This category was designed to honour the charismatic leaders who have built and enhanced existing brands and in doing so have increased the competitive nature of their respective organizations.

Bob Peter

Winner 2016

Over the course of his 48 year retail career, Bob has helped shape, innovate and grow two of Canada's leading retail organizations - Hudson's Bay Company and the LCBO.

Bob began his retail career in 1968 at the Hudson's Bay as a management trainee in Winnipeg.  He became a key player in the Hudson's Bay Company holding several high level positions - Vice-President of the Bay Stores, President of Simpsons, President of the Bay and Executive Vice-President of the Hudson's Bay Company and Chairman of the Bay's Specialty Stores.

For nearly a decade, he was the face of the Bay in their marketing programs on television and in print.

He oversaw one of the largest expansions and upgrades of the Bay store network, growing it from 67 stores in 1988 to 101 stores in 1998. 

In 2001, Bob joined the LCBO as President.  Under Bob's leadership, the LCBO consistently increased its operational and financial performance, undertook an unprecedented expansion of its network and product assortment, improved customer service, modernized its logistics facilities and supply chain, positioned itself as a leader in philanthropic endeavours and environmental sustainability, strengthened its record in responsible retailing and effective support for Ontario beverage alcohol suppliers to grow their business. 

He is a graduate of the University of Manitoba.

In 1996, he received the La Fondation de la Mode de Montreal award for his support of the Canadian fashion industry.

In 2014, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Retail Council of Canada.

He has served as a cabinet member of the United Way of Greater Toronto and as a director of Fred Atkins Co., New York, Retail Council of Canada, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Junior Achievement, the Toronto Zoo and the Canadian Association of Liquor Jurisdiction.

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Jeanne Beker

Winner 2015

Jeanne Beker started her career as an actress, but moved into radio and then television as co-host of the ground-breaking series, The NewMusic, and entertainment anchor on CityPulse News. She went on to become the host of the internationally syndicated Fashion Television (FT), which aired for 27 years and had viewers in more than 130 countries. Jeanne is the former editor-in-chief of FQ and SIR magazines, and author of five books, including her 2010
autobiography, Finding Myself in Fashion. Jeanne was a contributing editor of The Toronto Star, The Kit, and a columnist for Metro, and is currently a featured style columnist for The Globe and Mail and Post City magazine.

She also writes for a number of lifestyle publications. Her fashion and editorial credits include her clothing line, Edit by Jeanne Beker, as well a number of product lines, including shoes, jewelry and sunglasses. Jeanne was recently named Style Editor of The Shopping Channel, and hosts a regular series for the channel entitled “Style Matters with
Jeanne Beker”. Her numerous awards include her recent appointment to the Order of Canada in 2014 for her support of the Canadian fashion industry; the 2012 Canadian Award of Distinction from the Banff World Media Festival; and being honoured with a Canadian Screen Achievement Award for the role she played in changing the way Canadians watch television.

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Chris Armstrong

Winner 2014

Chris took his MBA in Finance with the help of the GI Bill and spent his formative career years in analytical roles at the Federal Supply Service, Ford Motor Company, and PepsiCo. He got his first “big break” when he became the General Manager of the Pepsi Bottling Group in Dusseldorf, Germany. After Pepsi and a short stint as VP Strategic Planning, The Hertz Corporation, Chris entered the world of retail financial services where he spent 25 years in a variety of senior management and marketing assignments.

Directly before retiring, he was a member of the Office of the Chief Executive at TD Ameritrade where he was responsible for retail and institutional client experience at TD AMERITRADE as well as marketing, mergers and acquisitions, and strategy. Earlier, he was Acting President and CEO, TD Waterhouse USA at the time of the merger with Ameritrade and also served as Chairman and CEO of TD Waterhouse Bank. Other executive experience includes EVP and CMO, TD Bank Financial Group (awarded Canadian Marketer of the Year in 2003); EVP Marketing, First Interstate Bank; EVP, Marketing, MNC Financial Inc.; and VP, Citibank, NA.

Of late, Chris is the co-founder Life’s Next Steps, a company that offers non-financial lifestyle planning workshops for the “generation that won’t settle for an ordinary retirement”. He also serves as a member of the Advisory Board at The Mutual Fund Store®, a nationally branded, independent Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) organization owned since 2011 by Warburg Pincus and is a Senior Advisor for Branded Cultures, a firm focused on helping firms differentiate themselves through leveraging the values and strengths on which their culture is based.

Chris and Suzanne, his spouse, moved to Miami in 2010 and live in Coconut Grove. They are active participants in the condo in which they live, The Grovenor House, where Chris is the head of the Finance Committee. In addition to being co-founders of Life’s Next Steps, Inc., they are heavily involved with their extended family and are the proud grandparents of two granddaughters. Both Chris and Suzanne are involved and active members of PAMM, including being members of the Collector’s Council. Chris speaks fluent Spanish and German and Suzanne, fluent French. They are avid early golfers.

BA, University of Virginia (Latin American Studies); M.B.A (Finance). with honors, American University.


Chris Armstrong - MHOL 2014 Builder

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Stephen Graham

Winner 2014

Stephen Graham is one of Canada’s most awarded marketing and transformational business leaders, recognized for bringing passion, inspiration, game changing innovation and a trademark sense of humanity to everything he does.

As a graduate of Queen’s Commerce, he joined Procter & Gamble because it offered him the opportunity to manage businesses quickly. In addition to pushing brands to record shares at P&G he introduced the next global CEO to the idea of buying a competitor, Oil of Olay, to better meet the skincare needs of an increasingly aging population. A few years later P&G actually did, building Olay into one of their most valuable franchises globally.

By the age of 26, Stephen was leading the Coca-Cola brand during through cola wars, defeating the Pepsi Challenge in Canada and then dramatically growing their corporate share by rapidly growing new diet and caffeine free versions.

At 32, he became President of Scali, McCabe, Sloves with clients like Labatt, Purina, Cadbury, Hertz and Mercedes, creating work and partnerships that would earn it ‘Agency of the Year’ honours with the headline “A salute to an agency who has re-fashioned itself for the results conscious decade”.

In 1996 Stephen was recruited to the U.S. to lead marketing efforts for AT&T at the height of the telecom wars and beginning of the digital communications revolution, managing a budget in excess of $1 billion. After achieving a decisive victory in the long distance wars, with the creation and launch of the simplified AT&T One Rate, he then helped drive AT&T to national leadership in the burgeoning Wireless market with the launch of the innovative AT&T Digital One Rate program, becoming the first to eliminate roaming and long charges.

For its’ “It’s All Within Your Reach” campaign AT&T was awarded the Gold Effie for the Best Corporate Brand Campaign globally in 1998 and by 2000 Stephen had been selected as the #1 global Marketer by Ad Age in its annual ranking of the Power 50.

Stephen was recruited back to Canada in 2002 to become EVP of Retail & Small Banking & corporate CMO of CIBC. Over four years he led a major transformation of their marketing, branch design, products and services, and CIBC brand with the emotive “For What Matters” campaign. In 2006, Stephen joined Rogers as its first CMO and Chief Convergence Officer, to help further build the Rogers brand and its leadership in the converging world of Wireless, Cable, Internet and Home communication & entertainment services. Through the creation of “Canada’s Most Reliable Network” effort, new & bundled offerings, a renewed Rogers brand and innovative sponsorship & entertainment deals, Rogers extended its leadership in both communications and content – significantly growing the value of the business.

Most recently, Stephen has led Maple Leaf as CMO, post recall crisis, through a major rebuild and transformation of its brands, overseeing all marketing and innovation efforts across their Canadian, US and UK businesses. Citing the successful brand re-launches, multiple ‘new product of the year‘ awards and innovative digital and social media efforts, Maple Leaf was chosen Canada’s 2011 “Marketer of the Year” by Marketing Magazine. In the 2014 Leger Corporate Reputation ranking, the Maple Leaf brand (supported by the powerful “Feeding the Country” campaign) moved up a further 33 places, putting it now just one place behind Apple.

Impressively, during Stephen’s tenure helping to build AT&T, CIBC, Rogers and Maple Leaf, the share value of each company doubled.

Beyond his business accomplishments, Stephen has also given back generously to the industry and the community, by serving on the Board of the ANA in the U.S. and the ICA in Canada, as a Founding Director & Chair of Kids Help Phone, as Chair of Prostate Cancer Canada (Movember), as President of the Donalda Club and as an ongoing mentor with the MHOL program.

Stephen Graham - MHOL 2014 Builder

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John Betts

Winner 2013

John Betts began his career with McDonald’s in 1970 as Crew in Southampton, New York. Since then, he has been recognized as an outstanding contributor to the global McDonald’s system, receiving numerous awards including the prestigious Presidents’ Award reserved for the top 1% of McDonald’s employees globally.


The company has achieved significant success under Mr. Betts’ leadership and business momentum is at an all-time high. McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited and its Canadian franchisees own and operate over 1,400 restaurants and employ more than 80,000 Canadians from coast to coast.

John Betts - MHOL 2013 Builder

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Bonnie Brooks

Winner 2013

Bonnie Brooks is President of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the world’s oldest continuously operating company. Over the course of her career she has built high-end retail companies across the world including Lane Crawford and Holt Renfrew, was the first in retail to launch an in-house editorial style magazine and served for 3 years as Editor-in-Chief of Flare.

Since joining the Hudson’s Bay Company, Ms. Brooks has collectively raised more than $17 million for charitable organizations, including the Canadian Olympic Foundation, and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Bonnie Brooks - MHOL 2013 Builder

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Ivan Fecan

Winner 2013

Ivan Fecan is a Canadian media executive and philanthropist whose résumé includes Head of English TV at CBC and CEO and President of CTVglobemedia. Amongst his achievements, Mr. Fecan built CTV into a multibillion dollar conglomerate with Canada’s top-rated broadcast and cable networks and the number one programs in news, sports and entertainment. He also bid for and oversaw the coverage of the Vancouver Olympics, which garnered the highest television ratings ever recorded in Canada. Mr. Fecan was named Person of the Year by entertainment industry magazine Playback in 2006 and Person of the Decade in 2011.

Ivan Fecan - MHOL 2013 Builder

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Dominique DeCelles

Winner 2012

L’Oréal Canada

As Senior Vice-President of L’Oréal Canada’s Active Cosmetic Division, Dominique De Celles heads Canada’s leading Dermo-Cosmetic brands: Laboratoires Vichy, Laboratoire Dermatologique La Roche-Posay and SkinCeuticals.

Mrs. DeCelles is originally from Ottawa and is an alumna of the University of Ottawa's School of Management (BCom '83). She also holds a diploma in business from L'École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP).
Mrs. De Celles joined L`Oréal Canada in 1985 as a Marketing Assistant. She has since worked in numerous marketing roles within both the Consumers and Luxury Products Divisions. Since 2009, Mrs. De Celles assumes the role of Senior Vice-President for the Active Cosmetic Division.

Throughout her career, Mrs. De Celles had many recognitions such as “2003 Marketer of the Year” Award (Strategy Magazine). Since 2007 Mrs. De Celles Chairs the Board of Directors of the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA).

With most of the creative coming from abroad, Dominique was forced to get innovative to ensure that the brand stood out in the highly competitive and cluttered beauty category. Some of her biggest coups have been the tie-in with Canadian Idol and landing L'Oréal Paris the title sponsor of the L'Oréal Fashion Week in Toronto. These initiatives have allowed the brand to become the undisputed leader of its category in Canada both from a market share and marketing innovation standpoints. Dominique was also one of the first marketers in the beauty industry to venture into sponsorship opportunities with a fully integrated approach. This is well illustrated by the 360 approach to the sponsorship of Project Runway and its culmination in L’Oréal Fashion Week, with customized in-store activations, blogs while leveraging all of the print and digital assets of the company and media vendors. This allowed the brand to gain massive awareness while communicating its values and positioning in a relevant, engaging and aspirational way. This initiative was instrumental in making L'Oréal Paris the leading beauty brand in Canada.

More recently, Dominique has collaborated with some of the major retailers in Canada for the redesign of their Cosmetic environment. By contributing to redefine the beauty universe in pharmacies, she has taken part in enhancing the shopping experience of customers which has generated substantial revenue increases in these store locations.

Dominique is an active fundraiser for the annual Weekend to End Women’s Cancers.

Dominique DeCelles - MHOL 2012 Builder

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David Bloom

Winner 2011

Shopper's Drug Mart

David Bloom, the ebullient and energetic executive who scripted the rise of Shoppers Drug Mart into a dominant role as Canada’s only national drug store chain, retired from the company in 2001 after 18 years as its chairman and chief executive.

That Shoppers Drug can dub itself a “world-class retailer” is due in no small part to Bloom’s leadership. Beginning as a Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist in Toronto’s Yorkdale community in 1967, he moved on a fast management trajectory that culminated with his appointment as president and chief executive in 1983, at the age of 39. Bloom succeeded Shoppers Drug Mart founder Murray Koffler as chairman three years later upon Koffler’s retirement.

As the company’s top officer, Bloom led a doubling of store count, a fourfold increase in sales and a tenfold jump in earnings. In fiscal 1999, the last year for which figures are available, Shoppers reached C$4.3 billion in sales ($2.8 billion at current exchange), with sales per square foot reaching (U.S.) $558. Net earnings that year rose 30 percent to (U.S.) $157 million.
Since becoming a private company Shoppers Drug no longer reports financial results.

More significant to Shoppers’ future, Bloom also pushed a culture of restless innovation and self-renewal. That drive led to Project Eagle, a re-engineering of all aspects of Shoppers’ supply chain and distribution management, purchasing, store merchandising and operations, which began in 1995.

The result, noted Shoppers, is “state-of-the-art distribution, purchasing and merchandising systems.” Bloom is also credited for his role in the launch of such private label brands as Life, Quo and Rialto, as well as the creation and branding of marketing and service programs like Health-Watch, PharmExpert and the extremely successful Shoppers Optimum loyalty card.

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Colleen Moorehead

Winner 2010

Signal Hill Equity Partners

Colleen Moorehead sits as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Signal Hill Equity Partners, a Toronto-based private equity firm focused on Canadian mid-market companies and managed by experienced investors and business operators. It is just the latest chapter in a long and impressive career. Moorehead is one of Canada’s true business leaders with over 25 years of experience in financial services, technology, business and web-based services. She’s also worked hard to ensure women have every opportunity to harness their full potential and succeed in their careers.

As an Entrepreneur in Residence, Moorehead helps Signal Hill identify and evaluate investment opportunities and assist portfolio companies in executing strategies. In her previous role as President and CEO of Nexient Learning, Moorehead used her business-savvy to transform a highly decentralized, acquisition-based company into the Canadian leader in the corporate skills development and learning industry.

Moorehead co-founded E*TRADE Canada in 1996, where she and a brilliant team of FSRs (Financial Service Renegades) pioneering the adoption of on-line commerce in Canada through building both a challenger brand in financial services and strong company. She honed her financial skills as Vice-President and Managing Director for both CIBC World Markets and Merrill Lynch.

Over the years Moorehead has been a role model to women everywhere. Moorehead is one of the original founders of The Judy Project, an Enlightened Leadership Forum for Executive Women at the Joseph Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and currently serves as its Business Director. She also serves as Vice Chair of the new Women’s College Hospital upcoming capital campaign, building a brand new vision of women’s health; combining clinical care with research in Canada’s first stand-alone ambulatory hospital designed primarily for women.

Her commitment to personal causes doesn’t stop there. Moorehead sits on numerous professional and community boards including, Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation, The Redwood Shelter, and is nominated for membership to The Stratford Festival Theatre Board of Governors. Past initiatives include The Task Force to Modernize Securities Legislation in Canada, Canadian e-Business Initiative, Covenant House of Toronto, TSX Policy Committee, Investment Dealers Association, and Stratford Summer Music.
Moorehead was born and raised in the Stratford, Ontario and, when not chasing her two almost teenage sons around, she’s training for the next marathon, playing tennis, golf or traveling with her husband.

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Annette Verschuren

Winner 2010

Home Depot Inc.

Annette Verschuren is Division President of The Home Depot’s Canadian operations, and also oversees The Home Depot’s operations in China. She joined the company in 1996 and has overseen the rapid expansion of The Home Depot Canada and is responsible for the company’s leadership position in the home improvement retail industry.

Ms. Verschuren began her career as a development officer with the Cape Breton Development Corporation (coal mining) in Sydney, Nova Scotia. She went on to work with Canada Development Investment Corporation as Executive Vice President privatizing various crown corporations. She then joined Imasco Ltd. (Canadian holding company) as Vice President of Corporate Development. Prior to joining The Home Depot, Ms. Verschuren was President & co-owner of Michael’s of Canada (arts & crafts stores) from 1993 to 1996.

She has been honoured with a Doctorate from both Mount Saint Vincent University and St. Francis Xavier University, and was recently honoured as Wilfrid Laurier University’s 2006 Outstanding Business Leader. In 2005 Annette was awarded with Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year by the Retail Council of Canada. A native of North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Ms. Verschuren was recently appointed to the newly created North American Competitiveness Council (NACC) as part of the Security & Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) by Prime Minister Harper. Ms. Verschuren also serves as Chancellor of Cape Breton University and she is currently on the board of Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Chair of Habitat for Humanity’s National President’s Council and is spearheading the Corporate Council on Volunteerism.

She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

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Kathleen Taylor

Winner 2009

Kathleen (Katie) Taylor is President and Chief Operating Officer of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company’s global operations.

Since joining Four Seasons in 1989, Katie has played a key role in its growth and success, including the expansion of the company’s portfolio to the present 75 properties in 31 countries, and an additional 37 hotels and resorts now under construction and development around the world.

Prior to assuming the role of Chief Operating Officer in January 2007, Katie was President of Worldwide Business Operations for seven years, overseeing all aspects of the business side of the company, including direction of Four Seasons’ worldwide hotel and residential product design, construction and development activities, managing the company’s acquisition and corporate planning, overseeing the corporate finance and legal affairs groups, and the corporate human resources and corporation administration areas.

Katie’s business achievements have been recognized in recent years with the Schulich Award for Outstanding Executive Leadership in 2001, the IREFAC Chairman’s Award in 2003, and the CGCA Award for Business Achievement in 2006.

A member of the World Travel and Tourism Council and IREFAC, Katie is also a director of the Royal Bank of Canada and a member of its Audit and Human Resource Committees. She is a member of the Cabinet of the Toronto United Way and the chair of its Endowment Giving, and is also a member of the board of The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation in Toronto.

Katie obtained a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and an M.B.A. from the Schulich School of Business in 1984.

She lives in Toronto with her husband and their three children, and together they enjoy all outdoor sports, including skiing, cycling and tennis.

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Wayne Sales

Winner 2009

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited

Wayne Sales was appointed Vice Chairman of Canadian Tire on April 27th, 2006, following his tenure as President and Chief Executive Officer of the organization from 2000 to 2006. Mr. Sales joined Canadian Tire in 1991 and was a key architect behind Canadian Tire’s strategic transformation, becoming a top-quartile performer among North American retailers in total returns to shareholders. Under Mr. Sales’ leadership, Canadian Tire reshaped its strategic agenda, repositioned its businesses and driven consistent, superior earnings growth over the long-term, while creating a unique culture. Retail sales increased nearly $2 billion in the time Mr. Sales was CEO and today surpass $9 billion.

Canadian Tire has been recognized formally as one of the Best Companies to Work for in Canada. Mr. Sales was named Distinguished Retailer of the Year in 2004 by the Retail Council of Canada, received the CEO Award of Excellence in Communication by the Canadian Public Relations Society, was named Top CEO by Canadian Business Magazine in its 2005 All-Star Executives issue and is being inducted into the Canadian Market Hall of Fame in January 2009.

Previously, Executive Vice President, Canadian Tire Retail, he was responsible for Canadian Tire’s supply chain functions of distribution, logistics and transportation, along with its retail functions of buying, merchandising, Far East Buying Offices, petroleum, market research and advertising. In addition, Mr. Sales held accountability for PartSource, a specialty automotive retail chain that is a strategic business unit of Canadian Tire. Prior to his appointment as president of Canadian Tire, he was Senior Vice President, Marketing at Canadian Tire Retail.

A graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program, Mr. Sales is a member of the Board of Directors for Georgia Gulf Corporation, SuperValu Inc. and Tim Hortons. He is married, has three grown children and seven energetic grandchildren.

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Ed Marra

Winner 2008

Nestle Canada

Right up until his untimely death at age 54 from pancreatic cancer, Ed Marra lived with an intense ‘passion to win.’ This statement – included as the signature line of all his emails – drove every decision he made, both personally and professionally.

After graduating with an MBA from Concordia after earning his B.Comm from Loyola, Marra began his lifelong affair with food at Robin Hood Multi-Foods, soon working on the Stouffer’s brand. After five years at Robin Hood, Marra jumped to Nestlé when it acquired the license to market the Stouffer’s brand from Robin Hood.

He held a series of positions in the Nestlé organization, including several senior management positions in the U.S. and the managing director title in Canada before ultimately being named Executive Vice-President at Nestlé S.A. head office in Switzerland.

A constant innovator, he famously launched the new Lean Cuisine frozen dinner in Canada by serving it to trade buyers right in the plastic tray on Royal York Hotel’s best china, and hired then-risky Tina Turner as after-dinner entertainment.

Marra’s contributions at Nestlé established a legacy that continues today. His passion for marketing excellence, commitment to effective trade relationships, thirst for customer insight and open leadership style are cornerstones of his legacy. To commemorate his contribution, Nestlé Canada has instituted the annual Ed Marra Marketing Excellence Awards.

As a 30-year veteran of the packaged-goods industry, Marra served on the executive committees of such organizations as the Food Industry Association, and the Food and Consumer Product Manufacturers of Canada, and as a member of the Grocery Industry Foundation.

Often recognized for his successes and contributions to the industry, he was named ‘MBA Alumni of the Year’ by Concordia University in 2003, and awarded the ‘CEO Award of Excellence in Communication Leadership’ from the International Association of Business Communicators that same year. A career highlight was being awarded the prestigious Gold Medal for 2005 by the Association of Canadian Advertisers, although he was too ill to attend the ceremony.

In the months before he died in November 2006, Marra worked with the University of California, San Francisco to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer and help secure future research funding.

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Peter Elwood

Winner 2008

Lever Brothers & Lipton

An outspoken marketer with firm opinions, unwavering instincts and an impressive track record of business growth, Peter Elwood started his career as an Assistant Brand Manager at S.C. Johnson Wax, armed with an MBA from Univerity of Western Ontario and a previous Chemical Engineering degree from Queen’s University.

After a disagreement with his superiors on a point of ethics, he left S.C. Johnson Wax to join Lever Brothers, where he began working on “canned meats, beef stew, meatballs and gravy – a commodity if there ever was one,” he says. However, his marketing savvy soon propelled him up the corporate ladder, leading to positions as VP of marketing at Lipton and Lever Brothers and ultimately to the role of President of Lever Brothers (1993-96) and President of Lipton (1996-2000). At one point, he gained valuable international experience through a posting at Unilever in the UK. He took early retirement in 2000 when he was passed over for the role of president of the new entity, Unilever Canada, formed by the joining of Lever Brothers and Lipton.

Elwood has been active in a host of marketing-related initiatives, including the Canadian Congress of Advertising, and Advertising Standards Canada. His expertise was an important contributor to the success of the Cassie Awards, of which he is a former judging chair. In fact, in 2006, the Cassies named a special award after him and (2007 MHOL Mentor inductee) Rupert Brendon: the Brendon-Elwood Award for Best Performance for leading advertisers and agencies, based on the advertiser’s cumulative track-record across all ten Cassies events held up to that point.

Elwood has received several Cassie himself: a Sustained Success award for Dove (1997), the Grand Prix award for Sunlight (1999), a Sustained Success award for Becel (1999), and a Gold award for the Packaged Goods category for Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup (2001). In 1995, Elwood was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal from the Association of Canadian Advertisers in recognition of his numerous achievements in the marketing industry.

Perhaps the greatest kudos he has received is that top marketers clamoured to work with him on his businesses. Since his retirement, he has actively pursued has passion for golf in hopes of regaining his 6 or 7 stroke handicap.

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Andrew Brandt

Winner 2007


Born in London, Ontario, Andrew Brandt moved to Sarnia in the 1960s where he established a successful company importing and selling musical instruments. From a single retail operation, Mr. Brandt expanded the company over a 10-year period into a network of 70 retail outlets throughout Ontario before eventually selling a majority of his interests to a national retailer of musical instruments based in Winnipeg.

In 1971, he entered politics and embarked on a long and distinguished career in public service, serving on Sarnia City Council for almost a decade, including three terms as mayor. In 1981, he was elected as MPP for Sarnia and served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour. He was appointed Minister of the Environment in 1983 and Minister of Industry and Trade in 1985. He also served as Leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party from 1987-1990.

Mr. Brandt was first appointed Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) in February 1991. In 2003 he was re-appointed to an unprecedented fifth three-year term.

Under Mr. Brandt’s leadership, the LCBO increased its annual sales by $1.7 billion (94 per cent) and achieved 10 straight record dividends (totalling almost $9 billion) to the Ontario government, including a $1.115 billion dividend (excluding taxes) in fiscal 2004-2005. In fiscal 2005-06, his last year as Chair and CEO, LCBO sales topped $3.6 billion and the dividend reached $1.2 billion.

Throughout his tenure, the LCBO regularly outperformed most other Canadian liquor boards and major retailers. The LCBO also achieved its highest customer satisfaction ratings ever and the LCBO’s retail network evolved from uninviting, institutional-looking outlets to modern, innovative one-stop shopping centres.

During the Brandt years, the LCBO received more than 200 awards, including the Canadian Marketing Association’s Director’s Choice Award, the Retail Council of Canada’s Retail Marketing Award, Innovative Retailer of the Year and Socially Responsible Retailer of the Year and Outstanding Business Achievement Award from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Brandt was a finalist in 2001 for Marketer of the Year, presented by the Toronto Chapter of the American Marketing Association. He was also awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003.

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George Cohon

Winner 2007

McDonald's Restaurants of Canada

George Cohon, a practicing lawyer from Chicago, moved to Toronto in 1967 as the Licensee of McDonald’s Corporation for Eastern Canada. He expanded the McDonald’s business in this part of the country at a very rapid pace through the years 1968, ’69 and ’70. George was one of McDonald’s Corporation’s largest licensees in July 1971, at which time McDonald’s Corporation acquired his license agreement. George continued to lead the brand, however, as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer when McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada was formed in 1971, a position he held for 25 years

Mr. Cohon spearheaded the opening of McDonald’s in the former Soviet Union. Negotiations began in 1976, culminating in the opening in 1990 of the first Moscow McDonald’s restaurant.

McDonald’s Restaurants in Canada today includes over 1,375 restaurants, sales of over $2.55 billion per year and employs over 77,000 people. Today there are 152 McDonald’s restaurants in Russia, 18,000 employees in the Russian Company serving 600,000 customers each day. Moscow’s Pushkin Square site still ranks as the world’s busiest McDonald’s.

A part of what has made McDonald’s so successful in Canada is grass roots marketing. While the notion of grass roots marketing has only come onto the radars of companies in recent times, it has been a part of McDonald’s DNA in Canada from its earliest days. Whether it’s through on-site birthday parties (a highly successful community program), innovative use of local radio, and sponsorships of local kids’ teams, local community initiatives have driven the brand’s success.

Mr. Cohon is the founding patron of Ronald McDonald Houses in Canada and Russia. These help children in need, and Ronald McDonald, as a brand icon, is constantly advocating for children through self-esteem and active lifestyle programs. He also created McHappy Day in Canada, which has since evolved into World Children’s Day. His autobiography, To Russia with Fries, was published in 1997.

Mr. Cohon was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992. He has received the Order of Ontario for his charitable endeavors. He was awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship (one of Russia’s highest public service award) from Russian President Boris Yeltsin. He has received the Israel Prime Minister’s Medal (Israel’s highest public service award).

Today, George maintains the role of “Founder” McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada and Russia.

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Donald L. Triggs

Winner 2006

Vincor International

Growing up in rural Manitoba, Donald L. Triggs’ passion for the land and its fruits started at an early age. This passion, married with his obvious business acumen, has come full circle as he now lends his talents to Canada’s fastest growing wine company, Jackson-Triggs, along with its parent company, Vincor International Inc. and his newest undertaking, Delaine Vineyard.

Triggs’ university education prepared him well for the success he now enjoys. After receiving a B.Sc. (Honours) in agriculture from the University of Manitoba, he continued his studies at the University of Western Ontario, where he earned his MBA.

A marketer at heart, Triggs got his start at Colgate-Palmolive in product management. After rising through the marketing ranks, he went on to manage John Labatt’s wine businesses in Canada and then in the United States. In the 1980s, he ran the North American and then global, horticultural business of Fisons PLC. However, his most important career move came in 1989, when he joined with friend, Allan Jackson, to negotiate the management buyout of Labatt’s Canadian wine interests.

Since that time, Triggs has steered the new company, now called Vincor International, through a series of strategic mergers and acquisitions. Publicly traded since 1996, Vincor is the leading vintner in Canada, and the fourth-largest wine producer in North America.

Complementing his work for Vincor, Triggs has been able to express his personal love of viticulture, and the art and science of winemaking, through Jackson-Triggs. Together with Allan Jackson, Triggs established the Jackson-Triggs brand in 1993, introducing two classic wines, which were exceptionally well received by consumers and the industry. Today, an extensive portfolio of Proprietors’ Selection and VQA Proprietors’ Reserve and Grand Reserve wines is produced in both the Okanagan Valley and the Niagara Peninsula.

Triggs’ has recently taken on another role within the Canadian wine industry, this time as grapegrower in the Niagara Peninsula. In partnership with his wife, Elaine, he purchased close to 100 acres of prized fruitland along the Niagara Parkway in 1998, thus creating Delaine Vineyard (after the Triggs’ first names.) Designed to provide premium quality vinifera grapes for Vincor’s Niagara Region wineries, and Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate in particular, the 95-acre vineyard also serves as a research centre dedicated to maximizing fruit quality. Delaine Vineyard has released its first wines, the 2001 and 2002 vintages, under the Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate label to much market acclaim.

Committed to furthering the science of viticulture and winemaking in Canada, Don and Elaine recently created the Triggs Premium Vinifera Lecture Series at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticultural Institute (CCOVI). CCOVI was created in 1997, at which time, Vincor International, under Don’s leadership, made the founding donation of $600,000.

Triggs has also been presented with a number of prestigious awards: an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Brock University (2004), the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2003); Christopher Newton Award for Extraordinary Vision in Business (2003); Tony Aspler Award of Excellence (2001); the American Marketing Association’s Marketer of Year (2000); and was awarded the titles of “Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin” (2002) and “Commandeur d’Honneur du Bontemps de Médoc et des Graves” (2000). He is active in several professional associations, including the Canadian Vintners Association as past Chairman, the Public Policy Forum as Founding, and Honorary Director, and the Ontario Wine Council as a former Director and Chairman.

A member of the Advisory Board for the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business, and of the Board of Directors of Samsonite Corporation, Triggs has also served as Director, and past Chairman of the Board of AboutFace, an organization that assists those who are facially different, and was recently honoured with a Ten Year Volunteer Service Award by the Government of Ontario. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Brock University, a former Director of the Shaw Festival, and is a member of the Ontario Chapter of WPO, the World Presidents’ Organization, and the Chief Executive Officers’ Organization.

With joint venture partnerships with leading French wine producers, the new Jackson-Triggs estate winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Frank Gehry designing a new winery in Jordan, over 1,000 acres of new vineyards under development in the Okanagan Valley, and the purchase of leading wineries in British Columbia (Sumac Ridge and Hawthorne Mountain Vineyards), in California (R.H. Phillips), in Washington State (Hogue Cellars), in Australia (Goundrey and Amberley Estate), in New Zealand (Kim Crawford Wines), and in South Africa (Kumala), Triggs shows remarkable leadership and innovation. His goal, quite simply, is to produce super premium quality wine in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and in other new world wine regions, for wine lovers the world over.

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John M. Cassaday

Winner 2006

Corus Entertainment

John M. Cassaday is President and Chief Executive Officer of Corus Entertainment Inc., a position he has held since its inception in September 1999.

Corus is one of Canada’s most successful integrated media and entertainment companies. The many companies and businesses that make up Corus Entertainment deliver compelling, engaging, interactive and informative content to millions of consumers every day. Its television services include: YTV, Treehouse TV, W Network, CMT, The Documentary Channel, SCREAM, Discovery Kids, Telelatino and TELETOON (40%); Western Canada’s exclusive pay-TV movie service on six thematic channels under the Movie Central brand; three local over-the-air television stations; Corus Custom Networks advertising services for television; and Max Trax, a residential subscription digital music service.

Corus also boasts the strongest collection of radio assets in the country. Nearly one-third of all Canadians tune to a Corus radio station each week for the best in talk, rock, country and contemporary radio formats.

Nelvana – one of the world’s leading creators, producers and distributors of animated programming and related consumer products, renowned for such globally recognized brands as Babar, Franklin and Beyblade – is the cornerstone of their content and production strategy.

John was previously the Executive Vice President of Shaw Communications, President and Chief Executive Officer of Shaw Media and President and CEO of Star Choice Communications. Immediately prior to his involvement with Shaw, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of CTV Television Network. He began his career in packaged-goods marketing, and served in senior executive capacities with Campbell Soup and General Foods, both in Canada and internationally.

John sits on the Board of Directors of Manulife Financial and Sysco Corporation. He is also the Chairman of the Board of St. Michael’s Hospital. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Masonite International Corporation and Loblaw Companies Limited, the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management and is the past Chair of the United Way Campaign for Metro Toronto.

John holds an M.B.A. (Dean’s List) from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and was honoured in 1998 as their most Distinguished Alumni. Most recently, he received the 2005 Gold Medal from the Association of Canadian Advertisers, which recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of marketing communications in Canada. John was also a recipient of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews 2004 Human Relations Award as well as the 2004 recipient of the Canadian Association of Broadcaster’s top honour, the Gold Ribbon Award for Broadcast Excellence. He was awarded the 1995 Paul Mulvihill Heart Award and was the recipient of the 1994 CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations presented by the Canadian Public Relations Society.

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Christine Magee

Winner 2005

Sleep Country Canada

Sleep Country Canada was founded in October of 1994 by Christine Magee and her two partners, Stephen Gunn and Gordon Lownds.

Their mission was simple: “To earn the customers’ trust and exceed their expectations when they purchased a new sleep set.” The fundamentals of their success can be traced to listening to what the customer was asking for, offering lots of choice, and focusing on making each experience before, during and after the sale an enjoyable one.

Beginning with just four stores and one warehouse in British Columbia, they have since grown to encompass 89 stores and eight distribution centres with more than 600 staff operating out of BC, Alberta and Ontario. Today they are the #1 mattress specialist in the country.

Christine Magee won the Toronto Business Woman of the Year in 1999, Consumers’ Choice. Christine is Retail Chair, United Way of Greater Toronto, and a member of Women Presidents’ Organization, Rouge Valley Health Centre Foundation and Richard Ivey School of Business (U.W.O.) – Advisory Council and Entrepreneurship Council. Ms. Magee is also a director of McDonalds Canada Inc. and Cott Corporation. In addition, Sleep Country Canada has been honoured as Retailer of the Year in 1996, B.C. Furniture Association; Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 1997; Top 50 Best Managed Companies in 1997, 1998; Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year-Retail/Wholesale, Financial Post in 1998; Business Excellence Award 2000 – Mattress Store, Consumers’ Choice; and Toronto Sun’s Readers Choice Award in 2002.

Stephen Gunn graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University in 1977 and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario in 1981. He joined McKinsey and Company as a management consultant and worked with organizations on sales and marketing issues. He left McKinsey to become President of Kenrick Capital, a merchant bank involved in acquisitions.

In 1994 he co-founded Sleep Country Canada where he has spent the last ten years working to build the company. He is a trustee of the Connors Bros. Income Fund and the Golf Town Income Fund, and a member of the Board of Crescent School.

Sleep Country Canada is firmly dedicated to community work, included their Donated Bed Program, where, as part of the customer delivery service, Sleep Country Canada removes old mattresses from homes and donates them to charitable organizations.

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Stephen Gunn

Winner 2005

Sleep Country Canada

Sleep Country Canada was founded in October of 1994 by Christine Magee and her two partners, Stephen Gunn and Gordon Lownds.

Their mission was simple: “To earn the customers’ trust and exceed their expectations when they purchased a new sleep set.” The fundamentals of their success can be traced to listening to what the customer was asking for, offering lots of choice, and focusing on making each experience before, during and after the sale an enjoyable one.

Beginning with just four stores and one warehouse in British Columbia, they have since grown to encompass 89 stores and eight distribution centres with more than 600 staff operating out of BC, Alberta and Ontario. Today they are the #1 mattress specialist in the country.

Christine Magee won the Toronto Business Woman of the Year in 1999, Consumers’ Choice. Christine is Retail Chair, United Way of Greater Toronto, and a member of Women Presidents’ Organization, Rouge Valley Health Centre Foundation and Richard Ivey School of Business (U.W.O.) – Advisory Council and Entrepreneurship Council. Ms. Magee is also a director of McDonalds Canada Inc. and Cott Corporation. In addition, Sleep Country Canada has been honoured as Retailer of the Year in 1996, B.C. Furniture Association; Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 1997; Top 50 Best Managed Companies in 1997, 1998; Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year-Retail/Wholesale, Financial Post in 1998; Business Excellence Award 2000 – Mattress Store, Consumers’ Choice; and Toronto Sun’s Readers Choice Award in 2002.

Stephen Gunn graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University in 1977 and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario in 1981. He joined McKinsey and Company as a management consultant and worked with organizations on sales and marketing issues. He left McKinsey to become President of Kenrick Capital, a merchant bank involved in acquisitions.

In 1994 he co-founded Sleep Country Canada where he has spent the last ten years working to build the company. He is a trustee of the Connors Bros. Income Fund and the Golf Town Income Fund, and a member of the Board of Crescent School.

Sleep Country Canada is firmly dedicated to community work, included their Donated Bed Program, where, as part of the customer delivery service, Sleep Country Canada removes old mattresses from homes and donates them to charitable organizations.

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Judy Elder

Winner 2005

Microsoft, IBM & Ogilvy & Mather

Judy Elder was a well-known and respected business leader in Canada until her untimely passing on March 28, 2002 at the age of 47. Through her intelligence, tenacity, and ambition, she reached the top ranks in several organizations including Ogilvy & Mather, IBM Canada, the Canadian Marketing Association, and most recently Microsoft Canada.

She was an advocate for career women, encouraging them to acknowledge and be proud of their ambition, to have an impact, make a difference and make things happen.

The following story related by her husband sums up in many resonant ways how her beliefs were inspiring for others…

On March 7, 2002, Judy gave a speech to the Women’s Television Network series “Gift of Wisdom”. It was called “Mothers, Fathers, Men, Ambition: The people and values that motivate and shape women’s success”.

After her speech, a number of people stayed behind to ask questions. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a young woman holding back. After about a half an hour, the last questioner had gone and this woman stepped forward. She said to Judy, she said with some feeling, everything you have said is all well and good, but how do you handle it when you suffer from a chronic illness?

This gives you a sense of her personal motivation. She was taken aback. How did this woman know? Had she seen Judy in hospital or at her doctor’s office?

Then Judy realized that, in asking the question, this woman was talking about herself and not about Judy. This woman, too, was suffering from a chronic illness.

So, I asked Judy, did you tell her about your condition? Judy said no. She didn’t think it worthwhile getting into a discussion over whose illness was worse.

Instead, she said, I tried not to appear patronizing but I passed on three things what I had worked out for myself.

First, she told the young woman: “don’t be afraid, at least try not to be afraid. Fear undermines everything. It immobilizes you.”

Second, be honest with yourself. Decide what really matters to you and do it. Do it now because there may not be a later.

And third, whatever you choose to do, do it well. Make your time worthwhile. Whatever really matters to you, make a difference and make it happen.

The Judy Project was established in memory of Judy Elder. The Judy Project, An Enlightened Leadership Forum for Executive Women, is designed to advance more women into CEO positions and build stronger organizations. The week long forum, collaboratively created by some of Canada’s senior women executives in partnership with the Rotman School of Management, well-respected academics and business leaders, hosts about 30 senior women executives annually, is the leading executive program for women in Canada.

The Canadian Marketing Association bestowed its highest honour, the CMA Lifetime Achievement Award, posthumously to Judy Elder on Friday, November 14, 2003.

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Paul Alofs

Winner 2005

Paul is a leader and a builder. He has extensive experience in both the business and the not-for-profit world. Paul was President of HMV Music Stores, President & General Manager of BMG Canada, Inc. and General Manager & Executive Vice President of The Disney Stores North America. He was also part of the management team during the founding of

“good marketer should always have ideas and strategies which make them nervous. Plus, an ability to see opportunities before the rest of the world, and the courage to pursue those opportunities with a single-minded focus.”

In September 2003, Paul joined The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation as President & CEO. Paul brings a solid business background in strategic planning, innovation, promotion and marketing, as well as substantial experience in not-for-profit fundraising.

“a quote from Tennyson: To seek, to serve, to strive, and not to yield. Another mantra is borrowed from one of my associates at HMV: If it were easy, everybody would be doing it”

Mr. Alofs is actively involved in his community and currently serves on the Board of Covenant House Toronto. He has been an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and has served on the board of Branksome Hall School.

“We have many outstanding marketing success stories which need to be told and shared with the Canadian people. Having worked in the U.S. and particularly my experience in Southern California, I have been surprised at the number of Canadians I have met in leadership positions”

In 1995, Paul was chosen as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 business leaders. He has also been named Music Executive of the Year and Innovative Retailer of the Year. He has received recognition for Outstanding Progress and Achievement from the Schulich School of Business at York University, and the Alumni Award of Merit from the University of Windsor.

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