IABC/Toronto’s chapter board is elected each year at its annual general meeting.
Throughout the year, the board meets monthly, to discuss chapter business and new initiatives. All IABC/Toronto members are welcome to attend any board meeting. Please contact IABC/Toronto’s President, Mandy Gibson, if you are interested in attending a board meeting.
IABC/Toronto Board of Directors 2021/2022
Mandy Gibson (She/Her)
|Mandy Gibson is an enthusiastic, innovative marketing and communications senior leader with more than 25 years demonstrated experience in marketing, corporate communications, public relations, employee engagement and internal communications. She has extensive results in leading organizational change and creative employee engagement initiatives that effectively support key business goals and deliver successful results for Fortune 500 companies. Mandy is currently leading internal communication efforts at KPMG as a Senior Manager Internal Communications for Global Clients & Markets. Mandy has been actively involved in the IABC/Toronto Board for a number of years and is looking forward to working with the new Board members this year to continue to deliver value and engage members.|
Russell Baker (He/Him)
Immediate Past President
|Russell is the Chief Spokesperson for Toronto Hydro, where he’s responsible for setting the strategic direction for media relations, corporate issues management and emergency management communications.
For nearly a decade, Russell has helped organizations communicate, adapt and lead in times of significant change: natural disasters, global pandemics and high-profile (often controversial) issues.
As Immediate Past President, Russell grew the profile and prominence of IABC/Toronto – the largest chapter in an international association of business communicators – and elevated member experiences during the most prominent global healthcare crisis in a century.
Michael Blackburn (He/Him)
|Michael is a dynamic, passionate and Gold Quill award-winning communications professional and LGBTQ2+ advocate. He is the recipient of IABC International’s 2021 Rising Leader of the Year Award for his outstanding contributions to the profession and delivering the Global Standard of Communications.
Michael has more than ten years of experience in events and public service, leading large-scale, innovative and high-impact initiatives that connect communities and have a real impact on people’s lives.
Throughout the global pandemic, Michael has proudly been serving as one of the COVID-19 response and recovery communications leads for the City of Markham – helping keep residents safe, informed and connected.
In 2021, Michael served as VP, OVATION Awards for IABC/Toronto and reimagined the awards program to align with IABC’s national and international awards programs, adding new categories to celebrate communications excellence in diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility.
Michael is proud to serve as IABC/Toronto’s Executive Vice President for the 2021-2022 term and on IABC’s World Conference Program Advisory Committee (PAC) for the 2022 World Conference in New York City.
John Cappelletti, ABC (He/Him)
Vice President, Finance and Association Management
|John is a recently retired seasoned communications professional with significant achievements in building and managing the reputation of high-profile pension funds. His expertise is in stakeholder relations, corporate communications, and media relations. He acts strategically and uses prudence and discretion to manage reputation risk. John is an accredited business communicator, has an undergraduate degree in political science and economics, and a graduate degree in educational administration, both earned at the University of Toronto. John believes strongly in giving back to IABC and in advancing the communication profession.|
Vice-President, Communications and Digital Media
|Felicia is a Manager of Internal Communications whose experience includes working at a financial insurance firm, non-profit organizations, professional associations, small businesses, public relations firms, and a university.
Felicia currently works at Robert Half International. She also has a social media consulting business, Caryatid Communications and has been an active IABC/Toronto member, this is her second year on the Board and previously was the Director, Publications and the Editor in Chief of the Communicator.
Felicia is also on the Board of Directors at BridgeWay Family Centre, a non-profit organization that has over 40 drop-in early childhood centres in the Region of Peel. In her role on the board, Felicia is a member of the governance committee as well as the communications and marketing task force.
Jaqueline Janelle (She/Her/Elle)
Vice-President, Data Analytics and Brand Management
|Jacqueline is Director, Strategy & Internal Communications at York University. She is an award-winning, communications leader with more than 12 years of success working in large public sector organizations, including Unity Health Toronto, Covenant Health and the University of Alberta. She has led the full spectrum of marketing and communications from annual campaigns to thorny issues. Jacqueline uses a data-informed approach to crafting brand strategy while leveraging her background in journalism to develop compelling brand narratives. Jacqueline previously served on the IABC Edmonton board and has been an IABC Edmonton Capital Awards judge for the last four years. This is her first year on the IABC/Toronto board.|
VP Inclusion Diversity Equity and Accessibility (IDEA)
|Jeannette is an experienced communications professional with experience working in a range of sectors including technology, retail, energy, professional services and not-for-profit. She has a passion for unique story telling through internal and external communications campaigns.
This is Jeannette’s first year on the IABC/Toronto Board of Directors, and she is excited to work with her fellow board members and the members of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) committee to implement the 2020-21 recommendations report and the National Inclusion and Diversity survey.
Jeannette is currently a Senior Communications Specialist at CAAT Pension Plan where she develops innovative ways to tell CAAT’s story, and engage members in understanding, trusting and valuing their pension plan.
Milly Bernal (She/Her)
|Milly Bernal is an experienced, creative and versatile communications professional with extensive knowledge of public relations, integrated communications and strategic communications planning. With a passion for storytelling, her career started in broadcast journalism and has since evolved to include leading initiatives in corporate communications and marketing. She is currently a Senior Employee Communications Specialist at the TTC.
Milly has enjoyed volunteering with IABC’s Networking and Ovation Awards portfolios in the past. She is looking forward to leading the Membership portfolio and continuing to support local business communicators.
Chantelle Cabral (She/Her)
Vice-President, OVATION Awards
|Chantelle is an innovative and passionate communications and events professional. With skills in brand management, creative ideation and marketing, she has been delivering measurable business results for clients over the last twelve years using resourceful techniques to positively impact audiences. She has designed and executed PR plans, marketing strategies and events globally from Canada to the UK, and South Africa to Dubai.
Chantelle is a dynamic visionary leader. As a newcomer to Canada, she took her passion for fitness, creating a lifestyle brand, which she is a Director of today, focusing on a holistic approach to health, through yoga.
Following an extremely successful year of being part of the IABC community as a volunteer on the OVATION Awards portfolio, Chantelle looks forward to serving on the IABC/ Toronto Board of Directors advancing innovation and excellence in communications.
Jovita D’Sa (She/Her)
Vice-President, Professional Development & Networking
|Jovita is a passionate communications leader with more than 12 years of experience working in corporate, agency, and non-profit environments across North America and Asia. She has extensive experience in corporate communications, public relations, digital marketing, event management and change management. A results-oriented communicator, Jovita is driven to help companies protect and enhance their brand reputation, turn complex ideas into reader-friendly, engaging content and use communications to solve real-world problems. Jovita has volunteered across different portfolios at IABC/Toronto over the past year. She looks forward to creating relevant and engaging professional development and networking events for Toronto’s communicators.
|Nima is a public relations professional with a background in corporate and financial communications spanning agency, government and private sector. Over the past nine years, Nima has also held volunteer roles at organizations focused on diversity, inclusion and community-building. Last year, Nima volunteered with the highly successful OVATION Awards committee with IABC/Toronto. Nima currently works as a Senior Consultant on the public affairs team at CIBC.|
Vice-President, Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
|Arlene Amitirigala is a corporate communications consultant with extensive international experience delivering integrated communication strategies to drive enhanced reputation and better performance. From integrated marketing communications to change and crisis management to internal engagement and guiding C-suite executives, she is known for leading inclusively to deliver the best outcomes possible. As an award-winning Toastmaster, broadcaster, event facilitator and emcee, she thrives on using storyteller to impart universal wisdom in new and refreshing ways. Arlene has lived and worked in several different countries; she now resides in Toronto from where she provides communication services to a range of clients.|
Vice-President, Strategic Partnerships
|Satish Sarangarajan is a strategic communicator with a background in corporate communications, public relations and reputation management. Satish began his career as a newspaper editor and has worked for Thomson Reuters and The Wall Street Journal, as an editor and a reporter. A results-oriented communicator, Satish is all about turning ideas, words and messages into action using communications to solve real-world problems. In his spare time, Satish is an active mentor and has worked with many newcomers, helping them integrate into Canadian society and find gainful economic opportunities in the Greater Toronto Area.|
Mubashira Farooqi (She/Her)
|Mubashira Nusrat Farooqi is an equity and inclusion advocate, host of Colour Me PR Podcast, and Account Executive at FleishmanHillard Highroad, where she sits on the reputation and technology team. Mubashira was the 2020 IABC/Toronto Student of Year Award recipient, going on to help launch and lead the Student Communicators Circle in 2021. She graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Arts in Diversity and Inclusion, followed by a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Centennial College. Passionate about creating opportunities for and uplifting the voices of others, Mubashira is truly excited for her first year on the IABC/Toronto executive board as Vice President of Volunteer Services.|
Board Member Responsibilities
- Committing fully to their board role and making every attempt to fulfill the responsibilities of the role.
- Preparing a strategic portfolio plan for the year, a six-month status update and an end-of-year status update.
- Maintaining a comprehensive record of activities, accomplishments, challenges and gained knowledge to share with successor and Board (including the above-mentioned strategic plan, a six-month update and year-end results that will also be used for the AGM/annual report).
- Attending pre-scheduled monthly Board meetings with an upfront goal to attend, ideally in person, a minimum of 75 per cent of meetings. Or, if they cannot attend a Board meeting:
- Selecting a portfolio director to attend the meeting in their place;
- Ensuring a proxy has been given to another Board member for the meeting; and/or.
- Submitting a portfolio report when they have a significant number of updates.
- Familiarizing themselves with all relevant material from other portfolios, as well as Board meeting agenda items so that they arrive prepared to participate fully in Board meetings. This can include reviewing documents and providing feedback between meetings.
- Serving as an ambassador for IABC/Toronto at all times (in person and online), with a goal to attend IABC/Toronto events regularly during the Board year (including AGM, volunteer recruitment and recognition). (Note: some Board roles warrant even more frequent attendance at chapter events to maximize effectiveness).
- Managing, training, delegating and sharing information with portfolio volunteers to ensure a quality volunteer experience, smooth portfolio operation and clear succession planning.
- Monitoring portfolio and chapter budget carefully, collecting and submitting appropriate expense receipts on time and sharing any budget updates/concerns to the President as required.
- Familiarizing themselves with all chapter policies as well as the chapter constitution.
- Responding to member and non-member inquiries in a positive and timely manner.
- Providing relevant input to online discussions and participating in all online voting processes, as required.
- Ensuring all communications related to their portfolio are consistent and correct according to the IABC/Toronto Style Guide before distribution to membership and public via various channels (including e-Lerts, website copy, Communicator and social media).
- Maintaining an up-to-date biography on the IABC/Toronto website.
- Supporting and helping to promote Board initiatives through personal social media accounts, where appropriate.