Naniss is a business executive with more than 24 years of experience in operational leadership, strategic management, and organizational development. Working across 9 countries and 3 continents, she has been passionate to accelerate the growth of some of the world’s largest brands. Naniss is a foodie who enjoys cooking traditional middle eastern dishes while exploring flavours from across the world. Prior to this role Naniss led the sales organization for Unilever Canada. She is a recipient of the Star Women in Grocery Award in 2017.
Naniss leads with purpose, her purpose is “Make the impossible, possible and inspire those around me to find the best version of themselves”.
As a Unilever veteran, Naniss is committed to make “Sustainability a common place” through making Unilever’s nutrition portfolio a Force for Good across Canada.
MODERATOR: Jo-Ann McArthur President and Founding Partner, Nourish Marketing
Jo-Ann spent her first career client-side, successfully connecting brands with consumers and retailers at Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Cadillac Fairview. As a divisional President of Molson Coors, and a member of its North America Management Board, she led the charge to sell more beer more profitably.
Now leading the agency she co-founded, Jo-Ann continues to build powerful strategies for food and beverage products in Canada, the US, and Europe. She works hands-on with the Nourish Team, guiding the creation of marketing plans that move products off shelves and into consumers’ shopping baskets and, perhaps most importantly, into their hearts.
Amal Soliman Co-Founder Nuba Tisane
Amal and daughter Gina El Katan are the co-founders of Nuba Tisane. Their company makes a “Ready To Drink” all natural Hibiscus Tisane by brewing hibiscus flowers in small batches with no preservatives, colours or concentrates. Nuba Hibiscus Tisane packed with antioxidants is a thirst quencher in hot days and can be enjoyed warm as well. The mother-daughter team takes pride in making the products in small batches, ensuring that raw materials are fresher and batches are watched closely for quality.
They are currently working out of Oakville, Ontario on expanding Nuba across Canada and beyond.
Surria Fadel Co-Founder, Cedar Valley Selections
A Mother & Son’s Dream
Kids bring in all kinds of things from the outside, like bugs, dirt, or smells. But one day, Ameen Fadel brought in something his mother, Surria, never expected—a business plan.
After sharing their family recipes with friends in the community, the demand spread for Lebanese foods using Canadian techniques and ingredients. Starting as a high school project when Ameen was only 16 years old, Cedar Valley envisions a better future for Canadian eaters—blending flavourful and family-focused foods with local ingredients, handiwork, and a touch of fun in every bite.
Today, Cedar Valley pita chips and salad dressings are enjoyed by families across Canada. A reminder that meals can be memories, too.
Gigi Gill Chief Chocolate Officer and Co-Founder
Hi, I’m Gigi, I co-founded ZoRaw with my partner Tanveer. We’re a functional chocolate manufacturer proudly based out of Canada. We officially launched in 2022 and what a journey its been!
Having experienced auto immune issues for several years, I stumbled upon the keto diet. Starting it just to lose weight, I miraculously found that one day I woke up with all of my symptoms gone. The benefits of the keto diet had such a positive impact that I’ve been on a high fat-low carb plan for years since. With my new lifestyle, the only issue I had was that I couldn’t find a good alternative for my favorite treat: chocolate.
After attending a chocolate tour in South America, I started making my own chocolate recipes at home. While not a finished product yet, I knew I had to bring this chocolate to life. I convinced Tanveer to join and starting from just our basement, we grew to having our own chocolate factory! It took a while to get there, from more than a thousand test batches, machinery break downs to entire large production batches being ruined it was a lot to get through. But in 2022, we finally launched.
Thanks to customers like you, we’ve be able to expand to stores throughout Canada and entering new stores everyday!
Lisa Sanguedolce Chief Taste Tester, Le Dolci Culinary Classroom
Owner, The Lactation Cookie Company
The LactationCompany’s is owned and operated by a team of Moms, step Moms and amazing women. The company focuses on delicious cookies for breastfeeding Mother’s. Our cookies are made with ingredients filled with vitamins, minerals and nutrients which support breastfeeding mothers in their lactation journeys.
With every purchase, we donate to support breastfeeding education in North America.
When Lisa Sanguedolce, owner of The Lactation Cookie Company & Le Dolci Bakery & Culinary Classroom in Toronto had her baby in 2018, she researched everything and anything to help her breastfeed. She found recipes for lactation cookies through her mom community but was too tired to bake them so she drove to the USA to buy them. Although this is only a two hour drive, Lisa wasn’t thinking as after one journey, her head baker said, “why don’t we make these cookies for you at the bakery?” And so it all began. Her bakery biz had a cookie baby.
With her amazing team, a delicious recipe was crafted, tested and enjoyed and she began to share it with her friends and her mom-networks created by friend and lactation consultant Catherine Pestl.
Many years before when Lisa was single and not thinking of babies or breastfeeding, Catherine told her that there was a real demand for delicious and tasty products for breastfeeding mothers. Fast forward when Lisa had her baby, she gave Catherine a call again and understood what she was talking about!
The Lactation Cookie Company’s products support busy mums who only want the best for their baby.
Cookies come in regular, vegan and gluten free varieties – we can’t wait for you to try them!
WFIM thanks our annual generous sponsors
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