10 Years of the Ted Rogers Management Conference

Ann McArthur, a third-year business management student, is sharing highlights from her experience at the Ted Rogers Management Conference! 

The Ted Rogers Management Conference (TRMC) holds a special place in my heart. It was the first conference I attended during my undergrad as I was an Ambassador for the team. This year marked not only my third year attending the conference, but it also is TRMC’s 10th year anniversary.

With the big 10-year anniversary, my expectations for the conference were extremely high. I’m happy to say that it exceeded my expectations.

The conference was hosted at the Westin Harbourfront Castle, a wonderful downtown location with a great view of the water. It began with an opening keynote from Melinda Rogers, the deputy chair of Rogers. She spoke about how her father, Ted Rogers, was an innovator who took risks. Having Melinda open the evening set the stage for the exciting days that followed.

Jim Reid, chief human resources officer of Rogers, had an upbeat energy and gave great life advice to play to your passions and hone your strengths. A key takeaway from his talk was the importance of having people in your life who are supportive. He explained the concept of ranking people at a company a 6 or a 9, then to get rid of the 6’s and promote the 10’s to make sure you have the right people on your team. He said that despite this being a common trick for companies, it can also apply to your personal life. It’s important to have people with you that are supportive and bring value to your life. He also recommended that if you’re to read any book about business, it should be Good to Great by Jim Collins.

Following Jim was a speech from Diana Brown, chief people officer at Capital One. She encouraged us to ask for help from others and to not compare ourselves to others. Everyone is going to be better than you in some aspect so rather than negatively comparing yourself, you should find positive aspects and strengths within your friends and learn from them. This is a way to grow.

Later that day was the 32nd Annual Ryerson Business Forum, which was moderated by Patricia Lovett-Reid, chief financial commentator of CTV News. The panelists were Justin Pang, head of corporate sponsorship at Google, George Soleas, CEO & president of the LCBO, Garrick Tiplady, managing director of Facebook Canada and Rola Dagher, president of Cisco Canada. Rola was named Women in Communications and Technology’s Woman of the Year for 2019. She was an engaging speaker and she advised us to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations since those are what ensure us to grow.

The evening ended with the annual multicultural night dinner where everyone dressed up in their cultural clothing. Entertainment included lively dance performances. This was definitely the most fun part of TRMC as every delegate was dressed beautifully and the entertainment was a fun way to wrap up the evening. Unfortunately, I had left my traditional Filipino outfit at home, but was lucky enough to borrow a sari from a friend of mine. It was way harder to put it on than expected, so a big thank you to all my friends who taught me how to wear it!

The following day began with the Startup Summit presented by Facebook. The Startup Summit is an annual part of the conference which has 5 startups give a pitch and the winner receives $5,000. Before the pitches, Derrick Fung, CEO of Drop gave a speech on entrepreneurship. He left the corporate world to work with Tomorrowland music festival and then started his own business. He believes more and more people want to start their own business since people no longer chase money in a career, but want to fulfill a passion. He had a passion for music which is what led to his job at Tomorrowland music festival.

The TRMC gala was the night we had all looked forward to. After a cocktail reception and delicious dinner at the Liberty Grand, the conference concluded with a Fireside Chat with Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. Seeing him speak in person was surreal due to the huge impact his work has had on the world, and my life as a Mac and iPhone user. He was far more personable and fun to listen to than I expected. He urges us all to focus on being happy and having fun in what we do.

My favourite part of his chat was that he was asked what he would tell his younger self – a common question I hear at conferences, but his answer was something I had never heard before. He said he wouldn’t tell his younger self anything since he believes that thinking out problem he faced was what made him who he is and the process of thinking something out is the most important part.This was extremely refreshing and encouraging to hear, especially from someone as successful and impactful as him.

From the high-caliber speakers, enthusiastic delegates and overall conference experience, I’m so glad I had the opportunity to attend this conference yet again and celebrate 10 years of TRMC.

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