Speakers 2019





twitter = @alexgill           Instagram = @alexgillmendicant

Alex Gill is a social entrepreneur who currently leads Mendicant Group, a global consultancy that has worked on social issues in 17 different countries.  He is also the co-founder and current Director of Ryerson University’s social business incubator, the Social Ventures Zone, which currently supports more than 40 start-ups.   Alex is a global advocate for social and entrepreneurial issues, having moderated the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance since 2010.  In 2015 THIS Magazine named him as one of Canada’s “Social Justice All-Stars.”   Follow Alex on Twitter at @alexgill for a mix of all things social and entrepreneurial, along with the occasional pun.


Partner, Trade and Customs

KPMG Canada

Prior to joining KPMG in July 2018 as a Partner in the Trade and Customs Practice, Joy was President of the Canadian Importers and Exporters Association (I.E. Canada) for 8 years. Joy brings over 30 years of experience in customs compliance to the KPMG Trade and Customs team.  Joy started her career in Montreal and worked for over 10 years for well-known customs brokers/freight forwarders giving her hands-on operational experience. 


Joy spent a number of years developing her expertise employed as a Senior Manager with public accounting firms of KPMG LLP and Deloitte & Touche LLP as a Customs and International Trade consultant. The accounting firm environment provided her with extensive experience related to advising multinational clients in terms of meeting import and export requirements while minimizing costs. Her experience with professional tax and supply chain advisers has given her a background rich in understanding how customs and trade issues play an important role in developing corporate strategies. Her experience in advising how matters such as income tax transfer pricing and customs valuation fit into complex international restructuring plans have been key to her success as a consultant.


Joy has sat on various committees as advisors to Federal Ministers and has testified before both the House of Commons and Senate Committees on International trade on matters directly impacting Canadian importers and exporters.


Certified International Trade Professional


Emiliano has close to two decades of experience working with manufacturers and exporters looking to increase their global growth by providing them with support and guidance in all things export. His strategy not only focuses on helping companies navigate the complexities of global supply chains, but also in the small details that can make or break an international trade transaction. Emiliano is a Certified International Trade Professional (CITP), teaches the FITT (Forum for International Trade Training) Program at Seneca College and works at Export Development Canada (EDC).




Sania was founded by Elana Hazghia, an Iranian-American-Canadian with a passion for Latin America, which was initially rooted in nothing more than an affinity for the Spanish language. Her love for the language, region and people grew as her academic and professional career took her to Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Peru, and Colombia, managing high-level programs, facilitating public-private partnerships, and co-founding Latin America’s first hemispheric network for women. 

Her experience has spanned borders and industries, from implementing complex health technology programs in the DR Congo to building a cross-cultural arts program in Guatemala.

She is now marrying her passion for Latin America, social impact, and art by starting Sania. Her objective is to expose Canadians to a side of Latin America that is rarely seen or depicted in the media: a progressive, entrepreneurial, vibrant undercurrent of socially conscious innovators and designers.

A native New Yorker born in London; Elana now lives in Toronto with her husband.


Supplier Diversity Manager – Supply Management



Elizabeth Auceda is the Canadian lead for Supplier Diversity for Sodexo, a Global Food service and Facilities Management Company. In over 70 countries with a focus on diversity and inclusion in all areas by unlocking the potential offered by our global scale. Supporting initiatives that improve the quality of life for women across the globe. Sodexo is helping to create a better tomorrow for everyone.

Elizabeth joined Sodexo in 2009 in the Finance Department and contributed in various positions.

 Elizabeth is instrumental in growing the Supplier Diversity program that is reflected by having an inclusive supply chain. Ensuring all areas of Supplier Diversity are captured and moving forward through strategic and innovative solutions throughout Canada. She is building a strong impact through networking and mentoring. 

Elizabeth is moving forward not only in Sodexo but in the community, region and in Canada. She has been honored through various awards.


Business Development Director, Latin America


International Business professional with over 30 years of broad experience ranging from the capability to develop and close multi million dollar deals, to risk analysis from a macro market level to micro customer level, finance and accounting understanding, deep knowledge of international logistics, procedures and documentation, proven strategic business development and implementation down to the operational level of a sales Division, including training of logisticians and traders. Jose Zlatar has a keen interest in international business, in particular, he is passionate about the growing opportunities created by more affluent global population and the exceptional need for goods in a globalized world that is providing opportunities for great development to companies able to quantify the different markets available to them and take advantage of potential revenues by developing or optimizing their international strategies and expanding their markets beyond their current borders. 


Jose Zlatar holds an MBA from Universidad del Pacifico in Lima, Peru, his international trading experience includes over 3 years managing a Custom Broker Company in Peru, South America plus over 25 years importing products into North America and Exporting from North America to different World destinations different products, specializing in the last 5 years in Dairy Proteins.



Executive Director 

World Trade Centre Toronto 

Since assuming his role at World Trade Centre Toronto  (WTC-T) in May 2016, Leigh has focused his efforts on providing comprehensive international trade services and key global contacts, supporting trade development and international business growth to businesses throughout the Toronto region. 

Leigh has extensive experience developing and leading strategy and business development. Prior to his role at WTC-T, Leigh worked with other provincial, federal and municipal government procurement organizations to develop strategy, and led a program to build a 275-person internal consulting business and to reduce consulting costs by $30 million for the Government of Ontario’s Management Board Secretariat. Much of Leigh’s career has been entrepreneurial, focused on growing new and emerging programs. This includes the role of CFO of a dot-com, Bee-Trade.com, President of Pulse Health Products and Managing Director of Newtown Sales Ltd. 

Leigh holds a Strategic Analytics Certificate in Management Analytics from Queen’s University School of Business, and a Certificate in Public Procurement Law and Practice, Purchasing/Acquisitions and Contracts Management from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. 



LatAm Startups

Miryam Lazarte is the founder of LatAm Startups, a Toronto-based accelerator that brings startups from Latin America to Canada and scales them globally. A serial entrepreneur since childhood in Colombia, Lazarte is passionate about building stronger economic ties between Canada and Latin America—and—often—overlooked market of 800 million consumers.


Lazarte is member of the Program Advisory Committee for Business Administration, Entrepreneurship and Small Business at Seneca College, and works closely with both Canadian and Latin American angels in pursuit of cross-border investment opportunities.



Director - Trade & Investment Services Office

World Trade Centre Toronto

Toronto Region Board of Trade


After nearly a decade dedicated to international trade and with direct experience working in 19 different countries around the world, Jose joined the Toronto Region Board of Trade to develop a series of strategies that will increase the direct trade interaction between GTA businesses and the its main global counterparts.


Founder and Chairman

Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce

A non-profit organization established to grow Black owned Businesses and to inspire the Black and African Canadian Community to venture into becoming Entrepreneurs by starting a business or taking their business to the next level.  This is accomplished through the vision of Building Wealth and Building Trust.

After attending the University of Waterloo, Mr. Forrest worked for the Chevron-Texaco company. After several years in the Oil & Energy sector, Mr. Forrest launched into the becoming an Entrepreneur. His professional experience spans several sectors from Supply Chain Management, Transportation, Logistics, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Healthcare, Real Estate Development, Manufacturing and International Trade.

Mr. Forrest is a leader and a strategic thinker who aims to always exceed the needs of his Clients, Suppliers and Employees, while being cognizant of the environment and local communities.  This is accomplished in a professional and personalized manner by placing great emphasis on providing innovative and unique solutions that achieve successful outcomes for all stakeholders.