Judy Kirk is recognized as one of British Columbia’s leading strategic communications, public consultation and engagement specialists. For almost three decades, she has been a trusted executive advisor on some of the province’s largest policy, planning and infrastructure projects and initiatives, working with clients in the public and private sectors such as the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Teck Resources, BC Hydro, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Woodfibre LNG, the University of British Columbia, Metlakatla First Nation and others. She has been recognized for her leadership in public consultation and engagement by provincial and national organizations. She has also been invited to speak at institutions including the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University on the topic of public consultation and engagement.
Judy works closely with project teams to design and implement comprehensive and strategic communications, consultation and engagement programs, tailored to specific considerations such as budget, geographic reach, environmental and regulatory processes and timeline. She works with project team members to ensure these programs integrate with and support overall project and organizational goals.
Her breadth and depth of communications expertise – as well as significant project management experience – support projects through initial planning to completion. This includes supporting project teams as they navigate the regulatory and environmental review process, developing communications plans for construction and operations, and working to anticipate and mitigate and respond to issues throughout project development and construction.
Clients benefit from Judy’s extensive experience and insight into local government and community engagement, community relations, issues management and media relations. She is regarded as one of the province’s top facilitators, having successfully managed hundreds of high-profile – and often controversial – events and consultation meetings.
A skilled coach, Judy develops and delivers custom workshops to support organizations in building their capacity for developing, executing and reporting on consultation and engagement. She also regularly delivers compelling media and message training workshops for elected officials, Crown corporation staff, private sector executives, board members, senior management, and Aboriginal leaders. Using real-world practice scenarios, Judy coaches participants to build confidence and comfort in speaking to the public, stakeholders and media about their project or initiative.
Judy lives in Vancouver and has a Bachelor of Arts (Economics and English) from Simon Fraser University.
Vice President, Client Services and Partner
Chris Chok designs and leads strategic communications, engagement and consultation, and media relations programs for some of British Columbia’s highest-profile policy, planning and infrastructure initiatives. These include the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project, BC Hydro’s Site C Clean Energy Project, TransLink’s Pattullo Bridge Review, projects with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Woodfibre LNG and many others.
Chris has over a decade of experience across a variety of sectors, including policy development, planning, transportation, energy and trade. He skillfully develops and manages the execution of communications, consultation and engagement programs to meet a wide range of desired project outcomes and budgets, and – in the case of consultation and engagement programs – to ensure that key stakeholders and the public have a variety of meaningful opportunities to provide input. Chris has particular expertise with regulatory and environmental assessment processes, having supported these processes for many of Kirk & Co.’s largest projects.
As a trusted advisor to many executives, project directors and communications managers, Chris’s strategic advice, problem solving and issues management skills go beyond communications to provide value-added support in other project areas. An excellent project manager, he manages both Kirk & Co. and client team resources to their highest and best use.
Chris’s analytical skills make him an outstanding asset in translating complex information into compelling, effective communications materials, allowing the public and stakeholders to learn more and provide valuable feedback. He brings his digital communications expertise to managing the implementation of a variety of online consultation tools and is central to Kirk & Co.’s leadership on best practice consultation and engagement.
Chris is a seasoned facilitator whose skills are invaluable in helping project teams navigate interactions with the public and stakeholders.
Chris lives in Vancouver and has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from the University of British Columbia.
Vice President, Client Services
Anna Wright is a seasoned communications specialist with almost 20 years of experience in strategic communications, consultation and engagement, and procurement and construction communications for clients in the public and private sectors. These include the BC Hydro Site C Clean Energy Project, the Evergreen Line Rapid Transit Project, BC Coastal Ferries Community Engagement, Aurora LNG, the BC Children’s and BC Women’s Redevelopment Project and others.
Anna has managed many high-profile policy, planning and infrastructure initiatives from initial planning through implementation, managing the full spectrum of clients’ communications needs, including the requirements of regulatory processes and the complexities of construction communications.
An experienced strategist and trusted senior advisor, Anna has superior issues management skills. She has supported clients as they have navigated some of British Columbia’s most controversial issues by developing factual, effective messaging and coaching spokespeople so they are well-prepared for questions from the media, the public and stakeholders. Her issues management ability is further displayed in her skill as a senior facilitator who encourages civil and respectful dialogue on even the most controversial topics.
In addition, Anna is an excellent writer, creating communications materials that translate often complex technical information into a compelling and easy-to-understand format. Anna also assists clients with the effective application of online consultation tools as well as face-to-face consultation methods. She understands and is adept at ensuring that consultation and engagement programs meet or exceed best practice with the right mix of digital and traditional engagement tools.
Anna lives in Vancouver and has a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) from the University of British Columbia.
Vice President, Client Services
Sam Oliphant is a trusted executive advisor with proven expertise and experience in building and implementing strategic communications, issues management, engagement, and media relations plans. He has provided advice and communications services to public and private sector clients across a wide range of industries, including Western Forest Products, Cermaq, the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. An excellent writer, Sam produces compelling communications and consultation materials and is part of Kirk & Co.’s leadership in digital communications.
Prior to his time at Kirk & Co., Sam was a key advisor to former Premier Christy Clark, serving as her Press Secretary between July 2013 and February 2016. In that role, Sam provided daily communications advice to B.C.’s Premier on public policy issues and breaking news stories.
Born and raised in Calgary, Sam moved to B.C. in 2004 for university and is proud to call Vancouver home. He has a Master of Arts (Political Studies) from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) in Political Science from Simon Fraser University.
Relationship-builder, wordsmith, numbers guy, strategist… Mike brings these skills together for our clients to help them have a constructive two-way conversation with the public and key audiences. Mike is a Senior Associate with Kirk & Co. where he has led projects, developed comprehensive communications plans, and provided strategic insight for clients since 2013.
Complementing his work at Kirk & Co., Mike is a Senior Research Associate with Pollara Strategic Insights, a market research and public opinion research firm. Mike has previously served as Chief of Staff to the Premier of British Columbia, has run winning provincial election campaigns, and is known for his “encyclopedic knowledge” of the province. You can find Mike’s detailed CV on LinkedIn.
Senior Manager, Client Services
Laura Abbott is a communications and engagement manager who plans and implements strategic communications programs as well as public and stakeholder engagement for a range of Kirk & Co. clients, including the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Woodside Energy, BC Hydro’s Site C Clean Energy Project, Metlakatla First Nation, the Tsimshian Environmental Stewardship Authority and others.
Laura’s excellent research skills and extensive experience in policy and technical writing are an asset to clients who require effective and strategic communications materials, including discussion guides, fact sheets, consultation summary reports, and policy documents. She is adept at understanding complex information and translating it into written and digital materials that are suited to a wide-range of audiences and distributed through a variety of channels.
Laura has extensive experience in event management and logistics, the management of public enquiry-response programs and stakeholder tracking and notification.
Laura lives in Vancouver and has a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science and Minor in French) from the University of Victoria, and a Public Relations diploma from Kwantlen University.
Senior Manager, Client Services
Matt Skinner manages the implementation of communications, public consultation and stakeholder engagement programs with careful attention to client needs.
With a proven ability to translate technical information into easily understood materials, Matt facilitates effective two-way communications between the project team and the public. He works closely with project teams to ensure that targeted project information is efficiently and effectively delivered to stakeholders and the public, and that feedback is communicated back to the project.
Matt has extensive experience with media relations and issues management. His superior interpersonal skills allow him to easily blend into project teams and build strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
Matt has a wide range of demonstrated expertise in the production of effective communications materials for web and print, the planning and management of public engagement events, the execution of long-term strategic communications and engagement plans.
Matt lives in Vancouver and has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Victoria.
Hazel Currie is a communications manager with experience in communications, event coordination and organizational work. She is adept at understanding the complexities of stakeholder relations and engagement, is a superior editor and researcher with a keen attention to detail. Hazel effectively produces communications materials and coordinates logistics for public engagement and stakeholder events.
As a lifelong British Columbian, Hazel has lived in various regions and understands the diverse make-up of the province.
Hazel lives in Victoria and brings a strong local presence to Kirk & Co.’s clients. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science, History and French) from Simon Fraser University, a Broadcast Journalism Diploma (Honours) from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and a Public Relations Diploma from the University of Victoria. She also successfully completed the Canadian Public Relations Society’s industry benchmark PRK exam (Public Relations Knowledge) in 2016.
Manager, Graphic Services
Christine Woolley is a talented graphic designer who produces sophisticated print and web-based materials for Kirk & Co.’s clients in the public and private sectors.
Christine’s experience in a variety of sectors, including environmental and industrial design, informs her exceptional skill in designing visually compelling materials and images for a variety of audiences and communications methods. Materials that she has produced include: user-friendly maps, infographics, display boards, branding, outdoor signage, web banners and advertising, notification postcards and flyers and discussion guides and feedback forms.
In addition to her extensive graphic design capabilities, Christine provides additional value to Kirk & Co.’s clients by bringing a communications lens to her design, suggesting improvements to written and visual content to serve the client’s communications objectives.
Christine lives in Vancouver and has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and studied 2D Design at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
Manager, Client Services
Caillin Katnich is a communications and consultation manager who leads the development and implementation of strategic communications, public and stakeholder consultation and engagement programs. A former journalist, Caillin provides strategic advice on media relations for Kirk & Co.’s clients, and manages media relations and media outreach.
Caillin also oversees the logistical preparation of consultation and engagement events, research and writing, stakeholder database development, and the development of consultation and engagement materials. Caillin has superior writing and project management skills and is a vital member of the Kirk & Co. team.
Caillin lives in Vancouver and has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, as well as a diploma in Broadcast Journalism from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Manager, Client Services
Selina Bull is a strategic communications and engagement manager who leads the development and implementation of best-practice communications and public and stakeholder engagement programs. She is an accomplished researcher and writer who oversees the development of innovative consultation and outreach programs, as well as consultation materials such as consultation discussion guides and consultation summary reports. With keen attention to detail, Selina also leads the preparation for consultation and engagement events through stakeholder database development and notification and advertising programs.
Selina lives in Vancouver and has a Master of Science (Regional and Urban Planning Studies) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts (History and English Literature) from McGill University.
Max von Kleist
Manager, Client Services
Max von Kleist is an experienced communications manager who specializes in media relations, digital media and advertising strategy, digital and printed materials development, and community engagement.
Prior to joining Kirk & Co., Max spent over two years leading the development and implementation of the communications strategy for Royal Dutch Shell’s Prince Rupert LNG project—a proposed $16 billion liquefied natural gas facility and pipeline in northern BC. He also managed social media for the Knowledge Network, BC’s public broadcaster.
Max lives in Vancouver, where he was born and raised. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Professional Communication) from Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC and has received further education in graphic design and web development.
Manager, Client Services
Carmen Bennett is a communications, consultation, and engagement manager with experience developing and implementing communications strategies for clients across sectors including trade, transportation and transit, energy and environment.
Carmen’s background includes public relations, media relations, and event marketing and management for a range of public, private, and non-profit sector projects. She is a skilled writer, editor, and researcher with an ability to understand and translate complex technical information into tailored content for a variety of materials, audiences, and platforms.
Raised in the Central Okanagan, Carmen lives in Vancouver and holds a Master of Arts (Public Policy) from King’s College London, a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) from the University of British Columbia, and a Public Relations certificate from Simon Fraser University.
Emma Luongo provides indispensable support to vice presidents, managers, and clients for the development and execution of communications, public consultation and stakeholder engagement programs.
Exceptionally organized and personable, Emma works alongside senior team members to ensure that all aspects of communications, consultation and engagement programs are well supported. This includes stakeholder database development and notification, public enquiry-response programs, and event planning and logistics. Emma is also a skilled writer, helping to develop digital and written communications materials.
Emma lives in New Westminster and has a Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing and International Business) from Simon Fraser University.
Emily Margitan is a communications coordinator who provides valuable support to Kirk & Co.’s senior team in the design and implementation of communications, public consultation and stakeholder engagement programs for a variety of clients.
Emily’s broad skill-set includes in-depth research, media analysis, assistance with written communications materials as well as facilitating enquiry response. Her background working on proposals and marketing plans makes her a creative and analytic writer. Emily is passionate about survey design and assists with online survey programming.
Emily lives in Vancouver and has a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) from UBC’s Sauder School of Business.
Annie Sokoloff is a communications coordinator who provides support to Kirk & Co.’s senior management team in the planning and execution of communications, public consultation and stakeholder engagement programs.
Annie assists with the logistical preparation of communications materials, coordinates the logistics of consultation and engagement events, and facilitates two-way communications between the project team and the public through stakeholder database development and notification and public enquiry-response. She is adept at analyzing large amounts of consultation and engagement feedback and supports managers in accurate and timely reporting. Annie has a keen interest in digital communications.
Annie lives in Vancouver and has a Bachelor of Commerce (Business Law and Marketing) from Ryerson University.
Melanie Belanger-Finn is a communications assistant with experience in change management, event coordination, public relations and communications in a variety of industries in British Columbia from provincial politics to mining to information technology. She provides support to the design and implementation of communications, public consultation and stakeholder engagement programs, developing written communications materials and coordinating logistics and on-site support for events.
Born and raised in Montreal, Melanie is fluent in English and French. She now lives in Vancouver, and has a Master of Management from UBC’s Sauder School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts (English Literature) from the University of British Columbia.
Justin Yee is a communications assistant who provides support to Kirk & Co.’s senior management team and clients in the planning and execution of communications, public consultation, and stakeholder engagement programs. He is a skilled writer, who crafts compelling and effective written materials and messages for a variety of applications, often under tight timelines. He is also responsible for the coordination of logistics for consultation and engagement events, as well as data analysis of large volumes of consultation and engagement feedback.
Justin’s background in public policy and international relations has shaped his perspective, and allows him to frame his work within the context of our interconnected world. Having previously worked as a specialist in US immigration, he is skilled at crafting convincing and succinct messages within legal and regulatory frameworks. His attention to detail, organized work ethic, and creative approach to solving challenges makes him a valuable asset to the team.
Born and raised in Malaysia, Justin lives in Vancouver and has a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) from the University of British Columbia.
Nancy Spooner brings more than 25 years of experience in designing and implementing communications, public consultation and engagement, and media relations programs. She has extensive experience in providing strategic and crisis communications advice, as well as effective issues management, having successfully managed many sensitive and controversial situations for public- and private-sector clients. Nancy brings an exceptional ability to anticipate and manage potential risks early on in the planning process.
Nancy is recognized as one of the province’s leading facilitators, having managed hundreds of high-profile events. In addition, she is one of British Columbia’s most experienced media trainers. Nancy has provided customized media training sessions to hundreds of executives, lawyers, athletes, politicians and health care professionals.
Nancy lives in West Vancouver and has a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia.
Karen Cook has more than 20 years of experience in communications counsel, crisis and issues management, media relations, and designing and implementing strategic communications plans.
Karen has held numerous senior positions in public relations and has extensive experience in providing communications counsel. She has built a reputation for providing effective communications, crisis and issues management counsel for many of B.C.’s leading organizations. She has assisted organizations in navigating change, building support, consulting with key stakeholders and successfully implementing operational plans supported by effective communications programs. She has represented private- and public-sector organizations in a wide variety of industries such as infrastructure, transportation, education and food and beverage.
Karen calls both Squamish and Vancouver home and has a Bachelor in Business (Marketing) from Ryerson University and is an accredited member of the Canadian Public Relations Society (APR).
Trevor is a senior Aboriginal relations, negotiation and consultation professional with substantial experience in British Columbia. He served as Provincial Chief Negotiator from 1996 to 2010, and was responsible for treaty and non-treaty negotiations. Most recently, Trevor was the Director of First Nations Engagement with BC Hydro’s Site C Clean Energy Project, where he was responsible for carrying out consultations and Impact-Benefit Agreements with Aboriginal groups related to the $8.3 billion hydroelectric project.
Trevor spends time in both Victoria and Vancouver. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) from the University of Victoria.