The symposium, a popular member-exclusive event, brought together a diverse array of industry leaders under the banner “Taking Charge of Change.” Throughout the day they shared personal stories of triumph and failure, marketplace insights and strategies for success.
The day kicked off with Ron Foxcroft, sports icon and inventor of the Fox 40 whistle, who captivated the audience through his journey to become the best referee in Canada, and later to create the world’s first pea-less whistle. His advice to the audience, "You don't have to be seen as the smartest, just the hardest working." His whistle is now sold in 140 countries, with sales of 11,000 whistles a day, all made in Canada by Canadians.
(l-r) Ron Foxcroft, sports icon and inventor of the Fox 40 whistle and Carman Alison, Vice President Consumer Insights at Nielsen
Carman Alison, Vice President Consumer Insights at Nielsen, and a highlight of our 2016 event, returned to the Symposium stage to provide his valuable insights into the consumer goods industry. Alison showed that the path to purchase is changing; consumers are shopping less, going online and shopping with non-traditional retailers.
“In the past 5 years, Canadians have made 175 million fewer shopping trips to buy consumer packaged goods,” explained Alison. “More than $4 billion has shifted to online, dollar store and warehouse clubs; we need to be more strategic about growth opportunities.”
CEO Panel: David Linsenmeier, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Shelley Martin, Nestlé Canada Inc., Ian Roberts, Conagra Brands Moderated by: Ted Salter, Partner, Advisory Services National Sector Leader, Consumer Products and Retail, EY
The CEO Panel discussed the growing importance of sales teams. “Successful sales people are agile and adaptable to new tools and technology without losing sight of core purposes,” said David Linsenmeier.
They also touched on the importance of mentors to the success of their own careers, “My mentors may not have known they were mentors. I learned so much from just watching how they handled meetings. Be open to learn – I learn every day,” said Shelley Martin.
Dr. Sara Celik, Naturopathic Doctor and National Spokesperson, Renew Life and Tim Cork, President, Straight A’s Inc.
Another highlight included Dr. Sara Celik, Naturopathic Doctor and National Spokesperson, Renew Life who explained the importance of managing stress in a demanding industry. Celik gave the audience tools to work smarter, not harder. “Identify your big rocks, or what is important to you and drop the small rock,” said Celik. “We are often too hard on ourselves, it is important to remember to celebrate our successes.”
Tim Cork, President, Straight A’s Inc. presented ways to untap your potential, becoming a better leader. “The greatest gift you can give your community, family or career is the best you - get really good at you.”
Retail Panel: Joe Fusco, Senior Vice-President, Metro, Metro Ontario Inc., Ken Schley, President and Director of Operations and Co-founder, Quality Foods, Moderated by: Colin Glaysher, Executive Vice President, C.B. Powell Ltd.
The Retail Panel echoed the theme of the day, celebrating the value of individuals within supplier retailer relationships. When asked to define the gold standard supplier, Ken Schley said “It's not the brand but the people that make all the difference – the right person is genuinely trying to better what we do.” Collectively those people make the relationship work.