Cutting Edge: 3 Trends Retailers Need to Embrace to Stay Competitive

If we learned anything from past retail trends, it’s that the store is still the most important part of the retail experience. Interest in the brick-and-mortar store is everywhere.

September 05, 2019

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GameStop's Christian Spor win an Operations Operative award at the 2019 Retail Innovator Conference

Congratulations to our client GameStop and their very own Christian Spor for his “Operations Operative” award at the 2019 Retail Innovator awards conference! We are inspired by your passion and drive for developing and delivering excellence in your company, using Opterus OpsCenter, and the larger #retail operations space.
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Scholarship – Helen Rose Awards

Opterus Helen Rose Awards

Opterus is launching 2 new scholarship awards for young women, between the ages of 18-25 and residents of Canada, who are pursuing a STEAM educational or entrepreneurial path. The awards are inspired by Founder, Janet Hawkins’ mother, Dr. Helen McKilligin.

Dr. McKilligin led a remarkable and groundbreaking life. She graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 1958 with a specialty in pediatrics. She was a published author, writing a book with pioneering insights into the principles of neonatal nursing in 1970. She practiced in Newfoundland at the Grace Hospital and taught as an associate professor at the medical school at Memorial University in Newfoundland. She helped form the first Family Planning Association of Newfoundland that opened a birth control centre in St. John’s, which was the first of its kind in the province. In 1980 she moved the family to Ontario and worked for the ministry of health creating groundbreaking programs in reproductive health. Before retiring she also completed her fine arts degree at the OCAD University. These annual awards are dedicated to her memory.

2019 Scholarships have been awarded... Please check back for 2020!

2019 Award Winners

Meet the Opterus Helen Rose Award Advisory Board

Sara G. Parchello

Sara has an employment and labour focused legal practice, with considerable understanding of the retail, hospitality, and mining industries. She is a specialized resource for HR professionals and in-house counsel generalists to consult on employment-related issues. Sara is regularly engaged by clients to provide respect in the workplace training with a focus on employer obligations under the Occupational Health & Safety Act and the Human Rights Code.
Prior to joining Bennett Jones, Sara was Vice President & Associate General Counsel at Hudson's Bay Company and was previously was an associate at another leading Canadian law firm. She is also an advisory board member of Practical Law Canada and a member of the ACO Human Resources Committee.
At the University of Ottawa, Sara earned the Beament Green Prize in Advocacy, the Maritime Law Book Ltd. Scholarship, and the Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP Prize. Sara also completed the Business Leadership for Women Lawyers through the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

Suzanne Tyson
Founder, Higher Ed Points Inc.

Suzanne has been involved in various capacities with higher education and student funding for more than half of her 30-year career, holding roles in several educational publishing companies, the loyalty industry and a scholarship matching company. In 2013, Suzanne combined all of her previous career experience to conceive, develop and launch HigherEdPoints.com, the only company in the world to enable the conversion of anyone’s loyalty points into funds for higher education. Her efforts with HigherEdPoints have directly assisted students and parents’ funding of over $1,500,000 in tuition payments and student loan repayments.

Nicole Durrant
Manager, Access to Information & Privacy/Festival Co-Ordinator

Nicole works in Public Affairs at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Her time is split between handling Access to Information and Privacy requests for English Services and managing CBC Television's participation in film and video festivals. She has also served on the national board of the Employee Assistance Program and has volunteered many years on internal and external charity campaigns.

Kristina Garrels, MD
Fellow, Clinical Informatics

Kristina grew up in the small town of Coboconk, Ontario. She has been a practicing urologist on both sides of the Canada/US border since 2001. She is an advocate for women’s health and developed a clinic specializing in women’s pelvic floor health. An enthusiastic lifelong learner, she always has a book or 2 on the go. Recognizing the future of healthcare will increasingly involve technology, she embarked on a 2 year training program in Clinical Informatics in June 2018. Despite her best efforts, she remains easily distracted by good food, good wine, good company and ice cream.

Lisa Britton-Poppler
Senior Account Relationship Manager

Lisa is a Senior Account Relationship Manager at Opterus and has more than 7 years’ experience in global account management and enterprise sales in the SaaS space. Through her career she has been collaboratively working with some of the world’s top global brands – such as Under Armour, Nike, Fossil and Ralph Lauren – to optimize their usage of technology and deliver real, and positive, retail operational changes within their organizations. This passion for positive change also drives her curiosity for green alternatives for all products in her and her family’s lives. Outside of work she loves spending time outdoors (with her family or on a good golf course) or enjoying a glass of wine with a book or new muffin recipe.

Janet Hawkins
President & CEO Opterus Inc.

Janet is president, CEO and co-founder of Opterus Inc., whose cloud-based software solutions simplify retail communications. Janet has more than 20 years of experience working in the Retail industry. Before launching Opterus in 2006, she held management roles with NCR and SAP where she focused on creating alliances, building partner programs and business development. She is also an advisor for the Canaccord Genuity Advisory Program for Women Entrepreneurs. When she isn’t solving problems for retailers and forging strategic alliances, Janet enjoys hiking near her Toronto-area home, painting and creating mosaic glass art, and traveling to awesome restaurants to fulfill her inner foodie. Janet graduated from York University with an English degree. You can follow Janet on Twitter at @janhawk1969 and follow Opterus Inc. at @opterus