Personnel

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, Southwestern Ontario (London Office)

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 political 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 political communication, and provides client-specific strategic consulting, training and message development services. 

Rutherford McKay Associates - Barbara BalfourBarbara Balfour 
Associate, Ottawa

Barbara Balfour is a television host and producer, award-winning public speaker, and international print journalist. In addition to hosting a live talk show in Ottawa, she writes regularly for BBC World News, The Globe and Mail, ELLE, and every major daily newspaper in Canada.

She has published two children’s books, contributed to tourism guidebooks on Iceland and Chile, and co-edited an anthology of essays on Canada-European Union relations. Her work has taken her to 35 countries and provided opportunities such as interpreting for Mikhail Gorbachev’s entourage, writing for the Economist Group, and interviewing Noam Chomsky. Barbara speaks fluent French and Russian, and holds degrees in international business, Russian studies, and journalism. She has lived and worked in Belgium, Japan, and across Canada.

Carolyn BennettCarolyn Bennett
Associate, Toronto 

Creative, analytical, and reliable, Carolyn thrives on the challenge of crafting memorable, high-quality speeches, scripts and communication products (news releases, articles, blogs, reports)for governmental and non-profit agencies. An award-winning screenwriter and playwright, Carolyn is also a motivational speaker and stand-up comedian, and has led humour writing workshops for clients such as the Ontario Public Service.

Her media clients have included CBC Television, TVOntario, and Global Television. She was a staff writer on This Hour Has 22 Minutes and contributed material to Air Farce, among other television programs.

Carolyn was a senior writer for the Ontario Cabinet Office, as well as for the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. While on staff for Cabinet Office, she created and wrote several government award program scripts, the templates of which are still used. She is proud to share the same name of a prominent Canadian minister.

Specialties: Speechwriting, scriptwriting, communication products, coaching.

Scott phshop new logo smScott Fotheringham
Associate, Ottawa 

Scott Fotheringham writes copy that helps clients reach their target audiences with stories that are worth reading, whether it’s an article in a trade publication, sponsored content, a news release, brochure, or fact sheet. He researches the necessary background information, conduct interviews, and write compelling content. He has extensive copy writing experience, and currently writes marketing material for private sector companies in industries such as digital cinema, broadcast, visual effects, manufacturing, trucking, and green building.

Creative and with multiple interwoven interests, Scott’s career has spanned fields as diverse as molecular genetics, organic agriculture, and support work with mental health consumers. Throughout, he has had an abiding passion for communicating with the written word.

Scott’s first novel, The Rest Is Silence, was published by Goose Lane Editions (2012) and shortlisted for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the Dartmouth Book Award, and an Ottawa Book Award. He has also co-authored numerous scientific articles during the time he was earning his Ph.D. in molecular genetics. 

Specialties: Copywriting; PR and communications; report writing; articles for newspapers and magazines; taglines; fiction. 

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.

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.     

Rutherford McKay Associates - David Rutherford

David Rutherford
Co-Founder
Partner 

 A founding partner of Rutherford McKay Associates (RMA), David Rutherford has expertise in crisis communications, internal and external communications and in providing media/public relations services to organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

He also brings considerable expertise in assessing and auditing communications programs, products and processes. He has conducted communications needs assessments, gap analyses, SWOT analyses and detailed audience/stakeholder analyses, leading to recommendations on the most cost-effective ways for an organization to reach its goals.

David is a former broadcast news reporter and producer who covered news and produced public affairs programming in Windsor, Detroit and Ottawa. He also worked as a communications director and manager in several government organizations, and served as a spokesperson on issues of national interest. 

Since 2000 he has designed and delivered media relations and communication training in one-on-one settings, to groups in classroom settings across Canada, and online. He has worked with thousands of participants and dozens of organizations including the University of Toronto, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Montfort Hospital, Natural Resources Canada, Environment Canada, the United Way, Public Works and Government Services Canada, the Department of National Defence/Canadian Forces, the  North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). He has delivered courses all across Canada, from Yellowknife and Iqaluit in the north, to Victoria in the west, to St. John’s Newfoundland in the east, and dozens of points in between.

Rutherford McKay Associates - Jim ReilJim Reil
Senior Associate, Ottawa

Jim has two overriding passions as a business communicator: helping organizations develop memorable, distinct messaging and applying that to compelling marketing and communications materials.

He has been a writer and creative director for more than 25 years. He has developed messaging, concepts and copy for dozens of print, digital and video B2B and B2C campaigns, both for local Ottawa companies and for global brands like Dun and Bradstreet, Nokia, Intuit, Sophos and Iridium Communications.

His government clients have included CBC, the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian War Museum, the International Development Research Centre, Statistics Canada and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Rutherford McKay Associates - Francine BastienFrancine Bastien 
Associate, Quebec

Francine Bastien has 25 years of experience as a broadcast journalist and 15 as a communications consultant.   She worked as a Parliamentary Correspondent in Ottawa, as a Foreign Correspondent in Washington and London, and has contacts in newsrooms across the country.  Francine has provided media relations training, crisis management, writing and editing services – in both official languages – to senior managers and subject matter experts in government, business, and non-profit agencies across Canada. 

As a French language journalist, she covered international missions with Prime Ministers Trudeau, Clark, and Mulroney.  She was in Washington in the mid-1980s to cover the negotiations that would lead to the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, and in Europe to report on the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Since 1997 she has worked as a communications consultant and provided media relations and communications training, writing, editing, and translation/adaptation services to a variety of public and private sector clients across Canada.  She has served as the Communications Director, writer/editor and national spokesperson for two high-profile boards of inquiry, including the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar, between 2004 and 2006.  Fully bilingual and bicultural, Francine has a deep understanding of cultural issues that may influence an organization’s marketing activities in Quebec and the rest of Canada.

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 - Christine HodgeChristine Hodge
Associate, Ottawa 

Christine Hodge has 20 years of project management, policy, and government relations experience. She spent a number of years working in various senior positions at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), including Chief of Staff of the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, and the Director of Program Delivery.

Before joining the ESDC, Christine worked for over 17 years for a number of international development organizations, including PLAN International Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UN Department of Peacekeeping), and the United Nation’s World Food Programme.

Rutherford McKay Associates - Sue MacGregorSue MacGregor
Associate, Ottawa 

Susan MacGregor is an experienced and well-established strategic communications professional with superior writing, editing research and project management skills. She is a skilled senior communications advisor, strategist, media relations advisor, speechwriter, writer and editor with over 30 years’ experience.

Susan worked in the US market for 13 years, including providing strategic communications and media relations services to Consulate General of Canada in Buffalo, NY. She has extensive experience working in internal and external communications with government and corporate clients. She is a former Special Assistant to a Parliamentary Secretary, a Parliamentary Liaison Officer, a Public Affairs Manager for Canada Post, and a Heritage Program Coordinator for a national historic site.

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.

 

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