TBLP042 | Peter Reitano: Grow and Elevate All

Over the last 10 years, Peter Reitano, CEO of Abacus, a performance Facebook ad tech/agency, has worked directly with some of the worlds largest blue-chip / Fortune 500 brands and award-winning agencies in Europe, Australia, Canada and the US.

Peter is also the co-founder of Bellwether, a not for profit which brings together entrepreneurs and leaders in Toronto’s startup, tech, media, and advertising space for collaboration and innovation.

He also sits on the Canadian Marketing Association’s digital council, the lead instructor at Bitmaker teaching digital marketing, and invests in early-stage startups (focussing on E-com), and on the board of several companies/startups advising on growth.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • What he learned growing a marketing agencies worldwide
  • The challenges growing an agency
  • Why he believes in multiple revenue streams
  • What he learned from an acquisition

Links

Reading List

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP041 | Matthew Hollingshead: Be Vulnerable

Matthew is a 20 year veteran of the digital media space including video games, digital advertising and software development. He is currently the founder and CEO of Hifyre a growing custom software developer based in Hamilton, ON.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • What it was like being employee number one of a fast-growing company
  • Why he believes in slow and steady growth
  • Why he believes being vulnerable is key to growth

Links

Reading List

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP040 | Alyssa Furtado: Diversity of Thought

Alyssa Furtado is a passionate entrepreneur, financial expert, digital marketer and educator and is the CEO of RateHub.ca, the leading Canadian financial comparison site for mortgage rates, credit card deals, deposit rates and insurance. She has been regularly featured as a financial expert on CTV News, BNN, Global News, The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.

Alyssa graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in business and math. She worked for two years for a US-based consulting firm where she realized a need in Canada for transparent online resources in the personal finance space and a platform to compare products; there were already three companies in the United States fulfilling this market. Alyssa thus co-founded RateHub in 2010 and has spent the last seven years building products that help Canadians make smart financial choices.

She has grown RateHub.ca from 1 to over 50 full-time employees.  She and her co-founder, James Laird, also launched its own in-house mortgage brokerage, CanWise Financial. Alyssa’s expertise in search engine optimization and digital marketing has been a key factor in RateHub.ca’s success, driving hundreds of thousands of users to the site each month.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • Why she left a management consulting job to start Ratehub.ca
  • Why she focused on SEO for the first 6 years
  • What are the key actions Alyssa takes to help her grow the business
  • How she is learning to overcome “imposter’s syndrome”

Links

Reading List

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP039 | Mark Jaine: Build the Ladder

Mark Jaine is President and CEO of Intelex Technology Inc., headquartered in Toronto. Intelex is a worldwide leader in employee health & safety, and quality (EHSQ) web-based management systems. Mark joined the company in 1999 and has led the transformation from niche software provider to innovative leading force in global EHSQ.

Under Mark’s leadership, Intelex received business awards, including being named by Deloitte as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies and a Fast 50 high-growth company. Intelex was also honoured by TechConnex as Company of the Year, Canada’s Top Employer and among the Best Small/Medium Sized Employers in Canada.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • How a drive across America and a 3-month internship lead him to the top
  • Why he believes in building a ladder underneath you rather than climbing one
  • What it took to make the first $50,000 sale for the company
  • Why he says “Be Like Madonna” helps him think about changing roles and responsibilities
  • How he is building an organization where “Work to Live” value is first and foremost
  • How is pushing other organizations to strive to be a $1Bln company

Links

Reading List

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP037 | Melody Adhami: Growth through Quality Assurance

Melody Adhami started her career working at the billion-dollar company, Unilever, on brands like Dove, Hellmann’s and Lipton. Then, she reached a fork in the road. Deep inside the row of cubicles at Unilever, she watched the first signs of a new mobile age appear. Steve Jobs launched the iPhone, unleashing a world where mobile phones can do more than make calls. Melody made up her mind. She quit her steady job to launch a company that would focus on the emerging world of mobile apps, Plastic Mobile.

Today, Plastic is a top player in the world of mobile. Its clients are some of the biggest names in the business. The work was recognized by Forrester Research as being the “poster child” for apps. The Globe and Mail even dubbed Melody as the “Queen of Apps.” And in 2015, Plastic was acquired by the 6th largest global communications company, Havas.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • Why she left a perfect job at a billion dollar job company
  • How they took the leap as a couple after being married
  • What she learned after being acquired by the 5th largest communications company
  • How she was able to overcome the doubt in prospective customers in the mobile space

Links

Reading List

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP027 | Cody Green: Leadership is a Work in Progress

Born in Salmon Arm, B.C., founder and Co-CEO Cody Green started the online auto financing company in 2010 after working as a car salesman in Saskatoon.  Cody stopped selling cars to pursue the venture in 2010, which he named Canada Drives.

In 2016, Canada Drives, placed first PROFIT 500 list as Canada’s Fastest-Growing Company. Cody was recently named among Canada’s 2017 Top 40 Under 40. Millions of Canadians continue flocking to Canada Drives to help them buy cars.

Canada Drives is on track to facilitate nearly $1 billion in loans this year, with $400 million loaned to Canadians so far. Canada Drives’ revenue grew 12,686% from 2011 to 2016.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • What he saw being a car salesman that made him decide to start his own business
  • Why he moved the business to Vancouver while it was still small
  • The pros and cons of sharing the CEO role and how decisions are made
  • The importance of ethos when building and growing a company

Links

Reading List

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP026 | Jodi Kovitz: Move The Dial

Jodi Kovitz is a passionate innovator, relationship builder, revenue generator, and connector. She is the is the CEO of AceTech Ontario. She is also Founder of #MoveTheDial, a movement founded in January 2017 to advance women in tech and Just Say Hello, her passion project through which she teaches people how to build transformative business relationships.

She regularly speaks and writes on innovative business development strategies, advancing women in tech, networking and women’s business development opportunities in Canada and the United States.

Jodi serves on the SickKids Foundation Capital Campaign Cabinet to raise $1.3B to transform children’s health leading an innovative technology sector strategy, serves on the advisory board of Rosenzweig & Company, Maple Corporation and Mediseen and Mayor of Toronto John Tory’s Toronto Innovation Council.

Prior to joining AceTech Ontario, Jodi spent 5 years at Osler generating revenue, building an alumni program, creating an associate training program and coaching 450+ lawyers on BD strategy and relationship building.

Jodi previously practiced law, and after she obtained her business degree at Ivey, living in Milan studying international business, worked in marketing at a technology start up that went public, worked in leadership development at a bank and consulted for a top-tier global consulting firm. Just Say Hello is Jodi’s passion-and-joy project.

Jodi’s recent press includes Globe and Mail, BNN, Toronto Star, Digital Journal.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • What she saw in her first event at AceTech Ontario and why she created the #MoveTheDial Campaign
  • Why you must live with the “Just Say Hello” mindset
  • How she walked away from a 10-year career in law
  • What she learned coaching 350+ associates across Canada on creating business
  • The buzz and excitement around Elevate Toronto

Links

Reading List

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP021 | Justin Thouin: Learn How to Demonstrate Value

Justin Thouin is the Co-Founder and CEO of LowestRates.ca. Justin started the company in 2012 following a successful career as a Senior Executive with two prominent entertainment and technology organizations. LowestRates.ca provides Canadians with a fast and convenient way to save two of their most valuable assets – time and money. It’s a one stop shop for Canadians to compare offers on personal financial products quickly and efficiently from North America’s leading companies. To date, it has helped millions of Canadians explore their financial options.

In addition to leading LowestRates.ca, Justin also enjoys investing in early stage ventures and mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs. He provides valuable insight into both what life as a corporate executive and an entrepreneur looks like.
He also created a thriving Executive Consulting practice before founding the company. Justin holds an Honours Degree in Commerce from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • How he was able to change and grow into 6 different roles within 10 years
  • Learn how to demonstrate your value that you bring in a company
  • Ensure that all stakeholders understand what excellence looks like
  • Make sure people know about your successes
  • Why bootstrapping is important on launching and building a company
  • The reason he would rather take a “B” plan with flawless execution

Links

Reading List

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.

TBLP014 | Suzanne Grant: The Art of the Possible

I am excited to share the conversation I had with Suzanne Grant. Suzanne’s experience is characterized by breadth and depth leading in technology, military, non-profit, health and creative fields. She has won awards and commendations at each stage of her career and attributes her success to authentic leadership, strategic thinking and collaboration.

Suzanne served in the Canadian Forces as an engineering officer. She bootstrapped a strategic communications agency and publishing house, The Art of Business, in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar, where she also founded Qatar’s favourite award-winning print and digital publication, Qatar Happening.

Suzanne has hired Steve Wozniak and Tim Sebastian, and partnered with Serena Williams and the Queen of Qatar. She has been interviewed on Al Jazeera TV, CBC Radio, Global Media, Rogers TV and multiple international print titles. She launched a national sports team, and organized powerboat world championship launches. She advised Virgin Health Bank on patient reach and executed Accenture’s launch in a new country.

Suzanne’s most cherished accomplishments include leading grassroots movements. She founded and spearheaded a Canada-wide charity campaign for Rwandan orphans in 1994. In 2007 she founded Spirit of Empowerment, a historic catalyst event for young professional Arab women. Back home in 2012, Suzanne introduced a global initiative at Startup Canada to encourage a more global outlook amongst Canada’s entrepreneurs. She helped to create and lead a global youth entrepreneurship fellowship, a partnership between Cambridge University and Startup Canada.

Suzanne is a generous community contributor and global citizen. She has a BSc, Physics from Carleton University and studied entrepreneurship at St Lawrence College. She has been awarded the Canadian Decoration for long-term service to Canada, received a commendation from the Military, was named Local Hero by the city of Kingston and has won a Startup Canada Innovation Award and a Microsoft Web Award.

Suzanne’s mantra is The Art of the Possible.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • Leading a mission of hope with the Diamond Eye
  • What leadership training was like in the military
  • Why she likes reading biographies and what can be learned from them
  • How she successfully built a company in the middle-east
  • Her passion and drive to continually give back

Links

Thanks for taking the time to listen.  If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

This podcast is produced by Slingshot VoIP, a business telecommunications leader.