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 

“Congratulation to all participants! ENTREPRISE is just the beginning of your adventure. Good luck!” 

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.

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Vito Cassotta
Merchandise Manager, Michael Kors

“It’s always a pleasure returning to LaSalle college to help judge the Entreprise projects. Not only did I get to meet some fantastic industry leaders but also passionate students who are about to join the job market. The caliber of presentations we saw and the passion these students demonstrated is a shining example of the incredible talent pool coming from this program.”

Vito Cassotta is the Merchandise Manager for Michael Kors Canada and currently pursuing an EMBA at the John Molson School of Business. He has over ten years ‘experience in the retail sector working in various different departments such as operations, visuals before finding his true calling 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 the Jack & Jones retail stores. During his time off Vito enjoys volunteering for organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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Mariya Marino
Human Resources Director

“Wonderful experience witnessing young talent present innovative ideas! Well done!”

Mariya brings over 12 years of Human Resources Experience. Mariya’s expertise includes talent management, organizational development, leadership and management coaching. A graduate from Concordia University, Mariya began her career as an Industrial Recruiter in the staffing industry where she discovered her passion and love for Recruitment and finding the right “fit”. In 2012, while landing her first HR Management role, she discovered her true passion and calling for Human Resources. In 2017, Mariya joined the Lamour Group as an HR Director, overseeing all implementation of HR policies, initiatives and full-cycle recruitment. Joining the apparel industry for the first time, Mariya enjoyed the learning curve and challenge of creating an HR department whilst learning a whole new industry. Mariya is responsible for overseeing all HR activities that involve Lamour, BMHL Equities, Tefron, Cory Vines and Terramar. Mariya firmly believes that a healthy work environment can breed the best talent. “When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home”.

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Gildas Awuye 
General Manager and Co-founder
Atelier New Regime

“Wonderful experience witnessing young talent present innovative ideas! Well done!”

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

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Tanya Iermieri 
Director Global Communications
Group Aldo

“It’s so wonderful to see such amazing talent from our beautiful creative city. Congratulations to all the presenters. This has truly been an inspiring energy and memorable experience.”

Tanya Iermieri is the Director of Global Communications at the ALDO Group. Born and raised in Montreal, Tanya started with the ALDO Group in 2010, working in Corporate Marketing and Wholesale branding before joining the Global Communications team in 2015. 

As a Director of Global Communications, she oversees Store Communications, Internal Communications, Visual Communications and Design, Corporate PR and Translation. 

Tanya graduated with a BA from Concordia University, double majoring in History and Community & Public Affairs. She furthered her studies at Concordia University and completed a Graduate Diploma in Journalism. 

In addition to her role in communication, Tanya also creates innovative strategies to amplify the ALDO Group’s culture, including implementing progressive Work/Life integration policies and making Female Leadership a key priority for the company. 

Tanya believes that the key to building a strong company culture from within, is with clear, exciting and transparent communication. 

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Jackie Tardif 
President Reitmans
Reitmans Canada

“The ENTREPRISE project demonstrates the strength of our succession. A promising future with inspiring, innovative, and responsible projects. I am impressed by the quality of the projects”

Jackie Tardif joined Reitmans Canada Ltd in 1995 and she successfully progressed through a series of roles gaining extensive management and leadership experience in the retail and fashion business. Jackie was appointed as President of Reitmans banner in December 2017. Jackie is a member of the Equilibre Board of Directors since November 2018 and serves as Treasurer. She is involved as Mentor in Women in Governance’s  mentoring programs with a mission to support women in their leadership development and career advancement.

Jackie has consistently been recognized for her strong business and financial acumen and the ability to link an overarching strategy and results directly to the company financial goals, focusing on profitable sustainable growth, influencing trends, redesigning business processes, brand repositioning, leading and developing teams.

Passionate, dedicated and driven leader, Jackie always provides guidance to her team to inspire innovative business strategies and high standards of brand execution. Also known for her customer experience, she believes fashion empowers women to put their best foot forward, and she continuously finds new ways to create memorable shopping experiences for Reitmans customers. 

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Semi-Final Jury

Magalie Harvey
Public Relations Manager
Le Château

Magalie Harvey began her career in fashion 14 years ago at LE CHÂTEAU as a merchandiser and has since grown into the position of Public Relations Manager. After graduating from HEC Montreal with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Magalie spent a few years in the UK working for Ted Baker as a manager and PR liaison. She later left her London life to return to her first loves, Montreal and LE CHÂTEAU. Magalie’s enthusiasm, creativity and strong communication skills have made her a natural when it comes to implementing PR strategies and fostering relationships with influencers and celebrities for the brand. Outside of the office you can find her giving back to the community as a committee member of the Young Professionals for the McGill University Health Centre Foundation.

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Freddie Powers
General Manager
SSENSE Montréal

Freddie Powers joined SSENSE a year ago as the General Manager of SSENSE MONTRÉAL, the company’s first flagship retail space located in Old Montréal. In this role she oversees operations of the retail space and leads the flagship retail team. .

Freddie has over 12 years experience in Retail Management with international companies such as Urban Outfitters Canada and United Kingdom. Prior to joining SSENSE Freddie was the District Manager of North East Canada and New York for Club Monaco, Ralph Lauren. Freddie graduated from the Fashion Marketing program at LaSalle College in 2007 and is a dedicated boxer in her free time.

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Jean-Philippe Boudreau
Senior Director, Digital Growth

In the last 19 years, Jean-Philippe H. Boudreau went from entrepreneur to intrapreneur, generating $175+ million of gross merchandise value for his clients so far since 2008. As a result, his daily focus has been on digital transformation and eCommerce governance of prestigious brands including L’Oréal, Yves Rocher, Maison Birks, Maison Marie Saint Pierre, Louis Garneau Sports, SAIL, Sportium, Primeau Vélo, Stokes, Structube, Mobilia, Ashley Homestore, Bench, Kamik, Kanuk, m0851, Rudsak, Aubainerie, Souris Mini, Jacob, Empire Sports and more. Before joining Absolunet, he worked for 3 years as the Director of Marketing and the PR Officer at Modasuite (now Frank And Oak). Since 2012, this Executive MBA graduate also teaches eCommerce Business Planning, Digital Marketing, Integrated Marketing Communication at the ESG UQAM School of Management and at the McGill University.

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Christina Simanella
Director, People and Culture

The Kersheh Group

Christina is an HR leader with over 10 years of diverse experience. She graduated from John Molson School of Business with a major in Human Resources Management and a minor in Human Relations and has since worked in various industries including fitness, manufacturing and fashion wholesale. Known for her collaborative work style and people-centric approach, Christina continually strives to translate the company vision into HR initiatives that will improve performance, employee satisfaction and engagement. In her role as Director of People and Culture at The Kersheh Group, she is responsible for implementing human resources strategies that will continue to build the employer brand and enable the company to recruit and retain the industry’s top talent.

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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.

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