CampFire Sessions

What is a campfire session?

Campfire Sessions are a mix of a more traditional presentation and a discussion group. The session will start with one or two leaders presenting an idea or concept to the group, and sharing their experiences. After 15 minutes, the focus will shift to the audience as the presenter turns into a facilitator. They will invite insights and comments from the group in an effort to learn from others’ experiences and expertise.


Session 1

The Talent is Right in Front of you! How to Build the Next Generation of Canadian Talent

Location: Adriatic Room

This session will focus on hiring for potential, including ways companies are reaching students and universities not traditionally included in the tech sector discussions through targeted hiring programs.

Brittany Forsyth, SVP of HR at Shopify, shares the Shopify strategy for growing and accelerating talent internally and investing in the next generation through first-of-their-kind partnerships with universities.

Rahim Fazal, Founder and CEO at SVAcademy, shares his story of entrepreneurship as he built a company to help high-potential individuals from underrepresented talent pools build careers in Silicon Valley.

Co-led by: Brittany Forsyth (SVP of Human Relations, Shopify) & Rahim Fazal (Co-Founder & CEO, SVAcademy)

Hosted by: Yen Lee (Former Chief Growth Officer, Ebates)


Session 2

Are Distributed Teams and Offices the Future?

Location: Gateway Room

With talent scattered across the U.S., Canada, and further afield internationally, is it necessary for companies to plant offices in multiple cities?

Ashira Gobrin, SVP People & Culture at Wave will share the considerations for both strategies: staying local or going global.

Leveraging her personal experience with both strategies, she will share Wave’s story of choosing to remain a "Canadian" company based in Toronto and she will discuss her previous experience at Vision Critical as SVP Global Operations leading the strategy and implementation for globals teams in over 16 locations. She will give you the 4 angles to consider in this choice and help you build a framework to find the right strategy for your company.

Led by: Ashira Gobrin (SVP People & Culture, Wave)

Hosted by: Salima Ladha (Head of Talent and People, iNovia Capital)


Session 3

Cultivating a High-end Enterprise Sales Team that Competes with the Giants

Location: Gateway Room

Lessons learned from increasing revenue ten fold in under a year by refocusing a team on big deals. Oleg Rogynskyy, CEO & Founder of people.ai, shares his story of spinning up a world-class enterprise sales function as a startup and finding their stride.

Led by: Oleg Rogynskyy (CEO & Founder, people.ai)


Session 4

Going North: Considerations when opening a Canadian office

Location: Adriatic Room

Whether a patriotic endeavor or just good business, why opening an office in Canada makes sense. This session will focus on many of the facets of opening a Canadian office including immigration policy concerns.

Learn from Nilam Ganenthiran, Chief Business Officer at Instacart who is leading the charge to expand Instacart’s footprint in Canada by opening a tech hub in Toronto. Irfhan Rawji, Founder & CEO of Canadian start-up MobSquad, will share how to efficiently open a “virtual” Canadian subsidiary, enabling your firm to gain the advantages of being in Canada, including front of the line access to the Canadian immigration system, without the complications, hassle and fixed costs.

Co-Led by: Nilam Ganenthiran (Chief Business Officer, Instacart) & Irfhan Rawji (Founder & CEO of MobSquad)

Hosted by: Philippe Marinier