, Michelle Eaton joined the OCC team in 2018 as Vice President of Communications and Government Relations.

Michelle brings extensive leadership experience from both the public and private sectors. She has provided strategic direction, vision, and advice on communications and public affairs strategies to executives in multinational Fortune 500 Companies as well as senior federal cabinet ministers. Michelle is also the Chair of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Michelle has a BA (Hons) in Political Science and French from Western University as well as an Executive Master of Business Administration from Ivey Business School.

Born and raised on a farm in Southwestern Ontario, she is also intimately familiar with the needs and issues of rural and small-town Ontario. Michelle currently resides in Toronto with her husband, Thor.

Andrea Van Leeuwen

Head of Marketing, Facebook Canada

Andrea Van Leeuwen is an innovative global business leader with over 15 years of experience in building and inspiring teams that transform categories, deliver brand equity, and unlock growth across new segments. As Head of Marketing for Facebook & Instagram Canada since 2014, Andrea drives a rapidly growing advertising business and the mission to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

With a background in sales & marketing, as well as enterprise and consumer-facing technology, Andrea brings unique expertise focused on building new revenue streams, disruptive technologies, and managing executive partnerships. Prior to Facebook, Andrea was at Microsoft leading Business Development in Advertising and Online and held past positions leading the SMB & Partner Sales Organization. She is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, now living in Toronto, Canada.

Laura Williams

Founder and Principle of Williams HR Law

Laura Williams, LLB, CSP – Lawyer, Speaker, HR Business Consultant, Workplace Investigator, Thought Leader, Corporate Trainer, Instructor, Podcaster Founder and Principal, Williams HR Law, and Williams HR Consulting Inc. Laura has built two highly respected firms that respectively provide proactive HR law and HR consulting advice designed to minimize workplace law challenges, maximize employee engagement, and boost bottom-line performance.

Laura is also a seasoned workplace investigator, routinely engaged to conduct complex workplace investigations, and is recognized for specific expertise in investigations related to equity, diversity, and inclusion. As a professional speaker, Laura regularly delivers keynote talks on topics relevant to entrepreneurs, business leaders, HR professionals, and lawyers. Laura has recently launched a podcast for business leaders and HR Professionals called, We Thrive Forward – Conversations with Laura Williams which is available on all major platforms.

Don Ludlow

Vice President of Small Business, Strategy & Partnerships - RBC

As the Vice President of Small Business, Strategy & Partnerships at RBC, Don provides strategic oversight and leads a team that is responsible for delivering marketing-leading solutions, partnerships, and client experiences that go beyond traditional banking to help Canadian entrepreneurs successfully start, manage and grow their business. Don also manages the development of RBC’s strategy for the broader Business Financial Services portfolio, including the group’s client experience, CRM (client relationship management), and data analytics strategies.

Don joined RBC in 2001 and has 20 years of experience within the financial services and banking sector. He was most recently the Regional Vice President of the South Western Ontario Region, leading a team of RBC Advisors to support the growth of small and commercial business clients in the community. Prior to joining RBC, Don served as an Infantry Officer in the Canadian Army where he led soldiers on a number of domestic and international operations and worked in both staff and training roles.

Beyond his small business clients, Don is passionate about contributing to the growth of communities and supporting military veterans. He helped co-found the Treble Victor Group (3V) – a network of ex-military leaders who work to support one another in their post-service careers. He is also on the Board of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Goodwill Industries (Ontario Great Lakes).

Chantal Mackenzie

Regional Vice President at Canada Protection Plan, a Foresters Financial Company

With over three decades of experience in the financial industry, Chantal Mackenzie is the Regional Vice President at Canada Protection Plan, a Foresters Financial Company for Alberta South, NWT/YT.

As Vice President, she focuses on transforming and coaching advisors and general managing agencies with their business growth plans. With an impressive record of success in developing winning growth strategies and building effective teams, Chantal has set strategic direction for brokers and distributors through Canada Protection Plan and Foresters Financial’s product solutions and tools.

Over the course of her career, her experience in growing organizations has ranged from traditional to simplified issue insurance providers.

Young Lee

Market Lead at GoDaddy

Young Lee is a seasoned marketer with over 19 years of extensive marketing experience in the technology industry. Due to her personal entrepreneurial endeavours and growing up with a family that ran a small business for many years, Young has a passionate connection when seeing small business owners create and thrive doing what they love. Currently at GoDaddy, she leads the Canadian business as Market Lead and also drives business growth, helping small businesses through GoDaddy products and tools across English markets in Canada, UK and Australia.

Leigh Smout

President of World Trade Centre Toronto

WTC-T is the trade services arm of the Toronto Region Board of Trade and a member of the World Trade Centers Association, consisting of 326 branded properties and trade services associations in 89 countries. Its mission is to support international trade and business growth for the Toronto region.

Since joining the WTC-T in May 2016, Leigh has built the national, award-winning, Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) and founded the Scale-Up Institute Toronto.
Leigh has extensive experience developing and leading strategy and business growth, with corporate, government and extensive entrepreneurial experience, focused on growing new and emerging programs. This includes the role of CFO/COO of a dot-com, Bee-Trade.com; President of Pulse Health Products and Managing Director of Newtown Sales Ltd.

Following his early education in life sciences at U of T, Leigh holds a Strategic Analytics Certificate in Management Analytics from Queen’s University School of Business, and a Certificate in Public Procurement Law and Practice, Purchasing/Acquisitions and Contracts Management from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University.

Felipe Zariquiey

Marketing Manager, Small Business Segment, UPS Canada

After 15 successful years as Senior Account Manager within UPS Canada Business Development team, Felipe Zariquiey was appointed Marketing Manager of a small business for UPS Canada in 2021. He is responsible develop and nurturing UPS’ relationship with business associations, councils, and organizations supporting small businesses. He is involved in educating and informing small businesses about the customized services, technologies, and innovations available to them at UPS.

Through several sales roles and responsibilities Felipe’s desire of working with small businesses and educating them on the opportunities available in other markets grew. He soon realized that through his experience servicing and supporting entrepreneurs, and the focused learnings of SME global supply chains, that he had a wealth of knowledge he can share to improve the success rate of businesses looking to scale and go global.

Nancy Wilson

Founder & CEO, Canadian Women's Chamber of Commerce

Nancy Wilson is the founder and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CanWCC), a national, not-for-profit organization that advocates for women-identified and non-binary business owners in Canada.

Nancy is a Chartered Professional Accountant, with over a decade of accounting and finance experience in the private sector. Prior to CanWCC, she ran an accounting and advisory firm specializing in women business owners and entrepreneurs.

After experiencing a lack of resources, difficulty finding connection, and numerous barriers, both as a business owner and indirectly through her clients, Nancy launched the Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce in January 2018.

Cheryl Mitchell

Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship at Humber College

Energetic professional, eager to provide academic leadership to courses and program coordination using a unique combination of educational experience coupled with twenty two years’ business background. Has extensive experience in adult education, entrepreneurial education, finance and financial planning. Looking to contribute to a learning-centered environment where students can develop to their full potential.

A professor who provides academic leadership, curriculum development and uses a unique combination of experiential and structured learning to both in-class and on-line classes to engage and support learners.

An entrepreneurial professional with strong leadership capabilities who focuses on providing mentorship, educational experiential workshops to meet client needs. Provides advice to entrepreneurs and strengthens relationships within the entrepreneurial community, both within Humber College and with external partners.

Shannon Lewis

President, Canadian Media Directors Council

An executive communications leader, with 18+ years of international experience in the Advertising, Media and Communications industries. Passionate and driven. Shannon champions CMDC’s business objectives with sound strategy, inspired creativity, and humanity.

Her mission is to shape the new direction of CMDC. Shannon’s operating mandate is to bolster trust by delivering greater – and lasting – value to CMDC members and partners. Currently, CMDC member media agencies account for 80% of the total annual advertising investment in Canada. CMDC actively operates to ensure a fair & progressive marketplace on behalf of their clients, agencies, and media partners.

Armed with a relentless entreprenial spirit, Shannon created and operated a bespoke communications business for five years – following senior international positions in media, communications, and advertising in London, Sydney, and Toronto.

Christelle Francois

Founder & CEO of Untold & Co Agency

Christelle Francois is a bilingual executive and entrepreneur who has the pulse on the leaders of business, innovation and advocacy. She possesses extensive experience as a Strategy Consultant where she specializes in growth acceleration, revenue model design and optimization solutions for various companies and organizations.

Christelle is the Founder of a firm titled; Untold & Co Agency, where she and her team service an array of clients in securing corporate and government partnerships, curating digital strategies and executing 360 integrated PR campaigns. Her passion for civic engagement led her to assist in leading the 2019 and 2020 Lobby Day initiative with our current Prime Minister. In January of 2021, she was appointed as the President of the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce, where she led a strategy that successfully secured over $5M in funding in less than six months. Francois was most recently appointed as the VP of Operations at the Federations of African Canadian Economics. Christelle is also passionate about her community and has volunteered and sat on the board of numerous organizations, such as Apathy is Boring and Head & Hands and is an inaugural fellow of the Black Wealth Club.

Stacey Cummings

Senior Marketing Manager, Purolator

Stacey Cummings is a Marketing Strategist who helps companies engage their customers in innovative and compelling ways.

After spending nearly two decades working in marketing for multi-million dollar brands and startups, Stacey knows what truly drives conversions, successful launches, and long-term loyalty—and it’s not “just” marketing. It’s mastering the art and science of data and emotion to connect with people in meaningful ways, while delivering measureable business results.

When not working Stacey enjoys travelling, going on hikes, and planning for the next adventure with her dog – and her kids and husband too – but mostly her dog.

Tony Chapman

Host of the Radio and Podcast - CHATTER THAT MATTERS

Tony Chapman is a top communication expert in Canada. He has been dubbed a Marketing Guru by the media, and he is an expert on how to establish brands, and sell strategically, and profitably in today’s dynamic market. He has been at the forefront of pioneering modern sales marketing and sales approaches, such as social media, and many see him as a pathfinder for the strategies he has used to rethink how businesses communicate with their consumers and traverse the shifting terrain. Tony Chapman co-founded and sold two internationally recognized advertising firms, Capital C and Communique, as well as co-founded Fresh Intelligence. His agencies have earned over 100 national and international accolades, including the prestigious Agency of the Year.

Rick Moore

CEO and Veteran C-suite Executive

Rick Moore is an award-winning CEO and veteran C-suite executive. Rick is in his fourth decade of working with business owners in various capacities to achieve better outcomes. He has financed both public and private companies, co-founded a private equity company, and headed the Canadian division of the world’s largest business coaching company. Rick has now turned his focus to consulting on matters of employee workplace savings plans and building sales and marketing programs for small and medium sized enterprises. Rick is dedicated to helping businesses to create unique “category of one” sales and marketing plans.

Peter S. Drummond

PSD+G Strategy Group & 32 Degrees Ventures

As Principal and co-founder at PSD+G Strategy Group www.psdgstrategy.com, Peter has devoted 30 years to helping his clients achieve business success. With his wisdom, wit and creativity, partnered with a keen desire to understand their DNA and core strategic challenge, Peter has earned a loyal following among big brands, start-ups and not-for-profits. His passion is building purpose-driven brands, especially those with social impact. Peter has led the business and brand strategy work at Corus Entertainment, Bio-K+, Natural Products Canada, Canada Post, Kijiji, Open Blue Sea Farms (Panama), Shoppers Drug Mart, Live Nation, as well as Ocean Nutrition Canada, and 48North Cannabis.

Credited as co-creator of LEVEL5 Strategy Group, a national leader in strategy consultancy, prior posts include running a strategy consultancy in Montreal, as well as an identity and design firm in Toronto within Cossette Communications Group.

With a passion to share his knowledge and experience and help grow a new generation of thinkers, Peter teaches at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University as an Adjunct Professor, teaching Marketing Strategy for the Executive MBA National and Americas programs.

Peter has a BFA in Communication Arts & Design from Virginia Commonwealth University and attended the Graduate School of Business Executive Management Program at Columbia University. Peter is also co-founder of 32 Degrees Ventures. A social impact firm committed To change the impact of ice on water. For more information join our conversation: www.WeAre32Degrees.com.

Miki Velemirovich

Senior Executive, Consultant, Strategic Advisor and Speaker in the exciting space of B2B Marketing

Miki Velemirovich is a senior executive, consultant, strategic advisor and speaker in the exciting space of B2B Marketing. As former President of Cargo, the award-winning Business-to-Small-Business (B2SB) marketing agency and consultancy, he has helped brands like Lenovo, RBC and SkipTheDishes build stronger and more valuable engagement with their Small Business customers. As Canada’s expert in the world of B2SB, he has shared many valuable insights on physical and virtual stages, and through digital content channels. The undying passion for SMEs started during Miki’s tenure as Head of Product and Marketing of Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vans, where many conversations with customers and dealers uncovered the unique mindsets of this passionate audience, and the need for a different approach. Currently, he is President & Principal of 1919 Strategy Group, a B2B Marketing consultancy and advisory, serving automotive and technology industries. He kicked off his career with IBM Canada, holds an MBA in Strategy and Marketing from the Schulich School of Business as well as the Chartered Marketer (CM) designation.

He is an active member of the Canadian Marketing Association, currently serves on their B2B Council, and is a judge in the annual CMA Awards.

When not immersed in the world of B2B, he is an avid classic car collector and guitarist.

Natasha Walji

Managing Director at Google

Natasha holds several titles, Chief Mom Officer (CMO as she refers to it), Director of Telco, Government & Tech at Google, and a member of several Board of Directors. And she’s inspiring everyone she meets along the way from co-workers to the next generation. Her passion has led her to dedicate some of her time at Google to being the Executive Sponsor for volunteering projects. And when the pandemic hit last year, she (along with other Google Canada executives passionate about giving back) rapidly mobilized a group of Googlers across our three Canadian offices to drive tremendous results, helping over 1,500 Canadian nonprofits succeed with Google for Nonprofits.

Faye Pang

Canada Country Manager for Xero

Faye Pang is the Canada Country Manager for Xero, the global small business platform dedicated to making business beautiful. Prior to joining Xero, Faye helped launch the Uber Eats app in Toronto in December 2015, scaling the business from 80 restaurants on launch day to 20,000 partners by the end of her tenure. Faye is a passionate champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and was the first female general manager at Uber Canada.”

David Smith

CEO – Logia Consulting Inc

David has over 30 years of experience as an organizational leader, coach, facilitator and consultant. He has worked as a corporate executive and business owner building visions, strategies and delivering successes that grow value(s), cultures and character. He believes that people want to contribute, learn and grow to become the best version of themselves they can be.

David has an extensive background in ‘greenfield’ business launches and change processes to align with new visions and strategies. He’s also been very active in new product development and training projects ranging from insurance products and delivery channels, to credit card products, to the Interac Direct Payment Service launch in Canada. He has led in large corporate enterprises and worked alongside many organizations in a range of industries as a chief executive in corporate financial services.

Silvia Pencak

​President of WBE Canada

President of WBE Canada – the leading organization certifying women-owned businesses and facilitating opportunities for them to do business with large corporate and government buyers. Silvia is a passionate advocate for women-owned businesses. She has a proven track record of trailblazing innovative ideas and turning them into powerful results.

Silvia has over 15 years of experience of managing teams, projects and building partnerships with community, businesses, government, and individual stakeholders. Her work has positively impacted over 100,000 individuals around the globe. She is a founder, former director and current chair of the Board at the nonprofit organization JONA in Slovakia and she is highly engaged in many communities in the GTA. She holds Master’s degree in Education and she is a certified consultant, coach, trainer and speaker.

David Nagy

Founder at eCommerce Canada

David Nagy is a technology and ecommerce expert and an avid entrepreneur. He has spent over 15 years working with small-to-large retailers, helping businesses accelerate in the areas of ecommerce, digital transformation and software-as-a-service (SaaS). He is well known as a co-Founder of LiveOutThere.com – one of Canada’s leading online outdoor retailers. David has advised hundreds of businesses at every stage of maturity and has worked with some of the world’s most compelling brands, including Bayer, HBO Comedy, Virgin Mobile, Facebook (France), Wendy’s, General Motors and more. In Canadian retail, he has advised notable SMBs such as Rocky Mountain Soap, Swimco, Fitterfirst, Livify, NuVessl, Nurosene, iTel Networks and many others.

Mary Peterson

Vice President, IT & Enterprise Solutions, Samsung Electronics Canada

Senior Sales and Business Development leader with proven accomplishments in Enterprise & SMB Sales, building High-performing Teams and delivering Top-producing results with Channel Ecosystems and Strategic Alliances.

Kayla Isabelle

Executive Director of Startup Canada

Kayla Isabelle is the Executive Director of Startup Canada, the national rallying community supporting and giving a voice to Canada’s 3.5 million entrepreneurs. Kayla has dedicated her career to supporting entrepreneurs, both in Canada and internationally. Kayla is an award winning strategic communications consultant and change management facilitator, and is passionate about leveraging the power of storytelling in the entrepreneurial community.

Anna Sinclair

Founder and CEO Total Mom Inc.

As a consultant to +350 Enterprises with a global vision to provide support, opportunities, and education to women everywhere while driving impact, Anna’s expertise in strategic partnerships, event production, and program production allows her to create meaningful campaigns, events, and programs for her clients with a heart-centered approach.

Anna Sinclair is a mom of 2 and is the founder and CEO of Total Mom Inc. which is a community organization & Media company taking moms from overwhelmed to supported both personally and professionally. She has partnered with several major corporations as a Creative Director through her firm Sinclair Creative Agency Inc. and has been featured in major international publications as well as national print ads, commercials, feature films, and award shows.

A seasoned entertainment professional, Anna is a singer-songwriter, speaker, and actress and she uses her influence to drive social change and equality for women.

Anna’s extensive portfolio features working alongside celebrity clients & artists and their creative teams, sponsors, and partners with experience span the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Stephan Sigaud

EVP of Marketing - Phase 5

Stephan Sigaud, MBA, is Phase 5’s EVP of Marketing. Stephan is passionate about partnering with clients to address their challenges and opportunities around customer centricity. With more than 25 years’ experience in Market Research and Customer Loyalty and Experience, Stephan has been volunteering with both the Customer Experience Professionals Association (as member and past Chair of the CXPA Toronto Network) and the Canadian Marketing Association (as member of the Leaders Network and past Co-Chair of the CMA CX Council).

Tristan Retelsdorf

Director, Marketing, TELUS Business Solutions

Tristan is an award winning marketer with 15+ years of experience managing a diverse range of marketing programs including branding, mass advertising, one-to-one marketing, partnerships, product marketing, market research and martech. He has a proven history of building engaged marketing teams, successfully bringing complex products to market and delivering high impact integrated marketing campaigns.

Tristan has been recognized four times as a TELUS Peak Performer for leadership excellence, a Gartner North American Marketer of the Year & a Canadian Marketing Award winner for B2B Business Impact. He is also an active volunteer with the Canadian Marketing Association as a member of the B2B Council, an awards judge and holds a CMA Chartered Marketing designation.

Puja Subrun

Director of Marketing, QuickBooks Canada

Puja Subrun is the Director of Marketing for QuickBooks Canada, leading a passionate group of marketers to support our mission to power prosperity for small businesses. Puja has 20+ years as a B2B marketing and transformation leader with a proven track record of leading high-performing teams to deliver critical business priorities and supporting our customers.

Robert M. Shewchuk

SMB Segment Leader, Microsoft

I am an Inquisitive and Innovative professional known for spearheading new initiatives and embracing emerging trends. I approach business and life with a very positive outlook, warmly embracing each moment as a new opportunity. My personal success is the accumulation of the those whom I help make successful around me (both people and companies).

Recognizing that advancing business takes insightful leaders to embrace change. I view others first, citing their success metrics as my guiding principles. Customer care and personal transparency have helped me successfully partner with some of North America’s brightest companies. I approach each day aspiring to always inspire.

It’s no secret that brokering large corporate transactions takes calculated coordination and careful planning in order to achieve maximum mutual success. I welcome these moments and look forward to together innovating the landscape of tomorrow.

Shari Hughson

CIO/COO Wayfound Mental Health Group & Adjunct Professor, Queen's University

Shari Hughson has been an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, social innovator, and extreme adventurer – pushing her limits by living off the land with only the bare survival essentials for 7 years. She started her first business at the age of 25 and co-founded four more companies – two great learning opportunities (aka failures) and two growing tech and data-driven health businesses. She also created a social innovation program in mental well-being that won a National Honour from the First Nations Health Authority of Canada.

Aviva Klein

Vice President of Digital Payments & Cybersecurity Solutions, Mastercard Canada

Aviva Klein is the Vice President of Digital Payments & Cybersecurity Solutions for Mastercard Canada. Aviva oversees the commercialization and scale of Mastercard assets to support the needs of Canadians and Canadian businesses while they transition to digital payments. Aviva is also responsible for the product strategy associated with Mastercard’s Cybersecurity suite of products to ensure safety and security are front and center in the payments journey across all eco-system participants.

With 20 years of experience in product and account management, Aviva has spent her career in the payments and financial services industries. Prior to her current role, she served as Director of New Payment Flows, where she oversaw all aspects of product strategy, including financial management, resource allocation and pipeline planning to drive critical growth initiatives in a complex, matrix environment. She also is a key strategic advisor to business executives and IT stakeholders across the industry. Before joining Mastercard, Aviva led the marketing and communications functions at the Toronto Board of Trade, Canada’s largest local chamber of commerce helping Toronto become a better place to work, live and play.

Aviva holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and is passionate about customer-centric product design and bringing the best out of her team, colleagues and client relationships.

Ritu Kohli-Sethi

Managing Partner at Greater Toronto Executive Centre (GTEC)

Ritu Kohli-Sethi’s career began during the second year of her university education, as a Commercial Broker in the Property and Casualty Industry in the late 1990’s. After 17 years later she left her role as a Business Development Strategist at Unica Insurance to further pursue her education at the Ivey School of Business and join the family business.

Ritu Kohli-Sethi oversees operations at the Greater Toronto Executive Centre (GTEC), a provider of fully furnished offices, meeting rooms and virtual services. Ritu manages the day to day operations of both locations and her extensive experience includes client relations, staff management, development as well as implementation of procedures and processes to ensure both locations run with a consistent practice and level of service.

Sarah Steele

Senior Director, Small Business, Visa Canada

Sarah is an award-winning financial professional, with over 15 years of experience leading product strategy, complex projects, and thought leadership. Her accomplishments and experiences are varied, spanning the consumer and institutional groups, front and back office, consulting and product management.

As Senior Director of Small Business at Visa Canada, Sarah is responsible for the development and roll-out of Visa’s products, platforms, and resources in the Canadian marketplace.

Mark Hickman

Managing Director at Sage Canada

Providing more than 20 years’ executive-level management experience, Mark has a rich and extensive knowledge of the channel, partner, and SMB landscapes in Canada. Mark has worked in a leadership capacity at Apollo, Calligo, Tyler Technologies and WinMagic, where he consistently grew revenues and led teams in North America and globally. He is a UK native with strong familiarity of the Sage brand and reputation globally.

Ryan Mallough

Vice President, Legislative Affairs (Ontario) at CFIB

Ryan Mallough is the Vice-President, Legislative Affairs, Ontario with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Ryan has been active in managing the Ontario response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is responsible for the electricity, environment, municipal, and cannabis & alcohol files. 

Ryan joined CFIB in 2015 with the communications team before moving over to the Ontario advocacy team in 2016. Prior to joining the organization, Ryan worked at the University of Toronto as a Communications Officer as well as in the research department at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.

Ryan holds a B.Soc.Sc. in Political Science from the University of Ottawa and a M.A. in Journalism from Western University.

Matthew Foss

Vice President of Research and Public Policy at CCAB

Matthew Foss is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, with over 20 years of research and public policy experience. He currently serves as the Vice President of Research and Public Policy at the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and is an Executive Fellow with the University of Calgary School of Public Policy. Matthew has frequently provided seminars and presentations to domestic and international audiences and has taught university-level economics courses.

Prior to joining CCAB, he ran his own energy economics and public policy consulting business for several years. Matthew recently served as the Chief Energy Economist/Executive Director of Energy Information and Analysis for the Alberta Government, where he lead a team of researchers and analysts responsible for assessing the value of Alberta’s energy resources, designing Alberta’s oil and gas royalty formulas, programs, features and incentives, forecasting oil and natural gas prices and energy revenues, and advising one of the world’s largest oil and gas producing regions on energy markets, investments, programs and related policies and strategies

Karen Greve Young

Chief Executive Officer of Futurpreneur

Karen Greve Young is the Chief Executive Officer of Futurpreneur, Canada’s only national organization dedicated to supporting young entrepreneurs. Futurpreneur’s unique model combines funding, mentorship and startup programs to fuel the success of thousands of diverse young entrepreneurs in every Canadian province and territory.

Karen is an accomplished non-profit leader dedicated to fostering inclusive economic and social prosperity through new approaches and partnerships.

Prior to joining Futurpreneur in 2018, Karen was the Vice President, Corporate Development & Partnerships at MaRS Discovery District, a global innovation hub based in Toronto. During her seven-year tenure, Karen led corporate strategy development, implementation and measurement, managed a global network of innovation partners, and oversaw community engagement including marketing, communications and events.

She has previously held finance, management and strategy roles in San Francisco, New York and London, UK, at organizations including Bain & Company, Gap Inc. and the UK’s Institute of Cancer Research. Along the way, she co-authored a book with her mother, Love You So Much, A Shared Memoir, about their shared experience through her mother’s ovarian cancer journey.

Karen serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Ovarian Cancer Canada. She holds an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and a BA in Economics from Harvard University.

Andria Barrett

Prediabetes Nutritionist & Founder of The Diversity Agency

Andria Barrett is a Prediabetes Nutritionist & Founder of The Diversity Agency. She is a Speaker, SheEO Activator, former member of Brampton Mayor’s COVID 19 Economic Support Task Force, an active investor supporting women entrepreneurs, and serves on the boards of the Culinary Tourism Alliance, PACE (Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education) and has been appointed as a member of Humber’s Program Advisory Committee (PAC). In 2021, Canadian SME named Andria one of the Most Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs & Business Leaders.

The CanadianSME National Business Awards 2023 is the perfect stage for you to stand out and shine with your accomplishments in the business world. It is a place where all your hard work, passion, dedication, and determination are recognized before everyone in the world. Furthermore, it is the perfect opportunity to materialize your outreach campaigns by attracting more probable clients, employees, and partners.



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