The 403: Brand Building

March 10, 2020
5:00 pm -  
7:00 pm
Hotel Arts
119 12 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0G8

*registration works best when using Google Chrome

A strong brand can propel a business forward and solidify a company’s place among its competitors. What does it take to build a brand? How can entrepreneurs leverage their strengths to standout in the market place and secure market share?

This 403 event we will discuss everything brand. Three local Calgary entrepreneurs will share how they have successfully built a brand following and in turn a successful business.  

The 403 is a series event that involves structured networking and curated content delivered in a relaxed and unique environment.


  • Member ticket: $35.00 
  • Non-Member ticket: $70.00


Tony McGrath

Tony McGrath, a former soldier and elite athlete, came to Canada as a new immigrant after a career as a senior executive in banking, insurance and retail in the UK and Europe.

After heading up a number of startup enterprises he led the investment group and management team to launch a new Canadian insurance company.

Until recently Tony was a partner in a consulting practice, which focused on leadership mentoring, strategy and execution planning and business turnaround. He facilitates workshops, seminars and is a frequent speaker at conferences in North America and the UK. He has been a sought after interim CEO in challenging business situations and is now the new CEO at Calgary’s The GRAND.

He sits on a number of Advisory Boards for start up companies and entrepreneur incubators in Canada, sat on the Alberta Board of Directors of the Certified Management Consultants. He volunteers as a business mentor for Futurpreneur Canada , Haskayne Business School and The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship. He has a particular interest in Social Enterprise ventures.


Shawn Freeman

Shawn Freeman, having tired of the corporate hustle and constant rat race to develop your career, carved out his own path and founded TWT Group in 2011. In the past 8 years, TWT has grown from 1 to 20 employees and is continually disrupting the status quo for managed service providers. Having fostered a unique culture and brand, Shawn was able to create something unorthodox and began attracting the attention of industry peers. In 2019, Shawn was approached by a nationwide MSP provider, Fully Managed, who were thoroughly impressed with what Shawn and his team have been able to create in just a few years. This year, TWT & Fully Managed joined forces and Shawn Freeman took on the roll of Regional Vice President for the province of Alberta. Through hard work, dedication, and relationships, Shawn Freeman was able to grow TWT to a point where other industry leaders wanted to be a part of it, the ultimate prize when building your brand.





Laura Murphy

Lara Murphy is the co-founder of Ryan Murphy Construction Inc. in Calgary, Alberta.

Lara’s first job in Calgary was with a development company as a project manager. Once she had networked enough trades into her database, she decided to branch out on her own and take on some renovation projects. It was on a retail construction project in Banff that Lara met her future business partner Karen Ryan, with whom she co-founded Ryan Murphy Construction Inc. in 2008.

Throughout her university career in the Maritimes, Lara owned a painting business that expanded to maintenance and renovations for homes and yachts. She found herself more of an entrepreneur than a student of history and political science. During and after university, Lara was a competitive soccer player, and she travelled around Europe for a few years before settling back in Canada as a business owner.

Upon returning to New Brunswick, Lara started to buy and renovate old homes and apartments. Having just graduated university, she didn’t have much money to pay contractors and trades to come in and do the work, so she made it her mandate to learn how to do it herself. She did well and people noticed. Her first project became her showpiece and those who visited asked her to take on projects in their own spaces. Her business grew until she moved west in 2005.

Each year the business has been operating, its growth has doubled, and Ryan Murphy Construction Inc. is on target to do the same this year. Lara and Karen have purchased a new office space in Calgary’s Inglewood neighbourhood.

Katie Frost

Katie Frost is the Marketing Manager at the Calgary Zoo, a not-for-profit charitable conservation organization working to take and inspire action to sustain wildlife and wild places locally and globally. In her current role, Katie develops the marketing strategy for the zoo, with particular focus on membership and attendance portfolios, to help drive revenue, enhance the customer journey and build brand alliance.

Katie works to educate audiences, build empathy and inspire actions that build ROI and bottom-line numbers. She is fueled by her belief to leave the world a better place by exploring, sharing and teaching.

British by birth, Canadian by choice, Katie makes the most of living near the mountains by hiking with her 3 dogs. Katie sits on the board of Pet Access League Society (PALS) and the SAIT Marketing PAC.

Smashing stereotypes is her favourite pastime.


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