Let’s Grow Together 2014

On February 4th The University of Ottawa Public Relations Association (uOPRA) held our first Let’s Grow Together 2014 Conference. The main objective of the event is to encourage students to learn about different industries within Public Relations and Communications. Our key speakers and their respective industries included:

Ryan Kennery

Ryan Kennery was appointed the Press Secretary to Mayor Jim Watson’s office summer of 2012. Kennery has a M.A. in Communication and a B.A. in Communication from the University of Ottawa. He is well known for his strong involvement within the community, as he is also on the Board of Directors for the University of Ottawa Alumni Association. On February 4th, Mr. Kennery will be sharing his insights as a communication professional with our uOPRA audiences.

Eventbrite - Let's Grow Together 2014

Elizabeth Gray-Smith


Elizabeth has worked in a variety of roles including television, digital media, and public relations. Her years of experience, coupled with her engaging and personable demeanor is a pleasure for anyone seeking to gain knowledge in the field of communications, marketing, or public relations. Exceptional writing is key to the communications industry; the ability to illustrate a message effectively to the public defines one’s success.

Elizabeth has over 15 years of professional writing experience ranging from web-content to media relations deliverables.

With such an eclectic background, young professionals should not miss the opportunity to observe her thought-provoking piece at the Let’s Grow Together 2014 Conference!

Eventbrite - Let's Grow Together 2014

Mark Monahan


Mark Monahan is a celebrity within our city and the broader world of music and entertainment. He is the founder and executive director of Ottawa Bluesfest and keen supporter of local and up-and-coming artists. With a passion for music, Mark dove into the business side of the industry by booking and promoting local bands at ‘The Penguin’, an Ottawa night club. He graduated from Carleton University where he studied Mass Communication and Business and took the city by storm with his big ideas for the capital.

In 1994 the first ever Ottawa Bluesfest was held at Majors Hill Park with an attendance of around 5000 people. 20 years later, the festival has grown to encompass a budget of over $12 million and attract audiences of over 300,000 people. While all Ottawans know Bluesfest as a star-studded event, Mark places great focus on including local artists into the festival. He is part of an organization called ‘Be In A Band’ which gives children the opportunity to experience the challenges and rewards of being in a real band. As the festival reaches it’s 21st cycle, Mark will be discussing all the challenges and successes of his career as well as providing attendees with insights into the event planning process and it’s strong dependence on and alliance with media and communications.

Eventbrite - Let's Grow Together 2014

Emily Scarlett

Emily-Scarlett (1)

Although H&M is a store that many of us have heard of, the company only came to Canada in 2004. With Ottawa getting its first H&M this fall, the company is still expanding within our country. With an honour’s degree in Media Information and Technoculture, Emily Scarlett is the Communications and Press Manager of H&M Canada. Her job is to make sure we know everything there is to know about H&M Canada and we can’t wait to see what she has to share with us!

Eventbrite - Let's Grow Together 2014

Carrie Croft

carrie croft

Carrie’s experience, versatility and enthusiasm have earned her a reputation as an up and coming leader in the field of sports communications.   She recently joined the National Organising Committee for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ as national communications manager.

In the decade she has been practicing communications, Carrie has been involved in many different events and competitions – from fashion shows to the Olympics.  Carrie’s extensive resume includes supervising operational communications for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games (VANOC), serving as mission staff at the 2011 Canada Games and London 2012 Paralympic Games, and managing media operations for the Veissman Luge World Cup (VANOC), IIHF World Hockey Championships, and more.

Carrie has also served time as a communications consultant here in Ottawa, first with Interplay Creative Media and more recently with Thornley Fallis Communications.   Active in communications advocacy, Carrie has worked extensively with iABC and is currently entering her fourth year as volunteer event coordinator for the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom.

Eventbrite - Let's Grow Together 2014



The International Association of Business Communicators IABC Ottawa Chapter, is an international not for profit organization, founded in 1970, bringing together communications professionals throughout Ottawa. Built up of both professionals and students, IABC Ottawa assists communications and marketing professionals to expand on their careers through various hosted workshops and events. Every year, IABC hosts 12­ to 15 various workshops and events, all revolving around communications and marketing and we are pleased to partner with the IABC for the #LetsGrowTogether2014 conference!

The IABC is a great way for current students to get a head start within the communications and marketing industry of Ottawa, before graduating. Those interested, can sign up for a student membership with IABC for just $49.00, or $314.00 for a professional membership.



H&M first began in Sweden in 1947 as Hennes women’s clothing store. By the year 2000, the first store in the United States opened in New York, and in 2004 H&M made its way to Canada. Today H&M is a largely successful multinational corporation that operates in 43 countries. Canada has over fifty stores offering affordable fashion selections for everyone. H&M, known for its fast-fashion clothing, has lines for men, women, teenagers and children.

The company goes above and beyond to ensure that all customers find what they’re looking for. H&M has teamed up with an extensive list of designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Versace, and soccer player David Beckham to collaborate on special lines. This innovation and creativity helps to give H&M a competitive edge in the cut-throat fashion industry.

H&M also excels in all other sectors of their operations. H&M was the first retailer to sign a European pact for safety in Bangladesh garment factories. Additionally, H&M has raised over 4.5 million dollars through a partnership with UNICEF. The Conscious Foundation aims to enhance clean water, strengthen women, and promote education in the countries where factories are located. H&M continues to be a leader in the fashion industry by continuously staying up to date on trends and opportunities around the world.



After working as a producer for the popular PR podcast, Inside PR, a weekly podcast about public relations and social media, Kristine D’Arbelles decided to switch things up. She is now on the other side of the microphone with co-host Julia Kent for their own podcast Young PR Pros.

Young PR Pros ro is a weekly podcast for the young and young-at-heart PR pros looking for tips and advice on how to build and advance their careers. The podcast discusses key themes and issues in the public relations and communications industry such as: social media strategies, ethics, methodology and a wide range of other related topics.

Kristine and Julia invite guests onto the show to talk about their experiences and advice as well as sharing their own stories with listeners. Young PR Pros will be at #LetsGrowTogether2014 talking to speakers about their careers in the communications industry. Check out youngprpros.ca to listen to some great content and to find the featured interviews after our conference!


 The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS), the leading professional association for communicators across the country, is well known for great networking events, such as the 2013 CPRS National Conference, and local professional development seminars. We are excited to have been sponsored by CPRS for the #LetsGrowTogether2014 conference, especially since student program representatives have taken the time to get to know uOPRA and have attended previous events. CPRS is constantly finding ways to provide young professionals the tools and opportunities for developing their careers. For just a low amount of $50, students can sign up for a season’s membership!


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