Veronica Holmes, President, Digital, ZenithOptimedia Canada
Veronica has been in the role of President, Digital at ZenithOptimedia Canada since 2010. ZenithOptimedia is one of Canada’s largest media agencies and is pleased to work with clients including L’Oréal, The Home Depot, Ontario Government, Nestlé, General Mills, and more. In this role, Veronica leads the digital media strategies for clients and for the agency. Prior to ZenithOptimedia, Veronica was with Bell Canada for 15 years, working at the Sympatico portal throughout its evolution, doing everything from launching its first ad-server to developing and implementing video content strategies and managing the English editorial team.
Ipsa Desai, Strategic Partnerships, Google
Ipsa manages strategic partnerships for YouTube, focusing on TV, music, sports and news. She also helps drive Google product launches in Canada and associated partnerships. She was previously a Principal in the Business Operations and Strategy group at Google based out of Mountain View, California.
Christina Litz, Vice President, Digital Content and Engagement, Corus Entertainment
Christina Litz is the VP, Digital Content & Engagement for Corus Entertainment and leads on all digital strategy for Corus’ tv brands. Prior to Corus, Christina was at Rogers Media, where she headed-up their digital pureplay business including iVillage.ca, Sweetspot and Branchez-Vous. A lawyer, Christina first stepped into the world of digital while doing Business Affairs at CHUM Radio & Television and later CTV where she supported the launch of MuchMusic’s digital video player and negotiated CTV’s first iTunes deal. Following CTV, she led business development efforts for the TELUS Content team, helping secure and distribute content through all TELUS’ platforms. Christina loves all things connected with her home town Winnipeg, but between Jets games, listening to Neil Young and eating perogies, she hangs with her kids Archer and Isla.
Jarrett Sherman, Interactive Producer
Jarrett co-founded Smokebomb Entertainment, which was acquired by leading Canadian television production company Shaftesbury Films in 2008 to become its in-house digital studio. Jarrett served as President/Executive Producer at Smokebomb, creating, producing and often directing original multiplatform entertainment, branded entertainment experiences, and digital extensions for film/television properties for deployment online, mobile and tablet.
Tessa Sproule, Director, Interactive Content, CBC
Tessa oversees the production of interactive content for shows like Dragons’ Den, Mr. D, Arctic Air, Over the Rainbow, Cracked, Cover Me Canada, Heartland, Murdoch Mysteries, Steven and Chris, Best Recipes Ever, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and more. Her team creates compelling new ways for audiences to engage and interact with stories as they unfold on the screen and between broadcasts. She believes the success of the modern storyteller lies in their ability to embrace rapidly changing distribution and consumption models, while creating ways for audiences to not just be entertained by a story – but help tell it.
Corey is the founder and president of ApprenticeA Productions. He directs and produces most of the company’s productions, and appears in many of the videos. Joining YouTube in 2006, Corey has been making videos for over 6 years.
Candice Faktor, Vice President, Strategy and New Ventures, Torstar Digital
Candice is responsible for creating the next generation of Torstar Digital’s businesses and developing the company’s overarching growth strategy. Candice has been at Torstar Digital since the beginning and has been instrumental in its growth. She has played a key role in the foundation of several start-up ventures, partnerships and acquisitions including Torstar Digital (now has over 250 employees and 8 businesses), Olive Media (Canada’s largest premium ad network), Travel Alerts (leading Canadian travel deals newsletter), Wagjag and Tuango (Canadian leaders in the group buying industry). Some of Candice’s most recent new ventures include the launch of Shopcatch (Mobile top brand retail deals business), and Jaunt (travel group buying site). Candice is actively pursuing acquisitions and strategic investments in the high growth emerging areas of social commerce, mobile, and performance advertising. Before joining Torstar Digital, Candice spent four years with the Monitor Group, a top tier strategy consulting firm.
Tony Walsh, Founder, Exec. Producer & Creative Director, Phantom Compass
Tony Walsh is a multi-disciplined creative leader with nearly 20 years of experience in the Canadian interactive digital media industry. During his career, he has been a contributor to a number of award-winning and award-nominated digital productions including Xenophile Media’s “Regenesis” and “Fallen” transmedia / alternate reality games, and Marblemedia’s “Splatalot” games. He founded Toronto-based game studio Phantom Compass in 2008 and helped raise over $400k in third-party financing for the studio’s original game products in 2011 and 2012.
Mary-Ellen Anderson, Vice President, Developer and Platform Group, MSN
In the ever-changing world of platform and software development, Mary-Ellen Anderson is no stranger to innovation and thinking outside the box to create engaging consumer experiences. Mary-Ellen and her team – the Developer and Platform Group – inspire, support and foster innovation by working with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Cloud Service Vendors, developers and start-ups to create amazing applications with Microsoft’s software and platforms. The team also works with academic institutions and government to help Canada be at the forefront of global innovation in order to create opportunities for Canadians.
Cindy Witten began working in media in high school where she produced and delivered the school’s weekly report for local radio and newspaper. She has worked as a journalist, director/producer, television executive, and senior director in both public and private sector media companies, in both traditional and digital media. Her most recent position was Director General of The National Film Board of Canada’s English Program where she oversaw the NFB’s ground-breaking work in documentary, animation and experimental film, as well as pioneering interactive productions.
Chris Eben, Partner, The Working Group Inc
Chris is a Partner at The Working Group (TWG) a leading Toronto based web and mobile development agency and founding partner and investor in PostageApp, Front Porch Forum, Rocketr, Greengage Mobile and 1Thing – all startups in their own right. Chris has more than 13 years of product management experience across web and mobile, working for startups as well as large organizations, including Longview Solutions and Actuate Corporation. Having spent over five years in Silicon Valley and London, England, helping to build small growing companies, Chris completed his MBA at Kellogg and landed back in his hometown of Toronto.