Hill+Knowlton appoints national cannabis lead

Ivan Ross Vrana will lead public affairs, marketing and communications for the firm's cannabis clients.

IvanRossIvan Ross Vrána will lead public affairs, marketing and communications for Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ cannabis clients across regions as its newly appointed national director of its cannabis practice.

Based out of the Ottawa office, Vrána will oversee the integration and coordination of the Toronto-based PR firm’s cannabis files, work that spans public affairs, communications, marketing and research. The agency counts cannabis education website Leafly and licensed producer The Green Organic Dutchman among its clients.

He first joined the PR firm in 2015 as a senior account director, eventually becoming VP of public affairs. During his three years at the agency, he has developed a portfolio of cannabis clients, according to Sheila Wisniewski, who was named president and CEO for Canada in October. His duties have included offering assistance on investor relations, communications, regulator review, strategic partnerships and outreach at the federal, provincial and municipal levels in Canada and abroad.

Prior to joining H+K, he was a special advisor with Health Canada, helping the government agency work through its position on the use and regulation of cannabis for medical purpose.

Vrána’s promotion follows a number of other recent moves at H+K, including naming Chris Davies to SVP and executive creative director in Toronto and promoting Martin Briand to VP of public and governmental affairs.