Events

Who is Wellington Advocacy

Wellington Advocacy is a national full-service public affairs team with decades of combined professional experience serving as senior advisors in Canada’s highest political offices. Our services include government relations, strategic communications, digital mobilization and global partnerships.

First launched in May 2019, Wellington Advocacy today has advisors in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Montréal, and Vancouver. Our clients include some of Canada’s largest and best-known companies and nonprofits. Since our founding, we have quickly grown to become a leader in our field, delivering results for our clients.

Our Corporate Leadership

Nick Koolsbergen
Chief Executive Officer
As the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wellington Advocacy, Nick draws on his 15 years of political experience across Canada to advise the senior leadership of some of Canada’s largest companies and associations. Prior to Wellington, Nick directed issues management for the Prime Minister of Canada, served as Chief of Staff to the former Premiers of British Columbia and Alberta, and as a political party Campaign Director.
As the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wellington Advocacy, Nick draws on his 15 years of political experience across Canada to advise the senior leadership of some of Canada’s largest companies and associations. Prior to Wellington, Nick directed issues management for the Prime Minister of Canada, served as Chief of Staff to the former Premiers of British Columbia and Alberta, and as a political party Campaign Director.
Daniel Gordon
Chief Growth Officer
Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Corporate Growth Strategy, Public Policy Development

Daniel served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Head of Policy to the Premier of Ontario, where he managed policy development and execution across government. Prior to this, Daniel worked in management consulting at a Big 4 consulting firm, where he advised Fortune 500 companies, private equity funds and pension funds on their investment decisions and growth strategies. Daniel holds an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University and is a CFA Charterholder.
Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Corporate Growth Strategy, Public Policy Development

Daniel served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Head of Policy to the Premier of Ontario, where he managed policy development and execution across government. Prior to this, Daniel worked in management consulting at a Big 4 consulting firm, where he advised Fortune 500 companies, private equity funds and pension funds on their investment decisions and growth strategies. Daniel holds an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University and is a CFA Charterholder.
Madison Cox
Chief Product Officer
Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Public Policy, Strategic Communications, Stakeholder Engagement, Project Management, Corporate Strategy

Madison brings over a decade of public affairs experience in government relations, stakeholder engagement and strategic communications. Madison recently spent half a decade working in Ontario’s higher education sector where she served as chief of staff to the president of one of Ontario’s leading comprehensive universities. In this role she led revenue generating advocacy strategies and relationship building across all levels of government. Madison has also led communications strategies in support of former Canadian Cabinet ministers and heads of states from around the world while at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). Prior to this, Madison served as a political professional in the Office of the Prime Minister leading domestic events and the development and execution of strategic communications across numerous senior federal departments.
Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Public Policy, Strategic Communications, Stakeholder Engagement, Project Management, Corporate Strategy

Madison brings over a decade of public affairs experience in government relations, stakeholder engagement and strategic communications. Madison recently spent half a decade working in Ontario’s higher education sector where she served as chief of staff to the president of one of Ontario’s leading comprehensive universities. In this role she led revenue generating advocacy strategies and relationship building across all levels of government. Madison has also led communications strategies in support of former Canadian Cabinet ministers and heads of states from around the world while at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). Prior to this, Madison served as a political professional in the Office of the Prime Minister leading domestic events and the development and execution of strategic communications across numerous senior federal departments.
Andrea van Vugt
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER & PRACTICE LEAD, TRADE

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Public Policy, Regulatory Development, Regulatory Approval, Strategic Communications, Stakeholder Engagement, Project Management, International Trade, Border Policy, Foreign Affairs, International Relations

Andrea has more than 20 years of experience working in the public and private sectors, advising some of North America’s largest businesses on bilateral and trilateral trade issues. Andrea was the Foreign Affairs and Trade Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada where she played an instrumental role in the conclusion of the Canada-Europe trade negotiations. Andrea also served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of International Trade where she oversaw the conclusion of trade talks with Ukraine, Israel, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Andrea will navigate complicated transborder activities for your organization, including trade and tariff rules.

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Public Policy, Regulatory Development, Regulatory Approval, Strategic Communications, Stakeholder Engagement, Project Management, International Trade, Border Policy, Foreign Affairs, International Relations

Andrea has more than 20 years of experience working in the public and private sectors, advising some of North America’s largest businesses on bilateral and trilateral trade issues. Andrea was the Foreign Affairs and Trade Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada where she played an instrumental role in the conclusion of the Canada-Europe trade negotiations. Andrea also served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of International Trade where she oversaw the conclusion of trade talks with Ukraine, Israel, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Andrea will navigate complicated transborder activities for your organization, including trade and tariff rules.

Amber Russell
CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER

Areas of Expertise: Managing and Developing Process to Improve Operational Efficiency, Corporate Governance, Logistics, Event Management, Human Resources, Budget Management

Amber Russell brings over a decade of government and private sector management, operations, logistics and administrative experience to Wellington Advocacy. Previously, Amber served in several senior management roles involving international travel, domestic event coordination and logistics including as Manager of Tour and Events in the Prime Minister’s Office and Manager of Administration, Finance & Events for a Canadian think tank.

Areas of Expertise: Managing and Developing Process to Improve Operational Efficiency, Corporate Governance, Logistics, Event Management, Human Resources, Budget Management

Amber Russell brings over a decade of government and private sector management, operations, logistics and administrative experience to Wellington Advocacy. Previously, Amber served in several senior management roles involving international travel, domestic event coordination and logistics including as Manager of Tour and Events in the Prime Minister's Office and Manager of Administration, Finance & Events for a Canadian think tank.

Strategic Advisory Board

Hon. Wayne Wouters, PC, OC 
Chair, Strategic Advisory Board
Areas of Expertise:  Government Relations, Policy Development, International Trade, Regulatory Affairs, Energy Sector, Innovation, Indigenous Relations

Wayne Wouters joins Wellington Advocacy with nearly 40 years of distinguished public service at the highest levels, serving Prime Ministers from both governing parties. He served as Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet from 2009-2014. In this capacity, Mr. Wouters served as the Chief Executive Officer of Canada’s professional public service and acted as Deputy Minister to Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper. From 2004-2009, Mr. Wouters served as Secretary to the Treasury Board, acting as principal administrator of government programming and expenditure management. Previously, he served as Deputy Minister in several other departments across the public service. On the advice of the Prime Minister Mr. Wouters was appointed by the Governor General as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada in 2014 and appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017. Mr. Wouters is a sought after advisor to executives and businesses across Canada. He is a Strategic and Policy Advisor at McCarthy Tétrault LLP and holds directorships at BlackBerry Limited, Canadian Utilities Limited, and Foran Mining Corporation.
Areas of Expertise:  Government Relations, Policy Development, International Trade, Regulatory Affairs, Energy Sector, Innovation, Indigenous Relations

Wayne Wouters joins Wellington Advocacy with nearly 40 years of distinguished public service at the highest levels, serving Prime Ministers from both governing parties. He served as Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet from 2009-2014. In this capacity, Mr. Wouters served as the Chief Executive Officer of Canada’s professional public service and acted as Deputy Minister to Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper. From 2004-2009, Mr. Wouters served as Secretary to the Treasury Board, acting as principal administrator of government programming and expenditure management. Previously, he served as Deputy Minister in several other departments across the public service. On the advice of the Prime Minister Mr. Wouters was appointed by the Governor General as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada in 2014 and appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017. Mr. Wouters is a sought after advisor to executives and businesses across Canada. He is a Strategic and Policy Advisor at McCarthy Tétrault LLP and holds directorships at BlackBerry Limited, Canadian Utilities Limited, and Foran Mining Corporation.

Our Team

Ann Penner
Director, Trade Practice
Areas of Expertise: Trade Negotiations, Trade Law/Government Regulations, Public Policy, Strategic Advisory, Stakeholder Engagement

Ann brings to Wellington Advocacy decades of comprehensive experience in the development/implementation of trade legislation, regulations, and policies at the domestic and international levels. While serving as a senior public servant in the Government of Canada, Ann has represented Canada at the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations (UN), and at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Most recently, Ann served for over six years as a Permanent Member of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) where she presided over complex cases in the areas of trade remedies, procurement, customs, and excise appeals. Ann also served as co-chair of the CITT Outreach Committee and helped to create the CITT Advisory Committee: a body of legal and industry representatives tasked with providing stakeholder insights and recommendations to the Tribunal. Prior to joining Wellington Advocacy, Ann has served as a strategic consultant for numerous high-profile clients on issues related to international trade policy and strategic communications.

Ann holds a PhD in Canadian Politics from Carleton University and has taught upper-year and graduate level courses in the areas of international trade law, trade negotiations, Canadian law, and public policy at two Canadian universities.
Areas of Expertise: Trade Negotiations, Trade Law/Government Regulations, Public Policy, Strategic Advisory, Stakeholder Engagement

Ann brings to Wellington Advocacy decades of comprehensive experience in the development/implementation of trade legislation, regulations, and policies at the domestic and international levels. While serving as a senior public servant in the Government of Canada, Ann has represented Canada at the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations (UN), and at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Most recently, Ann served for over six years as a Permanent Member of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) where she presided over complex cases in the areas of trade remedies, procurement, customs, and excise appeals. Ann also served as co-chair of the CITT Outreach Committee and helped to create the CITT Advisory Committee: a body of legal and industry representatives tasked with providing stakeholder insights and recommendations to the Tribunal. Prior to joining Wellington Advocacy, Ann has served as a strategic consultant for numerous high-profile clients on issues related to international trade policy and strategic communications.

Ann holds a PhD in Canadian Politics from Carleton University and has taught upper-year and graduate level courses in the areas of international trade law, trade negotiations, Canadian law, and public policy at two Canadian universities.
Nicko Vavassis
Director, Ontario Government Relations 
Areas of Expertise:  Government Relations, Policy Development, Regulatory Affairs, Stakeholder Management, Media Relations, Issues Management

Nicko is a seasoned government relations professional with an expert understanding of building relationships, achieving consensus, and delivering results in high-stakes political environments. Before joining Wellington, Nicko worked in the private sector, advising some of Canada’s leading businesses on navigating the complexity of government. He has also served as a senior advisor in the Ontario government, political offices, and the civil service. He led teams responsible for policy development, stakeholder relations, and communications.  Nicko concluded his tenure in government as Director of Policy to the Attorney General of Ontario, where he led the ministry’s policy mandate and managed politically sensitive legal affairs files.
Areas of Expertise:  Government Relations, Policy Development, Regulatory Affairs, Stakeholder Management, Media Relations, Issues Management

Nicko is a seasoned government relations professional with an expert understanding of building relationships, achieving consensus, and delivering results in high-stakes political environments. Before joining Wellington, Nicko worked in the private sector, advising some of Canada's leading businesses on navigating the complexity of government. He has also served as a senior advisor in the Ontario government, political offices, and the civil service. He led teams responsible for policy development, stakeholder relations, and communications.  Nicko concluded his tenure in government as Director of Policy to the Attorney General of Ontario, where he led the ministry's policy mandate and managed politically sensitive legal affairs files.
Zita Astravas
Vice President, Federal
Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Public Policy, Strategic Communications, Media Relations, Issues Management, Stakeholder Engagement, Coalition Building

Zita is a seasoned public affairs professional with over 15 years serving in senior government and media relations roles at both the federal and provincial levels. She joins Wellington Advocacy after serving in a number of senior leadership roles in the Trudeau government, including as Director of Issues Management and a seasoned Advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Zita has also served as Chief of Staff to the President of the King’s Privy Council and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, the Minister of Public Safety, and the Minister of National Defence, as well as in senior media relations roles for the Liberal Party of Canada, including during the 2015, 2019, and 2021 election campaigns. At the provincial level, Zita has served in numerous leadership roles under former Liberal Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne, including as Director of Media Relations.
Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Public Policy, Strategic Communications, Media Relations, Issues Management, Stakeholder Engagement, Coalition Building

Zita is a seasoned public affairs professional with over 15 years serving in senior government and media relations roles at both the federal and provincial levels. She joins Wellington Advocacy after serving in a number of senior leadership roles in the Trudeau government, including as Director of Issues Management and a seasoned Advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Zita has also served as Chief of Staff to the President of the King’s Privy Council and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, the Minister of Public Safety, and the Minister of National Defence, as well as in senior media relations roles for the Liberal Party of Canada, including during the 2015, 2019, and 2021 election campaigns. At the provincial level, Zita has served in numerous leadership roles under former Liberal Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne, including as Director of Media Relations.
Samuel Duncan
Vice President

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Policy Development, Issues Management, Digital Health Care Policy

Sam brings close to 15 years of senior executive political and private sector experience to Wellington Advocacy. He worked as Executive Director of Policy to the Premier of Ontario where he was responsible for leading the government’s strategic policy development and implementation process. Sam has also served as a senior advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada and several federal Cabinet Ministers.

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Policy Development, Issues Management, Digital Health Care Policy

Sam brings close to 15 years of senior executive political and private sector experience to Wellington Advocacy. He worked as Executive Director of Policy to the Premier of Ontario where he was responsible for leading the government’s strategic policy development and implementation process. Sam has also served as a senior advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada and several federal Cabinet Ministers.

Trisha Rinneard
Vice President

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Stakeholder Management, Relationship Building

With more than fifteen years of experience in Ontario provincial politics, Trisha has an instinctive understanding of government relations, stakeholder management, communications and relationship building. Trisha has worked for the Leader of the Ontario PC Party, Ontario’s Minister of Education, and as the Manager of Government Relations for one of Canada’s largest universities.

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Stakeholder Management, Relationship Building

With more than fifteen years of experience in Ontario provincial politics, Trisha has an instinctive understanding of government relations, stakeholder management, communications and relationship building. Trisha has worked for the Leader of the Ontario PC Party, Ontario’s Minister of Education, and as the Manager of Government Relations for one of Canada’s largest universities.

Brad Tennant
Vice-President, Alberta

Areas of Expertise: Strategic Communications, Public Policy, Policy Analysis, Policy, Government, Political Campaigns, Politics, Public Speaking, Campaigns, Speech Writing, Political Science, Political Communication Political Consulting, Fundraising, International Relations, Grassroots Organizing, Grassroots

Brad is a longtime political activist in Alberta serving as a senior advisor to provincial political parties. Brad has a long track record of navigating the Government of Alberta’s political and department levels to deliver unparalleled value for clients. Brad has also served as a professional fundraiser for political parties and political action committees in Alberta. Brad is an energy expert having worked with numerous energy companies in his time with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

Areas of Expertise: Strategic Communications, Public Policy, Policy Analysis, Policy, Government, Political Campaigns, Politics, Public Speaking, Campaigns, Speech Writing, Political Science, Political Communication Political Consulting, Fundraising, International Relations, Grassroots Organizing, Grassroots

Brad is a longtime political activist in Alberta serving as a senior advisor to provincial political parties. Brad has a long track record of navigating the Government of Alberta’s political and department levels to deliver unparalleled value for clients. Brad has also served as a professional fundraiser for political parties and political action committees in Alberta. Brad is an energy expert having worked with numerous energy companies in his time with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

Leah Ward
VICE PRESIDENT

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Corporate Communications, Issues Management, Western Canada

Leah brings two decades of experience in both the private and public sectors with expertise in providing advice to leaders and organizations that focuses on core goals and driving outcomes. Leah is the former Director of Communications to Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP Caucus where they secured consistent and frequent media coverage exceeding that of all opposition leaders across Canada. Leah also served as a senior advisor to former Premier Rachel Notley during the NDP’s term in government where they provided advice and strategic communications direction to the Premier and Cabinet on environmental and energy policy, Indigenous relations, and social services policy. Leah has a Master’s degree in political science from the University of Alberta and an honors degree in political science from Carleton University. Leah is also an occasional commentator with recent appearances including CBC’s Power and Politics, CBC Calgary’s political panel, CPAC, CTV National News, CBC’s Alberta at Noon, and the CBC podcast West of Centre.

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Corporate Communications, Issues Management, Western Canada

Leah brings two decades of experience in both the private and public sectors with expertise in providing advice to leaders and organizations that focuses on core goals and driving outcomes. Leah is the former Director of Communications to Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP Caucus where they secured consistent and frequent media coverage exceeding that of all opposition leaders across Canada. Leah also served as a senior advisor to former Premier Rachel Notley during the NDP’s term in government where they provided advice and strategic communications direction to the Premier and Cabinet on environmental and energy policy, Indigenous relations, and social services policy. Leah has a Master’s degree in political science from the University of Alberta and an honors degree in political science from Carleton University. Leah is also an occasional commentator with recent appearances including CBC’s Power and Politics, CBC Calgary’s political panel, CPAC, CTV National News, CBC’s Alberta at Noon, and the CBC podcast West of Centre.

Peter Csillag
Vice President

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Corporate Communications, Issues Management, Western Canada

Peter brings over a decade of experience in public affairs, politics, and advocacy. He advises clients on addressing policy challenges with governments in a range of sectors including technology, health, energy, environment, construction, and aviation. Prior to his consulting career, Peter held several roles in provincial and federal politics. He served as Director of Issues Management for the Leader of the Official Opposition and caucus in the Alberta Legislature, as well as the winning 2019 election campaign, and served as Senior Communications Advisor to the Government Caucus in British Columbia. At the federal level, Peter served as Director of Issues Management & Parliamentary Affairs for Canada’s Minister of National Defence, and held communications and issues management roles in the Minister’s office at Employment and Social Development as well as Citizenship and Immigration.

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Corporate Communications, Issues Management, Western Canada

Peter brings over a decade of experience in public affairs, politics, and advocacy. He advises clients on addressing policy challenges with governments in a range of sectors including technology, health, energy, environment, construction, and aviation. Prior to his consulting career, Peter held several roles in provincial and federal politics. He served as Director of Issues Management for the Leader of the Official Opposition and caucus in the Alberta Legislature, as well as the winning 2019 election campaign, and served as Senior Communications Advisor to the Government Caucus in British Columbia. At the federal level, Peter served as Director of Issues Management & Parliamentary Affairs for Canada’s Minister of National Defence, and held communications and issues management roles in the Minister’s office at Employment and Social Development as well as Citizenship and Immigration.

Kayla Iafelice
VP, Strategic Communications and Digital Advocacy

Areas of Expertise: Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Media Relations, Public Affairs, Marketing, Strategy, Crisis Communications, Corporate Communications, Reputation Management, Brand Management, Public Policy, Government, Politics, Journalism, Speech Writing, Strategic Planning, Public Speaking, Communications, Storytelling, Leadership, Spokesperson, Messaging

Kayla is a respected public affairs leader with experience executing communications strategies for businesses and governments. A journalist by trade, Kayla has a decade of experience in media relations, brand PR, reputation management and corporate communications. Kayla most recently served as Executive Director of Communications to the Premier of Ontario where she was responsible for leading the government’s strategic communications, including the government response to COVID-19.

Areas of Expertise: Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Media Relations, Public Affairs, Marketing, Strategy, Crisis Communications, Corporate Communications, Reputation Management, Brand Management, Public Policy, Government, Politics, Journalism, Speech Writing, Strategic Planning, Public Speaking, Communications, Storytelling, Leadership, Spokesperson, Messaging

Kayla is a respected public affairs leader with experience executing communications strategies for businesses and governments. A journalist by trade, Kayla has a decade of experience in media relations, brand PR, reputation management and corporate communications. Kayla most recently served as Executive Director of Communications to the Premier of Ontario where she was responsible for leading the government’s strategic communications, including the government response to COVID-19.

Photi Sotiropoulos
Director, Strategic Communications

Areas of Expertise: Strategic Communication, Public Relations, Media Relations, Public Speaking, Issues Management, Crisis Communications, Media Training, Publicly traded companies, Sports Marketing, Technology, Broadcasting, Fundraising, Branding & Identity

Photi is fully bilingual and has over 20 years of experience in sports management, culture, technology and broadcasting; specializing in public relations, media training, issues and crisis management, project management and special events. He’s been the head of communications for the Canadian Olympic Committee, National Hockey League, Canadian Hockey League, Québec Major Junior Hockey League and has worked for both the education and tech industries. Photi has advised some of Canada’s highest profile leaders on communications.

Areas of Expertise: Strategic Communication, Public Relations, Media Relations, Public Speaking, Issues Management, Crisis Communications, Media Training, Publicly traded companies, Sports Marketing, Technology, Broadcasting, Fundraising, Branding & Identity

Photi is fully bilingual and has over 20 years of experience in sports management, culture, technology and broadcasting; specializing in public relations, media training, issues and crisis management, project management and special events. He’s been the head of communications for the Canadian Olympic Committee, National Hockey League, Canadian Hockey League, Québec Major Junior Hockey League and has worked for both the education and tech industries. Photi has advised some of Canada’s highest profile leaders on communications.

Idee Inyangudor
Vice President, Global Partnerships

Areas of Expertise: International Development, NGOs, Sustainable Development

Idee draws from his expertise in international development, blended finance, public policy, and strategic communications to serve private sector companies, governments, and civil society organizations. Idee previously served as the Director of Policy and Stakeholder Relations for the Minister of International Development and was twice recognized as among the Top 100 influencing the Government of Canada’s foreign policy.

Areas of Expertise: International Development, NGOs, Sustainable Development

Idee draws from his expertise in international development, blended finance, public policy, and strategic communications to serve private sector companies, governments, and civil society organizations. Idee previously served as the Director of Policy and Stakeholder Relations for the Minister of International Development and was twice recognized as among the Top 100 influencing the Government of Canada’s foreign policy.

Alvaro Geiger
Consultant
Alvaro Geiger is a Consultant specializing in the Trade practice, and serves as the Lead Consultant for the Internship Program. He previously worked for a consulting firm with a focus on corporate social responsibility, and has experience in strategic communications. He is currently enrolled at the University of Toronto.
Alvaro Geiger is a Consultant specializing in the Trade practice, and serves as the Lead Consultant for the Internship Program. He previously worked for a consulting firm with a focus on corporate social responsibility, and has experience in strategic communications. He is currently enrolled at the University of Toronto.
Anissa Coutney
Administrative Assistant, Operations

Areas of Expertise: Client Care and Management

Anissa is Wellington Advocacy’s Administrative Assistant and brings a diverse skill set to our organization, with over 20 years of administration, management, and client service experience. Prior to joining Wellington, Anissa managed the daily operations of a private oil and gas company. She also worked with the Edmonton Police Service, fundraising and event coordination in the nonprofit sector, and managing a wellness clinic. Anissa’s focus is on building strong professional relationships by providing excellent support to the team, and our clients.

Areas of Expertise: Client Care and Management

Anissa is Wellington Advocacy’s Administrative Assistant and brings a diverse skill set to our organization, with over 20 years of administration, management, and client service experience. Prior to joining Wellington, Anissa managed the daily operations of a private oil and gas company. She also worked with the Edmonton Police Service, fundraising and event coordination in the nonprofit sector, and managing a wellness clinic. Anissa’s focus is on building strong professional relationships by providing excellent support to the team, and our clients.

Benjamin Lamb
Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Public Relations, Policy, Strategic Partnerships, Caucus Relations, Intergovernmental engagement, Outreach

Benjamin Lamb has years of public and private sector leadership experience. He served as Ministerial advisor in Ontario’s Provincial Government for multiple ministries, such as Infrastructure and Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development. During his service, he managed MPP and stakeholder relations, intergovernmental engagement, and complex policies. Some of these policies included Ontario’s immigration programs. Given Benjamin’s years of senior leadership experience, he naturally understands how to navigate Government processes, manage relationships, and innovate solutions.

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Public Relations, Policy, Strategic Partnerships, Caucus Relations, Intergovernmental engagement, Outreach

Benjamin Lamb has years of public and private sector leadership experience. He served as Ministerial advisor in Ontario’s Provincial Government for multiple ministries, such as Infrastructure and Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development. During his service, he managed MPP and stakeholder relations, intergovernmental engagement, and complex policies. Some of these policies included Ontario’s immigration programs. Given Benjamin’s years of senior leadership experience, he naturally understands how to navigate Government processes, manage relationships, and innovate solutions.

Christopher Grier
Director of Research

Areas of Expertise: Research, Issue Management, Policy

Chris spent 16 years working on Parliament Hill as one of Canada’s leading political and policy researchers. He has worked on campaigns at all levels of government, including being a part of the national campaign team war room for five consecutive elections. He has extensive experience working on issues management, with Canada’s legislative and policy process and with a broad range of research tools. If you want to find something in the public domain, Chris will find it.

Areas of Expertise: Research, Issue Management, Policy

Chris spent 16 years working on Parliament Hill as one of Canada’s leading political and policy researchers. He has worked on campaigns at all levels of government, including being a part of the national campaign team war room for five consecutive elections. He has extensive experience working on issues management, with Canada’s legislative and policy process and with a broad range of research tools. If you want to find something in the public domain, Chris will find it.

Clancy Bouwman
Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations

Clancy brings experience working directly with federal and provincial party leaders and government officials. He served as Executive Assistant to the former Premier of Alberta for 3 years. Prior to that, Clancy was a political advisor on Parliament Hill in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition. Clancy has experience in political campaign management and stakeholder relations, most recently managing a province-wide leadership campaign.

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations

Clancy brings experience working directly with federal and provincial party leaders and government officials. He served as Executive Assistant to the former Premier of Alberta for 3 years. Prior to that, Clancy was a political advisor on Parliament Hill in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition. Clancy has experience in political campaign management and stakeholder relations, most recently managing a province-wide leadership campaign.

Emily Moyes
Digital Consultant

Areas of Expertise: Digital Advocacy, Digital Marketing, Brand Strategy, Digital Strategy, Graphic Design, Social Media

Emily is a marketing professional with experience in social media, SEO, marketing strategy, digital advertising, and graphic design. She takes pride in combining her strong marketing foundation and passion for art and design to create impactful client solutions. Emily is a graduate of the Haskayne School of Business, with a major in Marketing.

Areas of Expertise: Digital Advocacy, Digital Marketing, Brand Strategy, Digital Strategy, Graphic Design, Social Media

Emily is a marketing professional with experience in social media, SEO, marketing strategy, digital advertising, and graphic design. She takes pride in combining her strong marketing foundation and passion for art and design to create impactful client solutions. Emily is a graduate of the Haskayne School of Business, with a major in Marketing.

Ethan Lecavalier-Kidney
Consultant

Areas of Expertise: Public Policy, Economic Analysis, Government Relations, Communications

Ethan has experience at the highest levels of government in Alberta. Before joining Wellington Advocacy, he served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of Finance and Press Secretary to the ministers of Justice and Public Safety and Emergency Services. He holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science.

Areas of Expertise: Public Policy, Economic Analysis, Government Relations, Communications

Ethan has experience at the highest levels of government in Alberta. Before joining Wellington Advocacy, he served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of Finance and Press Secretary to the ministers of Justice and Public Safety and Emergency Services. He holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science.

Grace Wainaina
Consultant
Grace Wainaina brings a wealth of diverse experience to Wellington Advocacy, having served in both the Alberta and federal NDP. During her time in politics, Grace specialized in stakeholder outreach and caucus relations, where she served as a liaison between MLAs and industry stakeholders across Alberta. Grace is currently enrolled at the University of British Columbia’s Peter A. Allard School of Law.
Grace Wainaina brings a wealth of diverse experience to Wellington Advocacy, having served in both the Alberta and federal NDP. During her time in politics, Grace specialized in stakeholder outreach and caucus relations, where she served as a liaison between MLAs and industry stakeholders across Alberta. Grace is currently enrolled at the University of British Columbia’s Peter A. Allard School of Law.
Jared Maltais
Consultant, Federal
Jared brings a decade of experience in and around Parliament Hill to Wellington Advocacy. He has previously served as a Legislative Assistant for the Liberal Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre. Jared has also held numerous leadership roles, including Executive Director for the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and Digital Director for the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. He has participated in various political campaigns at all levels of government, including the 2023 Ontario Liberal leadership contest and the 2022 Ottawa mayoral election.
Jared brings a decade of experience in and around Parliament Hill to Wellington Advocacy. He has previously served as a Legislative Assistant for the Liberal Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre. Jared has also held numerous leadership roles, including Executive Director for the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and Digital Director for the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. He has participated in various political campaigns at all levels of government, including the 2023 Ontario Liberal leadership contest and the 2022 Ottawa mayoral election.
Jaide Kassam
Junior Consultant
Jaide Kassam is a Junior Consultant specializing in the Ontario practice. Prior to joining Wellington Advocacy, Jaide most recently concluded a research internship with a government relations firm in Ottawa. She has actively engaged in various political internships at Queen’s Park and Parliament Hill, where she worked directly with MPPs, MPs, and ministers. Jaide holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) from Carleton University, in Criminology and Law.
Jaide Kassam is a Junior Consultant specializing in the Ontario practice. Prior to joining Wellington Advocacy, Jaide most recently concluded a research internship with a government relations firm in Ottawa. She has actively engaged in various political internships at Queen’s Park and Parliament Hill, where she worked directly with MPPs, MPs, and ministers. Jaide holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) from Carleton University, in Criminology and Law.
Jeremy Hunt
SENIOR ADVISOR

Areas of Expertise: Public Policy, Policy Analysis, Government, Political Campaigns, Strategic Planning, Political Science, Public Speaking, International Relations, Research, Policy, Media Relations, Legislative Relations, Community Outreach, International, Development, Nonprofits, Legislation, Economics, NGOs, Grassroots Organizing

Jeremy Hunt served as a Director to Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister. In this capacity, he oversaw the Prime Minister’s Executive Office, Tour and Business Outreach. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Carleton University and a MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University.

Areas of Expertise: Public Policy, Policy Analysis, Government, Political Campaigns, Strategic Planning, Political Science, Public Speaking, International Relations, Research, Policy, Media Relations, Legislative Relations, Community Outreach, International, Development, Nonprofits, Legislation, Economics, NGOs, Grassroots Organizing

Jeremy Hunt served as a Director to Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister. In this capacity, he oversaw the Prime Minister’s Executive Office, Tour and Business Outreach. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Carleton University and a MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University.

Justin Mejilla
Project Manager

Areas of Expertise: Website Design, Website Development, Brand Design, Logo Design, Motion Graphics, Video Editing

Justin is a web developer and digital designer with more than 6 years experience. He has a passion for design that serves as the driving force behind all his creative endeavors. He has experience across several industries such as healthcare, seniors’ housing, finance, manufacturing, government, and post-secondary educational institutions. His obsession with artfully integrating functionality and modern design best practices contributed to exemplary work on creative projects with organizations such as TD Bank, KPMG, Export Development Canada, and Algonquin College.

Areas of Expertise: Website Design, Website Development, Brand Design, Logo Design, Motion Graphics, Video Editing

Justin is a web developer and digital designer with more than 6 years experience. He has a passion for design that serves as the driving force behind all his creative endeavors. He has experience across several industries such as healthcare, seniors’ housing, finance, manufacturing, government, and post-secondary educational institutions. His obsession with artfully integrating functionality and modern design best practices contributed to exemplary work on creative projects with organizations such as TD Bank, KPMG, Export Development Canada, and Algonquin College.

Laura Carmona
Operations Associate
With over 15 years of experience in client service and customer care, Laura has a track record of strong performance in high-volume, high-pressure environments, Laura skillfully manages administrative duties and client relations for Wellington Advocacy. Before joining Wellington Advocacy, Laura worked as a member of Air Canada’s concierge team, where she was responsible for ensuring that top-tier clients received first-rate experience while problem-solving to build trust and loyalty.
With over 15 years of experience in client service and customer care, Laura has a track record of strong performance in high-volume, high-pressure environments, Laura skillfully manages administrative duties and client relations for Wellington Advocacy. Before joining Wellington Advocacy, Laura worked as a member of Air Canada's concierge team, where she was responsible for ensuring that top-tier clients received first-rate experience while problem-solving to build trust and loyalty.
Laurel Brazill
Director, Government Relations, Ontario and Health

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Stakeholder Relations, Healthcare Policy and Relationship Building

Laurel is a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in provincial politics and government relations, specializing in the field of healthcare. During her time as the Director of Stakeholder Relations for the Minister of Health, Laurel’s contributions include managing significant partnerships and networks across the province. She also oversaw the implementation of transformative initiatives such as Ontario Health Teams and Ontario Health. Additionally, Laurel played a pivotal role in coordinating the province’s COVID-19 response. Laurel has also held roles at two of Ontario’s largest healthcare associations: the Ontario Medical Association and the Ontario Hospital Association.

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Stakeholder Relations, Healthcare Policy and Relationship Building

Laurel is a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in provincial politics and government relations, specializing in the field of healthcare. During her time as the Director of Stakeholder Relations for the Minister of Health, Laurel’s contributions include managing significant partnerships and networks across the province. She also oversaw the implementation of transformative initiatives such as Ontario Health Teams and Ontario Health. Additionally, Laurel played a pivotal role in coordinating the province's COVID-19 response. Laurel has also held roles at two of Ontario's largest healthcare associations: the Ontario Medical Association and the Ontario Hospital Association.

Leonard Quist
Developer

Areas of Expertise: Content Management Systems / Frameworks, User Interface Design, User Experience , Usability, Frontend Development, Information Architecture, IT Support

Leonard has been in the User Experience Design and development industry for over 14 years. He has worked on several successful projects in the private and public sectors, including at Alberta Health Services. During his time there, Leonard and his team designed and developed tools critical to Alberta’s response to COVID-19 including the COVID-19 online assessment tool. His work also included the design and front-end development of Alberta’s online health records portal allowing Albertans to access health records online. Leonard takes pride in finding solutions to challenges and is a big proponent of collaboration to deliver results to stakeholders.

Areas of Expertise: Content Management Systems / Frameworks, User Interface Design, User Experience , Usability, Frontend Development, Information Architecture, IT Support

Leonard has been in the User Experience Design and development industry for over 14 years. He has worked on several successful projects in the private and public sectors, including at Alberta Health Services. During his time there, Leonard and his team designed and developed tools critical to Alberta’s response to COVID-19 including the COVID-19 online assessment tool. His work also included the design and front-end development of Alberta’s online health records portal allowing Albertans to access health records online. Leonard takes pride in finding solutions to challenges and is a big proponent of collaboration to deliver results to stakeholders.

Luwam Ghebre
Senior Consultant, Global Partnerships

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Stakeholder Relations, Issues Management, Strategic Planning, Strategic Partnerships, Emerging Markets, International Development

Luwam is fully bilingual and brings over a decade of public affairs experience having served as a senior advisor on Parliament Hill – both in government and opposition – and election campaigns. She has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the inner workings and complexities of government and brings experience in developing and implementing communications and stakeholder strategies for senior executives in government, and the private sector. She brings to the role proven leadership in managing client portfolios, project execution, and a passion for emerging market partnerships, especially in Africa.

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Stakeholder Relations, Issues Management, Strategic Planning, Strategic Partnerships, Emerging Markets, International Development

Luwam is fully bilingual and brings over a decade of public affairs experience having served as a senior advisor on Parliament Hill - both in government and opposition - and election campaigns. She has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the inner workings and complexities of government and brings experience in developing and implementing communications and stakeholder strategies for senior executives in government, and the private sector. She brings to the role proven leadership in managing client portfolios, project execution, and a passion for emerging market partnerships, especially in Africa.

Philippe Bolduc
Director, Trade & QUÉBEC

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Political Campaigns, Trade Policy, Parliamentary Procedure

Fluently bilingual, Phil brings a strong background in legislative processes and the Canadian regulatory environment. Drawn from his many years as a senior advisor and Chief of Staff on Parliament Hill, his experience includes familiarity with the Cabinet process, communications and issues management. Phil has deep political relationships in both the political and public service realms across Canada. As an expert in parliamentary procedure, Phil brings an unrivaled understanding to the way things work in Ottawa and Québec City.

Areas of Expertise: Government Relations, Political Campaigns, Trade Policy, Parliamentary Procedure

Fluently bilingual, Phil brings a strong background in legislative processes and the Canadian regulatory environment. Drawn from his many years as a senior advisor and Chief of Staff on Parliament Hill, his experience includes familiarity with the Cabinet process, communications and issues management. Phil has deep political relationships in both the political and public service realms across Canada. As an expert in parliamentary procedure, Phil brings an unrivaled understanding to the way things work in Ottawa and Québec City.

Ray Novak
SENIOR ADVISOR

Areas of Expertise: PR, Politics, Public Policy, Strategic Communications, Political Campaigns, Policy Analysis, Speech Writing, Policy, Government, Media Relations, Public Affairs, Political Science, Political Communication, Crisis Communications, Fundraising, Corporate Communications, Event Planning, Research, Community Development

Ray served nearly a decade in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada, including as Chief of Staff and Principal Secretary to Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister. In these capacities he oversaw daily operations of the Prime Minister’s Office and led strategic coordination in support of the government’s policy and communications agenda. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honors Political Science) from Western University.

Areas of Expertise: PR, Politics, Public Policy, Strategic Communications, Political Campaigns, Policy Analysis, Speech Writing, Policy, Government, Media Relations, Public Affairs, Political Science, Political Communication, Crisis Communications, Fundraising, Corporate Communications, Event Planning, Research, Community Development

Ray served nearly a decade in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada, including as Chief of Staff and Principal Secretary to Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister. In these capacities he oversaw daily operations of the Prime Minister’s Office and led strategic coordination in support of the government’s policy and communications agenda. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honors Political Science) from Western University.

Samantha Rogan
Designer

Areas of Expertise: Graphic Design, Branding, Web Design, NFTs & Cryptocurrency, SEO, Illustration, Writing

Samantha is an award-winning graphic designer who has been internationally recognized for her work in the Public Health space. In her 10+ years of professional experience, Samantha has obtained a Bachelor’s in Communications Design from AUarts, and has designed hundreds of websites and graphic elements for campaigns, advocacy groups and commercial clients.

Areas of Expertise: Graphic Design, Branding, Web Design, NFTs & Cryptocurrency, SEO, Illustration, Writing

Samantha is an award-winning graphic designer who has been internationally recognized for her work in the Public Health space. In her 10+ years of professional experience, Samantha has obtained a Bachelor’s in Communications Design from AUarts, and has designed hundreds of websites and graphic elements for campaigns, advocacy groups and commercial clients.