Speakers & Panelists

Brian Lee Crowley is the Managing Director at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI), a best-selling author and a two-time winner of the Sir Antony Fisher Award for excellence in think tank publications. He has headed up the MLI in Ottawa since March 2010, coming to the role after a long and distinguished record in the think tank world. He was the founder of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies in Halifax, a former Salvatori Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. and is a Senior Fellow at the Galen Institute in Washington.

A 20-year industry veteran, Danny is vice president of sales & business development for London, Ontario-based Talbot Marketing, where his primary responsibilities are building and supporting the company’s Western Canadian sales partners and overseeing its corporate programs. With Danny’s help, Talbot has become a mainstay on Counselor’s Best Places to Work list.

Co-owner of the distributor firm RIGHTSLEEVE and winner of Counselor’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2011, Mark is a founding member of PromoKitchen and is considered one of the social media pioneers in the ad specialty marketplace, specifically in the area of using video to create self-promotion campaigns.

Elson Yeung, Product Line Manager for Richmond Hill-based Ash City, is responsible for the company’s design & merchandising efforts, and actively works on revitalizing and updating Ash City’s brands. One of the top design experts in the promotional industry, he’s received several industry accolades, including the 2013 PPPC Momentum Award and being named as one of Wearables magazine’s 2012 Trendsetters. Prior to joining Ash City, Elson graduated from the International Academy of Design with a degree in Fashion Design.

Deborah is an accomplished, solution-oriented and resourceful professional, with over 25 years of progressive business experience in both the retail and promotional industry. She joined the ad specialty industry in 2000 working for various key distributors (Staples & BrandAlliance) within the Toronto, Ontario region until she joined Polyconcept in 2007, where she now manages several major accounts for PCNA.

Carol de Ville, president of The Branding Company, has been a part of the PPPC industry for more than 20 years. She has worked with Canada’s largest financial institution and for one of the largest privately-owned pharmaceutical company in the world. She was PPPC’s chairperson from 2011-2012, and has been instrumental in developing and delivering educational seminars for Canada, the US, Mexico City and England. Currently, her company offers full-service solutions that help clients manage their promotional branded requirements, incentivize sales, staff or years of service recognition & deliver event merchandise while working on achieving ROI.

For the past six years, Anne McKeough has been the vice president of global sales for Counselor Top 40 distributor Staples Promotional Products. Her responsibilities include managing the company’s global sales organization and international business units, and driving sales strategy, growth, profit and client relationship management through new business development and account penetration.

Laura Hansen, president of Vancouver distributor firm Image Group, runs a dog-friendly and collegial workplace. Employees gather for birthday celebrations, golf outings, Happy Hours – just about any occasion is a reason to celebrate at this firm.

Kathy Cheng is president of WS & Co., one of Canada’s leading full-service apparel manufacturers, and the founder of its in-stock promotional apparel line, Redwood Classics. Her company has produced for renowned fashion retailers and designer brands both domestically and internationally. An award-winning advocate for social responsibility and mentorship, Kathy currently sits on Board for Toronto Fashion Incubator.


  • Amazing Cocktail Race
  • Opening Dinner
  • Tuesday Sessions:
  • Keynote: Brian Lee Crowley, Managing Director, Macdonald Laurier Institute & Former Clifford Clark Economist at Finance Canada
    “Canada’s Make-or-Break Opportunity” How factors such as job growth, investment and U.S. relations are fueling business growth in Canada (and what might derail it).
  • Canadian State of the Industry
    Be the first to get the results of the latest Counselor State of the Industry report, which includes in-depth market data and forecasts for the Canadian promotional products market. Plus, get a sneak peak of the latest Canadian Advertising Specialties Impressions Study.
  • The American Buyer Deconstructed
    Discover the buying habits of distributors in the U.S. What are their challenges, expectations and pain points? What are the myths and realities of doing business with American buyers, and how can Canadian distributors better compete against them?
  • High Performance = Profits
    Learn secrets to building a high-performance culture from the Canadian members on the Counselor Best Places to Work list.
  • Pitch Perfect
    See how three industry suppliers – who know their products better than anyone – would pitch one of their items to a hot segment of the Canadian market. Vote for the winning pitch and walk away with new ideas to pitch your clients.
  • Group Exercise: Supplier & Distributor Breakout
    Work together with your colleagues to brainstorm solutions to top challenges.
  • 20-Minute Trend Report:
    Hot-selling retail products and fashions that should be on your radar.
  • Afternoon:
  • Lunch/Golf/Recreational Activities
  • Evening:
  • Wine Tasting Event
  • Fastest-Growing Companies Dinner
  • Wednesday Sessions:
  • How to Win Business from the Fortune 500
    Learn the secrets to winning over C-level clients among the world’s largest corporations.
  • Customer Service Ramp-Up
    Winners of the Counselor Distributor Choice Awards talk about what a winning customer service team looks like – and how to achieve service excellence.
  • Hot Opportunity: The Financial Market
    New ways to tap into this rich niche to gain business.
  • Hot Opportunity: The Energy Market
    Learn about the changing opportunities in one of the hottest markets in Canada.
  • U.S. Shipping Primer
    Everything you need to know to navigate through the logistical obstacles of selling to the U.S., including shipping, customers and free-trade issues.
  • Group Exercise: Supplier & Distributor Breakout
    Work together with your colleagues to brainstorm solutions to top challenges.
  • Social Media as a Business Strategy
    Learn how two distributors have attracted significant business with new marketing strategies including video, mobile, social media and online customer engagement.
  • Canada's Leaders Speaks Out: “Where I’m Placing my Bets”
    The industry’s top leaders talk about where they’re focusing their time, capital and efforts to set up their businesses for success in the future.

Venue & Travel

Queen’s Landing
155 Byron Street
PO Box 1180
Ontario, Canada LOS 1JO

Receive a limited-time discounted hotel room rate when you book now – pay only $209 per night (plus taxes).

Book Hotel By Phone

Please call the hotel at (888) 669-5566 and ask for the ASI Power Summit rate (Advertising Specialty Institute). Hurry, the discount hotel rate is subject to availability.

Travel Arrangements

When booking flight arrangements, please arrange for arrival by 1 p.m. on Monday, June 16 and for mid-afternoon departure on Wednesday, June 18, 2014.

We recommend you fly into:

Certification Points

ASI's Bachelor of Advertising Specialty Information (BASI) and Master of Advertising Specialty Information (MASI) certifications recognize the true industry experts who have the knowledge they need to be successful, and who've cultivated profitable and collaborative relationships with distributors, suppliers and decorators.

When you attend the Power Summit, you'll earn 15 BASI/MASI points. The rest of your points can be earned online 24/7, at ASI Shows, or at other major industry events.

Benefits for BASI and MASI holders include:

  • Invitations to exclusive cocktail receptions at The ASI Show
  • VIP access to select events, such as Keynotes at The ASI Show
  • A frameable certificate
  • The opportunity to participate in exclusive quarterly conference calls with ASI President and CEO Timothy Andrews
  • Recognition of your certification in ASI magazines and e-newsletters.
Complete your certification by logging onto ASI's Online Learning Center at www.asicentral.com/onlinelearning.

Highlights from ASI Canada's Power Summit