Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K), Canada’s top-ranked public relations and public affairs firm, is pleased to announce the appointment of Kristy Payne as General Manager of its Toronto office.

A leader in marketing and communications, Payne joins H+K from Plan International Canada – an organization that is widely recognized as one of the most innovative communicators in Canada – where she most recently served as Chief Communications Officer, overseeing many of the organization’s innovative and integrated campaigns.

Prior to her pioneering work at Plan, Kristy worked in the corporate sector at Coca-Cola where she was responsible for leading the brand’s partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, launching Coca-Cola Canada’s first Corporate Social Responsibility report and managing public relations during the Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay and Winter Olympics sponsorship.

“When we began our search for the next General Manager of our Toronto office, we wanted someone who had communications experience at the highest levels of a large organization who could offer a fresh and dynamic perspective. Having worked on the client side, Kristy not only brings insights into how we can better deliver on exceptional client service, but also a solid understanding of business operations and how to represent a global brand like H+K in the Canadian market,” said Sheila Wisniewski, President and CEO of H+K Canada.

In response to continued growth in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan – Stephen Smart who recently joined H+K as General Manager, Vancouver – has also been appointed an expanded mandate as General Manager, Western Canada.

“Each of these three provinces has its own unique business culture – and we have strong local teams on the ground in each of them. Bringing our B.C, Alberta and Saskatchewan offices together in a consolidated regional structure, enables us to strengthen shared resources and opportunities for collaboration and integration for our clients and round out our strong national footprint in Quebec, Ottawa, Toronto, and the West,” said Sheila Wisniewski. “Stephen has already had an immediate positive impact as General Manager in Vancouver, and will no doubt excel in this newly expanded role.”

Payne and Smart’s appointments are effective immediately.

About Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada
With seven offices across the country, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada is a leader in both public relations and public affairs. Headquartered in Toronto, the company is the No. 1-rated strategic communications firm in the country. Its experts specialize in corporate communications, marketing communications, public affairs, public participation, crisis, energy, technology, health care, content marketing, data + analytics, social and digital communications, financial communications and M&A transactions. The only communications firm to have earned the Canada Order of Excellence for Quality from Excellence Canada, it has been recognized as one of the Best Workplaces in Canada for 12 consecutive years. Its parent company, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Inc., has offices in more than 40 countries as well as an extensive associate network; and it is a member of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), one of the world’s largest communications services groups.

For Media Enquiries: Jillena Oberparleiter; +1 (416) 413-4577; jillena.oberparleiter@hkstrategies.ca