Vicky Milner is a distinguished entrepreneur with extensive experience in an array of industries including fashion retail, music, entertainment, and nonprofit management. An avid philanthropist with over 10 years experience in the event business; Vicky has founded and executed many large-scale events for notable brands, including Universal Music Group and the Herbie Fund. Vicky’s strong business acumen, passionate outlook on the fashion industry, and belief in celebrating Canada and its amazing talent makes her an exceptional leader for CAFA.
Brittney Kuczynski is a dedicated philanthropists, capital markets professional, and business of fashion enthusiast. She began her career in the investment business working at Summerhill Capital Management, a well-respected asset management firm specializing in global equities; and subsequently moved to the sell-side where she spent 3 years working in Institutional Equity Sales and Trading, covering all sectors of the Canadian equity markets. Currently, Brittney works at an Executive-level position at the Bank of New York Mellon in Corporate Trust. In 2009, Brittney published her first non-profit fashion and philanthropy magazine, which served as the Founding of The Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards. Currently, Brittney serves as the President and Publisher of Canadian Fabric, an annually-distributed fashion and cultural magazine, and has played leadership roles in some of Toronto’s premier events in support of The Herbie Fund, Oolagen Youth Mental Health, The Toronto Public Library Foundation; and currently leads Le Grand Bal in support of The Covenant House.
Susan Hart is a brand strategist and communications professional with 20+ years experience in consumer and B2B brand and business development. A staunch advocate of Canadian culture, Susan’s admiration and respect for the Canadian fashion community began in earnest while volunteering as managing editor of a non-profit fashion magazine - and the industry continues to inspire her. Susan spent the early years of her career at a boutique branding and design agency before teaming up with a Canadian entrepreneur who was launching a prestige cosmetics line. As Managing Director of Cargo Cosmetics, Susan helped build a multimillion-dollar brand before departing the company to focus on consulting. Over the past decade, Susan has worked with numerous entrepreneurs and SMEs to help clarify, strengthen and promote their brands, and specializes in the creation and communication of branded service models and processes.
Brandon Milner Director of Technology
A passionate professional of digital technologies with proven achievements in managing complex project developments and a record of delivering business excellence and transformation across a variety of industry sectors over the last 17 years.
Committed to sourcing innovative ways to integrate digital technologies into product and campaigns in order to realize increased profitability for clients. I have been developing and working within the mobile and digital arena for over 10 years and my passion for this is unchanging.
Proven record of building global teams across multiple disciplines and locations with 15 years’ experience in Human Factors, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), usability, requirement analysis, process re-engineering, usability testing, task analysis, and field research.
Qasim Mohammad Innovation Advisor
Qasim is a Toronto based venture capitalist, and a member of the investment team at OMERS Ventures. His focus is on the consumer Internet and software sectors.
Prior to joining OMERS Ventures, Qasim was a member of the operations team at Pivotal Software, where he worked directly with startups and Fortune 500 businesses on their strategic mobile app development, PaaS, and big-data initiatives. He has also dabbled in his own entrepreneurial ventures, and is the recipient of the Wes Nicol Award for Entrepreneurship for a digital fashion marketplace.
Qasim's thoughts on emerging technological trends and entrepreneurship can be found in such publications as The Globe and Mail, TechCrunch, and The Business of Fashion.
Power of Privé (POP) – Vanessa Mulroney & Jane Hanrahan Directors of Brand & Strategy Development
Power of Privé (POP) is a Toronto-based brand-positioning consultancy, which launched in 2012. Founded by Vanessa Mulroney and Jane Hanrahan, whom have a combined 20 years’ experience in the British fashion industry, POP is built on the strength of industry know-how and international connections. Prior to founding POP, Vanessa enjoyed a lengthy career with Condé Nast publications, first as retail editor at Condé Nast Traveller magazine, followed by 8 years in the role of executive retail editor at Tatler. As editor, stylist, and brand liaison, Vanessa was the perfect intermediary between brands and consumers. Upon relocating to Toronto in 2009, she worked at Holt Renfrew in roles that include customer development consultant and more recently, social liaison. In 2005, Jane was approached to set up the UK office of US brand-management agency Starworks. As founder and partner, she built a team that successfully delivered integrated solutions across VIP services, public relations, licensing, events and creative digital content. For five years, Jane provided brands with services ranging from casting celebrity talent for campaigns to event production. Prior to this, Jane spent 4 years as international PR and VIP relations manager at Jimmy Choo.
Corey Mandell Event Producer
Corey Mandell is the president and CEO of Mandell Entertainment Group, one of Canada’s leading integrated event management, live entertainment, and hospitality companies, specializing in managing and operating venues, restaurants, and live entertainment services for corporate, private, and public events. In 1999, he re-defined the event business by transforming two historic movie theatres, the Capitol Theatre and the York Theatre, into the Capitol and York Event Theatres. Corey continues to expand his innovative live entertainment services to large scale events such as the Bell Celebrity Gala, Pencer Brain Trust, David Foster Miracle Gala and Mount Sinai Hospital Gala.
Deborah Lau-Yu Director of Graphic Arts
Deborah Lau-Yu is a passionate storyteller and award-winning graphic designer. She holds a Masters of Design (MDes) and is the founder & art director of PALETTERA Custom Correspondences, a boutique design firm & production studio specializing in luxury event invitations and identity design, servicing an exceptional global clientele. Deborah’s passion for establishing Canadian cultural sovereignty in design & art has led her team to create iconic designs for many great events: the David Foster Miracle Gala, the launch of the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards, Toronto Fashion Incubator’s 25th Gala, Ford Lincoln’s MKZ launch, Bayer’s 150th anniversary, and Suzanne Rogers Presents
Donna Bishop Director of Programming and Development
Donna Bishop is an accomplished entrepreneur, dedicated consumer and producer of engaging content, and passionate advocate for the fashion industry. Her background spans the fashion, beauty and media industries. In 2009 she founded Green Beauty, Canada’s first online boutique dedicated to skincare and cosmetics that were made with natural ingredients yet had the performance of professional products. She has been featured as a expert in beauty or entrepreneurship in numerous media outlets including: The Marilyn Denis Show, E! Canada, Best Health Magazine, NOW Magazine, Green Heroes (TVO), Coming Clean (Smithsonian Channel), Cosmo TV, The Globe and Mail, InStyle Magazine, The MomShift (Random House) and numerous blogs. In 2010 Donna founded and was executive editor of Bamboo Magazine. She is also a trained focus group facilitator, is a board member of the Toronto Chapter of Fashion Group International and holds a BA from Queens University in Film Studies and Art History.
Lisa Kisber Director of Digital Content and Style Correspondent
While Lisa Kisber’s career started in law (she has dual law degrees from McGill University) her love of fashion, marketing and content has come to the forefront with a focus on digital content, journalism and branding.
Lisa has a passion and an acumen for all things related to content and digital marketing, having worked with national and international clients like the FDCC, tiff, Boxycharm, GLOSSYBOX, Marcelle, Annabelle, Boxing Fan Expo, Liquid Nutrition and more. She has also recently taught digital marketing at Seneca College.
She has appeared regularly as a style and beauty expert on television and radio, such as E! Talk, Rogers Daytime, The Shopping Channel, and Virgin Radio Toronto. She has written for major publications, such as the Toronto Star, Men’s Health and Maxim, and created extensive digital content for clients like Le Chateau and Askmen. She appears monthly as the Style and Beauty Correspondent for Global Montreal and has a weekly on-air segment as the Style Expert on Virgin Radio.