The Next Generation: Product Innovation
GM Toronto 2006

We had a fantastic programme for the Toronto General Meeting which you can find on this page, along with biographies of the speakers.

If you would like more information about a certain speaker, just click on the link and this will take you to a short biography. We will be posting their photos and details as they come to hand.


Thursday 11 May

GM Toronto

Meet and Greet Lunch
Welcome Reception and Dinner at the Hotel Royal Meridien King Edward

Friday 12 May

GM Toronto

Chair’s opening New member presentation

American Classifieds, Paul McArthur, VP Business Development & Operations

New member presentation

Carracedo HNOS Ltda, Mikael Browaldh

Keynote Presentation

Building a Social Marketplace

Classified media is all about buying and selling right? Not according to MSN whose Live Expo product aims to provide a trusted environment to interact with other users via every conceivable channel. Is this the real future of classifieds? What’s the difference with GoogleBase? And what can you learn from MSN’s approach to make sure that your site stays one step ahead?

Garry Wiseman – Product Unit Manager, MSN Live Expo, USA
How Trader Publishing Company is dealing with the move to online

One of the largest and most successful classified media players in the US, Trader Publishing Company operates over 45 websites in addition to a large and thriving print business. How has such a large and diverse company successfully managed the offline-online transition, and developed new revenue streams, particularly in the autos, boats, motorcycles, real estate and general merchandise classifieds?

George Brooks – President, Trader Publishing, USA
Trader’s top innovations

Innovation is defined as introduction of a new idea into the marketplace in the form of a new product or service or an improvement in organization or process. Here, a major classified player outlines some of the most successful innovations that they’ve implemented – lots of ideas to take home and put into practice!

Peter Rees – VP Marketing, Trader Classified Media, France
The newspaper classified franchise is not dead!

Are we witnessing a fightback from traditional newspapers? Or is it true that newspapers have relinquished the classified franchise? In this session, Suzanne explodes some of the common myths surrounding newspapers and classifieds, and shares some of the newspapers’ secrets of success.

Suzanne Raitt – VP Marketing, Canadian Newspapers Association, Canada
Conversation 2010: The future of classifieds

This session looks to the future and lays out several scenarios of the evolution of advertising from paper to digital platforms and how these will all be integrated. How can papers benefit from the expanded platforms and embrace change rather than fight it? An experienced provider of online services shares their vision.

Rajesh Navar – CEO,, USA
The car has it

One of the principal ‘pillars of classifieds’, auto advertising swiftly followed recruitment online, particularly when interactive tools to help dealers manage their inventory were introduced. So what’s next for auto advertising, and how will services for trade and private parties diverge? One of the world’s major players in this sector will share their thoughts and discuss these issues.

to be confirmed
to be confirmed
To aggregate or not to aggregate, that is the question

One of the most contentious issues of 2005 in the Scandinavian and Dutch markets, the practice of aggregating content from different classified listing sites and presenting (at least the headline listings) in a one-stop-shop has split the industry right down the middle. In the US, is the undisputed leader in this sector, is this a threat to our business as we know it? Or a fantastic partnership opportunity to drive more traffic to our advertisers?

Craig Donato –, USA
Order out of chaos:’s mission to structure the unstructured

If search is the web’s killer app, then surely an application which can recognise, capture and re-organise classified content from millions of websites into a single searchable database is the next logical step. And if the API is made freely available for commercial use, where’s the catch?’s CEO explains what this ‘content-routing’ service means for the classified media industry.

Naval Ravikant – CEO,, USA
Workshop 1 – Search Engine Marketing – the Holy Grail?
Colin Smillie – Product Manager, Trader Media Corporation, Canada
Workshop 2 – Website Show-and-Tell
Lucie Hime – Executive Director, ICMA, The Netherlands
Workshop 3 – Print Sales Initiatives
Melanie Klass – Commercial Director, Loot Ltd, UK

Dinner at 360, the revolving restaurant on top of the CN Tower, the tallest building in the world!


Saturday 13 May

GM Toronto


The Toronto Publishers’ Meeting will build on the work of February’s Amsterdam Publishers’ Summit where we discussed the GoogleBase threat and how the classified media industry should respond.

In Toronto, we have three main objectives:

1. To gain a better understanding of exactly what GoogleBase, MSN etc. are actually doing
2. To understand the potential impact on different sectors and players in my market
3. To develop ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ strategies which will enable me to compete more effectively to secure and improve my market position – e.g. the importance of IT strategy and Internet applications, and how to manage culture change and prepare the organisation for the Internet age.

Session 1

will kick off with a detailed briefing on the functionality, content and traffic for GoogleBase, MSN and some other new players so that the whole group is up to speed with the potential threats. And delegates will have the opportunity to pool their knowledge by sharing what Google et al are doing on the ground in individual markets

Session 2

will start with a short presentation from Jason Hays, Director of New Media of Target Media Partners, who will describe three potential scenarios of what the new entrants might actually do, and what the immediate impact could be. Delegates will then split up into workgroups to discuss the medium to long-term effects, and what strategy and tactics they should employ to counter the new entrant and secure their markets.

Session 3

will focus on what we actually have to do to compete better and defend our franchise. Josef will present some findings on how publishers are actually addressing the IT challenge – are they outsourcing, off-the-shelf, developing in-house etc. – and lead a discussion on the challenges of each option. Finally, Peter Lamb will help delegates address the essential topic of culture change. The key points will be captured so that we create a blueprint for a forward-looking culture that supports the business objectives.

Josef Kogler – Director, Quoka Verlag Gmbh, Germany

The regular Sales Managers’ Workshop will get down and dirty at the sharp end of our industry, getting to grips with some of the biggest day-to-day challenges that sales managers, and team-leaders face. Some issues never go away but there are always new developments and approaches to apply, and successes (or failures) to share.

This SMW will focus on the nuts and bolts of how to build, motivate and lead a winning sales team that regularly beats its targets and seizes and profits from unexpected market opportunities. And there’ll be the regular idea-exchange of revenue-generating initiatives from all participants, which will ensure that everyone goes home with lots of ideas to implement immediately. Can your sales manager afford to miss it?

Beverly Crandon – Trader Media Corporation, Canada
ICMA Business Meeting

The internal business of the Association, the 2005 audited accounts and a report from Head Office on PHOENIX and other projects.


Gala Party, hosted by Trader Media Corporation at the Liberty Grand on the shores of Lake Ontario


Sunday 14 May

GM Toronto

All day
Meet and Greet Lunch

Day-trip to Niagara Falls, visiting the Horseshoe Falls on the “Maid of the Mist”, lunch and a visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Speakers at the Toronto General Meeting
George Brooks
Executive Vice President, Trader Publishing Company, USA

George Brooks has been President of Trader Publications and Trader National Publications and an Executive Vice President of Trader Publishing Company since March of 1998. In his position, he has operating responsibility for all Auto Trader® magazines in the United States and a collection of consumer magazines, trader journals, classified advertising tabloids and special interest advertising guides. Among the publications included are Auto Trader®, Auto Extra®, Old Car Trader®, Walneck’s Classic Cycle Trader™, Soundings®, PassageMaker®, Nor’easter®, Racing Milestones®, and Aero Trader®.

Brooks received a BA degree from Lenoir-Rhyne College and a Master’s Degree from George Washington University. He joined Landmark Communications in 1974 and worked in various sales and marketing positions at The Virginian-Pilot. He became President of Landmark Special Publications and joined Landmark Target Media in 1989 as Vice President/Marketing. In 1991, he became Vice President/Marketing of Trader Publishing Company when it was created through a merger and assumed responsibility of the company’s national publications.

Trader Publishing Company is the nation’s largest publisher of photo guides. It was formed in 1991 to develop targeted information services and now generates over $1 billion in sales through hundreds of special interest publications and Internet businesses. Trader operates from coast-to-coast with local sales, circulation and production facilities.

Senior Manager Contact Centre Operations, Trader Media Corporation, Canada

Beverly Crandon is a Contact Centre Senior Manager with Trader Media Corporation and has held this position for the past three years. In Beverly’s current role she holds the responsibility for private party interactions across all mediums for approximately 35 of Trader Media Corporation’s suite of publications.

Prior to Beverly’s time at Trader Media, she has spent seven years in the Contact Centre Service industry, in Centre Director roles, with varied fortune 500 clients as partners. Beverly brings with her a great understanding of private consumer interaction through multi-channel mediums. Her ability to remember the conventional methods of customer service and embrace and enhance the new e-channels of customer maintenance, has allowed her to be an intricate part of the local contact centre industry.

Craig Donato
CEO, Oodle, USA

Craig is co-founder and CEO of Oodle, a search engine for local classifieds. Oodle helps consumers buy items through classifieds by helping them find the right listings wherever they may reside. Oodle in turn helps classified publishers by providing them with leads that make their advertisers more successful. Commercial Director, Loot Ltd, UK

Before founding Oodle, Craig was CEO of Grand Central, an Internet-based service for business integration. Prior to that, Craig was an SVP at Excite@Home where he ran Excite’s Search Group, Community Group and Network Programming.

Craig holds an MBA from Stanford University and BS in EE from Virginia Tech.

Melanie Klass
Commercial Director, Loot Ltd, UK

Melanie’s career spans over seventeen years, the majority of which have been spent at Associated Newspapers. During her time at Associated, she held the position of Head of Classified at the London Evening Standard as well as Sales Director of Loot, overseeing the operations in both London and the North West.

More recently, Melanie has held a group role and was responsible for strategy and business development for the classified sections of the group portfolio, namely Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Ireland on Sunday, Evening Standard, Metro & Loot. Her role involved looking at ideas, innovations, opportunities & threats for the business.

However, the thrill of free ads enticed Melanie back to Loot, where she is currently working as Commercial Director. Her role involves developing the newspapers, managing the transition of print ads online as well as the continual development of new revenue streams throughout the business.

Josef Kogler
Director, Quoka Verlag Gmbh, Germany

After finishing his business administration studies at the University of Economics in Vienna and graduating with a master’s degree in social and economic sciences, Josef started to work for McKinsey & Comp. in 1986. There he worked for 2 years as a business analyst, followed by 3 years as an associate, and 1 year as an engagement manager. He was responsible for consultancy projects in the field of industry and commerce in Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Italy.

In 1991 he switched to the lumber mill and lumber trade and ran the company Josef Kogler Ltd & Limited Partnership, where he was the Managing Director, responsible for the distribution, administration and logistics.

After 2 years with Simma & Partner Consulting in a role responsible for education and projects in the area of systemic management, he joined Inform Media Group in 1997. As the CEO he is fully responsible for the whole Inform Media Group, focusing on: strategy, acquisition, HR, investments, and operations in Romania.

Peter Lamb
consultant, Marketing Classics, USA

Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Peter Lamb is a Strategic Marketing consultant, based in Miami, Florida. A former IBM’er in South Africa and Vice Pesident of Sales and Marketing for Harte Hanks The Flyer in Miami, Peter translates sophisticated marketing principles and concepts learned at the Harvard Business School, into a hands-on approach to generating new revenue streams.

Peter currently consults with the Community Papers of Florida; El Clasificado, the largest weekly Spanish publication in the country; Ventura County Parent, a Parenting publication in Los Angeles, California; Classified Technologies Group; and has advised Shoppers and Weeklies nationwide with circulation from 20,000 to more than 8 million households.

Most recently, he has been actively involved in the branding and positioning of Free Papers, to gain more exposure and credibility with National Agencies.

Rajesh Navar
CEO, LiveDeal, USA

Rajesh Navar is the founder and CEO of LiveDeal, one of the Internet’s leading free local online classifieds sites. As an original member of the engineering and management teams at e-Bay and other successful Internet companies, Rajesh is one of the foremost pioneers in the e-commerce space. Since founding LiveDeal in 2003, Rajesh has helped grow the site to more than $3 billion worth of goods and more than one million unique visitors each month.

Rajesh brings an impressive combination of business and high technology experience in both start-ups and publicly traded companies. Prior to founding LiveDeal, Rajesh was a senior member of the engineering team at eBay. Rajesh founded, built and led the search team at eBay, and was responsible for the architecture, design and implementation of eBay’s technology infrastructure, a key component necessary to supporting the company’s explosive growth and new feature development. During his time there, eBay grew more than 4,000 percent from 300,000 items to more than 15 million items listed on the site, and registered users grew from about 200,000 to more than 60 million.

Rajesh holds a master’s in business management (Sloan Fellow) from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, a M.S. in electrical engineering from Iowa State University and a bachelor of engineering in electronics engineering from Bangalore University in Bangalore, India.

Suzanne Raitt
Vice President of Marketing Canadian Newspaper Association, Canada

Suzanne is three-time graduate of the University of Western Ontario located in Canada. Her most recent degree is a MBA from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. She also holds undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Statistics as well as Business. She has applied these degrees to various aspects of the Marketing world.

Suzanne began here career in Marketing Research with A.C. Nielsen. She then pursued Packaged Goods Brand Management where she contributed to the success of Hershey Canada and Robin Hood Multifoods. More recently, she moved to the Advertising side of the business and worked at Saatchi & Saatchi and McCann Erickson. She is now Vice President of Marketing for the Canadian Newspaper Association where she uses her understanding of packaged goods marketing and agencies to support newspapers.

Naval Ravikant CEO,, Inc. USA

Naval is the CEO of Prior to joining, Naval conceived of, co-founded and was CEO of Epinions Inc. (which went public as and was sold to EBay). He is also a co-founder of Genoa Corporation (sold to Finisar),, and Hive7 Inc..

Naval served as a Venture Investor at August Capital, and led investments in Scintera Networks, Microdisplay Corp., Neopath Networks, Devicescape, Mimosa Systems, and Technorati, Inc. He has been an advisor and Director for numerous companies, including iPivot (sold to Intel), Intrinsic Graphics, Tripath Technologies (now public), Andale, XFire, Hedgestreet, Photo.Net, and Jaman Tree LLC.

Peter Rees
VP Marketing, Trader Classified Media, France

Mr Rees joined Trader Classified Media in January 2000 as Vice President Marketing. Prior to that he held a number of senior sales and marketing positions in IBM Europe, Middle East and Africa.

He has a post-graduate Diploma in Marketing and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Colin Smillie
Product Manager, Trader Media Corporation, Canada

Colin Smillie has extensive technical experience gained at several leading Internet, wireless and security providers in Canada and Asia-Pacific. He studied Electrical/Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ottawa and Computer Electronics in Ontario, and has been able to translate this technical expertise into the classified media industry for Trader Media Corporation.

His current role as Product Manager of Automotive Products involves product development, competitor analysis and advertising performance tracking and search engine optimization, as well as alliance-building with third parties. He speaks fluent French, good Japanese and enjoys designing computer games in his spare time.

Garry Wiseman
Product Unit Manager, Windows Live Expo, Microsoft Corp. USA

Garry Wiseman is the product unit manager in charge of leading Microsoft Corp.’s new classified advertisement service called Microsoft® Windows Live™ Expo (previously code-named “Fremont”). The product allows consumers to define their audience of buyers or sellers by taking advantage of several existing social networks (such as the MSN® Messenger community). In addition, each item listed in the service is tagged based on location, which means every item can be mapped graphically using the Windows Live Local service.

Wiseman has held a variety of engineering and management positions during his nine years with Microsoft. Before his current assignment, he was responsible for creating and running the international MSN portal sites and their infrastructure. With Wiseman having overseen the creation of the portals and their content management tools, the sites have grown to more than 40,000 published Web pages in 28 markets covering 13 languages. Today MSN receives more than 440 million visitors worldwide to its sites each month.

Before coming to Microsoft, Wiseman worked as a software engineer at several startup companies, including one of the first e-commerce solution providers in the U.K. and an early Internet service provide (ISP).