Up to the Minute: Red Lion’s roaring new hires

Plus: Another new VP at Environics, BBR expands its programmatic team and more news you might have missed.


The marketing world never sleeps, which means there are bound to be things that fly under your radar. To make sure you’re up to speed, here’s some news you might have missed over the last week:

Hires, promotions and changes

UTTMdotRL-NewFamilyRed Lion Canada has expanded, announcing seven new hires (pictured, right) it’s made since the spring. On the creative side, Pepe Bratanov has been added as ACD after over a year as an art director at KBS (having also had stints at Cossette and JWT), joining copywriter Kelly O’Neill, who came from The Tite Group in April. In client services, the agency hired Nicole Spinner as an account director from Taxi, Amanda McMillan as an account supervisor from John St. and Grace Johnson as an account coordinator from startup Ten Thousand Coffees in April, with recent Western University grad Greg Telford joining as an account coordinator earlier this month. Lauren Brown has also been hired as a solutions director after four years as a project manager at Cossette.

UTTMdotAriad Communications has announced a pair of promotions and hires. Nadim Kiani, who joined the agency two years ago as technical director, has been promoted to VP of technology and will be tasked with leading software development, project management and IT departments, as well as developing technology strategies with its new U.S. partner, Bluespire MarketingCarolyn O’Grady, a senior account manager on the agency’s Unilever account, has been promoted to account director. The agency has also hired Tim Cormick as strategy director from interactive design firm Pixelpusher, and Chris Seifert has joined as senior technical architect.

UTTMdotWilliam RuzvidzoEvent marketing agency GMR has hired William Ruzvidzo (pictured, right) as a social content strategist in Toronto as the agency looks to grow its social media team. Ruzvidzo joins from JWT, where he was a community manager, and has also been a social media and content strategist at 88Creative.

UTTMdotBond Brand Loyalty has hired Mike McDowell as North American VP of business development. McDowell, who was senior director of North American field marketing for BlackBerry, will help grow the agency’s business in North America and assist existing clients in using its consulting and technology services to drive ROI. His new role begins Aug. 24.

UTTMdotEnvironics PR has hired Natalia Smalyuk as VP of its corporate and financial practice, joining Alexandra Cygal, who was also hired in the role in July. Smalyuk was previously a VP in Maverick’s corporate and public affairs practice, a position she was promoted to last summer after four years as an account director at the agency.

UTTMdotTwo promotions have been announced at Citoyen Optimum, the Quebec branch of PR agency network Citizen RelationsDonna Batista, who joined the agency at the beginning of last year as a senior account manager, has been promoted to account director. Élise Cayouette, who joined around the same time as Batista as an intern before being hired as a project manager, has been promoted to advisor.

New business

UTTMdotRed Deer, AB-based Reaction Marketing has been named the agency of record for the CHL’s Memorial Cup. The agency will handle the campaign for the 2016 edition of the tournament, which crowns the top junior hockey team in Canada, scheduled to take place next May.

UTTMdotClever Samurai has been selected to support utilities provider PowerStream with its conservation marketing programs. PowerStream, which currently has over 375,000 customers across the municipalities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan in Ontario, also awarded an assignment to MacLaren McCann last month.

UTTMdotClutchPR has been named public relations AOR for TDA Global Cycling. This is the first time TDA, which operates cycling tours on all six continents and was formerly known as Tour d’Afrique, has partnered with a PR agency. Clutch will be developing an international communications strategy to support an upcoming, “world-first” cycling expedition.


UTTMdotbbrProgrammatichiresBleublancrouge has added three new staff to its media team to strengthen its analytics and programmatic offerings in response to recent business wins. The hires (pictured, right) are Nicholas Landry as head of data strategy, Mireille Baradhy as a programmatic analyst and Charles Beaulieu as director of digital media.


Bite TV, a male-focused comedy network owned by Blue Ant Media, has been rebranded as Makeful. The new lifestyle specialty channel will focus on women with programming about crafts, DIY style, design and food.

UTTMdotBCE has sold its remaining 15% share of the Globe and Mail to The Woodbridge Company, bringing full ownership of the national newspaper back to the Thompson family for the first time since before the creation of CTVglobemedia in 2001.


St. Joseph Communications has restructured its operations, shuffling its executive ranks and letting a pair of associate publishers go as it continues to move away from its print focus towards its digital properties. The company’s brands include FASHION Magazine, Men’s FASHION, Weddingbells, Mariage Québec, Glow, Pure and Canadian Family.