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Juniper names new country manager for Canada

 9 December 2021     HGO Staff 

HIGH POINT, North Carolina – Juniper, the soon-to-launch business-to-business e-commerce marketplace operated by International Market Centers (IMC), has named Ray Shikatani, a 30-year veteran of Canada’s gift and home industry, as its new country manager for Canada.

In a statement, Juniper said this new role, which blends responsibilities formerly held by Ross Amyot – who retires after nearly 50 years in the industry – with new elements specific to development of omnichannel business-to-business opportunities, is effective immediately.

“Juniper is incredibly lucky to welcome such an experienced, and highly-regarded member of the Canadian gift and home industry to our growing ranks,” Juniper chief executive officer Bill Furlong said. “Ray brings a wealth of valuable and relevant experience to the position, which will help us successfully navigate our business partnerships in Canada.”

Giftware industry veteran Ray Shikatani is Juniper’s new country manager for Canada.Powered by IMC, Juniper is a new fully integrated omnichannel B2B commerce solution and soon-to-launch multi-line B2B e-commerce marketplace, empowering buyers and sellers to better manage and grow their business at markets and year-round.

As the country manager for Canada, Shikatani will have responsibility for navigating Juniper’s Canadian position and profile with specific responsibility for maintaining and growing Juniper software adoption, assisting in product development for the Canadian market and liaising with industry leaders in Canada.

Shikatani brings over 30 years of gift and home industry marketing and sales experience to Juniper. Most recently, he served as president and partner of David Youngson & Associates, the Toronto-based Canadian gift sales agency and importer, which represents some of the world’s best-known brands in the wholesale trade.

“I’m looking forward to helping Juniper’s team navigate the nuance and complexity of the Canadian market, which has important commerce and culture differences that need to be understood and overcome in order to be successful for future growth,” said Shikatani. “More importantly, I am eager to work with my fellow industry colleagues to help shape the future of our industry through technology.”

Shikatani succeeds Ross Amyot, who is retiring after a nearly 50-year career in the Canadian home and gift industry. In 2014, Amyot introduced RepZio, a patented business-to-business sales solution and digital marketplace to the Canadian market. Following RepZio’s acquisition by International Market Centers in 2020, Amyot became a member of the Juniper team, working to bridge physical and digital markets to offer omnichannel selling solutions to the Canadian B2B market.

 “Ross Amyot left an indelible mark on Juniper, and I have big shoes to fill,” Shikatani said.

Shikatani joins Juniper just weeks before the launch of JuniperMarket. Powered by IMC – operators of the Las Vegas Market and an important participant in the High Point Market – the new B2B e-commerce marketplace will connect hundreds of industry-leading brands and sales agencies with thousands of buyers globally. Additionally, JuniperCommerce, a full suite of SaaS digital solutions designed to drive growth and efficiency for direct sales by brands, continues to enhance the suite of solutions available in the industry’s only integrated B2B commerce platform.

Shikatani is the most recent addition to a team that has hired more than 100 new staff over the past year. Juniper has over 200 team members building the next generation commerce platform and marketplace for B2B wholesale companies. 

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