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Board of Directors 2015-2016

The Board of Directors is elected for two-year terms by members at the Annual General Meeting. The volunteer board members represent the varied size and nature of member titles as well as the country's different geographical regions.

Douglas Knight, Toronto Life, Board Chair
Patty Baxter, East Coast Living
Lucie Dumas, Clin d'oeil
Michael Fox, Garden Making
Robert Goyette, Reader’s Digest
Niel Hiscox, Canadian Auto Dealer
Matthew Holmes, Magazines Canada CEO
Scott Jamieson, Canadian Forest Industries
Ruth Kelly, Alberta Venture
Samantha Legge, BC Business
Steve Maich, Marketing
Ryan Sargent, House & Home
Jennifer Schmidt-Rempel, Lethbridge Living
Kathryn Taglia, The Fiddlehead
Jennifer Varkonyi, Maisonneuve
Lisa Whittington-Hill, This


Director Biographies

Patty Baxter is the Publisher at Metro Guide Publishing and has been with the company for 22 years. Patty manages a staff of 16 full-time employees as well as many contract and freelance writers, designers and photographers across Atlantic Canada. She oversees and coordinates the production of 21 advertising-driven magazines from start to finish. Patty has a Bachelor of Commerce degree as well as an MBA from Dalhousie University (with a major in management and a minor in marketing). She has served on the board of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission and is a present member of SKAL (an international tourism group). She is a founding member of the Atlantic Magazine Association and past co-chair and Secretary.  Patty is the past President of the Canadian Progress Club, Halifax Cornwallis. She was named Volunteer of the Year for Kids Help Phone for her work on the Designer Showcase project and was also Volunteer of the Year for her commitment to the Atlantic Magazine Association. Patty is currently chairing the Dine By Design East event, a showcase of interior décor, cuisine and creativity to benefit design education at NSCAD University in memory of a friend who passed away from cancer this past year.

Lucie Dumas is the Vice-President, Group Publisher, TVA Publications Inc. Lucie Dumas joined TVA Publications, a subsidiary of Group TVA, in 2010 as Vice-President, Brands and Content for the company’s monthly magazines. In May 2013, she became Vice-President, Content, and Group Publisher for all TVA Publications magazines. Most recently she was promoted to Vice-President, Group Publisher, Magazines Group, with more than 75 titles marketed annually. TVA Publications’ portfolio includes some of the biggest brands in Canada, such as Clin d'oeil, ELLE Québec, ELLE Canada, 7 Jours, La Semaine, MOI&cie, Coup de pouce, Canadian Living, CHEZ SOI, Décormag, Style at Home and The Hockey News. Since Ms. Dumas’ arrival, the company has benefited from her expertise in developing brands as well as in managing successful, creative and innovative teams. Prior to joining the company, Ms. Dumas spent close to 20 years in the ad agency industry as Vice-President of client services for some of the largest Canadian and international advertising agencies. She has contributed to the success of brands such as L'Oréal Paris, the Royal Bank of Canada, MasterCard, Fidelity Investments and the Canadian Armed Forces, to name a few.

Michael J. Fox is the Publisher and CEO of Garden Making, a quarterly published by Inspiring Media Inc. in Niagara-on-the-Lake. He is the recipient of the 2015 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement from the National Magazine Awards Foundation. In 2012 he retired from Rogers Publishing, where he had been Senior Vice President, Circulation & Development. He has been involved in circulation for more than 30 years, including 10 years leading consumer marketing at Rogers. He has helped foster the introduction of new channels of sale for magazine circulation, including championing the development of what is now Magazine Canada’s annual co-operative direct marketing subscription campaign. He is a director of Magazines Canada and serves on the Public Affairs and Postal Committees. Michael was the Circulation Management Association of Canada’s Magazine Marketer of the Year in 2002 and was named Magazines Canada Volunteer of the Year in 2005.

Robert Goyette is Editor-in-Chief of Reader's Digest/Sélection Canada. He started as a reporter at the daily Montreal Star. He is a former Editorial Director of L'Actualité. He moved to Sélection in 1994 as Senior Staff Editor and was appointed Editor-in-Chief in 1999. In 2000, he was appointed Vice President of Reader's Digest Magazines Canada and in 2009, he was named VP, Book Editorial and Editor-in-Chief, Magazines. Since 2001, he has been Chair of the Reader's Digest Foundation of Canada, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of journalism education in Canada. Robert is still the current Chair of Magazines du Québec. He was a director of the NMAFs, and currently sits on the board of Magazines Canada.

Niel Hiscox is President of Universus Media Group Inc., a marketing communications and custom media firm based in Markham, Ontario. He is the former leader of CLB Media Inc., one of Canada’s largest business-to-business publishers. He is the founding publisher of Green Business, Energy Management Canada, Canadian Auto Dealer, Affaires automobiles, Transport Routier and Highwaystar magazines. He is the former president of the Automotive/Aviation division of Annex Publishing & Printing Inc., and past General Manager of Newcom Business media, publishers of Today’s Trucking magazine. Niel is also a past and founding member of KPMG’s Digital Strategies practice, a management consulting practice providing internet strategy and advisement to senior business leaders in Canada and internationally. His industry involvement includes being executive committee member and board member of Magazines Canada, industry advisory committee member for the Ontario Media Development Corporation, past board and executive committee member of BPA Worldwide, and former board member of the Canadian Business Press. He is also advisory committee member for Georgian College’s Advertising and Marketing program.

Matthew Holmes is an experienced association executive with a background in government policy development and strategic relations. He is a regular writer and speaker on regulatory, trade and market issues.  In 2016, Mr. Holmes joined Magazines Canada as CEO. Prior to this role, he was the founding Executive Director of the Canada Organic Trade Association, where he worked closely on the development of Canada's first food regulations in nearly 50 years. He has been appointed to a number of senior government advisories, roundtables and task forces, while also coordinating a popular annual policy conference and reception for Parliamentarians and their staff. His expert testimony before House and Senate Standing Committees has resulted in amendments to critical government legislation, while building trust and awareness of an emerging industry. Under his tenure, the association saw a 50% increase in membership and a seven-fold growth in revenue. Holmes was the first Canadian elected to the world umbrella group for organics, IFOAM–Organic International, based in Bonn, Germany. His education and professional career have taken him across Canada, with years spent in Quebec, the Maritimes and British Columbia. In addition to his role with associations, Mr. Holmes has worked as a policy analyst within the federal government in Ottawa, and as the special assistant, government relations for the President of York University in Toronto. Mr. Holmes has served on the editorial board of literary and trade magazines, and has published a book of poetry, as well as articles in a number of Canadian journals. In 2012, he was the recipient of the gold National Magazine Award for poetry.

Scott Jamieson is group publisher and director of content and engagement at Annex Business Media, and has almost 25 years’ experience in B2B media. He covered the forestry sector for over a decade, becoming editor of Canadian Forest Industries in 1992, and helping to launch Canadian Wood Products that same year. In 1993 he became part owner of these two magazines as well as Opérations forestières et de scierie. Scott joined Annex Business Media in 2004 when the three magazines were acquired, becoming publisher of the Montreal office in 2007 and group publisher of 10 titles in Simcoe, ON in 2009. In 2008 he launched Canadian Biomass magazine. Scott is a board member of Magazines Canada and the KRW Awards, as well as the BPA Magazine Advisory Board, and has presented on brand extensions and revenue innovation at both Magnet and Magazines Canada webinar series. He is also a KRW Gold Medal award winner.

Ruth Kelly is the president and CEO of Venture Publishing Inc., and the publisher and editor-in-chief of the award-winning Alberta Venture and Alberta Oil magazines. Venture Publishing’s custom publishing division also produces magazines for a variety of clients including Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Cancer Foundation, Consulting Engineers of Alberta, Merit Contractors, Alberta Health Services, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, Canadian Association of Drilling Engineers and Petroleum Services Association of Canada, among others. Ruth currently chairs Epcor’s Community Essentials Council, which directs Epcor’s annual philanthropic activities and is a member of the Alberta School of Business’s Advisory Council, the Alberta Promise cabinet, the board of directors of Magazines Canada and the Mayor’s Business Roundtable advisors for the City of Edmonton. In 2015, Ruth is chairing the Capital Region’s United Way campaign. Ruth was recognized as a Global Woman of Vision in 1998, a YWCA Woman of Distinction in the Entrepreneur category in 2003, and was the Allard Chair of Business at MacEwan School of Business in 2005. The Canadian Women in Communications selected Ruth for their 2008 Woman of the Year award, making her the first Albertan to receive this national honour. She received an honorary degree in business from NAIT in 2008. On the occasion of Venture Publishing’s 15th anniversary, the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association awarded Ruth with a Lifetime Achievement in Publishing Award. In 2013, Ruth received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada. In the same year, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs awarded Ruth with their Celebration of Entrepreneurial Achievement recognition. The Alberta Congress Board selected her as their 2014 Distinguished Workplace Leader award recipient.

Douglas Knight is President of St. Joseph Media, publisher of Toronto Life, Fashion and several more of Canada’s leading magazines and web properties. Doug is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics, and is the former Publisher and CEO of both The Financial Post and Toronto Sun. He was also the founding chair and CEO of ImpreMedia, LLC, the largest Spanish-language newspaper company in the United States. Doug has served on the boards of public and private companies in Canada and the U.S., along with numerous arts, industry and community organizations. He is Chair of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation and a director of Writer’s Trust of Canada.

Samantha Legge is President of Canada Wide Media Limited. For more than 40 years, Canada Wide Media Limited has been a leader in the field of publishing services, delivering custom content solutions to clients and consumers across an expanding spectrum of traditional and new media. Canada Wide Media Limited offers a wide range of media services and products, from high-end print publications to the latest in digital media. With more than 20 years of industry experience, she has been involved in every facet of Canada Wide’s publishing business including leading the circulation, marketing and digital divisions. She has also been a publisher for numerous titles including TV Week magazine, BCHome and Garden magazine, Granville magazine and BCLiving. Samantha is a graduate of BCIT, Magna Cum Laude, with a diploma in Marketing Management. She received her MBA from Royal Roads University in 2001, and is a past chair of the Public Affairs committee for Magazines Canada.  She is an active volunteer for the YWCA Vancouver and Hope International, and a past Board of Director of Theatre Under the Stars and the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre.

Steve Maich is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Rogers Publishing Ltd., overseeing Canada's largest collection of consumer and business publications, including Maclean's, Chatelaine, Hello! Canada, and The Medical Post. Prior to taking over as head of Rogers Publishing in 2013, he worked for eight years as a magazine editor and writer, earning several awards for his work. He served as Executive Editor of Maclean's, Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Business, and Founding Editor/Publisher of Sportsnet magazine, which launched in 2011. He has also worked as a writer for The National Post, Bloomberg News and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald.

Ryan Sargent is Director, Business and Legal Affairs for Toronto-based House & Home Media. House & Home Media holdings include Canadian House & Home, Maison & Demeure,, and House & Home Online TV. Ryan has over fifteen years' experience in media development, production and distribution, including television, print, online and mobile content. Prior to joining House & Home Media in 2004, he worked in Montreal on acclaimed English and French-language children's film and television productions.

Jenn Schmidt-Rempel is the publisher and editor of Lethbridge Living. She started her career in publishing as a freelance writer/photographer for the Lethbridge living group of publications in 1997, and has since worked in the writing, editing, and publishing industry (both web- and print-based) for a number of groups including the University of Lethbridge, Alberta Employment, Service Canada, Kick Creative Group Inc., and Lethbridge College. Jenn moved into her current position in January 2007, and serves as Past-President of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association as well as on the board of Magazines Canada.

Kathryn Taglia is the managing editor for literary magazine The Fiddlehead and the academic journal Studies in Canadian Literature/Études en littérature canadienne. Previously she has worked at the University of New Brunswick as an administrator, project coordinator, and instructional designer and at various universities as an instructor in History and Women’s Studies. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame, the University of Toronto, and the Pontifical Institute of Mediæval Studies. She lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Jennifer Varkonyi is the publisher of the arts and culture quarterly Maisonneuve, a position she has held since 2008. Under her management, the magazine has won more than four silver medals and eight gold medals, including Magazine of the Year, at the National Magazine Awards. Varkonyi holds a degree in English Literature from Concordia University. Originally from Saskatoon, she lives in Montreal with her husband and three children.

Lisa Whittington-Hill is Publisher of This Magazine, Canada's leading progressive magazine of politics, arts and culture. She also works as a circulation and marketing consultant for small magazines and consults in the area of fundraising as part of Magazines Canada’s Travelling Consultants Program. She serves on the board of Magazines Canada and is Chair of its Professional Development Committee. She also serves on the board of the National Magazine Awards.

Last Update: Friday, June 19, 2015

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