SmithConnect Live - GOLD 2020

SmithConnect - GOLD 2020

Virtual GOLD 2020 Live on the SmithNow Platform

GOLD is a unique event that brings together the last ten years of Commerce alumni creating an excellent opportunity to celebrate with your peers, network across the years, and join in the conversation of past, present, and future.

There is no doubt that the impact of recent events has affected us all in different ways. Organizations are downsizing, hiring is frozen or cancelled, and businesses are closing. BUT, out of crisis and chaos comes a great opportunity to shift the trajectory and take full advantage of the circumstances to come out stronger than ever before. When we stand up, face reality, and take action, it crushes uncertainty.

Join us on Thursday, June 18th, at 7:00 pm as our panel discusses their moments of pivot, patience, and perseverance. Whether it was a journey of self-discovery, an opportunity to leap into entrepreneurship after graduating into a recession, or how they maximized a wealth of knowledge and turned it to their advantage, the stories will have something for everyone. We have no doubt people will leave with a fresh perspective, new energy, creativity, and resolve to take on the world.

Thursday, June 18, 2020
7:00pm - 9:00pm
SmithNow platform


Cyrus Symoom

Cyrus Symoom, BCom’15
Co-CEO of BasicGov & Managing Partner at Explora Partners

As Co-CEO of BasicGov and Managing Partner at Explora Partners, Cyrus has spent his career building and advising growth businesses.

Cyrus joined BasicGov as Co-CEO in January 2020, after acquiring the company through his investment firm, Explora Partners. As Co-CEO, Cyrus oversees all aspects of sales, marketing and finance at BasicGov. He leads the sales and marketing strategy, leveraging his expertise in scaling businesses to drive accelerated growth. His goal at BasicGov is to change the way citizens think about permitting and licensing processes, while helping governments to embrace technology and improve their way of working.

Cyrus has led a number of businesses, having most recently co-founded a technology-focused investment firm, Explora Partners, in 2019. Prior to founding Explora Partners, Cyrus led Uber Eats’ international expansion in Canada and Latin America; he launched the business in 6 countries and 21 cities over his tenure, enabling thousands of restaurant and courier partners to grow their businesses and find new earning opportunities. He spent his early career in investment banking at CIBC Capital Markets, where he provided strategic advisory to enterprise businesses. Cyrus was also a Director at Q4Q Beer Company (Naughty Otter) prior to it’s sale to Iconic Brewing Company (Cottage Springs).

Cyrus graduated from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree.


Matthew Price

Matthew Price, BCom’09
General Manager, Canada at Uber

Matthew Price is the General Manager of Uber Canada. He is responsible for leading ridesharing in one of Uber’s biggest global markets, with more than 3.5 million users across 18 cities.

Prior to this, he was head of Strategy & Planning for Uber in UK, Northern & Eastern Europe. Over four years he helped to lead the transformation in Europe of distributed start-up to integrated multinational. His team partnered with Uber leadership across 15 countries to develop strategy and drive effective execution, while leading some of Uber’s most strategic cross-functional programmes.

Prior to Uber, Matthew was a strategy consultant at Monitor Group and Monitor Deloitte in Canada & USA. He served Global 1000 clients across the media, technology, consumer products and telecom industries, focused on engagements aimed at unlocking and accelerating growth.

Matthew holds an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD Business School (France & Singapore) and received a Bachelor of Commerce with First Class Honours from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.

Jeffrey Fenton

Jeffrey Fenton, BCom’13
Jeffrey Fenton Life Coaching

Jeffrey Fenton is an entrepreneur, investor and trained personal coach with a simple but important belief: discovering and living our "why" is incredibly empowering and fulfilling. A proud graduate of Smith (COMM 13), Jeff has worked in marketing strategy for large corporations and early-stage start-ups, as well as co-founded businesses (most recently, a non-alcoholic beverage company called Gruvi).

Today, through his private coaching practice, Jeff works with closely with individuals who are looking to get the clarity and confidence that they need to better achieve their goals and realize their potential. And in his spare time, Jeff is playing guitar, riding his bike, or obsessing over his espresso-making skills. Visit to learn more about Jeff.

Lulu Liang

Lulu Liang, BCom’14, BA’14
CEO of Luxy Hair

Currently the CEO of Luxy Hair, a brand she helped build to 250K+ customers in 165+ countries, with four million+ engaged followers on social media, Liang is proud of her “humble” roots at the company. Starting out at age 23 as an assistant, Liang was determined to excel at every task that was handed to her, and quickly rose through the ranks. From the very beginning, she dug in and established the habit of bringing her bosses solutions to the business challenges they faced and embraced the company as her own from day one.

On Liang’s watch, Luxy has been named one of the Top 50 Best Places to work in Canada, and is also a certified Great Place to Work for Millennials, Inclusion, Retail and Managed by Women. Business has more than quadrupled under her leadership, and Liang recently led the successful sale of the company to Beauty Industry Group (BIG), a U.S. beauty conglomerate. Staying on as CEO, she works closely with BIG to ensure Luxy continues to serve its customer base and maintains its high-profile.

Prior to Luxy Hair, Liang was a Management Consultant at Accenture, tasked with strategy for numerous Fortune 100 Tech Companies and retailers.

A native of Beijing who moved to Toronto at age seven, Liang holds a degree in Commerce and Mathematics from Queen’s University, graduating in the top 10% of her class.

Alexandra Sifton

Alexandra Sifton, BCom’09
Owner of Futureproof Inc.

As Founder at Futureproof Inc, Ali has explored every side of marketing and advertising.

Ali’s early career was in Paid Media and Advertising, working on digital campaigns for global and national brands such as GlaxoSmithKline, J&J, and Loblaws. From Paid Media, she worked in Advertising Sales and Marketing functions at San Fransisco- and Toronto-based startups. Immediately before launching Futureproof, she taught Digital Marketing at Toronto-based digital bootcamp RED Academy.

Futureproof is a digital-first marketing agency with a fully distributed team, which supports startups and small businesses with digital transformations: from local service organizations leveraging new tools to content creation and automation for software companies, Futureproof is here to help.

Ali graduated in 2009 from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.