Donna Lindell, Program Coordinator and Professor
Donna brings more than 20 years’ experience as a corporate communicator with senior leadership roles in association, agency and corporate. Named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2003 recognizing her career achievements to date; Donna was editor of a national magazine before she graduated from university, headed up major financial services accounts at an award-winning agency, and is credited with leading the successful global communications efforts for Canada’s largest Initial Public Offering in her role as Vice President, Corporate Communications at Manulife Financial. She was the youngest female VP at Manulife at the time.
Donna brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to corporate communications and public relations, including external and internal communications, governance and management of the function, social media, web sites, branding, merger communications, corporate citizenship, issues and crisis management. Donna and her team at Manulife won IABC Gold Quill Awards for issues management and employee communication. Donna has served as a volunteer advisor and leader for the Kids Health Foundation (now The Sandbox Project), the Emerging Leaders Network (as co-chair) in Toronto, and the Metro Mothers’ Network. She also served on the IABC Blue Ribbon Panel of Judges for the 2004 Gold Quill Awards.
Donna currently teaches as a full-time faculty member at Centennial College in Toronto, teaching in the Corporate Communications and Public Relation post-graduate certificate program, for which she is also Program Coordinator. She is also the faculty advisor and leader for Project Fusion, a collaborative volunteer program offered to all students at the Story Arts Centre to work on creating dialogue around an issue of the day, in partnership with the GTA Civic Action Alliance. In 2013, students worked on The Big Race , in 2014 students created a campaign called Ready Aim Hire about unemployment amongst youth facing multiple barriers. In 2015, students focused their creative talent on “redefining public spaces for the 21st century”. In 2016, students will be creating a campaign around mental health in the workplace, from the student perspective.
Follow on Twitter at @donnalindell
Chris Conrath, Professor, Corporate Communications and Public Relations
Chris Conrath is an experienced B2B and B2C communications professional and award-winning journalist, with more than 15 years of industry practice.
In his years in public relations and communications, Chris worked with clients big and small. He has a vast breadth of experience, from producing end-to-end marketing and communications plans for fast-paced startups to creating thought leadership programs for multinational corporations. His skills and expertise include strategic communications, social media management, speech writing, media relations, crisis communications and issues management, visual communications (photography/videography), presentation skills, and media training.
As a journalist at Canada’s leading technology-focused publication, he held positions as senior writer (covering security and privacy), as well as news and feature editor.
Chris has a BA (Journalism and Communications – Concordia University) and a BSc (Biology – McGill University). An avid traveller, he has spent more than three years travelling Asia, North America, Europe and Africa. Chris is a Wicken Teaching Excellence Award nominee, selected by students of the CCPR program.