Personnel

David Rutherford, Co-Founder, In Memorium

Partners

Rutherford McKay Associates - John McKay

John McKay
Co-Founder
Managing Partner

A founding partner of Rutherford McKay Associates, since 2000, John McKay has provided strategic communications, media relations and training services to the public, private and non-profit sectors. Previously, he was a senior communications advisor with the federal government, a television and multimedia producer and community newspaper editor.

John is a strategist, issue manager and communications specialist. He has an analytical mindset coupled with creativity and the ability to see issues from different perspectives. He is able to develop novel approaches while keeping the focus on producing practical and measurable outcomes.

He has designed and implemented numerous communications and media relations campaigns ranging from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, to the presence of unexploded military ordnance in Canadian communities, to civil unrest associated with the G-8 and G-20 meetings, to drug abuse among Canadian teenagers. He has worked with senior Canadian and American military personnel at NORAD headquarters in Colorado Springs and with Canadian Embassy personnel in Washington D.C. on media relations and communications issues, helping with the development of messages, news media and public/community engagement. He has extensive experience working with the non-profit sector on issues of homelessness, housing and mental health.

James Bullbrook James Bullbrook
Senior Associate, SW Ontario (London)

James Bullbrook brings over two decades experience as a strategic consultant, writer, producer and presenter/trainer. He has worked extensively with clients in the private sector, as well as with candidates, elected leaders and ministries and departments from both the provincial and federal levels of government.

James’ strategic approach is derived from an old truism of communication: it’s not what you say, it’s what they hear. Or, put another way, the act of communicating does not mean you have communicated.

James collaborates with clients to apply that potent truth to their communication strategies and products, giving voice to their mission and values in a way that resonates with the audiences they need to reach.

James began his career in the Ontario Public Service and later served for over three years as Senior Writer to the Premier of Ontario. He presents to various audiences on leadership communication using lessons derived from successful and less-than-successful  communication, and provides client-specific strategic consulting, training and message development services. 

Associates

Saema NasirSaema Nasir
Associate, Toronto

With both private and public sector communications experience Saema Nasir has a broad skill set which ranges from writing press releases, to content marketing strategy, to digital public relations and traditional media relations. She has worked for Parks Canada, Canada School of Public Service, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada as well as major software and tech companies.
 
She has managed complex public relations campaigns which have resulted in media interest and online traffic and lead the creation of social media tactics for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat and Pinterest. 
 
She believes that truly effective communications plans and products result from understanding target audiences as well as the online platforms they inhabit. 
 
Social media, public relations and writing are her passions and specialties. Saema holds a Masters in Public Relations from Westminster University, London, England and a B.A Honours in Mass Communications from Carleton University. 

Rutherford McKay Associates - Karen SchwinghammerKaren Schwinghamer
Associate, Ottawa

A fluently bilingual, highly strategic and creative professional, Karen Schwinghamer is an accomplished leader in the areas of communication strategy, social media initiatives and project management. She is known for an innovative approach and building strong relationships with stakeholders and colleagues through thoughtful analysis, consultation and effective oral and written communication. 

Karen is an excellent trainer and facilitator, and has designed and conducted numerous workshops, focus groups, and adult learning courses over her long career. She combines these skills with her subject matter expertise and experience in media relations, social media and issue management, to deliver engaging and informative communications courses and workshops.

She is also a sought-after writer and editor, with clients as diverse as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), several government institutions, and professional associations such as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

For almost a decade, Karen was a Manager, Editor and Associate Director for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, followed by a decade-long engagement as the Communications Manager for the Senate of Canada. 

Therese Boisclair

Thérèse Boisclair
Associate, Ottawa 

Thérèse Boisclair has over 40 years of experience as a journalist and as a communications and media relations specialist with the federal government. She began her career as a broadcast reporter and spent three years working on Parliament Hill as a correspondent. She joined the government in 1982 and in the course of her career worked as Manager, Media Relations for the Royal Commission on Passenger Transportation; the Senior Communication Advisor for the HIV/AIDS file at Health Canada; Director of Communications at Passport Canada, and the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada.     

Paul GirouxPaul Giroux
Senior Associate, Ottawa 

Paul Giroux is a writer and an issues manager who has worked with a large number of public and private organizations.

Over the past three decades, his services have been retained in the context of the most current issues of the day including the implementation of the GST, the NAFTA negotiations, the Gulf war in 1991, the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by Canada, as well as meetings of the G-20 and G-8. He was senior consultant at National Public Relations for which he managed communications for a redesign initiative in the Government of the Canada. His past clients also include NATO, Foreign Affairs, the Department of finance and the Supreme Court of Canada. He was employed at the University of Ottawa, where he was responsible for communications related to the recruitment of students. He started in the business as a journalist in the newsroom for Radio-Canada.

For the past few years his activities have been focused on speech writing. He continues to work with elected officials and business leaders – an activity that he remains passionate about.

As well, Paul is engaged in development projects in Africa – specifically the housing sector in Cameroun and the region.

StaffBrenda Bookbinder, Ottawa

Brenda Bookbinder
Manager, Ottawa

Brenda Bookbinder joined the RMA team in Ottawa as our new manager. Brenda is a media placement, advertising, recruitment and communications specialist. A former Vice President for a large media buying firm in Toronto, Brenda maintains an up-to-date understanding of the most effective tactics in media, advertising and digital marketing.

Since joining our team, Brenda has become indispensable. Most recently, she was the project lead for the advertising, content placement, radio contest promotions and sponsorship development for our work with the Aero Gatineau-Ottawa air shows. 


Andrea Marantz, WinnipegAndrea Marantz 
Associate, Winnipeg

Andrea Marantz worked for RMA during the last federal election as part of our team doing media relations for Elections Canada. We were so impressed that we brought her on board! Andrea will be working out of Winnipeg. We’re pretty happy about this because RMA has done a lot of work in that fantastic city and it looks like we’ll be doing much more.

Andrea is a former CBC host, producer and reporter; former communications director and media relations advisor for corporations in western Canada; and a television script developer and writer. She is very accomplished in everything we do here at RMA, from communications training and coaching, to strategic communications, writing and production. 

Rutherford McKay Associates - Carolyn BrownCarolyn Brown
Associate, Ottawa

Carolyn Brown is a science and medicine writer and editor with almost thirty years’ experience, twenty in scientific and medical publishing. She has written a column on research and news features for journals such as the Canadian Medical Association Journal and research-based health articles for contemporary media such as Saturday Night magazine. Her scientific writing ranges from a handbook on clinical psychiatry to a chapter to a research guide published by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, to ghost-writing health services research articles, to writing adaptations of technical reports on forestry and climate change for the public. She edits scientific papers and reports for a wide variety of clients, including authors and publishers. Carolyn has also managed print and web-based publishing for the Canadian Medical Association, and editorial and production operations for NRC Research Press. 

She has been training technical and academic writers and editors for twenty years and is now an instructor with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in academic writing and publishing. She is in demand as a speaker on editorial and publishing topics both for scientific and professional writer/editor audiences.

Carolyn holds Certified Proofreader and Certified Copyeditor certificates from the Editors’ Association of Canada.

Rutherford McKay Associates - Dugald MaudsleyDugald Maudsley
Associate, Toronto 

Over a 25-year career, Dugald has been an on-air national reporter, a roving producer making documentaries from many of the world’s war zones, and the creator and executive producer of award-winning documentary series. 

He was a television journalist in New Zealand before joining the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). He won that country’s highest journalism award for a series on the Russian coup before becoming the executive producer of a prime time documentary series called Foreign Correspondent. In this role Dugald oversaw the production of more than 120 hours of international features on subjects as widespread as the genocide in Rwanda and the civil war in Afghanistan.

Dugald’s interest in real life, personal stories – and ability to identify and analyse issues – comes from a career of traveling the world reporting on subjects as varied as the HIV crisis in Africa, the war on heroin in Pakistan, Saddam Hussein’s oppression of the Kurds and the birth of Nunavut in Canada’s far north.

Based in Toronto, Dugald has produced documentaries for some of Canada’s most prestigious programs including The Nature of Things with David Suzuki and TSN’s acclaimed series, Engraved on a Nation. He has also written and directed documentaries for the long-running History Television series Turning Points of History, and Discovery Channel’s Mighty Ships and Mega Builders.

Dugald teaches at Ryerson University, is a winner of the Canadian Screenwriters Award, and recipient of numerous Canadian and international honours for his documentary work.

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