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.

Beyond Binary with Michal Duffy

In support of Pride Month, our Diversity & Inclusion Committee welcomed a guest speaker from Out Boulder County (OBC) – the area’s LGBTQ advocacy and community center.

Michal Duffy, Out Boulder County’s Education & Program Manager shared a presentation called Beyond Binary: LGBTQ Concepts & Etiquette. During this session, we had the opportunity to learn and discuss the differences and relationships between sex assigned at birth, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation. Michal also covered appropriate language, pronouns, effective allyship in both professional and personal settings, and provided a welcoming forum for any questions our team had.

Michal oversees OBC’s programs and leads their education and advocacy efforts. Michal also works with OBC’s Trans Steering & Events Committee and serves on various working groups in the county including the Boulder Chamber’s Community Affairs Council, Longmont Multicultural Action Committee, and El Centro AMISTAD’s Board of Directors. Our team was very grateful for the opportunity to learn from their over 15 years of engagement in the LGBTQ+ community.

Understanding and awareness is part of creating a more welcoming work environment, and Beyond Binary was a great opportunity to deepen our knowledge and prepare ourselves to be better allies.

Diversity & Inclusion Committee

EDGE – Emotional Intelligence

With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, the EDGE team welcomed BlueEQ™ keynote speaker Dr. Bruce Jackson to introduce & discuss Emotional Intelligence (EQ).

During the workshop we learned that Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions as well as the emotions of others. Learning these skills enable us to harness our reactions and apply better strategies to tasks like thinking, problem solving, and technical work. They also enable us to be aware of the emotions of others and to become aligned with them to accomplish complex tasks. High emotional intelligence empowers us all to influence others to achieve superior levels of business impact.

Some key takeaways included:
• There are 2 sides to developing yourself as a leader: The job itself (technical) and you as a leader/performer (human factors)
• The smartest people are often not the best performers and leaders—that “what” you know is
only as good as “who” you are
• The core 5 skills: Self-Awareness, Self-Regard, Self-Control, Social Perception, and Social Effectiveness
• EQ skills increase Psychological Safety which increase career and business success
• We need to keep in mind our own personal strategies for managing: Impulse Control, Motivation, Stress Tolerance, Mindfulness, Resilience and Emotional Stability
• Remember the value of a ‘Strategic Pause’ and how taking a few seconds or minutes can help us make better and more informed decisions
• Red zone workplaces produce low Psychological Safety and Blue Zones produce high levels
• Culture is the extension of us all as individuals. We need to start with ourselves and be intentional about being in the blue zone!

This workshop proved to be a valuable introduction to exploring new principles, mindsets, and strategies that can be used to up our game as leaders, both on the job or at home, wherever we lead and serve.

The EDGE Team

Our World, My Wow!

Communication teams around the world have had to rework their strategy since the unwelcoming presence of COVID-19. WOW! mobile boutique is no different. With the shutdown of our office over a year ago and minimal in person field visits to our 83 locations across Canada, we needed to find a new way to bring our sense of WOW! brand and community back to our sales floor. To do this, we brought in the “Experts” to discuss Associate mindshare; our people.

Early in 2021, our Communications and Marketing team connected with Managers across Districts to discuss how 2020 went from a support perspective and took the time to get feedback on what we could do better.  Out of the three major buckets, one stood out the most, which was having one source of truth for business news and updates. In a pre-COVID world, we connected with our people via email and WhatsApp notifications.  This worked because it was coupled with an in-person meeting to ask questions and provide additional communication on the sales floor.  With the in-person experience gone, our people were asking us for a new way to engage with the Support Team.  With that in mind, our team thought “out of the box” and created our internal site, My WOW!

 

“Our mission was to create an online user experience for our people as both the one source of truth and a place of community in our new world.”

My WOW! was created with passion and through the perspective of our associates in order to bring a user experience that was taken away from them.  Our mission was to create an online user experience for our people as both the one source of truth and a place of community in our new world. With its Phase One launch in April, we saw adoption to the site instantly with over 200 associates going into the site every single day! Feedback we have received since its launch has been consistently positive. Associates feel more connected to the Support Team and have a better sense of understanding the “why” behind what we do.  Transparency is the key to creating a positive user experience, and My WOW! nurtures the environment for transparency to thrive.

This also brought a new level of data analysis our business never had before. With the analytics built into the dashboard, we are now able to see how long an associate stays on the site, where they navigate to, and how often they are logging in. We are now able to export the data to take a deep dive into how we can improve areas of our communications on the site. For example, we have built new areas on the site from this data for different functional teams. Our inventory management team now has dedicated area to show backordered, end of life, or allocated products.  This allows preparation to pivot to other products on the sales floor.  We have also integrated our New Hire Training program on the site, titled WOW 101.  New associates become familiar with the site, use it during training and look at it again in the future if needed. Productivity increases by giving our people more time to learn outside of their scheduled shifts. In time, this will allow people to learn at their own pace once the mandatory training is complete.

At WOW! mobile boutique, we look forward to continuing our growth on the site to provide a truly unique experience for our audience.  My WOW! will continue to grow with our people, our business and our brand in order to foster an authentic community in our new world.

Jennifer Barr, Pricing & Communications Manager, Match Retail

 

 

 

EDGE – Personal Branding

EDGE wrapped up the Q1 theme ‘Change’ and entered into Q2 focusing on employees and their wellbeing. Our theme for Q2 is ‘Getting Personal’.

EDGE introduced the theme in April through a cohort discussion on Personal Branding. We wanted employees to recognize themselves and define their brand. Some interesting discussion points were.

  • Identifying your mission statement?
  • Visual representation of your brand? (e.g., logos, websites, typeface)
  • List of offerings?
  • The tone of your brand?
  • Your tagline?

EDGE wrapped up April with a presentation on Personal Branding. The goal was for employees to recognize each other’s strengths and focus on those rather than wasting time on the things each person may not succeed in. The presentation opened up with some icebreakers that allowed for employees to share stories or their past, views on personal beliefs, and the things they are most passionate about. We then asked each employee to share stories about what made them awkward as a kid. The goal of this exercise was to show each employee that the things that made them awkward as a kid are the things that now separate them from the rest.

In another exercise, we asked employees to interview their colleagues to understand what an ideal work environment would look like for them. They were asked to provide an example of a time they worked on a project with different teams successfully and what made it a successful project. We wanted them to identify the behaviors that would make such an environment an everyday thing for them. Through this exercise, we were able to identify each other’s strengths, values that define us and know our colleagues better.

At the end of the session, each employee walked away with their brand house and a greater understanding of their peers. We see so many materialistic brands every day that we often forget to give our own brand a thought. It is time you identify your uniqueness and celebrate it just like we did at EDGE!

The EDGE Team