Director, Conference Chair
Dan Dagg - Board Chair
Dan is the CEO of H2 Accelerator, one of Vancouver Island’s largest marketing-communications firms and the Past Chair of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, and the chair of VIEA’s Island Good Committee. A graduate of UBC, Dan is also a Certified Advertising Agency Practitioner, a certified facilitator of the Pacific Institutes Investment in Excellence program and holds the ICD.D with the Institute of Corporate Directors of Canada. H2 has won dozens of international creative and marketing awards over the years -- working with local, regional, and national brands to accelerate growth through strategic thinking and advanced technology.
Bill Whitehead - Managing Director
Bill has 25+ years progressive experience in the advertising and marketing communications industry and has led Whitehead Agency Group for over two decades. His focus is branding, strategic planning, and creative development. Bill has a rich educational background in health sciences earned at McMaster University and University of Toronto and extensive experience with clients in healthcare, medical tourism, and related fields. In addition, Bill is Past President of the Society of Ontario Advertising Agencies (SOAA), and a regular guest speaker and contributing writer on marketing, technology and a range of brand communications topics that relate to healthcare.
Jean-Francois Larouche - Director, Conference Chair
Jean-François gives time a great value, because it gives him the chance to push his limits. It is with this philosophy that the advertiser nurtures, at the Institute of Political Studies of Paris and at Laval University, is accomplished through the key positions of an advertising agency. From creation to strategy, to the presidency of his own company, demonstrating exceptional leadership within agencies in Chicago, Toronto and Quebec, he applies his knowledge to the benefit of people who surround.
Leslie Gascoigne - Director
Bachelor of Commerce, 1986 Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS A proud Haligonian, Leslie is a strategic communications professional with 30+ years experience at ad agencies on both coasts. Having witnessed the industry change dramatically over the past decade, she recognizes the need for innovation while also staying true to key foundational brand tenets.
Leslie understands that to help clients build their brands at all consumer touch points, it’s all about relationships—relationships that targets have with the brand, and the relationships between the client and their agency. In nurturing those trusting client relationships, she identifies challenges and is adept at finding flexible solutions.
Leslie had the opportunity early in her career to work with some of the country’s smartest brand-builders during her time at TWBA\Vancouver, global agencies and BBDO on such clients as BC Tel, Shaw Cablesystems, BC Lottery, and McDonald’s, among others. She regularly travels to international conferences and summits to continue staying ahead of the curve in new thinking for her clients.
As President of Trampoline, she supports the agency’s director group as well as provides senior leadership on key accounts, including Saint Mary’s University, Pizza Delight, and Halifax Shopping Centre. A mother of two young adult men, Leslie has reinvented herself a few times along the way as well. She continues to love the place she has found herself: co-leading a dynamic communications firm with her husband, an incredible staff, and clients she truly appreciates in a city and province she adores.
Maurice Rinaldi - Director
Maurice Rinaldi is the founder, President and CEO of Agence Rinaldi, in Montreal. He leads the firm into developing solid relationships and successful assignments since the agency creation in August of 1994. As of July 1st, 2019, Agence Rinaldi acquired a B2B Agency, Maestro Communications and has successfully integrated Maestro Communications within the Agence Rinaldi offices. Maurice Rinaldi makes use of his experience and his expertise to counsel at senior level for multinationals and executive boards. Volunteer and philanthropist, he participates in different foundations and associations, such as, t-CAN, Member of The Provincial Board of Advisors, Heart and Stroke and Director, John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition.
Garnet McElree - Director - Chief Creative Officer & Partner at LMNO
Garnet is an award-winning entrepreneur, brand strategist and creative director who has worked with some of North America’s most recognized brands. He has helped lead them through significant growth and change over the last 20 years. He is driven by the connection between culture, marketing and communications, and believes the most critical role we have is to help consumers, businesses and brands engage in unexpected and meaningful conversations.
Garnet holds a degree in Visual Communications Design from the Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, as well as a degree in Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan.
Jenny Smith - Director
With 25 years in the advertising and marketing business, Jenny is no stranger to creating internationally recognized, award-winning advertising. She is Atlantic Canada’s most decorated creative person, winning literally hundreds of gold and platinum national and international awards and accolades over the course of her career. She’s the owner and President of Ray - an independent agency based in St. John’s, launched in 2013. Jenny has judged every regional and national award show in Canada (sometimes more than once). And has had the good fortune to judge Cannes, D&AD, and LIA. She serves on several boards including Ever Green Recycling, Artistic Fraud Theatre, Opera on the Avalon, and the Genesis Client Success Committee for start-ups in NL. She lives in St. John’s with her husband, two teens, and Nacho the cat.