March 5, 2010

Our People

The Stratum Five team members are brand, process, and business experts.  Our knowledge capital is based on our collective experience leading Tier A consumer brands, operating multi-billion dollar retail and service organizations, and leading organizational change across international markets.

Ron Simone, President

Ron is broadly regarded as one of the most experienced Revenue Enhancement professionals in North America. Prior to joining Stratum Five, Ron was a Corporate Officer and member of the Executive Team of Canadian Tire Financial Services, leading a $110 million EBITDA business comprised of insurance, warranty, roadside assistance, identity theft protection, and related services.

As a direct marketing professional, Ron has created countless new products and services and executed hundreds of consumer promotions and marketing campaigns. He has served as a marketing awards judge and conference speaker, and as an Executive-in-Residence for one of the largest retail financial services companies in the UK. Additionally, Ron has led brand and business assignments in Mexico, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philipines, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean.

Tom Gauld, Advisor

Tom is the former President and CEO of Canadian Tire Corporation ($12B retail) and Canadian Tire Financial Services Limited (CTFS). During his tenure, CTFS became a best practices model in direct marketing and world-class customer service. It earned recognition as the first ‘non bank’ issuer of a Mastercard in Canada and as a perennial best-in-class leader amongst North America’s top Contact Centers.

Prior to joining Canadian Tire, Tom was President of RoadMaster Leisure Inc., Managing Director of Spalding Sports in Europe and President of Spalding Sports Canada Ltd. He has also served as a member of the Advisory Board of Equifax Canada and on the Board of Directors of Mastercard Canada.

Bob Hetherington, Advisor

Bob is widely recognized as an expert in global retail operations best practice, providing consulting services to leading food and non-food retailers.  Most recently, Bob served as COO of UK-based SSP Group plc, prior to which he held Executive advisory roles with J. Sainsbury plc UK., Woolworths South Africa, and B&Q stores in the UK.

An expert in the principles of value engineering and cost-reduction, Bob previously served as DIY International Director of Kingfisher plc, where he held responsibility for 87 Castorama and B&Q banner stores across 7 countries in Europe and the Americas and as Managing Director of Big W stores. Prior to joining Kingfisher, Bob was Executive Vice President of Woolworth Canada Inc., and Country President of WalMart in Puerto Rico, leading the WalMart and Sam’s Clubs banners.

Real Bergevin, Advisor

Real is Managing Partner of Nuvest Management Services and the former CEO of NuComm International, a global provider of outsourced customer management services. Founded in 1996 as an outbound telemarketing agency, NuComm diversified into a multi-faceted outsourced contact center business which was acquired by Transcom Worldwide in 2007. At the time of the sale, NuComm had revenues exceeding $120 million and employed over 3,000 people across 14 centers in North America and the Philippines.  It served blue-chip clients in the cable, automotive, telecommunications, financial services, retail, media, and entertainment sectors.

Réal has been honored as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 corporate decision-makers and Nucomm was named as one of Canada’s 50 best-managed companies for five consecutive years. He is the author of two books: ‘Call Centers for Dummies’ and ’23 Steps to an Effective Call Center’.

Mark Sylvia, Advisor

Mark is one of North America’s most accomplished insurance industry executives. He serves as President and CEO of Empire Life Insurance Company, and previously as CEO of Echelon General Insurance Company, an insurer offering non-standard auto and specialty general insurance products. Prior to Echelon, Mark was President and CEO of Trent Health Insurance Service Corp and President and CEO of Hartford Life Insurance Company of Canada.

Mark is a Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (1979) of the Insurance Institute of Canada, a Fellow of the Life Management Institute (1994) of the Life Office Management Association Inc., and is a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and the International Society for Risk Analysis.

James Simone, Managing Director, Digital

James is Managing Director of Caffeine, Stratum Five’s digital marketing division, focusing on lead generation and marketing automation.

James has over 20 years entrepreneurial experience in business development, lead generation, and productivity improvement. Under his leadership, the Caffeine team has helped generate cost-efficient customer growth for clients in the real estate, healthcare, hospitality, and financial services sectors.

Prior to Caffeine, James was Vice President, Operations and Marketing for NMG GroupCare – an incentive management company serving the travel and hospitality industries. Previously, he served as Sales Director for Marriott International.

Stratum Five Professionals

A roster of seasoned executives with subject matter experience in:

  • new product development
  • direct marketing
  • loyalty program management
  • credit and prepaid card marketing
  • social media lead generation
  • marketing automation
  • call center management

Our team has more than 225 years of combined professional experience creating revenue growth solutions for a range of brand business portfolios.