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Sell Better Together: Exceeding customer expectations through exceptional employee training.
As a company that understands firsthand the challenges retailers and brands face in the ever evolving retail landscape, our mission is to provide technology that enables brick and mortar retailers, and their brand partners, to exceed customer expectations through fast and affordable employee training.
A well-trained network of employees across all areas of your business is the key to delivering the highest standards of customer service and creating memorable customer experiences surrounding your brand.
With this in mind, we created NewKnow to help businesses train, manage and communicate with their customer-facing employees. NewKnow empowers businesses to operate more efficiently, reduce training costs, improve in-store customer experiences, and ultimately increase sales.
“We built NewKnow to help brick and mortar retail empower their front-line to sell better together.”
Steve Gendron and Jaffray Hill
Photo credit: Eva Blue Photography
Steve Gendron is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of NewKnow, bringing over 20 years of experience in the retail industry. Raised in Montreal, Steve is a graduate of Bishop’s University in Finance & Economics. After working in Finance for 2 years, he couldn’t ignore his entrepreneurial spirit any longer.
In 2003, he started his first company, a retail store and spa called Pelle. While sourcing products for Pelle, a brand approached him looking for distribution. In 2005, Steve started working on the other side of the retail equation, wholesaling products through a distribution company called Lendron Enterprises, selling to The Bay, Pharmaprix and retailers of all sizes. In 2007, after noticing someone’s ‘different-looking’ shoes in a meeting, he discovered the TOMS brand and fell in love with their mission. Soon after, he was working to get them into stores across Canada.
With his years of experience running a retail store, then working as a distributor for brands like Liberty Skis, TOMS Shoes, Havaianas Sandals and more, the idea was born for how technology could help businesses on both sides of the coin train front-line employees and began writing the plan.
In January 2015, NewKnow was born in collaboration with his business partner Jaffray Hill. Today, Steve’s day-to-day is focused on product vision and customer development. He’s always asking, what’s next? How can we scale? How can we make this tool better serve our audience?
The most rewarding thing for Steve has been seeing his vision go from an idea, to having a wonderful team help build it, and ultimately seeing customers benefiting from it every day. He believes that, while there are many interesting tech players in the retail and brand space, the human element can never be digitized. This is what makes the personal connection that brick & mortar retail offers so valuable.
Outside of the office, Steve spends his time unplugged with his family: skiing, hanging at the cottage, and golfing (although he is terrible at it.)
Jaffray Hill is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of NewKnow, with over 15 years of experience in finance, economics and project management. Born and raised in Calgary, Jaffray graduated from Bishop’s University in Finance & Economic.
From 2002 to 2005, Jaffray worked in Macroeconomic Monetary Policy research at the Bank of Canada. In 2006, after backpacking around the world, he moved onto project management in the financial services industry. In 2007, he joined Radialpoint’s corporate development team as project manager, working on special projects for business processes, corporate scorecard program for strategic alignment & communications. During his time there, Jaffray saw first hand how a fast growing tech company scales.
In 2009, Jaffray partnered with his girlfriend, Juliana Bennett, to help her build her fashion label, Mulcair, as co-owner and business manager. After launching 4 collections and showing at Montreal Fashion Week, he discovered just how important front-line retail employee education was for keeping the brand voice alive.
In 2015, Jaffray’s old friend, Steve Gendron, introduced him to an idea he had for a business, and they decided to partner up to help bring that idea to life. Jaffray’s day-to-day at NewKnow centers around corporate development; from recruiting and team building, business development and sales, to financing and project management, as a versatile generalist, he enjoys the many hats startup founders inevitably wear.
Today, when Jaffray reflects on his experience in his first job as a sales associate at Sport Check 20 years ago, he vividly remembers the joy of delivering a great customer experience in store, and is still extremely bullish on the human element of brick-and-mortar retail! He is most proud of the strong team culture and positive values that they are fostering at NewKnow.
When he’s not working, Jaffray enjoys supporting The Montreal Wanderers Rugby Football Club and Bishop’s Alumni communities. He is a voracious reader, enjoys hosting BBQs and dinner parties with his wife (and former business partner) Juliana, and spending weekends at the cottage with her & their dog Rocky, and their friends and family.
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