Mekala Wickramasinghe, President

Mekala Wickramasinghe

Mekala is an energetic, innovative Public Relations professional with extensive experience in university recruitment, student engagement, and marketing. As the President of IABC Manitoba, she is a leader with a strong strategic vision for programming, leadership development, and long-term success.

Marjorie Huculak, Vice President

Marjorie Huculak

Marjorie is a passionate communicator who embraces the values and practices of IABC.

She is an experienced program coordinator with a demonstrated history of working in the government administration, communications, as well leadership positions within national and international non-profit organizations. Skilled in Non-profit Organization Management, Policy Analysis, Event Planning, Government Operations, Stakeholder Relations, Public Relations, Developing Partnerships, and Strategic Planning she has a strong professional focus in Communications, Marketing and Public Relations Management specializing in Stakeholder Relations, Consultation and Engagement, Issues Management and Media Relations.
In addition to IABC Manitoba, Marjorie has held several volunteer and board positions ranging from Board Member Interpretation Canada – Alberta Chapter, to the President of YWCA Banff.

She has a great connection with IABC. In 2004 she became a member of the Alberta Chapter. During her time she volunteered to assist in developing University of Calgary’s Continuing Education Public Relations Management program to assisting with Gold Quill competition. This year will be Marjorie’s fourth year on the IABC Manitoba’s Board. She is the proud winner of IABC Manitoba 2016 Volunteer of the Year award.

Roland Pajares, Past President

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As a Research Assistant at NRG Research Group, Roland is involved in virtually all aspects of the research and reporting process. His research experience includes research design, questionnaire and sample design, recruitment screener and moderator guide design, comparative analysis, and report writing.

Roland brings over 11 years of combined market and academic research experience. He is a skilled and versatile quantitative and qualitative researcher and has worked on a broad range of projects including customer satisfaction, public affairs, advertising tracking, brand equity measurement, usability research, product development and testing, market profiling, and employee engagement research.

Roland holds a Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from York University. Roland also completed the Public Relations and Marketing Management program at the University of Winnipeg.

Mirna Sainz-Gomez, Director of Administration

Mirna 2018

Mirna is a Strategic Communications and Public Relations professional with several years of experience in Mexico and Canada. She currently works at the ALS Society of Manitoba as Events, Marketing and Communications Coordinator. Previously, she has been successful in different positions such as director of communications at CIDE, one of the most recognized think-tanks in Mexico; account executive at Burson-Marsteller; and marketing/sell-out coordinator at L’Oréal.

She also has extensive experience in Entrepreneurship and Project and Administration Management, which has sharpened her business acumen and result-oriented mindset. Mirna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and has been recently granted a Public Relations, Marketing and Strategic Communications Diploma and a Management Certificate from PACE, University of Winnipeg. She is fluent in both English and Spanish and is currently learning French.

Christian Houjeij, Director of Membership and Networking

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An Entrepreneurial Marketing and Communication Strategist with extensive international events planning, and public relations experience. Multilingual communicator with strong cultural competency, seasoned through substantial travel and enhanced by an inclusive curious nature, with a desire for continuous improvement solidified and systematized through extensive project management experience that guarantees results and efficiencies.

Coming from international sports public relations and community relations background, Christian utilizes his networking and MarCom skills to operate a different ball game heading up the Employer Brand for The North West Company in Winnipeg.

A decade into his marketing and communications career, a lot of travelling, mistakes and skills acquired, Christian solidified his passion for storytelling and understanding of the right vehicles for delivery. He enjoys helping organizations, establishing connections and growing a network. It’s good to talk!

Susie Parker, Director of Marketing and Communications

Susie Parker

Susie Erjavec Parker is owner of SPARKER Strategy Group, Winnipeg’s first and only Social Media and Public Relations Agency. SPARKER Strategy Group helps brands and businesses manage their online and social profiles, and provides them with public relations expertise as well.

Susie is a frequent speaker and media commentator on the current and future state of social media having been featured on CBC, CTV, Global News, The Globe and Mail, Moneysense Magazine, Corus Radio, and more. She also consults on public relations, marketing trends, and the intersection of consumer behaviour.

She is the also the founder and managing editor of WinnipegMom.ca, a regional media outlet that connects Winnipeg parents to brands and businesses that serve them and highlights local events.

Sharmon Luchuck, Director of Leadership Development

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Sharmon is a copywriter/content marketer and a curator of interesting people and stories. She is a graduate of The University of Winnipeg, PACE with a diploma in Marketing, Communications and Public Relations. Her former successful career in the fashion industry took her to Toronto and London, UK, where she worked as a fashion stylist for photo shoots, TV series on BBC& Sky, Grazia magazine and as a personal shopper at the global e-commerce site NET-A-PORTER.COM.

Sharmon has coveted experience writing for the online magazine Sketchbook and holds a Bachelor of Human Ecology – Clothing & Textiles from the University of Manitoba. Her experience in client relations, sales, event planning, writing and the digital media landscape drives her passion for people and the communications field.

Chris Allinotte, Director of Sponsorship and Community Partnerships

Chris Allinotte

Chris is a Marketing and Communications Specialist, with over 15 years’ experience helping organizations reach their audience in clear, compelling and creative ways. Recently, his social media experience has proved invaluable in realizing steady growth and awareness of the company’s brand.

As the Marketing Specialist for Balmoral Hall School, Chris has been a Project Manager, Brand Consultant, Videographer, Editor, Photographer, Copywriter and Social Media Manager- which suits him, as he enjoys wearing many hats.

Jenny Wang, Director of Finance

A reliable and dependable International Business Graduate, Jenny has over 4 years’ experience working in a fast-paced business environment.

Mature and confident in business interactions, with proven professional business communication and interpersonal skills. Demonstrated ability to prepare, analyze, and report data with exceptional attention to detail. Established a reputation for relating warmly to people of varying personalities and cultures, generating both trust and rapport, Jenny is an international admissions and student services representative at the Red River College. Fully proficient in the Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

Sonny Primolo, Director of Career Development

Sonny Primolo

Sonny is a non-profit Communications professional whose role is to provide a wide range of communications material at The Winnipeg Foundation. With multiple accreditations from The University of Winnipeg, Sonny possesses a cutting-edge knowledge base of media relations, strategic planning, and organizational management techniques.

As a liaison between organization and public, Sonny utilizes his extensive experience in sales and market research to define target demographics and determine an appropriate mix of communications channels. A primary focus for Sonny is to factor the maximum return on investment while promoting sustainable corporate social responsibility.

Integrity, transparency, and growth are values important to Sonny as he aims to facilitate IABC initiatives that improve the lives of communications professionals in Manitoba.

Sylvie Laurencelle-Vermette, Career Development Advisor

Sylvie Laurencelle-Vermette

Sylvie Laurencelle-Vermette is a marketing communications leader. She is currently the Regional Communications Manager for Manitoba and Saskatchewan for Canada’s national broadcaster, Radio-Canada. She has over 15 years’ experience in communications marketing and training, experience gained through her work at CBC/Radio-Canada, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Air Canada and the newspaper La Liberté.

In 2014, at CBC/Radio-Canada, Sylvie successfully launched a national project whose objective was to expedite the shift from a traditional communications-based marketing model to a digital marketing communications model. With her team from Winnipeg, Edmonton, Québec City, Toronto, Ottawa and Estrie, they created tools to facilitate the transition. In 2016, the project was nominated for four awards at CBC/Radio-Canada. On a personal level, she was one of 7 finalists for the President’s Award in the “Brand Champion” category.

In 2016-2017, Sylvie co-managed Canada 150 project for Radio-Canada which honoured 8 of Western Canada’s up and coming French-speaking leaders. The project, Jeunes leaders d’ICI, has been nominated for a President’s Award.

Sylvie teaches Web Marketing courses at the University of Winnipeg in the Professional, Applied and Continuing Education (PACE) program. She is also on the Advisory Committee for a new certificate program in Digital and Social Media at The University of Winnipeg.

Arpita Goala, Director of Professional Development

An outgoing and confident Public Relations and Communications Specialist with a good balance of professional experience and award winning academic knowledge, Arpita is a Communications and Business Development Specialist at Education Canada Group, Robertson College.

She has the desire to positively impact the world through good communications and enjoys challenging situations. Highly motivated and punctual, in professional situations, she brings in strong organizational and analytical skills, and a positive attitude that has produced results.

MANAGERS

Manager of Professional Development: Erika Miller

Manager of Membership and Networking: Diane Brandt

Sr. Manager of Marketing and Communications/Content Strategist: Shruti Gupta

Manager Marketing and Communications: Iris Chrol

COORDINATORS

Coordinator of Professional Development: Brittine Schmitz

OPEN POSITIONS, VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
  • University of Winnipeg, PACE Student Liaison
  • RRC, CreComm Student Liaison

Interested? Please write to us at iabc.manitoba@gmail.com