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Session One

How to Utilize PR and Influencer Strategies

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Jennifer Singh


She's Newsworthy Media

Jennifer Singh is a former TV reporter turned entrepreneur, speaker and CEO of She’s Newsworthy Media. Before entrepreneurship, Jennifer worked in the Canadian media industry for over 15 years as a reporter, producer and writer for CTV, CBC, Global and CP24. She has been featured in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Global News, CTV speaking and The Social speaking about imposter syndrome, women in business and the need for more inclusive marketing. Jennifer was also featured in a national campaign for International Women’s Day in partnership with Mercedes-Benz Canada and Pink Tartan.

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Session Two

Futureproof your Business

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Marla Baker

Founder & Business Development Specialist

Marla Baker is a Business Development Specialist and recognized Design Community Advocate. Known as a matchmaker in the industry, Marla connects Architects and Designers with the brands, services, events and seminars that are meaningful to them.

Marla produces results for the companies she represents while supporting and understanding the needs of the Design Community.

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Trevor Kruse

Registered Interior Designer, NCIDQ


Interior Designers of Canada (IDC)

Trevor Kruse is the founder (1999) and past Principal Designer of Hudson Kruse Design. In September of 2020, he retired from the firm to become the CEO with the profession’s national organization, the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC).  As well as enjoying a 35-year career as a professional interior designer, Trevor has spent nearly three decades of volunteer service on provincial, national, and international boards.

Trevor graduated with a degree in Interior Design from Ryerson University and now sits on the Advisory Council for the School of Interior Design. He has been a role model for students and young designers; acting as mentor, teacher, and colleague to countless graduates from the ten recognized schools in Ontario. He received the Outstanding Achievement Award from Ryerson University in 2003 for his leadership and mentoring roles.

Trevor’s dedication, passion and leadership continues to advance the profession of Interior Design.

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Stacey Cohen

Designer and Principal

Stacey Cohen Design

Driven by her passion for designing functional and sophisticated spaces to live, work and grow in, Stacey established Stacey Cohen Design in 2010. Beyond materializing her client’s vision into a reality, Stacey believes in providing the finest solutions to improve not just the aesthetic of a space, but the quality of work and living environments. With her skilled team of industry professionals at her side, she uses her meticulous approach to redefine the lifestyle and design experience one project at a time.

As the creative backbone of the firm, Stacey draws from her International Academy of Design & Technology education as well as her unique and bespoke aesthetic to ensure that the design outcome is thoughtful, functional and as unique as the client. With her years of hands-on industry experience, including working alongside a high-profile developer in Toronto, Stacey understands her clients’ needs and interprets their wishes and lifestyles through her commercial and residential designs.

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Sam Sacks

Principal Designer

Sam Sacks Design Inc.

Sam Sacks is an established, award winning Toronto based firm with international reach. Sam's projects have appeared in every major Canadian design publication as well as House Beautiful and Elle Decor with mentions in Architectural Digest.

Her work reflects a deep understanding of her clients' needs, paired with a fundamental knowledge of architectural history and matched by wild inspiration. A story teller at heart, Sam believes great design is about capturing the essence of a person, a mood, a moment and translating it into something we can touch and feel.

Guided by the grounding principles of symmetry and scale, Sam is committed to bending the classics to create highly considered designs that read effortlessly cool.

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Session Three

Recruitment Strategies & Building a Diverse Design Team

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Sharon Portelli


Executive Director & Registrar


Sharon has worked in the not-for-profit sector since 1997, starting in the financial sector. In 2011, she transitioned to the construction and design sector in the role of Executive Director and Registrar with the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO). Her professional experience includes the development and enforcement of qualification standards for professions, competency-based assessments, regulatory frameworks and lobbying for public policy in support of safe interior environments in Ontario. In 2020, ARIDO undertook a commitment to the advancement of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility both within ARIDO as an organization and the profession.

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Yasmien Fadl

Head of Workplace Design and Experience

TD Bank

Yasmien is Head of Workplace Design & Experience for TD Bank. Her role is to drive global workplace innovation, leading a team that activates experiences, enables flexibility and enhances collaboration for colleagues across the enterprise. She has spent her career creating resonant, inclusive and universal experiences with a human-centric focus. Her career spans consulting and client-based design and real estate strategy in workplace, retail and hospitality sectors. 

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Natalie Ramtahal

PhD Student, Manager of Administration & Equity

School of Interior Design at TMU

Natalie is the Manager of Administration and Equity in the School of Interior Design and a Ph.D. student in the joint Communication and Culture program at York/TMU. Natalie has worked in post-secondary education, research, policy, and equity and community inclusion (ECI) for over fifteen years. She is deeply committed to ECI and has worked to advance equity and diversity through her professional and volunteer work. Her own research looks at the potential of cryptocurrency as a form of wealth generation and remittance to the global south, specifically Jamaica and the Philippines.​


Session Four

How to Utilize Commercial & Hospitality Channels to
Position your Firm for Growth

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Michelle Mawby

Registered Interior Designer, NCIDQ, ARIDO, BCIN

Founder, Lucid Interior Design

Principal, Georgian Design Build

Michelle Mawby is an award winning, Registered Interior Designer with over 20 years of experience. She is Principal of the interior design and architecture team at Georgian Design Build and founder of Lucid Interior Design. Based in Toronto, Michelle has previously lived and worked in Amsterdam, London, England, California and Vancouver. She is NCIDQ certified, an ARIDO & IDC member, and BCIN qualified designer. Michelle is also a nationally renowned design expert frequently called on to share her expertise and knowledge on TV and in print.

An advocate of the philosophy, “form follows function”, Michelle strives to create environments that reflect the lives, personalities and expectations of her clients. Her extensive travels and continuing studies in design, history and architecture influence her designs culminating in sophisticated, livable elegance.

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Eric McClelland

Registered Interior Designer, NCIDQ, ARIDO


Fleur-de-lis Interior Design

Eric McClelland moved to Toronto in 1986 after completing a Bachelor of Interior Design degree at the University of Manitoba. He spent the late-80’s and early-90’s working as a freelance designer for several firms and worked on projects such as 400 King Street, 40 sky boxes at the Skydome (Roger’s Centre), and the Hard Rock Café.

Eric co-founded Fleur-de-lis Interior Design in 1989 and has served as Principal for over 30 years. The firm’s notoriety has been built on a succession of residential and commercial projects in downtown Toronto as well as Winnipeg, Vancouver, NYC, Boston and Nassau, with several projects being featured in The Toronto Star, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, Condo Life, New Dreamhomes, Home and Décor, and Home by Design.

Eric served as a regular Guest Expert on City TV’s Cityline for almost 20 years, answering viewers’ design questions and creating on-the-spot sketches. His award-winning approach to design is centered on creating interiors that balance the client’s personality and detailed, creative use of materials to achieve timeless yet innovative designs.

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Erika Floysvik

Founder & Managing Principal

FIA Interiors & Architecture

Erika Floysvik is an established entrepreneur and creative leader. She launched Fia Interiors & Architecture in 2001, then specializing in full-scale residential design and build projects. Her work graced the pages of House & Home Magazine, Toronto Life and Elle Décor, and garnered industry awards for design excellence.


In 2015, Erika transitioned her company into the retail and commercial sectors. Her firm caters to first-to-market clients opening stores across Canada for US and European-based clients. Their portfolio includes AWAY Travel, Balenciaga, Reformation, Thom Browne and Diesel.


Erika attributes her ability to maintain a stable, profitable, and ever-evolving business to an approach that is intentional, yet open and focused on the needs of her team and firm first.

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