Despite recent declines in the U.S. retail industry, Canada is seeing growth in the sector, with retail companies continuing to expand their footprint across the Canadian market. As rapidly changing customer expectations continue to evolve, FMs are faced with challenges in the ever-changing retail environment. At PRSM’s Canada East and Canada West conferences, attendees learned how to confront those challenges head on.
PRSM members from across Canada packed the Canada West conference in Vancouver and Canada East conference in Toronto. Both mornings kicked off with Bill Yanek, PRSM CEO, welcoming attendees and opening the general session.
“PRSM efforts across Canada continue to grow, as do our two seminal events Canada East and West,” said Bill Yanek, CEO of PRSM.
Keynote speaker and facilitator Jennifer Spear got attendees to think faster, lead smarter and act now with her presentation about leading through change. She emphasized the importance of creating opportunity in the face of uncertainty, and how to act swiftly and effectively to innovate without fear. Attendees laughed at the improv-based challenges, and learned how to problem solve in the process.
“This was a great opportunity to connect with new and existing partners, with interactive speaker Jennifer Spear encouraging us to work together through the changes in our industry,” said Annabelle Martensen, Facilities Specialist at Saje Natural Wellness.
Other attendees raved about Spear’s presentation as well. “PRSM Canada guided us to lead through change unscripted,” said Barry Crystal, Vice President, Retail Construction and Maintenance Division at Direct Construction Company Limited. “Jennifer Spear was an excellent keynote speaker and facilitator that actively engaged everyone in attendance.”
During the networking luncheon, attendees listened to award-winning guest speaker, Mandy Rennehan, Blue Collar CEO and Founder of Freshco, as she dove deep into the issues surrounding the skills gap.
Rennehan discussed how not only is the skills gap impacting the retail facilities management industry, but Canada as a whole. She highlighted initiatives taken to narrow the skills gap, as she inspired and mobilized PRSM members to help reverse the trend.
Attendees also participated in PRSM’s fan favorite Retail Quick Connect session, where retailers and suppliers networked in a “speed dating” type of setting. Conversations and connections continued throughout the closing reception.
After two successful conferences, PRSM members and staff are already excited for future PRSM Canada events, especially Yanek. “Whether East or West, PRSM Canada is ending 2017 on a high note.”
By: Kendall Carlson