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Past Guest Speakers

The Business Depot / Staples Canada Story.
Jack Binglemen
Jack brought his stories and insights into the development of some of Canada's iconic retailing brands, such as Sunoco, Beaver Lumber, The Business Deport and Staples Canada. He chronicled his career based on changing market trends and how the retailing sector has responded or in some cases failed to respond to consumer demands.

Improving Working Relationships and Productivity in a Multi-Generational Business.
Shawn Casemore
- Casemore and Co
Shawn shared his expertise and humour to focus our attention on the generational diversity facing all businesses, large or small. With the number of millennials in North America joining the workplace soon to surpass Generation X and Baby Boomers, businesses are poised for a distinct shift (or collision) in how they interact, communicate, and work... and at home. Shawn offered practical advice to help our members avoid this potential collision.

Turning Conflict into Profit

Michael Walker, Legendary Coaching

Michael hit the RESET button as we explored how a family business should approach conflict. His fresh approach should help to eliminate unhealthy conflict and empower healthy conflict. We learned how healthy conflict can be a catalyst for moving from cautious conversations to courageous ones. As an added bonus, meeting participants went home with a set of tools to assess, design, implement and monitor their own Conflict Management System.

If It Ain't Broke, Break It! How Family Business Grow Brands That Last.

Jeremy Miller shared his insights from his best selling book "Sticky Branding" to challenge us to consider "what made your family business successful won’t make it successful." His talk featured examples of successful family businesses that have been forced to reinvent themselves. He showed us how they overcame significant obstacles to grow into Sticky Brands.

It’s All About TEAMWork

Andrew Pigott unveiled findings from his survey of business families who have harnessed the power of sibling teams to drive business success, including such firms as Mother Parker's and Peller Estates. He shared his findings on the stabilizing influence of family culture, on decision making styles and processes, and the pivotal role of mentorship in developing the next generation of owners and leaders.

Marketing for Visionary Companies
Heads nod. Grins spread across the room. Whether it’s a rebrand or a great campaign, it's that eureka moment of truth when you see your brand's future with perfect clarity. With the right blend of Simple Truth + Creativity, Robert Froese from "Bob's Your Uncle" presented the power of "family" in creating a lasting brand.

Putting a Price Tag on your Business:
A Guide to Business Valuation.
Grant Robinson, of BDO, shared his insights and experience into the emotional challenges of preparing your business for a sale. He stressed that it is an eventuality that you will sell your business, either internally or externally. Therefore, you need to be prepared to maximize its value and to begin the conversations with yourself, your family and your advisors.

Succession Planning:
What Does Your New World Look Like?

David Ofir, a seasoned executive and consultant with BDC, shared his experiences and insights into how he has guided family businesses through the process of defining a common vision of what they want to achieve; how their new world will look.

David cited real-life examples of families he has worked with who were at “emotional stand-stills,” but with his guidance were able to implement creative solutions that worked for each family member. He also shared the fundamental building blocks of the “discovery process” that can be used to arrive at a fair outcome for everyone involved in what is not only a financial, but also a deeply personal and emotional decision.

Dr. John Fast
- The Family Doctor For families facing succession, or stuck in sibling rivalry, or locked in chronic conflict patterns, Dr. Fast provided a sophisticated diagnostic grid for the unique challenges faced by all business families. The cures presented were based on leading research, best practices and a decade of experience by Dr. John Fast in helping families navigate some of their deepest fears and operationalize their greatest desires.


“Some children want the business and some children want the cash.”
Today’s business advisors working with their family business clients recognize that successful “succession planning” must now be looked at with a broader multi-disciplinary lens. Paul challenged the conventional thinking on succession planning, by sharing real life situations and identifying best practices in current transitional work. He demonstrated that it is possible to create a fair family legacy will working through multiple agendas.
               Paul Milne

The Insurance Guy Who Tells It Like It Is.
George Cooke brought a unique and intriguing perspective to the issues of modern enterprise within the context of working for one of the oldest Canadian family businesses. He shared his passion for giving back while staying committed to achieving outstanding business results in challenging markets. Cooke shared the lessons learned from keeping things simple, staying close to your community and never losing sight of what drives your business.
President and CEO of The Dominion
of Canada General Insurance Company

Working Together to Keep it Together.
We were pleased to have Jennifer East of ONIDA, as our keynote speaker and panel facilitator. Working with a panel of spouses who work together in local family businesses, Jennifer discussed their challenges and solutions to working together to keep it together. Our members and guest were treated to a very frank discussion about how family communication plays such a key role in maintaining family harmony whether it is amongst spouses, siblings, parents or children.

Entrepreneurs - Stand Out and Succeed in Uncertain Times.
Our event at Trent University was a big success. Rick Spence talked to the group about how to get close to the customer and create a "WOW Strategy" to differentiate your business. We were pleased to have more than 180 attend the event from all over the City, County and as far away as Markham. 

Guest Speaker Rick Spence, Business Strategist, Writer, Speaker and "Growth Guru".


Our Premier Sponsors
For more information contact: 
Michelle O'Neill, (705) 741-9819, michelle@maxcommunication.ca  or Jhane Brasier, (705) 875-0602, jhane@maxcommunication.ca