Meet Our Judges

Co-chairs

Shelley Brown
Chief Strategy Officer
FCB Toronto

After more than 25 years in advertising, Shelley remains passionately driven to find ways to deploy the power of communication to address business challenges. Shelley has led agencies, but decided a few years ago that strategy is what she loves and does best. Shelley has crafted the strategies behind international award-winning and business-building campaigns for such brands as IKEA, Molson Canadian and Vim.

Sassan Jahan
VP Marketing
PepsiCo Beverages Canada

Sassan is the Vice President of Marketing for PepsiCo Beverages Canada. He began his career at PepsiCo 20 years ago as Marketing Manager, Alternative Beverages. Since then Sassan has held a number of marketing positions as well as cross functional roles. These include Market Development Manager for Pepsi Cola Canada, Director of Sales for Pepsi-QTG (Quaker Tropicana and Gatorade) and VP, Field Marketing for Pepsi Bottling Group. Prior to moving to Canada, Sassan gained six years of beverage marketing and sales experience in The Middle East. Sassan has lived in six different countries, worked in three. He holds a BA from Boston College and an MSc from The London School of Economics.

Jury

Sophie Annick-Vallee
VP of Strategy
lg2

Sophie-Annick is renowned for her ability to manage complex ecosystems and create global brand experiences. As someone obsessed with coherency and generating results, she knows how to support clients through their customer experience transformations better than anyone.

Sophie-Annick’s passion is finding creative solutions to business challenges – something she does skilfully. She was one of the bright minds behind the SAQ’s very successful loyalty program and its main strategist, steered the top-to-bottom transformation of Énergir (formerly Gaz Métro) and helped develop theHumanity and Inclusionproject, which won a Cannes Lion.

Her creative flair, along with her keen interest for data and digital, makes Sophie-Annick a formidable ally to help guide brands through the digital shift. Her entrepreneurial spirit made her an instant match for lg2 and the agency’s independent business model. Since her arrival a few months ago, she has adeptly led the largest strategy team in the country, making a difference for some of the biggest Quebec and Canadian brands.

Gavin Barrett
Founding Partner & Chief Creative Officer
Barrett and Welsh

Gavin Barrett is: Founding Partner and Chief Creative Officer of award-winning Toronto ad agency & certified B Corporation, Barrett and Welsh.

His first jobs (held simultaneously) were: door-to-door market researcher, poet, pharmaceutical sales manager (not a euphemism) and musical production manager. None of them paid well so he went on to a career as an entrepreneur, writer, designer, art director and creative director.

In pursuit of big ideas he has: nibbled on pigs' ears (not on a live pig at the time); gone elephant-back in the Thai jungle (no elephants were hurt); and gambled in a Macau casino (was utterly destroyed).

He has persuaded: mums, businesswomen, unclejis and auntyjis, male tailors of the Muslim faith, tea drinkers, Scotch drinkers, men who smoke Virginia Slims, people trapped in planes, commuters, voters-on-fences, car mechanics and wedding planners.

His work has been shot by: Deepa Mehta, David Carson, Bruno Barbey and Louis Ng.

His ads have: run in 35 countries, elected prime ministers, attracted the ire of the lawyers for Dolly the clone sheep and angry crowds in Lagos, been studied in business texts in Canada and India and criticized by a fictional character in a John Irving novel. 

His poems: can be found in Penguin’s anthology of 14 contemporary Indian poets, Reasons for Belonging. 

He has accumulated: 1 wife, 2 kids, a BA (econ.), an MA (eng. lit), a murderous guppy, a scruffy cocker spaniel poodle and 100+ awards for his work. 

He cannot: sing.

David Bigioni
Chief Commercial Officer
Canopy Growth

David is an award-winning brand builder and senior business leader who consistently delivers extraordinary results. David is renowned as a change agent who motivates teams through his collaborative leadership style and entrepreneurial approach.

Recognized as one of Strategy Magazine’s 2019 Marketers of the Year, David is the Chief Commercial Officer, Recreational Cannabis, at Canopy Growth Corporation, the world’s leading diversified cannabis company. David oversees a team of almost 300 between brand marketing & innovation, events, digital marketing, learning & development, consumer insights & analytics, sales and creative.

Before joining Canopy Growth, David was both VP Marketing and VP Sales at Molson Coors Canada, where he is best known for leading the rejuvenation of the iconic Molson Canadian brand – resulting in Molson Coors receiving Top Marketer Honours in 2010, 2011, and 2014. His award-winning achievements include the “Red Fridge” campaign, which received the Grand Prix at the Canadian Marketing Effectiveness Awards, and a Silver Lion at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity.

In addition to growing new emerging brands like Tweed and rejuvenating mature brands like Molson Canadian, Toyota, Sunlight and Vim; David has launched industry-leading innovations including Molson Canadian 67 and Coors Banquet - the most successful launch within the beer category over an 8 year period. He served as Global Chair of the Molson Brand Council responsible for brand stewardship and oversaw the launch of Molson Canadian into Ireland and Australia.

David is admired for his ability to inspire teams with his openness to innovative ideas and entrepreneurial mindset - combining his creativity and commercial acumen to generate action that deliver tangible results.

David’s passion for inspiring innovation has led him to frequently share his insight and perspective within the Canadian marketing industry as well as guest lecture at several Canadian Universities.

Andrea Danovitch
AVP Marketing and Brand
Interac

Andrea Danovitch is a seasoned marketing professional with over 25 years of combined experience in financial services and payments.  She also has extensive knowledge and experience in brand strategy.

She has been a driving force behind the evolution of the Interac brand.  While Interac services have been an integral part of Canadian consumers’ and business’ daily lives, there was an imperative to improve brand awareness, relevance and motivation in a time of significant change in the payments landscape.  During her time at this organization Andrea relaunched the Interac brand, notably with the award-winning Be In The Black platform, recognized for its sustained success and brand building efforts. 

She has continued to evolve the platform with the recent Own Your World campaigns to guide the company’s stakeholders towards new technology-based payment solutions.

In addition to her work on the brand, Andrea also oversees marketing campaigns and activities for the full suite of the company’s product offerings.  She was recognized as a 2015 Marketer of the Year.

Andrea holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing from Concordia University.  She has a passion for bringing brands to life through compelling storytelling and engaging creative.

Jenny Glover
Executive Creative Director
Juniper Park\TBWA

In 1996 Jenny completed her law degree and to the delight of her parents, got a job as a lowly paid copywriter.

After spending 20 years working in South Africa she moved to Toronto and is currently peddling her particular brand of darkness as an Executive Creative Director at Juniper Park\TBWA.

As a writer, she has won metal at international awards over 50 times. This includes a total of 10 gold Cannes Lions, a Cannes Grand Prix and 15 D&AD pencils, including 5 yellows.

Jenny cofounded Open Chair, the South African industry gender equity initiative. In 2014 she was invited to present a master class on her award-winning Mercedes-Benz campaigns at the Cannes Lions festival.  She has judged on numerous occasions at Cannes Lions, D&AD, One Show, Clio’s and Dubai Lynx and was a jury president at D&AD in 2017.

Her finest achievements are daughters, Grace (6) and Ivy (4), who help her maintain her incredibly chic under-eye rings. 

Matthew Kohler
VP, Marketing
Clorox

Matt Kohler is Vice President, Marketing at the Clorox Company of Canada.  He oversees all Canadian marketing activity for the company. 

With its corporate mission of “making everyday life better, every day,” Clorox products can be found in 88% of Canadian homes.  In addition to its namesake bleach, Clorox sells market-leading brands such as Glad, Brita, Burt’s Bees, Renew Life, Pine-Sol, Green Works, Kingsford, Hidden Valley Ranch, and many more. 

Prior to Clorox, Kohler worked in Europe and the United States, conducting market research with companies such as Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson.  He was also Vice President of Marketing at Green Dot Corporation, a consumer/technology startup, from its growth stage through IPO in 2010. 

In addition to his work at Clorox, he serves on several boards.  He is currently Vice Chair of Cosmetics Alliance Canada, a trade association representing the voice of Canada’s personal care products industry.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for the “Look Good Feel Better Foundation,” a non-profit that helps women deal with the psycho-social challenges of cancer. 

Kohler holds a BA from American University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  He lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.

Jon Mamela
EVP & CMO
Tourism Toronto

Jon has 18 years of global leadership experience with tourism and hospitality organizations in both the private and public sectors. His primary focus over this time has been in the capacity of marketing and sales where he recently joined Tourism Toronto in January 2019 as EVP & CMO.

Prior to joining Tourism Toronto, Jon was the CMO & SVP Marketing & Sales with Destination Canada where he guided the organization’s transformation to become a national leader through the power of leveraging digital centric eco-systems with destination marketing organizations across the country. The outcome of this transformation was Canada achieving 5 consecutive years of growth and setting all-time records in international visitation and tourism expenditures.

In his capacity at Destination Canada he led various business units including Global Marketing & Communications, International Markets & Travel Trade, Consumer & Market Intelligence, Business Events/MICE, Events, & Industry Partnerships.

Jon’s additional career experience includes Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Travel Alberta and Procter & Gamble.

Jon is a graduate of Bethany College, West Virginia with a Bachelor of Science, Chemistry degree and holds a MBA from Miami University of Ohio.

Sean McDonald
Managing Partner Head of Strategy
Rethink

Alexandra Panousis
President, Chief Media Officer
Havas Media

Alex Panousis is an executive at the forefront of digital media, technology and creativity. A culture leader and media/creative industry veteran, with over 20 years of experience leading high-growth, innovative and profitable agencies.   Alex is the President of Havas Media,  and is also the Community Director with TechTO  and host of MarketingTO, one of the largest marketing and tech forums in Toronto.  An executive advisor and board director to several organizations, Alex has held senior positions at the National Post, the CBC, Leo Burnett and Starcom Mediavest group.

Jackie Poriadjian-Asch
CMO & Chief Revenue Officer
Ecobee

Jackie Poriadjian-Asch spent the lionshare of her career in the sports and entertainment industry – with over a decade first helping build the international business for the UFC based in London then later taking on the role as head of global brand marketing.

She joined Canada Goose as Chief Marketing Officer at a critical inflection point for the iconic brand as it transitioned from largely wholesale focus to growing direct to consumer business, both online and in over a dozen retail location within its first 2 years.

For over a year now Poriadjian-Asch’s been CMO + Chief Revenue Officer for ecobee – pioneering the smart home category in ways that’s great for consumers and the environment.  She’s recently worked on defining the brand’s strategy and had the opportunity to lead the go-to-market for recent product launches with great success … but credits everything to an incredible team that will stop at nothing to achieve their mission.

Shari Walczak
Co-Founder, Chief Strategy Officer
The Garden Collective

Shari is one of Canada’s top brand strategy experts with over 20 years of experience leading strategic work for organizations like Capital One, Samsung, Interac, Roots, Cineplex, The United Way, Audi, TMX Group, Kraft, Coca Cola and ParticipACTION. Combining a Masters of Science Degree in Creativity and Change Leadership from SUNY Buffalo State and an HBA Degree from the Ivey School of Business at Western, she has built a reputation as a both a change agent and expert facilitator.

Shari is a passionate advocate for creativity, particularly in the world of education where she acted as Chairperson for the Founding Committee of Equinox Holistic Alternative School - now celebrating its 10th anniversary as the TDSB's largest elementary alternative school. In addition, she is a contributor to The Collective Wisdom of High-Performing Women: Leadership Lessons from The Judy Project (April 2019), and a proud SheEO Activator supporting other women-owned ventures that are creating a better world.

Shari is the mom of two highly-active boys with whom she shares a love of snowboarding, adventure travel, the Maple Leafs and watching episodes of Survivor and This is Us (something her boys will never admit to publicly).

Online

Lisa Hart
Brand Strategy Lead
Shopify

With over 10 years experience in all things brand, creative storytelling and strategy, Lisa has been recognized globally for her award winning work with brands like IKEA, Google, and McDonald's. Lisa is passionate about human centred design and making things better. While pursuing her MDes at OCAD, she co-founded a mesh-networking startup to continue education at refugee camps, which was supported by the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation in Kenya. She is a Marketing 30 under 30 recipient and has been featured on Think with Google.

Michelle Lee
Director of Strategic Planning
Ogilvy

Ogilvy was Michelle’s original home when she first started in the business almost 20 years ago. From there she moved to Sydney, Australia where she introduced and led planning as a discipline at Australia's most awarded digital agency.  She then moved closer to home to New York City, where she worked at Naked Communications, the original media neutral agency, and ?WhatIf! Innovation, creating new brands, products and services. 

Michelle has helped shape numerous brands across various industries from Kimberly Clark to American Express to Tim Hortons to Coca-Cola to Pfizer, among others.

Michelle has been recognized amongst her peers through CASSIES and EFFIES awards, and on Strategy's Creative Report Card and is a board member of the Account Planning Group. 

Michel-Alex Lessard
VP, Strategy
Cossette

With 17 years in the industry, Michel-Alex is a strong believer in the power of strategic and creative planning to overcome ever-increasing business challenges. He is known for his passion and his ability to craft highly creative and results-driven business-building campaigns for major brands, including VIA Rail Canada, Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ), Group Bimbo Canada (Takis, Hostess, Vachon) or Amnesty international. He was a driving force behind the strategies for several award-winning campaigns.

Stephane Mailhiot
VP Strategy
Havas Montreal

You can hear Stéphane on Bêtes de pub, a segment of Médium Large, broadcast on Ici Radio-Canada Première. With Arnaud Granata, Stéphane analyzes and comments on current events in the fields of communications and marketing. Together, they wrote “Tout ce que les publicitaires ne vous disent pas,” published by Éditions La Presse. 

Prior to joining Havas, Stéphane was a strategic planner at lg2, where he led brands such as Desjardins, Honda and Agropur - OKA Cheese. He also contributed to several campaigns honoured for both their creativity and performance. 

Christian Mathieu
Partner, Strategy
Open

Christian is a seasoned leader and strategist with a global perspective. His experience includes senior strategist at acclaimed advertising agency Roche Macaulay & Partners, Advertising Age’s International Agency of the Year in 1999; head of marketing communications for IKEA Germany, and later head of marketing communications for IKEA North America.

He has been recognized with advertising effectiveness awards for Molson Canadian, Harry Rosen and IKEA and several creative awards including a Cannes Grand Prix and Clio Advertiser of the Year for his work at IKEA prior to founding Open, he was Managing Director at zig, one of Canada’s top communications agencies.

Christian is currently a board member of the ICA. Prior affiliations include member of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management’s Marketing Expert Panel, member of OCADU’s Advertising Advisory Board, and associate at Rotman’s School of Management Design Works Program. 

In addition to holding a BA from McGill, he holds a MSc from the London School of Economics, and speaks English, French and German.

Shannon McEvoy-Halston
VP Strategy
Critical Mass

Erin McWhinnie
Group Director of Strategy
OMD Canada

Erin is the Group Director of Strategy at OMD Vancouver. With 17 years of media experience, Erin has worked on a variety of clients across the travel, retail, automotive and energy verticals. During this time the industry has changed significantly, and Erin has been a trusted partner because of her ability to balance smart media investments with creative solutions to problems.  Erin takes pride in her ability to foster cross agency collaboration to drive innovative client solutions and has received a variety of awards at both the local and international level. Erin leads the retail business vertical at OMD Vancouver and is a passionate observer of the changes in the retail environment and consumer behavior. A dedication to continuous learning has recently led her to complete a certificate from MIT in Product/Service Innovation and the application of Design Thinking.

Neil Mohan
Creative Agency Partner
Facebook Canada

Neil’s career north star of building engaging moments for millions of people currently comes to life as Creative Agency Partner at Facebook, working with some of Canada’s best agencies to enable impactful strategic mobile work on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Previous roles have included VP, Creative Technology at Edelman, Group Digital Director at Ogilvy and Yogi Bear at Canada’s Wonderland.

Neil is known to shout “pressure makes diamonds” under stressful deadlines and “I love all my children equally” when asked to pick between strategies or his two sons.

Karen Nishi
Partner, Strategic Clarity
Crux

Karen has the natural curiosity and knack for solving complex business and marketing challenges. With the insight and discipline gained through 30 years of experience in branding, research and strategic planning, Karen works with clients to uncover their distinctive value proposition, brand, vision, enterprise culture or employee value proposition. With long time strategic partner, Pauline Hadley-Beauregard, she founded Crux to deliver the power of clarity. Their passion is to help organizations get to the crux of the matter, seek alignment and mobilize to move forward.  

Prior to Crux, Karen was Vice President, Strategy at Wasserman + Partners Advertising where she provided strategic leadership to clients across many diverse industries. She began her marketing career on the client side with consumer packaged goods companies such as Molson Coors and the Campbell Soup Company. 

Karen has served on the Boards of the Institute of Communications Agencies, BC Advertising Association, UBC Board of Governors and is a past judge for BCAMA’s Marketer of the Year.

Heather Segal
Group Strategy Director
Zulu Alpha Kilo

Heather has always been curious about what makes people do what they do and has been digging into consumer behaviour for almost 20 years as an account lead, qualitative market researcher and strategic planner for brands across North America. Heather’s strategic work has inspired business transformational communications that has been internationally recognized at creative and effectiveness awards, including the Effies and Cannes.

Simon Sikorski
CEO
McCann Worldgroup Canada

As CEO of McCann Worldgroup Canada, Simon is responsible for the management of all country activity across McCann, MRM//McCann, Momentum, Commonwealth, Craft and McCann Health agencies in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver offices. Simon works with all of the McCann agencies to deliver market-leading initiatives that help brands play a meaningful role in Canadian’s lives. He is a seasoned business leader who has worked in the advertising communications industry in both North America and Europe for over 25 years.

Simon has recently returned to Canada from New York where he was part of a senior leadership team that established Craft, McCann’s production agency, as a global leader in the execution and deployment of marketing campaigns.  As the Chief Client Officer, Simon was responsible working with clients like MasterCard, Microsoft, L’Oréal and Staples to develop bespoke advertising production solutions.

Prior to joining Craft, Simon worked in the UK as a Managing Partner for McCann London, leading integrated agency teams for global brands like Intel and ExxonMobil. Before joining McCann in 2006, Simon was the Marketing Director of a British information technology company and worked at various integrated communications agencies in both the UK and Canada, including Bryant Fulton & Shee in Vancouver and Marshall Fenn Communications in Toronto.

Raised in Sarnia, Ontario, Simon has also lived across the nation, having spent time studying and working in Ottawa, Hamilton, Toronto and Vancouver.  He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University.

Sarah Stringer
Co-Founder, Chief Strategy Officer
Juliet

During her 17 years of experience, a decade of which was spent in New York, Sarah held progressively senior account management and brand strategy roles at both agencies like Ogilvy & Mather and BBH NY and consulting firms such as What If Innovation in NY and Jackman Reinvents in Toronto. Prior to co-founding Juliet in 2017, Sarah headed up the Consumer Insight and Brand Strategy disciplines at Jackman Reinvents where she counseled CEOs and their executive teams on growth strategy. Sarah has shaped brand strategy and helped shift cultural paradigms on behalf of brands across nearly every sector from retail to technology to fashion to non-profits.




For registration inquiries, contact Rowan Traynor at 1-416-408-2300 x213 or rtraynor@brunico.com.
For sponsorship opportunities, contact Lisa Faktor at 1-416-408-2300 x477 or lfaktor@brunico.com.