Cotton Candy Event Staffing
Nicole Pollock and Jorie Brown are the co-founders of Cotton Candy Event Staffing, a Toronto-based boutique event management company. Cotton Candy provides support with promotional staffing, event management, and creative concepts by utilizing the power of people to enrich any event or brand experience. Since their launch in 2014, Cotton Candy has provided staff and event support for marketing campaigns for a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies, nationwide print campaigns, charity foundations, movie releases and recording artists.
Photo Credit: Jaylyn Todd
Kevin Kennedy (left) is a Toronto-based media entrepreneur and the founder of Homestand Sports. The company produces live events and digital media featuring intelligent and interactive conversations about sports. Homestand Sports first launched its speaker series, Pitch Talks, on baseball with a small crowd of 30. From there, they have grown to produce shows all across North America. Noah Frankel (right) is the partnerships and program manager for Homestand Sports.
(Kevin) Photo Credit: Matthew Tsang
(Noah) Photo Credit: Michael Kahn
President of Echo Communications
Heath is a global-award-winning communicator, consultant, freelance writer and a published professor in the faculty of Media Studies at the University of Guelph-Humber. Heath has 20 years of diverse communications experience spanning the corporate, agency, non-profit and consulting sectors. Outside the classroom, Heath is the president of Echo Communications Inc., a reputation management consulting firm. Heath is a sought-after industry thought-leader that has spoken at more than 70 conferences around the world. He was recently elected to a second term on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Public Relations Society.
Chief Investigative Reporter for the Toronto Star
Kevin Donovan is the Toronto Star’s Chief Investigative Reporter, focusing on investigations into matters of public interest involving government, police, business, charities and other organizations and individuals. Kevin has been an editor and investigative reporter at the Toronto Star for more than 20 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards, two Michener Awards and three Canadian Association of Journalists Awards. He is the author of numerous books, including Secret Life: The Jian Ghomeshi Investigation. He has been named one of Toronto’s most influential people, and has led investigations that have uncovered high-profile scandals, to ensure that the truth emerges and those in power are held accountable.
Former Chairman of the Department of Communication Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University (Halifax, ON)
Parsons recently retired from her position as professor and was the past chairman of the Department of Communication Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax,Nova Scotia. She taught for 26 years following a career in health communication and writing. She is the author of a dozen books including Ethics in Public Relations: A Guide to Best Practice, in association with the Institute for Public Relations in the UK. Parsons currently lives in Toronto where she consults in ethics in strategic communication and academic writing and publishing. She is also an accredited member of the Canadian Public Relations Society College of Fellows.
Former Director of News and Digital at VICE Canada
Tom is a media consultant, human rights advocate, and entrepreneur. He is the former director of news and digital at VICE Canada and former executive director of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, an organization that’s been protecting the right to free expression in Canada and around the world for more than 30 years. Originally from New Brunswick, Tom has worked on everything from reporting on Canadian serial killers, and the Toronto International Film Festival to designing and patenting camera equipment. He’s also launched numerous journalistic projects including Canada’s first national Web TV program, Macleans, the Toronto Star’s Small Business Section, and the Star Business Club.
Author, Musician, Publisher – West End Phoenix
Award-winning author and musician Dave Bidini is a globally recognized entrepreneur and iconic figure in the world of media. He is the only person to have been nominated for Canada’s three major entertainment awards – a Gemini a Genie and a Juno. He was also a nominee for CBC’s Canada Reads, was a founding member of the rock band Rheostatics, performs with the Bidiniband and is also an author of 11 books, including On a Cold Road, Tropic of Hockey, and Home and Away. Bidini has produced two Gemini-nominated documentaries and has toured Canada for his play, the Five Hole Stories. Bidini has written for many newspapers and magazines, and recently launched a Toronto community newspaper, the West End Phoenix.
Author, Digital Director – The Walrus
Angela is an award-winning journalist with over 16 years of experience. For 14 years, Angela worked for the CBC before transitioning into her current role as digital director for The Walrus. Misri also teaches journalism and brand journalism courses at Ryerson University and at the University of Toronto, and is author of the acclaimed Portia Adams Adventures, a series of detective novels for children.