Keynote Speakers

Canada - USA Relations: Looking ahead.CPRS-branded-headshots-2020_John.png

The relationship between Canada and the United States has always been complex.

Our countries are closely intertwined. Adding to this context, the arrival of President Trump in 2016, the minority government situation in Canada, and the upcoming US presidential election have made for interesting challenges, some new thinking and some uncertainties.

Join us for an engaging discussion with noted political analyst John Parisella, during which he will provide us with a macro view of this important bilateral relationship and will share with us his perspective on what is to come.

Presented by:
John Parisella, Senior Advisor, Business Outreach, NATIONAL

John Parisella joined NATIONAL’s Montreal office on January 23, 2017, and is currently Senior Advisor, Business Outreach. More recently, he was executive director of the major fundraising campaign for HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and Université de Montréal (Campus Montréal) and was associated with this campaign during the transition period. The campaign was highly successful-it attained $601 M (objective was $500 M). He serves as invited professor in the political science department at the University of Montreal. He is also associated with the Chaire Raoul-Dandurand, a center for U.S. studies, at Université du Québec à Montréal and is a Fellow at the Center for International Studies and Research (CERIUM). He has also taught at Concordia University in the Political Science department and the John Molson School of Business.
He currently is on the board of the Port of Montreal, Montreal International, Fusion Jeunesse, the Old Brewery Mission, Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP), as well as co-President of La Fondation de la Langue française. In the past, he served on the Board of Governors of Concordia University (1996-2005), Le Théâtre du Rideau Vert, and Regional Health Board of Greater Montreal.
John has also been involved as an author. In November 2015, he published a book entitled La politique dans la peau about diversity, integration and his years in Québec politics. Author of several publications and speaker at several forums, he is also co-author of the book Elections:  Made in USA (published in 2004 and 2008) and was a regular blogger for America’s Quarterly (2010-2015).  From 2008 to 2013, he was also a blogger on U.S. politics for Macleans magazine. He acts as a political analyst with several media across the country. Currently, he is a political analyst on U.S. politics at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (French sector) and is a regular contributor to La Presse, a French language daily newspaper. Recently, he acted as a consultant on the documentary television series – Fièvre politique - aired on Télé Québec about former political leaders and their reflections on political life. The said documentary won a Gémeaux award.
Just recently, in October 2019, he was a collaborator of an autobiography entitled Lino Saputo, Entrepreneur – Living our Dreams.
A graduate of McGill University in political science, education, and management, and Concordia University in political science, John Parisella holds a certificate in senior government management from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Throughout his career, he has worked in education, politics, community development, marketing and advertising, diplomacy, philanthropy, business and government relations consultancy. He started his career as a secondary school teacher with the Montreal School Board (1969-1980).
In politics, he served as Regional Director of the Liberal Party of Quebec (1980-1981), Director General of the Liberal Party of Quebec (1985-1988), Chief of Staff of the premiers Robert Bourassa (1989-1994) and Daniel Johnson (1994), as well as adviser to the Premier Jean Charest (2007-2008). 
In business, he served as president (initially as VP from 1994 to 1999) of BCP (part of Publicis Worldwide) from 1999 to 2009, a Montreal-based marketing and advertising company. In addition, he chaired BCP Consultants, specializing in reputation management and crisis management. In addition to his work with BCP, he acted on a mandate as strategic advisor to the President and executive Director of marketing and communications at Concordia University from 2006 to 2009. In 2008-2009, he was the chief negotiator of the Government of Quebec in the dispute with the Mohawks of Kahnawake regarding lands along Highway 30.
From 2009 to 2012, he served as Québec's Delegate General in New York – Washington. In addition, to his professional activities, he has served as a volunteer administrator on numerous boards of directors in the areas of culture, education, health, community development and the business sector.
Mr. Parisella was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2017, and an Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2016. He has received the medal of the Foreign Policy Association in New York in 2011. In 2014 he was named Personality of the TOP 20 Diversity Award at the Grand Prix Mosaïque – Lys de la Diversité du Québec. The Université of Montreal gave him the Rector’s medal for leading their major philanthropic campaign from 2012 to 2017.

PR after the Pandemic: A Canadian Agency Leaders Panel

In this dynamic panel, the leaders of Canada’s largest home-grown agencies share their perspectives on how they’re advising their clients and evolving their businesses during and after the pandemic. Argyle CEO Daniel Tisch, APR, FCPRS facilitates a conversation among his peers examining at the emerging imperatives for the public relations professionals of today and tomorrow.

Presented by:
CPRS-branded-headshots-2020_Dan.pngDaniel Tisch, APR, FCPRS, President & CEO, Argyle Public Relationships

Daniel Tisch is widely known as an international public relations professional, speaker, writer and industry leader. He is the CEO of Argyle Public Relationships, one of Canada’s largest communications and engagement consulting firms, a Fellow of the Canadian Public Relations Society, and the 2011-2013 chair of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, the confederation of the world’s PR and communication professional associations.
Since Daniel became president of Argyle in 2003, the firm has grown dramatically, appearing in rankings of Canada’s fastest-growing companies in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2020. Argyle is a leader in awards from the Canadian Public Relations Society and the International Association of Business Communicators, with more than 200 awards during Daniel’s tenure, including recognition as the IABC Global Mid-Sized Agency of the Year for both 2017 and 2018, and Canadian Agency of the Year in the 2020 Sabre Awards.
As a consultant, Daniel has advised a long list of Global 500/Fortune 500 companies as well as both Canadian and international government leaders. He is particularly well-known for expertise in reputation, issues and crisis management, serving as the lead communications advisor to an industry affected by the largest food recall in North American history. Daniel’s other areas of practice include reputation management strategy, stakeholder engagement, governance and executive leadership communication.
As Global Alliance chair, Daniel led the organization to unprecedented growth, chaired a process to develop an international consensus on the roles and responsibilities of twenty-first century public relations, co-chaired the two largest World Public Relations Forums in history, launched a “best-of-the-best” global awards program and an international research study on the state of public relations with the University of Southern California, and represented the profession on the International Integrated Reporting Council.
Earlier in his career, Daniel held senior communications roles in the Canadian government, including serving as Senior Policy Advisor and Acting Chief of Staff to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. In the latter role he was a member of the Canadian delegation to the G7 Economic Summit.
Daniel has spoken at conferences on every continent, lectured at Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business since 1996, and contributed to leading public relations and marketing textbooks. He appears regularly in national and international print and broadcast media. He is a member of CPRS, the IABC and the Arthur W. Page Society.
Born in Spain to a Latin American family and raised in Toronto, Daniel speaks English, French and Spanish. He holds two degrees from Queen’s University — a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies and a Master of Business Administration. Daniel is the Vice Chair of the Queen’s University Board of Trustees, a leader in the international Scouting movement and a former board member of Social Venture Partners International.

CPRS-branded-headshots-2020_Bruce.pngBruce MacLellan, APR, FCPRS, LM, CEO, Proof Strategies Inc.

Bruce MacLellan is a veteran communications counselor and the founding CEO of Proof Strategies Inc., now the largest wholly Canadian-owned public relations agency.
Bruce has provided counsel to leaders in business, government and not-for-profit and continues to apply his entrepreneurial thinking to existing and new opportunities with the firm and clients. As an entrepreneur, he has co-founded or acquired over ten different businesses in the world of marketing and public relations.
His practical experience creating an inclusive, trusted workplace resulted in Proof Strategies being named the #1 workplace in Canada in 2010 by Great Place to Work®.  In 2016, Bruce and his team launched the CanTrust Index, one of the largest annual studies of trust in Canada. The study is made public each year and shared freely with anyone interested in the urgent need to build trust.
As a volunteer, Bruce has served as national Board Chair of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and is a board member of Canada’s History Society. He was a board member of the CPRS Foundation from 2013-16, and served as Chair. He is also a member of the National Advisory Council for The Walrus.
A proud Canadian, Bruce holds an MA in Public Administration from the University of Toronto.

CPRS-branded-headshots-2020_Jennifer.pngJennifer Davies, National Strategic Communications Lead, Earnscliffe

Jennifer Davies is a strategic communications, public affairs and public policy specialist with two decades of progressive experience and leadership. Jennifer is a leader in Earnscliffe’s national strategic communications and integrated campaigns practice, serving clients across the private, not-for-profit, and public sectors.

Prior to joining Earnscliffe, Jennifer founded and ran her own consultancy and led a team of communications professionals at a provincial crown agency with responsibility for corporate and major project communications and marketing, community and regulatory engagement, government and media relations.

Jennifer serves as a strategic advisor, facilitator and trainer for senior corporate and public sector executives on strategic planning, crisis communications and issues management, and works to ensure effective media communication, speech and presentation delivery, and storytelling to achieve positive results. Jennifer has experience working with private, public and not-for-profit sector clients on policy issues, public consultation, community and regulatory engagement, strategic and business planning, governance, health, natural resources, technology, infrastructure, and social justice.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Wales. She supports the community through her voluntary work with the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation Board of Directors and other organizations in the not-for-profit sector. Jennifer is an active participant in the Canadian Public Relations Society, the International Association of Business Communicators, the Institute of Public Administration of Canada and the Women’s Executive Network.

CPRS-branded-headshots-2020_Martin.pngMartin Daraiche, President, NATIONAL Public Relations

A lawyer by training, Martin Daraiche joined NATIONAL in 2008. Successively named Partner (2012), Managing Partner of the Quebec City office (2017), and most recently President of NATIONAL (2019), Martin manages the Firm’s operations across Canada, including that of its nine offices from coast to coast.

Martin remains a highly sought-after senior advisor to his clients, offering high-level strategic advice in pan-Canadian public relations and government relations. Drawing on broad political experience and an in-depth understanding of government decision-making mechanisms, he works closely with business leaders to simplify the most complex issues so they can define distinctive strategies to reach, and even surpass, their goals.
Martin previously served on the board of directors of The Arthritis Society from 2016 to 2019 and was a select member of the Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference in 2012.

Upskill or Be Left Behind: How Public Relations Must Avoid Sleepwalking into AI

The CIPR Artificial Intelligence in Public Relations Panel - #AIinPR - was founded in 2018 to explore the impact of artificial intelligence on public relations and the wider business community. The Panel has established an international reputation as a centre of excellence for promoting knowledge and understanding of automation and AI in the roles of public relation practitioners.

CPRS-branded-headshots-2020_Kerry.pngThis plenary discussion will explore the latest findings from the Panel's world-leading research, including what 2020 holds for the PR industry with automation and AI. It will also include PR's vital role in setting the narrative as it guides businesses, organizations and brands on automation and AI deployment. This session will also look at how we build trust amongst workforces and stakeholders, including the public, and will give a nod to the climate change agenda as AI increases environmental impact.

Presented by:
Kerry Sheehan, Artificial Intelligence in PR Chair, CIPR - Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Kerry Sheehan has more than 15 years’ experience in government, health, tech, B2C and B2B sectors including global brands including, Intercontinental, Microsoft and the NHS.

She has extensive experience leading communications and marketing functions in agency and in-house settings, and has proven success in developing and implementing artificial intelligence (AI) strategies.

Kerry is a Chartered Public Relations Practitioner, CIPR Council member, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of PR. She’s Chair of the globally-leading #AIinPR panel looking at the implications of AI and in the PR, communications and marketing communications industry.

Kerry is a member of the International Data Science Foundation, and is a graduate of Dame Wendy Hall's Fundamentals of Data, AI and Machine Learning.

From Unconscious Bias To Conscious Communications: Strategies For Social Justice and Racial Equity

This interactive session includes a keynote presentation by Kim Clark, a panel of executives and communication leaders and an open Q&A.
It will cover:

  • What unconscious bias is and how it impacts our communications
  • Introducing inclusive communications
  • Identifying obstacles to social justice
  • Supporting executives
  • The work beyond the statement
Presented by:
CPRS-branded-headshots-2020_Kim.pngKim Clark, Partner: Employee Communications; Diversty, Inclusion and Belonging Communications, Employera

Kim led employee communications at KLA, PayPal, GoDaddy, and GitHub and developed their diversity and inclusion communications strategy by folding D&I into the rhythm of the business for executives and business units.

She's a partner at the talent journey innovation firm Employera and speaks in webinars for Ragan Communications while teaching at San Jose State University. She authors many articles and is working on her first book, The Conscious Communicator. 

CPRS-branded-headshots-2020_Kim.pngJefferson Darrell, Founder, Breakfast Culture

Jefferson Darrell is an accomplished marketing communications and change management professional with more than 15 years of brand strategy expertise, generating earned and owned media using both traditional and digital channels.
He is highly effective in stakeholder relations, negotiating, conceiving and cultivating mutually beneficial partnerships. Having worked on numerous integrated marketing campaigns on both the agency and client side, Jefferson brings a broad understanding of the entire marketing mix to every project.

In the DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) space, Jefferson was instrumental in the creation of the Diversity Inclusion Anti-Racism Action Team at the Ontario Science Centre and he represented the Centre on the DEI Committee with the Canadian Association of Science Centres (CASC). Jefferson has been an active participant in diversity & inclusion conferences including Progress Together for the Ontario Public Service and Canada’s first ever White Privilege Global Conference at Ryerson University. He was also instrumental in organizing the Science Centre’s involvement in the world’s first Pride in STEM Day on July 5, 2018.

Jefferson’s change management project with the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP) resulted in increased revenue opportunities for the non-profit charity by diversifying the organization’s fundraising and development committee.

Jefferson has delivered numerous presentations and keynote addresses about the importance of DEI including: a presentation at the inaugural IDEA (Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity in Advertising) Summit for the Institute of Communications Agencies (ICA), a national webinar for CASC titled “Diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math): What can we learn from Wonder Woman,” and delivering the keynote address about Diversity in Public Relations for Humber College in 2018. He has participated in myriad panel discussions about diversity and inclusion including: “How to cultivate inclusive workplace cultures” at the IDEA Summit and “Diversity in Public Relations” at the 2018 Global PR Summit.

Jefferson earned a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, a Public Relations Honours Certificate from Humber College, and is a change management, leadership and inclusion graduate from Centennial College and the Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion (CCDI) and working towards the Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional (CCIP™) designation.

CPRS-branded-headshots-2020_Kim.pngKirsten Goodnough, Director General, Public Affairs, Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces

A public service executive and communications specialist, Kirsten Goodnough has spent more than 18 years working for the Government of Canada at the local, regional, and national levels across five departments. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of British Columbia in English Literature and International Relations. She also holds a Masters of Journalism from Carleton University. Ms. Goodnough is fluently bilingual in English and French.

Ms. Goodnough’s government career began in Vernon, B.C., in 2001 to do community outreach in support of the federal government's Youth Employment Strategy. Ms. Goodnough moved rapidly through the junior ranks when, from 2004 to 2008, she occupied positions in Toronto and Ottawa working for Human Resources Development Canada, Transport Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency.

Ms. Goodnough began working at the Department of National Defence (DND) in 2009 as a communications account manager. In this role, she managed communications and stakeholder relations on multi-billion dollar acquisitions, including naval ships and fighter jets. From 2011 to 2014, she led a corporate communications team that tackled complex defence management files, such as the development of a defence communications strategy and a re-write of national public affairs policy. From 2014 to 2015, Ms. Goodnough was a senior communications analyst at the Privy Council Office, advising the Prime Minister's office on transportation, infrastructure, military procurement and agriculture. She returned to DND in 2015 as the Director of Media Relations and Combat Camera.

From 2016 to 2019, Ms. Goodnough was Director of Outreach and Speechwriting at DND. In this position, she led stakeholder consultations and engagement through the development, launch and implementation of Canada’s defence policy. Her team of writers crafted more than 350 speeches a year for the Minister of National Defence, the Chief of Defence Staff and three Deputy Ministers. Her focus on innovating the craft of speechwriting has positioned DND as a leader across the federal government and the world.

Ms. Goodnough accepted her current position, a promotion, in June 2019. Her portfolio of responsibilities includes stakeholder and media relations, imagery, and speechwriting. She also serves as gender and diversity champion for the public affairs branch. Ms. Goodnough speaks to government, academic and youth audiences on gender, diversity and inclusion; executive leadership; and the craft of communications.

When not at work, Ms. Goodnough enjoys yoga, hiking, and travelling. She is married to Australian, Joshua Gleeson. They have two daughters, Sophie and Alice, and live in Ottawa.


The Sustainable Prosperity of Society by Healthy Brands
  • CPRS-branded-headshots-2020_Elisabeth-(1).pngOpen up new horizons and key dimensions of brand development and resources.
  • A healthy brand is a brand that, beyond its business project, has a business project. It is a brand that creates capital value and prosperity! 
  • New paradigms are jostling (global recession, recovery tinged with uncertainty, reduced demand, disruption of international trade and the value chain, slowdown or halt in production chains and trade policies, exacerbated social inequalities, an economic recovery geared towards ecological transition, etc.) to accelerate a new economic capital for fairer, more prosperous, more sustainable trade and to build an economic culture based on direct, solid long-term links.

Presented by:
Élisabeth Deschênes , President & Owner, ZA


Panel Discussion: Empowering the Next Generation of PR Professionals

This panel will bring together leaders in PR to discuss how agencies can empower the next generation of young PR professionals. Discussion will focus on what agencies and other employers can do to support those entering the industry and advice for new grads navigating the current landscape, including how they can effectively market themselves in one of the most challenging labour markets our industry has ever seen.

Presented by:
CPRS-branded-headshots-2020_David-(2).pngDavid Brodie, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Citizen Relations

David Brodie brings 17 years of communications experience to clients, having worked for federal and provincial elected officials and public and private sector clients from around the world including Proctor and Gamble, Destination BC and IKEA among others. He has led the Citizen Vancouver team since 2011, during which time Citizen was named Canadian PR Agency of the Year by the Holmes report in 2013 and Canadian PR Agency of the Year Silver Winner in 2015 and 2016. David has extensive experience in Crisis Communications and Media Training. He has helped clients manage through issues ranging from the sinking of a passenger vessel with multiple fatalities, to assisting a multinational retailer managing communications through the longest private sector labour strike in Canada. Prior to Citizen, David served in the Office of the Prime Minister as Senior Special Assistant for Northern and Western Canada. He has also acted as a senior advisor to the Federal Minister of Finance and has worked with the Canadian Consulate in Seattle and the Canadian Embassy in Japan. During his time in Ottawa he was named one of the top 20 Political Staff in Canada by the Hill Times.

CPRS-branded-headshots-2020_Nina.pngNina Kalos, EVP, General Manager, Veritas Communications

Nina is an experienced and highly motivated practitioner in public relations and social engagement. In her role as EVP, General Manager, Nina uses her wealth of experience to deliver impeccable service, building strong relationships with key stakeholders and her clients and team. She truly believes that we are in the people business and everyone is an influencer. Whether she is searching for ways to achieve better results for her clients or driving the team forward in executing campaigns, she is always eager to take on new challenges. Some of Nina’s experience includes clients like Kimberly Clark, Bayer, Church and Dwight, Revlon and Labatt Breweries of Canada.

CPRS-branded-headshots-2020_Kate.pngKatie Muir - SVP, Interim Managing Director, The Colony Project

With over 13 years experience in the marketing communications industry, Katie has spent her career developing strategic communications programs, building profile and managing crises for some of the world’s leading brands.  Katie brings a combination of methodical process and creative thinking to every challenge, helping clients develop strategic, integrated programs to elevate brands, engage consumers and drive business results.  

A seasoned communicator, Katie is committed to driving conversation rooted in consumer insights, resulting in Strategy hardware three consecutive years. Prior to joining Colony, Katie held the position of Vice President at Citizen Relations and most recently, helped launch the PR arm at integrated agency, No Fixed Address. Having spent her career at a number of Canada’s top communications agencies, Katie has counselled global brands including, Loblaw Companies Limited, PepsiCo Foods, P&G, IBM and Kraft Heinz.

Outside of work, Katie is the mom of two young boys ages two and five. When she’s not playing superheroes or stepping on stray Lego, you can find baking cookies for her side hustle – Sugar by Katie.

CPRS-branded-headshots-2020_Dave.pngDave Forde, Founder of Profectio, Founder of PR in Canada

Dave “The Connected One” Forde has been involved in the advertising and technology industry across Canada for over 15 years in various sales and marketing roles, he launched Profectio and PR In Canada. He also serves as an advisor to a number of businesses across the country.  Most recently Dave laughed The Connected One which help brands find the right sellers across the globe.