ICA picks new chair and rebrands to reflect its goals

Ira Baptiste will chair the organization now known as the Institute of Canadian Agencies, which has also added several new staff.

Ira Baptiste pic (1)

The organization previously known as the Institute of Communication Agencies has changed its name, brought on a new chair and hired four new team members to better deliver on its mission of boosting the Canadian agency sector’s profile globally.

The association has named Ira Baptiste, EVP and managing director at Brandfire (above), as its new chair, replacing The Hive’s chairman Andy Krupski. While the chair is elected at the association’s AGM each year, Krupski had served as chair for the past three, and the hope is that Baptiste will remain for more than just the one, according to Scott Knox, the ICA’s president and CEO. That degree of continuity in leadership will better enable the association to achieve its aims, he says.

Krupski will remain on the board as vice-chair and provide guidance to Baptiste as she steps into the role. She will also be supported by deputy chair Jill Nykoliation.

In addition to a new chair, the ICA has changed its name to better reflect its mission. Gone is the “Communication,” which has been replaced by “Canadian,” to create the Institute of Canadian Agencies. The switch, while subtle, brings Canada back into the name of the association that once was known as the Institute of Canadian Advertising, Knox says. Much of the organization’s branding and imagery will remain unchanged.

The new name was devised by Knox and Richard Newman, who joined the organization in November as AVP of agency growth. It is intended to help the organization tap into positive international sentiment about the Canadian ad sector in order to drive business into it, Knox says.

“We realized, if the world thinks that there is something fantastic about Canada right now – and I have always believed, for reasons both personal and professional, that the world needs more Canada – we should put it back into the name,” says Knox. “We want to showcase the work being done here to an international audience.”

In addition to the new name and chair, the ICA has added several new talents to its mix.

Rachel CrowSpreadingWings has joined the organization as its head of content, becoming the association’s first western Canadian hire. She will be responsible for creating content with and for Canadian agencies that helps promote what they do, who they are and what they can deliver.

Meanwhile, Ashley Lorenzo and Xiomara Velasquez, both graduates of the association’s Summer Camp program, have been hired full-time as a digital communications executive and research executive, respectively.