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Media People Podcast
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Media People Podcast

Author: Victor Genova

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Lively & insightful chats with the people who power the media industry.
46 Episodes
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Entrepreneurship is something that was engrained in Jerrid Grim’s psyche from an early age. In fact if you ask Jerrid, he’ll tell that his younger self believed that starting a business was the only way to make money. A native of suburban, Edmonton, Jerrid’s first job was a local flyer route. But unlike most kids who are stuck spending hours bundling flyers before lugging them out for delivery, young Jerrid outsourced part of the labour to his sisters—essentially turning his first job into his first ever managerial role. After high school Jerrid enrolled at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, where he studying marketing. After graduation he landed a job selling advertising space on bike racks throughout Edmonton. With little structure, it was the type of role that required an entrepreneurial mindset for success. From there he moved over to Pattison Outdoor, one of the latest outdoor advertising companies in Canada. Jerrid had planned to take a year off to backpack Europe. The only problem? A senior role at Newad presented itself just as he was getting ready to leave. He convinced Newad to hang onto the job, and returned a year later into a VP position. It was during his time at Newad where he was handed a massive branded content opportunity. Both the client and the dollars were big, but the process of getting the campaign live proved to be both costly and cumbersome. Jerrid saw these hurdles as a business opportunity. Clients wanted to spend more on branded content, but the ability to scale and report efficiently across multiple partners was difficult. And just like that—the idea for Pressboard was born. We sit down with Jerrid Grimm, Pressboard CEO and Co-Founder. If you’d like learn more about the company then open up your podcast app and search for ‘The Science of Storytelling’, the official Pressboard podcast that brings together the best minds in the digital publishing space to talk about how stories can change the way we think and feel. Pressboard https://www.pressboardmedia.com Victor Genova IG VicGenova www.mediapeople.ca
Wine: It’s one of the few things as old as time. There are different types & colours, and it can range in price from inexpensive to unaffordable. It’s also the one of the few exports many countries aggressively compete to be known for. Picking the right wine is enough make your head spin, but today’s guest, Angela Aiello, has spent the better part of her career helping young adults make sense of it. Angela started in hospitality while at university, working in the Four Diamond restaurants at some of the Niagara Region’s biggest wineries. After graduation she relocated to Toronto, continuing in wine retail. From there she moved into the corporate world, working at XM Satellite Radio before pivoting into Executive Recruitment. But Angela continued to pursue her passion for wine on the side. She harnessed the power of social media, uploading self-made wine info videos to YouTube. Those videos laid the foundation for what would eventually become the iYellow Wine Club, Toronto’s premier wine club Angela sold the iYellow Wine Club after more than a decade, and is focusing her time on covering the wine industry. A dedicated wine journalist, content creator, and influencer, we learn why she is affectionately known as the 'Super Wine Girl'. Angela Aiello IG SuperWineGirl www.superwinegirl.com Victor Genova IG VicGenova www.mediapeople.ca
Going out and starting your own company isn’t easy, but it’s difficult to resist when you have a solution that could benefit an entire industry. And that’s what today’s guest, Joshua Alvernia, and his peers have done. Josh is the co-founder and CEO of Clue Digital: a comprehensive marketing service that leverages automation, data science, and analytics to improve media performance on customer acquisition campaigns. Ad tech was the farthest thing from Josh’s mind growing up. He was in a band, with ambitions of making it in the music business. When that wasn’t panning out he pivoted into advertising, enrolling at Sheridan College just weeks before the semester began. His first advertising gig was agency side working on the mother-of-all clients, General Motors. But it was less about the client and more about the timing that would set Josh’s career on its current trajectory. His time on General Motors coincided with the growth of ad tech, where ad buying and analytic platforms started taking a bigger role in the planning process. He left agency life for sales, starting first at Rocketfuel before moving on to MediaIQ. It was during this time that he and couple of his industry peers discussed the possibility of starting their own company. They all resigned from their respective jobs, and within months Clue Digital was born.
From small-town Northern Ontario to the heart of Canada’s media industry, today we chat with Terra Sharek, Group Director of Strategy at Omincom Media Group’s, Red Magnet. Originally from Dundalk, Ontario, Terra spent the early part of her life on a farm. She moved to Beaverton during her high school years and then relocated to Barrie, Ontario to study advertising at Georgian College. Terra’s media career started before she even had the chance to graduate, beginning as a digital media assistant at M2 Universal, and looking after high-profile clients such as the Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Royal Bank of Canada. From there she moved on to senior digital roles at OMD and Vizuem. Terra pivoted to media sales when the opportunity presented itself with the Globe and Mail. But agency life would come calling again, and Terra took a full-on programmatic role at Touché under the Omicom Media Group banner. An internal promotion moved her to Red Magnet, a sister agency specifically created to serve Rogers Communications, Canada’s largest telecommunications company. What makes Terra’s story so interesting is the fact that she brings experience from three different digital media disciplines: direct planning & buying, programmatic strategy, and media sales.
Data, it’s what many people refer to as the ‘new oil’. It’s supposed to provide the unbiased insights companies need to make key decisions. But extracting those insights is easier said than done, and that’s what today’s guest, Kris Makuch, aims to change. Kris is the founder of datakris, a consultancy that interprets and uses data to help companies retain and acquire new customers. Originally from Poland, Kris’ family immigrated to Canada and settled in Toronto when he was just 2 years old. He caught the video game bug early on when he received a Sega Genesis, and has been a lifelong gamer ever since. He spent a year studying geography at Carleton University before pivoting to Advertising & Marketing at Sheridan College. His first break in the media industry came at Mindshare, where was on the team handling Walmart’s media buying & planning. He moved deeper into the retail world, taking a data analyst role at EB Games. From there Kris made the jump to the Omincom Media Group, taking on a series of data science roles at PHD and Red Magnet. He’s making all that experience available through his own consultancy, datakris.
Entrepreneur, senior media executive & leader, award winning media buyer, and one of the early advocates for mental health & wellness in the media industry, Cynthia Rubino, stops by to chat. A Cosssette media alumnus, Cynthia landed at the agency right out of university. In an industry where it’s not uncommon for talent to move around she stayed at Cossette, moving from planning assistant to media manager during her 16-year tenure with the agency. When Novus Media expanded into Canada, Cynthia was one of their first hires. After building and establishing the Novus Canadian office, she moved into teaching where she currently mentors and educates the future media leaders of tomorrow. It was also during this time that Cynthia founded CYTRINE CONSULTANCY, a firm that provides 2 services. The first being media strategy, buying & planning, and the second dedicated to wellness and mental health solutions. Mental health in the media industry is something Cynthia has become very passionate about. She's the founder of Mindful Mornings, a series of quarterly breakfast sessions geared towards helping media professionals understand and manage their own mental health. She’s taking this one step further with ‘I Matter’. It’s the first ever mental health symposium for the advertising/marketing/communications industry, and it’s happening on October 7th of this year.
Starting a website might be easy, but finding success in today’s digital publishing world is extremely difficult. Both audiences and advertising dollars tend to be concentrated between a few popular platforms, with the rest of the internet duking it out for the leftovers. But that didn’t deter today’s guest, Manny Bahia, from jumping in. Manny is the co-founder and Chief Revenue Office of Daily Hive—a news, information, and entertainment site servicing millennial audiences through localized editions in select Canadian and US cities. Originally a computer science major, Manny shifted to business after taking a microeconomics elective in his first year. It was during his time in University that he co-founded the website Vancity Buzz. Vancity Buzz would later be renamed Daily Hive as part of national expansion strategy into Toronto and Montreal. Expansion into Calgary and Edmonton followed, and just recently Daily Hive has gone international, adding Portland and Seattle to the family. Manny Bahia talks to us about growing up in Vancouver, what he learned about business from delivering pizza, and shares with us the journey from growing Vancity Buzz into Daily Hive.
You can call Brooke Robinson many things- social media maven, entrepreneur, and multiple sclerosis survivor. One of the OG’s of social media strategy, Brooke’s career started at Sunlife Financial, where she was charged with managing their social media presence. Her experience took her to the agency world, where she would start and head-up, Mindshare Canada’s first-ever social media department. There she worked on campaigns for clients such as American Express and Ford, to name a couple. It was during this time that Brooke was handed her biggest challenge yet- she was diagnosed with an accelerated form of multiple sclerosis. One that had her walking with a cane, and was poised to have her wheelchair bound. A chance meeting with a stranger would set her recovery in motion. He advised Brooke about an experimental treatment in Ottawa. As luck would have it, she qualified for the procedure which put her MS into remission. Brooke’s gone out on her own founding BRS, where she’s lending her marketing experience and wisdom to a variety of clients.
Educator and Sales Leader, these are two ways you can describe today’s guest, Ivan Pehar. Ivan’s media career started agency side, where he worked at a number of (agencies) including Mediacom and OMD. His work in performance marketing caught the eye of AOL, which recruited him to manage advertising campaigns for their home internet service. He pivoted to AOL’s media sales department after the company got out of the ISP business, and went on to hold senior media sales roles at Sympatico MSN and Yahoo! Canada. Ivan is currently the Manager of Large Client Solutions at Twitter Canada, and when isn’t helping brands creatively engage audiences in 280 characters or less, he’s teaching college students the fundamentals of advertising.
Many people have made the jump from media sales to agency life. But few have left the world of media sales to start their own agency, but that’s exactly what Zoltan Toth- Managing Director of Mellor Croy has done. A lifelong music aficionado, Zoltan's first media gig was overseeing the jazz time slot at his University's campus radio station. After graduation he parlayed that passion into a full time career, holding positions at Denon Music, Koch Entertainment, and Entertainment One. He pivoted into media sales at Famous Players—looking after the emerging world of in-cinema advertising. Famous Players was eventually bought by Cineplex Entertainment, and after nine years with the company he made his first entrepreneurial foray into agency life with Octopus Media. Zoltan’s latest venture is Mellor Croy, a boutique agency providing senior level media buying/planning expertise to a variety of clients.
From selling domain registrations to media buying & planning to building & managing advertising trading desks, Tessa Ohlendorf has quite the expansive resume. But if you look back at the early part of her life, you’d be hard pressed to find a direct path to the ad tech world. Born & raised in Toronto, Tessa’s early passions were rooted in photography and art. But it was philosophy that captured her mind and would become the cornerstone of her university education. After university, Tessa entered the world of internet marketing- holding positions Tucows & HostCompare. Tessa would eventually pack a suitcase for New York City and the life of a Madison Avenue media executive. While in New York, she held senior roles at CrossMedia and Convergence Point, all while starting her own agency— Online Media Management. The great recession of 2008 brought Tessa back home to Toronto where she went on to senior roles at Mindshare. She’s the founding employee of Cadreon’s Canadian office, and is now leading MightHive’s expansion into Canada.
Jamie Schouela, Blue Ant Media's President of Canadian Media stops by to chat. A Montreal native with a life-long passion entertainment, Jamie always found a way to tie this passion into both his academic and work life. From campus DJ to summer student running the promo van for a Montreal radio station, after university Jamie moved into full-time marketing gigs for some of the biggest names in Canadian media including Alliance Atlantis, Canwest, and Shaw Media.
The Media People Podcast turns the big 3-0! For our 30th episode we get a look into the life and career of educator & entrepreneur, Emily Baillie. The founder of Compass Content Marketing, Emily’s story starts in the small town of Grand Bend, Ontario, and continues to cities like Kitchener-Waterloo, Toronto, along with a brief stint in Dublin, Ireland. Social justice has played a major part in her career. Emily’s held positions at both the Irish Human Right’s Commission and Legal Aid Ontario. In-between she’s managed to mesh her passion for travel with communications, heading up content marketing for luxury travel group, Kensington Tours. Not only is Emily her own boss, but she is also putting her experience to work in the classroom, teaching the future marketers of tomorrow at McMaster University and Humber College.
Have you ever volunteered your way into a management role? Tracy Ball has. The founder of Stars & Strollers- a program where parents enjoy a day at the movies with their toddlers, impressed corporate partner Cineplex so much that they bought the idea, and made her made their manager of groups sales and special events. But this just one of many roles in the career of Tracy Ball. This Waterdown native studied Broadcast Journalism at Mohawk College. After graduation she jumped into the entertainment industry, booking talent for campus events. From there she pivoted into media, holding sales support and leadership roles at the CBC, Sun TV, Pelmorex Media, AcuityAds, among others. She made the jump from media sales into the agency world, and now heads-up programmatic advertising at INNOCEAN Worldwide Canada.
Tyler Cameron, published author and media sales leader stops by to chat. What make’s his story so interesting is that it’s full of career jumps and pivots. Born & raised in small-town Northern Ontario, Tyler relocated to study radio broadcasting at college in Hamilton, Ontario. After college he pivoted into media buying and planning, landing at mega media agency, OMD. From there he made the jump to media sales, hocking TV and digital ad space at TheScore, Rogers Media, and Brightroll. Tyler is currently the head of partnerships at True Calling, but he’s also a published author. He'll give us a peak into his first book- A Dude’s Guide to Surviving his Wedding.
Yuli Shumsky, the Director of Digital Marketing & Operations for Canadian financial institution, CIBC, stops by to chat. Born in the Ukraine before the fall of communism, Yuli, emigrated to Canada as a teenager. He went on to study at York University in Toronto, and quickly caught the advertising bug through a summer marketing gig. He liked both the work and the paycheque, and decided to swap his life around going from full time student and part time employee, to part time student and full time employee. The rest of his story reads like an unofficial history of programmatic advertising, where we worked on early digital bidding platforms well before anyone had coined the terms real-time-bidding or programmatic. Yuli is also one of the founding members of Toronto AdOps, a not-for-profit organization aimed at bringing together advertising operations professionals from all corners of advertising industry.
INNOCEAN Worldwide Canada Head of Insights & Analytics - Seif Khemaissia, stops by. Born in Algeria, Seif's personal and professional journey has taken him across four continents, and from entrepreneur to analytics & ROI guru. He shares with us his thoughts on the media industry- and where he thinks it's all going, his passion for football, and why he calls retired Manchester United player Eric Cantona, one of his heroes.
From the front desk to the corner office: Michelle Kelly stops by to talk about her rise from receptionist to Editor-In-Chief of Cottage Life Magazine.
Stewart Stevenson is the president and founder of The Social Producers- a Toronto-based startup focused on simplifying the social video production process for both brands and consumers. A digital media veteran, Stewart kicked-off his career at internet domain & directory company N49. From there he made the jump to the agency world, holding senior level positions at places such as Cossette Media, Mediacom, Klick Health, and OMD. Stewart chats with us about his time in the industry, where he got the idea for The Social Producers, and why he chose to go out on his own.
Tom Yawney is both the head of business development and a partner at The influence Agency- A Toronto-based agency leading the charge in the influencer marketing space. Tom’s career path has had some interesting turns- with more pivots than linear progressions. Some highlights include playing hockey in Australia and the Netherlands, scriptwriting for TSN, and working as a consultant for an internet marketing company. What makes Tom’s story unique is that unlike other entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Media People Podcast- with businesses in their 4th, 5th, or 6th year of operation, is that at time of recording The Influence Agency is just four months old.
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