Alison Geskin has an unparalleled track record of producing winning results in the areas of strategic leadership, earned and contributed revenue generation, relationship building, business development as well as marketing and communications. She has earned a national reputation for her strategic leadership and collaborative style that consistently exceeds both financial and mission-related targets.
In 2016, Mrs. Geskin took the helm of The Art of Strategy, a boutique firm that specializes in assisting both not-for-profit and corporate organizations realize their true growth potential by offering a wide variety of services. Building capacity, mobilizing change and achieving sustainable results.
Michelle Gault - HERSCHEL SUPPLY
Originally from Port Hardy, B.C., Michelle Gault has spent the past 25 years in key product development roles at lifestyle brands across Western Canada, including FGL Sports and Westbeach. She currently oversees the design, development and manufacturing of Herschel Supply's extensive product line. Through her strong leadership abilities, Michelle manages the brand's 40-person global Product team, which spans across offices in Vancouver, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. She currently resides in Squamish, B.C., with her husband and son.
Ellen Parker - PARKER PR
Ellen Parker is the proud owner and director of PARKER PR. She is a diverse communications practitioner with over 15 years of professional experience in Canada and the US. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications: Public Relations from Mount Royal University.
Her career includes working in New York City for boutique PR firms representing a variety of celebs, hotels, small businesses and restaurants, and for the Institute for Children and Poverty, and in Canada for Wordfest: Banff-Calgary International Writers Festival, the Liberal Party of Alberta, the Calgary Food Bank and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
Trevor Fleming - LULULEMON
Trevor Co-founded, developed, and managed Calgary brand Lifetime Collective for over 15 years, growing it from a start-up into a global brand with distribution in over seven countries. He brought the brand to a vertical retail position in the marketplace and pioneered the design, build-out, and launch of the brands flagship retail location in Vancouver, BC.
Trevor has designed and developed over 3000 unique styles, including men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories with production in China, Hong Kong, Canada, Italy and USA. He has been an instrumental part in bringing each collection to market and has managed the entire process from design to production, including development of system specification packages for producers. Currently Trevor resides in Vancouver BC and is the Art Director for global brand Lululemon.
Ken has dedicated much of his entrepreneurial career investing in big dreamers and community builders. He is a founding partner at The Gather Company, a development and media company, and Flightpath Ventures, an early stage tech fund. He co-founded Startup Edmonton, a campus and community hub for entrepreneurs and product builders, which was later acquired by Edmonton Economic Development.
Previously, he built several successful tech companies including Rocketfuel Games. Ken sits on the University of Alberta Alumni Council and TELUS Community Board, and has been recognized in Avenue Magazine’s inaugural “Top 40 Under 40” and Alberta Venture Magazine’s “50 Most Influential People”. He speaks and writes regularly about the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship and communities.
Shawn Freeman - TWT GROUP
Shawn is an entrepreneur & boundary pusher who's been published in global publications including Entrepreneur, Inc.com, Huffington Post & Forbes. Shawn strives to live outside the confines of "industry standard" and loves helping other entrepreneurs use tech in their businesses to be able to compete with the big guys through his company TWT Group. A big supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary, Shawn sits on their IT advisory committee and his company throws an annual Stampede party to raise money for the cause. Shawn also really loves tacos and his dog Felipe.
Stacey Boruk - THE BAMBOO BALLROOM
Founded the Bamboo Ballroom, a woman’s clothing and accessories boutique, now located in Mount Royal Village on 17th Avenue (and in Edmonton on Whyte Avenue).
Our goal since we opened in Edmonton in 2005 was to support local designers. We carry a diverse product mix, both in the selection of goods and origin of goods and we love to carry local and Canadian product whenever possible. When a brand compliments our aesthetic, we make sure to carry it in-store, from fragrance, to jewellery, to clothing and everything in-between!
We also love opening our doors and lending our space to other small local businesses by housing pop-ups, photography sessions, permanent and semi-permanent product placement, and shop in shops - we adore collaborating and will continue to foster community spirit and growth!
Quan Ly - MCRALLY
Quan is a highly experienced chartered professional accountant with a very diverse background. Quan spent eight years honing his craft at a worldwide “Big Four” accounting firm dealing with everything from small businesses to multinational corporations. While there he also became a U.S. CPA and obtained a Master’s Degree in U.S. Tax.
All this has helped Quan understand the big issues facing small businesses. Whether it is assisting on a start-up, dealing with foreign expansion or asset acquisitions, or winding up a business, Quan has seen it.
ROSSO COFFEE ROASTERS
Rosso Coffee Roasters is made up of 3 partners. David Crosby, Cole Torode and Jessie Attrell. All native Calgarians, they are committed to impacting the city and giving back to the community. With 7 Cafe locations in different pockets throughout the city, we are in constant contact with our neighbours and always looking for new ways to collaborate and make this city even better. Purchasing our entire menu directly from producers in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, and Rwanda. We pay a premium, 3 to 4 times commodity pricing, for quality thus impacting the lives of producers and bringing some of the best coffee in the world back home.
Wray Bokitch - HEDKANDI SALON
Wray has a degree in marketing and management from Northwood University, Texas. Prior to her work with Hedkandi Salon group, she worked in the automotive industry supporting the openings of new dealerships. In addition to leading various sales teams, she has always been passionate about identifying inefficiencies and creating systems to support business growth.
Though she’s supported the business externally since 2007, she officially joined Hedkandi Salon’s leadership team in 2012 when the company had grown to a size where her skill set became an asset. Though the culture of the salon and the sales have always been there, she has implemented processes that have helped secure the group’s future growth.