The Team

Joe Thacker

Joe Thacker is the Chief Strategist of Fusion Retail Analytics. He works exclusively in the retail and consumer goods industries as an advisor to four Presidents and over a dozen senior executives on designing, implementing and optimizing strategies to grow their businesses. He has 20+ years of retail experience and has helped reshape the growth plans of more than fifteen major retailers in Canada, leading to dramatic and sustainable increases in market share and profits. Joe holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business.

Sasha Poljsak

Sasha directs the Fusion analytics team. He is an expert at retail strategic planning, category portfolio planning, media mix optimization, price optimization and real estate analytics. He leads the team in developing the financial analytical tools and consumer modeling to not only process large volumes of consumer data, but to uncover the story behind the numbers. He has led retail growth projects in the department store, home improvement, furniture, consumer electronics and clothing industries. He holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Queen's University, where he graduated in the top 5 of his class.

Will Ma

Will leads the team's data-collection arm. He manages the company's IT infrastructure, 100,000+ CRM consumer database, survey programming, and data-collection projects across all retail clients. He holds a Bachelor of Mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo, where he graduated with Distinction on the Dean's Honours List.

Emily Ho

Emily is an expert at promotional optimization, helping retail clients dramatically increase their promotional ROI. She has implemented merchant portfolio planning, flyer process improvements, flyer pagination, price optimization, in-store signage improvements, end-cap optimization and best-in-class flyer design. She has led retail growth projects in the toy, department store, cosmetics, pharmacy, grocery and sports industries. She holds an HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business with a focus in finance.

Chris Walsh

Chris is an expert at real-estate analytics, helping retailers assess store performance and identify profitable store locations. He helps retailers identify profitable growth opportunities, optimize resource allocation to capture opportunities and to track performance. He has led retail growth projects in the home improvement, department store, automotive, sports and grocery industries. He holds an undergraduate degree in mechatronics engineering from the University of Waterloo, where he graduated in the top 5 of his class.

Anqi Tong

Anqi works closely with clients to uncover strategic growth opportunities, helping turn them into real market share gain. She has helped clients realign internal marketing resources, optimize usage and implementation of different media channels and successfully implement these recommendations. She has led retail growth projects in the sporting equipment, children's products, consumer electronics and fashion industries. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen's University, with a focus in finance.

Xuan Hu

Xuan is an expert at macroeconomic modeling, financial analysis and pricing theories. He has uncovered key trends and insights in the constantly changing economic environment. His past projects have helped clients identify high ROI opportunities through interpretation of economic relationships, projection of market dynamics, examination of competitor positioning and optimization of pricing strategies. He has led retail growth projects in the fashion, grocery, home goods, department store, home improvement, automotive, toys and sports & leisure industries. He hold dual degrees in Mathematics and Business Administration from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, where he graduated in the top 5% of his class.

Carol Cui

Carol advises major retailers on strategic initiatives, helping clients achieve growth objectives in the rapidly changing retail landscape. She works closely with retailers to identify top profit opportunities by region and category, evaluate and optimize marketing plans, and assess key competitor performance and their impact. She has extensive experience in the home improvement, major appliances, apparel and department store industries. Carol holds a Master of Accounting degree and a Bachelor of Mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo, where she graduated with Distinction on the Dean's Honours List.

Amber Gao

Amber is an expert at retail brand strategies, seasonal event analysis and promotional optimization. She has led projects in turn-around strategies though media integration and category prioritization, while her event analysis helped retailers assess their industry landscape and identify growth opportunities during key holidays and seasons. She has experience in flyer and catalogue optimization projects involving category selection, promotional content and creative design optimization. She has led retail growth projects in general merchandise and department stores, especially in the major appliances, furniture and apparel industries. Amber holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen's University, with a focus in finance.

Emily Wong

Emily is an expert at real-estate analytics, helping retailers evaluate both store and market performance to capitalize on expansion opportunities and grow profitably. She works across retail industries on developing category growth plans, optimizing marketing resources and tracking competitor performance. Emily has led retail growth projects in the children’s products, consumer electronics and home furnishings industries. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UBC’s Sauder School of Business, specializing in finance and real-estate.

Russell Shaul

Russell works with clients in assessing growth opportunities for their businesses and in implementing those strategic initiatives. He has helped clients optimize the creative elements of their flyer, understand the impact of brand consolidation from a real-estate perspective and determine the market share impact of a competitor leaving a market. He has worked on projects in the children’s products, grocery and consumer electronics industries. He holds an HBA from the Ivey Business School.

Mike Mehta

Mike is an expert with promotional synergies across various media platforms for retailers. He deals with finding opportunities for retailers to improve upon and convert consumer feedback into actionable advice. He has helped develop plans to optimize marketing campaigns, as well as quantitatively track and improve those currently in the field. He has worked with apparel, appliance, home furnishing and department store clients. Mike holds an undergraduate degree in applied mathematics and engineering from Queen’s University, where he graduated in the top 10%.

Stephanie Smith

Stephanie is experienced in developing strategic models in order to provide clients with a superior understanding of their respective industries, on both a national and regional level. Her work has focused on helping clients specifically in the department store and home improvement industries. She holds a degree in Engineering Chemistry from Queen’s, where she graduated in the top 10% of her class.

Finance + Consumer Insights = Results