Join Us In 2016

January 25 - January 29, 2016


advertising and marketing week 2016

See what’s in store for you

It’s five full days of exciting, insightful, thought-provoking events led by luminaries in our industry.

Our Speakers

+-Christopher Collins
Assistant Professor University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Chris Collins

Morning Master Series
9:00 am – 10:00 am

Dr. Christopher Collins is the Canada Research Chair in Linguistic Information Visualization and an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). His research focus is interdisciplinary, combining information visualization and human-computer interaction with natural language processing to address the challenges of information management and the problems of information overload.

His publications, including the DocuBurst and Parallel Tag Cloud text visualization techniques, have helped to open a new and thriving area of research in “Linguistic Visualization”. His work has been published in many venues including IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, and has been featured in popular media such as the Toronto Star and The New York Times Magazine.

Dr. Collins received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Toronto. He collaborates with several universities, IBM’s TJ Watson Research Laboratory, and a number of smaller software firms. He is a member of the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee Executive.

+-Amir Kassaei
Chief Creative Officer DDB Worldwide

Amir Kassaei

Applied Arts Session
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Amir Kassaei, Chief Creative Officer for DDB Worldwide, was born in Iran, raised in Austria, and educated in France. He settled in Germany in 1997, gaining experience at agencies such as TBWA, Barci & Partner and Springer & Jacoby. Amir is one of the most lauded creatives in the world, working on an impressive range of the world’s major brands, including Allianz, Apple, Adidas, Bosch, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nike, Reebok and Volkswagen. Amir and his teams are the recipients of more than 2,000 national and international awards, including 40 Cannes Lions in the past five years.

+-Heidi Ehlers

Heidi Ehlers Photo

Heidi Ehlers is the founder of HEIDI CONSULTS, a leadership and career consultancy founded in 2010 that works with agencies, creative leaders, and emerging creative people across North America. Her mission is helping people of all levels of seniority to reach their full creative potential.

She created Diary of a Creative Director: An exploration of the road to greatness in 2005. In 2007, it was the third highest attended seminar in Cannes, after Al Gore and Saatchi’s Young Director’s Showcase. The book will go to market in early 2016.

In 2001, Heidi founded BLACK BAG creative recruitment, and saw it become Canada’s most trusted creative recruiting brand. She has been invited by most of North America’s advertising creativity schools to give her Career Bootcamp presentation entitled Camp BLACK BAG. She is the founder of The Talent Attraction Institute, a proven, market tested methodology that teaches companies how to attract the world’s best talent, then hire them, better, and faster, with unparalleled retention.

When not studying leadership and success, Heidi can be found in her award-winning garden, or in a forest yelling at one, or both, of her dogs to stay on the trail and out of the mud.

+-Steve Levy
Chief Operating Officer Ipsos Reid

Picture of Steve Levy

The Most Influential Brands in Canada
Ipsos Influence Index
2:30pm to 3:30pm

While starting his career in sales (at Xerox) and then brand management (at Mars foods), Steve Levy has been involved in the marketing research and information business in the UK, South East Asia and, since the late 80’s, in Canada.

In his current role he leads Ipsos Reid’s business, which involves a number of specific responsibilities including managing a staff of over 120 marketers and researchers, local product development, innovation, and R&D. He also oversees the publication and release of white papers and publications in the marketing and loyalty space, as well as a number of significant research programs.

In addition to his management role, Steve continues to act as team leader for a number of accounts mostly in the technology sector. He has been a member on the Ipsos International Loyalty Board since its inception in 2002 and is also active in the broader industry. He was the 2010 conference chair for the Marketing Research & Intelligence Association’s (MRIA) annual conference and is a Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) Board and Executive Committee member.

+-Gerard Puccio
Chair & Professor Buffalo State

Gerard Puccio

Morning Master Series
9:00 am – 10:00 am

Gerard J. Puccio is Department Chair and Professor at the International Center for Studies in Creativity, SUNY – Buffalo State. Gerard has written more than 50 articles, chapters and books. His most recent book titled The Innovative Team, co-authored with Chris Grivas, is a fable about a team that was able to apply proven creative-thinking tools to turn around a dysfunctional and unproductive situation. In recognition of his outstanding work as a scholar, Dr. Puccio received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Recognition Award for Research Excellence, as well as the President’s Medal for Scholarship and Creativity.

+-Bob Bejan
Global Executive Creative Director AOL Advertising’s Partner Studio

Bob Bejan

AOL Industry Breakfast
8:00 am – 10:00 am

Bob Bejan is the Global Executive Creative Director of AOL Advertising’s Partner Studio, focused on delivering the next generation of content and creative solutions for marketers. Partner Studio offers brands the opportunity to deliver emotive content experiences that connect with their audiences and are fueled by AOL’s flywheel of data, insights, and programmatic optimization.

Before joining AOL, Mr. Bejan was Vice President North America, Advertising Sales and Marketing at the Microsoft Corporation, where he was responsible for developing and executing against the sales and marketing strategy within the United States, driving ad revenue opportunities, leading the relationships with top agencies and clients, and building market share.

Mr. Bejan’s recent role at Microsoft was his second time with the company. In 1996, Mr. Bejan joined Microsoft as the Executive Producer for the Microsoft Network within the Company’s Interactive Media Group (IMG). He led the charter to bring its online service to the Web and was responsible for all of the original programming that premiered on the Network. In February ’98, he was recruited into the News & Publishing Division of the IMG as the Director of Worldwide Sales, Operations, & Programming for the Online-Sales Team. Mr. Bejan greatly advanced the effort toward “monetization” of the Microsoft Network.

Prior to his most recent role at Microsoft, Mr. Bejan was the Chief Development Officer of the MSLGroup worldwide. In addition to driving revenue growth and global accounts, he was part of a core team that transformed 27 independent companies into the fourth largest PR and communications company on the planet. Prior to taking this position, Mr. Bejan was the co-founder and CEO of PBJS, Inc., a Digital Creative Studio focusing on Digital Marketing, Corporate Communications, Creative Production and live experiences. Founded in 2003, PBJS was acquired by the Publicis Groupe in 2008. PBJS is a part of the MSLGROUP, working within the Publicis Network. Mr. Bejan remains Chairman of PBJS.

Mr. Bejan started his first creative business in 1987; BNE was a creative studio delivering, jingle writing, creative direction and production services for major advertising agencies. Using BNE as a foundation, Bejan developed a creative collaboration with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles resulting in a Rock and Roll album and World Tour that sold over 4.5 million records worldwide and sold over a million tickets during its 2.5-year tour around the world. Mr. Bejan became a founder, partner, and inventor of Interfilm, an interactive motion picture studio that produced interactive movies for theatre multiplexes. Following a successful public offering in 1992, Interfilm produced four interactive motion pictures that were exhibited in over 50 theatres around the United States. In 1994, Mr. Bejan became Vice President of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment. He was a founding executive and member of the core team that began the studio’s original web presence and content strategies both on the Internet and America Online. In addition, he served as a member of core design team for Warner Bros. Studio Stores retail chain.

+-Karin Schmidlin
Manager, Virtual Incubation Program University of Waterloo


Morning Master Series
9:00 am – 10:00 am

Karin is currently the lead UX Designer at Jamii, a virtual incubation platform for entrepreneurs at the University of Waterloo’s Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Center. She also teaches User Experience at UWaterloo’s digital media campus in Stratford. Karin brings 15+ years of design and digital media experience to the table and loves being surrounded by passionate people. She reads voraciously, loves teaching and thinks that life is just a little bit better with a strong cup of dark coffee.

+-Brent Bernie
President comScore Canada

Picture of Brent Bernie

comScore Session
11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Brent Bernie has over 30 years of information services marketing experience. Currently, he leads a rapidly expanding team of account people who service and support over 200 customers in Canada. comScore Canada is the only Canadian company that maintains a panel of ~35,000 Canadians for the purposes of reporting and evaluating their actual online behavior across devices. comScore also offers services measuring advertising activity, effectiveness and the measurement of cross platform audiences.

Brent was intimately involved in the development of comScore’s Unified Digital Measurement transition and has consistently worked to ensure Canada is at the forefront of digital measurement enhancements including the launch of Multiplatform digital measurement.

Brent was active on the board of the IAB for seven years and served as Chairman of the organization from January 2004 to June 2006. In late 2005 Brent was named to Marketing Magazine’s Power List of the 100 Most Influential People in Canadian Communications. All 100 were recognized for their leadership, innovation and clout.

Brent served on the board of NABS for seven years including 2.5 years as Chairman. In February of 2015, Brent was awarded the Paul Mulvihill Humanitarian Award for his work with NABS.

+-Scott Goodson
CEO and Founder Strawberryfrog

Scott Goodson

Kijiji Speaker Series
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Scott is the best selling author of “Uprising: how to build a brand and change the world by sparking cultural movements.” He is founder of the world’s first movement marketing agency StrawberryFrog. Scott has spent 30 years working for the world’s most admired brands. He has won the top awards from all the world’s top advertising award schemes. He was Chairman of the Future Advertising Summit in New York and London, he has been jury for Cannes Lions Titanium, D&AD, and has appeared on the BBC, CNN, Bloomberg and writes for Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fast Company and Huffington Post. He is credited with bringing movement marketing to the world, and wrote the lines “Make history” for Jim Beam, “Make your world bigger” for Heineken, and “Hello Tomorrow” for Emirates Airline. Originally from Canada, Scott spent many years working in Europe and internationally before moving to New York. He currently lives just outside Manhattan.

+-Maurice Lévy
Chairman & CEO Publicis Groupe

Maurice Levy

FFWD Closing Lunch
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Maurice Lévy is Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe. He is widely recognized as a leading figure in the communications industry, responsible for the Groupe’s international expansion and pioneering strategic focus on digital communication and fast growing markets. Mr. Lévy also serves as the Chairman of the board for several entities, including the International Board of Governors (IBoG) for the Peres Center for Peace, and the Media, Entertainment and Information board of the World Economic Forum. Mr. Lévy has been honored with numerous distinctions and accolades for his contributions to communications and media, business leadership, innovation, tolerance and diversity.

+-Tim Silk
Sauder School of Business, UBC

Tim Silk

Morning Master Series
9:00 am – 10:00 am

Dr. Silk teaches Brand Management and New Product Development at the Sauder School of Business and is an award-winning teacher and researcher. He has taught and consulted for organizations such as Bell Canada, L’Oréal and Visa, and has taught executive programs throughout North America, Europe and Asia. His research has been published in the premier marketing journals and featured in news media such as CBS News, Fortune, Globe & Mail, and U.S. News & World Report. Prior to his research career, Dr. Silk worked as a product manager in the beverage industry and as an account manager in the advertising industry.

FFWD 2016