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From Home Furnishing Business

Juniper Appoints Ray Shikatani as Country Manager for Canada

Juniper, the International Market Centers’ (IMC) suite of digital tools, has announced the hiring of Ray Shikatani, a 30-year veteran of Canada’s gift and home B2B industry, as its new Country Manager for Canada.  

This new role, which blends responsibilities formerly held by Ross Amyot – who retires after nearly 50 years in the industry – with new elements specific to development of omnichannel business-to-business opportunities, is effective immediately.  

“Juniper is incredibly lucky to welcome such an experienced, and highly-regarded member of the Canadian gift and home industry to our growing ranks,” said Bill Furlong, Juniper CEO. “Ray brings a wealth of valuable and relevant experience to the position, which will help us successfully navigate our business partnerships in Canada.” Powered by IMC, Juniper is a new fully integrated omnichannel B2B commerce solution and soon-to-launch multi-line B2B e-commerce marketplace, empowering buyers and sellers to better manage and grow their business at markets and year-round.

 As the Country Manager for Canada, Shikatani will have responsibility for navigating Juniper’s Canadian position and profile with specific responsibility for maintaining and growing Juniper software adoption, assisting in product development for the Canadian market and liaising with industry leaders in Canada.

Shikatani brings over 30 years of gift and home industry marketing and sales experience to Juniper. Most recently, he served as President and partner of David Youngson and Associates, a leading Canadian gift sales agency and importer, representing some of the world’s best-known brands in the wholesale trade.  

 “I’m looking forward to helping Juniper’s team navigate the nuance and complexity of the Canadian market, which has important commerce and culture differences that need to be understood and overcome in order to be successful for future growth,” said Shikatani.  “More importantly, I am eager to work with my fellow industry colleagues to help shape the future of our industry through technology.”

 Shikatani replaces Ross Amyot, who is retiring after a nearly 50-year career in the Canadian home and gift industry. In 2014, Amyot introduced RepZio, a patented business-to-business sales solution and digital marketplace to the Canadian market. Following RepZio’s acquisition by International Market Centers in 2020, Amyot became a member of the Juniper team, working to bridge physical and digital markets to offer omnichannel selling solutions to the Canadian B2B market.  Shikatani said, “Ross Amyot left an indelible mark on Juniper, and I have big shoes to fill.”

 Shikatani joins Juniper just weeks before the launch of JuniperMarket. Powered by International Market Centers (IMC), the new B2B e-commerce marketplace will connect hundreds of industry-leading brands and sales agencies with thousands of buyers globally. Additionally, JuniperCommerce, a full suite of SaaS digital solutions designed to drive growth and efficiency for direct sales by brands, continues to enhance the suite of solutions available in the industry’s only integrated B2B commerce platform.

 Shikatani is the most recent addition to a team that has hired more than 100 new staff over the past year. Juniper has over 200 team members building the next generation commerce platform and marketplace for B2B wholesale companies.

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