Director Legal and Corporate Secretary
The Avon Company of Canada Limited, and DSA Canada Board Chair
Sr. Business Relations Manager, North America
Mannatech Canada, and Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) Chair
Geoffrey E. Molson, C.Q.
Geoffrey Molson has been a general partner of CH Group Limited Partnership since December 2009 and the President and Chief Executive Officer of CH Group Limited Partnership since 2011, which owns the Montreal Canadiens, evenko, Equipe Spectra, Just for Laughs and the Bell Center.
He currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Molson Coors Brewing Company and serves as an ambassador for Molson Coors, representing the Molson family in key strategic areas of the business. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of RES PUBLICA Consulting Group and a member of the Molson Foundation, a family foundation dedicated to the betterment of Canadian society, St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation, and the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation.
Mr. Molson was also recently appointed to the Order of Canada and was made Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Quebec in 2019. He holds an M.B.A. from Babson Business School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Lawrence University.
Avi Krispine is partner and co-founder at Claria Development, a Real Estate Development and Private Equity firm. Launched in 2020, Claria quickly gained recognition for its strategic investments and innovative approach.
With an impressive 25 years of experience in Real Estate as an executive, entrepreneur, speaker, and a coach, Avi leverages its vast experience to help investors of all sizes grow and achieve great results. He thrives on building alliances and has built an extraordinary network.
Prior to Claria, Avi Krispine was the Executive Vice President and Managing Director of CBRE from 2015-2020.
Throughout his career, Avi has earned a reputation for being an inspiring leader and mentor and cumulates over 30,000 hours of coaching experience with clients across the globe.
Avi’s love and passion for life is fueled by a commitment to discipline and holding professionals and organizations accountable to fulfill their greatness and unlock their full potential.
Native of Montreal, Qc. where he currently resides with his wife and four beautiful daughters, Avi is dedicated to giving back to the community and is actively involved in various philanthropic endeavors where he occupies Leadership or Board of Director positions.
Stuart is a senior executive with over 35 years of management experience, the last 24 of which have been in the direct selling channel.
Following a successful career in the telecommunications industry with companies such as Cantel (now Rogers Wireless), ACC TelEnterprises and Teleglobe, Stuart was introduced to direct selling with Dallas Texas based; Excel Communications where he was responsible for its explosive international growth as the first International President of Excel Communications in Canada. He also led Arbonne in its foray into International as the first President of Arbonne Canada, where the company set business records with unparalleled results. As the Co-Founding President of MONAT, he took this startup from zero to in excess of 800 Million in 6 short years.
Stuart has worked in both the United States and Canada and has spoken at events around the world including Europe, Australia, the Caribbean and South America. In 2022, Stuart was the recipient of an American Business Lifetime Achievement Award.
Marcia never dreamed that she would hold more than 700 home parties in her first seven years as an independent sales consultant, never mind build a successful business that would eventually lead her to the corporate side of the industry she had fallen in love with.
Fast-forward 20+ years, Marcia has filled various roles in sales, marketing and leadership positions with industry leaders such as Pampered Chef, Avon, lia sophia®, Origami Owl, Advocare and now MONAT Global, where she leads Canada and the North American sales teams as Senior Vice President of North America.
Marcia believes that the future remains bright for the world of direct sales, as it really was the pioneer of influencer marketing – using key independent sales consultants to drive a company message to a larger market in an organic way.
Alfredo (Al) Bala
Alfredo (Al) Bala joined Mannatech in 2007 as Senior Vice President, Global Sales, and in 2011 was named Executive Vice President, Sales. Due to his involvement in Mannatech’s global sales and marketing efforts, in 2012, Mr. Bala moved into the position of Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing. Two years later, he was promoted to serve as President International, Executive Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. That same year, Mr. Bala was promoted to President and in 2015, he also became Manatech's CEO.
Prior to joining Mannatech, Mr. Bala served as Chief Operating Officer of Britt Worldwide, LLC, one of the largest independent Amway network marketing organizations, from 1992 to 2006. While with Britt Worldwide, his main focus was to provide motivation, training and tools for associates in the field in more than 65 countries across the globe. Mr. Bala was also heavily involved in the launch and re-launch of over 60 international markets, including BRICS markets (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which propelled the Britt Worldwide international sales volume to more than $500 million.
In addition to more than 37 years of domestic and international experience in network marketing, Mr. Bala’s proven record includes growing a major direct sales organization to $750 million, reaching more than one million people in 60 countries.
Mr. Bala served as manufacturing plant manager for Bose Corporation from 1983 to 1992.
He is conversant and/or fluent in more than 13 languages.
Patty Anthe is a seasoned executive in the direct selling and multi-level marketing (MLM) industry with over 20 years of experience. With expertise in marketing, advertising, healthcare, sales, and operations, Patty has worked with some of the industry's top party-plan and MLM companies.
She served as the Director of International Business at Video Plus, LLP (now Direct Selling News), where she led the charge in providing sales tools and distribution for the direct-selling industry on an international scale.
Currently, Patty is the Vice President for North America at Mannatech, a position she was promoted to after being with the company for over 8 years. In this role, Patty is responsible for leading and managing all aspects of the US and Canadian Mannatech market, including sales, marketing, operations, and customer service.
Patty's reputation in the industry has earned her recognition beyond her company. She was recently selected as a Board member for the Canadian Direct Selling Association and will be a keynote speaker at their upcoming seminar in Montreal and has been featured in articles both in the Direct Selling News and the Direct Selling Association publications.
Patty is a proud mother of two men - James and Brad, who are her world. She also loves dogs and has three furry family members. Patty resides in Flower Mound, Texas.
Jeff is the Co-Founder of SoulLife Inc., an international wellness brand and direct seller of natural health products. Jeff has several skills and talents that stem from a variety of interests and industries which include Holistic Healthcare, Consumer Packaged Goods, Information Technology, NGO, Manufacturing and Distribution.
Faced with a health scare in his mid-twenties this pushed Jeff to explore natural means of healing. With a remarkable recovery his career shift was essential. He jumped into Holistic health research as well as retail distribution. He has always been appreciative of Direct Selling. His mother was a Consultant and Sales Director with Mark Kay Cosmetics for almost 40 years. Jeff was inspired by the networking, sales training, recognition, and team building. Direct Selling is a natural fit for SoulLife.
Jeff is a maximizer in people and products. He leads the Operations and Quality Assurance at SoulLife. He has 3 children and lives in Halton Hills, Ontario where SoulLife is headquartered today.
Donna Pinsonneault is the CEO of She’s Got Leggz, a women-owned and run apparel company based out of Burlington, Ontario.
She began her journey at She's Got Leggz as a customer in 2017, moving into a stylist role in 2018, and in 2019 became a Partner and CFO. In her first year as a Stylist she won Top Partier.
Donna is a firm believer in the She’s Got Leggz tagline “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful” which is the basis of the company's belief that all women should be able to express themselves with fun, bright, super-soft leggings, no matter what size they wear.
Donna oversees their corporate office and distribution centre which services over 800 Stylists across Canada.
Alyza Keshavjee is the Head of Consumer Insights at Google Canada.
In her role, Alyza harnesses the power of Google data to deliver relevant and unique consumer and business insights for Canada’s largest advertisers. She brings a cross-vertical perspective as her team supports 10 verticals across Canada.
Alyza has built high performing teams in analytics, marketing, technology, agile development and strategy at Google, Manulife and at the Boston Consulting Group. She is a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Kevin Raulston is a strategic, executive consultant in the Direct Sales and Affiliate marketing arenas with over 20 years of proven results spanning US and International markets on four continents with full P&L responsibility and teams as large as 1,000 employees and 100,000 independent contractors.
Kevin’s broad-based experience includes operating as CEO, President, COO, CIO and Vice President of Sales and Marketing at various companies with teams in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. Additionally, he has spoken on direct sales, industry trends and research at events in North America, Europe and Australia.
Specializing in direct sales and marketing from the corporate perspective, Kevin is passionate about the customer, affiliate and independent contractor experience and his company Global Direct Partners has been working with companies to get results utilizing a wide range of approaches including social media, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, and traditional merchandising for over 15 years.
Kevin grew up in California, but now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his wife Ann and two rescue labs—Stella and Ivy. Kevin and Ann have five children and he holds an MBA from Rockhurst University, a Jesuit University in Kansas City, Missouri and continuing education in IT from the Sloan School and Lean Processes at Villanova University.
Maria Rouziou is an assistant professor of Marketing at HEC Montréal. After working in healthcare as a sales representative and account manager, she earned her Ph.D. from HEC Paris and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University.
Her research areas include salesforce management, compensation, entrepreneurial selling, intra-organizational relationships, and sales enablement. Her work has appeared in various academic outlets, including Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Marketing Letters, Journal of Business Research, and Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, among others. Dr. Rouziou’s insights have also been featured in a variety of non-academic business publications, including Harvard Business Review France, La Gestion, and Training and Development (TD) Magazine.
She teaches courses in personal selling, sales management, and B2B marketing to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.
As an authentic and transparent leader, Shannon has honed the skill to equip and inspire others. She is passionate about help leaders and organizations tap into their potential and actively looks for opportunities to grow as a better leader, teacher, and facilitator.
Shannon gained her training skills as a Senior Sales and Leadership Facilitator, Trainer, Coach, Program Designer, Instructional Designer, Content Developer, and Keynote Speaker during her 15 years tenure at one of the largest companies in the world, teaching leaders in India, Australia and Indonesia and that flew her first class to places like Africa, Asia, all over Europe and North America. She became so passionate about helping folks and organizations uncover their potential that she started her own business in this space.
Unfortunately for her, that was at the tail end of 2014 when the economy saw massive budget cuts in the learning and development space. So, she entered the world of corporate direct sales and spent the next several years purposefully bridging gaps of knowledge she had in this new world – all to prepare to relaunch her business in 2018, when she founded her training company TAP – The Accountability Partners Inc.
With the help of her two oldest children, Nathan and Hannah, she is also currently working on launching a charity, Jay’s Safe Harbour Society, to help educate families supporting loved ones with mental health and addiction challenges.
Shannon has combined her genuine love for people with a curiosity to explore and has had many unique opportunities to train and develop business leaders around the globe. She has been awarded several global recognition/top performance awards in instructional design and facilitation. She jokingly calls herself a dreamer, but in reality, she has proven to be a visionary who can make the vision a reality. She has found the courage to lead with her heart!
A seasoned innovator in the payments industry, Charles Rosenblatt has held executive leadership positions at major global banks (Capital One and Chase) and prominent FinTech organizations. After having been on the management teams that led to the sale of Hyperwallet to PayPal and Payoneer going public, Rosenblatt is now President of PayQuicker — the payments technology leader in global payouts.
To learn more, visit: PayQuicker.
John Bassindale is a partner at Millar Kreklewetz LLP in Toronto, a top-ranked boutique law firm focusing on all aspects of Canadian commodity tax, customs and trade matters. John’s practice includes both planning and litigation, including litigation before the Tax Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal. He has contributed numerous articles on a variety of tax matters to various Canadian tax publications aimed at both lawyers and accountants. John has served on the executive of the Ontario Bar Association’s Tax Law Section for several years including as Section Chair. John now serves on the executive of the Canadian Bar Association’s Commodity Tax, Customs and Trade Section.
To learn more, visit Millar Kreklewetz LLP.
Claudia Desjardins Belisle
Claudia Desjardins Bélisle practices in all areas of labour and employment law as well as administrative law. Her expertise focuses on unfair competition, complex dismissals, and individual and collective labour relations.
She regularly represents employers before courts and grievance arbitrators. She advises them on union certification process and collective agreements, and provides legal opinions. She also assists employers in negotiating amicable settlement of disputes.
She has pleaded before the Superior Court and Court of Appeal in several prominent cases and was involved in many major dismissals.
Claudia’s representative work includes successfully pleading the reimbursement of an amount in excess of $600,000 for medical services incurred outside of Quebec. This particular case was brought before the Tribunal administratif du Québec following a decision by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec which refused to reimburse such expenses to a cancer patient who survived following an organ transplant operation performed outside of Quebec. She was also involved in the negotiation and settlement of one of Quebec’s longest labour conflicts in the last 30 years. This specific matter led her to plead several injunction proceedings and obtain a judgment to force the workers of a multinational corporation to vote on their employer’s final offers.
To learn more, visit Miller Thomson.
Lewis Retik is a partner in Gowling WLG's Ottawa office. He leads the Food and Beverage Group and co-leads the Cannabis Group.
His practice is focused primarily on regulatory and commercial law with respect to commercializing regulated products, including: regulatory licencing, product distribution, product classification, manufacturing, advertising, packaging, and labelling.
Lewis has extensive experience working with companies of all sizes, ranging from recent startups to large international companies in regulated industries, including: food, natural health products, cosmetic, drugs, and technology. He also addresses regulatory compliance and commercial issues that relate to e-commerce, multi-level marketing, direct selling, consumer protection, and products that use the radio frequency spectrum.
He is often responsible for working with clients to develop regulatory strategies that are both consumer-friendly and compliant. In addressing client issues, Lewis regularly interacts with senior government officials within such departments and agencies as Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), Competition Bureau, Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Environment Canada.
To learn more, visit Gowling WLG.
Michael Weinberger’s practice focuses on helping businesses seeking growth in Canada. In particular, Michael has developed three areas of expertise: Firstly, advising direct selling companies expanding into Canada. Secondly, guiding clients through privacy regulation and compliance. Thirdly, helping individuals buy, sell, and start companies. He is committed to giving effective advice to local, national, and international businesses in English, Spanish, French, and German.
To learn more, visit Siskinds.