Kristy Payne

As Chief Operating Officer at H+K, Kristy oversees the firm’s operations, driving a culture of collaboration, and delivers strategic counsel to clients drawing on two decades of marketing and communications experience. She currently leads H+K Canada’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts and is part of H+K’s Global Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. ​ ​

At the beginning of her career, Kristy did internal communications for a school board before managing a publishing company’s marketing acquisition and research arm producing niche lifestyle magazines and television guides. She then worked in public affairs and communications for Coca-Cola and led the partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, launching Coca-Cola Canada’s first Corporate Social Responsibility Report and then traveled across Canada doing media relations during the Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay and Winter Olympics. Kristy also worked for the Ministry of Education in Alberta, where she integrated leading-edge digital learning resources into K–12 curriculum.

Before joining H+K, Kristy spent a decade at Plan International Canada, one of the largest NGOs in the world, most recently as Chief Communications Officer, where she worked with a talented team to improve the lives of children and youth – particularly girls – around the world through advocacy, fundraising, and integrated communications.

She has traveled to more than 50 countries, including a year teaching English in South Korea. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in International Business, and Marketing from the University of Alberta, a French language certificate from Laval University, an MBA from Queen’s University and is currently completing a Master’s Certificate in Organization Development. ​ Most recently, she earned the badge for Black Executive Leadership Program at McKinsey Academy.