Workshop Speakers

Workshops sponsored by cisionlogo.png

Working with First Nations: a Settler's JourneyCPRS_EDM-Headshot-SarahArtis_7Dec20182-(1).jpg

This session is a chance for ‘settlers’ who work with or hope to work  with First Nations to self-reflect on our roles and responsibilities in  those relationships. The topic is a tough one. The term ‘settler’ is controversial in itself. Sarah Artis does not know all the answers and you will likely leave with more questions. But these are questions that every Canadian PR professional must ask themselves if they truly wish to understand the context in which they work. In this session, Sarah will speak of her own experiences working with Kitselas and Kitsumkalum First Nations. She will explore some of the big questions she’s had to ask herself and encourage you to do the same. Come prepared for an honest and thought-provoking discussion.

Presented by:
Sarah Artis
Owner, Sarah & Company Communications

  • Better understanding of the term ‘settler’ and what that means for you personally and professionally
  • Increased awareness of your role and responsibilities in the reconciliation process
  • Ideas for how to self-reflect and be a better ally in your work and relationships with Indigenous people
  • More confidence asking ‘dumb questions’ and speaking up on this topic
  • Be more comfortable being uncomfortable aka. ‘unsettled’
Sarah Artis, owner & operator of Sarah & Company Communications, moved to Terrace, BC, ‘for one summer’, to work as a reporter at the local newspaper. The remote small town was to be her first stop in becoming an international reporter. Well, life happened and 13 years later, a proud Northerner, she can’t imagine living anywhere else. Working as a consultant over the last decade, Sarah has supported and optimized communications for a variety of kick-ass clients in Northern BC – small and medium businesses, non-profits, government organizations and First Nations. Her strength and passion lies in helping organizations and people find their core purpose and messages, then put that into words and the world.
 



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In the News

"In the News" (third edition) co-authors Colin Babiuk, MA, APR, FCPRS and Mark Hunter LaVigne, MA, APR, FCPRS will present a workshop supported by their latest books on media relations, offer some timely tips on how to conduct both proactive and reactive media relations, and perhaps also brush up your crisis skills, since as the newshole shrinks, the media become more challenging. They will also visit a recent case study that shows the strength of media relations in our modern times, especially when also conducted in conjunction with social media.”

Presented by:
Colin Babiuk, MA, APR, FCPRS, Assistant Professor, MacEwan University

Colin is an Assistant Professor at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. He has 30 years of experience in the private and public sectors and is an accredited member and a Fellow of the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS). His experience includes issues management, stakeholder relations, media relations, and marketing.
 
 Mark Hunter LaVigne, MA, APR, FCPRS, President, Hunter LaVigne Communications, Public Relations Professor, Centennial College and Humber College.
Mark Hunter LaVigne, MA, APR, FCPRS, has 28 years’ experience as a media relations specialist. For the past 21 years, he has operated his own media relations and media training firm, Hunter LaVigne Communications Inc. For seven years prior to that, he worked for PR agencies in downtown Toronto. Prior to his career in public relations, he worked as a radio journalist for five years in Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto. Presently, Mark also teaches part time for Centennial College's Degree Program in Public Relations. 


 

From Good to Great: Branding as a Business Strategy

Hear from Adam Coates, Chief Commercial Officer at Westleaf Inc. about how the company's retail banner, Prairie Records is setting the bar high in the CPRS_EDM-Headshots_AdamCoates_9May2019.jpgcannabis retail space by redefining the in-store experience, changing consumer perceptions with breakthrough content and building strong brand affinity through storytelling.

Key takeaways include:
  • How to foster a strong sense of community and encourage discovery
  • Creating a ritual that Canadians want to be a part of and encompass in their everyday lives
  • How to leverage the power of PR and storytelling to garner awareness in a highly regulated space

Presented by:
Adam Coates, Chief Commercial Officer, Westleaf Inc.

As the Chief Commercial Officer for Westleaf Inc. and its retail banner, Prairie Records, Adam has played a pivotal role in defining the company’s value proposition and brand identity, while developing the retail brand and in-store experience. His past experience working in a highly regulated industry allows for him to provide meaningful insights on key trends and consumer behavior.  
 
With nearly a decade of business, marketing, operations and sales experience, Adam possesses strong business acumen, paired with an intrinsic ability to produce robust brand and marketing strategies. With an intuitive business perspective and ability to offer strategic direction, Adam cultivates strong teams while delivering productive business solutions that effectively drive sales and heighten consumer experiences.  
 


How to Develop and Apply a Futurist Mindset to Strategic Communications

CPRS_EDM-Headshots_StephenDupont_22Feb2019.jpgArtificial intelligence - Cryptocurrencies  - Workplace androids - Virtual reality meetings - Blockchain technology - Renewable and sustainable energy - Electric, driverless vehicles - Human-android marriage. Little changes and big leaps are transforming our world. Are you ready?

Have you thought about what you as a PR professional may encounter in 2030 and beyond? Or, how to persuade your organization or its customers to think beyond the next quarter to three, five,  10 or 20 years out?

In this presentation, you will learn how professional futurists think, how to develop a futurist mindset and how to apply it to strategic communications. In addition, you will be challenged with questions that you and your organization should be asking about the future, and be offered practical advice on steps you should start to take now to remain relevant in the years and decades to come.

Conference attendees who attend my presentation will learn:

  • About some of the enormous changes coming in the years ahead that will challenge them as communicators;
  • How futurists think, and how to develop a futurist mindset;
  • How to incorporate a futurist mindset into strategic communications planning;
  • How to prepare your career for the future.
Presented by:
Stephen Dupont, APR, Vice President, Public Relations and Branded Content, Pocket Hercules
Stephen Dupont, APR, is vice president of public relations and branded content at Pocket Hercules (www.pockethercules.com), a Minneapolis-based creative and brand development firm. Dupont has more than 25 years experience in public relations, marketing communications, brand development and media strategy. His work has been honored with three Silver Anvils. He is a frequent contributor to PRSA’s Strategies and Tactics magazine, and has been published by Forbes.com and Chief Content Officer magazine. Dupont blogs at stephendupont.co about marketing, communications, creativity, curiosity, futurism, and careers.
 

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Crisis Management 4.0: An unheard-of model for practitioners

The question “between robots and big data, what’s left for humans?” is the new concern in all industries. Companies are nowadays operating into a high-speed era as the rapid spread of information, rumors, and fake news on social networks increase the risk of major organizational crises. To face this new reality, business managers must adopt new crisis management tactics, new tech tools, and adapt very quickly to any eventuality to protect the reputation of their organization. Until now, big data and AI turned out to be valuable allies. Robots might soon be able to manage corporate crises thanks to big data, metadata, tech improvement such as blockchain, AI, and deep learning.  But the fundamental question remains: What will be left for humans in crisis management when robots take over? The presentation is an opportunity to understand the implications of high-tech improvement in PR. The evolution model of crisis management that is proposed follows the marketing and internet evolution model. The model is adapted to the distinct environment of crisis management and halfway between practice and applied research.

Presented by:
Lucie-Anne Fabien, CMMI, APR, FCPRS

As a fellow and accredited member of CPRS, Lucie-Anne is a seasoned professional in communications and public relations for more than 25 years. She has worn many hats as manager, consultant, practitioner, business coach and teacher in an Executive MBA program. Whether in a conference setting or one-on-one, she merges her background in management and communications with her knowledge and first-hand experience of mindfulness to deliver content that is changing the paradigm of Public Relations with research-based evidence and data.  Ultimately, Lucie-Anne brings a positive impact on leaders’ performance and lives.
Stéphane Prud'homme MA, MBA, PhD(c)
Stéphane has more than 20 years of practical experience (including 9 years in Asia), in global strategy, public relations and inbound marketing, reputation management & crisis management, and spokespersons’ & corporate credibility.  He studied the credibility construct for the past 15 years, through a Master’s degree on corporate spokespersons’ credibility in crisis situations and a doctoral research on executives’ credibility and corporate reputation. He is the Founding President of the Credibility Institute.
 


 

Cocoa, Cookies, and Costumes: How to Engage Employees in Building Culture, Link Them to Your Strategy, and Use Real Data to Demonstrate Your Success

CPRS_EDM-Headshots_KarenHolmgren_22Feb2019.jpgWhen the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) was created in 2013, it merged three organizations with three distinct cultures. Learn how the AER embarked on an exciting journey to build a strong and unified culture through its “Community—Creating our Culture" initiative. From culture kits to employee meetups to creative events, the initiative is inspiring employees across the AER—with measurable results.

Presented by:
Karin Holmgren, Manager, Employee Communications, Alberta Energy Regulator

In this session, you will learn strategies to engage employees in building a strong culture—and how you can make the most of survey data to help you: 

  • Set benchmarks for employee communications and culture-building, 
  • Measure your organization’s progress,
  • Identify trends and issues,
  • Inform decisions and communications strategies, and
  • Help everyone—from leaders to employees—communicate more effectively.

Karin Holmgren has more than 15 years’ experience as a senior communications strategist in both the public and private sectors. As the manager of Employee Communications at the Alberta Energy Regulator, Karin and her talented team create connections between culture and strategy to inspire employees and the work they do.
 

 

Communicating immigration in a challenging global context

Against a global backdrop where issues of immigration are increasingly polarizing, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched an CPRS_EDM-Headshots_TheodoraJean_9May2019.jpginitiative called Immigration Matters to highlight the economic, social and cultural benefits of immigration in communities across Canada. By combining storytelling with facts, the Government of Canada continues to try to break through the noise during one of the most challenging times in immigration history.

In this session, attendees will reflect on the role of government communications in shifting public opinion and promoting balanced discussions in a challenging communications climate.


Presented by:
Theodora Jean, M.Comm., Senior Communications Advisor, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada 
Theodora Jean is a senior communications advisor at Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), focused primarily on public engagement and marketing. Most recently, Theodora was the Director of Strategic Communications and Policy at the BC Tech Association, and previously the Acting Assistant Director of Communications of IRCC’s western region. Theodora has extensive experience in ministerial events and media relations, including during the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Initiative, and is currently the western lead on Immigration Matters. Additionally, she is the incoming President of the Vancouver Chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society and was a protégé of the Women’s Executive Network Top 100 Most Powerful Women Mentoring Program. She has an undergraduate degree from Queen’s University and a Masters in Government Communications from the University of Ottawa.
 

Strategy in a Sound Bite – CEO Communications​

CPRS_EDM-Headshots_NatalieKenrick_22Feb2019.jpgCEOs make the majority of decisions that affect organizations today. Come and learn how to build trust, create messages that will resonate and reflect your CEOs voice while reinforcing your organization’s strategy.
 
Develop a better understanding of how to support the unique communications needs of a CEO including speechwriting, blogs, town halls, strategy and planning, as well as stakeholder and government relations.
 
You’ll leave with useful tips you can implement internally and externally that will help your CEO communicate in a more effective and meaningful way. 

Presented by:
Natalie Kenrick, Senior Communications Officer, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
With over a decade of experience in communications working with executives and CEOs, Natalie has a passion for building relationships. 
 
Throughout her career she has focused on helping organizations communicate strategically. She has worked in a wide variety of sectors including the private sector, government, post-secondary education and not-for-profit. She has worked extensively in the areas of speech writing, media relations, issues management, internal and external communications and stakeholder relations.
 
Natalie is currently completing her Executive MBA in Global Leadership part-time. 
 

 

How can public relations support and enable reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada?

Since the late twentieth century, more than 40 national truth and reconciliation commissions haveCPRS_EDM-Headshots_MeghanKilty_22Feb2019-(1).jpg been established around the world. Between 2008 and 2015, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission examined the legacy of Indian Residential Schools. The TRC issued 94 Calls to Action to address Canada’s dark history of cultural genocide. The TRC’s findings have changed the Canadian public discourse about the country’s relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and left every level of Canadian government wrestling with what reconciliation means and how it is enacted. Similarly, academic research focusing on reconciliation, truth-telling, and relational repair has flourished. Where is public relations in this new reality? Drawing on original research, current reconciliation scholarship, and public relations models (advocacy, public apology, Excellence Theory, critical intersectional communication), this session explores how and to what extent public relations and strategic communications supports and enables reconciliation and relational repair in the current Canadian context.

Presented by:
Meghan Kilty, MCM, National Director, Communications, Anglican Church of Canada

Meghan Kilty, MCM is the National Director of Communications at the Anglican Church of Canada.  She has more than 15 years’ of experience supporting institutions serving the public good. Her work has won several awards from the Council of Advancement in Education and the Canadian Council for Advancement in Education. Meghan earned a Master of Communications Management at McMaster University. Her research focuses on post-crisis communication, public apology, reconciliation, and community resilience.
 


Internal Communications: Making it Meaningful and Relevant

Are you seeing poor engagement scores year after year in your internal survey results? Are the CPRS_EDM-Headshots_MicheleMartin_22Feb2019.jpgoverall levels of trust and engagement with front-line staff and senior leadership lower than you would like to see in your organization? Does it seem your front-line staff and senior leadership do not share the same priorities for the organization?
 
If you answered yes to these questions and you are aiming to improve your internal communications and engagement, this is a session for you.

Presented by: 
Michele Martin, Manager, Internal Communications and Strategic Priorities, London Health Sciences Centre

In this session you will learn how to:

  • build a robust internal communications strategy
  • build capacity in communications with your leaders so they can deliver meaningful and relevant   information
  • evaluate and measure an internal communications strategy
Michele has 20+ years experience in communications, public relations and marketing. She joined London Health Sciences Centre in 2011 as Internal Communications Manager, Strategic Priorities after spending the previous 13 years as the Manager of Communications and Public Relations at the Lawson Health Research Institute.
 
Michele graduated from The University of Western Ontario with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Pharmacology and Health Sciences. She spent 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry and then obtained a diploma and certification in marketing, and communications and public relations. She received her Accreditation from IABC in 2007. She has previously taught the communicators and PR practitioners of the future at Western University and Fanshawe College.
 
Michele's volunteer work has included being on the board of International Association of Business Communicators, Canadian International Student Villages, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Fanshawe College.
 
Michele is passionate about internal communications.
 


 

Communicating Construction: Telling the loud, messy, inconvenient truthsCPRS_EDM-Headshots_AmandaMcCuaig22Feb2019.jpg

From laying the groundwork for successful engagement to laying the asphalt, communicating construction projects can be difficult and emotional. Learn how to assess a construction project for impacts to community to create a successful communication strategy. Participants will come away with ideas on how to be authentic yet fun, and prepared yet agile, and understand best practices for communications on construction projects as learned through analysis of past projects in Vancouver.
 
Presented by: 
Amanda McCuaig, APR, Manager of Project Communications, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
Amanda is a communications professional with more than 13 years of experience in non-profit and local government. She joined the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in the beginning of 2019, where she is the manager of communications for major infrastructure projects such as the Centerm Expansion Project. She worked at the City of Vancouver in 2013, where she worked on projects like the Burrard Corridor, the Broadway Subway, the replacement of the Dunsmuir and Georgia Viaducts, and the installation of dozens of bike lanes, sewer mains, and water lines. She developed the Project Management Framework used by the City for communications on construction projects.  


Everyone stepped up: Key lessons for professional communicators in the wake of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy

In April 2018, the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan shone an unprecedented CPRS_EDM-Headshots_15April20193.jpginternational media spotlight on Saskatchewan’s health system. During this session, you will learn how the communications unit from the newly formed Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) responded, including key lessons for professional communicators about putting the people you serve first and never forgetting that communications is a critical front-line activity. You will also learn how the people who stepped up in SHA communications helped move the SHA from feeling like 12 former regions to a single, province-wide team in the wake of the tragedy.

Presented by: 
Kim McKechney, Vice President, Community Engagement and Communications, Saskatchewan Health Authority
Kim McKechney is the first head of communications for the newly created Saskatchewan Health Authority, a $3.8 billion organization with 40,000 staff serving more than 1.1 million people. He was previously Associate Vice-President (External Relations) at the University of Regina and has served in various ministries in the Government of Saskatchewan, including Health, Social Services and Environment.
 
Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saskatchewan and Master’s degree from Simon Fraser University. Kim and his wife live in Saskatoon and are proud parents to two young boys.
 


Communicating downsizing, right sizing, relocating, closure or layoffs: What employees, regulators and media expectCPRS_EDM-Headshots_TomOrmsby22Feb2019.jpg

CPRS Calgary members have been at the centre of Alberta's economic downturn since 2016 as the province experienced tens of thousands of layoffs, numerous project and business shutdowns and desperation mergers. Employees, business partners, community partners and governments have all been affected.

In the session, attendees will hear how to communicate and engage with these groups who demand transparency and accommodation.

Presented by:
Tom Ormsby, APR,Head of External and, Corporate Affairs, De Beers Canada
Local Society President, CPRS Calgary


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Brand Protection - Where Law Meets Public Relations

Crisis management in the brand reputation context often requires a coordinated PR and Legal response.  In some instances, it can seem like the PR and Legal teams are working at odds, with conflicting objectives.  The process of working together effectively to reach an aligned strategy can be frustrating and finding a solution can seem elusive.  This workshop provides tools and approaches on how PR practitioners and lawyers can work more effectively as a team and find success. 

Presented by:
Colin Pendrith, Partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Colin Pendrith is a partner in Cassels Brock's advocacy group. Interested in the intersection between law and public relations, Colin's commercial litigation practice focuses on franchise disputes, corporate defamation and brand protection. Colin takes a pragmatic approach to dispute resolution, using the courts and alternative dispute resolution strategies to achieve positive results for clients. Colin has litigated successfully at all levels of court in Ontario and British Columbia.
Vincent Power, APR, former Vice-President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, Sears Canada
Vincent Power was most recently Vice-President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, Sears Canada.  In that role, Vince was responsible for the Company’s external and internal communication activities including executive messaging, investor, media and public relations, translation services, and the Company’s community involvement program working with the charitable organizations supported by Sears.
 
He received his Accredited Public Relations (APR) designation from the Canadian Public Relations Society in 2006. 
 
Vince is currently a national Board member of the Canadian Public Relations Society and served on the Board of its Toronto local Society, including as its President.  He also served on the Board of the Canadian Centre for Ethics & Corporate Policy, including as its Treasurer.  He is also a member of the International Association of Business Communicators. 
 


Gender Differences in Communication Styles and their Influence on Workplace Communication and the Practice of Public RelationsCPRS_EDM-Headshots_AmeliaReigstad_22Feb2019-(1).jpg

Learn how gender plays a role in influencing the practice of PR, how men and women have different communication styles in the workplace and how traditional female or male qualities play a role in this working relationship. Findings from a PhD study surrounding gender vs. personality traits, age, work/life balance, how PR practitioners “perform” in their day-to-day roles and more will be shared in an interactive workshop.

Presented by:
Amelia Reigstad, Lecturer, University of Minnesota

Amelia Reigstad is a PR practitioner and university faculty member with several years of experience. She developed Crosspoint Communications, a full-service consulting agency from a grassroots level in 2007 and taught a variety of PR and communications courses in Canada, the U.S., Europe and the U.K. Amelia currently teaches in the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota and is completing her PhD at the University of Leicester.


The Art of Personal Branding

It’s not good enough to be good at what you do, you need to be seen as being good at what you do CPRS_EDM-Headshots_15April20192.jpgtoo. Professional, personal branding is important. Would you launch a new product or service within your organization without developing a strategic plan and carefully laying out the brand positioning?

Of course not.

And yet, when it comes to our personal brands, all too often we throw up LinkedIn profiles and post corporate biographies with little thought to direction or consideration of a strategy around what it is we want to be known for. There's no denying it, ownership over your professional brand should be a major priority for every senior executive.  Not only is it important for yourself, but it’s an important part of being a leader, building culture and opportunity across your network. Equally important is to ensure that your personal brand aligns with your company’s values and direction. Knowing who you are, what you stand for and where opportunity exists drives both internal and external business and growth opportunities.

Jessica Savage of North Strategic explores the evolution of personal brand communications and the role public relations and social media play in developing your personal brand.
As Senior Vice President at North Strategic, Jessica leads corporate strategy, crisis communication and creative program development for some of Canada’s top brands such as Samsung Electronics, Cadillac Fairview and Purina, as well as Canadian startups such as Po Derma skincare. In her role she leads the national strategy, integrating our Calgary and Montreal teams, to ensure seamless execution across key markets.

Jessica has 15 years of experience in PR, social media and brand strategy, specializing in executive thought leadership, media relations, and influencer marketing. She has served as a trusted advisor to many C-level executives, helping them build national brand and communications strategies well as personal thought leadership platforms that help bring strong corporate narratives to life for consumers.

A working mom of two, Jess balances her senior leadership role at North with her passion for building build award-winning cultures like that of North’s, resulting in a retention rate well over 90%. A master at managing large teams and working with partner agencies to execute fully integrated campaigns, her clear strategic counsel and media relations insights have helped effectively guide large, global subsidiaries and brands to act locally in the Canadian media landscape and win over brand influencers and advocates.

Prior to joining North Strategic, Jessica was a part of the Samsung Canada MARCOM team and High Road Communications where she led key strategic media and sponsorship initiatives as well as the crisis communications team to build better brand awareness and ensure consumer affection remained high. Her international experience includes PR in London, England supporting brands such as Universal and The Really Useful Group.
 
 
 


Dealing with Bullying and Harassment - What Facilitators and Engagers Need to Know

Anyone with experience in the front lines of stakeholder engagement recognizes how quickly a well-intentioned planning or information session can go off the rails.CPRS_EDM-Headshots_RodStanley_22Feb2019.jpg

All it takes is one or more participants to exert inappropriate dominance – to harass or even bully the facilitator, leader or participants in the room at the expense of everyone’s comfort.  

This engaging session focuses on understanding the motivations of bullies and harassers, how to regain balance in the room and rebuild group productivity.

Participants will learn why this session is an important and very timely topic for facilitators and engagers.  The potential negative impacts on outcomes are real and there are effective and respectful strategies to deal with this type of behavior.

Presented by:
Rod Stanley, BAA, APR, FCPRS, Project Manager, Planning and Evaluation Unit, Health PEI
Roderick Stanley, BAA, APR, FCPRS has worked in communication management, events management and project management for almost 30 years. For the past 20 years, he has worked in various communication and project management roles within the PEI health system.

His key strengths include communication and project planning, issues management, media relations, event management, internal and external stakeholder engagement (with extensive experience facilitating small and large stakeholder consultation groups).

He served several volunteer leadership roles in CPRS including National Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary and played key leadership and presenter roles in numerous professional development conferences.  Accredited in Public Relations for the past 17 years, he was recently awarded the title of Fellow of CPRS. Currently, he is an active member of CPRS National's Health Academy Council.

He has worked in several communication management roles in the not for profit sector, healthcare, education, provincial and federal governments.  His education background includes a certificate in Journalism (Holland College - Charlottetown) and a communication degree from Ryerson University (Toronto). 

How are We Feeling? 

CPRS_EDM-Headshots_GayRobinson_12June2019-(1).jpg“Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” - Brené Brown, PhD. LMSW.

As PR practitioners, we stand strong as we strategically build relationships, engage, earn trust, communicate, and support the efforts of others. But what about us? We are often managing one crisis after another…. handling the communications around natural disasters or tragedies, while keeping our personal feelings in check….consistently convincing others of the value of our work…

What toll is this taking on us?

This facilitated, interactive session will bring us together to talk openly about how we are feeling and the impact that our work may be having on our mental health, our resilience and on our lives.
Join us for this opportunity to share openly and begin to get a pulse on how we are really doing from an emotional perspective.  

Facilitated by:
Gay Robinson, APR, LM

Through facilitation, communication, and public consultation, Gay Robinson, APR, helps organizations include the voices of stakeholders in decisions that impact their lives.

Her boutique consulting firm serves clients ranging from energy companies and regulators to community groups and local governments.

Gay is life-time member of CPRS and served on the boards of CPRS National and the Edmonton Chapter. She is the proud recipient of a CPRS Award of Excellence.

Gay is also active in the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2); currently serving on the board of the Alberta Chapter and as an assessor for the IAP2 Canada professional certification program.