National Council on Education 2017-18

Presiding Officer
Heather Pullen APR, MCM
Pullen Communications


Heather Pullen is seasoned public relations professional whose career has spanned journalism, corporate communications, and academia. Currently she is working as an educator and communications consultant based in Hamilton, Ontario.

Most recently, Heather was manager of the Public Relations & Communications Department at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) for 13 years. In that capacity, she played a key role in developing and executing multi-faceted communication programs related to activities and services at one of the largest hospital systems in Ontario.

Heather joined HHS in 2002 after working for 10 years as a public relations consultant specializing in healthcare communications (Pullen Communications). Prior to that she was a member of the public relations department at The Toronto Hospital (Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals) and, before that, a producer, editor and reporter at CBC Radio (Ottawa and Toronto).

Heather has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Carleton University, and a master’s degree in communications management from McMaster University. She earned her APR in 2006.

Over the years Heather has won numerous awards from public relations associations, including CPRS. As a scholar, she was the first Canadian to win the Arthur W. Page Society/Institute for Public Relations Case Study Competition grand prize.

Heather enjoys mentoring the next generation of communicators. She has participated in CPRS Hamilton’s mentorship program and teaches crisis communications and healthcare communications to grad students at McMaster University. She has been honoured to receive two service awards from CPRS Hamilton – the Mentorship Award in 2009, and the Dr. Louis J. Cahill Distinguished Service Award in 2016.

Co-Deputy Presiding Officer Academic 
Kathleen Garrett APR
Senior Communications Officer
Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)
Kathleen Garrett is an accredited public relations professional with 10 years of experience spanning the not-for-profit, public and private sectors. She is currently the Senior Communications Officer for the Education Quality and Accountability Office, where she has leadership for the agency's inaugural stakeholder engagement strategy for parents, as well as for research communications. She plays a fundamental role in strategic communications planning, issues management and day-to-day operations. Prior to joining EQAO, Kathleen was the Senior Communications Officer for Toronto Rehab, where she managed communications strategies to support corporate milestones and advances in patient care and education and to address issues and crises. In this role, Kathleen developed a corporate communications plan that helped the hospital secure full accreditation, a feat less than 10 per cent of hospitals achieve. Kathleen has a Master of Arts degree in strategic communication from the University of Central Lancashire and a post-graduate certificate in corporate communications from Seneca College. Linkedin Profile

Co-Deputy Presiding Officer Academic
Fran Gregory APR, MSc
Professor and Coordinator, Public Relations Programs
Conestoga College

Fran Gregory has accumulated more than 30 years of global professional experience in the practice of public relations and communications working in the manufacturing, financial and service sectors. She is also a communications consultant to organizations as diverse as General Motors, the United Way, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and the Kitchener Rangers Hockey Club.

Fran is now putting her passion for communication to work at Conestoga College where she is co-ordinator and professor of both the Public Relations diploma program and the first Bachelor of Public Relations program in Ontario.  She continues her professional development by working on various committees: co-author of CPRS Pathways to the Profession (a primer and benchmark for Canadian PR education); a regular contributor to the Accreditation Exam; and co-author of the Canadian definition of PR adopted by the CPRS in 2008. Fran holds her M.Sc. degree in Communications Management from Syracuse University, and earned her APR (accreditation) from CPRS in 2007.

Member, Marketing and Communications
Blair Peberdy APR, FCPRS LM
Adjunct Professor, Corporate Communications
Seneca College
Blair began his career as an advertising copywriter then moved into media and public relations for a major trade association in Toronto. He joined Toronto Hydro as its first professional communicator responsible for all internal and external communications. He was at Toronto Hydro for more than 32 years and was member of the senior executive management team there for 15 years, as Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs. In this role he led the corporate communications, public affairs, public relations, digital communications, employee communications, marketing, media relations and government relations functions at the company. His team created a multi-award-winning corporate communications function that is recognized as being one of the best communications shops in Canada. Most recently they managed Toronto Hydro’s crisis communications response through the December 2013 ice storm. Blair decided to retire from Toronto Hydro earlier this year to teach in the post-graduate Corporate Communications and Government Relations Programs at Seneca College. He has also joined Weber Shandwick Public Relations as an Associate – Corporate Practice.

Chair, National Conference Educator Stream Subcommittee
Amy Thurlow APR, PhD

Chair, Department of Communication Studies
Mount Saint Vincent University

Amy Thurlow is Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University where she has taught for the past eight years. Before joining the Mount's faculty in 2005, she taught communications at the Fred C. Manning School of Business at Acadia University. Prior to that, she was the program co-ordinator for the Advanced Diploma in Public Relations at the Nova Scotia Community College where she was responsible for program delivery and development.

Amy has a PhD in management. Her research is in the area of organizational communication and change. She holds an MA in International Development Studies from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, and a Bachelor of Public Relations degree from Mount Saint Vincent University. She is an accredited public relations practitioner (APR) and a member of the Canadian Public Relations Society.


Sabrina Del Monte
Coordinator/Faculty, Public Relations Diploma Program
Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Sabrina Del Monte is a public relations professional with more than 25 years of experience working in media and in public relations.  She has worked in the public and private sectors for organizations including Canada Safeway, Overwaitea Food Group, Burnaby School District, and the Justice Institute of BC.  Today, she shares her passion for public relations with the next generation of practitioners teaching in public relations, communications, and business programs at Douglas College, BCIT, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University where she is the Coordinator of its Public Relations Diploma Program.   


Jane McNichol
Chair - Public Relations
Mount Royal University

Jane Stoneman McNichol is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Faculty of Communication Studies at Mount Royal University. Her professional background as a speaker, author and communication strategist spans a career in journalism and consulting in the corporate and government sectors. As an educator, her academic interests include research in scholarship of teaching and learning; transformational change; and issues and ethics in academic leadership. Jane received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, an MBA specializing in Public Relations & Communication Management from Royal Roads University and is currently a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University.

Derrick Pieters APR, FCPRS LM
Director of Communications
Department of Justice Canada
Derrick Pieters, APR, FCPRS LM, is Director of Communications, Department of Justice Canada, Prairie Region, based in Edmonton, Alberta and past President of CPRS during two terms, in 2007 and 2009 as well as current Presiding Officer and Chair of the CPRS College of Fellows. He has almost 50 years of extensive experience as a strategic communications planner, team leader, media relations strategist, editor, government information administrator, and public relations consultant. He is an accredited, award-winning member of the CPRS, having received his APR in 1982 and an Award of Excellence for the use of Social Media in 2008. Derrick is the former vice-president of the CPRS National Education Committee as well as past Presiding Officer of the CPRS National Council on Accreditation on which he served for approximately 15 years. Under his leadership, the Council, in cooperation with the Accreditation Task Force, successfully implemented several important improvements to the accreditation process. He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Alberta, Grant MacEwan College and Mount Royal College (now both universities). In 2000, Derrick received the Alberta Premier’s Award of Excellence for his contribution to Capital Health’s Y2K communications. In 2008, he received a Team Achievement Award from the Deputy Minister of Justice Canada for his communications contribution to a high impact litigation case. He also has considerable training in business and association management.

Chaseten Remillard Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Program Head: BAPC On-campus
School of Communication & Culture
Royal Road University

Barry Waite
Chair, School of Communications, Media & Design
Centennial College

Barry Waite is a senior public relations professional with more than 25 years of progressive experience in the public relations industry, both as a practitioner and educator. Barry currently is Academic Chair, School of Communications, Media & Design at Toronto's Centennial College. He assumed the role of chair in September 2014 after successfully leading the college's award-winning public relations graduate certificate program for more than four years. He was also the lead developer for the college's new Bachelor of Public Relations Management program, which launched in September 2014.

Barry started his career in public relations at Toronto PR agency Strategic Objectives. He joined the firm in 1986 as a production coordinator, and worked his way up to Senior Vice President at the agency, which is recognized as one of Canada's leading public relations firms.

Barry has volunteered with CPRS for several years as well as many community organizations, putting his public relations expertise to use to raise both the public profile and funds for a variety of causes. He is currently working towards his Masters in Public Relations at Mount St. Vincent University.


Elizabeth Jane Hirst, ARP, FSCRP LM
Area Coordinator, Public Relations and Marketing Programs
McGill University

Joan Yates APR, M.Ed

Dean, School of Business
Camosun College