CEC Team

Josef Jurkovic

Josef Jurkovic
Managing Director

Josef Jurkovic is a founder and managing director of the CEC. He has over 35 years of public and private sector experience across diverse areas of internal and external communications, media relations, stakeholder and public consultations, branding and marketing. In over 20 years as a trainer, coach, facilitator and consultant, Mr. Jurkovic has undertaken projects for well over three hundred government, business and non-governmental organizations in Canada and abroad. Mr. Jurkovic is a frequent conference speaker on internal communications, employee engagement and on public sector branding and positioning. He regularly delivers professional development workshops and coaching sessions on:

  • Communications Skills for Non-Communicators;
  • Effective Messaging;
  • Effective Presentations;
  • Employee Engagement;
  • Government Branding and Positioning;
  • Internal Communications;
  • Issues, Risk and Crisis Communications;
  • Media Relations;
  • Oral Briefing Skills;
  • Personal Branding Strategies;
  • Portfolio and Horizontal Communications;
  • Professional Communicators Competencies;
  • Public Consultations and Citizen Engagement;
  • Public Sector Marketing;
  • Stakeholder Communications;
  • Strategic Communications Planning;
  • Writing Effective Notes, Minutes and Records of Proceedings; and
  • Writing Effective Media Lines and Press Releases.

Mr. Jurkovic is an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators. He has previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Public Relations Society and of the Executive Board of the Canadian Society for Training and Development Ottawa-Gatineau chapters.

David Kardish

David Kardish
Senior Associate, Professional Development and Facilitation

Mr. Kardish has over thirty years of experience working in all aspects of planning and communications in Canada and the United Kingdom. He has consulted to federal government departments, non-governmental organizations and private sector companies. Mr. Kardish has worked as a strategic planner, communications practitioner, evaluator, lobbyist, social marketer, and is a skilled adult educator, trainer and facilitator.

In the early 1990’s, Mr. Kardish was a member of the team that introduced “Results-Based Management” into the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). As a result of this experience, he is the architect of many professional development programs that focus on results-based planning and performance measurement.

Mr. Kardish regularly delivers professional development workshops in:

  • Communicating change and transition;
  • Results-based management and performance measurement;
  • Strategic communications planning;
  • Social Marketing;
  • Face-to-Face Communication;
  • Ethno-Cultural Communications; and
  • Practical facilitation skills for communicators.

Among his volunteer activities, Mr. Kardish provides strategic communications advice to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Paediatric Society and is a past Treasurer of the Canadian Public Relations Society's Ottawa Branch.

CEC Associates

Carolyn Brown

Carolyn Brown

Carolyn Brown is a science and medicine writer and editor with 18 years’ experience at Canada’s two largest scientific publishers — Canadian Medical Association publications and NRC Research Press. She has written everything from speeches for Cabinet ministers to feature magazine articles, mainly for Ottawa Magazine. A CEC Associate who delivers workshops on feature article writing and effective science writing, she currently provides writing and editing services for a range of not-for-profit and government clients, including the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Forest Service, Environment Canada, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency and the Council of Canadian Academies. She is also a contributing news writer for the Canadian Medical Association Journal. In 2009, she participated in the Science Communications Program at the Banff Centre, led by noted science communicator Jay Ingram. She has taught an intensive course in writing scientific manuscripts for the National Autonomous University of Mexico since 2011. For the Editors’ Association of Canada and the American Medical Writers Association she has given workshops in computer-based editing, writing abstracts, and scientific editing for more than a decade.

Susan Bryan Reid

Susan Bryan Reid

Susan Bryan Reid is a former public service executive with thorough knowledge of government communications and experience in many departments. She has led diverse teams, managed significant budgets, and worked with central agencies and Minister’s Offices on communications issues.

Over the years, Susan has won awards for leadership in communications, including an Excel Award from the International Association of Business Communicators, DM Awards for Outstanding Achievement, and a PCO-PMO Certificate of Commendation. She is known for building productive teams, fostering collaborative relationships, and ensuring effective written and oral communications.

Susan has lived and worked in Canada and overseas, and has a background in the private sector as well as the public sector. She has delivered training in Algeria and published Time-Life books in Montreal. She holds a Masters Degree in Canadian Studies, a University Diploma in Social Communications, and French Certificates from the universities of Grenoble and La Rochelle, France.

As a coach, mentor and trainer, Susan is dedicated to sharing her experience with others to help them succeed.

Christina Campbell

Christina Campbell

Christina Campbell is a seasoned communications professional with a passion for the multiformat/platform/channel universe in which communications now operates. She worked for fifteen years as a television producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and twenty years as a freelance writer publishing features for magazines such as Toronto Life, The Walrus, Canadian Business, and Report on Business. For the last decade she has been leading innovative digital communications initiatives in the non-profit sector including Ontario child welfare, Doctors Without Borders, and World Vision, where she was the Senior Editor of their print and digital magazine. Christina’s work has received a Gemini nomination and honourable mentions at the Canadian Magazine Awards and the Columbus International Film and Video Festival. Most recently Christina was the Senior Producer of the Munk Debates podcast.

Daniel Daigneault

Daniel Daigneault


A CEC associate for over a decade, Daniel Daigneault is the recipient of a prestigious international journalism scholarship, is an outstanding communicator, trainer and writer with a quarter century of experience in public broadcasting. He now applies the multi-disciplinary skills and knowledge gained in radio, television and print journalism to his professional services as a communications consultant and trainer. Over the course of his broadcast career, Mr. Daigneault was a reporter and/or host of numerous regional, national and international news and public affairs programs, primarily for the radio and television services of Radio Canada. He now provides strategic advice on sensitive issues as well as media training, writing workshops, speechwriting and facilitation services in both French and English. Daniel Daigneault has an impressive track record as a bilingual presentation skills and media trainer and coach, working with staff from over 30 diverse organizations across all sectors. He also teaches at the School of Journalism of La Cité Collégiale.


Animateur journaliste bilingue, Daniel Daigneault, un associé du CEC, cumule plus de vingt cinq ans d'expérience dans le domaine des médias. Au cours de sa carrière, il a agit à titre d'animateur et de journaliste au sein d'équipes de production d'émissions d'informations régionales et nationales, dans plusieurs provinces canadiennes, principalement pour les services de la radio et de la télévision de la Société Radio-Canada. Il a aussi eu le privilège d'ajouter un volet international à sa carrière à Paris en France.

Il a été chargé de cours à la Cité Collégiale d'Ottawa, à la fin des années 90 et a enseigné aux élèves de première et de deuxième année du programme de journalisme/radiodiffusion du collège, des fonctions qu'il a décidé de reprendre en 2007.

Daniel Daigneault est aujourd'hui consultant en communications. Il se spécialise dans la formation de porte parole. Il offre également des services de formation en rédaction (Fiches parlementaires, Infocapsules Notes de breffage) des services de facilitation et de rédaction de discours. Des services dispensés à une clientèle émanant autant du côté du gouvernement fédéral, que des secteurs privés et des ONG.

Ses ateliers de formation de porte parole ont été dispensés à des centaines d'employés de différents ministères et agences du gouvernement fédéral. Ces sessions de formations ont été dispensées sur une base individuelle ou en groupe auprès d'employés qui avaient peu ou pas d'expérience auprès des médias. Des hauts fonctionnaires, sous-ministres adjoints, porte parole officiels et gestionnaires ont également profité de sessions plus avancées dispensées par Monsieur Daigneault.

Bernard Gauthier

Bernard Gauthier, PhD

Bernard brings a unique blend of professional and academic qualifications to his work as a media trainer. His professional background includes senior-level media relations work with hundreds of clients across Canada, including Government of Canada clients, national associations and private sector organizations. He worked to help organizations recover from crisis, proactively raise their profile and develop policies and procedures for media relations that deepened and enhanced relationships with key reporters, editors and producers. Over the course of his 30-year career, Bernard also trained hundreds of clients in how to effectively handle media interviews. As he is fluently bilingual, his training has been delivered in both official languages to groups as large as 75 and as small as a single participant.

In addition to training clients, Bernard has himself conducted hundreds of interviews with many of Canada’s leading reporters in television, radio and print outlets. He has spoken on behalf of clients and employers in a professional, prepared way. In addition, his experience and specialized knowledge of communication have made him a go-to source for assessments of the statements and appearance of politicians, business leaders and celebrities. When reporters want to know how well a leader is doing in terms of PR and media relations, they interview Bernard.

Bernard’s academic credentials include a BA (Concordia), MA and PhD (Carleton) in Communications. He served as a sessional lecturer at Carleton University for more than a decade, offering courses in advertising and public relations to students in the School of Journalism and Communication. With his PhD completed, he moved to a full-time teaching position in the Bachelor of Public Relations program at Conestoga College. Over more than seven years there, he taught numerous courses touching on media relations, helping students learn how to anticipate media questions, prepare effective responses and deliver them with confidence.

Today, Bernard is a CEC associate and an independent consultant, offering strategic advice and training to a wide range of clients.

Francine Girard-Griffith

Francine Girard-Griffith is a former Assistant Deputy Minister in the federal government with extensive experience in all aspects of developing and managing government communications. As a senior executive, Francine has a wide array of leadership and organizational change management experience. She has advised numerous ministers, deputies, assistant deputy ministers and senior managers on a multitude of public policy issues. Francine has been involved in federal government communications and marketing initiatives in such areas as energy, natural resources and social and economic policy initiatives as well as serving as senior advisor and analyst at the Privy Council Office. Francine also worked in the private sector as Vice-President of Communications in a communications/marketing/sponsorship consulting firm. She brings over thirty years of experience to CEC as an associate. Francine holds a degree in Public Policy and Management and in Political Science from the University of Ottawa and is an active member of her community volunteering with numerous organizations.

Scott Hannant

Scott Hannant

Scott Hannant is a seasoned media and communications professional. He is President of Hannant Media Solutions, an Ottawa company that specializes in video storytelling and video strategies for social media. He also teaches television journalism at Carleton University. In 2010, he wrapped up a 30-year career in journalism as News Director at CTV Ottawa, one of Canada’s most successful television newsrooms.

Mr. Hannant joined CEC as an Associate to provide expertise in media, and video production. In addition to teaching, he consults on video as a part of strategic communication planning. He was lead editorial consultant on the new television production facilities at the Carleton University School of Journalism and Communications. He also served as a facilitator for media sessions at Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Mr. Hannant volunteers extensively. He is a President of the Ottawa Mission board of directors, a director at the Youth Services Bureau Foundation. He is also an honorary lifetime member of the Vanier Institute of the Family where he served on the executive for many years. He is an adviser to the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, Child Haven International, and the Curvy Girls a scoliosis support group.

Greg Ioannou

Greg Ioannou

Greg Ioannou is the founder and president of Colborne Communications, which since 1977 has provided a complete range of writing, editing, training, and publishing services to book, magazine, government, and corporate clients. He is also the publisher of Iguana Books, a Toronto-based ebook publisher. He was a founding member of the Editors' Association of Canada, and has served four terms as the Association's president.

Greg has taught courses and workshops in a wide variety of writing and editing skills, including: estimating editorial costs; plain language; rewriting; structural editing; copy editing; proofreading; grammar; editing fiction; manuscript evaluation; author-editor relations;  copyright laws; eliminating bias; and on-screen editing.

Greg has taught editing courses for George Brown College since 1986 and for Ryerson University since 1990. Since 1982, he has taught many dozens of workshops and seminars for the Editors' Association of Canada (in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Kingston, and Vancouver). The two most recent were "Editing eBooks" and "When SEO and Editing Wreck Each Other," both of which were at the 2012 EAC Conference.

He has also given workshops for the American Medical Writers' Association, the Writers' Union of Canada, the Professional Writers' Association of Canada, and the Canadian Authors' Association, and the Manitoba Editors' Association; at the University of British Columbia; and at Victoria,  Humber, Centennial, and Sheridan colleges.

He has given workshops on writing and plain language for many branches of the Ontario government, for several corporations, and for various writers' and editors' groups and conferences. As well, he has led over 60 Plain Language workshops for staff writers at the City of Toronto.

Sylvia Larrass

Sylvia Larrass

Sylvia`s passion is to help people figure out what they want to say – and say it effectively. For over a decade, she has worked as a Presentation Skills trainer and facilitator to help people get their message across to various audiences, in Canada and internationally.

She runs a private consultancy in Ottawa, which offers training in Presentation Skills, Voice and Accent Reduction in both official languages.

Having worked as a voice coach at the Ottawa Theatre School and still active on stage as a singer, Sylvia brings a unique and engaging skills set to her coaching, in groups and one-on-one.

Aside from working for both private and public sectors, she enjoys sharing her expertise as a volunteer, especially in Ottawa`s lively New Canadian community.

donalee Moulton

donalee Moulton

donalee Moulton is a CEC associate and Atlantic Canada partner with over 25 years’ experience in communications consulting, curriculum development, training, and facilitation. She has worked in the private sector, the non-profit sector, and for all three levels of government. donalee is the owner of Quantum Communications, a full-service public relations and training firm based in Halifax.

As a consultant and trainer, donalee provides clients with a wide range of PR and marketing services, including comprehensive training and development, and curriculum development. Her clients include the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia, Public Health Agency, Health Canada, Environment Canada, the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation, the Resource Recovery Fund Board, Credit Union Atlantic, Nova Scotia Community College, Canada Revenue Agency, Nova Scotia Public Service Commission, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, Medavie Blue Cross, Indian and Northern Affairs, the RCMP, and Nova Scotia Health Promotion and Protection, among others.

donalee is a professional educator and trainer. She has taught communications and business courses at Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University and Mount Saint Vincent University. Among the courses she has taught or is currently teaching are business communications; technical writing; effective email; writing and editing professional materials; grammar and punctuation; writing winning proposals; strategic government relations; oral presentations; and delivering bad news. For the past 25 years, donalee has developed and facilitated communications courses for the Learning Centre Plus, which was established by several federal government departments to coordinate and offer professional development services for public servants. donalee is also conducting programs for the Nova Scotia Public Service Commission’s Professional Development Program and Leadership Initiative.

In addition to her communications and training work, donalee is a professional journalist. Her byline has appeared in more than 100 magazines and newspapers including The Bottom Line, The National Post, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Investment Executive, The Lawyers Weekly, The Medical Post, Equinox, Chatelaine, The Globe & Mail, and Canadian Living.

JoAnn Myer

JoAnn Myer

JoAnn Myer is a communications consultant and CEC Associate. She was previously a senior executive in the federal public service, where she led policy and communications professionals to effectively deliver on all aspects of strategic positioning, corporate and communications planning and management. In addition to her policy and communications experience, JoAnn is also a former Director General of the Personnel Psychology Centre, a cost recovery organization that is part of the Public Service Commission. JoAnn led a team whose primary focus was to ensure top-notch innovation, development and delivery of key assessment services to the federal government’s human resources and management community.

JoAnn has taught strategic communications and designed and delivered workshops on a variety of personnel management issues and is a certified professional coach. She has also undertaken a wide variety of consulting projects, including high-profile projects such as managing strategic and operational communications for the launch of the Canadian Blood Services organization.

JoAnn believes in giving back to the community. She is a former member and volunteer with the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and the federal government Communications Community Office.

Claude Panneton

Claude Panneton

Claude Panneton is a former public service executive with over 20 years of communications experience including risk and crisis communications, issues management, strategic communications and oversight of departmental public environment analysis, public opinion research and media monitoring.

Over his career, Claude managed numerous high-visibility files at Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Canada Revenue Agency. Claude worked on the response to BSE (mad cow disease) in Canada which was for many years a gold standard for crisis communications response in the Government of Canada. Claude also studied specialized risk communications at Oxford, UK, and at the Harvard school of Public Health.

Before retiring from the public service recently, Claude led the communications support for Canada’s COVID-19 economic measures.

In addition to overseeing large strategic communications teams, Claude has led many initiatives designed to improve client service and/or to better understand how government organizations are perceived by Canadians. A few of these include:

  • the development and integration of public environment analyses into the Canada Revenue Agency’s communications planning;
  • the launch of a new, more strategic approach to POR planning; and
  • an enhanced approach to issues management.

Throughout his career Claude has taken great time and care to build outstanding communications teams that develop employees and advance communications practices.

Anne Pratt

Anne Pratt

Anne Pratt has worked in communications for over 20 years. A former communications manager with the Government of Canada, Anne worked with Public Works and Government Services Canada, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Health Canada. Anne is currently the Communications Manager at the Health Sciences Council of the University of Alberta; she has significant experience with strategic communications planning for both external and internal activities, social media, media relations, development and production of print and online communications materials, project planning, event planning and promotion, public relations and marketing.

In her freelance career Anne has worked with the private sector, all levels of government, professional associations and volunteer organizations; she was an arts writer and broadcaster with the CBC and the St. John’s Telegram for nearly 10 years.

Anne’s broad range of experience includes everything from the arts to the health sciences; from tourism and culture to property management and software development. Anne is a graduate of Mount Allison University, and has completed graduate level work at both Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Alberta.

Stacey Simpson

Stacey Simpson

Stacey Simpson is a CEC associate who has worked in communications and web/social media for numerous federal government departments and other public sector organizations both as a Public Servant and a consultant for over 12 years. She has extensive knowledge in communications planning for internal and external stakeholders, social media and web design, as well as the development of print and online graphics, and marketing pieces.

Her varied background has seen her participate in many web renewal projects across government departments in both a developer role and providing guidance on ways forward to create a unified, coherent web presence. Additionally, she has been involved with the branding and training on new initiatives. Stacey is happiest using her creative abilities to help clients reach their goals.

Don Smith

Don Smith

Don Smith is a CEC Associate and a former Government of Canada communications executive. He worked in a number of departments, including the Privy Council Office, providing advice and support to ministers’ offices and senior public service executives. Don was responsible for more than 1,200 speeches for ministers and deputy ministers over the course of his 30-year career, and he developed and taught training programs for new speechwriters. He also developed training programs designed to prepare senior executives to communicate effectively during media interviews, when testifying before Parliamentary committees and when making speeches or other presentations. He taught these programs multiple times per year. Prior to joining the government Don was a broadcast journalist. He is currently an adjunct professor at McMaster University, teaching in the Department of Communications Studies and Multimedia. Don holds a Master of Communications Management degree from McMaster University and Syracuse University.

Maria Sowden-Weingarden

Maria Sowden-Weingarden

Maria Sowden-Weingarden is a CEC Associate and President of Deliberate Achievers (a division of TEMAS. Maria has over 25 years of experience as a workshop facilitator and 15 years of experience as a Leadership and Executive Coach.

Maria’s passion is in supporting people and organizations in working together through a culture of effective communication, high trust, clarity, collaboration, respect and mutual understanding.

In her career as trainer, Maria has assessed, designed, developed and delivered training solutions at all levels of staff for public, private, medical, education, hi-tech, and not-for-profit sectors. She has delivered hundreds of workshops on personal effectiveness topics such as leadership, team dynamics, communication, personal productivity, negotiating skills, change management, stress management, resilience, emotional intelligence, work-life balance and customer service, to name a few.

Maria leads workshops that optimize individual competencies and bring spirit and values to the workplace. She delivers messages that are inspiring, compelling, thought-provoking and has received praise from workshop attendees for her vast knowledge, exceptional communication skills and keen sense of humour. Maria has an uncanny ability to read an audience and expertly tailor the course to meet the needs of the attendees.

Maria successfully coaches individuals to achieve extraordinary results in their personal and professional lives. She helps leaders (emerging, newly promoted and seasoned) get better results by helping them identify and change behaviors that limit their effectiveness. She coaches leaders to develop and leverage their skills so that they can maximize their potential as leaders. Maria brings a multi-disciplined focus to her work, drawing on the principles of positive psychology and neuroscience, emotional intelligence, goal setting and the application of motivational interviewing techniques.