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Ask Me Anything Series: Planners On Stage

May 31, 2023 @ 11:30 am2:30 pm EDT

Ask Me Anything Series: Planners On Stage

**Early Bird deadline has been extended to May 19th!**

Date: Wednesday, May 31st, 2023
Time: 11:30 AM – 2:30PM
Location: The Waterside Inn,15 Stavebank Rd S, Mississauga, ON L5G 2T2


Do you have a burning question – do you want to know why things are the way they are, but don’t know who to ask? Join this session for an open, honest discussion with key industry planner representatives about anything and everything! No topic is off limits! Moderated by Sheila Wong, BBW Inc., this will be a two-way audience interactive session with audience members engaging in lively conversation with the panelists.  You don’t want to miss this continuation of our excellent series premiered at last year’s CIC Conference!

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify challenges and how to overcome them
  • Discover what is and is not negotiable when it comes to business events
  • Explore the connections and gaps between planner and supplier processes


11:30 AM      Doors and Registration Open, Networking and Lunch to begin
12:30 PM      Panel session
1:30 PM        Post-panel Networking
2:30 PM        Event Close


We look forward to seeing you on May 31st!


Early Bird Member: $95
Early Bird Student Member: $95
Regular Member: $115
Regular Student Member: $115
Early Bird Non-Member: $115
Early Bird Student Non-Member: $115
Regular Non-Member: $130
Regular Student Non-Member: $130

Bring an Industry Friend!

Would you like to invite an Industry Friend to this event? Purchase a ticket at the Member Rate.


Early Bird: $680
Regular: $825

To purchase a corporate table (tables of 8) or to submit the name of your Industry Friend, please reach out to [email protected]



Sheila Wong
Founding Partner and Senior Vice President
BBW International Inc. operating as BBW Event Staff and BBW Outsourcing

In 1991 Sheila Wong joined Henk Bok and an equity partner to form BBW International Inc., a national event staffing company. They quickly set the industry standard for staffing events through training to deliver exceptional customer service. Using the eLearning tool developed by Sheila, Front-pro™ certifies their team of Event Professionals to put their best foot forward. Currently, BBW staffs 1200 events in nine cities across Canada with over 1800 employees. They have become the launching pad for many people who want to pursue a career in the events industry.

In 2013 Sheila was inducted into the Hall of Fame by Meetings + Incentive Travel Magazine for Volunteerism and won the Meeting Professionals International Toronto Literary Award. In 2016 She was inducted into the Canadian Association of Exposition Management Hall of Fame and named 2016 Industry Influencer in the Toronto Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. Most recently she received recognition by the Customer Service Professionals Network as the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year for Women in Leadership. In 2023, Sheila was recognized as a Finalist in the PCMA Visionary Awards in the Groundbreaker category.

Today, Sheila gives back to the industry and the community through fundraising for various causes.

Dwayne Rutherford
Managing Director
Debonair Corporate Events

A love for people and building  meaningful relationships  is what fuels Debonair Corporate Events Founder and  Managing  Director. When you know, you know. Dwayne has been gathering people since his high school years and has acquired the knack for reaching people and encourages them to be their authentic self. His journey has allowed him the opportunity to host celebrity events for Jamie Foxx, Wyclef Jean, Ky-Mani Marly, Denzel Washington, Kevin O’Leary and many more. His authentic approach to connecting people is infectious. Rutherford’s clients have ranged from high-profile figures and high-net-worth individuals to non-profit charities. His favorite events are corporate galas, conferences, and social gatherings. He demonstrates an innate understanding in producing an event that elevates the idea of the client and exceeds their expectations.

Suzanne Burnie, CEM, CMM
Director of Events
Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario

With more than 20 years experience in the events industry, Suzanne Burnie is a certified, award winning event planner with a distinguished career designing and delivering both virtual and in person signature events. Suzanne is the Intern, Director of Events for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario representing 100,000 members and 21,000 students across Ontario. As a national leader for best-in class events, she is a creative thinker and problem solver that oversees the strategic development, implementation and execution of elaborate programs. Past events include complex multi-day industry conferences, award ceremonies, preeminent exhibitions, and trade shows.

Joe Nishi 
Managing Director
Meeting Encore

After 24 years of hotel operations and sales leadership with Hyatt & Starwood in Asia, Canada and the US, Joe joined Meeting Encore in 2009 and in January 2012 became co-owner and Managing Partner of Meeting Encore; Canada’s first Site Sourcing Specialist organization, which was founded in 1990.   Joe also co-manages two sister companies, Fuel Sports which focuses on sporting events and Intuitive Conferences & Events; a full service meeting and event management company.

Joe has sat on a number of advisory boards and is former Chair of the Global Business Travel Association, Canada, Meetings & Events Committee.  Joe has 3 kids and lives just down the road in Stoney Creek with his partner in crime Shannon Byck and his two dogs; Halliday and Alomar (clearly Jays fans in his house).

Vanessa Wilson, CMM, DES
Director, Conferences and Events
Canada Health Infoway

As the Director, Conferences and Events at Canada Health Infoway, Vanessa has more than 15 years of experience leading and developing best-in-class digital and live events ranging from 50 to 1,500+ attendees, along with significant knowledge of the non-profit sector, having worked alongside the public sector, vendors, sponsors and industry leaders while planning and executing these events.

Vanessa is passionate about building teams to execute creative, seamless events, to consistently elevate the event experience for speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and attendees, while enhancing the organization’s brand. She is a Certified Meeting Manager and Digital Event Specialist.

Rawle Borel Jr, CSEP
Manager of Communication Services / Directeur des Services de communication
TJX Canada

A planner and communication professional for over 25 years, Rawle ability to work collaboratively with vendor partners to deliver impactful, strategic events has been key to supporting and driving organizational goals. Working mainly in the corporate space, Rawle also has experience in the public sector and with not-for-profit. Rawle has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Communications from Brock University and the post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from the Humber College. In his spare time, Rawle enjoys traveling to new destinations. New people, new food, new cultures are fascinating and continue to be a catalyst for personal growth. Rawle shares his passion for people, memorable events and unique travel with his wife, two sons and three dogs!


May 31, 2023
11:30 am– 2:30 pm
Event Category:

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