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, 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;
- 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 and of the Institute for Performance and Learning (Canada). 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.
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.
Office Manager, Administration and Finance
Stephanie Schouten is the Centre for Excellence in Communications' Administrative Officer. Beyond managing and ensuring the integrity and efficiency of the Centre's daily operational, administrative, and financial processes, she is also our logistics coordinator and webmaster. Ms. Schouten joined our team in 2009 and brings significant experience as an office administrator, including 1 year with a Toronto law practice and 5 years with an Ottawa-based media services company. Stephanie studied Accounting at Algonquin College (Ottawa, ON) and Hotel and Restaurant Management at St. Lawrence College (Kingston, ON).
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 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.
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.
Janice Francisco stimulates thinking breakthroughs to drive innovations in organizational performance. She is a CEC Associate and President of BridgePoint Effect, an Ottawa-based consultancy she founded in 2001, intent on guiding learning and change with creativity and innovation. As a Creativity Professional she has 20+ years experience and works primarily on IM/IT projects as a change manager, trainer, facilitator, and communications advisor specializing in helping managers and teams apply strategic thinking and creative problem solving to satisfy work challenges, build creative work climates, benefit from change and achieve higher levels of productivity. An international thought leader, Janice conducts research in the creativity and change leadership fields and shares her expertise as a speaker and author. She holds an MSc in Creativity and Change Leadership, a Bachelor of Business Management, a diploma in adult education and is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator.
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 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.
Mark Hudson has more than 27 years of experience working in 9 federal departments envisioning, directing and delivering communications, marketing and consultation strategies. As a Special Assistant, Press Secretary and a Legislative Assistant Mark has advised the most senior levels of government including several cabinet ministers, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Prime Minister. He is the former e-Communications Executive for the Public Health Agency of Canada where he was responsible for engaging audiences through online mediums. While at the Agency Mark, was an early adopter in the federal government’s use of social media starting with the 2008 Listeriosis outbreak and while directing online communications during the H1N1 flu pandemic. At Industry Canada in his capacity as Marketing Manager, Mark led in the development of a departmental partnership and sponsorship policy framework and a fair and exhibit centre of expertise. Mark’s work has honed skills in information dissemination, content management, public opinion research, risk communications, issue management and social marketing.
Debra Huron has extensive experience as a writer, editor, and trainer. For three years, she managed the Plain Language Service at the Canadian Public Health Association. She has worked for a national literacy organization, the Ottawa Board of Education, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and as a self-employed pen-for-hire. Her experience with training includes design and delivery of writing workshops for diverse clients in the health, government, and voluntary sectors. Debra is a member of the Editors' Association of Canada and the international organization, PLAIN. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto.
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.
Joanne John is a senior CEC associate and a communications expert with more than 25 years of experience in the communications sector in a number of Government of Canada departments and agencies. She has held a variety of positions providing leadership, strategic counsel and hands-on delivery of corporate communications programs, public relations, crisis management, stakeholder relations, outreach and creative products and services.
Ms. John has been instrumental in the development and execution of effective strategic and tactical plans for external and internal communications. She has worked in partnerships with management, clients and stakeholders domestically and internationally, to ensure that communications strategies, messages and tactics are aligned with business objectives and culture. She has also been called upon to realign functions and implement effective governance structures to more effectively deliver Communications services. Joanne has strong abilities to navigate through highly sensitive files to identify key issues and formulate recommendations.
Joanne is a certified executive coach who calls upon her documented track record of accomplishments and her leadership and executive experience in diverse and challenging situations to provide her clients with practical, effective, strategies for success.
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.
Gerry Maffre has over twenty years’ of experience in delivering and managing government communications. Gerry has worked in Canada and overseas, and has served in senior positions such as the Communications Director General for both Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Infrastructure Canada. For these departments and others, such as Employment and Immigration, and Environment Canada, he has led - in both official languages - communications activities and programs covering media relations, planning, media monitoring and analysis, web communications, and design and production projects. Gerry also has significant experience in working with communicators in provincial, territorial and municipal government and with human resources and financial resources. He has worked in social and economic policy and science-based programs including immigration, infrastructure, environment, and labour and has central agency experience. In addition to his CEC Associate work, he volunteers with the Canadian Immigration Historical Society and on an annual fund raising activity with Hospice Care Ottawa. Gerry holds a B.A. in Canadian Studies and undertook M.A-level work in Canadian Studies.
Heather Marshall is a CEC associate and a talented communications strategist and international award-winning writer with decades of experience working as a writer and speechwriter. A former television reporter, TV news anchor and radio morning show host for over a dozen years with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Canada, and freelance journalist reporting from Europe for two years, she now applies the multidisciplinary skills and knowledge gained through her journalism career to her professional services as a senior communications consultant. Since 1990, Ms. Marshall has been president of a small, bilingual communications consulting firm based in the National Capital Region specializing in speechwriting, strategic communications planning and media training. Heather has vast speechwriting experience, having prepared literally thousands of sets of speaking notes for government ministers and senior officials as well as corporate executives to deliver to both domestic and international audiences.
Carl Martin is a fluently bilingual strategic communications and marketing specialist with experience in a wide range of areas including issues management, media relations, special events and brand development and management. A former newspaper and TV journalist, Carl has provided communications services, media training and coaching to senior executives and volunteers in both the public and private sectors. He has worked in municipal affairs, arts and culture, police and law enforcement, as well as in health care and not-for-profit sectors. He has lectured at La Cité collégiale and Algonquin College and is currently an associate trainer with the Centre for Excellence in Communications. Carl is the recipient of several communications awards from organizations such as the Canadian Public Relations Society, the Health Care Public Relations Association of Canada and the International Association of Business Communicators.
Carl Martin est un spécialiste en stratégies de marketing et de communication. Il offre ses services en français et en anglais. Il possède une vaste expérience en gestion des questions d'actualité, en relations avec les médias, en coordination d'événements spéciaux et en gestion des stratégies de marque. Ancien journaliste pour la presse écrite et la télévision, il fournit des services de communication et de la formation médiatique. Il offre également des conseils à des cadres supérieurs et à des bénévoles des secteurs public et privé sur les stratégies à adopter pour faire face aux médias. Il a œuvré dans le domaine des affaires municipales, des arts et de la culture, des affaires policières et de l'application de la loi ainsi que dans le milieu de la santé et des organisations caritatives. Il a également été chargé de cours à La Cité collégiale et au Collège Algonquin. Il est actuellement formateur associé au Centre pour l'excellence en communication. Carl s'est vu attribuer plusieurs prix de reconnaissance en matière de communication de la part de différentes organisations, comme la Société canadienne des relations publiques, l'Association des relations publiques des organismes de la santé du Canada (HCPRA) ainsi que l'Association internationale des professionnels de la communication.
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 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.
Ian Parker is a long time Communications Consultant and a Senior Associate with the Centre for Excellence in Communications. He brings to his seminars an extensive background in television journalism: news anchor, producer, host-reporter with the fifth estate, correspondent with The Journal, and correspondent with CTV News, as well as a Master of Journalism Degree from Carleton University. Having conducted thousands of interviews, and having spent countless hours in editing suites selecting material for airing, he has a firsthand knowledge of the elements that make for successful verbal communications and messaging to target audiences. His seminars are highly interactive. He encourages and works with participants to develop communications plans for their issues, based on objectives, target audience and key messaging.
Mr. Parker has worked successfully with government departments, security and law enforcement agencies, associations and private sector clients, providing communicators and spokespersons with the techniques that enable them to communicate more effectively with their target audiences. Internationally, he has been a member of training teams that have worked with United States government agencies, energy related firms and Fortune 500 companies. He has also media trained 100 international scientists with the Institute for Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria.
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.
Vicki Schouten is founder and CEO of Vinyl 21 Communications Inc., an Ottawa-based social media management and digital marketing agency. As a CEC Associate, Vicki brings with her over 18 years marketing and communications experience in both the private and public sector in Canada and abroad.
Vicki’s career in the Public Service spanned over fourteen years both in Canada and abroad. Serving in positions largely related to Communications and Business Development, Vicki has experienced first-hand the challenges faced by Communications professionals in a public setting. Vicki began her Public Service career as a Commercial Officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, where she served in both Rome, Italy and Bangkok, Thailand. In 1999, Vicki moved to Industry Canada where she was responsible for marketing and communications in the Information Communications and Telecommunications branch. She served as the lead for the branch’s transition to the new Common Look & Feel Guidelines for the branch website. She was also responsible for managing marketing and communications materials for the sector.
In 2010, Vicki resigned from the Public Service to pursue Vinyl 21 Communications, an agency that specializes in providing strategic advice on social media campaigns, website development and mobile marketing solutions to small and medium sized firms across North America. Her hands-on knowledge allows her to give a practical insight into the latest social media, web and mobile marketing tools and trends.
In addition to managing Vinyl 21, Vicki has been developing and delivering workshops for the CEC since 2013. She regularly delivers workshops on Strategic Social Media Engagement, Writing for Social Media, Social Media Monitoring and Writing for the Web. She also brings a great deal of experience with regards to the Government of Canada’s Web Renewal Initiative and has worked closely with several Departments including Library and Archives Canada, Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Canada and Public Safety Canada in their effort to implement the new Web Renewal guidelines.
Vicki holds a B.A. in Political Science from Carleton University.
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.
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.
Karen is a CEC Associate and consultant in stakeholder engagement, innovation, and communication. She has over 20 years experience in journalism and post-secondary education, spanning the worlds of news, professional communications, web design, and public engagement. Her unique career path has resulted in her developing competencies in innovation leadership, multimedia communication, relationship building, and continuous learning. She holds a M.A. in History and M.A. in Journalism, which is complemented with training in new media design at the Canadian Film Centre’s innovative Media Lab.
During a news media career working mainly for CBC Radio in several cities across Canada, Karen honed skills building relationships with and reporting on all kinds of people, including politicians, government officials, experts, First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples, and non-experts. Early in her career, she received training from world-renowned interviewing expert John Sawatsky, applying his techniques and methods to her journalism. This training would set the course of her career as a methodical and strategic communicator.
Karen eventually set her sights on teaching at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, where she taught journalism and communication courses for 10 years. As both chair and faculty, she led the journalism program through innovation and change as communication technologies and practices evolved. She specialized in teaching online communication and citizen participation in the news, and enjoyed teaching social science. Karen pioneered innovative uses of technology and collaborative partnerships with community organizations to enhance student learning. In 2010, she was published in the Canadian journalism textbook The New Journalist. She contributed a chapter on convergence journalism, which focussed on audio production and interviewing techniques.
Building on her interest in citizens’ changing expectations of engagement in decision-making with governments, organizations, and businesses, Karen pursued training in public participation in 2014. She is now an active member of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2). In 2016, the IABC recognized Karen’s work as an innovator in the field of communications, inviting her to be one of the leading presenters at its World Conference.