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20 influencers in the world of retail in Canada

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We at POTLOC would like to take the time to recognize Canadian industry professionals whose influence can be felt throughout the world of retail. Whether it’s developing new software that disrupts the retail industry, revitalizing the retail division of their Fortune 500 employer, or garnering an attentive audience as a journalist, we believe the following 20 people have earned recognition for their influence within Canadian retail.

 

Hollie Shaw

Toronto, ON

Hollie Shaw is a journalist, formerly reporting on the retail and food service sectors for the Financial Post. She now works as a Director of Editorial and Media Strategy at North Strategic.

LinkedIn | Twitter

Total social media following: 3,531

 

Chris Doulos

Toronto, ON

The Vice-President of Real Estate at Cineplex Entertainment, Chris Doulos has been working in real estate for his entire career. He’s spent the majority of his time in executive positions of retail companies, over 20 years between Boston Pizza and Cineplex Entertainment.

LinkedIn

Total social media following: 2,259

 

Daniel Philip

Toronto, ON

As Founding Partner and CEO of Apollo Creative Group’s, Daniel Philip has disrupted retail through his company’s work in e-commerce solutions and business development, as well as his former consulting work with Shopify. Daniel is also an avid surfer and traveler.

LinkedIn | Twitter

Total social media following: 22,420

 

Derrick Cooper

Vancouver, BC

Derrick Cooper is developing new retail theory and ideas through his work on Lululemon’s Guest Experience Team. He has formerly worked for retailer Frank and Oak, where he facilitated their growth from the single Montreal location to 10+ locations across North America.

LinkedIn

Total social media following: 781

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Diane J. Brisebois

Toronto, ON

Diane Brisebois’ influence cannot be understated. Over 20 years as CEO of the Retail Council of Canada, decades as an advisory member of both Ryerson University and University of Alberta schools of retail, and more fill out her resume. Her veteran experience establishes her as a titan of retail.

LinkedIn | Twitter

Total social media following: 15,469

 

Drew Green

Vancouver, BC

CEO, President, and Director of fashion retailer INDOCHINO, Drew Green can modestly be described as a miracle worker. Some highlights of his tenure as CEO include turning INDOCHINO EBITDA positive, securing tens of millions of dollars in investment, and redefining INDOCINO’s core values to be more empowering to employees.

LinkedIn | Twitter

Total social media following: 34,975

 

Eileen Halpin-Tarrant

Toronto, ON

Eileen Halpin-Tarrant holds mountains of retail experience. She’s spent significant time facilitating retail real estate relationships and agreements, and now utilizes that knowledge with Oberfeld Snowfield as President of Client Services/Broker of Record for Ontario and Managing Broker for British Columbia.

LinkedIn

Total social media following: 1,589

 

Eric Ouaknine

Montreal, QC

Brown’s Shoe’s Eric Ouaknine has spent just over a year as Director of Retail Experience, but is already making waves. He has fostered an “obsession with customer experience,” in a period of huge growth for the retailer.

 

LinkedIn | Twitter

Total social media following: 2,258

 

Gary MacAskill

Toronto, ON

MacAskill’s work with OSL Retail Services saw the development of a unique product from OSL, wireless retail services. MacAskill and OSL created a new way for retailers to connect with customers, something that is not quite physical retail and not quite e-commerce.

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LinkedIn

Total social media following: 1,367

 

Graham Crowder

Toronto, ON

Working for the behemoth that is Cadillac Fairview, Graham Crowder manages the growth and operations of Toronto’s Eaton Centre and many other Ontario shopping centres. Crowder has been working for CF for over a decade.

LinkedIn | Twitter

Total social media following: 989

 

The future of shopping centres in america

Jay Drexler

Toronto, ON

Jay Drexler has climbed through the ranks of Oxford Property Groups Retail Leasing Department to the position of National Vice President. His passion for developing innovative retail solutions shines in his work.

LinkedIn

Total social media following: 2,507

 

Mike Marino

Toronto, ON

Real Estate manager Mike Marino has found his niche in handling restaurant development. His portfolio contains top name restaurants spread across eastern Canada. Marino is also actively coaching a Toronto youth basketball team.

LinkedIn

Total social media following: 1,581

 

Marc Gingras

Ottawa, ON

As the CEO of Foko Retail, Marc Gingras commands a software product streamlining operations and communication between retail management and corporate. Gingras is also an active angel investor in a wide range of markets.

LinkedIn | Twitter

Total social media following: 3,994

 

Marina Strauss

Toronto, ON

The Globe and Mail’s Marina Strauss has been reporting on retail’s every motion for nearly 20 years, receiving national-level awards for her exemplary coverage.

LinkedIn | Twitter

Total social media following: 6,826

 

Matthew Pieszchala

Mississauga, ON

Pieszchala’s varied sales background has seen him refine his talents and become an incredibly effective retail salesman. His 5 years at CBRE saw him quickly scale the corporate ladder and establish himself as the co-lead of CBRE’s Suburban Retail Division.

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LinkedIn

Total social media following: 1,989

 

Michele Romanow

Toronto, ON

A self-identifying “serial entrepreneur,” Romanow holds a well decorated resume, with both her and her companies being given internationally recognized business awards. Though she has made her name managing in other industries, her work as CEO of Freshii has proven that she can excel in the world of retail.

LinkedIn | Twitter

Total social media following: 21,648

 

Nick Iozzo

Toronto, ON

A big name in the world of commercial real estate, Nick Iozzo has spent the majority of the millennium developing retail assets. Initially working for Rogers Communications retail portfolio, he now is the Senior Director of Oxford Properties Group’s Retail Innovation and Lead Generation division.

LinkedIn | Twitter

Total social media following: 3,283

 

Sean Black

Toronto, ON

CDO and Co-Founder of the prolific Crave It restaurant group, Sean Black knows restaurant retail. He made his name as the Co-Founder of Extreme Brandz, a similar restaurant group who have benefited from Black’s vision and leadership.

LinkedIn | Twitter

Total social media following: 8,448

 

Cosimo La Porta

Vancouver, BC

Cosimo La porta is a seasoned veteran of retail, his work for Starbucks Coffee managing their US retail network can attest to that. La Porta is now a Director at Legend Power Systems

LinkedIn

Total social media following: 5,766

 

Frank HO

Mississauga, ON

A Co-Founder of Nations Fresh Food, Frank Ho has created a new and unique grocery store experience. Nations Experience seeks to develop a more interactive, multicultural grocery offering, self-described as “Foodtainment.”

LinkedIn

Total social media following: 4949

 

By Everett Stamm