New frontiers

We caught up with a few folks who recently left the comfort of their previous posts, and asked them about their new gigs and future plans.

We caught up with a few folks who recently left the comfort of their previous posts, and asked them about their new gigs and future plans.

Yanik Deschenes
New job: VP, global communications and PR, Sid Lee
Old job: president and GM of the AAPQ

What are you working on at this very moment?
Leveraging the Sid Lee Collective Boot Camp with (RED) during C2-MTL and trying to find the right way to position Sid Lee as a global and local shop at the same time.

What has been the biggest challenge in transitioning from an organization to an agency?
Less politics, more concrete business!

Have you learned any lessons since starting your new role?
I’ve got to play my A-game every day. Sid Lee’s success is no luck. The leadership team is pioneering and the vision is breathtaking.

* * *

Gino Cantalini, Natalie Armata and Alana Nathanson
New jobs: partners at start-up agency Giants & Gentlemen
Old jobs: senior AD (Armata) and writer (Nathanson) at Taxi 2,
VP brand director at Publicis (Cantalini)

Starting a new agency is risky. What was your main concern?
Leaving a salary wasn’t easy! But [mainly], finding the right partners. We needed to enjoy working together, but also to have complementary skills and a shared vision.

What was your first order of business?
To align to what Giants & Gentlemen would stand for: our operating philosophy (Be brave. Be decent), our structure (a media-agnostic creative collective), and how to most effectively address client challenges (“Outthinking”).

* * *

Joanne Fulford
New job: director, engagement strategy, Rain43
Old job: director, media & engagement, Blammo Worldwide

Have you learned any lessons since starting your new role?
Never assume that people know what you do or what you are capable of. Also, “One Brief” (all departments) produces some amazing results.  Departmental briefs force people to think vertically, while team briefs allow people to think horizontally.

What is the coolest thing about working with Rain 43?
Gourmet cupcakes on each employee’s birthday is the first thing that comes to mind. Every day there are random dance parties, ’80s song requests, pranks, candy platters and just general “fun breaks.”

* * *

Maria Kennedy
New job: managing director and national design director, Grey Canada
Old job: founder and CD, Seed Ideas

What was your first order of business?
Good ideas can come from everyone, so we’ve now got two times a week that we meet casually to share ideas: Monday Morning Mash-up, where we present new innovations in the industry, and Freestyle Friday, where we gather to share strategies for clients.
Any plans for change?
New business, new colour, new space!  My goal is to get us a space that tells our story and suits the way we work.  Without giving you too much information, let’s just say I have my eye on a few bucket list projects and clients.