IABC Manitoba’s Board of Directors are professional communicators from diverse backgrounds, who are passionate about providing valuable professional development and networking opportunities for Manitoba communicators. 

Our goal is to provide growth opportunities for current and aspiring Manitoba communications professionals, and to raise the profile of communications as a strategic leadership function.

We work collaboratively to deliver exceptional experiences for IABC members and volunteers, and to build relationships between IABC Manitoba and the broader professional community (including communications professionals, sponsors, and partners).

Jennifer Cox, President

Jennifer Cox is a communications professional with many years of experience using storytelling as a communication tool to inspires action and transforms lives. She has worked in the post-secondary education sector for most of her career, most recently as a communications officer at The University of Winnipeg.

She is passionate about her role in helping to solve communications problems, sharing success stories and thinking critically about how to take bigger thinking strategy to a grass roots level. Over the course of her career, she’s had the opportunity to deliver a series of strategic storytelling workshops in Hanoi, Vietnam, and she has coordinated a community-wide active living challenge that resulted in national news coverage, an RBC Sports Day in Canada-BC Community Challenge Award and a CBC Get out and Play Community Award. In addition to volunteering as an IABC Manitoba board member, she is active on the board of the parent advisory committee at her son’s school, and enjoys hiking, running and cycling in her spare time. 

Ashlee Espenell, CMP, Vice-President

Ashlee Espenell is a certified Communications Management Professional (CMP®) with experience in corporate, government and not-for-profit associations. She has worked in the agriculture, insurance, health, registries and technology sectors and is a big fan of coffee, travel, books and new tech.

A self-described lifelong learner, Ashlee has been a longtime IABC member and advocates for membership as a way to collaborate with peers in the local communications industry, expand professional networks, and keep up to date on industry best practices.

Ashlee is currently a Senior Communications Specialist at Manitoba Public Insurance. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies from the University of Manitoba and a Creative Communications diploma from Red River College. 

Jackie de Pape Hornick, SCMP, Past-President

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Jackie De Pape Hornick, SCMP is a seasoned communications professional with 17 years of experience in Corporate Communications in the financial services industry. She is currently Director of Corporate & Employee Communications at Wawanesa Insurance.

Jackie chose to become involved with IABC, as she is passionate about continuing the evolution of the communications function, about learning best practices from her fellow senior communicators in Manitoba and about supporting new communicators joining the field.

Jackie has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Winnipeg and a Creative Communications diploma from Red River College.

Antonietta Versace Oliveira, Director of Career Development

Antonietta Versace is an experienced communications professional with nearly two decades of honing her skills in public relations, corporate communications, and community and employee engagement. She currently provides leadership in the planning, development and evaluation of all strategic communications efforts in support of the key business goals of the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba.

Antonietta is a natural story-teller who has a passion for influencing and connecting with diverse audiences. Her highly energetic and positive approach has resulted in her ability to build effective relationships with clients all while identifying their needs and providing them with real solutions through the power of communications.

With a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba and a Creative Communications diploma from Red River College, Antonietta believes in the importance of lifelong learning. She is excited to join the IABC’s Board of Directors as the Director of Career Development and is eager to connect and grow with other like-minded communications professionals, both locally and globally.

Sam Swanson, Director of Leadership Development

Sam Swanson is a Winnipeg-based writer, researcher and entrepreneur, experienced in publishing and public relations within healthcare and environmental technology spaces.

Sam is currently Marketing and Content Strategist at Juvonno clinic software, and CEO of Compound Connect, a clean-tech company improving environmental research technologies by applying machine learning processes to ecosystem data.

Sam is also the Founder and Principal of 204 Communications which has worked with clients such as Manitoba Hydro and Manitoba Sustainable Development to produce environmental reporting aimed at aiding researchers, policy-makers and local communities toward better understanding various aspects of aquatic ecosystem health.

A two-time alum of the University of Winnipeg, Sam holds a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric, Writing & Communications with a minor in Creative Writing. Sam is also an experienced festival photographer with a portfolio of stage photography that includes Wiz Khalifa, TLC, Slash (Guns’n’Roses) and more.

In his spare time, Sam enjoys finding excuses to skip yoga and the gym.

Brent Wennekes, Director of Marketing and Communications

Brent has have over a decade of experience working in marketing, communication, and project management roles in support of research, technology development, and innovation across virtually all industry sectors and academic disciplines. With specializations in communications for business, research development, entrepreneurship support, as well as planning and executing strategic initiatives, Brent is proud to play a role in supporting a resilient Canadian business and research landscape.  

Brent is currently Director, Business Development for Mitacs in Manitoba, where he supports the creation and funding of collaborative research projects between industry and academia to solve problems, innovate, and support the next generation of Canadian innovators.

Brent has a BBA with a concentration in marketing from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and a public relations diploma from Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario. He moved to Manitoba in 2010 and has never looked back.

Shruti Gupta, Co-Director of Membership and Networking

Shruti is a communications professional with a multitude of experiences gained in ad agencies, corporate sectors and non-profit organizations. She started her career as a Visualizer followed by an Account Planner, a Media Consultant and then moved into the role of Internal Communications and Branding until the last few years as she expanded her role as a Marketing and Communications professional.

By virtue of having worked in different countries in various roles, Shruti brings in a diverse experience supplemented with a dynamic personality. Driven by hard work and persistence, Shruti is an avid learner and likes to keep up with trends. She credits IABC for being instrumental in keeping her skills sharp and at par with the industry while helping build life-long connections with other industry professionals.

A nature lover with a passion for Photography, Shruti embraces all forms of art, be it – music, culinary art, theater, design and the list goes on. Travel, biking, hikes, concerts and paddles fuel her up.

Shruti currently works with the First Peoples Development Inc. as a Communications Coordinator. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Applied Arts) from the College of Arts, Delhi University and a Master of Arts (Advertising) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. She is also a post-degree diploma holder in Public Relations, Marketing & Strategic Communications from the University of Winnipeg.

 

Jeremiah Fitzpatrick, Director of Finance

Jeremiah is a Manager within Deloitte’s Audit  and Assurance practice.  Jeremiah is a designated accounting professional with a CA (CPA) from CA School of Business (CASB) and has over seven years of experience in public accounting including work in various accounting and reporting frameworks, finance department diagnostics, technology selection, and project management.
 
Jeremiah became involved with IABC Manitoba as a result of his passion for helping organizations develop finance systems and processes that are efficient and effective.
Evan Matthews, Co-Director of Professional Development

With seven years of award-winning journalism experience, Evan is a communications and media pro. Having honed his ability to actively listen, synthesize information, write compelling stories and shoot magazine-worthy photos, Evan creates engaging and informative content for our clients. He strives to remain up to date in industry changes which shows in his lifelong commitment to learning.

A graduate of Red River College’s Creative Communications program, Evan joins the Dooley PR & Marketing team after spending the last two years working in Manitoba’s Interlake as a reporter/photographer for the Express Weekly Newsgroup. In 2020, the Manitoba Community Newspaper Association named him the winner of the best stories province-wide in the categories of Health, Sports, and Agriculture. Before returning to Manitoba and the open prairies, he spent a few years exploring the Rocky Mountains as a journalist in Valemount, British Columbia, and Jasper, Alberta.

Evan’s professional life keeps him busy but he knows the importance of having fun and staying active too. He loves the outdoors, especially running with his adorable beagle, swinging a bat or club, and hiking in one of Manitoba’s many provincial parks. But he can also be found relaxing with a good book and great tunes or kicking back to the latest true-crime thriller in the comfort of his living room.

Rob Wozney, SCMP, Senior Advisor

Joining the IABC Manitoba Chapter in a new board role, Senior Advisor, is Rob Wozny, Vice President, Communications & Content for True North Sports + Entertainment. Now in his sixth year at True North in this role, Rob leads and supports the teams responsible for corporate and hockey communications, corporate and hockey content, game production, radio broadcasting, and audio/video services, along with public and government affairs.

Prior to joining True North, Rob was the managing partner of a Winnipeg-based communications firm that worked with a number of international, national and regional clients. In this role, he provided leadership and hands-on support in the areas of public relations, content marketing campaigns, and crisis communications for a cross-section of non-profit, government and corporate sector organizations. Leveraging this experience with 10+ years as a senior television news anchor, supervising producer, and journalist at leading news outlets across Canada, Rob has also taught public relations and content marketing university courses.

Rob has a degree in rhetoric, writing and communications from the University of Winnipeg. He has also earned a diploma in public relations and a certificate in management from the University of Winnipeg’s PACE program. Additionally, Rob has earned the Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP) designation from the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC).

As a Senior Advisor to the IABC Manitoba Chapter, Rob joins the board as a non-voting director, and is excited to work with a talented team of communicators to further advance our profession.

Riley Malinowski, Social Media Coordinator

After graduating from Red River College’s Creative Communications program with a specialization in Public Relations & Communication Management in June, Riley’s looking ahead to the future and is preparing to “actually become a real adult.” The first order of business is finishing off his communications degree at the University of Winnipeg. Once that’s out of the way, Riley wants to see the world before entering the communications workforce and settling into a stable career.

In his free time, Riley enjoys reading, sleeping, playing video games, listening to Supertramp (and other ‘70s and ‘80s bands), riding his bike and making memories with friends. He loves sunshine, Batman, The Cars, films with Michael Keaton or Bill Murray, Looney Tunes, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, kettle cooked Mesquite BBQ chips, urban legends, neon signs, chocolate milk, and the smell (and taste) of banana bread. He’s also a huge hockey nut and will argue tirelessly with you about it. Don’t even get him started.

He dreams of visiting New York City, owning a Corvette, and eating beef jerky. Lots and lots of beef jerky. He also thinks it would be batty to not give a shout out to his mother’s baking page, so check out @pieceofcake2019 on Instagram, please.

Georgia Dalke, Student Liaison, Creative Communications, Red River College

Georgia is a solid team player who is always ready with a positive attitude. Her critical thinking skills and background in customer service help her provide clients with the best possible service. She comes from a social media background, running accounts and campaigns for organizations in many industries including fitness, sports and entertainment, and arts and culture. As a card-carrying member of Gen Z, Georgia thrives at storytelling on all digital platforms – she knows where to find people and how to reach them to achieve the goals of whatever organization she’s working with.

Georgia is currently in the Creative Communications program at Red River College, where she’s specializing in public relations. She’s also completing a joint communications degree with the University of Winnipeg. Georgia works as the Editor-in-Chief of The Projector, Red River College’s student newspaper, in addition to her role as student liaison for the IABC Manitoba board.

She’s most interested in writing about and advocating for women’s equality, especially in sports. Georgia grew up playing for any team that would have her and wants to open doors for the next generation of female athletes. When she’s not working or studying, Georgia loves to play golf and baseball with friends, re-watch sitcoms and save up for her next trip to New York City.

TOP 5 REASONS TO JOIN IABC MANITOBA’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS
  1. Shape the professional development opportunities that are offered to you – Virtual events, workshops, accreditation: What would you like offered in Manitoba? Make your opinion count by being at the table when programming is planned.
  2. Boost your public profile – How well known are you in the communications industry? Your profile will increase as a board member, which can help when job seeking or hiring.
  3. Gain an international perspective – Create relationships with communicators in Manitoba, across Canada and internationally.
  4. Fuel your passion as a communicator – When’s the last time you shared your communications talent outside of your employer or communicated about a different subject matter? Restore your love for communications in communications tactics like our social media channels or member emails.
  5. Volunteer alongside a talented, fun group of professionals who are all committed to offering Manitoba communicators networking and professional development.

If you are interested in a board leadership position, email a link to your LinkedIn profile or resume to iabc.manitoba@gmail.com

OPEN BOARD POSITIONS
Director of Administration (2-year term)

This position manages all IABC Manitoba correspondence, chapter documentation and logistics for board meetings. Get an inside look at chapter management as you collaborate with leaders to develop methods and procedures to strengthen the chapter.

Co-director of Professional Development (2-year term)

Gain experience in program development, marketing, management, and meeting planning. This position offers supervisory and collaboration experience and the opportunity to work with a team of fellow communications professionals. 

Co-director of Membership and Networking (2-year term)

This position leads planning and implementation of efforts to engage prospective members, welcome new members. Ensures the benefits of membership are clearly communicated on all communication channels and conducts annual member survey.

Co-director of Partnerships and Sponsorship (2-year term) – two positions

This position builds awareness of IABC and the chapter to leverage sponsorship opportunities and develops a plan for outreach to build and grow sponsorship relationships.