Bridges To Better Business
The Bridges to Better Business Conference is an annual conference that allows entrepreneurs to connect with business leaders and gain first-hand knowledge from renowned experts. This event brings together hundreds of businesses in various stages of development for an open exchange of ideas, advice and feedback lead by dynamic facilitators and mentors.
Each year participants leave the conference feeling inspired and armed with the tools to help them overcome challenges and succeed in business.
This year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bridges here in Greater Sudbury. Join us as three local entrepreneurs speak about their greatest challenges, accomplishments and experiences within Greater Sudbury and how they’ve gotten through it all. You will have the opportunity to ask your questions and speak to business owners who understand what you may or are currently experiencing.
Returning to the conference this year are the always popular concurrent sessions. Take your pick from three sessions that will give you the opportunity to learn new skills to bring back to your business.
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
10:30 - 11:45 : Registration
11:45 - 12:00 : Welcoming Remarks
12:00 - 1:00 : Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 : Entrepreneur Panel
Norm Bouffard - Skater's Edge Source for Sports
Maegan Fram - Project Dance
Dave Russell - Twiggs Coffee Roasters
2:00 - 3:00 : Q & A
3:00 - 3:30 : Wellness Break
3:30 - 5:00 : Concurrent Sessions
The Power Behind the Proper Brand presented by Fuel Media
Fostering a Positive and Engaging Workplace Environment presented by Gallagher
Using Technology to Improve Record Keeping Efficiency in your Business presented by Baker Tilly
5:00 - 7:00 : Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce Networking After Five
Normand Bouffard is a Laurentian University History major drop out! He left university to follow his passion for hockey. Norm started his small business sharpening hockey skates in the basement of his parents’ second hand bookstore on LaSalle Blvd in the 1980’s.
Shortly afterwards, Norm converted half of his parent’s garage into a small 450 foot pro shop named Skater’s Edge, where he sharpened skates, offered laces and tape, and traded in used skates. He expanded the footprint of the garage several times over 10 years and then it was time to move again. In his tenth year of business he moved to a bigger location on LaSalle Blvd, thereby expanding his square footage, his offerings and his staff! Subsequently, he joined a buying group and renamed his store Skater’s Edge Source for Sports. Along the way, Norm also started a family when he married his long time sweetheart, Ann Madore. First a son, Mikaël, came along, and then five years later a daughter named Chlöé.
As the need grew for better proximity to the big box stores, and again a need for more space, he purchased a property on the Kingsway. He spent 5 years developing the plan for a mall to house his store, his satellite teamwear business, and his wife’s businesses, Jump! The Skate, Dance and Gymnastics Store, as well as Jump! The Baby Store, which she co-owns with her business partner, Melissa Laporte-Alexander.
The transition to move into the new 14,000 square foot sports store was made less daunting by bringing in a partner, Matthew Zawerzeniec, and by relying on his tenured staff. With their help, Skater’s Edge Source for Sports achieved the Bell Service Excellence Award in 2018.
Throughout his 30 years in business, Normand has been a proud community supporter, partnering with many organizations. One which stands out is the NHLPA Goals and Dreams Fund in partnership with the NOFCC. Ninety sets of hockey equipment have been given to deserving children across Northern Ontario who have been diagnosed with cancer, as well as their siblings. Skater’s Edge Source for Sports and Norm Bouffard value our wonderful community, and look forward to many more years of participating in local events and giving back to those who helped his business grow, as well as those in need.
Maegan Fram is the owner and director of Project Dance in Sudbury Ontario. She is an innovative choreographer and dance instructor. Maegan began her journey in the dance world at a very young age and has trained extensively in all disciplines. Her talents have been recognized on a national level, winning a variety of scholarships and awards. Maegan began teaching dance in her teens and within a few short years became a much sought after choreographer and teacher for various studios across Ontario.
In 2006, Maegan opened her own dance studio, Project Dance. It is here that Maegan teaches and inspires her students through dance. Maegan’s dedication and passion for dance has won her and the studio many prestigious awards for choreography & overall excellence. Maegan has traveled the Country to share her expertise and knowledge of dance as an adjudicator for various dance competitions. Her students have been recognized for their talents, winning National Titles and receiving invitations to travel and perform overseas. Maegan is very proud of her students who have gone on to continue their education in dance, launch professional careers and even open their own dance studios. Maegan has been the recipient of the Young Women of Distinction award as well as the Greater Sudbury 40 under 40 award. Remaining true to her vision, Maegan is proud to continue running a successful business for 14 years in the City of Greater Sudbury.
David Russell is co owner of Twiggs Coffee Roasters Sudbury. David has a diverse background with over 30 years experience as an entrepreneur in various business sectors. David graduated from a Northen Australian university with a Bachelor of Psychology in 1992. He worked with unemployed and underprivileged individuals in both Brisbane, Australia and downtown Eastside of Vancouver, where he assisted in implementing an assessment, counseling and referral program. A change of direction found David entering the construction industry where he gained experience in steel and wood framing, obtained an open crane operating license and a master in carpentry. More recently, David operated a successful contracting business in North Bay, Ontario. His work was highly regarded for service and fine workmanship. It was during this time he developed a working relationship with the Twigg family and while renovating the downtown Twiggs in North Bay he recognized the business opportunity of a Twiggs franchise. He is proud to have built as well as opened Twiggs Coffee Roasters in Sudbury. Since opening just over 2 years ago, Twiggs Coffee Roasters have developed a reputation for being one of Sudbury’s finest coffee destinations. Winner of this year’s Bell Business Award for Service Excellence, Twiggs Sudbury prides itself on customer service and creating an atmosphere where people of all ages love to come.
At this year's Bridges to Better Business Conference we are excited to reintroduce our concurrent sessions to help you learn new tricks of the trade for your business success.
The Power Behind Proper Branding
Your brand is a powerful tool that has a profound effect on your business identity. Branding goes beyond a logo, business cards or a website. Branding should be ingrained in your business's DNA to provide customers with the ultimate experience. Join Fuel Media to explore how a properly executed brand is critical to achieving success, gaining influence and attracting new opportunities.
Fostering a Positive and Engaging Workplace Environment
A company's culture and workplace environment can make a significant impact on employee engagement. With the high costs associated with disengaged employees, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to foster a culture that values employees and encourages them to grow. Join Gallagher to learn how a business can save valuable financial and human resources by cultivating an environment that allows employees to be productive and emotionally committed to their jobs.
Using Technology to Improve Record Keeping Efficiency in your Business
Bookkeeping and record keeping can be daunting and tedious tasks without the right tools. While some business owners prefer manual systems, most businesses use electronic systems to make it easier to capture information and generate reports. However, did you know that you may be unnecessarily inputting data multiple times or missing out on key technologies that allow your tools to communicate together? Join Baker Tilly to discover how the efficient use of technology can save you time and effort leaving you to focus on the success of your business.
Entrepreneurship Panel Sponsor
Concurrent Session Sponsors