2016 Speakers

Here are just a few of the speakers that will be part of the 2016 faculty – check back often for updates!

Ipsos Marketing

Jessica Avery is an experienced research consultant with 14+ years working primarily in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry. Jessica’s expertise is in helping her clients achieve business growth via successful innovation, brand renovation, and brand equity building. Jessica’s work focuses both on the Canadian market as well as helping clients manage both new and current brands globally.

Jessica has been a key advisor to many multinational companies as they work through the product development/launch process and develop new brand strategies, resulting in increased sales and stronger brand equities in market.  She also brings years of experience in Shopper Insights and Pricing research.  Jessica holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Germanic Studies from Indiana University.

Children’s Miracle Network

Adam Starkman has spent his career in the charitable sector. In his more than a decade at SickKids Foundation, Adam has developed and led multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns, and played a key role in one of the largest hospital fundraising campaigns in Canadian history. He has worked with some of Toronto’s leading philanthropists and Canada’s most successful companies.

In his current role as Chief Development Officer at Children’s Miracle Network, Adam heads the organization’s Canadian operations. He leads a highly collaborative team whose mission is to raise funds and awareness for local children’s hospitals by establishing and enhancing integrated partnerships between Canada’s children’s hospital foundations and some of its largest corporations.

Adam holds a masters degree from OCAD University in Strategic Foresight and Innovation. As a result of his studies he has developed expertise in using human centred design and service design methodologies to create an optimal experience for donors and partners.

Sick Kids Foundation

After a 20 year career working for top tier advertising agencies, Kate Torrance made the switch to a client side role and now leads integrated brand marketing for SickKids Foundation in Toronto. In her role Kate oversees a team of marketing managers and is responsible for the deployment of brand communications strategies to inform the creation of content to support the various fundraising groups within the Foundation.  In addition, Kate manages agency partners for both creative and media in the development of a new brand platform for SickKids.  Prior to joining SickKids, Kate was Managing Director at Zulu Alpha Kilo, an independent Toronto-based creative agency, where she led the client service teams and supported in operations.  Throughout her career, Kate has led national integrated advertising campaigns for top brands including Budweiser, Corona, Bell, Starbucks, Coca Cola, and Quaker.

Public, Inc.

As Co-Founder and CEO, Phillip plays a major role in building Public’s profile and network across North America. In addition to managing the operations and growth of the company, he is actively involved in business development, and thoroughly enjoys “getting his hands dirty” developing campaigns and initiatives for several of PUBLIC’s key clients.

Prior to creating Public, Phillip spent seven years as Vice President & Managing Director of Manifest Communications, Canada’s leading social issue advertising agency. His role involved running the company’s operations and acting as a strategy lead on cause and corporate citizenship strategies and advertising campaigns.

Before Manifest, Phillip led the public sector practice at D-Code, a youth research and marketing firm; was a Project Manager at the Institute of Governance (a think tank based in Ottawa); and a Project Officer at the Canadian Council for International Cooperation. Phillip serves as Chair of the Board of Anaphylaxis Canada and has a Masters in International Relations from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.

SickKids Foundation

Paula Menzes began her career in the field of astrophysics, so she has always reached for the stars. Her love of learning led her into the field of clinical psychology but her passion and creativity turned her into a marketer.

Over the years, Paula has worked with the world’s top brands, including Levis, P&G, Kraft, Coke, McDonalds and the Olympics, winning critical acclaim for a number of innovative programs and campaigns for products ranging from jeans to laundry detergent.

After years of leading the sponsorship divisions at various agencies she was captured by TD Bank as the Sponsorship Strategist for its Global Brand Group. Together, forays into areas of diversity marketing and community outreach all strategically woven into a nationally integrated platform, that were yet to be tackled by any other corporate brand in Canada, new industry hallmarks were achieved and yet to be matched watermarks established.

After leaving her mark on the corporate world, she was drawn to the bright side and became the Director of Sponsorship and Cause Marketing for SickKids Foundation bringing her business acumen and a new approach to cause marketing and sponsorship to an innovative organization in support of child health.


Jon leads the Unilever spreads organization in Canada including business strategy and communications for its hallmark brand, Becel margarine – a pioneering brand in Canada which has promoted heart health and healthy eating since 1978.

Jon’s career at Unilever has spanned multiple geographies and functions, from his homeland of Canada to the US and Global roles. Previous to his current role, Jon was based in London, UK and led global strategy and communications for the Knorr brand.


Brett Chang is a Public Policy Associate at Uber Canada. Prior to joining Uber, Brett started Adrenaline Digital – Canada’s first digital agency focused exclusively on online advocacy. After successfully exiting from Adrenaline, Brett went on to found LineSix, an innovative Toronto-based transportation startup. His work on LineSix earned him a spot on The Globe and Mail’s “Ten Torontonians who got things done in 2014”. Brett graduated from the University of Toronto in 2013 with a joint HBA in History and Political Science.

MLSE Foundation

Tanya Mruck has been a sports and social responsibility strategist for 10 years. She is currently Executive Director of the MLSE LaunchPad.  Her journey toward a career in sports philanthropy included stops in community relations, player programs, communications and marketing.   Most recently she has led the MLSE Foundation as the Director of Operations, managing both the Fundraising and Community Investment portfolios. Since 2010, she has invested $24 million into upgrading athletic facilities and funding grass roots sports on behalf of Toronto FC, Maple Leafs and Raptors.  Tanya has steered the foundation towards strategic and sustainable programming to maximize impact and is the champion behind MLSE LaunchPad—the first facility in North America dedicated to youth development in the community combining sport, education and research to address social issues.  Now, as MSLE LaunchPad’s first Executive Director, she will focus on working with corporate and community partners to bring the facility to life.


Derrick Feldmann is a sought-after speaker, researcher and advisor for cause engagement. He is the lead researcher and creator of the Millennial Impact Project, an oft-cited, multi-year study of how the next generation supports causes, and the producer of MCON, a national annual conference of more than 15,000 viewers that explores whether and how organizations are taking advantage of today’s heightened interest in causes to create movements. Derrick is President of Achieve, a division of Forte Interactive. Achieve is a creative research and campaigns agency for causes. He is a co-author of Cause for Change: The Why and How of Nonprofit Millennial Engagement and Social Movements for Good: How Companies and Causes Create Viral Change. He regularly contributes to Philanthropy News Digest and Huffington Post.

General Mills

Emma Eriksson is currently Marketing Director at General Mills Canada leading the Cereal business with iconic brands such as Cheerios and Lucky Charms. She is also head of Promotions and Partnerships for the Canadian Division. With more than 18 years of experience in various marketing and brand innovation roles at General Mills, she is a respected leader and marketer with a passion to put the consumer first.  She has led successful purpose campaigns such as Nature Valley’s “Rediscover the Joy of Nature” and Honey Cheerios “Bring Back the Bees”. She was part of the General Mills team recognized as Marketing Magazine’s Marketer of the Year in 2014 and she was selected as one of Canadian Grocer’s Star Women in 2016.


Bea Boccalandro is founder and president of VeraWorks, a global consulting firm that helps managers and companies offer employees the opportunity to do societal good through their everyday jobs. “Job purposing,” as this management practice is called, heightens employee engagement, performance and wellbeing. She is also author of the Job Purposing blog, teaches corporate community involvement at Georgetown University and is a frequent keynote speaker on the role of community involvement in everyday corporate jobs.

Bea has helped Aetna, Allstate, Bank of America, Caesars Entertainment, Disney, FedEx, HP, IBM, Levi’s, PwC, Toyota and many other companies develop ways to incorporate societal good into their day-to-day business and measure its societal and business impact.

Bea also conducts research and thought leadership on corporate community involvement and has authored several publications.

Sponsorship Collective

Chris Baylis is the Managing Director of The Sponsorship Collective and is an expert in the areas of cause sponsorship, inventory building and asset valuation. Working with brands and charities, Chris has managed the entire spectrum of the cause sponsorship process, from multi-million dollar cause marketing campaigns to local event sponsorship….and everything in between.

Companies & Causes Canada

Cause Marketing Forum President David Hessekiel came to the field of “doing well by doing good” after years of volunteering for good causes and a career in journalism, publishing and consumer marketing.

In the months after 9/11, he identified a growing business need: a clearinghouse where corporations and nonprofits would find the building blocks of cause marketing success. That “Eureka!” moment led him to found the Cause Marketing Forum, the world’s leading resource on building mutually-beneficial business/nonprofit alliances.

Since 2002, CMF’s events, online offerings and membership program have helped thousands of executives gain the practical knowledge they need to succeed, make valuable connections, and honor outstanding accomplishments in this expanding field.

Each spring the CMF conference attracts hundreds of nonprofit and business executives from across the country and around the world to learn, network, and recognize the previous year’s best work at the Cause Marketing Halo Awards. Newcomers and veterans alike give the conference rave reviews.

His single-minded concentration on cause marketing has quickly made David one of the field’s leading authorities, frequently quoted in leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, PROMO, Advertising Age, License! and PRWeek. A popular speaker, David has addressed nonprofit and business groups in the US and abroad.

The recipient of a BA from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, David’s background in journalism, magazine management, consumer marketing and the dot.com world equipped him to launch CMF. He lives in Rye, New York with his wife Andrea and their two daughters.