Explore the ever-evolving retail landscape through the transformative power of music. Think beyond the traditional walls of bricks and mortar, as we look to merge physical and digital spaces to inspire and transport customers to another place in a highly memorable way.
Join us for this session as speaker Mardi Najafi, Vice President, Retail Strategy and Design at Figure3, uncovers the powerful connections beyond the transaction by identifying new motivations and mindsets while creating powerful experiences designed to resonate with the target consumer. The conversation continues beyond the presentation with a panel discussion featuring Mardi and other industry experts, followed by a live Q&A.
About Mardi Najafi:
Award-winning, multidisciplinary designer Mardi Najafi has been immersed in the world of design for over 25 years. From Paris to New York and Toronto, his experience bringing branded retail environments to life spans both small businesses and Fortune 500 brands such as Coca-Cola Canada, Adidas, Virgin Mobile, Penguin Shop, and Versace. With a passion for creating unique, immersive moments with unexpected details, Mardi continues to transform the retail experience as Vice President, Retail Strategy and Design at Figure3. An accomplished speaker, educator, and panelist, he enjoys sharing his knowledge and is actively committed to industry innovation and mentorship through his volunteer work with various professional design advisory committees and higher education institutions. Mardi is currently the President of RDI Canada.
IDC Design Symposium, Day 1: Wednesday, October 19, 2022
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Future of Retail Design Presentation by Mardi Najafi
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Group Discussion & Breakout
President, Managing Partner, Midgley Tecnica
Sponsorships and Trades Chair of RDI Canada
Glen Brewer is President, and Managing Partner of Midgley Tecnica, a distributor in the porcelain tile sector. He is a current IDC board member, representing manufacturers and suppliers. Glen is also IDC’s industry committee chair and leads and moderates IDC’s Sales Professionals Training Course. Glen is a strong advocate for designers and the design community, he is a past winner of IDC’s Legacy Award for Distinguished Service, the most prestigious individual award presented by IDC. Glen currently sits on a variety of additional boards and committees, including The Retail Design Institute, Sheridan College, and DDA. Glen is also an author and presenter for IDCEC CEUs. He is an active participant in IDC’s national DesignEX shows, as both a speaker/presenter and table-top attendee. His company is a strong advocate of IDC as an Industry Partner member.
Craig Patterson, B.COMM., LL.B.
Publisher, Retail Insider Media Ltd.
Craig Patterson is the Publisher of Retail Insider, Canada’s retail industry news publication that he founded in 2012. Craig is also an advisor to the University of Alberta Centre for Cities and Communities, and has studied the Canadian retail industry for the past 25 years. He holds Bachelor of Commerce and Law degrees and is a former lawyer and is currently a public speaker on the retail industry with a particular focus on luxury brands, shopping centres, branding, strategy and urban nodes.
Associate Vice President of Design, Construction and Sustainability
Deborah Delaney is the Associate Vice President of Design, Construction and Sustainability for Canadian Tire. Prior to the current role Deborah was leading all Design, Construction and Procurement for the largest Sporting Goods and Work/Casual apparel brands Canada- wide within Mark’s and Sport Check.
Before finding her passion in retail, Deborah worked in a wide range of design disciplines, projects and roles in North America, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe,
Deborah resides in Calgary, Canada. She supports various community building charities and has earned a reputation as mentor and advocate for women in construction.
Jean-Paul Morresi, B.Arch, RDI
Founder & CCO
Autside Agency Ltd.
Jean-Paul Morresi is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of Autside Agency, a retail focused creative agency based in Toronto, Canada. His retail career spans more than three decades, starting with his role as a Visual Merchandiser at Club Monaco, and including 20+ years with Watt International, where he served as the Partner, Creative, leading all creative teams.
Vice President, Content – Retail
TouchPoints and the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo
Alicia Esposito is the VP of Content for Retail TouchPoints and the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo. She focuses on creating content that is meaningful and actionable for executives who visit Retail TouchPoints.com, listen to the Retail Remix podcast and attend the company’s various digital and in-person events.
In her work, she has interviewed some of the top C-level executives from retail brands, design firms and tech companies, and has recently focused on analyzing some key trends in social commerce, store design and community-driven commerce models.
Vice President, Corporate Development (Canada)
Neal Claassen is the VP Corporate Development (Canada) for Visual Elements, who helps retailers develop superior quality consumer environments and develop new products and finishes to meet the demands of a globally competitive retail sector. With almost three decades experience in store fixture manufacturing, Neal knows how to make the visual side of a brand identity take form.
Neal helped create the brand SEVENPOINT Interiors to leverage this knowledge for cannabis retail, and has helped create and develop almost one fifth of all cannabis retail stores in Canada. Neal has either written or been featured in many industry magazine articles, including Cannabis Retailer, Heads Lifestyle and Cannabis Prospect magazine. Neal created the PAVE student design challenge, a premier annual global student retail design competition, and continues his involvement today. Neal is also a high level ski instructor, a performance level ski coach, and a rugby coach.
Neal studied economics at Carleton University.