The Business Summit puts business through brand boot camp

Whitby Chamber’s fifth annual all-day conference hosted during Small Business Week

WHITBY, Ont., September 12, 2018 – Proving that brand is more than just a logo, The Business Summit is bringing a superstar lineup of speakers to the Durham business community. This year’s event, sponsored by Collins Barrow Durham, will put participants through brand boot camp and provide the opportunity to examine successful brands on a global, national and local level. Hosted by the Whitby Chamber of Commerce (WCC) at the Ajax Convention Centre on Wednesday, October 17, The Business Summit runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes breakfast, lunch and an opportunity to network after the conference at the Networking Power Hour.

Bringing 21 years of sports sales, marketing and leadership experience, keynote speaker Jeff Deline, Vice-President of Global Partnerships at Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, will dive into how a great marketing campaign, such as the Raptor’s We the North, can drastically change a brand’s reputation.

In addition to the keynote, The Business Summit agenda features two Soudbyte Speakers Rhonda Barnett and Ron Craig. As President and COO of Steelworks Design Co. (SWD), Barnett has transformed SWD to a full-service research and development firm which is now sought after by multi-nationals around North America. Furthermore, Barnett is the first female Chair of the National Board of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) in 147 years. Currently she is working with CME to lead a major diversity movement in Canadian Manufacturing and in September helped announce $498,000 in federal funding for a three-year pilot project aiming to attract and inspire more women and youth to pursue a career in manufacturing.

From modernizing The Source to working with restaurants under the Cara Operations umbrella, Craig is the master of rebranding, resulting in renewed sales growth and increased market share. Prior to joining The Source and Cara Operations, Craig held senior executive roles in marketing, retail operations and business development with a variety of organizations including Ontario Lottery and Gaming and Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

“It’s important to give the Durham business community access to speakers from across Canada with a wide range of expertise and experience,” said Natalie Pychitko, CEO at the WCC. “But it’s great to see so many local entrepreneurs and businesses that are growing impactful brands in our own backyard too! And most people forget how important their personal brand is to their career so it’s nice to shine a light on that as well.”

Demonstrating how to understand a local market to build a successful brand will be four WCC members on the Look at Local Brands panel, each with very different stories. This panel includes Mary Bone, Habitat for Humanity; Dr. Leanne Foster, Trafalgar Castle School; Michelle Peer, 2Co. Design Build and Jeff Talmey, Town Brewery.

Tickets for this must-attend event during Small Business Week can be purchased at Sponsorship opportunities for this event are also available.


The Whitby Chamber of Commerce (WCC) is a not-for-profit organization that was established in 1928 to unite local professionals with the purpose of advocating for their rights, compiling resources and doing business together. By connecting local businesses, the WCC fosters a thriving business community through connection, learning and leadership. Hosting more than 80 events throughout the year, the WCC provides its membership and the business community with the opportunity to celebrate local business, establish solid relationships, develop business leads, or simply unwind after hours.

For more information please contact:

Heather Bulman
Marketing and Communications Manager
Whitby Chamber of Commerce
209 Dundas St. E.,
Whitby, ON 7H8
905-668-4506 ext. 230