In Brief: Terry Fox Foundation names new marketing leader

Plus, Rock-It adds three AOR wins and Manitoba's largest agencies are merging.

Terry Fox Foundation hires new VP of marketing

Denise Dias has joined The Terry Fox Foundation as its new VP of marketing and communications.

Effective July 5, Dias will be responsible for developing and overseeing all aspects of the foundation’s brand, marketing, public relations and digital communication strategies. Michael Mazza, who was named executive director of The Terry Fox Foundation in February, describes it as “a critical role” both for its ongoing public awareness and engagement, but supporting what he calls “an ambitious fundraising and business development plan.”

Dias is coming off of more than 12 years at the Royal Ontario Museum, most recently as its AVP of brand strategy and communications.

Rock-It grows its ranks along with its client portfolio

Rock-It Promotions has made numerous hires and promotions after picking up three AOR assignments.

Leading the wins is Lindt Canada, which the agency has solidified as an AOR assignment after several years of working with the chocolate brand on a project basis. Rock-It’s mandate includes work for new product launches, influencer relations, event production and media relations.

Rock-It has also picked up Canadian AOR duties for U.S. sun care brand Sun Bum, leading brand strategy in the Canadian market with an integrated strategy that includes media relations, brand alliances, sponsorship opportunities and seeding initiatives. The agency will also support Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel in its reopening campaign, overseeing influencer relations and developing strategy for all PR programs. It will also handle social media for the Gladstone and its sister hotel The Broadview Hotel.

To help support the new work, Rock-It has promoted Victoria Gormley to SVP and Tonisha Bath to group account director, both of whom joined the agency in 2018. Other recent promotions include account specialists Dillon Shaver, Jessica Barcelos, and Eva Pham to junior account manager roles.

Finally, the agency is also growing its ranks. It has hired account director Sarah Harris, senior account managers Sinéad Breen and Rebecca Krauss, senior account specialist Alyssa Cabral, account specialists Sandy Caetano and Natalie Foote, and bilingual account specialist Isabelle Pitre.

McKim Communications and Sherpa Marketing are merging

Digital agency Sherpa Marketing is merging with fellow Manitoba-based shop McKim Communications.

The agencies will continue to operate as distinct entities, but under combined ownership that will allow it to share services and areas of expertise. It also builds on a relationship the agencies began last year, when they began co-pitching on new business.

Peter George, president and CEO of McKim, says the merger will add valuable digital expertise to its specialties in strategy and creative. Marty Fisher, president of Sherpa, says the combination will allow it to go after more national and international work, with plans to expand their specialties in agriculture, financial services, education, tourism, healthcare and government into new verticals like manufacturing and consumer brands.

Between the agencies’ pair of Winnipeg head offices, Sherpa’s Kitchener-Waterloo office and remote staff working across the country, the combined entities will employ roughly 50 staff.