A company is only as good as its people. Lucky for us, we’ve got some great ones. Our crew has expertise ranging from media relations to copywriting to event planning. Meet the team below.
Founder and Chief Communications Officer
Kathleen is blazing a trail in a sector that values trailblazing above all else since. Since founding Vancouver’s first tech-focused PR and strategic communications firm, the “Forty Under 40” award winner has gone on to build a diverse roster of clients spanning continents and growth stages. Switchboard helps multinationals to join and support the Canadian tech ecosystem; leverages strategic communications to help SMEs collaborate, grow and scale; assists startups in making names for themselves; and champions innovation at all levels of government. As a business leader and as a new mom with low vision, Kathleen relies on assistive tech in her personal and professional life. No wonder her passion for innovation as a tool for good is so profound.
The newest member of the Switchboard Team is a uniquely gifted developer of strategic action plans that propel clients forward. By combining world-class credentials in Performance Psychology with extensive journalism and communications experience – ranging from hosting business radio shows to lecturing at Australia’s University of Technology – Leslie has successfully positioned dozens of blue-chip, entrepreneurial and government clients to achieve or surpass their goals. At the same time, she has coached and guided hundreds of executives through countless career challenges and transitions, allowing them to shift perceptions, clarify their motivations, and increase their influence and impact.
Director of Media Relations
Over the course of a 30-year career in news radio, Bruce has forged connections with influential Canadians ranging from fellow journalists and politicians to CEOs and community leaders. Now, in his new leadership role with Switchboard, the former senior managing editor of Vancouver’s NEWS 1130 is using his unparalleled experience and expertise to propel one of Canada’s most dynamic and fastest-growing public relations teams to even greater heights.
Even in his spare time, Bruce is passionate about making connections and celebrating the successes of others. An avid ham radio operator famous for his enthusiasm and energy, he has also served as a journalism instructor with the BC Institute of Technology, where he mentored and connected with the next generation of trailblazers, disruptors, and influencers.
Director of Strategic Communications
A dedicated mover and shaker, Blakelee spent more than a decade shaking up the worlds of marketing, communications and media relations before making the move to Switchboard. This energetic Tennessean thrives on forging productive partnerships between brands, companies and media, with household names such as ABC, NBC, CNN, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times covering the many unique campaigns she has spearheaded. When Blakelee’s not working she’s globetrotting with her husband, hanging out with family and friends, and entertaining the fluffiest cat on the planet. And in the background, there’s always music playing.
Fractional Director of Finance
Amy holds certifications in Accounting and QuickBooks, with a background in Business and Retail Management. Her attention to detail, analytical skills, and motivation allow her to prioritise client needs, and meeting tight deadlines is one of her favourite parts of her job. Amy balances these deadlines and various client needs by staying organized. You can always count on her to have the best day-planner and note-taking skills. When Amy isn’t working, she’s spending time with her children who keep her busy. You can also find her and her family camping at various sites across British Columbia.
This distant descendent of Icelandic Vikings is never short on ideas, energy or initiative. A consummate communicator and creative thinker with more than 15 years of experience in public relations, marketing and communications, Kimberley is a natural storyteller who is passionate about forging productive relationships with media, clients and coworkers. Kim’s thirst for reaching and engaging with target audiences has benefitted clients of all sizes, from innovative startups to multinational technology companies, with a successful appearance on CBC-TV’s Dragon’s Den highlighting her unique talent for bringing ideas and stories to life in a compelling fashion.
Jen earned a Design Management Certificate from Emily Carr University and BCIT. Jen is Switchboard’s resident designer and project manager. She’s got mad Photoshop skills and knows her way around a GANTT chart. Jen is currently the Communications Chair for the Graphic Designer’s Association of Canada.
An avid globetrotter who explored more than 30 countries before turning 30, Leann ticked the United States off her list when she earned a BA in Advertising-Public Relations at the University of Central Florida in 2013. After starting her PR career stateside, Leann returned home to Vancouver to continue her career with a focus on event management. In her spare time, she is part of the Vancouver Startup Week team, collaborating closely with the local tech community and developing relationships along the way. One such relationship, with Switchboard PR, exposed Leann to the many compelling stories within the B.C. tech ecosystem, which she is excited to share and bring to life.
Senior Media Strategist
Catherine Dunwoody migrated into PR after a long career in mainstream media. As the Founding Western Editor for FASHION and Lou Lou – two of Canada’s most-read magazines – Catherine is kind of a big deal in the publishing world. So she’s brimming with industry insight and crafts her media pitches accordingly. When she’s not media strategizing, you can find her cooking elaborate Thai meals, learning to Nordic ski in minus-20-degree weather or brushing off the ol’ tap shoes.
While setting varsity basketball records at Capilano University, Denver learned that teamwork yields the sweetest victories. This crucial lesson has continued to serve him very well since then, with clients such as the BC Tech Association and Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster benefiting from Denver’s unique expertise in event management and experiential marketing. Having recently pivoted to public relations, the born-and-bred Vancouverite is passionate about accelerating his home province’s tech momentum by learning from its leading innovators – many of whom are Switchboard clients – and emulating their hard work and dedication.
Jane is a recent Project Management graduate from Sheridan College and has a B.A. from Carleton University. She enjoys problem-solving and engaging with her work in an efficient manner, two skills she has fine-tuned throughout her work on various projects. As a result of completing over 40 research essays during her undergraduate degree, she is no stranger to information gathering, critical thinking and effective communication. She is eager to contribute to team success through hard work, attention to detail and excellent organizational skills. Jane also enjoys being active, spending time outdoors and creating new recipes.
While majoring in Communications and Media Studies at Carleton University, Alexandra’s years with the women’s varsity hockey squad taught her to perform under pressure as an individual and as a team member. These skills were then put to good use in Toronto, where Alexandra completed her postgraduate studies in Sport & Event Marketing at George Brown College before interning at Jive Public Relations. As an early-riser who is driven to make a difference in the world, Alexandra is a perfect fit for Switchboard.
Executive Assistant to the Founder & Communications Assistant
While studying Media Information and Technoculture at Western, this energetic foodie was focused on accelerating the world’s sustainable energy transition as an executive with the university’s Student Energy chapter. Having joined the Switchboard Team, Rachel is using her tech-oriented background, top-notch organizational skills, and background in social media management and content creation to support Canada’s first tech-focused strategic communications firm. Comfortable and confident in fast-paced environments at work and at leisure, Rachel’s out-of-office hours are spent exploring nature with her dog Harvey, dining on Italian food with friends, or attempting a DIY project found on Pinterest.