Airdrie Entrepreneur Common has just kicked off a recruitment campaign for mentors to join our new AdvanceSMART team-based mentorship program. AdvanceSMART matches Airdrie entrepreneurs who are experiencing high growth with a team of three to four mentors to support building growth strategies, tackling challenges and becoming a better business leader.
AdvanceSMART’s mentoring model is licensed from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston and joins a number of programs operating in Alberta (including Edmonton, Calgary and Fort McMurray).
Meet a number of accomplished entrepreneurs, C-suite executives and functional experts who are volunteering their time as mentors to help Airdrie businesses grow and scale:
Founder and CEO, Triple Flip
Business Coach, Certified Reinvention Practitioner, Retail Consultant
Linda founded and scaled Triple Flip, a national retail apparel brand that was a disruptor in its niche. She grew the business 12 stores across Canada, claiming her the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Linda currently spends her time applying her experience and empathy to a business coaching and consulting practice that has been helping dozens of entrepreneurial businesses to launch, pivot, reinvent and thrive. She has a strong skillset in Finance/Cash Flow, Brand Strategy, Operations, and Marketing that helps fill some of the gaps of knowledge and experience for small business owners across a variety of industries. In addition to her business coaching/consulting practice, Linda is an Affiliate Retail Expert for Management One, providing merchandise planning, inventory forecasting, and analysis for retailers in the US and Canada.
I have been mentoring business owners, from start-ups to mid-size for many years and find it particularly rewarding to be able to support them in their journey that I have also walked. Owning a business can sometimes be very lonely, without anybody to talk to and share vulnerable issues with. I have been group coaching with the Entrepreneurs’ Organization for the past two years, working with companies under $1.5 million in revenue. This program is unique in that I’ll be part of a Mentor Team, which gives me an additional opportunity to learn and create new peer relationships.
President, CanMar Foods Ltd.
Co-Owner, Airdrie Registry
Former Owner of Spitz International Ltd.
Former Vice President Frito Lay Canada
Myles spent the first six years of his career at Procter & Gamble (P&G). Following P&G, he spent most of his 15-year career as the Western Canada Vice President at Frito Lay Canada (now called PepsiCo Foods Ltd). During his tenure at Frito Lay, he led the western region through a very high growth period seeing sales grow from $70 million to $280 million. Brands such as Lays, Tostitos, Sun Chips, Smart Food, Munchie Snack Mix and Miss Vickie’s were all introduced into Western Canada under Myles’ leadership.
Always having the dream to be an entrepreneur, at the age of 45 he left his role at PepsiCo Foods Ltd to purchase an equity position in Spitz Sunflower Seeds. As managing partner, he was able to increase the sales by 50 per cent in the first two years at Spitz with a 90 per cent market share in Western Canada and achieved the #3 brand in the USA. As a result, the attractive company was sold to PepsiCo Foods Ltd.
More recently, Myles and an Edmonton-based partner bought Regina-based CanMar Foods Ltd., the largest producer of food grade flax in Canada. Their products are sold in 20 countries around the world.
My Airdrie connection
I have a good understanding of Airdrie and the business community – I grew up in Airdrie and am Co-Owner of Airdrie Registry.
Futuring Strategist, Ford Motor Company
Director Ecosystem and Transformation, SAIT
Sabrina has made it her life’s work to create positive change through investing time in both bold ideas and the people that make them a reality. This currently manifests itself with a focus on developing future-ready talent as the Director, Ecosystem and Transformation at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), and a Futuring Strategist with Ford Motor Company. A recognized Corporate Futurist, leader of one of Deloitte’s flagship innovation programs, and former Strategy Consultant within Canada and the United States, she has become a sought-after strategist, advisor, writer, manager and facilitator. In addition to her roles in complex organizations, she has committed time to building ventures including a start-up sustainable finance firm and launching a SaaS offering focused on measuring and improving innovation practice in companies. This diverse experience leaves Sabrina poised to work with individuals, companies and ecosystems to generate innovative products, programs and strategies that help grow and shape the future of their organizations and our communities.
I’m excited about how to integrate my knowledge, experience and learnings in creating resilient strategies for organizations into the efforts of Airdrie’s high-growth organizations. Considering the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world we operate in, there are many things that are out of control and can significantly disrupt the potential of an organization. With a long-term view and holistic scanning of the world (micro and macro trends, etc.), I believe I can help these organizations be more future-ready as they push forward.
Founder and CEO, SuccessionMatching
Alison is the Founder and CEO of SuccessionMatching.com, a female-led tech company that is venture backed and primarily operating out of Western Canada. The platform is a website for business buyers, sellers, and succession planning professionals. With a background in Human Resources and Economic Development, Alison has always been interested in helping entrepreneurs. As a business owner herself, she understands the hard work and dedication that is required to run a successful business. Alison has successfully raised funding to grow and scale her tech venture, has a vital understanding of business strategy with the end game (succession) in mind, has key insights on building successful online marketplaces, and an impressive network including many investors looking for opportunities in the Calgary region.
I have had an opportunity to level up, both personally and professionally, because of the mentors I have been lucky enough to work with. I have a good balance of small business and running a tech startup experience and look forward to paying it forward and helping to mitigate risk for the next generation of business owners.