PROFIT 500 and STARTUP 50 logos

CEO Summit 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Four Seasons Hotel
60 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto

Register Now Having trouble registering?


Diamond Sponsors


BDC is the only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. It promotes Canadian entrepreneurship with a focus on small and medium-sized businesses. With its 110+ business centres from coast to coast, BDC provides businesses in all industries with financing and advisory services. Its investment arm, BDC Capital, offers equity, venture capital, and flexible growth and transition capital solutions. To find out more, visit


Generation after generation, Deloitte has been by the side of the entrepreneurs transforming Canada’s economy. Deloitte Private is exclusively focused on serving private clients of all sizes. Find out more here.

Gold Sponsors

American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. An engine of commerce, American Express provides innovative payment, travel and expense management solutions for individuals and businesses of all sizes.

CEO Global Network

CEO Global Network is a CEO and executive peer group organization that creates opportunities for learning and development through monthly group meetings led by experienced CEOs, targeted one-to-one mentoring, and focused learning events throughout the year—including the GREAT CEOs Speaker Series. Our Members are successful individuals who have committed to working with other business leaders and our Group Leaders to develop action plans for improving their success on all levels—in their businesses, as well as in their personal and family lives. All PROFIT 500 winners are eligible to receive 50% off individual ticket and table pricing to the GREAT CEOs Speaker Series event on October 19th at the Mississauga Convention Centre with Daniel Pink, best-selling author of To Sell Is Human, Drive and A Whole New Mind. Please use promo code P500 to receive this discount. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets:

Silver Sponsors

Smart & Biggar

Smart & Biggar is Canada's largest and leading firm practising exclusively in intellectual property and technology law. We work directly with the world’s leading companies across industries, to help them secure, protect and maximize the value of their inventions and intellectual property in Canada. With over 100 professionals in five offices across Canada, we offer the full complement of intellectual property and technology law services, including patent and trademark agency services, strategic IP counseling, licensing and IP transactions support. Find out more at

Acura Canada

Acura is the luxury-performance division of Honda Canada Inc. and is a leading automotive luxury nameplate that delivers Precision Crafted Performance, an original approach to technology and design that creates a new driving experience. The Acura lineup features six distinctive models — the RLX luxury flagship sedan, the TLX performance luxury sedan, the ILX sport sedan, the 5-passenger RDX luxury crossover SUV, and the Acura MDX seven-passenger luxury SUV. Acura launched its next-generation, electrified NSX supercar as a new and pinnacle expression of Acura Precision Crafted Performance. Acura celebrated its 30th anniversary in Canada in February 2017 and has grown to include 51 locations in its dealer network across the country.


The 15th annual PROFIT 500 CEO Summit is an invitation-only event produced for pre-eminent entrepreneurs, designed exclusively for the leaders of the 2017 PROFIT 500 ranking of Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies and its companion STARTUP 50 ranking of Canada’s Top New Growth Companies.

The PROFIT 500 CEO Summit offers a unique forum to help you identify today’s promising opportunities, overcome the challenges that growing companies face and forge invaluable relationships with your entrepreneurial peers.

This year's CEO Summit will feature the PROFIT 500 Awards Luncheon, numerous opportunities to meet and share ideas with fellow growth-oriented entrepreneurs, and a great lineup of speakers who will help you grow your business to the next level more easily and more profitably.

Register Now

“I was very impressed with this well-organized and well-run event! Great content, fabulous speakers and a high-profile feel throughout. I hope to make it to a future event, whether next year or down the road!”

—2016 PROFIT 500 CEO Summit attendee

Admission Criteria

The 2017 PROFIT 500 CEO Summit is an invitation-only event. Given its emphasis on peer-to-peer learning, admission to the PROFIT 500 CEO Summit is restricted to the chief executives of this year’s PROFIT 500 companies. Invitations and paid passes are non-transferable.

Please note the following:

  • Passes are available at $499 plus tax
  • Seating is limited! We can guarantee only 300 passes for sale
  • You must enter your unique registration code to obtain passes for your company; it was shared with all PROFIT 500 CEOs via email.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017
7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

07:30 Breakfast

Breakfast Briefing: Mastering Cash Flow

Few things are more important to a growing business’s success than healthy cash flow, yet many struggle to strike the right balance. Over breakfast, join entrepreneurs Debbie Fung of Yoga Tree Studios, Alyssa Kerbel of mini mioche, Paul Roman of American Express and Canadian Business editor David Thomas for a candid discussion of smart, proven strategies to keep money flowing when your business needs it most. (Presented in partnership with American Express)

08:10 Networking Break
08:20 Welcoming Remarks

Relentless Adaptation: How Great Companies are Really Innovating to Win
Speaker: Amber MacArthur

We obsess over innovation. But innovation is overrated. If you look at the smart companies that are prized for “innovation,” you see that they are actually masters of “adaptation”—of knowing when to adjust, when to speed up, and when to capitalize. It’s not about being first; it’s about being flexible. In this thrilling talk, Amber MacArthur looks to leading organizations, many of which she covers for Fast Company, to explore the practice of relentless adaptation. Is your company taking advantage of disruptive new technologies, or simply being disrupted by them? From the C-Suite to marketing to customer service and beyond, a newly adaptive corporate culture, defined by digital technology and bold leadership, is fundamentally changing business. And MacArthur has had her ear to this fertile new ground for years. Fusing new concepts like crowdsourcing and gamification to a timeless strategic framework, this big-picture talk sheds light on how to adapt, and how to win, in our fast-forward economy.


How to Scale Your Business From Good to Great, Round 1: A Conversation with Harley Finkelstein
Interviewer: James Cowan, editor-in-chief, Canadian Business

In this candid conversation, Shopify’s Harley Finkelstein—one of the most influential and innovative young business leaders in Canada today—shares his experiences scaling Shopify from a scrappy startup to a world-leading provider of commerce solutions, covering, among other things, the key operational, strategic and culture components that differentiate truly great businesses from those that are merely good.

10:00 Networking Break

The PROFIT 500 Idea Exchange

Presented in partnership with CEO Global Network, the PROFIT 500 Idea Exchange features mediated small-group peer-to-peer conversations in which you can discuss, and help to solve, the top issues facing your business today.

11:30 Cocktail Reception

PROFIT 500 Awards Luncheon

Over lunch, Canadian Business will celebrate the entrepreneurial successes of this year’s PROFIT 500 and STARTUP 50 winners, and give special recognition to companies for achievements in such areas as revenue growth, international trade and job creation.


How to Scale Your Business From Good to Great, Round 2: A Conversation with Kirstine Stewart
Interviewer: James Cowan, editor-in-chief, Canadian Business

Kirstine Stewart literally wrote the book on leadership. In her accomplished career (which has included executive roles at the CBC, Twitter and, currently, Diply) she has come to appreciate like few others what it takes to effectively lead teams through big changes—including exponential growth. Expect business-boosting takeaways on everything from strategy to changemaking to leadership in this interactive, instructive discussion.


Tax Changes: What You Really Need to Know

Proposed changes are poised to dramatically alter how Canadian entrepreneurs are taxed. While the scope and breadth of the changes are still uncertain, there are things smart businesses can do today to prepare. In this timely and essential session, Matt McMillan, a partner with Deloitte Private Tax, shares what you need to know—and do—now. Bring your questions!


Economic Update: The Best Opportunities for Your Business Today
Speaker: Pierre Cléroux

Join Pierre Cléroux, Vice President, Research and Chief Economist of BDC—the only Canadian Bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs—as he draws on BDC’s latest research to share an economic outlook that identifies the brightest opportunities for entrepreneurs heading into 2018, and to outline the smartest strategic decisions fast-growing companies should be making today.

14:45 Networking Break

PROFIT 500 Panel Discussion: What Customers Really Want

Customers are the lifeblood of every business, but it isn’t always easy to know what they want. How does a growing business stay ahead of client demands when those demands change all the time? What are the best ways to respond to ever-evolving needs? Is it possible to predict what buyers—both B2B and consumer—will want, and if so, how? In this candid and instructive panel discussion moderated by PROFIT 500 program manager Deborah Aarts, veteran PROFIT 500 entrepreneurs Ann Kaplan of iFinance Canada, Rachel Mielke of Hillberg & Berk and Mike Silagadze of Top Hat will reveal the most effective strategies and tactics they’ve used to grow their businesses alongside customer expectations.


Lead Like a Legend
Speaker: Michael “Pinball” Clemons

Michael “Pinball” Clemons stands only 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. Despite this—perhaps because of this—he led a spectacular CFL career, obliterating records, and winning Grey Cups with the Toronto Argonauts, as both a player and the team’s head coach. In his time leading on the field, from the sidelines and in boardrooms (yes, he’s also an entrepreneur!), Clemons has learned what it takes to inspire a team to do great things. In this dynamic and energizing keynote drawing from his experiences in sport, business and philanthropy, Clemons will talk with unabashed passion about teamwork, about the potential in each of us to achieve anything we set our minds to, and about how putting your heart, fully, into everything you do can make you a better leader—and your organization exponentially more successful. (Bring your camera: Clemons will be available for photos following his keynote).

17:00 Event Ends

* Subject to change

Register Now


Michael “Pinball” Clemons

CFL legend Michael “Pinball” Clemons is an icon of sporting excellence, community leadership, and personal integrity. With boundless energy and moments of quiet introspection, he talks about teamwork and the potential each of us has to achieve anything we set our minds to. Good-natured and unabashedly emotional, he shows you how to put your heart into everything you do.

Michael “Pinball” Clemons is an icon of sporting excellence, community leadership and personal integrity. Considered one of the best athletes Canada has ever known, his real legacy may well lie with the thousands of people he has inspired, both on and off the field. Clemons stands only 5 feet 6 inches; he weighs 170 pounds. Despite this—because of this—he led a spectacular CFL career, obliterating records, and winning Grey Cups with the Toronto Argonauts, as both a player and their head coach. (When you win as a coach, he has said, it’s like winning 42 times at once.)


Clemons was also the Argos’ CEO, and is now their vice chair. Away from the game, Michael “Pinball” Clemons has an undying commitment to community—especially to youth—that is simply unparalleled. He lends his name and time to countless high-profile causes, including the Argos’ Stop the Violence campaign, which encourages the active participation of communities, schools and government in educating youth and curbing increasing gun violence.

Michael “Pinball” Clemons

Michael “Pinball” Clemons

Amber MacArthur

Amber Mac(Arthur) started her career in San Francisco and Boston during the dot-com boom in the late 1990s. As a strategist for Razorfish and Director of Marketing for an e-procurement software company, she spent four years in the technology start-up trenches.

Amber left the start-up world to join Microsoft to build one of the first female-focused lifestyle portals. In 2007, she started her own digital marketing agency. The company’s first client was world-renowned business coach Tony Robbins. Their client list also includes Microsoft, Intel, Shopify, Ford, Canada Goose, Fast Company, PayPal, Scotiabank, Yellow Pages, and many more leading organizations.

In 2010, she wrote the national bestselling business book Power Friending (Portfolio: New York).  In 2016, she co-wrote an Internet safety book called Outsmarting Your Kids Online (with security expert Michael Bazzell). Amber has keynoted more than 300 events around the world.  Topics include business innovation, Internet of things, online safety, artificial intelligence, the distraction economy, and what it takes for companies to adapt and grow.

She is a regular business host and expert for Fast Company, Shopify, CNN, Bloomberg TV, CBS, BNN, The Marilyn Denis Show, and SiriusXM Radio and has more than two million social media followers online.

“With few equals,” writes YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, “MacArthur continues to demonstrate a keen insight towards the continually evolving fabric of the social web.”

Pierre Cléroux

Pierre Cléroux was appointed Vice President, Research and Chief Economist at BDC in 2012. Cléroux leads a team of experts who analyze economic data to identify business and sector trends impacting Canadian entrepreneurs. A seasoned speaker, he regularly travels across the country to help business owners understand the risks and opportunities presented by the economic environment. Cléroux is also responsible for providing economic analysis and advice to the Bank’s senior management team, and supervises all marketing and industry research activities.

Over his 25-year career as an economist, he has held several influential positions that had a direct impact on entrepreneurs in Canada and abroad. Before joining BDC, Cléroux worked for the Government of Saudi Arabia as Vice President, Business Analysis in the National Industry Clusters Development Program. His role was to create program strategies, define sector policies and conduct financial and economic analyses of industrial projects.

Previously, Cléroux was the Quebec Assistant Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, responsible for the implementation of economic policies and programs to support small and medium-sized businesses and encourage entrepreneurship. He was also a strategic advisor for Montreal International, where he was responsible for attracting foreign investment from India and the Middle East, and developing international relationships and partnerships. He worked for 12 years at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in various roles, including economist and Quebec Vice President. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a master’s degree in Economics from Laval University, as well as an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Pierre Cléroux

Kirstine Stewart

Kirstine Stewart

Kirstine Stewart was the first woman to hold the position of Executive Vice-President of CBC’s English services—often called the most powerful job in Canadian broadcasting—and was the first Managing Director of Twitter Canada, leading Canadian operations as well as advertising business and partnerships. She went to NYC for Twitter and ran the social network’s North American media partnerships business before coming to her new role as Chief Strategy Officer at ​Diply.

She is an alumna of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, an integral part of the World Economic Forum. Kirstine has been named to the Maclean’s list of the most powerful Canadians (just two places behind Justin Trudeau), to Toronto Life’s list of the most influential Torontonians and to Canadian Business’s 2015 list of the top 50 most powerful business people in Canada. She is also a bestselling author of ​Our Turn: Time for a New Kind of Leader, a leadership manual for the new economy.

Paul Roman

A dedicated partner and results-driven executive, Paul Roman has spent more than a decade at American Express Canada as a trusted advisor to companies coast to coast, helping them solve their financial challenges, attract new customers, and grow their businesses.

As the Vice President & General Manager of Global Commercial Payments, Paul is responsible for the strategic direction, management and growth of a market-leading portfolio of business clients and prospects that spans the small business, middle market, and global multi-national segments.

Paul Roman

Harley Finkelstein

Harley Finkelstein

Harley Finkelstein is an entrepreneur, lawyer, and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Shopify. He founded his first company at age 17 while a student at McGill. Harley completed his law degree as well as his MBA at the University of Ottawa, where he co-founded the JD/MBA Student Society and the Canadian MBA Oath. Harley is on the Board of the C100, is an Advisor to Felicis Ventures & Omers Ventures, and is one of the new “Dragons” on CBC’s Next Gen Den.

Harley was inducted into the Order of Ottawa in 2016, received the Canadian Angel Investor of the Year Award in 2017, and most recently was awarded Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award.

Ann Kaplan

Ann Kaplan is a multi-award winning Canadian businesswoman who holds an MBA, an MSc, a Corporate Governance Designation, and who is currently completing her PhD thesis and Doctor of Business Administration. In 1996, Ann was concerned about a government decision to cut back funding for medical procedures. From this, she founded Medicard, a company offering consumer loans for cosmetic procedures through service providers across Canada. Today, Medicard has evolved to become iFinance Canada, a multi-time PROFIT 500-winning Canadian leader in financing medical, dental and veterinary procedures with offices located across the country.

Ann has been the recipient of numerous awards for her business achievements, including the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. To date, Ann has written four books, and has been featured in hundreds of publications, including two university textbook case studies on entrepreneurship. Ann is currently working on her fifth book.

Ann Kaplan

Alyssa Kerbel

Alyssa Kerbel

After working for a wholesale fashion sales agency for just under two years, Alyssa Kerbel left and opened her own fashion sales agency. For 12 years, Alyssa and her team represented Canadian, U.S. and international men’s and ladies’ fashion to better independent boutiques, chains and department stores across Ontario and the Maritimes. In 2008, after having her first child, Alyssa decided that she was yearning for something new, something that would be more creative and challenging in different ways. Noticing that there was an apparent lack in the market for good quality, simple, organic infant and kids basics, Alyssa drew upon her fashion industry knowledge and started the children’s apparel brand mini mioche.

Over the past 8 years, mini mioche has grown from a small collection of infant basics to a full range of basics and seasonal fashion collections for infants and kids newborn to age 8. The collection, which is organic and made locally in Toronto, is currently sold in the company’s two downtown Toronto brick & mortar stores, as well as across North America through the company's online shop. After running both businesses simultaneously for seven years, Alyssa sold her fashion agency business in December 2014 in order to focus her full attention on growing mini mioche. In 2016, Alyssa was featured on PROFIT’s W100 ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs.

Greg Habstritt

Greg Habstritt has been a life-long animal lover and entrepreneur, having been involved in starting and building more than 20 different ventures since his first venture at age 13. He’s been featured in a range of media including Inc. and the National Post, and his ventures have raised more than $1 million for a variety of philanthropic and charitable organizations. He is the President and Managing Partner of Vets To Go, Canada’s largest mobile veterinary service. Vets To Go was recently named Calgary’s Small Business of the Year, one of Alberta’s fastest growing companies and is on the PROFIT 500 list for the second time in 2017.

Greg Habstritt

Mike Silagadze

Mike Silagadze

Mike Silagadze is the CEO and co-founder of Top Hat, a veteran PROFIT 500 company. Under Silagadze’s leadership and vision, Top Hat has become the market leader in student engagement software, and is used by millions of students at three-quarters of the top 1,000 colleges and universities in North America. Silagadze is an active speaker and lecturer in the higher education, technology and startup communities, having appeared at the Rotman Commerce Entrepreneurship Organization, the ASU GSV Summit, MaRS, Tech Fest Toronto, SAAS North and TEDxLaurierUniversity, among others. Silagadze holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

Rachel Mielke

Rachel Mielke is the CEO of Hillberg & Berk, a purpose-driven Canadian brand focused not only on designing, manufacturing and retailing attainable luxury jewellery, but also on empowering women around the world. With over 700% growth in the last five years, the company—a PROFIT 500 veteran—continues to build a culture dedicated to improving the lives of women, one sparkle at a time.

Rachel Mielke

Matt McMillan, CPA, CA

Matt McMillan, CPA, CA

Matt McMillan is a partner with Deloitte Private Tax, based in Edmonton, who has served privately owned enterprises and their shareholders since joining Deloitte in 2003. Prior to that, Matt worked in policy development, assessing the impact of various tax and economic initiatives on competitiveness and investment attraction. He brings a practical perspective to advising clients on their tax matters, including proactive measures to thrive in a changing and uncertain tax environment. More recently, Matt has led Deloitte’s market response related to the proposals, announced by the Minister of Finance in July, to significantly modify how private companies (and ultimately their shareholders) are taxed. He holds an undergraduate degree and masters of professional accounting from the University of Saskatchewan, and is a CPA, CA.

Debbie Fung

Debbie Fung is the co-founder of Yoga Tree Studios, Toronto’s premier yoga studio offering over 2,000 yoga classes a month. Since 2007, Yoga Tree has grown from being one studio located in Thornhill, Ont. to five locations across the Greater Toronto Area, including studios in Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Midtown and Downtown Toronto. Debbie is the recipient of 2016’s Canada's Next Top Entrepreneur Award presented by KPMG & Ivey School of Business and is a multiple-time award recipient for PROFIT’s W100 ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs. She has been active in the Toronto community promoting startups, female entrepreneurship and has been a guest speaker at Ivey School of Business, University of Waterloo and City of Toronto Small Business Forum. Debbie's growth journey is also featured in Stacey Kravetz's newest book She’s So Boss, and her studio has been listed on the PROFIT 500 for the second time in 2017.

Rachel Mielke


Four Seasons Hotel
Aria Ballroom (Third Floor)
60 Yorkville Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, M4W 0A4

Room Reservations

A limited number of rooms are reserved at a discounted rate for PROFIT 500 CEOs. Please consult your CEO Summit invitation email for more information, or call the Four Seasons at (416) 964-0411


Guests can make use of the Four Season Hotel’s daily valet parking for $50 per day with unlimited in and out privileges. A self-parking option is available across the street from the hotel at the Green P Garage at 37 Yorkville Ave.

Dress Code

Business attire.

Register Now

Having Trouble?

If you need assistance with registration, please contact Adrian Li at 416-818-0645 or