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Heath Applebaum (MCM’09)

Heath Applebaum

Heath Applebaum ABC, MCM is the Owner and Principal Consultant of Echo Communications Inc. a reputation consulting firm based in Toronto. He brings nearly twenty years of public relations and corporate communications expertise to his clients that range from start-ups to global multinational companies.  Heath has led corporate communications strategies for such organizations as MasterCard, Pepsi, Cadillac Fairview, RBC Financial Group, Deloitte and the Canadian Diabetes Association.  He is an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) and was recognized with the prestigious global Gold Quill Award in 2010 by the International Association of Business Communicators.Heath works with clients to protect their reputations, navigate change and spark impressive media exposure. He proudly acknowledges that he was actually the first student to ever convocate from the MCM program, part of the inaugual 2010 MCM class.  In addition to his corporate and consulting work, Heath has taught graduate Public Relations courses at McMaster University, Humber College and was a curriculum developer for Centennial College.

Brittany Cadence (MCM’09)

Brittany Cadence
Brittany Cadence is the Communications Supervisor at the Peterborough County-City Health Unit. In this role she oversees strategic communications at both the corporate and program levels to promote public health initiatives, and also manages the IT department. She earned her promotion to the management level the same week she graduated from the MCM program as part of the inaugural class in 2010. While a student in the program she earned top prize in the business school category in the Arthur. W. Page Society Case Study Competition. Currently she is also part of the founding committee to organize a provincial association for public health communicators in Ontario. Currently she is also co-chair of the newly formed Ontario Association for Communicators in Public Health.

Ilda Dinis (MCM’09)

Ilda Dinis

Ilda Dinis is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Northbridge Financial Corporation, a leading commercial property and casualty insurance management company offering a wide range of innovative solutions for Canadian businesses. With over 16 years in the business, Ilda's experience runs across industries and interests. She is a passionate marketing and communication strategist and manager, and a firm believer in building culture, brands and reputation through integrated, creative and engaging marketing and communication strategies.

Rebecca Edgar (MCM’12)

Rebecca Edgar

A 2012 MCM graduate, Rebecca Edgar is a public relations practitioner with 15 years experience spanning corporate, agency and non-profit sectors. Rebecca presented her capstone research on the reputation of the Niagara Health System at the 2012 International Public Relations Research Conference in Miami, FL and placed second in the 2011 A.W. Page Business School Case Study Competition in NY, NY.  She holds a BA in Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from Humber College. Inspired by the interactive style of her MCM professors, Rebecca now teaches PR to environmental management students at Niagara College and has partnered with MCM colleague and mentor, Heather Pullen, to develop and deliver a new health communication course to graduate students at the DeGroote School of Business. A proud mom and Marauder, Rebecca's most cherished MCM moment was defending her research to both faculty and family.  

Heather Ferguson (MCM’09)

Heather Ferguson

Heather Ferguson has broad experience in most aspects of communications, including journalism, stakeholder relations, major gift fundraising and brand development gained in sophisticated and competitive environments, mainly in the education and health care sectors. She is the founder and principal at Whale Communications Ltd. where she works with companies and non-profits to build stronger relationship channels with their key accounts or major gift donors. In January 2013, she also launched a monthly web series, Sonar Moment, dealing with leadership issues and featuring one-on-one interviews with CEOs in the Pacific Northwest. Past assignments focused on operations management and major gift fundraising where, as President, The Hearing Foundation of Canada she refined and refocused the business model, opened new markets for fundraising and programming and more than doubled the revenue derived from major gifts.  As an instructor in communications and fundraising at Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto, she honed her skills in curriculum development and pedagogy. Heather holds a degree from the University of Toronto as well as post-graduate degrees from Ryerson University’s School of Journalism and McMaster University, from which she holds a Master of Communications Management.  Professionally, she holds the designation ABC, (Accredited Business Communicator) and between 2003 and 2012, CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive).

Karen Humphreys Blake (MCM’12)

Karen Humphreys Blake

Karen Humphreys Blake, APR, MCM is a public relations, communications and employee engagement consultant with more than 25 years of experience. She has worked in a range of sectors and has held senior leadership positions in government, health care, social housing, hydro development and education. She has also gained considerable expertise in the volunteer sector, association management and fundraising through work with arts, heritage, community service and charitable organizations. Karen holds a B.A. (Hon.) Journalism from The University of Western Ontario and graduated from the Master of Communications Management (MCM) program at McMaster in 2012. She began her career as a general reporter and spent several years as a business reporter. She has also pursued ongoing education in fundraising and development and management. Research conducted during the program covered topics including: employee engagement communications; social media; fundraising communications; organization-community relations; strategic leadership roles in public relations; and reputation management.

Jacquie Hoornweg (MCM’13)

Jacquie Hoornweg
Jacquie leads the Ontario-wide team responsible for managing Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) corporate communications and relationships with the public, OPG’s host communities, First Nation and Métis peoples, government, media, academic and industry partners, as well as OPG’s valued employees. OPG is a corporation owned solely by the Province of Ontario, responsible for generating about 60 per cent of Ontario’s electricity at its hydro, nuclear and thermal stations province wide. As long-time board member (2005-2010) and two-year chair of the Durham Strategic Energy Alliance (DSEA), she contributed to DSEA’s lead role in the creation of SPARK, the regional innovation centre serving Durham Northumberland as part of the ONE Network. Currently she is a director on the board of the Ontario Energy Network, an organization that provides connectivity and discourse within Ontario’s energy industry. Jacquie was an award-winning community news reporter and editor in Durham Region for many years. Over the past 28 years, she has also worked in radio, advertising and publishing across the Greater Toronto Area. Since joining OPG in 2003 she has served in a number of capacities in communications and relationship management. An avid volunteer, Jacquie’s served in various capacities from board member to coach with community, industry and minor sports organizations.

Colleen Killingsworth

Colleen Killingsworth
Colleen Killingsworth is Associate Vice President Strategic Communications (University Relations) at the University of Calgary. In that capacity, she is responsible for helping to manage the university's reputation through strategic communications programs including issues management, crisis communications, media relations, social media, internal communications and publications. With more than 25 years' experience in communication, Colleen is a public relations executive with a strong track record in leadership, strategic planning and project management Her experience encompasses a wide variety of assignments such as program consolidations and moves, reputation management and branding strategies, multi-stakeholder communication, product launches, collateral development, communication audits, and special event planning and execution. Colleen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a Master’s of Communication Management (MCM) from McMaster University. Her work has won local, national and international awards. After experiencing some early success in international academic competitions, she is continuing to pursue publication, research and teaching opportunities. "The MCM provided me with the perfect blend of core MBA courses and cutting edge communications knowledge and research."

Wendy McLean-Cobban (MCM’13)

Wendy Mclean

Wendy McLean-Cobban, CMP, ABC, MCM is a strategic, results-oriented communications, marketing and events professional with over 20 years of experience working in both the financial and not-for-profit sectors. Currently she is the Marketing Manager at Questica Inc., a leader in public sector budget, performance and data visualization software. As well, she is an instructor for the Public Relations Certificate Program at Ryerson University, Chang School of Continuing Education. Along with being an MCM 2013 graduate, she a holds the following accreditations: Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) and Certified Meeting Professional (MPI). While in the MCM program, she was one of the co-editors for the 2012 issue of the McMaster Journal of Communications. She’s also been published in the Journal of Professional Communications (JPC). She also continues to pursue publication, research and teaching opportunities.

Kim Morris (MCM’11)

Kim Morris

Kim Morris is the Dean of the School of Health Sciences at Collège Boréal, one of only two French colleges in Ontario. Born and raised in the Sudbury area, Kim graduated from the MCM Program in 2011. Prior to being appointed Dean, Kim was the Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the North East Community Care Access Centre.
The MCM Program provided Kim with the strategic thinking and planning techniques that she needed in order to get to the next step of her career, and succeed.

In her role as Dean, Kim is responsible for the management of the college`s health care programs as well as the marketing of these programs throughout not only Ontario, but to Francophones across Canada and internationally. Marrying both her experience in the education field with her experience and knowledge of the Ontario health care system make for a perfect mix. Add to that over 20 years of experience in corporate communications, media relations, and crisis management, as well as her new Masters` Degree in Communications Management, and you have, as a result, a Dean that is ready for anything!

Heather Pullen

Heather Pullen

Heather Pullen is Manager of the Public Relations & Communications Department at Hamilton Health Sciences. In that capacity, she plays a key role in developing and executing strategic communication programs related to activities and services at six hospitals, a cancer centre and an urgent care centre, all located in Hamilton, Ontario. A member of the inaugural MCM class, Heather credits the program for igniting her interest in public relations theory and research. After experiencing some early success in international academic competitions, she is continuing to pursue publication, research and teaching opportunities.


Don Smith

Don Smith
Don Smith is Director of Operations in the Public Affairs Branch of the Canada Revenue Agency. The position includes responsibility for media relations, social media, liaison with regional communications staff, and special event planning and speechwriting for the Minister of National Revenue. A member of the first MCM graduating class, Don believes, “the curriculum achieves an excellent balance of theoretical and practical learning.” He has continued his academic relationship with McMaster University, where he is a regular lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia.



Natalia Villegas (MCM’10)

Natalia Villegas

Originally from Colombia, Natalia Villegas has successfully managed strategic communications programs and projects in leading private sector companies including Research In Motion and Citibank, and government organizations including the Organization of American States in Washington D.C. and the Regional Municipality of Halton. Natalia graduated in 2010 as part of the MCM inaugural class. The MCM Program stimulated her interest and knowledge in strategic corporate communications, managerial planning, and reputation management.