2021 Inductees

Our 2021 Inductees

Judy John

Winner 2021 Inductee

As the first ever Global Chief Creative Officer at Edelman, the world's largest communications firm, Judy leads the team of creatives and planners globally. Before joining Edelman, she was at Leo Burnett where she served as Chief Creative Officer for North America and CEO for Canada.

Judy has been recognised globally, winning at virtually every show and is known as the driving force behind the Always #LikeAGirl campaign which went on to win the Emmy for Outstanding Commercial, Black Pencil at D&AD, Titanium, Grand Prix and Glass Lion at Cannes, and was named by CBS as one of the top three Super Bowl Commercials of all time.

Judy ranked as the #1 CCO in the world in Advertising Age's Awards Report 2015, was named to Business Insider's 30 Most Creative People in Advertising, on Forbes’ The 14 Creative Directors You Should Have on Your Speed Dial and Advertising Age's Creativity50 2014: The Most Creative People of the Year. And in 2019 was named on Gold House's A100 List of most influential Asians in culture.

Along the way, she's judged and chaired top international awards shows including Cannes, The Clios, ADC and D&AD. Judy also sits on the Board of the One Club for Creativity, Ad Council Creative Review Board, and Girl Culture Films Advisory Board. 

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Sharifa Khan

Winner 2021 Inductee

Milestones behind. Miles ahead. Sharifa Khan has been in the marketing and corporate communications industry for 40 years. The first chapter in her success story began with her envisioning and establishing an industry that is known as multicultural today. In doing so, she just didn’t author her success story, but paved the future for every multicultural professional. 40 years later this story continues with her at the helm of one of Canada’s oldest, most well-known and largest multicultural advertising agency.

 

Sharifa Khan is the President and CEO of Balmoral Multicultural Marketing, which celebrated its 30thanniversary last year. It is the oldest multicultural marketing agency in Canada, where she leads a team of seasoned ethnic marketing professionals to service corporate, government and non‐profit organizations. She has helped brands connect and engage with Canada’s diverse ethnic communities. 

Her motto is “Building Bridges of Understanding”. She is a maestro in putting a cultural lens to strategy and brands, to drive considerations and solidify relationships between mainstream and these ever-growing market segments.

She has led her agencies in winning numerous metals at the Cassie, the Strategy Marketing Awards and the Summit International Awards for Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission (OLG), BMW, Canada Life, Ottawa Tourism, Britta and Clorox. 

 

Balmoral’s clients have included Government of Ontario, OLG, BMW, Chatr, Fido, Rogers, Canada Life, Ottawa Tourism, Clorox, Metrolinx, Brita, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Burt’s Bees, Campbell’s Canada, Rémy Martin, BMO Financial Group, Canadian Cancer Society, just to name a few. And it has offices in China, India and Hong Kong.



In 1999, Sharifa was awarded a federal recognition from then Prime Minister Jean Chrétien for her entrepreneurial success. In 2002, she was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Award and in 2012, the Diamond Jubilee Award. In 2004, she received the Alumni Achievement Award from Ryerson University. She is also a recipient of the 2013 Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award for her achievements. And in 2018, Sharifa was named one of eighteen Women of Influence in Canada.

 

Community Involvement/ Volunteerism 

 

  • Over the years, Ms. Khan has been dedicated to promoting the goodwill and image of Canada’s diverse multicultural communities to mainstream Canadian communities, corporation and government – Building Bridges of Understanding

 

  • She co-founded the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival in 1988 and was instrumental in the success and popularity of this multicultural event in Canada for 17 years. 

 

  • She was the Chairwoman of the 2006 Toronto Club Crew Dragon Boat World Championships where she successfully lobbied three levels of government for $23 million to build a new watercourse at Toronto’s waterfront. This was the first waterfront project in fifty years in Toronto. This project had a significant economic impact and was instrumental in bringing in $24 million GDP into the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto.

 

  • She was the first female President of the Toronto Chinese Business Association, and the first minority group female Vice President of the Canadian Club. She sat on many boards such as Toronto Board of Trade and United Way of Greater Toronto.

 

  • Sharifa was also the Vice-Chair of OCAD University as well as a Director of Ontario Creates. She still sits on the Board of Governors of the Mount Sinai Hospital and Toronto General Hospital. 

 

  • She is an Honorary Advisor of Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto and the Canadian Ethnic Media Association 
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Rem Langan

Winner 2021 Inductee

Rem Langan is an accomplished and successful marketer with over 35 years of experience in executive management, marketing and communications in both the business and the Not-for-Profit sector. Currently, he acts as consultant to companies and not-for-profit organizations on a variety of issues and areas.

 

As Chief Marketing Officer for McDonald’s Canada, Rem directed all financial and human capital related to marketing and communications, overseeing annual marketing budgets well in excess of $200 million, while providing direction for all advertising and communications activities across Canada. Additionally, Rem was responsible for leading McDonald’s sports marketing partnerships including relationships with the NHL, NBA and Olympics. 

 

As President, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada, he set the strategic direction of the organization leading the development and execution of all internal and external fundraising initiatives including the creation of the McDonald’s 10 Cent Happy Meal program, which has raised close to 100 million dollars in Canada since 2004. 

 

Rem first worked in the advertising business both in Canada and Australia and eventually for McDonald’s in Europe. Where he was responsible for McDonald's System of Europe Pan European approach to McDonald's marketing and communication efforts. This saw him part of the expansion efforts of McDonalds into 19 new countries.

 Rem was also a member of McDonald’s Canada management team that was responsible for McDonald’s initial entry into the Soviet Union. During his time at McDonald’s, they received numerous awards including Marketer of the Year Award from Marketing Magazine. Individually he was recognized as President’s Award Winner, Patron’s Award Winner and as an Ad Age New Product Innovator. 

 

Over the years Rem has been an active board member of numerous charities including Variety Village, Parachute Canada, Canadian Paralympic Committee, the Toronto 2015 Sport Legacy Fund, Ontario Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, POV as well as a founding board member of The Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation and the Impakt Foundation for Social Change.

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Bryan Pearson

Winner 2021 Inductee

Bryan Pearson is the former CEO of LoyaltyOne Co. and currently serves as a Director and strategic advisor to a number of organizations.  He is a global leader in loyalty, retail marketing and analytics, and a passionate advocate for the ability of marketing, leadership and culture to transform business performance.  Under Bryan’s leadership, LoyaltyOne was recognized repeatedly as a leading employer, a most admired corporate culture, one of the greenest companies and one of Canada’s top employers for millennials and women.  This during a ten-year period where the business grew top-line revenue by 400% and bottom-line performance by 800%.  

 

At the end of his tenure in August 2019, LoyaltyOne operated four key businesses:  the AIRMILES Reward Program (coalition loyalty), BrandLoyalty (promotional loyalty), Precima (retail analytics software) and LoyaltyOne Global Solutions (consulting) with total revenues of almost $2 billion (CDN).  These entities leveraged knowledge gleaned over 25 years from hundreds of millions of customer relationships to create critical insights used to drive relevant communications and enhanced shopper experiences.   LoyatlyOne had almost 2,000 associates operating from 28 offices globally and did business in more than 50 countries working with leading consumer facing brands.   

 

Pearson published two books: "The Loyalty Leap: Turning Customer Information into Customer Intimacy" and "The Loyalty Leap for B2B” and frequently speaks at retail and marketing conferences around the world.  He has also contributed to hundreds of stories in news media across North America, including The Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC and the CBC. He has been a contributor on retail marketing and loyalty for Forbes.com, and has been repeatedly published in RetailWire, Retail Customer Experience, CustomerThink, Business 2 Community and COLLOQUY Speaks.

 

Pearson started his career in packaged goods at the Quaker Oats Company, before moving to the technology sector when he joined one of Canada’s early tech success stories at Alias Research.  In 1992, he joined the AIRMILES Reward Program shortly after the program was launched in Canada.  Initially responsible for the program’s food retail partners, he was quickly asked to open the company’s first satellite office in Calgary and then in 1995 he returned to Toronto to lead the client relationship team spanning three offices across Canada.  In 1998, AIRMILES was sold to Alliance Data and in 1999 Pearson was promoted to President of the AIRMILES business.  In this capacity, he continued to work with the programs partners’ to fully realize the potential of the data and evolving digital and targeted marketing capabilities to transform how retailers, credit cards and other service providers engaged with their customers by more efficiently serving their respective needs.  Data, insights, marketing, collaboration and a keen eye on balancing brand positioning and ROI were central to the thesis of AIRMILES.

 

In the fall of 2006, he was promoted to the role of President and CEO of LoyaltyOne, where he embarked on expanding the footprint of this division of Alliance Data by continuing to grow AIRMILES and other solutions in the loyalty and data analytics space.   Initial efforts included joint ventures in Brazil and India to build loyalty coalitions and focusing on retail analytics via Precima.  Eventually both international JV’s were sold, and the focus returned to growing Precima – which had evolved into a SAAS offering serving major grocers, the food service industry and the Consumer Packaged Goods industry in Canada, the U.S., England, the Netherlands.  

 

This inspired Pearson to develop a more global and retail centric mandate for LoyaltyOne and he received board approval to make a significant acquisition in BrandLoyalty.  This Dutch based company created specialized short-term loyalty promotions for Food Retailers around the world leveraging brands such as Disney, Star Wars, and Jamie Oliver.  It also licenced brands and even created its own private label offerings across categories like knives and cookware.  These initiatives led to BrandLoyalty doubling its business and profits over a 4-year period as it grew to an $800 million global business.  

 

Pearson’s innate curiosity and desire to raise the profile of loyalty as a marketing tool fostered his interest in helping the industry be more effective. LoyaltyOne maintained a continued focus on research and advisory work in loyalty, technology and customer experience (CX) that linked into LoyaltyOne’s own robust publishing network.  The Global Solutions consultancy helped brands like Virgin and Staples think about their loyalty and CX approaches and Zero Gravity Labs was created as an incubator to explore topics such as facial recognition, quantum computing and beacon technology.   The scope of these offerings created a global recognition for the brand among loyalty practitioners and contributed to a far-reaching way to build LoyaltyOne’s global reputation.

Bryan is a passionate advocate for community and encouraged the LoyaltyOne team to volunteer their time and created a vehicle for this via CommunityOne day – when every associate at the company donates their time to support a number of charitable causes.  These include Motionball, the CP24/CHUM Christmas Wish foundation and Kids Help Phone and Get Real.  He also advocated and supported an internal effort to help local schools learn about healthy eating and growing food through LoyaltyOne’s Good Food Machine initiative.  This now operates in over 200 schools in at risk neighbourhoods across Canada including indigenous communities and the schools in Iqaluit.  

Pearson has an MBA and a BScH (Microbiology and Biochemistry) from Queen’s University. 

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Arran & Ratana Stephens

Winner 2021 Inductee

ARRAN STEPHENS

Arran Stephens has passionately helped pioneer the organic movement for over 50 years —before it became a global industry. Born on his family’s farm in 1944, he learned an invaluable lesson from his dad: “Always leave the soil better than you found it.” Bettering the earth, communities, and the world has been his lifelong work. 

Arran opened Canada’s first vegetarian restaurant in 1967.  In 1971, he opened a natural foods store and distributor of organic foods. In 1985, he and his wife Ratana founded Nature’s Path, which would go on to become the world’s largest independent organic cereal brand. In an age of sell-outs, Nature’s Path remains a proudly independent family enterprise, involved in farming, processing and sharing organic products worldwide.   

Arran’s, life-companion and co-CEO for many years —Ratana, son Arjan, and daughter Jyoti, help lead from the front at Nature’s Path, along with many hundreds of valued team members. The family has invested deeply in regenerative organic farming and farmland in Canada and the USA, via its Legend Organic Farms—supporting a higher-level of organic than the minimum required by USDA. 

Arran has received many high-profile awards during his career, including; an Organic Pioneer Award from Rodale Institute (2018) the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2002) and induction into the BC Laureates Hall of Fame (2020). 

Arran’s published works include Journey to the Luminous (Elton-Wolf, 1999), Moth & the Flame (online), and The Compassionate Diet—How What You Eat Can Change Your Life and Save the Planet, (Rodale Books, 2011). 

Since 2019, Arran has taken on the role of Chairman at Nature’s Path. In his spare time, he enjoys organic gardening, painting, and spending time with his grandchildren.  

RATANA STEPHENS

Ratana Stephens founded Nature’s Path Foods with her husband Arran in 1985.  As CEO and co-founder, she has grown Nature’s Path to become North America’s largest independent certified organic breakfast and snack food company, while remaining firmly committed to the mission of leaving the earth better than you found it.   

A dedicated student, Ratana studied psychology and Sanskrit at Arga University in India, where she also obtained an MA in English literature. She went on to become a college lecturer, before meeting her husband Arran and moving to Vancouver.  

Ratana remains at the center of every development within the company, which operates on the triple-bottom line of social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and financial viability, in that order. Since 2008, Ratana and Arran personally, and additionally through Nature’s Path, have committed to donating almost $40 million to various philanthropic and community service efforts.   

As a role model for women in business, Ratana’s contribution to the successful growth of Nature’s Path has been recognized by the business community through a variety of awards, including being named as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network. Ratana has also been awarded the distinguished YWCA Women of Distinction Award for entrepreneurship and innovation, regarding her impact on business and sustainability. Most recently, she was honored with an Influential Women in Business Award by Business in Vancouver.  

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