The Who’s Who’s of the Digital Publishing Industry in Canada
The COPA judging panel over a decade has become the Who’s Who’s of the digital publishing industry in Canada with representation from across Canada, The panel has over 90 judges and is a collection content, creative, digital, web, tech marketing, media and publishing experts. We are honoured to have these people as judges this year as they are our brand ambassadors and we thank them for their time and support as they are all volunteers.
Zach has spent over 25 years in the advertising and marketing industry in a leadership position. Prior to starting Us Communications, he was Associate Creative Director at Anderson DDB responsible for all the Digital and DTC work produced by the agency. He began his career as a copywriter and has over the years worked across a wide category of industries from consumer-packaged goods, financial, automotive, healthcare, not-for-profit and technology. Zach has won several awards for creative excellence including the London International Advertising Award, The New York Festival, The One Show, The Webby, IN AWE, RX Club NY, Mobius and RSVP among others. He was also a judge for the New York Festival Interactive Awards.
Melissa considers herself a brand growth strategist committed to building systems and strategies that have positive impact. Currently, she is the Director of Marketing of NBC Universal's only North American SVOD (Streaming video on demand). Some of you might know from Roger’s as a group publisher for their Fashion & Beauty brands. She also had stint working for Toronto Fashion Week by driving all revenue and marketing partnerships for the fall '17 and spring '18 events.
Manuel Angelini is the Chief Product Owner for the French language entertainment and lifestyle brands at Bell Media. He leads the digital product delivery teams to ensure that new digital initiatives help solidify Bell Media's position in the Quebec Market. Manuel is an expert in video over IP technologies and cross-platform video distribution. Until recently, he was responsible for the mobile product development team at Nuglif, a subsidiary of La Presse.
Michele Beaulieu is the Canadian Media Director for Subway. Prior to joining Subway's marketing team in 2016, Michele was on the executive at media agencies, Mindshare and Starcom, leading client teams and developing strategies to effectively communicate with her clients’ target consumers. She thoroughly understands the fundamentals of all media and their role within the communications plan. Michele also taught Marketing for Advertising at Mohawk College in their Business program.
Quebec native Jean-Francois is an energetic and creative integrated media professional and experienced producer. Over the years, he has built a versatile creative arsenal that has resulted in award-winning branded content, beginning in advertising before moving to media vendor and production work. With both strategic marketing expertise and production proficiency, JF has cultivated creative branded entertainment innovations, with the CBC and Postmedia, and now with Valnet. His creative experience includes production and film content across both the U.S. and Canada with clients such as Ford, Lincoln, Budweiser, Mini, RBC Avion, Bioré, Honda, and many more brands.
As co-founder of Mystique Brand Communications, Paul helps brands find their voice – and works closely with them to ensure that their voice is heard. By combining left brain strategy with compelling right brain creative, Paul enjoys helping his clients achieve their goals and objectives using “outside of the box” solutions based on sound business principles and proven marketing strategies. Paul works with companies of all sizes however as a small business owner, he's passionate about helping other small businesses get real value back from their marketing investment.
Leah Bjornson is the Executive Producer for Western Canada for Content Works, Postmedia’s award-winning full-service commercial studio. Bjornson’s leads a team of creatives in producing integrated, multi-platform content executions for clients ranging from national brands to small local businesses and everything in between. In previous roles, she has collaborated on content executions with Fortune 500 brands and premium digital publishers such as Apartment Therapy, Elle Canada and New York Magazine.
Gunnar has spent the past few decades exploring digital communication from print through web to audio visual production and programming. Needing diversity, he takes ballet classes and provides event photography for local nonprofits. awards.
Scott has 10+ years building digital products that people use every day. As Co-Founder and Client Services Director of Playground Inc. he’s responsible for delivering flagship, award-winning apps and websites for Canada’s largest brands. His ambition to make the web a better place is evident in everything he touches. It’s very likely you’ve used something he’s had a hand in designing.
Bruno Boutot is a consultant on digital media, based in Montreal. He is a former journalist and editor in chief. He is the author of Media Machina, an essay on business models for digital media. He runs the hyperlocal media @PlateauCom. Bruno Boutot on Twitter: @boutotcom
Kristina is a plain language writer and editor with expertise in creating legal and health information and adult education curriculums. She is passionate about the power of plain English and plain design to make crucial information accessible to all who need it. She currently works full-time at the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO), where she edits everything from press releases to scientific and policy reports. In her spare time, she devours print and web media, struggles with cryptic crosswords and plays the bass guitar, keyboard and hand drums.
Anne Burke serves on the Magazines Canada Board of Directors. Since 1983, Anne has been the Literary Editor of The Prairie Journal. She was President of the Writers Guild of Alberta and is a Full Member of the League of Canadian Poets, Feminist Caucus Archivist and Past Chair. She was a co-founder of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association and Pro Tem President. Representing Alberta Magazine Publishers, she was the Vice President of the Alberta Cultural Industries Association. For her contributions, she has been awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal, as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Golden, Diamond and Platinum Jubilee Medals.
Florence Butihen is the Director of Digital Investments at Hearts & Science, as well, sits on Omnicom Media Group’s Trading team. Her early years were focused within the research sector, with a shift that lasted more than 10 years planning traditional media campaigns across major clients including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and L'Oreal Paris. Her interests in the world of digital media found herself switching her traditional media focus to a deeper dive within the digital space, a space that she finds very interesting. She has done Stand-Up and Improv and you can find her as an advertisement on the TTC in Toronto reminding everyone of backpack etiquette.
MJ is a seasoned marketing specialist with a 20-year career in marketing and advertising. Prior to being a General Manager/Partner at Clark Influence, she honed her craft at renowned agencies including Publicis, Leo Burnett, BETC, and TBWA. With an impressive portfolio that spans prestigious brands such as Kellogg's, Danone, L'Oreal, the NBA Europe, and Telus, MJ has had the pleasure to work on multiple captivating international campaigns. Her unique blend of experience, international flair, and keen eye for excellence make her a true reference in the field.
Anthony Capkun is a business communicator, networker and bridge-builder with 20+ years of experience in traditional and new media platforms for business audiences. He serves as the editor-publisher of Electrical Business Magazine and Energy Manager Canada, both members of the Annex Business Media family. He volunteers his time with the Durham Girls’ Choir as treasurer, which has been inspiring young choristers since 1972.
Julie Carl has more than 30 years experience in journalism, most recently as a senior editor at the Toronto Star. Julie started her journalism career at small-town Ontario newspapers. She then served as city editor at the London Free Press, managing editor at the Valley Today, Nova Scotia, opinion page editor at The Gleaner, New Brunswick, and deputy editor of the Winnipeg Free Press. Along the way she has garnered eight National Newspaper Awards — two for personal work, six for work she supervised — and three Michener citations.
A seasoned professional of 28 years in journalism, communications, editorial, publishing, digital and social media content. Founder of Herb Communications. https://www.herbcommunications.com/
Toronto writer/ editor/ one-time magazine owner and publisher---35 years experience in Canadian magazines; currently Analysis Editor at The Lawyers's Daily; an online daily news source for Canadian lawyers; Winner of Best Business Blog at COPAs 2014 for Pete's Blog&Grille; National Magazine Awards finalist; accordion player and motorbike enthusiast.
Simone Castello is a Toronto-based digital content strategist and storyteller, with over 15 years of experience in crafting compelling content for various audiences . She has worked for some of Canada's leading lifestyle magazines (Zoomer Magazine, Canadian Living, MORE and Homemakers), and has won multiple awards (including COPAs) with her digital teams along the way. Simone also showcased her content and social media expertise in the not-for-profit sector when she worked for Make-a-Wish Canada and the Royal Conservatory of Music. She currently works at the Law Society of Ontario as a communications advisor, focusing on digital content strategy and web management, but also freelances as a writer. Her work has appeared in the HuffingtonPost, Today's Parent magazine, Reader's Digest Canada, and HGTV.
Twitter: @SimoneCastello | Instagram: @StraightFromTheCurls
Susan is content director, marketer, strategist and leader. Her current job is the head of publishing for Travelzoo plus as a travel expert for The New York Times and The Economist. She an extensive background in writing and editing, content development, online visuals, budget management and media relations/ She a graduate of Columbia and Oxford.
James Chevrette started his career from the ground up. Although he is a territory manager for over 8 years with Trends Electronics, Canada’s largest Electronics Distributor, he never forgets his roots. Through his dealing with National accounts, regional chain stores, and relationships with brick and mortar independent retailers, he offers a unique perspective about business growth opportunities. He started a non-profit blog in 2015 to educate people within and outside his industry, it has since reached across North America and into Europe with over million posts read. James started on the tools in an installation bay, worked in R&D in manufacturing, and personally trained thousands of people across Canada.
Olivia Collette develops social media strategies for the National Film Board of Canada. Most recently, she was the Executive Producer of Content Works, Postmedia's commercial content division, leading a team of sponsored content producers in Ontario and Quebec. Her campaigns have won several awards, including a COPA in February 2021 and an INMA in 2016. Her communications career spans over 20 years, and she's done everything from journalism to advertising, public relations and content marketing. In her free time, she enjoys writing the occasional movie essay for RogerEbert.com, falling into a TikTok rabbit hole, and taking photos with her lo-fi 35mm camera.
Giles Crouch is a digital innovator where helps companies bring their ideas to market. His latest prject is a lobster catch app for Atlantic fisherman. His background in cultural anthropology has helped him form human-centric digital marketing and brand strategies for over 25 years globally.
Rob is a partner at Csek Creative, a full-service agency in the BC Interior providing creative design and media services. He brings more than a decade of strategic advertising planning and development for crown corporations, the tourism industry and a variety of small and medium-sized businesses. His passion is to help clients build their businesses and always look outside of the traditional approach for clients to ensure every marketing dollar spent gets a return. It’s not about pretty ads, it’s about ads that work.
Amanda Cupido is the Director of Talk and Talent at 640 Toronto. She began her radio career working as a producer, reporter and news anchor with Newstalk 1010. Her love for audio spanned to podcasts; she produced more than 20 series over the last decade. In 2018, Amanda wrote the Amazon bestseller, Let’s Talk Podcasting: The Essential Guide to Doing it Right. In 2020 she founded Lead Podcasting, which specializes in creating podcasts for thought leaders and organizations. Amanda has a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University and a Master of Professional Studies in the Psychology of Leadership from Penn State.
Vinoli De Alwis is an experienced award-winning marketer and strategist with over 9 years of experience working in world renowned agencies. She has worked with over 50+ brands varying from Telco, FMCG, retail, finance, home care and hospitality. Over the years, her work has helped her brands to win Effie Golds, MMA Smarties, Dragons of Asia, MAA Gold Globes and many more. Vinoli is extremely passionate about creative and marketing efforts that help brands and communities grow.
Matthew DiMera (they/he) is an award-winning editor and journalist. They are the founder and publisher of The Resolve, a new independent media outlet in Canada centring, elevating and celebrating Indigenous, Black, and people of colour voices and stories. Previously they were the managing editor at Xtra, and the acting editor-in-chief at rabble.ca. They are a long-time advocate for the importance and power of social justice and community journalism.
Over his 30-year career in the publishing industry, Camile has been involved in many aspects of publishing both from the publisher’s side and from the supplier’s side. Camile is now a consultant specialized in subscription Marketing and database Fulfillment. Prior to this Camile, has been Director of Client Services in the fulfillment industries. In this role, he has worked over the years with publishers to help them develop and built their digital offerings. He also worked for publishers like Avid Media, TC Media and Gesca as Circulation Managers. This is the sixth time he is judging the COPA Awards.
Melody is one of our East coast judges this year and is the President + Creative Director of Fresh Media that she founded in in 2003. Her industry awards include the 2005 PEI BDC Young Entrepreneur of the Year, the 2006 Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce Emerging Business Award of Excellence, 2010 Growing Business Award from the PEI Business Women’s Association and the 2012 Best Social Media Campaign at the Atlantic Interactive Marketing Conference. We welcome her wisdom to this year’s panel.
Jen Evans is a Toronto-based tech entrepreneur, media commentator and social activist who built her first multi-million dollar business before she was 40. She founded and runs two tech businesses today and is a co-founder of TechResetCanada, an organization that was involved in opposition to Sidewalk Labs. Jen is the past chair of the Information Technology Association of Canada (now TechNation) and the White Ribbon Campaign, and was for years a tech columnist and commentator for the Globe and Mail and BNN. A social activist who stands up for the underprivileged, she organizes and runs programs that provide daily emergency food and housing relief for up to 75 homeless + disabled ppl, and has saved over 20 families from eviction since 2020.
Sonya Fatah is an assistant professor at the Ryerson School of Journalism at Ryerson University. She comes to the school with over 15 years of international reporting experience and several years of part-time teaching. She has reported in Canada, Pakistan, India and South Africa, covering stories such as the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the earthquake in Kashmir that took 80,000 lives, and the large-scale terror attacks in Mumbai. Her work has appeared in Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, The Walrus, Columbia Journalism Review and GlobalPost. She also directed a documentary feature, I, DANCE. on dance and identity featuring a Pakistani classical dancer pursuing a banned art form. Fatah is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and also has a Master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Nikki Gill is a Toronto-based journalist and the VP of content for Overstory Media Group Inc. Prior to this role, she spent six years as the managing editor for Post City Magazines where she focused on local community news and content creation in both print and digital formats. She’s now using that expertise to help build and improve community-focused publications for Overstory Media across Canada. Additionally, she is a co-founder of Didihood, a collective that encourages South Asian women to pursue careers in creative industries.
Kathryn is the Senior Instructor/Journalist at the University of British Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (UBC). She is a journalist who teaches and trains journalism practice and spent two decades doing daily radio at CBC Radio in Vancouver. At UBC, Kathryn leads the Integrated Journalism/Journalism Standards and Practices courses, teaches an Audio Module and contributes to the Reporting in Indigenous Communities course and Global Reporting program.
Jenn Gruden is an insatiably curious digital storyteller and strategist. Since 1999, she’s been privileged to connect with Canadians online, leading web content teams for 50Plus (now EverythingZoomer), More Magazine, and Canadian Living, as well as serving as the web manager for The Royal Conservatory. She and her teams have received multiple awards including two COPAs. Most recently, she headed up operations for a two-location Martial Arts academy. She’s currently pursuing a certificate in UX/UI design at OCAD, and at work on her first novel. Twitter: @jenngruden
Rosa is the Digital & Performance Media Director at Media Experts with an expertise in Social Media Advertising, Programmatic Media, Measurement & Analytics. She has worked with various Canadian publishers such as the Globe & Mail, CBC/Radio Canada, La Presse and Vice Media to deliver unique content opportunities for national advertisers. Rosa is a grad of Concordia University.
For Lisa, money isn’t just about paycheques, belongings, savings, real estate and investing – it’s about all these things, and so much more. With the goal to make MoneySense.ca accessible to Canadians at all levels of financial literacy, as the Executive Editor, Lisa has grown the editorial team, with a record-breaking publishing cadence for the paywall-free site. She ensures that the journalism standards readers have come to expect from the award-winning publication are in every article that you read today. Lisa has an extensive journalism background as an acclaimed writer and editor, spanning over 20 years, working for some of Canada’s largest glossy magazines, daily newspapers and popular websites. #itpaystoknow
Jenn for the past 3 years has been the Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute that publishes PressProgress. PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism. Jenn comes from the marketing side of the biz has she has been the Director of Marketing of the City of Kitchener and held other positions at the United Steelworkers and the Ontario NDP caucus. Jen has a Master of Arts from York U.
Andy Holloway is an editor/writer who has worked for a variety of publications in a variety of positions over the past 30+ years. He’s currently editor of Financial Post Magazine, senior features editor of the Financial Post, editor of the weekly FP Investor newsletter and a contributing editor to the National Post.
Arvin Joaquin is an award-winning journalist and editor. His work has appeared in Xtra Magazine, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Huffington Post, and more. His writing received nods from Digital Publishing Awards, National Magazine Awards, Canadian Online Publishing Awards, Canadian Association of Journalists, and others.
Anohar John is a leading expert in Personal Branding & Training. He has written more than 20 publications for major magazines and online resources and has been featured in Vikaspedia. He had authored 3 books which had got many appreciations from the readers. He had created a new standard for development and counseling. He had redefined the terms by various collaborations. He holds a Under graduate degree and multiple advanced degrees in Management and Social Sciences with various other International certifications
Brent Jolly is an independent journalist, who resides in Toronto. He currently serves as the president of the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and is the managing director of the National NewsMedia Council (NNC).
Elaine Kapogines has been working in media for nearly two decades. After earning a post-graduate diploma in Print and Broadcast Journalism from Humber College, she began her career as a reporter and photographer for a small-town newspaper before specializing in Business and Law, working in senior editorial roles for Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis, before becoming the associate publisher of a custom content firm. In 2014, Elaine launched The Holistic Parent, a natural health and wellness magazine. Five successful years later, Elaine shifted her focus to become a PR strategist, media educator and speaker. She currently owns Wiltshire Media and Pitch Class.
Romy Katherine Hahn
Romy is a publishing expert that will offer a fresh perspective to the panel as she is a sales and marketing person with a production background in print and and online. Recently, she launched Fresh Perspective, a magazine that was used as a fundraising tool for a local hospital, sharing pandemic stories by and for medical professionals. Her continued enthusiasm for magazine production – both print and online, is a testimony to her dedication to this evolving, ever changing industry.
Dennis Kelly is President of First Impressions Media. A Canadian, independent media planning and buying ad agency celebrating 26 years in 2021. He is a seasoned media planner/buyer/director/strategist, consultant, speaker, and sometimes golfer. Versatile at wearing many industry hats, his forte has been as a trusted steward for dozens of clients with advertising budgets from hundreds to millions. Dennis is a graduate of Montreal’s Concordia University, an active member (and Past President) of Ajax Pickering Toastmasters, and the Author of : 57 Media Spikes- Uncorking The Media Genie – and Nine Secrets of How to Improve Your Advertising
Sarah is the director of Social Media marketing at Media Experts one the top media agencies in Canada. Sarah has worked at Media Experts for the past 7 years and is a Cannes Lion Award Recipient for work her on NFP Covenant House Shoppable Girls Campaign. She is a graduate of Western University and Fanshawe College. You can find Sarah golfing, at the cottage or enjoying time with her puppy on hikes!
Propelled by a passion for arts, culture and community, Deborah is the co-founder and art director at PALETTERA, an award-winning Canadian design and publishing firm specializing in meaningful storytelling through design. Deborah founded and serves as Editor-in-Chief for Fete Chinoise, an award-winning platform focussed on modern Chinese culture plus a signature showcase event that fundraises for local charities. The magazine was awarded Honourable Mention for Best Magazine in Art, Literature & Culture at the 2022 National Magazine Awards, the 2019 Best Publication by Canadian Online Publishing Awards, and recognized for Best Art Direction of a single article at the National Magazine Awards 2020.
Ronnie Lebow has worked as a creative director, senior art director, senior copywriter, and senior designer for numerous advertising agencies over the last 25 years on many of the world’s biggest brands. Ronnie has a wide range of creative experience covering every medium and just about every product and service category. If you live in Canada, it’s safe to say you’ve probably seen Ronnie’s work. In 2018, Ronnie was the COPAS Master of Ceremonies.
Luke LeBrun is the Editor of PressProgress. His reporting focuses on the federal political scene, right-wing politics as well as issues in technology, media and culture. His reporting has previously been named as a finalist and won multiple COPA awards. In 2020, PressProgress won COPA's best independent publisher of the year award.
Past winner of the COPA Awards, founder of Lloydmedia and many magazines and newsletters as well as conferences, and events. Publications including DM Magazine, Click Weekly, Foundation Magazine, Payments Business, Epson Today, Canadian Facility Management, Ergonomics Review, Database Marketing Newsletter, SalesForce Magazine and others. Events include the Toronto Direct Marketing Summit, Canadian National Database Marketing Conference, Vancouver Fundraising Day, Toronto Fundraising Day, and many others. Served as a judge for the Marketing Hall of Legends. Other awards include Tom Turner Awards for editorial excellence.
Sunith has spent a lifetime in the world of Advertising and Marketing working with Agencies and Clients both in Canada and globally. His tour de force has helped clients like P&G, Audi, GM, GSK, Corby Distilleries to name a few. Sunith is currently focusing his efforts through his own sweatshop - Tier 1 Communications, on helping clients close the loop between conversions, sales and business results.
EVP Social + Emerging Platforms, SJC Communications, Jacquie is a content strategy and media executive specializing in delivering multi-platform content solutions. With 25+ years of experience, she’s a branded content expert who drives engagement and results, and cultivates C-level relationships. She works closely with SJC’s largest clients to create innovative cross-platform content solutions that deliver on revenue goals. As VP Group Publisher at SJC Media and TC Media she oversaw a portfolio of consumer media brands including FASHION, ELLE Canada, Canadian Living, and Style at Home. Jacquie Chairs The Content Council (New York) and is a Board Member for the National Media Awards Foundation (Canada) and a Co-Founder of Global Voices, an international collective of content marketers. A frequent speaker across North America and Europe, having created award-winning programs for a wide range of top-tier clients.
With more than two decades of experience leading B2B editorial teams and content strategy on the agency side, Corinne is passionate about humanizing highly technical stories across Actual Media’s print, digital, and experiential platforms. She is responsible for managing all editorial and content operations across the infrastructure, water, and environment sectors. Corinne is a compulsive storyteller who knows how to engage business audiences.
Anik Magny has worked in the audiovisual production industry for 15 years, and is now a podcast producer at Radio-Canada OHdio. She has produced over 15 productions. She also gives professional training workshops on documentary podcast creation to emerging filmmakers. She has a passion for travel and photography. In her opinion, there's nothing like a hike in the great outdoors to make you feel alive.
Andrew is a versatile content creator and professional communicator. Currently, he’s the manager of the Content & Creative team at CAPP, where his day ranges from developing copy for websites and social media, managing the production of videos, infographics and podcasts and overseeing content marketing initiatives. His team won the 2019 COPA Gold Awards for Best Association Website and Best Brand Packaging B2C. They also received IABC Gold Quill Merit Awards in 2019 and 2015. Prior to getting into corporate and digital communications, Andrew worked as a magazine editor and a freelance writer.
Tahiat Mahboob is a multimedia journalist with an insatiable curiosity and a penchant for taking deep dives down unexplored rabbit holes. Her career spans two decades and two continents across Bangladesh, America, and Canada. She has produced stories for the CBC/Radio-Canada, Global News, CTV News, Asia Society, The Daily Star, and more. Tahiat's work focuses on covering underreported communities, educating storytellers from marginalized groups, and developing sustainable media strategies. She has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and CUNYʼs Craig Newmark School of Journalism. Tahiat was a fellow of the Online News Association 2021 Women's Leadership Accelerator. She serves on the board of the Documentary Producers Alliance.
Neil is the head of Hive Labs, the branded content studio of ZoomerMedia. Hive Labs creates branded content for Daily Hive and blogTO, two of Canada's largest digital news publications. He brings almost 20 years of advertising and marketing experience, spanning agencies, ad tech and branded content.
One of our Digital publishing experts. Since 2003, Nikolay has led the expansion of the world’s largest all-you-can-consume global digital content platform (www.pressreader.com) - providing mobile access to over 7,000 newspapers and magazines to consumers and travel. His strategic vision and insightful commentary has made him a popular speaker at industry events. Nikolay is the Editor-in-Chief of The Insider magazine, Industry Partner of World Travel & Tourism Council (http://wttc.org), and also serves on the Management Board of FIPP (http://fipp.com), the network for global media.
Ildiko Marshall is an icon in the magazine industry. She is now retired, but held senior positions at Chatelaine and Today’s Parent magazines. As VP and Group Publisher of Today’s Parents Group of magazines and websites her team won many accolades and awards from both the Canadian and US magazine industry, including four Eddies at the Folio Show in New York. Ildiko, is a past Director of Ontario Creates and was honoured to serve for nine years on the OC board representing Canadian magazines. She continues to have a deep commitment, interest and passion for the Canadian magazine industry as a Traveling Publishing Consultant and is always willing to share her knowledge and experience.
Déadya is the Director, Programmatic Media at Media Experts and a much value addition the judging panel. She was instrumental in several major advancements within the agency as part of Media Experts programmatic media team, Xpeto, their in-house trading desk for all things digital.
She is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of Xpeto processes, enhancements of the agency’s ads (display, video, CTV, audio, DOOH). Déadya is a graduate of the University of Montreal.
Darcy is the editor in chief of Daily Hive, overseeing digital content in seven markets at Canada's fastest growing digital publication. A former CTV reporter and producer, she has been a judge for the RTDNA awards for the past 5+ years. A dog lover, she has worked as a columnist for Modern Dog magazine and is the founder of the non-profit crowdfunding site "PetFundr" dedicated to helping animals, Darcy is a grad of UBC and Carleton University.
Kate McCaffery is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, journalist and editor working in insurance and financial services. Running her own business since 2009, Kate specializes in translating business information (finance, regulation and tax law) into accessible English for professional, technical and lay person audiences.
Leslie McCormick is the Director of Client Services for Ideon Media where she oversees all branded content campaigns for SavvyMom, 29Secrets and a network of US partner sites including Bustle Digital Group, Group9, VICE Media Group and IGN. SHe has executed hundreds of influencer programs (starting back when influencers were called 'bloggers') and has worked with some of the best known brands in Canada. Leslie has over 20 years of experience in digital media working on both the editorial and post-sale side of the business.
Natalie is the Vice President of Content for Maple Media Ltd., where she oversees all editorial and branded content development for the SavvyMom Group and 29Secrets Style Collection, which includes US partner sites Scary Mommy, WhoWhatWear, SheKnows and Complex Canada, as well as management of Maple Media's influencer network. Prior to joining Maple Media, Natalie led the growth and advancement of some of Canada's largest lifestyle websites,
Kirsten one of the judges from the agency world and was the Managing Director of Mindshare one of the largest media agencies in the Canada for 7 years. She currently is the VP of Client Services at PUSH a full-service performance marketing consultancy designed for change. She is a graduate of Western University.
Eric is one of our Quebec-based judges and he has roots in publishing with Transcontinental. Today, Eric wears many hats as he is General Manager of Startup in Residence, an acceleration program for Canadian tech startups and is an active advisory board member for many high-profile startups. Additionaly, he works as an advisor at Holt Xchange and for the Cybersecurity Entrepreneurial Training Path at Polytechnique. Previously, he was a Partner at Flinks and Regional Manager - North America for Qorus and Senior Advisor for the Qorus Business Academy & Advisory. Lastly, he acts as a mentor for Fintech Cadence and FounderFuel.
Nicole has been in media for more than 14 years working with consumer brands/ magazines like The Hockey News with TC Media to where she is now with St Joseph's media managing a sales team that sell custom content for CAA, Porter Airlines and British Airways.
Alice Namu is a media and communications specialist with a unique multi-sector background in corporate, academic, not-for-profit and faith-based organizations. Versatile in strategic branding and content management, Alice helps clients develop a voice, and through this, drive increased awareness and support for their mission and leadership. She is also a dedicated community builder, with more than a decade’s worth of involvement in various community outreach and stakeholder engagement initiatives. Alice currently sits on the 2020 – 2021 board of the Toronto Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC -Toronto).
Bruce has over 40 years of agency experience , currently President True Media, past roles uncle CEO SMG, President MEC, V.P Media Director Saatchi & Saatchi. Former President of the CMDC, past CO-Chair MIA's. Bruce believes that media creativity and innovation , and sharp insight driven strategies , talent paired wth technology drives positive business results for clients.
Laura Palmer is an accomplished audio producer. Before moving on from her Vancouver-based CBC Executive Producer position, Laura produced radio & TV shows for the CBC, racking up numerous awards and becoming a respected industry leader. 'Island Crime' is Laura's first independent podcast production. Roger's Frequency network picked up 'Island Crime' & has now published five chart-topping seasons.
Tim Peel is the Operational head for BPA’s operations in Canada. CCAB, Division of BPA Worldwide provides third-party audits of media. Tim bring an outside perspective to the judging panel this year with his eye for detail with his experience with media audits. Tim graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1997 with a Bachelors of Economics and Commerce.
Cory is owner/founder of CORE Communications and Marketing. He has held senior positions in Media, Creative, Innovation, Digital/Technology roles with some of Canada’s best agencies. Over the past 15+ years, he has brought award winning innovative strategies, solutions and creative executions to clients. A holistic thinker, he is constantly pushing and blurring the boundaries between consumer, media, technology and brands. Cory brings a distinct and future oriented viewpoint needed for success in a hyper-connected yet fragmented communications landscape. He has worked on esteemed clients such as Google, Tim Horton’s, Molson/Modello, Diageo, Bell, Kraft, Telus/Koodo, Audi, and many other brands.
Carl has played a leadership role in the graphic design field since the mid-1990s. He specializes in strategic communications which include branding, print, advertising, web UX & UI, navigation, architecture, large format display, out-of-home and social media strategies. His expertise lies in applying, planning, and creating brand identity development programs; from developing visual concepts, design elements, to educating clients on visual communication. Completely bilingual in both official languages, Carl is the creative mastermind at Cayenne Creative and he directs all creative & strategic services as the lead senior graphic designer.
Mladen leads Google Canada’s Global Partnerships team leading relationships with Canada's largest media companies to drive innovation and revenue partnerships. He focuses on helping companies build digital innovation and new revenue models into their businesses and operations. Mladen has 20 years leadership experience in technology and digital advertising as a successful entrepreneur (exiting his first start up), incubating new digital businesses within large traditional companies and scaling startups. Mladen has led diverse business functions including sales and business development, product development, strategy and operations.
Jennifer Reynolds is Harrowsmith's editor-in-chief. As the past EIC of Canadian Family magazine, Canadian Living magazine, and gardening editor of Gardening Life and House & Home TV, she brings her expertise in creating a lifestyle where food, family and growing are at the forefront. Additionally, with her years of experience as a senior marketing leader for several national and international brands, she understands the unique challenges advertisers face today. A passionate organic gardener and home cook, she continues to be a regular guest expert on CTV’s national news show, Your Morning.
Kelly Roche is a digital storyteller, educator and activator. She has worked at five startups since 2004 and created an innovative hyperlocal news site in the Toronto area. Her freelance work has appeared in the Toronto Star, CBC, Toronto Life and Retail Insider. Kelly’s daily news background includes reporting and videography at CTV News and Sun Media; sports experience includes Raptors NBA TV. She is known for her trailblazing digital approach in the journalism programs at Humber College in Toronto and the University of King’s College in Halifax. Kelly has managed newsrooms for Humber News and The Signal.
Managing editor of the Standard-Freeholder in Cornwall, Ont. Past-president of the Canadian Association of Journalists, where I remain involved as the administrator of the annual CAJ Awards program. Past board member of the National Newspaper Awards board of governors. I've also judged AJAs, CCNAs, Johnnies (CUP) and COPAs. An admirer of journalism awards programs. A frequent participant in the ones I'm eligible to compete in, where I occasionally am honoured to be named as a finalist but more often left the bridesmaid than the recipient.
Etienne Roy is the Digital Content Director for QUB radio, a french language radio station based in Montreal that is part of NumériQ that is the digital content arm of Québecor for their advertisers. Etienne has worked in the music Industry as a radio music and program director for over 20 years, as a musical journalist, press agent and strategist for Audiogram records. He also had the opportunity to work in event technology for Connect & Go before he joined Québecor in 2018 for an exciting project. This was a dream come true to create QUB radio, one of the first podcast companies in Québec. Our productions have received over 35 nominations and won 11 awards. QUB radio is a top 10 Network in Canada (Triton Rankers).
Ruth Saldanha, is an Editorial Manager, for Morningstar Research Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. She manages the Morningstar Canada and Asia Pacific websites. Before joining Morningstar in 2018, Saldanha worked as a broadcast and online journalist, and has experience as a financial analyst. She has worked in Mumbai and Hong Kong. In her ‘off-work’ life, Saldanha spends her time mentoring young professionals, especially new immigrants to Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the Gujarat University, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Mass Communication (Journalism) from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai (Bombay University).
Rakhee Sapra is a senior manager of Marketing and Communications at Disney+ Canada. She has over ten experience in the media and entertainment industry having previously worked as the Director of Communications at Universal Music Canada and VICE Canada. In addition, Rakhee is an equity advocate passionate about creating inclusive and accessible spaces and has sat on the board of Women in Communications and Technology (WCT), Universal Music Canada Women’s Committee and VICE Media’s diversity and Inclusivity Committee in support of this mission.
Wendy Schroder has been designing and directing the style of Canadian publications for 25 years, with over a decade as an independent consultant. She got her first taste of magazine design in 1996 and never looked back, winning awards and gaining priceless industry experience along the way. Today she directs the design of a diverse list of client publications — managing deadlines, client relationships and content style with equal focus. Her work can be found at GraphicPages.ca.
Kyle hails from the creative side of town. Years of lessons learned and successes earned in dot-coms, boutique ad agencies and Canada’s largest B2B media company has shaped his innovative approach to building effective digital strategies. As Director of Digital Media, and with the help of a tremendous team, Kyle has combined digital content, web, email marketing, video, podcasts, social media and educational webinars to facilitate well thought out, engaging products for a variety of industries and audiences that Annex serves with its 65+ B2B brands.
Alan Sifuentes is the Senior Director, Programmatic Media at Media Experts. He is digital media professional with over 13 years of expertise in advertising, media, and AdTech. He currently serves as the Director of Giving at the AdClub of Toronto and is a board member of i.D.R.E.A.M. (Inclusivity, Diversity, Racial Equity, Award in Media), a newly established Diversity and Inclusion focused NFP. Alan has previously served as a Digital Advisor at Megan's Hug, Co-Chair of the Mobile Committee at IAB, and Digital Director at the AdClub of Toronto.
John G Smith
John G. Smith is the vice-president – editorial at Newcom Media, Canada’s leading business-to-business publisher and trade show producer serving markets including trucking, financial services, insurance, dentistry, and more. The award-winning writer has more than 30 years' experience in publishing and corporate environments, and his byline has appeared in magazines across North America. In his current role, Smith also serves as the editorial director of Newcom Media’s trucking magazines including Today’s Trucking, TruckNews.com, TruckTech and Transport Routier. And he has established himself as one of the industry's most sought-after public speakers and moderators.
As VP of Creative & Strategy at iGotcha Media, Marcos delivers integrated brand experiences. He is a highly experienced strategist, artist, creative director, designer & digital visionary with 25 years of international, award-winning experience creating ground-breaking digital experiences for Fortune 500 clients. Prior to joining iGotcha Marcos launched and led Digital Experience at Shikatani Lacroix (SLD) a leading brand and design agency. He was also CCO of Spot Digital a boutique digital agency and created and led Alchemy, the digital agency of St. Joseph Communications.
Haig Tossounian, President of Kooklo, has over 30 years of expertise in strategic branding and marketing for the B2B marketplace. Focused on global business development and sales in Technology, Telecom and Professional Services, Haig promotes branding and marketing initiatives consistent with corporate business goals and objectives. He continues to develop and implement marketing campaigns that drive sales and build brand loyalty through cross-media platforms
Chloe Tse is a journalist and digital content strategist in Toronto with more than a decade spent in publishing and media. With a strong background in magazines and other print and digital editorial, she's also spearheaded a number of campaigns in the marketing space for brands such as NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. Passionate about quality content, this co-founder of The Feminism Project is currently the Editor for Slice.ca
Tara Tucker is an award-winning, global marketing executive with 20+ years delivering insight-driven, breakthrough marketing communications strategies that generate awareness, engagement, and conversion. Harnessing her experience as Vice President, Global Marketing Communications for Spin Master Ltd. and Group Publisher of Chatelaine and Rogers Communications Women’s Health and Lifestyle Brands, Tara launched T2 Communications, an agency devoted to making meaningful connections between people and brands. Tara holds the Chartered Marketer designation from the Canadian Marketing Association, serves on the Media Leadership Committee for the Association of National Advertisers in the US, has been active in the media and advertising communities as a speaker for MagNet, judge for the COPAs, CMAs and Reggie Awards, chair of Magazine Day and former Board Member of the Ad Club of Toronto.
Sharon is a PR expert as the Head of Media Relations at HSBC Canada and she has spent her 20+ year career in the financial services industry. Her is previous stop was the Canadian Bankers Association. She is a graduate of Ryerson University (now called TMU)
Zahra is the Chief Marketing Officer for Skymount Global, a technology company. She is responsible for their marketing, branding, communications and customer experience. Previously, she was the VP Marketing for BCA Research, the leading independent provider of global investment research, responsible for the global marketing strategy and communications. Zahra has also worked in the publishing/media sector for Reader's Digest Canada as Director of Digital Marketing for all their brands. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University in Montreal.
Michael Zimmermann has been bringing creative visions to life in the print and digital industry for over two decades. He has built and led design and digital execution teams to launch scores of campaigns with brands such as Holland Bloorview, IBM, Unilever, P&G, RBC, TD, CIBC, and House & Home Magazine. Always looking for a new creative challenge, Michael is also an artisan and musician, making handcrafted leather goods under his brand A Word in the Woods, and performing live with his acoustic trio, Paper Triangle.