CHHMA and COPA’s second annual “Making Waves” educational conference wrapped up last week after 10 insightful speaker presentations took place during the month of November.  This year’s event was conducted virtually via Zoom with online sessions every Tuesday and Thursday covering pertinent topics for businesses and providing ready-to-use information for managers.  Feedback from participants on the format and content has been very positive.

“We are so pleased with the caliber of speakers we were able to deliver to our members this year,” commented Nicole Gamble, CHHMA’s event manager. “Every single speaker provided incredibly useful information that can make a difference to participants right now.”

“I am so proud of my team for coordinating this highly valuable event,” stated CHHMA & COPA president Sam Moncada. “Their efforts really paid off with very engaging speakers that delivered quality information for both Associations. Every single speaker brought knowledge and expertise that I believe will help contribute to more informed decision-making among our industry leaders.” 

Registered participants were provided with access to slide presentations and video recordings of the each speaker immediately following the sessions.

The first two weeks addressed interesting topics like cybersecurity, the post-pandemic economy, remote working, marketing automation and artificial intelligence. Click here for a recap. 

The third week started off with a look into the growing use of influencer marketing by Shannon Gallagher, who has over a decade of experience in TV & radio PR and marketing and is the founder of Influencer Logic, a marketing consultancy company.  Shannon explained exactly what an influencer is, what they do, how they should be best managed and how they can benefit your business.

Now eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic and with many of us working from home, the next presentation provided helpful tips on optimizing your work space both at the office and at home.  Kinesiologist Paula Hicknell and ergonomist Kelley Hogan from Sandalwood of Canada, an engineering & ergonomics consulting firm, highlighted problem areas of working from home and then recommended work habits and better set-ups for a healthier and more efficient work place.  

The final week commenced with an important talk about diversity & inclusion (D&I) in the workplace by Rianna Bissoondath, a human resources professional who leads D&I efforts for the North American team at Henkel.  Rianna showed how encompassing diversity and inclusion can be as well as the key benefits of incorporating D&I into your organization.  

Later that day, Tammy Whelan, a mental health instructor at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Peel Dufferin branch, and Simone Walsh, a mental health advocate and founder of the Essence of Mind outreach program, took attendees through a very open discussion about overcoming the stigma of depression/mental illness, identifying and dealing with stress in the workplace and strategies to increase happiness in your life.

For the final presentation of the Making Waves event, Darcy Meier from Newell Brands, joined us from Seattle, Washington to share her experience both working on the vendor and retailer sides on how to grow your business at Amazon.  Darcy outlined key factors including structuring your organization with a dedicated e-commerce team, getting to know the Amazon system so you can utilize fully to your benefit and ‘owning’ your digital presence.    

We would like to thank all the speakers for taking the time to share their expertise with our members.  

We would also like to extend a big thank you to the industry event planning committee who worked hard to help bring this event to fruition.

In addition, much appreciation to all the participants who registered and signed in to Zoom to attend these sessions! If you haven’t provided us with your feedback already, please feel free to share your thoughts by emailing Nicole Gamble at

Finally, we would like to thank the fantastic sponsors for supporting this event: Purolator, Kidde Canada, and Schulich School of Business Executive Education Centre at York University. 

Thank you to MAKING WAVES’ generous SPONSORS