Sheila Wisniewski

President and CEO, Canada
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As President and CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada, Sheila Wisniewski is dedicated to leading our team of strategic communicators in the delivery of client service excellence, groundbreaking ideas, and meaningful results.

Sheila joined H+K in 2003. She became General Manager of our largest Canadian office and headquarters in Toronto in 2015 and was appointed President & CEO in 2018. Known for her positive energy, high standards and collaborative approach, she has experience leading integrated national client files and has deep experience in technology, consumer goods, healthcare, sports and entertainment, retail and more.

Under Sheila’s leadership H+K Canada has experienced a period of exceptional growth driven by public affairs integration, new solutions in corporate advisory, investment in deep sector expertise and a commitment to creative excellence. She is passionate about social issues and is a driver of H+K Canada’s diversity, equity and inclusion work. She is committed to creating a work environment where everyone feels empowered to show up and thrive as their full, authentic self.

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Kevin Dam

Chief Operating Officer
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Kevin Dam is the Chief Operating Officer of Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada. He brings over 12 years of executive leadership experience and over 25 years of financial and operational experience in a variety of different industries.

Some of the highlights during his career are that he’s taken a company through a successful exit, led a company out of a restructuring event to launch a new product and turned unprofitable companies to profitability through improved operational efficiencies and elimination of operational debt.

Kevin has a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a specialization in Accounting from the University of Ottawa, holds a Charter Professional Accountant in Canada designation (Chartered Accountant) and a Certified Public Accountant in the United States.  He regularly participates in fundraising opportunities for a variety of local and national charities.

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Jennifer Koster

Chief Client Officer
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In her many years with the firm, Jen has specialized in consumer marketing, leading complex 360-degree integrated campaigns for many global consumer brands.

Jen is a nationally respected public relations professional with expertise in communications strategies that deliver outstanding, measurable results. Jen brings insights and creative ideas to clients to drive consumer engagement and brand affinity.

​Jen’s passion is to manage high-performing teams that flawlessly execute complex programs. She has knowledge and experience in many sectors, including food and beverage (Coca-Cola, Ferrero Rocher, Loblaws, New York Fries); alcohol (Campari, Corby Distilleries, Labatt); consumer packaged goods (P&G); travel and tourism (InterContinental Hotels Group); automotive (Mazda) and fashion (Joe Fresh, Cotton Ginny Organics).

​Jen is also passionate about her consulting work in the not-for-profit sector. She has managed many clients and initiatives, including Plan International Canada, Because I am a Girl, Yardsale for the Cure, Sunnybrook Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society, Heart & Stroke and Virgin Unite.

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Greg Yaroff

Chief Financial Officer
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Michael Agyemfra

Vice-President, People + Culture
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Michael brings extensive human resources leadership and consulting experience from multiple industries and sectors including mining, healthcare, aviation and not-for-profit organizations. Prior to joining H+K, Michael was the Director, Talent and Culture at Plan International Canada where he worked to implement their Talent Plan, while building an effective Talent and Culture team and implementing HR systems and processes. Michael has also held a number of senior consulting and senior HR leadership roles, including Director, Human Resources at Ornge, where he led various change management initiatives in challenging times. He also spent 13 years in the mining industry working with AngloGold Ashanti in operational and strategic human resources management roles.

Michael holds an MBA from Henley Business School in the United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Science in Administration (Management) from University of Ghana Business School. He is affiliated with a number of professional bodies including the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) Canada. Outside of work, he enjoys travelling and participating in community and charitable activities, as well as spending time with his family.

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Isabelle Verreault

Senior Vice-President, General Manager, Québec and Head of Sectors
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Isabelle has been providing leadership oversight to H+K Canada’s teams in the Montreal and Quebec City offices since May 2016. She has more than 20 years’ experience in project management and communication, the last 13 of which have been in the fields of urban development, land use planning and public participation.​

With her exceptional ability to quickly grasp the dynamics of different environments, Isabelle plays a key role in major projects in the energy, mining, real estate and infrastructure sectors. She advises major public and private institutions in the development of information, communication and consultation strategies that will enable them to interact with the various stakeholders involved in their complex projects. With her comprehensive knowledge of various regulatory bodies, Isabelle helps steer project teams through municipal, provincial and federal approval processes and prepares them for public hearings.​

Prior to co-founding Acertys, Isabelle spent ten years in the banking sector, in marketing communications and call centre management, and as an agency account manager. In the early 2000s, she joined an organization that supports local cooperative initiatives in the Montreal area where she collaborated on numerous urban revitalization initiatives and helped develop and implement public participation processes for major real estate projects.

Isabelle has a Bachelor’s degree in political science and has completed graduate studies in management. Isabelle is very involved in her community and she is a board member of SOVERDI and Technoparc Montreal. She is also involved in the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2), and she often gives talks and training workshops on the challenges associated with public participation and social acceptability.


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Michelle McLean

Senior Vice-President, General Manager, Ottawa and National General Manager
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An experienced lawyer, public affairs and communications professional in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, as National sector lead for Health + Wellness, Michelle provides strategic counsel and support to a wide array of communications and public affairs clients and takes a leading role in developing corporate communications, stakeholder engagement and government relations strategies and campaigns. ​

Michelle’s background includes a decade of public affairs and communications experience, including almost three years as vice-president of public affairs at the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). During her time there, Michelle managed several national, large-scale projects, including a multi-year public relations and government relations campaign for the MHCC’s homelessness project and the launch of the Mental Health Strategy for Canada, a campaign which was recognized by the leading medical journal The Lancet as having achieved remarkable success for a public mental health campaign. ​

Michelle has led and managed other national, large-scale campaigns, including a campaign for the funding of the Cancer Control Strategy for Canada. This national campaign, which relied on grassroots mobilization, traditional media relations and advocacy, resulted in a commitment by the federal government of $260 million over five years, a record at the time. Michelle has twice been named as a Top 100 Lobbyist in Ottawa. Some of Michelle’s past and current clients include CADTH, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Partners for Mental Health, TRIUMF, CSL Behring Canada, Hoffmann-La Roche, Pfizer, Abbott, Ovarian Cancer Canada, Ontario Hospital Association, Research Canada, Cochrane Canada, the Alliance for the Canadian Arthritis Program, and ALS Canada. ​

Michelle completed her undergraduate degree at Queen’s University and her law degree at the University of Western Ontario. She spent four years as a litigation associate at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, LLP.

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Stephen Smart

Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Western Canada (Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina)
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Stephen brings 20 years of communications and media experience to his role as the General Manager of Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Vancouver office and as a member of the agency’s Canadian leadership team. Focused on delivering strategic counsel to clients across a range of sectors, Stephen is a trusted resource for strategic media relations, public affairs, issues management, as well as stakeholder relations advice. He is also regularly engaged by both government and corporate leaders for crisis or issues management counsel across North America as well as executive level media training.​

Stephen stepped away from agency work for two years to serve as the Press Secretary to the Premier of British Columbia and then as Executive Director of Communications and Issues Management for British Columbia’s Official Opposition Caucus. ​

Before moving into communications consulting in 2014, Stephen spent 15 years as an award-winning journalist with several of Canada’s top news organizations including serving as the Legislative Bureau Chief for CBC News in British Columbia, as well as experience as a reporter, producer and talk show host for CKNW Radio, CTV, and Global BC. His journalism expertise and local BC market knowledge gives him a unique media relations insight as well as unparalleled contacts in major newsrooms across the province and the country.​

Stephen is also regularly engaged by media outlets to provide political commentary and analysis and volunteers as a senior advisor to a non-partisan society working to encourage more younger Canadian to seek political office.


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Meredith Burns

National Lead, Business Development + Marketing
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Meredith leads H+K Canada’s business development and marketing efforts. Her team is part of H+K’s global business development and marketing unit, working together across geographies and time-zones to ensure one cohesive offer.

Her role is focused on building reputation and supporting growth for H+K as we seek new client partners that align with our values and capabilities. Her goal is to create an inclusive culture of new business across the agency to ensure we’re always learning, growing, and bringing our best teams and thinking to the pitch.

She has an appreciation for the changing nature of public relations, and stays close to client work through her role as day-to-day lead on H+K’s work with Scotiabank.

Meredith brings agency experience in both advertising and public relations. Prior to joining H+K, Meredith was at a global advertising agency with a split new business and client service role.

Meredith holds a BAH in Political Science from Queen’s University, a graduate certificate in Marketing from Humber College, and recently completed the Rotman School of Management MBA Essentials course.

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Elliott Gauthier

Senior Vice-President and National Lead, Data + Analytics
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As Senior Vice President and national leader of Data + Analytics at Hill+Knowlton Strategies Elliott delivers deep insight into client audiences by combining powerful primary research methodologies (quantitative and qualitative) with the best social media and digital intelligence tools.

Elliott is an accomplished research methodologist with particular expertise in segmentation models. Elliott oversees hundreds of research  assignments each year at H+K, providing robust analysis, detailed presentation of findings and strategic insights and recommendations based on credible, reliable and innovative research methods.

Elliott has extensive experience working with boards of directors and executive leadership teams to uncover the meaning of research findings while providing counsel on how to position the research in support of their objectives.

Elliott has over 15 years’ experience in senior-level positions in the research industry.  Immediately prior to joining H+K, Elliott was co-founder and chief operations officer (COO) of an innovative and successful research consultancy based in Ottawa. In this capacity Elliott oversaw hundreds of research assignments a year, along with company operations, business development and client relations.

In addition to his work with H+K, Elliott is a professor of Research, in the Public Relations Program at Algonquin College. Elliott is a recently retired member of the Primary Army Reserves having served 20 years in the infantry. Elliott also coauthored a paper on audience estimation models and methods with Google in 2011.  In 2016 Elliott was awarded the Forty Under 40 award for innovation and entrepreneurship in his field as well as his contributions to his community.

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Will Stewart

Senior Vice-President and National Lead, Public Affairs + Advocacy
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Will Stewart is a senior strategic advisor with over 20 years’ experience in public affairs who has driven project teams on complex files in a broad array of sectors for corporations, not-for-profits, start-ups and member driven associations.  Most recently, Will served in executive leadership roles with a variety of start-ups across Canada.

A regular speaker and strategist on public policy, Will has spent the majority of his career in and around politics both as Managing Principal of a public affairs firm and as Chief of Staff to the Ontario Minister of Energy as well as other portfolios. He has provided strategic planning, research and communications advice to many of the leading firms, associations, and companies in Canada where public policy, public opinion, and governments converge.  Will was named by the Hill Times as one of the Top 100 Lobbyists in the country for seven consecutive years. Will has spent hundreds of hours in front of TV camera, radio microphones, and featured in written publications as a strategist and commentator.

In addition to his career experience, Will has also served on the Board of Directors of a publicly traded company and volunteers his time to a series of organizations including Women’s Brain Health Initiative where he serves on the Board of Directors.  Will was also appointed by the Premier of Ontario as Chair of the Advertising Review Board of Ontario which ensures value for money in all public relations and marketing services contracted for Ontario government assignments.

In 2013, Will was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canadian Public Policy.

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Chrystiane Mallaley

Senior Vice-President and National Lead, Public Participation
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Elma Foric

Creative Director, The Studio
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Elma is an award-winning conceptual and strategic thinker with a keen eye for design. She works in both the physical and digital space with a wide range of experience spanning energy, lifestyle and pharmaceutical. Beginning her career in the UK, Elma brings global experience to the agency world, creating multi-million-dollar campaigns for Canada’s largest retail, airline and beverage brands.

Combining big ideas and social strategy is her forte. Most recently she has done this for clients such as, YMCA, J&J and Westjet’s partnership with RBC. She’s not only proficient in design, but has a depth of experience in styling shoots, creating interactive customer experiences and directing video production. She also leads client workshops to uncover brand narratives and bring those concepts to life.

In a recent campaign for Pfizer’s oncology department, she developed an awareness campaign that turned an unknown disease into a social media campaign that was viewed by almost 1  million Canadians and was recognized as North American Campaign of the Year at the Sabre Awards.

Her background has allowed her to seamlessly blend elements of PR, design and advertising, while leading creative teams to combine big ideas and creative platforms for Canadian companies.

Her objective is to always push, keep it simple, and create something that makes a meaningful difference.

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Janice Foreman

Senior Vice-President and National Sector Lead, Technology
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A technology sector veteran, Janice runs H+K’s Canadian Technology communications sector. She has extensive experience running large, complex client assignments such as 3M, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Interac; targeting both consumer and business audiences through stakeholder communications, corporate visibility and thought leadership initiatives, message development, issues management, media strategy and training and campaign management.

Janice has held a number of positions within the H+K family, most recently as lead of the Toronto Corporate Communications team. Prior to joining H+K, Janice was a consultant at a boutique agency that specialized in corporate PR for blue-chip Canadian companies where she assisted in managing various product launches and communication programs for corporate mergers, employees, stakeholder and media relations programs for such clients as The Oshawa Group Limited, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Volvo Canada and Reebok Canada.

Janice started her career in journalism at the Toronto Sun as a general newsroom reporter.

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Matthew Gibson

Senior Vice-President and National Sector Lead, Energy + Industrials
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Matt has spent the past 15 years working as a trusted voice and leader within the provincial, federal, and North American energy sectors. He’s advised some of the continent’s largest energy companies and their customers on progressing needed infrastructure projects and corporate objectives, as well as the social and political license needed to make them all a reality.

Before moving to the private sector, Matt worked in government for Ontario’s then-Minister of Energy, the Honourable John Baird, as well as for former Progressive Conservative Opposition Leader, now Mayor of Toronto, John Tory. He was also Executive Assistant to several Government and Opposition House Leaders and has a keen interest in legislative and regulatory processes.

Matt is a well-recognized leader in politics and energy-related policy. He has spearheaded many legislative, regulatory, policy and planning initiatives and has led teams dealing with energy security, reliability and affordability across the country while working closely with host municipalities and Indigenous communities to support win-win outcomes.

Matt is also an enthusiastic supporter of H+K’s commitment to values and culture.  He is very active in his local community, having long been involved in various charitable organizations and causes.  He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and is a former intern at Canada’s Embassy to the U.S.A in Washington D.C., specializing in transportation, border, and trade policy.  He has also received certification in Alternative Dispute Resolution from the University of Windsor.

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Laura Greer

Senior Vice-President and National Sector Lead, Health + Wellness
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Meagan Murdoch

Vice-President and National Sector Lead, Financial + Professional Services
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Meagan has 15 years of strategic communications and crisis management experience drawn from government, corporate and agency environments. Meagan has served a range of clients across banking, fintech, private equity, real estate, insurance, agriculture and law.

Meagan’s counsel to clients draws upon a diverse set of experiences, both in Canada and internationally. Meagan spent three years as a consultant in New Zealand and Australia, where she advised clients including Fonterra – the world’s largest dairy co-operative, on their shareholder relations. 

Beyond corporate communications, Meagan has worked extensively with the federal government advising several cabinet Ministers, including as Director of Communications to the Minister of State for Finance, and Ministers of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Employment and Social Development, and International Development.

Meagan also played key communication roles on provincial and federal election campaigns, including as part of the national campaign team for the Right Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2015.

Meagan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (International Relations) and Human Rights from Carleton University, a Masters of Arts in Professional Communications from Royal Roads University and a Certificate in Marketing Strategy from Cornell University.

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Rick Harari

Vice-President + National Lead, Issues + Crisis
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For nearly two decades, Rick Harari has helped organizations safeguard their reputations when faced with sensitive, high-profile, and contentious situations.

 With experience across virtually every sector of the economy, he has provided communications counsel and support to senior executives and boards of directors for financial issues, allegations of criminal and ethical wrongdoing, professional misconduct, high-profile lawsuits, product recalls, labour disruptions, and health and safety concerns.

 In addition to his work responding to active issues and crises, Rick has developed crisis communications plans and issues management protocols for government agencies, multinational corporations and universities. He also regularly delivers crisis training and simulation exercises to test organizations’ response protocols and capabilities.

 Earlier in his career, Rick worked on Parliament Hill in a number of capacities over a four-year tenure, including as legislative assistant to the chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, legislative assistant to a parliamentary secretary and special assistant to a member of Parliament.

Rick holds an honours degree in political studies from Queen’s University and a certificate in public relations from Algonquin College.

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