Speakers

Export Development and Growth

Aaron Grant

Caframo, Director of Supply Chain

As a Supply Chain professional for over 20 years, Aaron Grant has led teams with diverse backgrounds and various levels of organizational responsibility. His experience at Jefferson Elora Corporation, Maple Leaf Foods and Dimplex North America has given him insight into different performance management techniques. Aaron is an advocate of transparent HR processes and is passionate about doing what is right for people. He has had the opportunity in his current role at Caframo Limited to lead a project team implementing a new performance review process.

 


Ali Lajevardi

BDC, Director Advisory Services

Ali Lajevardi, is Director of BDC Advisory Services in Ontario. Ali’s work experience prior to joining BDC includes various leadership roles in areas of strategic management as well as technology-based productivity and operational effectiveness enhancement in local and international markets. Through his career, Ali has worked in wide range of industries including professional services and engineering, advanced manufacturing, high-grade materials processing, food and beverage, international trade and advanced medical technologies; across Asia, Europe and most recently across Canada. As an entrepreneur, Ali co-founded and successfully transitioned out of two businesses in the areas of medical technologies and international logistics.  

As a part of BDC Advisory team, Ali’s team help Canadian entrepreneurs and SMEs prioritize their strategies to grow locally and internationally while at the same time become more productive and competitive through practical innovation and transformative application of technology.

Ali holds a Master of International Business Administration (IMBA) from Schulich School of Business – York University as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. He is Professional Project Manager (PM) and a Certified International Trade Professional (CITP). 

 


Anthony Lawley

IVEY Immigration & Employment Services, Founder

Anthony is a bilingual International Recruiter and Human Resources & Immigration Specialist with a strong desire to lead  organizations, communities and people in the achievement of their overall personal, economic, social and business objectives by providing expert advice regarding recruitment, employment and immigration strategies and initiatives.

Born and raised in Northern Ontario, Anthony spent most of his career working in a manufacturing environment as a hands on, strategic HR Professional.  Most recently he founded IVEY Immigration & Employment Services Inc. which provides businesses with an innovative solution to fulfilling their employment needs through International Recruitment and Immigration.  To ensure a successful integration of foreign workers and their families into Canada and the workplace, this is done in close partnership with the communities in which these businesses operate.

As well as being a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL), as recognized by the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA), Anthony is also a Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant in good standing with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).

 


Bernadeen McLeod

Mentor Works Ltd, President and Owner

Bernadeen founded her 30-employee consultancy, Mentor Works, which helps businesses across Canada access government funding. Bernadeen worked in the corporate arena for 18 years as an executive and general manager in the manufacturing sector. With considerable expertise in government funding, both on a federal and provincial level, Bernadeen has helped secure millions in grant and repayable funding for hundreds SME owners each year. She likes to play to win, and understands the importance of cash flow and margins. She enables her clients to succeed through her passionate belief that there are no boundaries or limits to what can be achieved.

 


Bob Repovs

Samco Machinery, President and CEO

Bob Repovs is the President and CEO of Samco Machinery and oversees a diverse team of over 200 highly skilled individuals. With 20+ years of experience managing within engineered rollforming solutions, he believes in embracing change and providing engineer-to-order solutions specific to customers’ requirements.

Bob joined Samco Machinery in 1997 and had held various positions in Quality and Continuous Improvement, Human Resources, Sales, Project Management and Operations, before taking over the reins in 2011. He is process-driven and believes in continuous improvement which has encouraged him to lead different project teams to implement ISO 9001, a cross functional ERP and project management system and, a robust design and engineering system. He has been invited to international conferences to lead various thought-provoking discussions including, “Doing Business in India”, “The effects of using Finite Element Analysis on roll design” and “Project Management philosophies and approaches”.

When asked to sum up his business philosophy in 3 words, Bob likes to talk about Samco’s P3 - “People. Products. Passion.”  - which advocates that when you take care of your People, they will take care of your customers by creating innovative Products & solutions, and, they will do it with a ton of Passion! That ensures excellence and long-standing partnerships.

Bob has focused his efforts on innovation while creating a working environment designed to nurture an engaged workforce and a performance-driven culture.

Since 1972, Samco Machinery, a global organization based in Toronto, is a leading manufacturer of rollforming and value-added solutions for multiple industries including automotive, metal building and construction, transportation, storage, energy, and consumer products.

Samco Machinery has equipment installations in over 35 countries with accounts including Magna, Martinrea, Stanley, Amazon Robotics among others. Samco Machinery is a worldwide exporter, with a second manufacturing plant in India, which thrives on embracing innovation and engineering solutions for its customers.

 


Brad Fisher

Brad Fisher is the Vice-President of Finance and Administration at Baytech Plastics.  He is a Chartered Professional Accountant with an MBA and an MA in Economics.  In his Finance role, Brad has improved the accuracy and clarity of Baytech’s financial statements, while also shortening their preparation time to under a day.  He has maximized liquidity and working capital by developing and managing a reporting system to support the Asset-Based Lending agreement with the company’s bank.  Beyond his Finance role, Brad has spearheaded efforts to increase sales, reduce scrap costs, lower electricity bills, and eliminate WSIB surcharges.  Brad donates time to a local charity, having served as the Treasurer of its national governing body. 

 

 


David D. Webster, FCPA

Baytech Plastics, CEO/CFO

As CEO/CFO of Baytech Plastics Inc. in Midland, David Webster is responsible for a 250-person company performing full contract manufacturing producing custom plastic assemblies and components for the appliance, automotive, consumer, electrical, telecommunications and construction industries. On a day-to-day basis, he uses the knowledge and skills acquired with his CA degree in 1975 to guide Baytech's strategies, finances and operations. He has also overseen aquisitions as the company and related companies have grown under his watch. In his community, David has long been a Director and Treasurer of his church and has served as Board Chair and Treasurer for over 11 years with the North Simcoe Hospital Alliance, Huronia District Hospital and the Penetanguishene General Hospital.

 


Gregory Rust

Global Affairs Canada

Gregory Rust leads on the advanced manufacturing technology sector for Global Affairs Canada from the Department’s regional office in Toronto, a position that he took up during the summer rotational cycle of 2018.

Prior to this, Gregory was the Trade Program Manager for 5 years at the Canadian Embassy to the Kingdom of Belgium and to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. While in Brussels, he was also the Head of the Department’s multi-member European Aerospace Team of the Trade Commissioner Service.

Previous to this posting, he was in Ottawa headquarters and held several management and senior advisory positions dealing with services and investment trade policy, investment attraction and business development operations.

Gregory has had two other international assignments with the Department, to a program management position in Washington, DC (1998 – 2002), and to a science and technology position in Tokyo (1990 – 1994).

Before joining the Department in 1989, and after completing university, he was a design engineer at the aero-engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney Canada.

Gregory graduated in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo (BASc) in 1983, and obtained his MBA from the University of Ottawa in 2004.

 


Jason Solilo

Export Development Canada, Senior Account Manager

Jason has 20 years of experience in the financial services industry.  Before joining Export Development Canada in 2018 Jason worked at Royal Bank of Canada as a Senior Commercial Account Manager with an industry focus on the manufacturing and supply chain sector.  Jason has a strong understanding of complex financing needs and risk mitigation strategies which are specific to the manufacturing sector.  Jason holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Nipissing University

 


Joey Barnes

EDC, Strategic Alliances Director

Joey is a Strategic Alliances Director for EDC based out of EDC’s downtown Toronto offices.  Joey represents EDC across all sectors and for all of EDC’s solutions supporting Canadian companies with Financing, Risk Management, Market Knowledge and Credit advice.

Joey is a graduate of University of Ottawa and has over 15 years’ experience with EDC in various Credit Management, Underwriting and Business Development roles.

 


John Lebeau

MEDJCT, Senior Export Advisor

As a Senior Export Advisor with the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, John Lebeau helps Ontario businesses with export preparation, developing export plans and technology adoption.  Before joining the Ministry, he spent over 20 years’ developing commercial and go-to-market strategies for technology companies in both Canada and Europe. 

 


Nigel Scotchmer

Huys Industries Limited, President

Trained as a Chartered Accountant, Nigel cut his teeth in the automotive industry at Magna International in Canada and Germany.  After running his own consulting business, he acquired Huys Industries 20 years ago and has since expanded with three companies in Canada, USA and Mexico to develop, manufacture and support Low Energy Welding (LEW).  Huys’ process and equipment patents are unique in that welds can be made to join, coat and repair metals without a heat affected zone (HAZ).  As a new process, the commercialization of this development in electro-spark deposition (ESD) exemplifies Canadian innovation and leadership in manufacturing.

 


Robert Brouillette, B.A., LL.B.

City Welding Sudbury (2015) Limited / Corrosion Armor Ltd., President

Mr. Brouillette is the son of the original City Welding owners and founders, Mr. Georges & Gisele Brouillette.  Appointed General Manager in 2006, Robert purchased the company in 2015. Robert practiced criminal and personal injury law in Sudbury for 10 years while always remaining active in the family business. He brings a vast amount of expertise, drive, focus as well as a very disciplined, tenacious management style to City Welding. Robert is currently licensed by the Law Society of Ontario in Immigration and Criminal Law and has been involved in recruiting skilled foreign workers for over 10 years from various countries for City Welding as well as several other companies. Over 30% of City Welding’s current workforce is comprised of foreign workers, now permanent residents of Canada,. Several of these individuals now occupy integral roles within the company as Supervisors and Lead Hands. Robert also travelled to Morocco in February where he recruited another 5 candidates.

 


Stephen Loftus

Innovative Automation, President

In 1989, Stephen Loftus, together with partners James Carnegie and Paul Tyndall, founded Innovative Automation in a small rental unit on Welham Road. Paul and Jim have retired, and long term employees Michael Lalonde and Matthew Setterington joined the ownership team in 2013. In late 2014, the Innovative Automation team, led by President Stephen Loftus, embarked on a period of rapid growth, fuelled by a vision to be the first choice provider of automation solutions to global leaders in manufacturing. The company has almost tripled in size since 2014. Stephen is a licensed Construction and Maintenance Electrician with over 40 years of experience in manufacturing.

 


Stewart Pollard

SHiFT Leadership Solutions Inc., President

Stewart Pollard is a leadership coach, facilitator and trainer with a specialization in process improvement, organizational change management and leadership effectiveness. He draws on 20 years of leadership experience in Supply Chain, Quality Assurance, Program Management, Operations, Process Improvement, Change Management and Human Resources with such companies as Goodrich Aerospace (now UTC), Honeywell Aerospace and J.D. Irving, Limited. 
Throughout his career, Stewart has managed P&Ls of over $300M annually, led transformations resulting in revenue growth of 600% over 3 years, and coached leaders to employee engagement improvements of 30% year over year. Projects under Stewart’s leadership have delivered well over $500M as a result of his passion for improvement, his ability to simplify complex problems by engaging all levels of the organization, his positive energy and good humour. Stewart has been an active member/supporter of EMC since 2004.
A continuous learner, Stewart holds Bachelors degrees in Physics and Mechanical Engineering from UPEI and University of Waterloo respectively, as well as an MBA from University of Phoenix and a Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University. He holds certifications as a Certified Change Management Professional, Associate Certified Coach, Certified Executive Coach, Lean Expert and Six Sigma Black Belt.
In addition to being an accomplished leader, coach, facilitator and presenter, Stewart has delivered speaking engagements to multiple industry and professional associations, as well as various colleges and universities.
Stewart founded Shift Leadership Solutions in 2018 to bring his talents and experience together in service to his clients.