EDGE – Giving Back

2021 has been a challenging year for many. So, in the spirit of our Q4 thematic, having an impact, the EDGE committee felt that it was important to end the year feeling as though we made a difference to those around us. So instead of hosting a session, the EDGE team encouraged everyone in our organization to ‘give back’ to their favorite charity or community organizations via monetary, clothing or food donations. To incentivize everyone to give the EDGE team offered to match donations up to a total of $2,000. We are thrilled to say that because of everyone’s generosity we able to donate $500 to each Autism Canada, United Way of Greater Toronto, The First Nations Development Institute and TGTHR (Boulder, CO).

Overall, the initiative was a big success, and we plan on bringing back a version of ‘giving back’ in 2022.


EDGE – The Journey To A Unconscious Bias

Carey Mason, certified Diversity Specialist and TAB Business Coach, recently took our team through a diversity training. As much as we try to be culturally sensitive and aware of how each of our differences make us special or unique, there is always room to learn more. Especially when we consider there is an unconscious and thus unintentional element influencing our thoughts and actions.

During this training, Carey elaborated on the definition of terms like diversity, equity, inclusion and unconscious bias. These are terms that clarify how we can be more accepting of our peers. Through our interactions with others, it can almost become routine to try and avoid certain assumptions about gender, sexuality, or cultural differences.

However simple judgements like assuming when someone refers to their spouse as their “partner or significant other” implies they are in a same-sex relationship is an example of an unconscious bias. The same goes for assuming that a person of color must have gotten a scholarship to play on a sports team to be able to attend certain prestigious schools. The human mind is complex and constantly evolving. Being aware that unconscious biases exist is the first step in allowing us to help remedy the situation.

Biases will always exist, but we have the power to try and do our respective parts by listening to each other and being open to seeing the world through a different perspective. As a Swahili proverb says, “unity is strength, division is weakness”.


A Reflection On Management in Retail

COVID-19 has been a challenge for everyone. Kids home from school, numerous lockdowns, not being able to see their loved ones, this list could go on forever!

Before COVID, I had always seen myself as a laid-back and calm individual with lots of patience. But, boy, was I wrong!

I started noticing in March that things that did not bother me before were beginning to bother me. My team of 16 individuals, all of the different ages, typically comes with its challenges. So, something was going on, and it was just easy to blame COVID.

So, after a month of struggling with feeling frustrated, I wanted to look at what was going on because an employee that usually asks questions never bothered me before, and now it was.

I thought about my team and teams that I have managed in the past. I realize that as I have aged, I have a lack of understanding of the different generations.  I decided to do some research.

I realized that I am working with four different generations! Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z! I started looking into the different generations and the essential things that make them who they are.  I picked up an audiobook (something different for me) called Generations at Work. I have come to understand that people are defined in particular to the era that they grew up.

I will continue to read articles, listen to podcasts, and conduct research on the generational gap in the workforce because I feel it will help me better understand how to lead and develop people in the best ways for each individual!

It has worked out so well for me currently, as the frustration that I was feeling is completely gone. I am using the findings from my reading on what each individual deems necessary to them based on the generation that they are from, for example, flexible working arrangements/hours, promotions/bonuses, the importance of computer proficiency, and my leadership style.

I suggest managers in the retail space who are looking for inspiration on tackling multiple generations to check out the audio book, Generations At Work. Also considering how many articles have shed light on this issue, I recommend checking out multiple perspectives on the topic to better help leaders understand how to push the next generation to be successful in the field.

Otis Figueira

EDGE – Your Career Pathing Guide

As a part of EDGE’s Q3 thematic of BREAKING BARRIERS, we focused on career pathing. For this interactive session we engaged the team at Human Advantage to help us find the right blend of doing what we love while achieving our professional goals.

The session kicked off with each attendee identifying their top core values, which we then leveraged to draft our own personal development plans. During this exercise we each identified our big goals, which micro goals needed to happen first, what obstacles could get in our way, how we can set ourselves up for success in reaching these goals and who we can turn to for support. We were challenged to revisit our development plan every 6 months to evaluate and adjust accordingly.

We wrapped up with an exercise on creating our own career journey during which time we asked ourselves where we want to be in two years, what qualities have gotten us to where we are today and what we each need to do to get to the next level.

The EDGE Team

Match Retail Joins Meet The People In New Business Venture

Ushering in a new beginning, Meet The People led by Tim Ringel, Natatlie Alberta Dusey and Tom Armbruster has launched with Match Retail. In addition to Match, Public Label and VSA Partners joined the fold with the initiative to put agencies in the position to succeed individually, together under one integrated platform.

CEO of Meet The People, Tim developed this with the idea of pushing for an organization that puts people first rather than stockholders. Expanding their vision for future agencies that share their entrepreneurial-mindset. 

“We’re building this from entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs,” said Ringel. “It’s for people who have the vision that the market needs a people-centric organization.”

Innovatus Capital Partners, which provides $150 million in funding to Meet The People, has hired 350 employees for the startup. The company anticipates revenues of $50 to $60 million this year and plans to double them every year for the next two years by employing 3,000 people. 

Realizing the ever-changing landscape of the corporate world, Tim knows he needs to offer people the flexibility on where they can work. Giving anyone, anywhere the tools to triumph in their role.

“Work has changed for people,” Ringel said. “People want to work from everywhere, be hired anywhere and move depending on their needs. We’re going to enable them to do that.”

At Match, Director of People & Culture Michael Cioffi, appreciates a recent milestone and is ecstatic for what this means for Match moving forward. 

“Having recently been recognized as a Great Place to Work® in Canada, I am excited to share our best practices and culture initiatives to serve our larger community,” Cioffi added. “Our mission of being a people-centric organization is magnified immensely by this evolution.”

The impending growth speaks to how Match approaches its people and business ventures. Our recent announcements of a training and development program for our client partners were a direct result of new business wins and expanded capabilities. 

“The growth is exciting our people, and it will be felt by our clients. This is truly an example of how we move differently and harness human energy to drive effective change,” said Cioffi.

This is an exciting time for the company with tremendous growth on the horizon with the ability to learn and prosper in tandem with Meet The People. Moving forward, we are in this together.

Ryan Macor Joins Match Retail as VP, Business Development for Canada

Ryan Macor has been named VP Business Development for Match Retail, a leading sales, merchandising and branded retail agency. 

In his new role, Macor will be responsible for leading growth initiatives for the agency. His primary focus will be representing the agency in Canada and unlocking new opportunities across the Canadian market, with a future goal of expanding Match Retail’s reach into the U.S. He will report to Vanessa Schnekenburger, Managing Director, Match Retail. 

“We are thrilled to have Ryan on board to help drive growth in the Canadian market,” said Schnekenburger. “He’s a proven leader and trusted client partner who is able to build strong and lasting partnerships within every level of an organization. His unstoppable energy and entrepreneurial spirit are exactly what we need to take Match Retail to the next level.”

Previously, Macor was at Toronto-based Influence Marketing where he was director of experiential and digital marketing. There he led clients like Corby Spirit and Wine, Twisted Tea, Onlia Insurance and Homedics Canada, and managed the national “Truly Canadian” tour for Moosehead Breweries that increased purchase intent by 15 percent. Macor also launched Xbox Live into Canada with a national sales and merchandising campaign. With Sony, his team of account managers carried a sales quota and were responsible for the bestselling mobile handset in Sony’s history. 

Over his 20 year career, Macor has managed teams in a variety of roles including merchandising, sales, direct to consumer, experiential and digital. Agency management is in Macor’s blood as he founded sales and experiential agency, Firsthand Marketing, in 2006. The agency worked with CPG brands on a national scale, including Telus. At Firsthand, not only was Macor credited with growing the agency over the course of 11 years to 50 full-time employees, but he also pioneered world class experiential work for clients. He was behind the Canadian launch of TELUS TV and its in-home suite of services. 

Macor’s experience also extends into the hospitality and restaurant sector. From 2012-2018, Macor was president/owner of 101 Hospitality in Vaughan, Ontario where he operated multiple food and licensed establishments in a franchise system averaging over 2.5 million in yearly sales per location. During this time he doubled sales by utilizing long term strategic planning and delivering a consistent guest experience that exceeded brand standards.  

“As we all prepare to return to normal, Match Retail is well-positioned for some big wins,” said Macor. “For all the clients we serve, we have the ability to leverage the powerful thinking our agencies were founded on, while creating a new path of innovation that builds from cultural movements.”

This next step for Ryan is something to celebrate. Match Retail gains another leader in striving for success, and the growth of our company. We are extremely thankful to have you lead us to a brighter future.

Exploring the state of in-store merchandising and modern retail

Match Retail is excited to share the latest episode of The Voice of RetailTM, a weekly podcast hosted by retail veteran Michael LeBlanc with . Check out this week’s podcast featuring our very own , Managing Director.

In this podcast, Vanessa and Michael outline Match Retails’ goal to enhance the customer experience in retail and help brands drive the conversation. As an innovative Canadian company in the retail space, our mission is to push our brands and retailers to the next level.

So please take a listen and tap into Vanessa’s experience and wisdom about the state of brick and mortar retail.