The 7th Annual Corporate Culture Summit and (CEO-only) Most Admired CEO Summit

(preceding the Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures Awards Gala on Monday, February 2, 2015)
Location: Fairmont Royal York

Corporate Culture Summit
Draft Agenda:

1:00 – 1:50 pm All attendees
2:00 – 3:00 pm Select one from Case Studies A, B and C
3:00 – 3:20 pm BREAK
3:20 – 4:30 pm Select one from Case Studies D, E and F

CEO Summit (CEO, President, Managing Director, etc. Only)

1:00pm – 2:30pm CEO Keynote Presentation and Lunch
2:30pm – 3:00pm Networking break
3:00pm – 4:30pm CEO of the Year Panel – How to Develop a Winning Culture: Lessons Learned from Most Admired CEOs

  • Alim Somani, President, Infusion
  • Ashley Cooper, President and CEO, Paladin Security Group
  • Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex Entertainment
  • Johann Koss, President and CEO, Right To Play

4:30pm – 5:00pm CEO-only Cocktail Networking Break


See below for last year's (2014) agenda

1:00pm – 1:50pm: Culture Connection

What does it take to be a Culture Champion? Entrepreneurial-minded leaders know that culture drives performance. In this interactive discussion hosted by Marty Parker, top entrepreneurial minds (who are also CEO’s from 2013 Canada’s 10 winning organizations) talk about how culture, within their organizations, is a key driver of performance and results.

Confirmed Presenters:

  • Michael McCain, President & CEO, Maple Leaf Foods
  • Geoff Smith, President & CEO, EllisDon Corporation
  • Blake Hutcheson, President & CEO, Oxford Properties
  • Marc Kielburger, Co-founder, Free The Children 

2:00pm – 3:00pm: Concurrent Sessions - Interactive Case Studies Featuring the Executive Teams from Canada's 10
During this portion of the summit, attendees will have the opportunity to choose from one of two different and intriguing case studies, each featuring a real-life scenario from a present or former Canada’s 10 winner. The catch? After hearing about an actual case from the presenting organization, attendees will be split into groups and will be asked to come up with the answer to the following question: “what would you do?” From there, what actually took place will be revealed by the presenting executive teams.

Join us for this interactive case study discussion, where presenters and attendees will learn from one another and ultimately walk away with fresh perspectives and hands-on advice.


Case Study A: Global Relay - Doing Business Beyond Canada's Borders
Presented by: Warren Roy, CEO; Shannon Rogers, President

Global Relay is the leading provider of cloud-based electronic message archiving, compliance, eDiscovery and supervision solutions for the global financial sector. Today, the company delivers services to 17,500 customers in 90 countries, including 22 of the top 25 banks. In 2003, Global Relay recognized that the highly regulated American financial industry, which was being hit with strict recordkeeping and supervision rules in the wake of the Enron, Arthur Andersen and Worldcom accounting scandals, was the perfect market for its services. Although the company’s cloud delivery model was well suited to exporting, it faced several challenges to international expansion:

  • How to break into the American market as a small Canadian company with large American competitors;
  • How to grow international offices to give the company a local presence in foreign markets while maintaining a consistent culture across the organization; and
  • How to expand beyond the North American market to other financial epicenters in EMEA and Asia.

How did Global Relay successfully break into the American market?

Case Study B: Trimark Sportswear - Landing the Plane at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics

Presented by: Will Andrew, President

3:00pm – 3:20pm: BREAK

3:20pm – 4:30pm: Concurrent Sessions (PLEASE CHOOSE ONE)

 Session A: President and CEO Roundtable (attendance is limited - CEO's, Presidents, Managing Directors, and Chief Operating Officers only please)

The myriad of new and challenging issues surrounding the recruitment and retention of people in 2014 is the topic at hand for this special discussion between the leaders, e.g. the Presidents and CEOs, of winning organizations, both past and present, from the Canada’s 10 program.

In this session, we will air concerns but also seek solutions. How? By hearing from you, and from your fellow colleagues of Canada’s 10. But we will also throw in a surprise subject matter expert or two.

 Here’s what’s on tap for the discussion:

  • The Culture of Entrepreneurialism – One of the major themes of the Canada’s 10 program is that leaders from the winning organizations – be they large or small companies – act like entrepreneurs. What does this mean? It means they are nimble, they are quick, and they take risks. We will examine this finding, and discuss whether or not having a culture of entrepreneurialism allows you to be better.
  • Recruiting for Fit – Great people that are the right fit drive culture and culture drives organizational performance. It’s what we know at Waterstone and it informs our work. But in your recruitment processes, do you also follow this practice and does it always lead to success.
  • Recruiting the Next Generation – Gen Ys, Millennials, call them what you will, but they are moving up the ranks, becoming leaders and rapidly shaping our organizations. How do we recruit them, keep them, train them, motivate them and most importantly…understand them?


Interactive Case Studies Featuring the Executive Teams from Canada's 10

Case Study C: Spence Diamonds - Leadership By Design
Presented by: Jennifer Bawa, Communications Director

Proudly a Canadian owned and operated business since 1978, Spence Diamonds is a specialized, vertically integrated diamond jewelry operation. Via a commitment to customer centric operational excellence, with mass customization competencies, Spence has a track record of year on year sales and profitability growth. Spence is an industry innovator with a unique business model that blends the competencies of providing exceptional customer service & diamond education, made to order capabilities, an extensive ring style selection and top quality diamonds. Based in Vancouver, BC, retail operations span across BC, Alberta and Ontario. Spence is the fourth largest jeweller in Canada and the largest Canadian-owned retailer of diamond jewelry.

The Spence culture is built on the foundation of harnessing the energies of reciprocity, collaboration and continuous learning. By cultivating an environment of success for their customers, team members, suppliers and the people in the communities in which they live and work, their vision is to uplift people to be more successful than ever before.

Every Spence team member is committed to major personal development, so they can fulfill their vision of uplifting people to be more successful than ever before. By building a successful business, the Spence team creates even greater opportunities and possibilities for each team member. Its biggest barrier to growth? Finding and developing top talent to generate excess leadership capacity to grow into.

How can your organization generate overcapacity in leadership to fuel organizational growth?


Case Study D: Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) - The Challenge of Marketing a Top Secret Organization
Presented by: Roxanne Ouellette, Head, Proactive Recruiting and Marketing Unit

About five years ago, CSIS came to the realization that, with a growing mandate and a growing need to fill its vacancies with skilled and talented individuals, the organization had to take a more strategic and focused approach to its recruiting strategies. What radical move would CSIS have to take?

For starters, it would have to understand public perception regarding the organization. Therefore, in 2009, as vacancies continued to grow, CSIS contracted an agency to conduct a survey of potential applicants aged 18-35 across Canada to find out what they thought about applying for a career at CSIS. The survey revealed that many respondents would not apply to CSIS because they could not see themselves working there. The lack of human faces, specific information and misconceptions about its careers and mandate were bewildering, they said. These potential applicants were savvy and they wanted to know more about this top secret organization before investing time and effort into a rigid 8 to 10 month-long application process that virtually kept applicants in the dark about its jobs until the final stages. CSIS had to embark on a journey of demystification, imaging and branding - no easy feat for an organization which was accustomed to operating out of the limelight, and which had security concerns around identity management and IT security.

How can CSIS recruit to allow the organizations to become more visible and attractive to potential top talent?

4:30pm: END

5:15pm: Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2013 Reception 

6:30pm – 9:30pm: Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures Gala

For more information, please click here or contact Lindsey Evanoff via email at Waterstone or call her at 416.408.4545 x234.