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Mega sets conference agenda to buy, sell and learn

 6 September 2023     Michael J. Knell 

MONTREAL – Mega Group will welcome shareholders, retail members and vendor partners from across the country to the Bonaventure Hotel here for their annual conference on September 16. This year’s keynote speaker will be Jennifer Botterill, who was a member of the Canada’s national women’s hockey team for 14 years, winning 17 gold medals during her tenure, including three Olympic championships.

“This is Mega’s signature event and as Canada’s largest buying group, we are bringing together our members and vendors to provide opportunities to maximize success, work on their business, celebrate together, and have fun!” group president and chief executive officer Chris West told Home Goods Online. “Our Mega Hall of Fame inductee will be honored at this event, which is part of the proud legacy of our company.”

The event kicks off on the evening of September 16 with a welcome reception hosted by Mega chairman Richard Walls and vice-chairman Michel Goudreau.

According to the posted agenda, Sunday’s program begins with what the group is calling ‘member huddles’ before hearing an address from West, who took over as Mega Group CEO last November.

Jennifer Botterill, a member of the Canadian women’s hockey team and four-time Olympic medallist and five-time World Champion, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Mega Group Conference. The rest of the day will be devoted to a members-only product fair, which West said will feature “a record number” of participating vendors, who have pledged to bring ‘show only’ prices to the product they display. In fact, three of the group’s better known vendor partners – Tempur Sealy Canada, Whirlpool Canada and Ashley Furniture – will make 30-minute presentations to the group at various times on the Monday and Tuesday of the conference.

Sunday evening will feature the group’s traditional gala dinner. This year’s event will also contain a salute to Konrad Kozan, the now retired Mega retail member, board member and chairman who was named as the first inductee of the Mega Fall of Fame earlier this year.

Launched in 2022, the Mega Hall of Fame honours the most influential and significant contributors to the success of member-owned buying group. Each year, a committee will select an inductee based on the impact of their achievements on Mega, its members and the home goods industry as a whole. Mega members, staff and vendors are eligible for selection.

Keynote speaker
Jennifer Botterill is one of Canada's most successful athletes. A member of the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team for 14 years, she is a three-time Olympic champion and an in-demand analyst in both Canada and the U.S., regularly appearing on Hockey Night in Canada.

When she is not sharing her knowledge and expertise of sport on air, she is empowering others to pursue excellence as an engaging keynote speaker and peak performance coach.

A graduate of Harvard University, Botterill is the only two-time winner of the Patty Kazmaier award, which honours the top player in women’s college hockey. Botterill debuted for the national team in 1997 and was named to the first ever Canadian Olympic women’s hockey roster in 1998. Throughout her collegiate career and beyond, Botterill amassed 17 gold medals for Canada. She is a four-time Olympic medalist (with three gold medals), a five-time World Champion, and a twice-named MVP of the World Championships.

In addition, Botterill is the CEO of Excel in Life Inc. and Journey to Excel Inc., where she continues her pursuit of excellence while inspiring and coaching others. She also sits on the board of directors for CCM Hockey and is an ambassador with Right to Play.

Her presentation will be on Monday morning.

The rest of the day will be devoted to other educational opportunities. John White of AVB, the U.S. buying group, will discuss the power of integrated digital marketing in a session entitled Customer First Web Strategies.

Allison McLellan, a well-known Mega member and owner of McLellan BrandSource Home Furnishings in Woodstock, New Brunswick, will team-up with Kevin Leier, the group’s long-time chief financial officer to lead a session themed Passing the Torch – Nurturing Future Leaders for Success.

Albert Marrache, president and founder of Phoenix AMD International will follow with a 30-minute session entitled Beyond the Transaction – Maximizing Revenue in Retail where he will focus on how to get the most out of every encounter with the customer.

Mega’s vice president of human resources, Erica Fox, will speak on People Power – Building a High-Retention Workforce on Monday, right before the start of the group’s ever-popular Stampede.

To close out the conference on Tuesday morning, West, Leier, Fox and Don Burnett, vice president of retail sales and service, will spend an hour with the membership discussing the group’s strategies and plans for the coming year.

“Our vendors are bringing exclusive ‘show only’ special offers and we are offering incredible learning opportunities for Mega members. That’s why it’s important for them to attend,” West said.

Click here for more information about the three-day event.

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This HGO article was written by:
Michael J. Knell
Michael J. Knell

Michael is the publisher and editor of Home Goods Online. A seasoned business journalist, he has researched and written about the furniture, mattress and major appliance industries in both Canada and the United States for the past three decades.

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