Final Jury

The ENTREPRISE panel of judges is composed of professionals from the fashion industry who share their wisdom and experience in evaluating the business concepts of our graduates.

Franco Rocchi
Senior Vice President of Sales & Operations 

“The passion and creativity of LaSalle College student continue to inspire… the world welcomes this needed talents” 

Franco Rocchi is the Executive Vice-President at Le Château of Montreal, where he began his retail career 35 years ago. Franco is proud to be part of a global team that has elevated Le Château to one of Canada’s most respected, successful and fashion-focused brands. Mr. Rocchi is also the proud President of the Conseil Regional des Ages Italo-Canadiens, a board that governs the activities of 75 Italo-Canadian Golden Age Clubs, which maintains a membership of over 12,000 members.

Visit Website:

Sophie Beauchamp
Senior Director of Marketing, Ardène

“As a judge for the second year, I am once again in awe of the talent, dedication, passion and knowledge demonstrated by the students. The fashion industry will be lucky to have these graduates enter the workforce. Good luck to all graduates in your future endeavours.”

Sophie Beauchamp is a creative retail executive with over ten years of marketing and visual merchandising experience. Over the course of her career, Sophie has directed countless original marketing projects, brand development initiatives, and visual merchandising concepts. In her current role as Ardene’s Senior Director, Marketing and Visual, Sophie oversees the strategic planning and implementation of the company’s promotional campaigns. Under her leadership, Sophie’s team has leveraged pop culture and every-day street style to tell compelling stories and connect with the customer in an authentic way. Sophie’s entrepreneurial vision is contagious, and her innovative leadership has played a pivotal role in the evolution of the Ardene brand.

Visit Website:

Michelle Laberge
Marketing Director

“Congratulations to the creative teams who have demonstrated your business concept! It was a pleasure to discover your projects and hope to see them come true! Success to all! dream big!”

Michelle Laberge is a marketing and communications executive with a solid track record in managing all aspects of marketing communication strategies and delivering positive results while keeping the customer experience a priority. Michelle Laberge is currently responsible for leading the marketing strategy for the Reitmans’ brand across Canada in her role as Marketing Director. Strong from over 20 years serving some of Canada’s leading retail brands, Laberge acted most recently, as counsel to leading entrepreneurs in marketing and reputation management after her tenure as Senior Director Marketing Communication at RONA. Laberge’s previous roles include Vice president at MS&L (Publicis) and Senior Manager, Communication and Marketing with Holt Renfrew & Co, Canada’s leading lifestyle and fashion retailer. She also acted as Divisional Director, Public Relations for Birks & Mayors, a leading North American luxury brand and designer of fine jewelry.  Before that, she served as Director, Public Relations with Clarins Canada. She has a postgraduate degree in Public Communications and a Professional Degree in Fashion Design from Lasalle College.

Visit Website:

Debbie Zakaib
Executive Director

“Congratulations on such a beautiful evening that celebrates youth, our talents, entrepreneurship! Bravo to the people who have worked so hard all year round! And thank you to Collège LaSalle for making the dynamism and ingenuity of your students shine through. Very optimistic for the future! “

Debbie Zakaib is the Executive Director of La Grappe Métropolitaine de la Mode. She holds a masters degree in Marketing from HEC Montreal whose thesis explored Fashion Marketing in Quebec. After working for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec, promoting Quebec designers, she gathered over 10 years of experience as a manager in the areas of marketing and product development at l’Oréal, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson. In addition, Debbie published a weekly blog for Clin D’oeil magazine and was the «Urban Journalist» at ICI Radio-Canada. Committed and passionate, she sits on several boards such as the Contemporary Art Museum of Montreal’s’ foundation, spearheading their annual ball. Avid art collector, Ms. Zakaib also organizes the Contemporary Art Festival of Saint-Lambert as their official spokesperson.

Visit Website:

Brad Evans
Retail Director
Frank + Oak

“It is always a pleasure and a privilege to give back to the student community in Montreal. College LaSalle has such a strong reputation in the retail and fashion markets. I am honoured to have been a part of the event.”

With 16 years of retail management, Brad is currently the Retail Director with Frank And Oak. Since graduating from JMSB in 2009, he has had the opportunity to grow within a variety of Canadian and international retail organizations. Contrary to most retailers in the Canadian landscape, Frank And Oak started as a menswear e-comm site and has since developed into one of the leaders in omni-channel shopping experience.

Visit Website:

Robert P. Hayes
Chief Executive Officer

Pilgrim is a family owned fashion jewellery, watches and sunglasses company established in 1983 with wholesale operations in over 71 countries. The brand was born in Skanderborg, Denmark, when designer Annemette Markvad started creating and selling her own jewellery line at popular music festivals throughout Scandinavia. She took inspiration from her love of minimalistic art, music, and people.

Visit Website:

Semi-Final Jury

Gildas Awuye
General Manager and Co-founder
Atelier New Regime

Gildas Messan Awuye is a young entrepreneur and co-founder of Montreal based clothing brand Atelier New Regime. His business ventures started in his early teens serving as a director at Benjamin Bros, the creative agency founded by his two eldest brothers. In 2011, he chose to focus his efforts on Atelier New Regime transforming the company from a local t-shirt brand into a full fledged clothing and lifestyle brand. Over the years he’s acquired a variety of skills becoming Atelier New Regime’s business strategist, production manager, creative director, and a key player in the brand’s marketing efforts

Visit website:

Vito Cassotta
Senior Retail Buyer
Michael Kors

Vito Cassotta has over ten years’ experience in the retail sector. He’s touched on various different departments such as operations, visuals before finding his true passion in buying and merchandising. A graduate from LaSalle College in 2004 he continued his education at McGill University in Public Relations Management while working for brands such as Levi Strauss & Bestseller Canada where he played a crucial role in the expansion of Jack & Jones retail stores. Vito currently holds the title Merchandise Manager for Michael Kors Canada. During his off time he enjoy volunteering for organizations such as Make-A-Wish.

Visit Website:

Marine – Sophie Jegard
Head of Content & Communications

Marine-Sophie Jegard has recently joined Reitmans as Head of Content & Communications. Before this role, Marine was Global PR Manager for the Aldo brand, where she devised and executed the overall strategic communications plan, media relations, product and celebrity placements, experiential events & influencer strategy for Europe and international franchisee partners in the effort of driving a strong brand equity. Before moving to Canada, Marine worked in PR agencies in Paris for two years. She holds a Master’s degree in Communications from Celsa Sorbonne School. In her spare time, she is constantly scrolling content on Instagram or Pinterest, but she would claimed that it is part of her job. She loves meeting with her friends for a brunch or apéro, and makes sure to hit a Fitness or Barre class whenever she can. Finally life can’t be accomplished without exploring the world. Her last trip: two weeks in Costa Rica #PuraVida.

Visit Website:

Georgia Genovezos
Senior Executive of Ecommerce & Digital Transformation

Recognized as a leader in the retail & Ecommerce space, Georgia Genovezos leverages her more than 20 years of marketing management experience in Telecom, Wireless & Ecommerce/Retail while forging ahead on the cutting edge of innovation. She has held executive roles for a number of national and international companies where she developed and grew successful marketing and sales organizations, such as Fido/Rogers, Positron,, Woozworld, Groupe Dynamite, Paysafe & Ardene. She currently sits on the advisory board of e-Tail Canada, and is a frequent speaker at industry events. She has also been called upon to judge and offer mentorship at the John Molson School of Business (Concordia University). Georgia is the Head of Ecommerce for Ardene where she leads the online experience for North America as well as social media and customer service.

Visit Website:

Hugo Thibault
Senior Director of Global Communications & Digital Marketing

Hugo has been working in marketing and communications for more than 15 years. His career started at Sid Lee where he worked from Account Coordinator to Account Director on brands like Red Bull, Saputo, Matt & Nat, Bose, and more for seven years. He then moved to a digital agency called Revolver 3 to work on the new Fido website and digital marketing campaigns. In 2009, he joined Yellow Pages Group to work on the rebranding of the brand from logo to the launch of the advertising platform that would mark a new era for the company. In 2011, he joined L’Oréal as Director of Communications & Digital for the L’Oréal Paris & Men Expert brands for Canada. Working on brand partnerships, signing spokespersons, press events, content creation and integrated digital campaigns for the launch of new products. Leveraging all of his work experiences, he is joining the Mackage team in 2017 as Senior Director of Global Communications & Digital Marketing.

Visit website:

Christina Simanella
Human Resources Manager
The Kersheh Group

Christina is an HR Professional with over 9 years of diverse experience in various industries including fitness, customs and freight forwarding, manufacturing and fashion wholesale. She graduated from John Molson School of Business in 2008 with a major in HR Management and a minor in Human Relations. Known for her collaborative work style and people-centric approach, Christina continually strives to translate the company vision into HR initiatives that improve growth, performance and employee engagement. As the HR Manager at The Kersheh Group, she is responsible for implementing human resource strategies that will continue to build the employer brand and enable the company to recruit and retain the industry’s top talent.

Visit website:

François Bousquet
Fashion School, LaSalle College Montréal

A fashion design graduate from LaSalle College, he worked as a designer in the industry and workshop leader for a Quebec creator before becoming a teacher. Director of the International School of fashion, arts and design at LaSalle College for over 17 years, he has been involved with the steering committee and the metropolitan cluster of fashion, to promote and develop the fashion industry, in Quebec and Canada.

Visit website: