Andy is the past President of Montreal’s renowned Just for Laughs Festival. A committed entrepreneur, he was one of the founding partners of Airborne Mobile. He is currently Founder and President of Play the Future, a Montreal-based start up. Andy lectures on Marketing at McGill University, and is frequently invited to speak on creativity and entrepreneurship.
Bertrand is chairman and senior partner at commercial creativity firm Sid Lee. A trained economist, Bertrand earned an MBA from McGill University in 1990. Shortly after, he joined Mercer Management Consulting as a strategic consultant where he worked on introducing relationship-marketing strategies to Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Bertrand’s extensive experience and expertise in strategic and creative marketing has benefited such top-tier brands as adidas, Red Bull, Cirque du Soleil, Dom Perignon, Carlsberg Brewery, Volkswagen and Dell.
A pioneer in his field, Bertrand is frequently invited to speak at conferences and events on the topics of management, creativity, and the future of marketing and communications. He also sits on the board of directors for the ONE DROP Foundation, an initiative of Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté dedicated to ensuring everyone on the planet has access to clean water.
In 2009, Bertrand wrote the best-selling business book Conversation Capital: How to Create Stuff People Love to Talk About with Tony Babinski and Eric Alper. It sold more than 20,000 copies worldwide. Published by Financial Times Press in 2009, the book outlines Bertrand’s strategic approach that stresses the importance of creating rich consumption experiences to ensure brand success. For him, communication begins with the product, and each interaction with the consumer is a prime opportunity to generate word of mouth. Sid Lee adopted the foundations of this approach and is now a leader in experiential design and communications.
Lesley is Fine Dining Critic and a Food Columnist for the Montreal Gazette. She also appears on French and English language radio in Montreal to speak about restaurants and the food industry. A trained chef and educator, she is a passionate advocate for fine dining.
Aaron is one of English Montreal’s most respected broadcasters. He has worked across the dial for over 35 years, beginning at CKGM as a Sport Reporter, and eventually hosting an acclaimed program at 92.5 FM before taking on his current role as host of CJAD’s afternoon drive show. Aaron has mastered the radio form, moving from humor to hard news with ease. He is a recipient of the Peter Gzowski award for radio journalism.
Eric is currently VP Marketing at Montreal online fashion retailer Frank & Oak. A true wunderkind, Eric began his career before completing his Commerce degree at McGill University, as a Brand Strategist at Sid Lee. With Sid Lee, Eric traveled the world on behalf of such clients as adidas, Red Bull, Dell, and Absolute. With Bertrand Cesvet and Tony Babinski, he is co-author of Conversational Capital.
Alexandre Brosseau is a successful young entrepreneur from Montreal. A graduate of Queens University and the founder of Speakeasy Communications, Alexandre is the creator of some of the hottest clubs and restaurants on the Montreal scene today, including Flyjin Café, Soubois, The Velvet Speakeasy, and Les Enfants Terrible.
Roy is the President of Banca Studio, and Los-Angeles based television production company. After beginning his career in banking in Philadelphia, Roy established himself as a Producer in Los Angeles beginning in 2000. He worked with mega-producer Mark Burnett on hit shows including Survivor, The Apprentice and Shark Tank before creating Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?, and founding Banca Studio. His current stable of shows includes Deal With It and Flea Market Flip.
Arjun Basu is a Montreal writer and editor. He is Content Director for Spafax, which publishes EN ROUTE, among other magazines. EN ROUTE’s annual “Best New Restaurants in Canada” issue has become a benchmark for both the restaurant industry and restaurant-goers across the country. Arjun’s books include WAITING FOR THE MAN and SQUISHY. He is also known for his Twitter feed @arjunbasu, which posts flash fiction known as “Twisters.” You can learn more about Arjun at his website.
David McMillan, along with his partner and friend Fred Morin, is the chef/owner of Joe Beef, Liverpool House and Le Vin Papillon, three restaurants that define the innovative approach to gastronomy that has helped put Montreal on the map as a true foodie destination. He has been active as a chef for over 20 years, including stints in Burgundy, France, and at Globe on boul. Saint-Laurent. David has been a tremendous influence on a generation of Montreal chefs. With Fred Morin and Meredith Erickson, he is the author of The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts.