Business Development Manager
Chris took a very non-traditional path into product development. After graduating from the computer science field of study, Chris started his career with Save-On-Foods (SOF) in their I.T. department, developing merchandising and supply chain software. After helping to build some of the fundamental tools used in day to day business, he moved on to working directly with the merchandising and retail services team as an I.T. Business Relationship Manager. Despite enjoying the previous 10 years of his career with SOF, the call of food and product development was too strong for Chris to deny any longer. In 2014 he accepted a position with the Corporate Brands team at SOF as a Business Development Manager and hasn’t looked back. Instead of software, he now builds private label programs that support the category growth in various fresh and center of store departments. This I.T. Foodie has a passion for everything from spreadsheets to sauces.
Director, Product Development Corporate Brands
Metro Brands g.p.
Paula Deane is the Director of Product Development for Corporate Brands at Metro Inc. Paula has a unique combination of product development and business expertise from over 20 years combined experience in the manufacturing, retail and supply sectors. After graduating from the University of Guelph, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, Paula combined her passion for science and food to start her journey in creating innovative products for the Canadian market. Paula started her career at one of North America’s largest food manufacturers as a product development scientist, developing products from concept to commercialization. Several years later, Paula moved to a major grocery retailer as Director of Product Development, where she launched a new 3-tier, 5 sub-brand program reflecting a good, better, best strategy. Afterwards, as Director of Corporate Brands Convenience for a major retail drug chain, Paula managed the private label Convenience portfolio where she developed and launched new brands and revitalized the seasonal programs. Prior to joining Metro, Paula worked with local and international suppliers to bring innovative new products to Canadian retailers. Now at Metro, Paula and her team are focused on developing great tasting, quality products to deliver the best product experience for their customers and earn their long-term loyalty.
Vice-President Private Brands
Metro Brands g.p.
Ms. Gibson joined Metro in April 2010 and is currently Vice-President, Private Brands. Having received several awards, including Store Brands Magazine's Executive of the Year in 2015 and Innovator of the Year in 2014, Ms. Gibson has been instrumental in developing both the reputation and recognition of Metro's private labels. She is a senior executive experienced in different areas of marketing, including strategic planning, brand management, retail, launching new concepts, marketing and purchasing. In recent years, Ms. Gibson has acquired a strong knowledge of consumer trends and habits in Quebec and Canada. She has evolved in major companies such as Loblaw Companies and The Bay. She helped launch the Warehouse Club concept in Canada, which now operate under the Costco banner.
Vice-President of Operations
Bernard Godbout has been Vice-President of Operations at Pharmaprix since 2014. Previously, he was director of market development and marketing there, a position he had held since 2002. Bernard began his career at Metro, where he was given various responsibilities in logistics, purchasing and marketing from 1982 to 1990. Then, from 1990 to 1992, he was national sales manager at Leclerc. He moved over to Sobeys (IGA) in 1992, where he worked as a manager in procurement, marketing and then in corporate brand development until 1998. From 1998 to 2000, he was at Loblaws as director of market development, grocery and marketing, and helped launch the banner in Quebec. From 2000 to 2002, he was back at Metro, this time as director of product development for corporate brands, where, among things, he helped launch the Irresistible brand.
Director of Private Brands
Growing up in the family business as daughter of one of the Longo’s founders it is a good thing this self proclaimed foodie was born into a food and not a tire business. Growing up working in all areas of the business private label landed on her lap in 1990 as an opportunity for Longo’s to explore and she has been at it ever since. Exploring unique niche items to bare their family name is always a thrilling challenge. As Director of Private Brands at Longo’s, a member of the Family Council , and a member of the Senior Management Team Jenny enjoys the opportunity to create new and exciting programs and strategies, while acting as an ambassador to the family keeping the founders principals and values as a guide along the way.
Follow Me Foodie.com
Mijune is an international food personality, founder of Follow Me Foodie.com and judge on Food Network's Top Chef Canada. Named “Must Follow” by The Social Media Awards, and one of the "World's Most Extreme Foodies" in The Sunday Times, she is also a judge for the BC Product of the Year Award, and Taste Canada Awards.
Store Brands Specialist
Federated Co-operatives Ltd.
After completing a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing, Nena started her career in marketing consulting where she created business and marketing plans for small and medium sized companies. Eventually her love of food took over and she was excited to start a career in the food industry. Her career at Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL) started in category management, but her ultimate passion for Store Brands and Product Development followed shortly thereafter. Nena works in a small team that creates and manages FCL’s Store Brands portfolio.