MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – A leading Canadian television personality, an expert on millennials and a second generation furniture retailer who turned around her family business will headline the first ever Lunch & Learn series at the upcoming 2017 edition of the Canadian Furniture Show (CFS), which is set to open at the International Centre here on May 26.
“We are very proud of this line-up which will provide show visitors with a great opportunity to take a break at lunch time a get inspired,” CFS president and chief executive officer Pierre Richard said in a statement announcing the series, which will be held at the stage to be set up in Hall 4 of the International Centre.
Each segment will begin at 12noon on each of the three days the show is open.
Kicking off the series on Friday, May 26 will be Sarah Richardson, an award-winning designer and television personality. Based in Toronto, she is best known for dramatic transformations that turn ordinary spaces into magazine-worthy rooms with an incredible wow factor.
Richardson has hosted and produced eight HGTV lifestyle series that have been seen in over 100 countries where she shares a practical and inspiring approach to décor and design. Her shows include: Room Service, Design Inc., Sarah’s House, and Sarah 101. Her most recent series, Sarah’s Rental Cottage aired on HGTV Canada in 2015. Her new show premiers fall 2017.
In addition to being a past contributor and columnist for the Globe & Mail and Chatelaine, Richardson was home design director and décor columnist for Good Housekeeping. She is also the author of Sarah Style and At Home Sarah Style, which was on the Globe & Mail best-seller list for over four months.
Richardson has created two fabric lines for Kravet and has a growing line of signature products including custom furniture. Her company, Sarah Richardson Design Inc., has clients throughout Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
On Saturday (May 27), David Coletto, founding partner and CEO of Abacus Data will take the Lunch & Learn stage. A leader in online research methodologies, Coletto is an expert on Canadian millennials with a doctorate from the University of Calgary who also teaches and provides expert analyses to media.
The Ottawa-headquartered Abacus Data delivers strategic advice and research design expertise to many of Canada’s foremost corporations, advocacy groups, and political leaders. Coletto has a wealth of experience in public affairs research, corporate and organizational reputation studies as well as youth research. He has projects in many sectors including pharmaceutical, transportation, financial services, educational, natural resource, telecommunications, media, arts and cultural, tourism, and retail.
Coletto also leads Abacus Data’s Canadian Millennial Research Practice and helped a number of organisations – including the LCBO, the RCMP, the Calgary Police Service, Hudson’s Bay and the Ontario Ministry of Child & Youth Services – connect and engage with Canadian millennials.
He is an adjunct professor at the Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs at Carleton University, where he teaches courses on polling and public opinion, political marketing, research and public affairs. He is also an instructor at the university’s Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in political management.
“David is an outspoken proponent of transparency in the polling industry and is regularly called upon by media and organizations alike to provide expert analyses of public opinion and research methodologies,” Richard noted.
Wrapping up the series on Sunday, May 28 will be Kimmberly Capone, president and head buyer for Treasures, the retail operation started by her father more than 40 years ago.
In her presentation – entitled Red to beyond Black... in just one year! – Capone will share her journey, process and secrets on how she reinvented her struggling, family-owned retail business and quadrupled sales in a relatively short period of time. By providing design services paired with 3D technology, she’s now offering an unparalleled shopping experience that has customers waiting in line.
Capone used her personal experience in the home accessories business, her interior design education, and experience in the real estate sales and staging businesses to forge a successful interior design career. She has designed commercial and residential spaces for celebrities and executives as well as everyday customers who take advantage of her complimentary in-home design service at Treasures, the retail showroom she operates in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
“When she’s not travelling around the globe to curate the most interesting selection of furniture, art, and home accessories for her clients, she’s busy designing her new line of sofas, chairs, ottomans, beds, curtains, and pillows,” Richard said.
Through the surveys they’ve conducted over the past three years, Richard said the CFS management team believes show visitors have four priorities: top-notch exhibitors, interesting speakers, networking activities and exclusive show specials.
“We plan to enhance the visitor experience through a Lunch & Learn speaker series, rest and entertainment areas on the show floor and an industry cocktail reception on Friday evening, which is ideal for networking,” he said. “We are continuing our efforts to seek out new exhibitors, and we will encourage them to offer show specials. Visitors can also benefit from exclusive discounts on hotel rooms and drawings of free accommodation packages. We are sparing no efforts for the show to be well worth the trip.”
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For more information about Canada’s only national furniture industry trade event, check out its web site at www.canadianfurnitureshow.com.