Our People

OUR COMMUNITY

At IPG Mediabrands, we are committed to creating a diverse global community based on excellence and equity. We pride ourselves in attracting and retaining the best in the industry, across all disciplines and specialties. We seek out the best talent wherever we can find it and embrace people looking for new paths to forge. We deliberately foster a diversity of experiences and backgrounds and cultivate the sharing of different ideas and viewpoints as a critical part of our promise of innovation to clients.

As part of our commitment to equity, we are honest about the conscious and unconscious barriers to success that people from diverse backgrounds experience. We are determined to eradicate those obstacles in our company and create a truly people-centered culture where Everyone Is Able To Flourish And Succeed.

 

Our Leadership

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    Shelley Smit

    CEO, IPG Mediabrands

    Shelley Smit

    CEO, IPG Mediabrands

    As CEO, Shelley is responsible for setting and advocating the strategic vision for the Canadian market, ensuring the highest standard of client service throughout the enterprise, strengthening existing client relationships and opening new ones. With over twenty-five years of experience on both client and agency sides, Shelley is a people-first leader with the skillset to push her team to continually innovate. Shelley has been part of the IPG Mediabrands family since joining UM in December 2008 to lead J3, the dedicated Johnson & Johnson agency team. In 2009, she was instrumental in launching the UM Canada office. Shelley went on to lead UM Canada to unprecedented industry accolades and remarkable business success, including being recognized as Media Leader of the Year.

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    Ben Seaton

    CEO, UM

    Ben Seaton

    CEO, UM

    Ben brings a wealth of experience to this pivotal role, with more than 18 years in the industry and significant client-side expertise. Since joining UM in 2015, Ben has consistently infused his clients and team with enthusiasm and dedication. As EVP Client Business Partner, Ben drove successful new business acquisitions for UM and managed critical clients in Canada. His talent and passion earned him and his team multiple awards, recognizing the exceptional work and results created in partnership with his clients. Before joining UM, Ben held various client-side positions at major brands, including Nike, Coca-Cola, and Anheuser-Busch InBev.

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    Helen Galanis

    CEO, Initiative

    Helen Galanis

    CEO, Initiative

    Helen is CEO of Initiative, and as such, leads a growing Canadian team to deliver on the promise of helping brands take the initiative in culture. Applying her expertise as a former client, Helen values diverse skill sets. This has inspired her to build a team of passionate experts with diverse backgrounds in marketing, media, tech, experiential and sales. As a dedicated leader, Helen is personally involved and invested in helping clients navigate the new media landscape through cultural connections that drive meaningful business outcomes. Under her leadership, Initiative was named Strategy’s 2019 Media Agency of the Year. More accolades followed later that same year, when Helen was awarded Media Leader of the Year. 

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    Karel Wegert

    CEO, Media Experts

    Karel Wegert

    CEO, Media Experts

    As CEO of Media Experts, Karel is responsible for leading the agency and its clients into the next frontier of media solutions. An insightful leader with over twenty years of experience in digital media and an extensive agency background, Karel has an impressive track record for evolving advanced business solutions and delivering high-yield results for some of Canada’s most successful brands.Karel has been part of the IPG family since 2007 when he joined Media Expert’s burgeoning digital division. During his 15-year tenure, he was instrumental in establishing the agency as a digital innovator. In early 2022, Karel was appointed President of Kinesso Canada, IPG’s connected intelligence company, where his mandate included stewardship of Matterkind, a strategic partner in creating lifetime customer value across addressable activation.

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    Matt Ramella

    CEO, KINESSO

    Matt Ramella

    CEO, KINESSO

    Matt Ramella is the Canada CEO of KINESSO within IPG Mediabrands. He oversees a passionate and diverse group of technology-driven specialists who deliver integrated digital activation & performance solutions designed to move client business forward. Matt provides strategic counsel and expertise in growth-driving services for the top brands both globally and in Canada that include cross-channel media activation, digital platforms & intelligence solutions, data & technology capabilities, and future-forward commerce offerings.

    Matt brings over twenty years of multifaceted experience in media and marketing, having held various agency, ad tech consulting, and client-side roles. In his previous role as President of Reprise Canada, Matt grew Reprise Digital to become Canada’s leading performance marketing agency by helping brands build and accelerate the flow of customers along their path to purchase.

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    Emily Malloy

    President, Orion

    Emily Malloy

    President, Orion

    Emily is a galvanizing leader and relationship builder who people love to work with and for; she possesses a resourceful yet highly commercial mindset that thrives in a collaborative environment. With a results-driven approach to business while consistently championing innovation, Emily has a knack for delivering unparalleled client experiences. She is responsible for leading the vision of Orion Canada to its next phase of evolution, both organically and expanding into new areas of expertise. Prior to joining Orion Canada in August 2019, Emily was VP, Partnerships at IPG Mediabrands’ sister agency, Initiative. She has worked closely with many iconic brands over the course of her career including Canadian Tire, Amazon, Cirque du Soleil, Red Bull, IMAX, Joe Fresh, Pfizer, Under Armour, Volkswagen and Audi. Her affinity for innovation has been recognized through numerous industry award wins and she actively volunteers as a mentor helping to shape the next generation of marketers.   

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    Cynthia Steele

    President, Mediabrands Content Studio

    Cynthia Steele

    President, Mediabrands Content Studio

    Together with her team, Cynthia delivers best-in-class content focusing on branded content opportunities and experiences, digital content that drives performance and engagement, as well as brand-led long- and short-form original content. A media industry veteran, she has over fifteen years of experience working across connection planning, performance marketing, and content creation for some of Canada’s biggest brands. Cynthia is a passionate leader who contributes to the industry through round tables, speaking engagements, industry publications, and her work as a CMA council member.

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    Leanne Burnett-Wood

    President, MAGNA

    Leanne Burnett-Wood

    President, MAGNA

    Leanne is President of MAGNA Canada. Since joining MAGNA Canada in April 2020, as VP, Investments, Leanne has brought extensive value to our investment practice, creating, negotiating, and implementing partnerships. Before joining Mediabrands, she held senior investments roles at Dentsu and Publicis in Canada.

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    Brad Hugill

    President, Business Operations & Transformation, IPG Mediabrands

    Brad Hugill

    President, Business Operations & Transformation, IPG Mediabrands

    Brad is President, Business Operations & Transformations, IPG Mediabrands. He brings to the table over 20 years of Marketing and Sales experience through leading insights, business analysis, strategic and operational planning, as well as business process development on both agency and client sides of the industry. Joining  IPG Mediabrands in 2015 as Managing Director of  MAGNA in Canada, Brad led teams responsible for media partnerships, insights, marketing and communications, and media operations supporting all of IPG Mediabrands Canada.  Prior to joining MAGNA, Brad held various North American Insights leadership positions at AMG (Acosta Mosaic Group), an agency group focused on experiential and retail/shopper marketing.  Prior to AMG, he was the Director of Business Insights for Constellation Brands in Canada and the Director of Marketing Intelligence for InBev/Labatt in North America. 

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    Chris Marcolefas

    Chief Financial Officer, IPG Mediabrands

    Chris Marcolefas

    Chief Financial Officer, IPG Mediabrands

    Chris is the Chief Financial Officer of IPG Mediabrands Canada and is responsible for all financial, accounting, legal, IT and general corporate matters. Using his diverse business and financial experience, Chris has lead the design and implementation of unique reporting and internal control frameworks, allowing staff to thrive within a creative and agile environment. As previous CFO of Media Experts, he proved instrumental in quarterbacking several major initiatives including their acquisition by IPG. His business journey began in the accounting firm Ernst & Young and progressed to management positions with NBG Bank, a Canadian subsidiary of the National Bank of Greece S.A., and out-of-home interactive media entertainment company TouchTunes Interactive Networks, where he directed finance, accounting, operations and client service departments. 

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    Leith Mellors

    Chief People Officer, IPG Mediabrands

    Leith Mellors

    Chief People Officer, IPG Mediabrands

    Leith is our Chief People Officer,  IPG Mediabrands Canada. As the first-ever talent leader hired for the Canadian network, she is responsible for driving our holistic talent strategy and delivering a compelling employee experience – fostering a high-performance culture and globally-leading employee engagement. She also heads the Canadian network’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion agenda and is passionate about building inclusive workplaces where all employees can equally thrive. Throughout her career, Leith’s focus has been on fuelling high-growth and agile organizations through progressive people programs within the creative, media, and technology industries. Leith strives to enrich the employee experience with innovative, people-first solutions and has been previously featured in Think With Google’s Big Thinkers series.