Alexandra Cohn, Senior Industry Analyst, Google
Alexandra is a Senior Industry Analyst at Google working in their retail practice. In her role she is chiefly responsible for market insights, helping top retailers in Canada understand the intersection between consumer behaviour and technology, and how to leverage these insights to drive their business forward. Part of her role is to understand the pulse of retail in Canada, from eCommerce to mcommerce and beyond. Alexandra is also a part of Google Canada's Community Affairs team where she helps direct Google's outreach policy. In this capacity she has worked closely with Google Grants in Canada and corresponding projects and products.
Prior to her role with Google, Alexandra spent close to a decade in market research, working across sectors ranging from Retail to CPG, managing research programs for Fortune 500 companies both in Toronto and London.
She holds a MA in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario and a MSc. in Comparative Politics, Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics. Ali is an avid traveler and is keen on giving back to the communities she lives in.
Alison Gordon, VP Strategy, Marketing and Communications, Rethink Breast Cancer
As a ounding board member and head marketing cheese for Rethink Breast Cancer, Alison Gordon has been integral to the vision and growth of Canada’s most innovative breast cancer charity. Named one of Canada’s Top 10 Marketers by Marketing magazine, Gordon is acclaimed for “thinking differently” and inspiring a new generation of young breast cancer supporters – a previously untapped demographic compelled by Rethink’s irreverently topical messaging and breakthrough fundraising initiatives.
Gordon’s passion for breast cancer started while she was working on her PhD in cultural studies. But her professional interest was solidified in 1999, when she penned the strategy for the decade’s most revolutionary breast cancer awareness campaign – The Cam Exam. The award-winning spot, created with her team at top-agency ZiG inc., sparked an international media frenzy and paved the way for a brand-new breast cancer dialogue. It also turned out to be the springboard for a newfound partnership with MJ DeCoteau and the 2001 formation of Rethink – the first breast cancer movement responding to the unique needs of young women. Since then, the charity has remained the one to watch, breaking new ground every year with its unorthodox marketing tactics, tailor-made programs and strategic relationships.
The creative force behind countless out-of-the box support and education ventures, including Breast Fest – the world’s first international breast cancer film festival – Gordon is committed to building upon the strength of the breast cancer community and forging alliances with stakeholders across the globe.
In Canada, Gordon has partnered with such top companies as Gap, Revlon, Roots, TELUS, Schick, ING direct and LG Electronics to create exciting cause marketing programs aimed at Rethink’s young (and youngish) demographic.
ALISON SPEAKS And when she does, everyone listens. A highly engaging and skilled public speaker, Alison Gordon is available to speak and offer expert advice on a vast range of topics related to below-the-line marketing, cause marketing, branding and brand extension, creative sponsorship, the 20-40 demographic, accessing the influencers, trend spotting, trendsetting, media campaigns, social media, event production, breast cancer awareness, creative entrepreneurialism, the mindset of Canadian marketers and more.
Amy Milne, Director of Events, SickKids Foundation.
Amy Milne has over ten years of experience producing multi-day fundraising events ranging in size from 500 to 7000 participants, and has been involved in more than 50 events spanning two countries. These events include The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers, The Underwear Affair, and the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
Amy joined SickKids Foundation almost two years ago as Director of Events, to lead the charge on the development of the new SickKids Signature Events portfolio. She looks forward to launching their newest initiative in February 2013.
Amy resides in the Beach, with her high school sweetheart and her 2 boys.
Ben Zifkin, CEO, Hubba
Ben has spent the last decade helping some of the world’s largest organizations leverage technology to meet their business goals. Living and working in North America, Europe and Asia, Ben has become a trusted advisor to executives in Retail, Financial Services, Hospitality, Manufacturing and Consumer Packaged Goods. Ben’s diverse experience ranges from software engineer, enterprise-software system integrator, management consultant and entrepreneur.
Prior to Hubba, Ben founded Axsium Group, a specialty system integration firm. Axsium grew to be the largest player in its space and was recognized as one of Canada’s fastest growing companies on two consecutive occasions prior to being acquired. Axsium’s success also earned Ben the honour of being named one of three finalists in Canada for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Young Entrepreneur category. Subsequent to Axsium’s acquisition, Ben moved to London to set up International Operations for the parent company. In less than two years the international division was operating in UK, continental Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Before Axsium, Ben worked in several successful technology start-ups on both the product side and the implementation side.
Ben is a member of the Young President’s Organization and a board member of HackerYou.
Claire Kerr, Director, Digital Philanthropy, Artez Interactive
Claire Kerr is a not-for-profit veteran who has worked in the economic development, education, arts community and fundraising sectors.
As Director of Digital Philanthropy at Artez Interactive, Claire provides consulting in best practices for online fundraising to international charities and partner agencies.
Clare McDowall, Content Manager, CharityVillage
Clare is the new Content Manager for CharityVillage, the Canadian nonprofit sector's largest and most popular online resource for recruiting, news and how-to information. Previously Clare was Communications Director at Small Change Fund, one of Canada's first micro-giving sites for environmental and social justice grassroots projects.
She is a strong believer in communicating important social issues to a wider audience using all of the great tools available in this digital age in a way that any person can 'get'. Clare is now the volunteer Social Media Manager for SOFII.org, the lead organizer of Be Good Be Social in Toronto, a free social media conference for non-profits in Canada, and lead consultant at Socially Good, consulting on social media for non-profits and social enterprises.
Dave Simms, General Manager of Events, Leukaemia Foundation of Australia
Dave emigrated to Australia in 1995 after a career with the BBC and commercial radio in the UK.
He’s worked for several children’s charities and for the last nine years he’s been the National General Manager of Events for the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia.
Dave has a $20 million target each year from fundraising events – so they are big business.
The Leukaemia Foundation is the only national not-for-profit dedicated to helping Australians with blood cancers – leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma - and related blood disorders. Their mission to care means they provide free support to patients and their families during their long and tough treatment. Their also have a vision to cure investing funds into blood cancer research.
Kelly Bergeron, Online Initiatives Manager, Ontario 211
With over 10 years in web development, design and web marketing experience, Kelly has been involved with working with government organizations and nonprofit initiatives. She has worked for the RCMP, DND, Make-A-Wish Canada, Oxford University Press Canada and is now spearheading the digital media efforts at Ontario 211.
She manages the Ontario 211 blog, website and the various social networks that continue to build awareness of 211 in Ontario. She also runs the NTEN Toronto Tech Club which holds monthly meetups in the City of Toronto. She has a diploma in Computer Programming and Analysis from St. Lawrence College.
Lynn Wilson, Director of Events, SickKids Foundation.
Lynn is currently Director of Events at SickKids Foundation steering the 3rd party events portfolio that generates $16M annually. This past year, Lynn also served as the project lead developing with her team and launching the Foundation’s first annual “Healthy + Happy” campaign this past May.
Lynn is a “seasoned” not for profit veteran with over 20 years of experience in the sector in various management positions including The Lung Association and Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Lynn resides in Burlington with her 3 children.
Mark Sutton, President, Artez Interactive Inc.
Mark Sutton is the President of Artez Interactive, a leading internet and mobile based company that helps non-profits engage their supporters as fundraisers. Mark has over 20 years experience in online marketing, fundraising, social media and business development. Mark was a pioneer of person to person and online fundraising using social media. In 2003, Mark established Firstgiving, Inc. the US entity of Justgiving, and led the company as CEO from 2003-2008. Firstgiving is a social fundraising platform that that enables individuals to raise money for charities online that includes over 1,000 charity clients and has helped over 2 million individuals raise >$100m for non-profit organizations.
Prior to Firstgiving, Mark served for 5 years as Marketing and Business Development Director at FairMarket, Inc. (NASDAQ: FAIM) an online auction and commerce company that was sold to eBay. Prior to joining Artez, Mark led marketing and business development for Zeer.com, an online database of more than 30,000 foods that helps people with food allergies and celiac disease find safe food. In addition, Mark has 10 years of experience in electronic data publishing with senior roles at ProCD and SilverPlatter Information.
Mark also served on the ePhilanthropy Foundation’s Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2007 and graduated with a BA from Connecticut College and holds an MBA from Babson College. Mark lives in Lexington Massachusetts with his wife and three children.
Rashida Jeeva, General Manager, The Huffington Post Canada
Rashida Jeeva is General Manager of The Huffington Post Canada. Since joining AOL Canada a little more than a year ago, she has launched The Huffington Post Canada and Le Huffington Post Quebec. Rashida was formerly Executive Editor, Features; globeandmail.com. Prior to that, Rashida was Yahoo! Canada's Editor-in-Chief and also launched Yahoo! Lifestyle, which later became Shine (Canada). She started her career in Canada at Sun Media/Canoe after immigrating from her native South Africa.
Ryan Davis, Executive Director of Social Innovation, Blue State Digital
Ryan works with Blue State Digital’s clients to create innovative social media strategies and creative content that generate interactions across all channels. As BSD's first Social Media Director, Ryan worked to develop fully integrated social media strategies for clients including The X Factor, The NAACP, and The United Way.
Ryan regularly speaks on topics from social media engagement to The Presidency and digital media at universities including Harvard, Yale, & Columbia and conferences in London, New York, Las Vegas, & Toronto. Ryan was a member of the webteam on Howard Dean's 2004 Presidential campaign and has served as digital director on city and statewide campaigns in New York. He's also consulted on the digital marketing for Tony Nominated Broadway productions.
"In the beginning we had social media, now the web's just social."
Shane Howarth, Campaign Communications Specialist, TVO
Shane has an extensive background in communications in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. His strategic approach to philanthropic communications has meant that he has enjoyed success in building the profile of organizations, in engaging new donors and in ensuring stewardship through relevant and informative communications across a number of channels.
As part of the Philanthropy & Sponsorship department, Shane works on the development and implementation of TVO’s Donor Communications Plan, with a primary focus on enhancing donor communications aligned with brand messagingto raise funds across a number of fundraising channels.
Steve Irvine, Senior Business Leader, Facebook Canada
Steve Irvine is a Senior Business Leader at Facebook Canada where he manages a team focused on building trusted advisory relationships with C-level decision makers at some of the largest brands and agencies in Canada.
Steve is a seasoned executive and successful entrepreneur with a track record of success in the digital and social media marketing industry.
Prior to joining Facebook, Steve was the co-founder and CEO of 80/20 Solutions. An innovative web-based marketing software company that helped industry-leading brands and agencies build more profitable and loyal consumer relationships through multi-channel 1:1 marketing automation, dynamic campaign management and real-time performance measurement.
Steve is a former senior strategic advisor on technology, new media and social marketing to the managing director of IMG, the world's largest entertainment, sports and Media Company.
Prior to IMG, Steve was the CEO of Motion Media Interactive, where he worked with large strategic accounts such as Microsoft, Sprint and Sun Media to drive innovative new digital revenue streams for traditional media companies.
Steve started his career in the financial sector as a technology analyst and was one of the early champions of the cloud computing model. He is an academic, all-Canadian graduate, from York University in Toronto.
Tammy Chiasson, Director, Experience and Planning, john st.
Tammy heads up john st.'s digital and experiential group, working at the intersection of technology, culture, and human behaviour. She crafted the strategies on the highly awarded Stanfield’s "Guy at Home in His Underwear” and Rethink Breast Cancer's "Your Man Reminder”. As a believer in accountable creativity, Tammy has helped launch john st.'s analytic measurement tool, LiveMetric, which measures the cumulative impact of convergent media.
Jay Aber, President, The Aber Group
Jay has over 10 years of Canadian and international Internet marketing experience. The combination of his seven years at American Express, plus his 10 year experience as President of 24/7 Canada, Canada's leading Internet advertising sales company, gives him a unique perspective and understanding of the role Internet media plays in the marketing mix.
His work with hundreds of advertising and publishing clients over the years consistently produces results that cost effectively achieves business and revenue objectives. His specialty is guiding companies that are new to Internet marketing and online media through incremental tests and improvements that ultimately lead to successful rollout and implementation.
It's why seminars he's taught for the Canadian Marketing Association are full, why publishers ask him to help them figure out how to make more money from their visitors and why direct marketers want his help on how to use the Web to create control packages and achieve their acquisition goals.