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Maurice Allin | Debunking the Myth of The Customer to Drive Successful Branding

VP of Quarry Integrated Communications, Maurice Allin, joins Alan in this extremely insightful interview of AQ’s Blog & Grill. Alan and Maurice debunk the myth of the customer and share ideas of how to create powerful experiences in branding. Maurice unpacks the thinking of some of his favourite brand thinkers and anthropologists such as Joseph Campbell, Jonathan Haidt and Dr. Robert Deutsch. He discusses how the brands that we interact with help us as consumers to become more of...


Building a Successful Social Media Centred Business | Jane Barkley of IM@Events

From personal brand to event media, Jane Barkley – founder and CEO of IM@Events – ­is a powerhouse of marketing talents. Jane joins Alan in this episode of AQ’s Blog & Grill to share her path to success and how others can do the same. Jane founded IM@Events after uncovering a need in the event industry to produce and execute event coverage from front to back. IM@Events provides full digital media coverage of events and conferences across southern Ontario, building buzz and creating a path...


Jeff Aramini | Saving the World One User Experience at a Time | AQ's Blog & Grill

Jeff Aramini is the President of Focus21, a firm that is focused around creating online experiences with purpose. In this episode of AQ’s Blog & Grill, Jeff joins Alan to share what he means by that ‘purpose’ and how the growing start-up is working to make a difference in the world. An immense passion for learning helped Jeff gain a PhD in epidemiology, a doctorate of veterinary medicine and an incoming EMBA from Laurier University. Jeff was introduced to informatics while working with the...


Steve McCartney | Mentoring Start-ups: The Mistakes and Successes Of Emerging Tech Companies

One of the greatest start-up accelerators in Canada lies in the Waterloo Region. Communitech is nestled in a reclaimed factory building and is home to over 350 emerging companies. Our guest, Steve McCartney is the VP of Start-up Services at this powerful hub. Steve came to the AQ studio to tell us a bit about the business side of running an incubator. Steve walks us through the process of joining Communitech as a start-up, whether coming with an idea, a work in process, or a fully...


Norm Clare | How Technology is Transforming The Brand Experience

Norm Clare of Quarry Integrated Communications joins Alan to share his insight into key technologies that are shaking up brands in this era of digital transformation. Norm is the VP of Marketing Technology Strategy and as Alan puts it, is a great synthesizer of what technology could do and what it actually does. Norm speaks to the buyer’s journey and how technology is changing how brands connect with customers, gather data and create meaningful experiences. He explains the power of branded...


Amber Mac | Outsmarting Your Kids Online

Speaker, author and social media thought-leader Amber Mac joins us in studio to discuss her book ‘Outsmarting Your Kids Online’. She shares a bit about the process of self-publishing the work with co-author Michael Bazzell after being inspired by Guy Kawasaki. A book, a business, TV and radio shows and a busy social life is a lot to balance. Amber credits her multi-level success to working with great partners and loving what she does. It may surprise some to learn that Amber grew up in PEI,...


Michael Popovich | Advancing Public Health Outcomes Through Information Technology

Michael Popovich, CEO of STC (Scientific Technologies Corporation), caught up with Alan Quarry to discuss the changes in information technology and how they can be used to save lives. STC began as an IT company in the consulting realm, but after a design consult for an immunization registry had them building the software themselves, the firm wound up deep in the public health industry. Michael shares impactful stories of how information technology and data can and has been used to...


Guy Kawasaki | Advice For Startups & Entrepreneurs

Guy Kawasaki and Alan Quarry talk about the venture capital game, why the investor/startup relationship is like meeting the right woman and how startups and entrepreneurs can market for free. Guy discusses how innovation comes from the top, the importance of balance in business and the attributes an entrepreneur should look for in a co-founder. He also shares the biggest lessons he learned from Steve Jobs during his time at Apple.


Natalie MacNeil | Achieving Your Desired Future

Natalie MacNeil of “She Takes on the World” is our first entrepreneur guest on AQ’s Blog & Grill. In this Q&A she shares her thoughts on running a business in today’s world, how to “co-operate” and compete in the marketplace and how this can lead to success as an entrepreneur. She provides valuable insights on what holds business people back from success, and how to visualize and achieve your desired future.


Kurtis McBride | Building Smart Cities with Agile, Data-Based Solutions

Entrepreneurship is usually focused on solving problems and the story of Miovision does not stray from that mentality. As a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, Kurtis McBride spent weekends manually counting cars at intersections. The common entrepreneurial phrase eventually crept through his mind – “There needs to be a better way.” Now, over a decade later, Kurtis’ company Miovision has reached global success in smart cities by creating agile solutions on top of city data. Alan...


Michael Litt | Vidyard Changes the Content Game | AQ's Blog & Grill

It’s been three years since we caught up with Vidyard’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Litt, so we’ve pulled him into the AQ studio to discuss the dramatic growth and success of the five-year-old start-up. We start with the facts on what Vidyard does, how they do it and how their clients are benefiting. Michael and Alan discuss the challenges that present themselves as the Vidyard team grows. Michael notes that the employee head count isn’t their measure of success, but how happy and...


Alex Mustakas | How This Entrepreneur Became one of Canada’s Greatest Arts Success Stories

Alex Mustakas, Chief Entertainment Officer of Drayton Entertainment, joins us to discuss arts, business and the glorious combination of the two. Alex shares the inspiring story behind Drayton Entertainment and how he used both his creative side and business mind to become an entrepreneurial success in arts. Twenty-five years ago, a small community raised funds to save its old opera house from a wrecking ball. Now that venue stands as one of seven theatres under the Drayton Entertainment...


Loren Padelford | Selling With Ease Using Shopify And Shopify Plus

Loren Padelford, Vice President and General Manager at Shopify Plus, joins Alan to share how Shopify is changing the landscape of e-commerce. Loren tells how this Canadian company sparked out of the founder’s desire to sell snowboards online. Shopify has since found great success, helping entrepreneurs reach a global market online with easy-to-use, cost-effective software. The recently launched Shopify Plus takes the software a step further, assisting large enterprise companies to sell...


Amy Schmittauer | Creating an Authentic Brand with Video and Social Media

Let’s just start by saying that Amy Schmittauer is a force to be reckoned with. Her Savvy Sexy Social brand is informative, fun and magnetic. In this grilling, Amy joins us for an insightful look at YouTube, Snapchat and authentic brand building. If you think YouTube is a dying medium, oh boy, are you wrong. As Amy states, the #2 search engine isn’t going anywhere and is more relevant than ever. Amy discusses finding your brand differentiator, being an “overnight” success and what drives her...


Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott | Leading a Revolution in Blockchain

When Don and Alex Tapscott began writing “Blockchain Revolution”, not a single bank was investing in the revolutionary technology. Now virtually every company in the financial services industry is investing heavily as they realize this new technology is the second generation of the internet - the “internet of value”. In this exciting episode of AQ’s Blog & Grill, we are honored to have Don and Alex on to discuss their new book and the implications and opportunities in blockchains. Currently,...


Host Alan Quarry | Creating an Exciting Company Culture Through Leadership

In this special episode of AQ’s Blog & Grill, broadcasting personality Angela Onoura turns the tables and interviews host Alan Quarry. Angela picks Alan’s brain on the topic of leadership: hiring people smarter than you, giving them the freedom to do what they’re best at, and how bureaucracy can negatively impact a business by squashing creativity. Alan shares advice on creating an exciting company culture, providing examples from his own company, Quarry Integrated Communications, which is...


Angela Onuora | A Broadcasting Journey From Nigeria to Canada

In this episode, broadcasting personality Angela Onuora joins Alan to discuss the shifts she has experienced in moving to Canada from Nigeria. In Nigeria, Angela became a popular TV host, actor and radio personality. She discusses her popular radio show, "We Women", and how it was the first ever talk-radio show in Nigeria. "We Women" dealt with serious women's issues such as rape, divorce and domestic violence. Angela shares how she grew her fanbase and how she brought a bit of lightness to...


Larry Smith | What you NEED to do to Have a Great Career

Known as the “career-whisperer”, Dr. Larry Smith joins AQ’s Blog & Grill to share insights from his new book, “No Fears, No Excuses”. After a 2011 TED Talk that garnered millions of views on YouTube, Larry found himself answering thousands of questions stemming from the talk. “I always knew people struggled with careers,” he states. “But that gave me a sense of the scale that I’d honestly not imagined.” The messages Larry was receiving in relation to the TED video showed him what people...


Jamie Gutfreund Brands Wunderman From the Inside Out

As the new global chief marketing officer of Wunderman, Jamie Gutfreund joins us to discuss her role and the challenges that come with it. Ad agencies often struggle to market and brand themselves, so Jamie shares the steps Wunderman is taking to ensure all 7,000+ employees become evangelists for the agency. Jamie notes its positioning, “Creatively Driven, Data Inspired”, and how the collision of creative brains and data brains creates a cohesive unit - the “yin and yang” of...


April Dunford | Marketing Advice for Start-ups to Become Stay-ups

She’s the CEO of, a marketing mentor and angel investor who started her hurricane of entrepreneurial activities by studying engineering. In this episode of AQ’s Blog & Grill, April Dunford shares her experience from engineer to marketing greatness. April finds that most start-ups struggle with their positioning statements. They either follow the fill-in-the-blank, Frankenstein-style model, or they don’t create one at all. To help, April breaks down the top four types of positioning...