Exclusive Breakfast: Igniting Technology Innovation

January 19
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.


Invitation Only
Aperture Room
340 Yonge St., 3rd floor
Toronto, ON

Overview

Change and business transformation is a constant and it's happening at a pace that is faster than ever. Moving too slowly or standing still means being left behind. Technology can be the means to rapidly move ahead and leapfrog competitors. It can help your organization disrupt markets and discover new, exciting business opportunities. Innovation is the spark that ignites the creation of outcomes such as greater productivity and efficiency. Is your organization building a culture of innovation with employees, and externally with clients and prospects?

Learn how you can at this exclusive, invitation-only breakfast event. Hear a presentation by Holt Renfrew's Vice-President of IT and an interview with leading women in business at companies such as Rogers Communications, DIVE Networks, IBM and Google.

Agenda

8:00 AM
Registration Opens & Networking Breakfast
8:30 AM
Presentation: Breaking Through

Gale Blank, Vice-President, IT, Holt Renfrew reveals what three strengths were critical in maintaining a (fairly) balanced life and finding fulfillment in her 35-year(and counting) career in information technology.

9:30 AM
Interview
Nyla Ahmad
Senior Vice-President, Enterprise Marketing, Rogers Communications Inc.
Mei Burgin
Blockchain Marketing Leader, IBM
Kristina Elkhazin
Head of Industry, Retail, Google
Deb Hall
Founder & CEO, DIVE Networks
Interviewer: Nathalie Cook
President, Cimoroni & Company
9:50 AM
Closing Remarks

Who Should Attend

  • Business owners
  • Business decision-makers
  • Anyone who champions women in business

Speakers

Nyla Ahmad
Senior Vice-President, Enterprise Marketing, Rogers Communications Inc.

Nyla leads a specialized team of more than 40 experienced marketing professionals who collectively support the EBU sales organization. She has held several leadership roles during her 12-year tenure at Rogers, shaping the company’s response to changing market conditions, technological innovation, Internet adoption patterns, partner ecosystems, and evolving customer expectations around service and value.

Nyla has held roles in Corporate Strategy (Partnership Group), Rogers Cable, and helped to launch the Internet division of Rogers Media. Her successes include leading the launch of Rogers-Yahoo High Speed Internet service in 2004 and in 1998 was a pioneer in online video innovation and rich-media advertising on Rogers@Home, Canada’s first broadband portal.

Nyla is active on the Boards of the Ontario Media Development Corporation and Canadian Women in Communications, was a 2010 participant in the prestigious Judy Project, and in 2009 received the Canadian Women in Communications Technology Innovator Award. She gives is past-President of the Rogers Women’s Network and speaks frequently on technology, innovation culture and leading high-performance teams.

Gale Blank
Vice-President, IT, Holt Renfrew

Gale has been a technology executive for 30 years, twenty of those in the retail sector. She has been Vice-President/Chief Information Officer for Loblaw (East), Eatons, Indigo, Walmart and Holt Renfrew. She also was global Chief Architect for Walmart Stores Inc.

Throughout her career her focus has been on the creating value for the enterprise through the investment in Information Technology. For 10 years she worked in the federal government. She was the CIO and Director General for the department of Canadian Heritage and Public Works and Government Services respectively. In this work she brought a set of capabilities and models to the public sector enterprises to enable the creation high performing IT environments.

Mei Burgin
Blockchain Marketing Leader, IBM

Mei is a serial innovator, passionate about improving the way we live and work. Mei graduated with an Engineering degree from the University of Toronto. With fifteen years of technology marketing and executive consulting experience, Mei is best known for spearheading programs that are often adopted as best practices across the company. Mei is currently responsible for marketing IBM's Cloud portfolio in North America, including Blockchain technologies. Mei is also the chair of the CMA's B2B Marketing council.

Interviewer: Nathalie Cook
President, Cimoroni & Company

This award winning industry veteran joined Cimoroni & Company in April 2016 to oversee the company's day to day operations and ongoing expansion. Nathalie formerly was Vice-President of Brand Partnerships for Bell Media and Vice-President, Sales and Brand Partnerships for TSN.

Prior to joining Bell Media, Nathalie worked at Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium serving as Vice President, Marketing and Partnerships for the London 2012 Olympic Games and as Director of Partnerships for Vancouver 2010, which delivered revolutionary multi-platform coverage.

In 2015, Nathalie was named to the Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 list by the Women's Executive Network. Cook was also named the 2014 Game Changer (Advocate of Women in a Non-Traditional Role) at the prestigious Women in Communications and Technology Annual Awards.

Kristina Elkhazin
Head of Industry, Retail, Google

As Head of Industry for Retail at Google Canada, Kristina works with the country's largest retailers and their agencies to help them understand how technology can drive more footsteps to stores, build stronger brands and advance customer relationships.

Kristina has built her career in Retail with over 10 years of experience in various disciplines including promotions, merchandising, planning, and marketing. At Google, Kristina learned to apply her deep understanding of Canadian retail to Google's solutions and spent time in Mountain View, CA defining how Google Express (Google's same day delivery service) would measure and manage customer value. She also became one of the first non-engineers to win an Innovation Award at Google for successfully building a product that dynamically scaled paper circular offers into the digital world.

Kristina is passionate about advancing STEM education and transforming retail through technology in Canada.

Deb Hall
Founder & CEO, DIVE Networks

Deb is the visionary at the helm, with extensive experience in technology, social media and mobile marketing.

She's no stranger to to the start up waters, having founded web2mobile, a revolutionary mobile marketing company which was acquired by Torstar in 2010. Deb's leadership has been acknowledged by her peers, having received many global accolades including: Digital Marketing Awards, Media Innovation Awards, Cannes Lions and NYC Smarties Mobile Awards. She's also been named by Mobile Marketer as one of the top Mobile Women to Watch.