WFIM invites you!
April 28th for Virtual Sustainability Summit!

Speaker Roster







de Caen














Helena Mansell-Stopher



Cher Mereweather

Minakakis, MBA












Solange Ackrill

VP of Marketing and Corporate Strategy, Club Coffee (an ofi company)

Solange Ackrill has built a reputation as a brand strategy innovator with a deep understanding of the food retailing environment, with some of the giants of the industry including Walmart, Loblaws, and Maple Leaf Foods. Solange has led teams and contributed to major strategic initiatives that have generated profitable results by anticipating and aligning effectively with rapidly-changing shifts in the market. As the VP of Marketing and Corporate Strategy, and part of the Executive Leadership team, Solange is playing a central role in focusing the company’s resources towards driving sustainable growth.

With Club Coffee’s launch of the world’s first certified 100% compostable coffee pod, Solange is helping connect consumers with the sustainable innovation they seek, while building partnerships with a diverse array of innovative coffee brands across North America. Solange also serves on various boards and committees across various industries.

Joyce Adom

Founder and Director of Simply Go Natural Cosmetics Inc.

Joyce Adom, founder and Director of Simply Go Natural Cosmetics Inc., a black woman owned organic hair and skin care manufacturing company and brand that makes organic plant -based cruelty free skin care products for severe dry skin and hair care products for different hair types and needs, specializing in curly, coily, and wavy hair care since 2016, based in Halifax, Nova scotia.

Simply Go Natural Cosmetics hair care products makes it easy for women, men, and children with curly, wavy, and coily hair embrace and maintain healthy hair, toxin free with products ranging from shampoos, conditioners, hair serums and hair butters, while their skin care helps those with severe dry, and sensitive skin achieve healthy glowing skin by using high performing organic ingredients

Simply Go Natural Cosmetics was founded after Joyce Adom struggled to find healthy high performing natural skin care products for her son that was struggling with severe eczema at 2years old, and she struggling with postpartum weight gain which led her on a healthy living journey and needed healthy alternatives but couldn’t find any in all the big stores in Halifax as a new immigrant to Nova Scotia in 2014.

Joyce started selling at the Halifax Seaport farmers market after discovering she wasn’t alone in needing natural alternatives and was determined to get her products on the big stores. Joyce Adom gained recognition for her business and hard work. In 2018, Simply Go Natural Cosmetics was discovered at the farmers market by Colleen Jones and was featured on CBC News Atlantic, in January 2023, Simply Go Natural Cosmetics became a finalist of the Halifax Chambers of Commerce Small Business of the Year 2023 awards, got featured on Eastlink Community TV series “Here, I Am “, and got featured again on CTV Morning Live on February 16 2023.

Simply Go Natural Cosmetics products are now available in 26 Sobeys across Atlantic Canada, Amazon, Walmart.com, local stores in Halifax and online at simplygonatural.com. Simply Go Natural Cosmetics is still growing and expanding into more stores across Atlantic Canada, nationwide to give the health-conscious easy access to healthier hair and skin care alternatives regardless of their location in Canada and in North America.

Susan Ainsworth

Agrologist and Owner of Stolon Glance Agronomy Ltd, Susan Ainsworth has worked in various capacities in the potato industry in Manitoba for the past 25 years. Susan received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Manitoba and is currently completing an MBA in community economic development from the Shannon School of Business at Cape Breton University with a focus on sustainability.

She is passionate about sustainable food production and regenerative agriculture, and is committed to finding solutions to the many barriers that growers face.

Huma Aslam

Huma Aslam, a subject matter expert in Fashion Innovation, is a multi-faceted, mission-driven executive and seasoned creative professional with a passion for digital strategy and a history of facilitating scalable business growth. Being adept in understanding consumer behaviors, global trends, analytics, and the international fashion industry allows Huma to be an insightful leader who can help build a successful global brand today that is future-proofed.

Huma, the Founder of FIDA, is uniquely positioned with a well-rounded career in the fashion industry coupled with a Master of Management in Innovation & Entrepreneurship degree, to help brands enter the next evolution of fashion with a digital transformation including creative & digital brand strategy, fashion innovation education, web 3.0 technologies to create digital designs, digital assets, wearables, mixed reality experiences, smart textiles & sustainable materials.

FIDA’s mission is to help connect industry players and strategize with brands on building a sustainable business rooted in socially impactful and experiential storytelling.

Rachel Bardill

Former BBC Executive, Rachel Bardill, is an industry expert in children, teens, parents, and families. She has led on digital product, app development, games, brand strategy and digital commissioning for some of the biggest media brands. Much has evolved in the digital landscape in the last twenty years, and Rachel has led with a progressive mindset to remain ahead of the curve.

“I was so impressed with the work which The Insights Family did for me and my team at the BBC, I decided that I wanted to join them! I very much looking forward to working with all members of the Advisory Board, as we work towards our mission of becoming our clients’ business critical partner”

Mary Brown

Mary Brown is an Executive Director of the Board for Sustainable Milton and their Director of Events. She joined Sustainable Milton in early 2020 after retiring from a 32 year career in the Food Industry.

She was the manager of Product Development at Morrison Lamothe, Give & Go Foods, and Furlanis Food Corporation. She has been a member and volunteer for WFIM for over 20 years.

Nathalie de Caen

Nathalie has extensive experience in marketing, event, and project management. She has been a valued asset to Ingredion since she started in 2019. Aside from her role with the Company she has helped and lead many sustainability initiatives for not only the Mississauga office, but our 3 plants in Canada as well as our global offices. In addition, Nathalie initiated a sustainability project focusing on US Industrial customers who frequently return bulk starch and cancel loads at the last minute. The goal is twofold: reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the eventual environmental, social, and financial costs.

On a personal level, Nathalie was awarded the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Award for her Community Service

Tricia Carey

Throughout her career, Tricia believes in ‘progress over perfection’. As an advocate for innovation and circularity in the textile and apparel industry, she recently joined Renewcell to accelerate the commercial development of Circulose®, making fashion circular. With a vast global network, as well as experience in brand building, storytelling, and business development, she is an invaluable partner to close the loop and optimize the benefits of Circulose®.

For more than twenty years, Tricia held various commercial management positions at Lenzing Fibers to establish the TENCEL™ brand, build mill partners and set retailer specifications. Her roles comprised marketing, Americas business development, and global denim segment expansion including the creation of the Carved in Blue platform and numerous collaborative collections with mills and brands.

Tricia holds a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising from The Fashion Institute of Technology, as well as certificates in Digital Marketing and Strategy from Cornell University and MIT.

Tricia serves as secretary of Accelerating Circularity, as well as board positions at Transformers Foundation and the Fashion Impact Fund. She was Vice Chair at Textile Exchange from 2014-2018. In 2020 she was nominated as B2B Content Marketer of the Year by Content Marketing Institute, as well as top 100 Denim Legends by WeAr Magazine. In 2019 Tricia was awarded the RIVET 50 for influential denim industry leaders. She has been a speaker at various industry events including the Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network at the United Nations, Transformers, Kingpins Show, Southern Textile Association, Texworld, Premiere Vision, Wear Conference, and more.

She lives in New York City and can be seen dashing on the Peloton leaderboard. The best way to connect with Tricia is through LinkedIn.

Robert Celik

Genecis is a Canadian biotechnology company that uses bacteria to make biodegradable polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymers from low-cost organic waste. PHAs are the most promising alternative to petroleum plastics and can replace up to 60% of non-recyclable plastics. The challenge is that PHAs are traditionally more expensive than petroleum plastics and need to be formulated correctly to be drop-in solutions for the plastics industry.

By using waste as a feedstock, the cost of production of bioplastics can be dramatically reduced. Genecis is currently integrating its waste-to-PHA technology with the StormFisher biogas plant in London, Ontario, and is developping novel market-ready PHA formulations. In 2023 Genecis is launching sustainable and fashionable consumer products to showcase the potential of PHAs.

Aarav Chavda

Aarav Chavda, co-founder of INVERSA Leathers, is on a mission to let fashion heal the planet. Aarav’s passion for scuba diving in the Florida Keys brought him face-to-face with the invasive lionfish, a species of fish introduced by human error to the Caribbean from the Indian Ocean. After learning about the destruction that invasive species wreak on the ecosystems they invade, Aarav sought to harness fashion to help the world’s ecosystems.

INVERSA Leathers removes invasive species and creates luxury, regenerative leathers to harness the incredible power of fashion and restore biodiversity in the world. INVERSA has redefined sustainability, blending luxury and regeneration to create high quality leathers that revive nature, starting with three of the biggest invasive species in the Americas, the Invasive Lionfish, Invasive Dragonfin, and Invasive Python. With INVERSA’s materials, fashion can be the hero in the planet’s sustainability and biodiversity narrative.

Before INVERSA, Aarav worked in consulting with McKinsey & Co.,where he focused on growth strategy. He graduated from Princeton University, where he studied Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, with a focus on materials science and robotics.

Sue Coueslan

VP Strategy and Partnerships

Natural Products Canada (NPC) is the driving force behind Canada’s Natural Product Innovation Cluster–a strategic and diverse community focused on the development and commercialization of naturally-derived products and technologies including sustainable agri-food, ingredients, biochemicals, bioplastics and other bioproducts.

NPC offers in-depth advice and a suite of commercialization programs to Canadian early-stage companies and research institutes; provides connections and innovation scouting services to corporations and investors; and leverages an investment fund (NPC Ventures) to help develop and de-risk promising Canadian opportunities.

As part of the executive management team, Sue leads key relationships and initiatives to support NPC’s ability to advance bio-based innovation that is better for people, animals and the planet.

Amelia Eleiter

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Debrand Services

Amelia Eleiter is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Debrand Services, the leading provider of reverse logistics solutions for apparel and footwear brands. Amelia and Co-Founder Wes Baker launched Debrand to help companies extend the life of their products — and the precious resources used to make them — as many times and ways possible.

Dedicated to educating brands and consumers on how they can take actions to reduce and prevent textile waste, Amelia is passionate about advocating tech-enabled solutions that help accelerate the circular economy. Debrand’s tech-enabled sortation process and comprehensive network of recommerce, recycling and responsible disposal partners offers unique and innovative reverse logistics solutions — helping many of North America’s top apparel and footwear brands unlock the highest-value of their products by extending the life of the products and strengthening their supply chain to prevent waste problems before they happen.

Naniss Gadel-Rab

General Manager, Nutrition, Unilever Canada

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.

James George

Ambassador for Circular Principles
Network Development
Ellen MacArthur Foundation

James is the Network Development Lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a founding member and knowledge partner of the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), which is a public-private collaboration platform and project accelerator launched out of the World Economic Forum focusing on the circular economy, Charity Commission, and we are extremely proud to have James leading this conversation within the community.

Nick Gibson

Nick loves using data to find ways to succeed in the consumer goods sector. He particularly loves brands trying to take on important issues in the world around health, sustainability and other social impact issues while still being a market leader on traditional metrics.

Nick has worked at NielsenIQ for nearly eight years on various clients (large and small), supporting them on numerous important issues from consumer insights to pricing and much more. Today, he supports mostly SMB CPG brands to help them win in a very competitive Canadian marketplace.

Stacy Grace

10+ years in sustainability, fashion, and branding. Former lead consultant at one of the world’s pre-eminent purpose brand consultancy I worked with TOMS, Timberland and VF. Post-Grad, Sustainability from Cambridge. MA from London College of Fashion. Canadian. Home-composter. Tory Burch 2019 Fellow. CAFA Sustainability Award Winner.

Stacy Grace is the founder of KENT, the compostable underwear brand that’s on a mission to help save the planet, one super natural basic at a time. A Canadian living in LA, Stacy started her career in sustainable business consulting across apparel, consumer goods and entertainment in North America, UK and Europe and started KENT after being frustrated with her underwear drawer filled with scratchy, unbreathable and uncomfortable synthetics.

Jennifer Lambert

Sustainability Director, Compass Group Canada

Jennifer Lambert is a passionate sustainability advocate dedicated to advancing social and environmental performance in the food and agriculture industry. She is currently the Director of Sustainability at Compass Group Canada, Canada’s leading Food Service and Hospitality company, serving Canadians over 250 million meals a year.

Jennifer has a Food Process Engineering degree from University of Guelph, and an MBA from York University Schulich School of Business. In her previous role, Jennifer led the Control Brand Sustainability team at Loblaw. She has participated in numerous multi-stakeholder organizations including past vice-chair of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, PAC Global advisory committee, member of the Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative, Canada Plastics Pact and the Agriculture and Agri-food Canada Sustainability Engagement Table.

Audrey Leduc

Audrey Leduc is a sustainability professional based in Chicago.

Her areas of expertise include supply chain optimization, public relations, communications, crisis management, analysis and interpretation of policy issues and legislation specifically in the environmental sector. She is passionate about addressing challenges such as workforce planning, ensuring environmental compliance and advising on community outreach.

Audrey graduated from an MBA in the UK with a focus on international business and sustainability, she has been leading the NA Planet-Friendly department at McCain for over 2 years.

Jessica Lenhart

Jessica Lenhart is the Director of Sustainability at USPA Global Licensing Inc. where she manages all aspects of the sustainability program for the global, multi-billion-dollar U.S. Polo Assn. brand. Prior to joining USPA she worked at Fair Trade USA focused on promoting sustainable livelihoods for factory workers and cotton farmers internationally. She was also on the Corporate Social Responsibility team at PVH, parent company of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, focused on driving change in their licensed business. She received her master’s degree in Sustainability Management from Columbia University and her undergraduate degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

USPA Global Licensing Inc. (USPAGL) is the for-profit subsidiary of the USPA and its exclusive worldwide licensor. USPAGL manages the global, multi-billion-dollar U.S. Polo Assn. brand and is the steward of the USPA’s intellectual properties, providing the sport with a long-term source of revenue. Through its subsidiary, Global Polo Entertainment (GPE), USPAGL also manages Global Polo TV, the world’s leading digital platform with polo and lifestyle content. In addition, USPAGL partners with ESPN and beIN Sports globally to share the sport of polo broadcasts on television and on-demand to millions of viewers around the world. For more polo content visit globalpolo.com.

Keith Loiselle

Keith is an executive, multi-disciplined leader with experience in environmentally conscience design, consumer products, global brand, marketing, online/social industry and licensing knowledge acquired over the past 20+ years. Growth and industry Hacker since conception, Mr. Loiselle is the founder of greener, an eco-consumer products company and INProduction Licensing.

Specialties include sustainability, brand & marketing, business analysis & strategy, innovation, supply chain, retail consumer products, graphic design, web development, social media content, and P&L management.

With his expert knowledge and experience, Mr. Loiselle has been working with leading licensors, and licensees both in North America and globally (including Disney, Marvel, Lucas Films, DC Comics, Nickelodeon, 20th Century Fox, NHL, Rovio, Emoji and Warner Bros. and their extensive franchise IP’s).

Mr. Loiselle’s experience and education as an owner and entrepreneur span across business sectors in education, branding, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. In this serving $13+Million in food and beverage, over $50+ Million in retail units sold globally and training and employing over 1000+ staff and students.


  • Top Young Entrepreneurs – Faces Magazine
  • 40 under Forty Award – Ottawa Business Journal / Ottawa Chamber of Commerce

Helena Mansel-Stopher

Founder & CEO

Helena, who was recently Director of Licensing at National Geographic UK has been driving sustainable change for a number of years. She has successfully completed the University of Cambridge’s course in Business Sustainability Management as well as Circular Economic Business Practices from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Jo-Ann McArthur

Jo-Ann spent her first career client-side, successfully connecting brands with consumers and retailers at Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Cadillac Fairview. Then, 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 and execution of marketing plans that move products off shelves, into consumers’ shopping baskets, and, perhaps most importantly, into their hearts. Nourish also helps bridge the gap between farmers and consumers to foster genuine conversations around sustainability.

Catharine McVitty

Catherine is the sustainability lead at Unilever Canada. With a career of over 25 years focused on environmental issues, she brings a wealth of expertise in developing and executing sustainability communications strategies.

Most recently her work has focused on telling the stories of Unilever’s journey to net zero, how Unilever is working to protect and regenerate nature, and innovations and collaborations to reduce its plastics footprint.

When not engaged in this rewarding work Catherine pursues her passion for enjoying the great outdoors, preferably on her bike.

Cher Mereweather

Managing Director, Canada Plastics Pact, Former Founder & CEO Provision Coalition Inc.

Cher is one of Canada’s leaders in food and beverage industry sustainability.

She has dedicated her 20-year career to enabling food and beverage companies to embrace sustainability, purpose and circularity in order to create a more resilient food system, one company at a time.

Before founding Provision in 2012, Cher had established and directed the Sustainability Consulting Business Unit at NSF International and held executive positions with the Canadian agri-food think tank, the George Morris Centre. She was awarded the Canadian Grocer Generation Next award for leadership in sustainability and sits on the Board of Directors for the National Zero Waste Council and Birds Canada.

After selling Provision Coalition to Anthesis to expand globally, Cher has recently joined Canada Plastics Pact as its new Managing Director, continuing her passion and commitment to help lead and Canada on a sustainable journey within this all important area to impact plastics for a better future for our planet.

George Minakakis, MBA

George is a former CEO and Country Manager with a proven track record of success in the consumer-facing space. He has spearheaded the development, turnaround, and growth of brands in Canada, USA, and China, with assignments in Europe and Australia making him a seasoned leader with a wealth of global operational and strategic experience.

Having worked for PepsiCo and Luxottica, coupled with his experience within the food service sector, retailing and healthcare has allowed him to partner with private equity firms as a CEO partner and advisor. Additionally, he serves as the Chair of a Hydro Utility.

George is frequently interviewed by the media, writes articles for trade journals, and is the author of three books: “The New Bricks & Mortar-Future Proofing Retail,” “The Great Transition-The Emergence of Unconventional Leadership,” and “The Last Retailer Standing.”

And if that’s not enough he’s also the Chair of a Community group aimed at preventing a heavy industrial business from impacting the social, health and natural environment in a community of over one thousand homes.

Fadia Naim, PhD

VP Research & Strategy Innovation – The Innuscience Group

The Innuscience Group specializes in the research and development, manufacturing and marketing of biotechnological cleaning and hygiene products for professionals and consumers. Combining innovation, technology and efficiency, we have developed over 400 proprietary formulations that are distributed in more than 40 countries.

We differentiate ourselves by our unique products, composed mainly of living microorganisms and enzymes, and renowned for their performance and their very low toxicity for the environment and the health of users (no harsh chemicals, phosphate-free, allergen free, VOC free, without carcinogens, and readily biodegradable). We have favourably positioned ourselves in the professional cleaning industry, since we offer a holistic solution that supports our customers and partners on the transition to sustainable practices.

As a company that has been driving innovation since 1992, we have constantly challenged ourselves to do better for our planet. In the past two years, we have taken our commitment to sustainability to new heights by rethinking our biotechnology and product offerings as a comprehensive package of sustainable innovations. This includes initiatives such as sustainable packaging, reducing plastic use, prioritizing local supply chains, utilizing biosourced ingredients whenever feasible, and continuing our rigorous selection and assessment of ingredients for their minimal impact on the environment and health. Our dedication to sustainable practices has been a core principle of our business for over three decades, and we are proud to continue leading the way towards a greener future.

Jess Newman

Senior Director of Agriculture and Sustainability, McCain Foods

Jess Newman is the Senior Director of Agriculture & Sustainability at McCain Foods, the world’s largest manufacturer of frozen potato products and appetizers. Her team of agronomists and field representatives are responsible for all the sweet potatoes, peppers, onions, zucchini, and other vegetables purchased directly from farmers. They also implement McCain’s 2025 sustainability goals related to agriculture: 50% of farmers implementing regenerative practices, 25% reduction in farming CO2 emissions intensity, 15% improvement in irrigation water use efficiency in water-stressed regions, and the launch of three Farms of the Future.

Jess works remotely from her home state of Michigan and travels frequently to support her team (when covid allows).

Jess has worked at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Ecologic Institute, New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Booz & Company, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and Anheuser-Busch. She holds a B.A. from Harvard, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. She is passionate about working with farmers, baking, and sci-fi/fantasy.

Robyn O’Brien

Robyn O’Brien has a track record for creating change and large movements. She is a trailblazer in food and finance. Bloomberg and the New York Times call Robyn “Food’s Erin Brockovich.” Her 2009 book The Unhealthy Truth exposed the complex issues that exist in our food system.

Robyn now draws on her 20 years of experience in finance and food systems advocacy to solve these issues, often saying, “You can’t fix a broken food system with a broken financial system.” She first created the AllergyKids Foundation, then Random House published her book The Unhealthy Truth. She delivered a groundbreaking Ted Talk and shifted into impact investing and is co-founder of rePlant Capital and more recently co-founding Sirona Ventures, financial services firm focused on climate solutions.

She is also a mother of four who is named after a farmer.

Cameron Ogilvie

Cameron Ogilvie is a Soil Health Educator in Canada with the Soil Health Institute, a global non-profit with a mission of safeguarding and enhancing the vitality and productivity of soils through scientific research and advancement. Cameron develops and leads soil health education programs for farmers and agronomists as they work to implement profitable, resilient, and regenerative soil health management systems.

He previously served as the Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator for Soils at Guelph – a University of Guelph initiative to mobilize soil research and bridge gaps among farmers, researchers, and the public. Cameron received a B.Sc. in Agricultural Science and an M.Sc. in Cropping Systems & Agronomy from the University of Guelph, where he studied the on-farm impacts of cover crops on water and nutrient cycling.

Ivo Petroff

Ivo Petroff is a proactive leader on the Walmart Canada Category Management

He is a consummate Sustainability Advocate and a forward thinker.

His passion about Global retail, new market entries, status quo disruption, provides a unique retailer perspective for supplier to tap into key emerging trends, market and category.

He has extension experience in category management including –

  • Currently Walmart Canada Grocery Category management since 2016
  • Previously Lidl USA market entry / Lidl Germany (2015-2016)
  • Target Canada launch Fresh, Starbucks, FS (2012-2015)
  • Lagardere Services Travel Retail Canada & US (2009-2012)
  • Kaufland Bulgaria, Germany, Croatia – in various merchandising roles (2003-2009)

Casey Plasker

Casey Plasker is the US Associate at Circle Economy and founder at Circularly PBC, a corporate sustainability and circular economy consulting firm based in Hudson Valley.

Casey has a clear focus on helping unlock triple bottom line impact in a way that gets team members excited, engaged, and aligned. She has 10 years of experience helping businesses problem solve and implement sustainable and circular business solutions. This includes creating and executing plans to reduce scope 3 impacts, creating comprehensive circularity and impact strategies, Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories, achieving B Corporation Certifications (B Corp), GRI Reporting, and building global giving efforts—enabling access to renewable energy for over 80,000 individuals globally.

Casey holds a Masters Degree in Sustainability Management from Columbia University in New York City. She envisions a world where businesses positively impact the planet—and believe we all must work together to achieve this outcome.

Gary Pope

Gary began his career as a school teacher and led an English Department before becoming a learning designer for a change management consultancy. A strange internal comms project for Disney led Gary back to children and to launch Kids Industries.

KI solves problems, develops strategies, ideas and products as well as creating content for clients that include Disney, Nord Anglia Education, Pokémon and the BBC. As the only cross-discipline agency that specialises in the family market on the planet, KI uses deep audience insight and 20 years of experience to make children happy, parents satisfied and brands stronger.

Gary has led the design of the multi award winning subscription product for WWF, built Peppa Pig’s digital presence globally and led the creation and operationalization of two entire x-platform TV children’s channels for Al Jazeera. Gary developed the first HFSS compliant cereal for Kellogg and the Aquafresh range of children’s toothpastes. Gary leads the KI team that drives the sustainable future of the Happy Meal for McDonald’s and is responsible for the redevelopment of Royal Caribbean’s family offering from insight to execution – including the redesign of the fleet.

Gary’s commitment to a sustainable future for families is demonstrated through his position as Children’s Ambassador for the Products of Change Group where he advocates for children. Gary is a member of the advisory committee for The Children’s Media Conference, a Patron of the Children’s Media Foundation, a guest lecturer at multiple academic institutions including Oxford and Bauhaus universities, a regular keynote speaker at conferences around the world and a regular industry writer and commentator in mainstream titles Gary is the recipient of multiple awards for marketing, content creation and strategy including a BAFTA, two IPA Strategy Awards and a Webby.

In 2022 Gary was voted the most Influential Person in Licensing by Licensing International and is a Member of the LI UK Council.

Gary is dad to Daisy and Laurence (and Lucky) and collects Star Wars UCS LEGO. Gary maintains his interest in education as a school governor.

Ashwin Ramesh

Chemical Engineer turned Brand Builder turned ESG Leader.

Currently leading Sustainability & Brand Impact Strategy for McDonald’s Canada.

Previous experience in leading brand management & operations at Procter & Gamble for brands like Tide, Gain, Ivory Snow & Bounce

My personal goal is to live a life well-lived – I define that as one with meaningful & sustained impact that improves the lives of people & the health of this planet.

Brenda Seto

Board Director, WFIM;
Products of Change Board Ambassador – Canada & N. America
Independent Marketing & Licensing Consultant with Sustainability DEI Lens

Brenda Seto is an avid Board Director of WFIM, leading Marketing, Corporate & Event Strategy Development & Implementation. She joined WFIM in 2013 and continues to be a compassionate leader who utilizes her skills and experience to build and grow WFIM and further help support, develop & connect women (and men) in food & related industries to be the “best at the table”. She embodies the values of WFIM personally and professionally: to continue to learn and connect others, to support, give back / pay it forward and help others thrive. Most recently, Brenda has led the organization to pivot during the pandemic so the core values important to WFIM’s member community continue even in the current virtual environment.

Brenda has 25+ years of experience as a sought-after business executive with a blend of corporate and entrepreneurial skills, working closely with a variety of clients and companies in multiple markets, categories and channels. Brenda has a track record in Brand, Product and Licensing globally, having worked with the top studios globally including Disney/Marvel/Lucasfilm, Warner Bros., Mattel, MGAE, Emoji, Rovio, Sony, Viacom / Nickelodeon, Vancouver Olympics, NHL to name a few. She has been known to be in tune with emerging trends, strategically on point while pragmatically and tactically able to connect the dots to activate plans & programs with teams on time & budget for commercial success.

Brenda’s Marketing and Licensing leadership has helped her companies win numerous awards, including Licensee of the Year for Disney North America, Licensee of the Year for Mattel Canada, Best Promotional Partner for HiT and Best Product Innovation from AC Moore. Her clients benefit from her skills, experience, connections and relationships over the years, whether to solve short-term issues while aligning solutions to long-term goals.

Mike Swain

B.Sc.(Hons.), FIMMM, APkgPrf, MInstPkg(Dip)

Independent packaging consultant specialising in sustainable packaging innovation and development. Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and Leadership Team member of the IOM3 Packaging Group. An accredited packaging professional who is passionate about packaging, the circular economy and driving forward both the professional and academic activities for packaging.

Currently the Managing Director of Pack IDS Ltd, an independent packaging consultancy with a global client base, founded in 2017. 30 years experience in packaging Innovation, R&D, Marketing and Manufacturing for international and global branded packaged consumer goods companies, such as P&G, Unilever, Diageo, Tata and Britvic and a track record of consistent delivery of commercially successful, award winning products. A member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining since 1987, elected a Fellow in 2016 and Exec Board member of the IOM3 Packaging Group since 2020. Industry award winner and a published author of blogs and periodicals, with several patents pending and numerous original creative designs. Involved with biotechnology start-ups, academic research and a visiting lecturer in packaging.

Paul Tasner

Paul Tasner, Co-founder and CEO of PulpWorks has more than 40 years of supply chain experience. He has held leadership positions in ventures ranging from start-up to Fortune 100. For the past two decades, his focus has been on supply chain sustainability.

Founded in 2011, PulpWorks uses paper and agricultural waste to mold compostable and recyclable packaging for consumer goods and thereby diminish the plastic waste polluting our landfills, waterways and oceans.

PulpWorks and Paul have been the recipients of more than 20 awards and the subject of more than 80 stories in the media.

Paul’s TED Talk on sustainability, entrepreneurism and ageism has been seen by more than 2.5 million viewers and translated into 32 languages.

Paul holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, an M.S. in Mathematics from New York University Tandon School of Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Boston University.