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The Peerscale annual retreat takes place over 3-days at the iconic Prince of Wales Hotel located in the heart of Niagara-On-The-Lake.  Open to Peerscale Members and Sponsors, the retreat offers a networking rich forum for members to exchange knowledge, build relationships, and return to their respective workplaces with a renewed sense of purpose and motivation.

Details

Start: June 5, 2024
1:00 p.m.
End: June 7, 2024
1:00 p.m.
Peerscale

Speakers

Allen Lau

Operating Partner
Two Small Fish VC
Allen Lau
  • Allen Lau

    Allen Lau is a visionary serial entrepreneur, a leader in Canada’s tech community, and a sought-after speaker and authoritative voice on entrepreneurship, the innovation economy, and the benefits of a diverse workforce. As the CEO and co-founder of Toronto-based Wattpad, a global multi-platform entertainment company for original stories and leading social storytelling platform, Allen leads an international team with the inspiring vision to leverage groundbreaking technology to fundamentally disrupt the entertainment industry while empowering diverse voices. Because of Allen’s leadership and vision, today Wattpad is home to a community of over 90 million people who have written more than a billion uploads on the platform. Thousands of Wattpad stories have been adapted for other platforms and gone on to become blockbuster movies and #1 Netflix hits, Emmy-nominated television series, and bestselling books around the world. Twice named one of the Top 50 Most Influential People by Toronto Life, Allen has also been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Canada’s prestigious Report on Business Magazine, among other publications. Under his leadership, Wattpad has twice been named to Fast Company’s World’s Most Innovative Companies. In 2020, Allen was inducted into the Engineering Alumni Hall of Distinction of the University of Toronto.

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Dave Millier

CEO QuickProtect
CSO Quick Intelligence
Dave Millier

Ed Bryant

Chief Executive Officer
Sampford Advisors
  • www.sampfordadvisors.com
  • Ed Bryant

    Ed Bryant is the President and CEO of Sampford Advisors.  Ed has over 27 years of experience including over 16 years in Investment Banking with Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong, Singapore and New York. In that time, Ed raised in excess of $20 billion in equity and debt capital and completed over $10 billion in M&A transactions. Prior to founding Sampford, Ed held the CFO and VP of Corporate Development positions for three years at Conversant. Ed holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Studies from Sheffield University in England.

     

     

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Elliott Hurst

CEO
SoCast
Elliott Hurst

Jeff Cates

CEO
Achievers
  • www.achievers.com
  • Jeff Cates

    Jeff Cates serves as CEO and President of Achievers, an industry-leading employee voice and recognition solution that accelerates a culture of performance. After being named CEO in April 2019, Jeff quickly led Achievers to new product and global growth. Jeff’s passion for creating environments where employees can do the best work of their lives has helped Achievers receive multiple employer awards: Top 50 Best Workplaces™ in Canada, Best Workplaces™ for Women, and Best Workplaces™ for Inclusion.

    He was formerly the CEO and President of Intuit Canada, leading the growth of Intuit’s TurboTax, QuickBooks and Mint brands since 2011. During his tenure, the company was named a top “Great Place to Work” in Canada year after year, and was also recognized as a top employer for women and millennials leading in
    diversity initiatives.

    Jeff’s background includes innovative marketing, product leadership and entrepreneurship. Prior to Intuit, Jeff worked at Apple Canada leading their enterprise business, and Hewlett Packard as vice president of their consumer division. He earned an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University. Jeff also sits on the board of CUSO, a not-for-profit organization focused on midwifery and economic development in third world countries.

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Joel Lessem

Executive Director
Peerscale
Joel Lessem
  • Joel Lessem

    As Executive Director, Joel is responsible for the overall strategic direction and management of the organization. Joel got his start in the Toronto tech community in 1994 working as a salesperson for bootstrapped tech entrepreneurs before attempting his first start up in 1999. After the start-up failed, he spent the next 5 years selling accounting software (Pointforce & Netsuite) before co-founding Firmex, a SaaS Virtual Data Room business in late 2006. Joel joined Peerscale as a CEO member in 2010-2012. During which time Firmex consistently achieved annual double-digit revenue and EBITDA growth growing to $30m ARR with 30% free cash flow. By 2021 Firmex served 1000s of customers globally with offices in Toronto and London (UK) . Firmex delivered 11x invested capital over 14 years to three sequential ownership groups, culminating in its strategic sale in 2021. In addition to leading Peerscale, Joel invests and advises a select number of entrepreneurs.

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Kristin Smith, CPA, CFA

Partner
Novacap Private Equity
Kristin Smith, CPA, CFA

Laura Alexim

Principal Consultant
Allen Leigh Consulting
Laura Alexim
  • Laura Alexim

    Laura Alexim is a senior people and culture leader and Principal Consultant at the boutique human capital firm, Allen Leigh Consulting.  Prior to joining Allen Leigh, Laura led strategy and a full suite of HR functions for fast-paced and dynamic businesses. She integrates a business orientation and employee-centred perspective as she serves as a trusted advisor at all levels in an organization.
    She has supported businesses through rapid growth, with the design, implementation, and effective management of HR functions. She has  extensive experience in full-cycle recruitment, onboarding, goal setting and performance management, employee experience, policy development and compliance, compensation analysis, benefits management, personnel issue management, leadership training, employee coaching, culture development, organizational structure mapping, and workplace health and safety.
    Laura has a Bachelor in Business Administration from Trent University with a specialization in Human Resources Management.

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Leah Carr

General Manager
Koru
Leah Carr
  • Leah Carr

    Leah Carr has extensive experience in bringing new products to market, and hiring and growing teams. Her passion for workforce development is the reason she chose to join tilr. Leah was employee 9 and the first senior hire at Coinsquare, Canada’s largest Cryptocurrency Exchange in 2017 where she launched two business lines while helping grow the team to 200 employees in under a year. This experience gave Leah a solid understanding of how to build talent in an organization. In 2019, Leah joined the Bank of Montreal as the Managing Director of Digital Banking where she scaled her team in only 6 months from 250 to 400 people to meet the digital acceleration forced by Covid. This not only deepened her knowledge of how to build talent, but also increased her experience with workforce development, talent retention and investing in skill development. Understanding the value of diversity, equity and inclusion, Leah also spearheaded recruitment strategies to ensure diversity and inclusion in both hiring and workforce development particularly focused on First Nation, women, and newcomers. Leah ensured the team was hiring for diversity and setting these team members up with buddies and mentors to help with growth and success. Finally, as someone who deeply cares about community, Leah is a mentor and advisor to startups through Forum Ventures, a Community Director with Tech Toronto, and a member of Peerscale, a peer-to-peer organization for tech leaders to connect, share and grow. All of these experiences give Leah deep insight into the talent and workforce needs of the information and communications technology sector.

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Mark MacLeod

Coach, Advisor, Founder
Mack MacLeod
Mark MacLeod

Nathan Yeung

Lead Client-Side CMO & Marketing Strategist
Find Your Audience
Nathan Yeung
  • Nathan Yeung

    Nathan Yeung is an experienced marketing strategist with over 10+ years of expertise in advising B2B companies. Throughout his career, Nathan has helped numerous companies build their marketing teams from scratch, delivering successful go-to-market deployments and launching new products into the market.

    Nathan's diverse background brings a unique perspective to the marketing world. Trained in marketing, he has also worked in finance and management consulting, providing him with a comprehensive understanding of business operations and strategy. Nathan’s multifaceted approach to marketing has enabled him to create innovative, data-driven campaigns that have driven significant business growth for his clients.

    With a passion for driving results, Nathan is dedicated to delivering measurable impact for every project he takes on. He is a natural problem-solver who excels at developing creative solutions to complex marketing challenges. Nathan's ability to think outside the box has helped his clients to stand out in their industries, and his expertise has been recognized by numerous organizations over the years.

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Peter McCabe

Assistant Vice President
Technology Practice
Peter McCabe

Rob Douglas

Founder and CEO
Bioconnect

Rob Williams

AI Consultant
SoftHouse Advisory Services
Rob Williams

Sandy Hurst

Co-Founder & COO
SoCast

Sean Sullivan

Chief Executive Officer
Uzado
  • www.uzado.com
  • Sean Sullivan

    As Chief Executive Officer of Uzado Inc., Sean Sullivan brings his passion for building business
    outcomes in the tech industry that translates into increased revenues with mitigated risks to a diverse market space. With over 20 years of leadership experience, Sean is an expert at building and managing critical networks that enable all stakeholders to achieve their goals. He began his career in technology sales with industry leaders such as IBM and Oracle and acted as a business transformation consultant for over 15 years in parallel. Through one of these engagements, he identified the Uzado acquisition opportunity where he pulled the company from financial hardship to year-over-year growth and profitability.

    Sean has a keen eye for identifying and capitalizing on niche market opportunities, keeping his momentum forward through many global economic headwinds. Exuding a dynamic, effective and influential leadership style that motivates his teams, Sean has successfully led the diversification and growth initiatives of several technology services organizations. This has included foreseeing industry demands, aligning service portfolios and building performance growth and operational teams.

    Currently residing in Uxbridge Ontario with his five-year-old daughter Danika, Sean is a contributing member of the local community. He has a passion for most power sports and downhill skiing. He also enjoys spending time in the summer on the water in cottage country.

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Stacey Rous

COO & CFO
Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP)
Stacey Rous

Steve Pezim

President, Co-Founder & Managing Director
Bedford Transearch
  • bedfordgroup.com
  • Steve Pezim

    Steven is the co-founder and Managing Partner of The Bedford Consulting Group. For the past 25 years, Steven has managed executive search assignments for a broad range of Canadian and international clients from early stage companies to Global Fortune 1000s. Steven’s sectors of specialization include technology/media/telecommunications, retail, consumer hard goods/soft goods, financial services, and real estate. In addition to his role with Bedford, Steven serves as Chairman of the Americas (13 offices) for Transearch International, a top ten global executive search organization operating worldwide. Steven is currently serving his third term on the Transearch board. Based in our Toronto office, Steven is recognized as one of North America’s top Executive Recruiters (profiled in “The Career Makers”). In April 2008, Steven was profiled by Business Week as one of the “World’s Most Influential Head Hunters.” Steven’s knowledge of and influence within the changing search industry is key to Bedford’s continued success in disruptive business environments.

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