National Board of Directors 2017-2018
National Board President
Sarah Hanel, APR
Sarah Hanel has served on the CPRS Board of Directors since 2014, working to drive membership growth and satisfaction while helping to advance the profession of public relations. Sarah is also a past local society president, having served on the CPRS Vancouver Island Society Board of Directors for six years.
In her professional capacity, Sarah is the Director of Global Public Relations for VASCO Data Security, which delivers trusted identities, devices and transactions in the digital world for financial services and other regulated industries. Prior to her current role, the majority of Sarah’s nearly 15 years in public relations have focused on B2B technology, and her background includes agency, not-for-profit, government and consulting work in education, health, transportation and tourism.
Sarah has her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from CPRS, a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with a specialty in Leadership from Royal Roads University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Public Relations Certificate (PR Cert.), both from the University of Victoria. Sarah is also a member of the Forbes Magazine Communications Council.
Vice-President / Treasurer
Dana Dean, APR, FCPRS
Dana Dean, APR, is a certified change management and accomplished communications professional with a proven track record of designing, implementing and managing all aspects of outstanding public affairs, corporate and sales communications programs that drive business results. Most recently at RBC, Dana developed strategic change communications strategies to ensure employees understood and delivered on RBC’s value proposition and brand. She also created innovative communications strategies that effectively drove revenue growth for RBC shareholders. Her areas of expertise include: organizational change communications, employee communications, crisis and issues management and social media.
Prior to joining RBC, Dana worked for leading international communications agencies providing strategic communications counsel to a wide variety of clients including: Proctor & Gamble, IBM, Mattel, California Wine Institute, Hong Kong Economic & Trade and Japanese External Trade Organizations. She has won numerous communications awards and is an active member of both the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) and International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). A former Toronto CPRS chapter President, Dana currently serves as Vice-President/Treasurer on the National Board and holds both an APR designation and CPRS Fellowship (FCPRS).
Jane Adams, APR
Jane Adams is the President of Brainstorm Communications + Creations. She provides specialized communications services and counsel exclusively to health care facilities and organizations. Prior to starting her own company in 2000, Jane was Director of Public Relations and Fundraising at The Salvation Army Grace Hospital in Ottawa for seven years, and at The Grace in Winnipeg for four years before that. She has also held communications positions in Regina and at two Toronto hospitals.
Jane received her accredited status with the Canadian Public Relations Society in 1998. She has a degree in Journalism from Carleton University and a Public Relations certificate from the University of Toronto. Jane has been a CPRS member since 1988 and has been both a Board Member and the Executive Director of the Ottawa-Gatineau Society. She has volunteered with the awards and accreditation programs. Most recently, in her role as National Coordinator of the Health Care Public Relations Association (HCPRA), Jane has supported the integration of HCPRA and CPRS, and the creation of the new CPRS Health Care Academy.
Marc Angers, M.A., APR
Marc is currently Director of Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing at the Université de Moncton. Perfectly bilingual in French and English, he has extensive experience as a consultant and senior manager. He was Director of Communications for the Acadie-Bathurst Health Authority, the Laurentian Health and Social Services Agency and WorkSafeNB. In his current position, Marc is in charge of a team having the mandate to increase the profile and the influence of the University with respect to its internal and external audiences.
Since joining the Université de Moncton in 2014, Marc has been interested in knowledge exchange, particularly with the emerging francophone community in New Brunswick. He believes that increased visibility of the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) with students and young professionals is beneficial to the advancement of the public relations and communications profession.
Marc won a CPRS Bronze Award of Excellence in 2008 and has been a member of the CPRS National Public Relations and Communications Committee since 2016. He has also written and presented publicly on evaluation and on excellence in communication management and public relations. Marc holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Relations and Public Relations and a Master's Degree in Public Communication with a specialization in Public Relations from Université Laval. He has been an accredited member of the CPRS since 2007.
Wayne Knorr is the communications manager for the City of Fredericton. He has over 25 years of experience in municipal government, having worked in the tourism and corporate communications sectors. In his current position, Wayne has broad responsibility for external and internal communications, including media relations, as well as event management and protocol.
He has participated in CPRS activities since university. Wayne joined CPRS in 2000 and served as VP (Fredericton) for CPRS-NB for several years. He is currently interim president for CPRS-NB working to revive the chapter. Wayne has participated in CPRS President’s Council sessions and acted as a judge for the national awards on several occasions.
Over the years, Wayne has served on numerous committees, both as member and as chair. He is past president of Meeting New Brunswick and has served on several other work related committees, as well as volunteer committees related to school, church and community events. Wayne holds a B.A. (Honours) in English from St. Thomas University and a Certificate in Business Administration (Level I) from the University of New Brunswick. He has also taken some French Language Training.
Everett Martin is a passionate ambassador for ethical public relations, and the principal strategist at his own PR practice. He brings with him over 10 years of exuberant experience, spanning a variety of sectors in a number of provinces. Everett recently lent his expertise to Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin by enhancing the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts, including conducting a complete overhaul of the global donations, sponsorship and employee volunteering policy. Previously, he managed RBC Royal Bank’s community investment program in Saskatchewan, Manitoba & Northern Ontario, including leverage of the bank’s signature 2010 Olympics Winter Games sponsorship.
Everett has also worked in more traditional roles, including strategic communications with McGill University, media and public affairs with WCB of Manitoba, and various roles with HP Store Vancouver, the Winnipeg Humane Society, and Convergys. Everett has been highly involved in CPRS since joining in 2005. He has overseen the programming, membership and communications portfolios for the Manitoba local society, and eventually served as vice-president and president. He is always keen to assist with national initiatives, and is currently working on both the Membership and PR/Social Media committees. Outside of CPRS, Everett has been an active member of IABC in Vancouver and Montreal. Originally from Saskatchewan, Everett studied at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba (but never stopped cheering for the Roughriders) and spent a summer as a TV news reporter prior to embarking in PR. He also holds a Certificate in Public Relations & Communications Management from McGill University.
Cam McAlpine, APR
Cam McAlpine is the founder and lead consultant at PRMedia Strategic Communications, and a senior associate with Earnscliffe Strategy Group, a leading national government relations and communications firm. Cam is a trusted adviser to executive and senior management throughout British Columbia in both the public and private sectors, with specific expertise in strategic communications planning, issues management, crisis communications, stakeholder engagement and community relations. His work has been recognized across industry sectors, including receiving a CPRS National Award of Excellence in Communications Management.
Cam has a B.A. (Hons.) in English and Communications and spent a decade as a reporter and managing editor in print media before founding PRMedia in 2004. A member of CPRS since 2006, he received his APR in 2012.
He has put his commitment to teaching, mentorship and the professionalization of public relations to work in various capacities with the Northern Lights Local Society, as a National Awards judge and PRK Grader, and most recently as the Chair of the 2017 CPRS National Conference Local Advisory Committee.
Carol Panasiuk APR, FCPRS LM
Carol was a Principal at The Communications Department, a strategic communications consulting firm she founded in 2011. The company provided businesses with a senior level sounding board, advice and counsel plus a full range of communications activities. Carol also founded the first Canadian office of Cohn & Wolfe, an international marketing communications firm. Her communications experience covers the gamut of public relations having worked with leading corporations to develop creative, integrated programs that deliver strong, measurable results. Carol began her career at Burson-Marsteller, one of the world's leading public relations and public affairs firms. She has a B.A. from Victoria College, University of Toronto, an Advanced Diploma, Public Relations, Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
Carol was appointed to the CPRS Board of Directors in 2013 and has served as the Board Liaison for the National Awards of Excellence. She co-chaired the very successful 2016 World Public Relations Forum which CPRS hosted in May 2016. Carol is also an accredited member of CPRS and has won numerous awards from the Society for outstanding work on behalf of clients. She has served on the Toronto Chapter’s Board of Directors as a Vice President and Treasurer. In 2007 she was named PR Professional of the Year by CPRS Toronto. Carol was recognized as a Life Member of CPRS and inducted as a Fellow of the Society in 2012. She was a founding member of the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms and served as that organization's Vice Chair and Treasurer.
Vincent Power, APR
Vincent Power is Vice-President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, Sears Canada. In his current role, as well as being the Company’s official spokesperson, Vince is responsible for external communication activities including executive messaging, investor, media and public relations, and internal activities such as the Company’s multimedia studio, translation services and content management for SEARSnet, the company’s corporate intranet. He also manages Sears community involvement program and the relationships with the charitable organizations which Sears supports.
He received his Accredited Public Relations (APR) designation from the Canadian Public Relations Society in 2006. He joined the Board of the Canadian Public Relations Society (Toronto) in 2007 as co-chair of Accreditation, then as Chair of Accreditation, followed by a two-year term as President, and then as Past President, where he chaired the CPRS CEO of the Year Award committee from 2013 to 2015. He also served on the national Accreditation committee and national Presidents’ Council.
Vince has also been a Board member of the Canadian Centre for Ethics & Corporate Policy for 11 years and its Treasurer from 2009 to 2016. He is a member of the Public Affairs Committee of the Retail Council of Canada, the Council of Public Affairs Executives of the Conference Board of Canada, and the International Association of Business Communicators. Vince began his career with Sears in Ottawa while attending high school and university, and since then has held a variety of store positions in addition to head office assignments in merchandising and marketing over four decades.
Alex Sévigny, Ph.D., APR
A fluently bilingual Franco-Ontarian, Dr. Alex Sévigny, APR, has been a passionate advocate for professional communication for his entire academic and professional career. He pioneered a professional focus to the communication studies program at McMaster University from his hiring in 2001 and more recently in the growing number of college programs in Ontario, where he has served as an official program reviewer for three college programs. In 2011, as Professional Development Chair of the Hamilton chapter, he started the successful Pint-Sized Social Media discussion series, which has brought renewed interest in CPRS among practitioners, particularly junior and mid-career practitioners of whom at least five have become members after attending a few pint-sized events. In 2012, he was Accredited in Public Relations and has since become a constant advocate of the APR designation.
During the first year of his co-presidency of CPRS Hamilton (2014-15), he has built upon the excellent work of past presidents and energized his board to increase Hamilton membership by 10%. He has also spearheaded a program to increase CPRS Hamilton’s value proposition to the business community by leading the creation of, StartUP with CPRS Hamilton, a new strategic initiative aimed at increasing awareness of the power of public relations for startups and small business, which involves a speed dating 90-minute format and was organized jointly with local innovation centres (so far: Hamilton Innovation Factory, Milton Innovation Centre). During the event, CPRS Hamilton members offer free public relations consulting to leaders of startups and small businesses. The first event attracted 21 organizations.
Natalie Tomczak’s extensive communications experience has been keeping her busy in a field she is passionate about for the last 15 years. She recently transitioned into the role of Director of Communications at the Law Society of Saskatchewan where she is responsible for stakeholder engagement, issues management, risk assessment and identification, crisis communications, media relations and writing strategies to align, enhance and build the Law Society’s reputation. Prior to joining the Law Society, Natalie worked at the University of Regina in a variety of communications and public relations positions and at Farm Credit Canada.
Natalie has been a CPRS member and has concurrently served on the CPRS Regina Board of Directors since 2007 in various roles, starting as a Student Representative, moving into to the position of Director (communications portfolio), Vice-President and President (2011-15). After completing a five-year term as President, she continues to serve on her Local Board back in the role as Vice-President. At the CPRS National level, Natalie leads the Membership Task Force Committee and has volunteered on the Job Task Force Committee, later leading it soon thereafter. In 2014, she was Chair of the CPRS Regina Prairie Mini-Conference and served on the Saskatchewan Awards for Communications Excellence (ACE) committee in a variety of roles, including Co-Chair in 2010. Natalie also mentors and collaborates with other communications and public relations professionals at all career path levels. Natalie holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), a Certificate in Public Relations, and a Certificate in Marketing and Advertising from the University of Regina.
Victor Vrsnik, MCM, APR, FCPRS
A champion of the professionalization of Canada’s PR and communications management industry, Victor has taken on many posts with the CPRS. He’s been an APR and PRK grader, an Awards of Excellence judge, a CPRS mentor, and a CPRS-Vancouver Society Board member. He currently sits on the CPRS Public Relations and Communications Committee. As an accredited and award-winning communicator, Victor was inducted into the College of Fellows in 2015. He holds a Master of Communications Management degree, and is published in both academia and most Canadian dailies.
Crisscrossing the country from legislature to legislature, Victor oversees stakeholder engagement, policy development, issues management and reputation management for 7-Eleven Canada. He led the development of 7-Eleven’s nutrient-disclosure and calorie labeling programs nation-wide to inform customer-purchasing decisions and build stakeholder trust.
Off-duty, Victor moonlights as a teaching assistant.