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CANCELLED: IABC/Toronto Top Six in the 6ix

March 26, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Top Six in the 6ix

Health and safety is our utmost importance, and in accordance with public health recommendations, IABC/Toronto has made the tough decision to cancel the “Top Six in the 6ix” half-day conference in October, and instead work towards hosting educational sessions in a virtual format over the coming year. Please stay tuned as we continue to plan our professional development programming for the year. 

Six unique panels and speakers on topics specifically for communicators in the 6ix


Join your fellow communications industry professionals for an afternoon of professional development focused on six key areas that matter most to Toronto’s communicators.

We’ll be exploring current and emerging trends from leaders in AI, branding, social influencers, women in media and digital transformation – plus a speech from IABC/Toronto’s Communicator of the Year. Each session will include an opportunity for questions and the conference will conclude with a cocktail networking reception.

2 to 6 p.m. Speakers & Panel Discussions: Descriptions below
6 to 7 p.m. Networking Cocktail Reception

Note: This seminar counts towards professional development credits to maintain the IABC Communications Management Professionals (CMP) or Strategic Communications Management Professionals (SCMP) certification. Attendees will be eligible for one point per hour of attendance (max. of 4 hours, as the cocktail reception is not eligible). Learn more about these certifications

2:00 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.: Registration

Snacks and refreshments 

2:20 p.m. – 2:25 p.m.: Welcome Address by IABC/Toronto 

2:25 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: IABC/Toronto Communicator of the Year Award Presentation

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Speaker: IABC/Toronto’s Communicator of the Year – Jodi Kovitz, CEO and Founder of #movethedial

IABC/Toronto’s Communicator of the Year (COTY) award recognizes a Greater Toronto Area communications professional whose demonstrated leadership and communications skills drive business results, or have had a substantially positive influence on the community.  (IABC)/Toronto has selected Jodi Kovitz, the CEO and Founder of #movethedial, as its Communicator of the Year (COTY) for 2019.

Jodi will discuss how the experience of turning an idea into a globally recognized movement and brand reinforced her belief that we can achieve the unachievable. She will share how we can go out of our way to build genuine and generous relationships with people who are willing to connect with and support us. A book signing of Jodi’s book, “Go Out of Your Way: How One Small Act Can Move the Dial in Business and Life” will follow the talk. Read more…

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Panel Discussion: The Future is Now

There is no doubt that, in recent years, Toronto has become a hotspot for artificial intelligence.  The top minds in AI research and development have been flocking to the city, with hubs and tech start-ups popping up at a rapid pace.

As this relatively new technology continues to transform our everyday lives, what are the emerging trends? How will they influence and shape our roles as communications professionals? What does the ever-growing prevalence of AI in Toronto mean for the future of our city?

Our panel will discuss these questions and more to deepen our understanding of AI for both our professional and personal lives.


Catherine Riddell, Vice-President, Strategic Communications, CIFAR

Lisa Gibson, Head of Communications, Microsoft

Eirene Seiradaki PhD, Director, Research Partnerships at Borealis AI


Eric Huang, Founder & CEO, Advanced Analytics and Research Labs

Read more…

3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.:  Breakout Session Part 1: TGIM – Thank God It’s Monday

Hosted by: Barbara Morris-Blake, Founding Partner of Elevate Organizations

3:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.: Speaker: The Power of PR

To keep pace in the ever-changing consumer landscape, businesses in Canada have a difficult task at hand when it comes to engaging with customers.  In retail specifically, winning requires retailers to take an adaptive, dynamic and dexterous approach…especially when it comes to their communications strategy.  Join Canadian Tire’s AVP of Communications, Stephanie Nadalin, as she talks about the pace of change – not only keeping up, but how to break through and win.

Stephanie Nadalin, Associate Vice President, Communications, Canadian Tire Corporation

Read more…

4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.: Panel Discussion: Doing it for the ’Gram

The last decade gave us the rise of digital and social media and arguably the most notable movement to come from this – influencers. Integrated communications plans pivoted to include influencer strategies and all major brands quickly jumped on board to work with influencers for their authentic voice and personal approach to content creation.

But what does the future of the influencer landscape hold? Is the influencer trend sustainable into the 2020s and beyond? Our panel of industry experts will offer unique insights from various perspectives to discuss what’s next for influencers and share key tips for communicators to continue to work with influencers through the next decade.


Sara Koonar, Co-Founder & President, Platform Media & Management Inc.

Matt Benfield, Lifestyle Content Creator @mr.benfield

Carly Ostroff, Fashion & Beauty Writer


Nina Kalos, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Veritas Communications

Read more…

4:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.:  Breakout Session Part 2: TGIM – Thank God It’s Monday

Hosted by: Barbara Morris-Blake, Founding Partner of Elevate Organizations

5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Panel Discussion: New Voices

The last decade brought a women’s movement – what’s been called the fourth wave of feminism – and, with that, a heightened focus on female empowerment and achieving gender balance.

While conversations are being had and changes are being seen, the representation of women in Canadian media remains a challenge. Women continue to be underrepresented and underutilized, particularly as expert sources, in the media.

In 2018, Bloomberg launched New Voices initiative, which aims to build the definitive global database of women newsmakers in business and finance. The initiative recognizes the importance of raising the voices of women by providing media training for women and other diverse executives to boost their presence on Bloomberg’s broadcast airwaves.

This panel brings together the local leaders and success stories of the New Voices initiative to discuss how they are surfacing the issues and working to break down barriers that affect women in media.


Caroline Verboon, Senior Vice President, Cohn & Wolfe Canada, Media Trainer, New Voices Initiative

Sandra Mergulhão, Executive Producer, Bloomberg TV, Champion, New Voices Initiative

Mithra Warrier, U.S. Head of Prime Brokerage Sales, TD Securities, Trainee, New Voices Initiative

Rosalie Wyonch, Policy Analyst, C.D. Howe Institute, Trainee, New Voices Initiative


Rohini Mukherji, Vice-President, Integrated Communications, APEX PR

Read more…

5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.: Speaker: (Un)common Sense

How does design thinking and digital technology impact our roles as communicators and how can we keep up with the ever evolving trends in this space? Jon Finklestein will discuss how, in the age of disruption, (un)common sense goes a long way to make a big impact in an environment of unprecedented noise and competition.

Jon Finklestein, Executive Creative Director, PwC Canada

Read more…

6:00 p.m. – 6:05 p.m.: Closing Remarks from IABC/Toronto

6:05 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.: Networking Cocktail Reception 

Bar service and light hors d’oeuvres 

Registration Fees:

  • $250: IABC member rate (282.50 with HST)
  • $100: IABC student and transitional member rate ($113 with HST)
  • $350: Non-member rate ($395.50 with HST)
  • $200: Student non-member rate ($226 with HST)

For groups of 8 or more, please contact toronto-info@iabc.to with the subject line ‘Top Six in the 6ix Conference Group Purchase’ for available group rates.

For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Cory Fisher, Toronto-pd@iabc.to, 416-854-2598


March 26, 2020
2:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


The Broadview Hotel
Lincoln Hall, 2nd Floor 106 Broadview Avenue
Toronto, ON M4M 2G1
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