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.

Make it Loud for Mental Health

Match Retail is going to Make it Loud for Mental Health during the month of September by challenging each other to track their KMs while walking, biking, or running! Make it Loud is a passion project hosted by Delaney Brough, Account Manager at Public Label.

“I’m so thankful for my amazing team and their support and commitment for mental health awareness in the workplace.”

1 in 5 Canadians will experience mental illness during their lifetime. Their experience and pain will also impact their families, friends and colleagues. Mental health affects us all.

Worldwide, more than 70% of people with a mental illness do not seek help.

These are shocking statistics. And COVID has increased challenges for anxiety, depression, and isolation to even higher levels.

In March of 2018, I hosted a fundraiser event for CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), to support awareness and access to mental health services in Canada. Through the month I asked people to share their stories on social media as we raised funds for the charity. I rented space at the Oakville Golf Club for a final evening event, and we had a great night with food, drinks, and raffles.  noise was our team’s name for the event.

In just a few short weeks we raised over $5,000 and I developed a deeper appreciation for just how important awareness is. So many people are just not okay.

4 years have passed and we are still making noise, talking about mental health and self love. Through social media, events and participating in other local projects we are working together to build awareness to eliminate the stigma around mental illness.

Through our social medial channel, we have encouraged people to write about personal challenges faced and overcome and shared those blogs in the hope that even one reader may feel less alone.

I have been overwhelmed by the bravery of those willing to share their stories and open up their pain to build a path for someone else. Along this journey, I’ve learned that so many of us are impacted by a mental health challenge – either your own, a family member, or friend. By talking about this more openly, together we can end the stigma that prevents so many from seeking help, or acknowledging their struggles.

Our September “Make it Loud” Walk has become one of our main community events. September is also Suicide Prevention month.

In 2019, we held our first 5K walk – September 22nd in Milton, ON. Over 80 participants joined the 5K walk and we were so proud to see the excitement and enthusiasm from everyone who participated to make the day a success.  Through fundraising efforts leading up to the big day, we collectively raised almost $4,000 for CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association). Funds raised were used to support more than 100 hours of free counseling services.

In 2020, COVID restrictions challenged us to do something different. Instead of a single day event, we put together a self-directed fitness challenge for the month of September using the Nike Run Club App. Participants tracked their fitness progress under the group challenge of 300 KM for the month by walking, biking or running. Over 150 participants joined, and 3 participants even hit the intense goal for the month! Collectively we raised almost $9,500 for CMHA. Nearly double our goal!

This year, I’m hosting the month-long challenge & fundraiser again. My goal is to double our number of participants and to raise $10,000 for CMHA for counselling services.

With our current work from home culture, it is important for all of us to remember to take a break. Get outside. Exercise. Physical activity can have a profoundly positive impact on our mental state. Regular exercise relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better and boosts your overall mood.

And the App allows you toss in some healthy competition as you try to stay ahead of others on the team.     I was surprised by how much of a positive motivator this was for me last year!

Thank you to Match Retail for joining the challenge this year! I’m excited for some friendly competition amongst team members, and the opportunity to continue positive conversations about mental health in the workplace and show support for each other, and our communities.  

Be well. Be kind. And have fun getting active along the way!

Delaney Brough, Account Manager at Public Label

Match Retail Certified as a Great Place to Work® in Canada

Recognition is a testament to Match Retail’s commitment to culture and people-first approach

Leading sales, merchandising and branded retail agency Match Retail is proud to announce that it has been recognized as a Great Place to Work® in Canada. 

The agency received this certification after a thorough and independent analysis conducted by Great Place to Work® Institute Canada. Certification is based on direct feedback from Match Retail employees, as part of an extensive and anonymous survey on corporate culture and the workplace experience, which received a 78% participation rate from employees. 

“This recognition is for all of us at Match Retail to celebrate,” said Vanessa Schnekenburger, Managing Director, Match Retail. “We truly believe that we have the best employees and we are committed to continuing to put our people first.”

Nancy Fonseca, Senior Vice President of Great Place to Work® Canada, says that a great workplace is about the level of trust that employees experience in their leaders, the level of pride they have in their jobs, and the extent to which they enjoy their colleagues. “Our data shows that great workplaces benefit from stronger financial performance, reduced turnover, and better customer satisfaction than their peers. What’s more, work environments with trust at the foundation are ripe for innovation, agility, resilience and efficiency,” Fonseca said. 

The recognition comes at a time of significant growth for Match Retail, driven by new business wins and expanded capabilities, including an exciting training and development offering that was recently unveiled for client partners. 

Schnekenburger added: “Certification is just the first step towards understanding how our employee experience stacks up to the best companies. We will use the results and employee feedback to keep improving our agency and implementing initiatives that will inspire our people and grow our culture even further.”

This achievement couldn’t be possible without our incredible team who share in this exciting news. Thank you to our team for all that you do everyday and for your dedication in working together!

EDGE – Healthy, Wealthy Money Conversations

EDGE’s theme for Q2 was ‘Getting Personal’, with June focusing on our employees’ wellbeing on the personal finance management front.

We wrapped up the quarter with a workshop led by Jenn Uhen of the Pledgettes, where she, as our “financial mentor,” did a fantastic job of guiding us through “healthy, wealthy money conversations.”

The session began with Jenn talking about… an onion (!) and how this otherwise mundane vegetable is an apt analogy for the topic at hand; money conversations have many layers and it takes time and diligence to peel back each one. The illustration helped frame the rest of the workshop as we delved into the different “top layers” of Money Talks 101. Jenn then presented her top tips on establishing a “safe place” to talk about money and asked great conversation starter questions that helped us jump into enriching money talks with our peers. First, from lunch money shenanigans to allowance rules, we all had the chance to reminisce on our earliest memories of dealing with money and how they shaped our ideas and perceptions of it.

We are also thankful for our very own Doug Fischer, who poignantly shared his own financial experiences and learnings gained when he had to help manage the estate of a parent who passed away. Within our groups, we continued to share and discuss our current financial goals and what retirement would look like for each. The latter helped open the subject of retirement savings programs made available through our company and the unique benefits of leveraging these financial tools.

As we move into Q3’s theme of Career Development, we are looking forward to continued conversations with our peers as we learn more about money, personal finance, and wealth building in future Money Talks with Jenn Uhen in September. Stay tuned for further details!

The EDGE Team

Meet The Team: Randy Timbol

Our “Meet the Team” series introduces you to members of the Match team and gives insight to what it means to be a part of such an incredible culture at Match.

We caught up with Randy Timbol.

What do you do at Match?
Today, I serve as WOW! mobile’s National Training Manager; I joined Match Retail back in March 2014 when I was among the founding Store Managers opening the first WOW! mobile kiosks across Canada, mine being our Fairview Pointe-Claire location in Montreal, Quebec.

What do you like the most about Match?
Easy! Match Retail is a “People First” company. I learned early on how a value statement like this comes to life when a company continually invests in, coaches, equips, and empowers their people.

Tips for anyone looking to get into your line of work?
If you have a desire to help others, that is the key ingredient to start. Be a student of people; learn how to connect with others by conversing with others cultures and other points of view. Study, read, listen, and speak to others then, repeat, repeat, repeat! Training others effectively, like any skill, takes time and repetition so be patient and disciplined with yourself.

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.