High-impact talent

Image of Adrienne Rand
Adrienne Rand

VP, Strategy

As a VP of Strategy, Adrienne feels lucky to have made a career out of people “watching”. An anthropologist by training, years ago she became curious about how you could leverage cultural insights to accelerate positive behaviour change. Today she develops strategies based on these insights to benefit both consumers, clients and the issues we work on. A mom of four kids, her greatest societal contribution is doing her part to combat global underpopulation.
Black & white headshot of Ayaan Abdulle
Ayaan Abdulle

Project Coordinator

A Project Coordinator with experience in both the non-profit and tech sectors, Ayaan is a passionate advocate, knowledge-sharer and pop culture aficionado. Her purpose priorities include cultivating equity, justice and accessibility everywhere she can. Ayaan is a people-person who loves travelling, matcha and fashion, and she firmly believes that the best food in Toronto can be found in Scarborough.

Ben Egnal

Associate Creative Director

Ben is an art director with a background in design. He knows it really doesn’t matter how pretty something looks if there’s isn’t a killer idea behind it. He believes we can make our own luck – largely by having an entrepreneurial spirit. Ben co-founded a dog clothing line called ‘Higgins Would Be Proud’. HWBP is proud to donate 10% from each purchase to ElderDog. When he’s not knee-deep in ads, you can find him performing standup comedy or playing pickup basketball on the mean streets of Toronto.
Beth Thomson

Director, Client Strategy

As a Client Strategy Director, Beth works closely with her clients, building trusted partnerships and working together to produce smart, insight led work. She counts herself very lucky that she is able to marry her personal passions and values with her day to day work. Beth spent the first 6 years of her career on the media agency side and looks to bring a unique lens to the social impact space here at Public. Beth is originally from the UK and moved to Toronto 2 weeks before the first lockdown (great timing). She is a big foodie, loves both eating out and exploring new restaurants as well as whipping up a meal at home. Family and friends are a big part of her life, she recently became an aunt for the first time and is totally and utterly obsessed with her.
Image of Caleigh Farrell
Caleigh Farrell

Sr Director, Client Strategy

As Senior Director of Client Strategy, Caleigh marries strategic prowess with a background in Anthropology. Her innate curiosity and use of the anthropological toolkit results in the consistent delivery of insight-driven strategies that have been helping our clients embed purpose in their business since she joined the company in 2013. As a mum to a toddler, Caleigh is perpetually under-slept / over-caffeinated and looking for ways to live her values through the great parenting adventure. In her limited spare time, she can be found running, thrifting, re-reading Harry Potter, or dreaming up her next tattoo.
Image of Dominic Smith
Dominic Smith

Director, Client Strategy

Dominic brings a flair for storytelling to his role as Director, Client Strategy. Throughout his career, he has worked to bring insights and opportunities to light that drive sustainable long-term growth and deliver positive social impact. His approach is to look beyond sectors, focusing on the individual needs and desires of people that ultimately form the trends, behaviours, and systems of the world we live in. When he isn’t working he’s walking, reading, running, writing, or dancing—usually with son, partner, and dog happily in tow. 
Image of Elizabeth Ellis
Elizabeth Ellis

Manager, Creative Impact

From a young age, Elizabeth felt drawn to advocacy work. (In fact, at age 12, she wrote a speech for her class on ‘why animals deserve more than zoos’.) With experience in marketing, brand strategy and social content, Elizabeth uses the power of creative storytelling to engage communities. As an active volunteer with the City of Toronto, her focus is on accelerating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Essential parts of her life are: spending time in nature, drawing and yoga.
Image of Georgia Cottrelle
Georgia Cottrelle

Director, Client Strategy

A dynamic collaborator and communicator, Georgia Cottrelle is a Client Strategy Manager who leads her projects at Public with a passionate commitment to social impact with an approach steeped in research. Georgia is also never far from a well-steeped cup of tea, even when volunteering to bring fun and meaningful experiences to young campers undergoing cancer treatment and Camp Ooch.
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Indra Persad

VP, Finance

Merged with her passion for doing good are Indra’s 20+ years as an accounting executive, directing timely financial reports, forecasting, as well as optimizing financial strategies to boost profitability, mitigate risks and enhance business performance. When she’s not perfecting her flow at the yoga studio, Indra’s mantra (at work and at home) is: “How can I make this more productive?” Indra is devoted to volunteering, and helps single mothers and retirees file their taxes; she also makes donations from her professional wardrobe to help women and refugees re-enter the workforce in style.
Chief Creative Officer Jill Applebaum
Jill Applebaum

Chief Creative Officer

As Chief Creative Officer, Jill leads the creative output of the agency. Prior to Public, she worked at many big NYC agencies and spent a 4-year stint at Meta. She has garnered all major industry awards including the Cannes Cyber Grand Prix. Jill has dug in on all types of brands from packaged goods to luxury goods, scooping up every social-purpose project she could get her hands on along the way. She’s thrilled that since joining Public, her favorite type of projects are her whole job. Right now, Jill’s volunteering energy is dedicated to her kids’ NYC public school. She spends what free time she has boxing, reading, drinking too much coffee and spending time with her amazing friends and family.

Image of Kate Dier
Kate Dier

Sr. Manager, Client Strategy

Kate has an innate curiosity about the world and is focused on creating lasting, positive impact. She is passionate about people, has travelled to over 30 countries (and counting), and loves learning about people’s unique experiences and the fundamental similarities between us all. As a Client Strategy Manager at Public, Kate uncovers insights and develops purpose-led strategies to help clients and consumers make their mark on the world.
Image of Katee Hui
Katee Hui

Sr Director, Client Strategy

For most of her adult life, Katee has kept a list of ideas the world needs – ways of connecting the dots where systems are broken or ways of solving a societal or environmental problem. A social entrepreneur at heart, she founded Laces Community Club, the UK's largest football club franchise, exclusively for girls and women. Katee has experience working both client-side in a CSR team and agency-side focused on brand and sustainability strategy across Asia, Europe and North America. When she’s not working, she’s usually enjoying type II fun (not limited to triathlons and marathons) and spending time with her pack: her partner, her daughter, and a tiny wiener dog.
Katie Elder

Head of Client

With over 15 years of professional experience managing businesses and coaching teams, Katie is always looking for ways to support Public clients' business strategies by integrating social impact and sustainability. Prior to Public, Katie spent 11 years with Procter & Gamble in brand management, product design and shopper marketing roles in Canada and Asia leading some of the world's most well-known brands including Gillette, Old Spice, and Olay. She has a long history of involvement and interest in governance, including 6 years on the board of directors of Meal Exchange, a former Toronto-based food security charity and as a Junior Director and member of the finance committee for Otter Co-op in Langley, BC.

Image of Katie Wood
Katie Wood

Integrated Producer

With a background in media, events, sponsorships, and communications, Katie brings a well-rounded approach to her thinking and planning process. She is an optimist who always strives for the best in her work. Previously, Katie has been heavily involved in CIBC's Run for the Cure and has supported the cause for over a decade. Deeply inspired by the participants and their unique stories, she is committed to helping shape the future of breast cancer. She frequently volunteers at local community events such as the Daily Bread Food Bank and likes raising awareness for causes near and dear to her. Outside of work, Katie enjoys game nights with friends, reading good books, and cooking up fresh new recipes.
Image of Keltie Doolittle
Keltie Doolittle

VP, Growth & Culture

The balance between Keltie’s diverse background and her passion for social issues allows her to seamlessly move across a wide range of clients. Keltie is an innovative and solutions-oriented thinker who loves to troubleshoot both client and team needs. Making small changes at home – using reusable grocery and produce bags, eating a plant-based diet, and walking whenever possible – are not only important for her own impact but essential in demonstrating to her children that there are simple daily actions we can all take.
Image of Laura Penalosa
Laura Peñalosa

Director, Client Strategy

As Senior Manager of Business Strategy, Laura is constantly thinking about (and working on) ways to create a greater impact in the world and help accelerate the purpose economy. Putting together strategic and creative proposals, developing relationships with incredible companies out in the world and heading up The Lab really gets her excited. From volunteering at orphanages in Colombia to doing her part in reducing her carbon footprint by thrifting and walking, Laura is a forever-optimist trying to make the world a better place.
Image of Marc Lavine
Marc Levine


An explorer and serial entrepreneur, Marc is constantly in search of exciting opportunities, new collaborators, and transformative ideas. Ideas that can have a real impact and truly do some good. In addition to creating businesses, Marc extended his creative spirit to the non-profit sector with the launch of the Exclamation Foundation to stimulate creativity in theatre with The Grand Prix du Theatre, as well as to support initiatives that respect our planet. Marc is also a graduate of l’Ecole Ritz Escoffier; when not cooking Marc can be found meditating on the sea in his kayak.
Image of Mark Flanjak
Mark Flanjak

Integrated Producer

With an unconventional start in the world of film and video, Mark transitioned from engineering technology to film production driven by his passion for telling meaningful stories through creative problem-solving. With experience in brand work, short films, PSAs and music videos, Mark has gravitated towards projects that have a significant impact and meaning. He has a deep appreciation for the environment and takes every opportunity to spend time outdoors, whether it be camping, hiking, or climbing, which helps inform his perspective on life and work.
Image of Michael Porfirio
Michael Porfirio


The more you learn about something the more interesting it becomes. It’s a simple lesson, but it’s one that helps Michael get the most from life. Fortunately for him, a career in creative advertising comes with endless subjects to explore. As projects come and go, Michael finds himself revisiting the ones that changed the world for the better. Joining the Public team marks a new chapter in his creative journey, where every idea spawns from a passion to make a difference. But when it’s time to focus on himself, Michael returns to curating playlists, tending to houseplants, and hitting the tennis courts with his best friends.
Mila Schneider

Manager, Client Strategy

Mila is a client strategy coordinator at Public. Having spent a lot of her childhood in South Africa, Mila grew up surrounded by the importance of understanding different cultures. She has always done her best to put others first, whether it’s volunteering in her community, working on pro-bono projects, or fundraising for worthy causes. With a background in advertising, she understands – and is drawn to – storytelling. When she’s not working, you can find Mila outdoors in nature, in the kitchen, listening to music, or playing with her pups.
Image of Paul Rivait
Paul Rivait

Director, Creative Impact

Did something major go down on Twitter today? Is anyone actually using Snapchat? And who exactly are Millennials? If it has to do with social media and marketing, Paul’s involved. From channel planning to in-depth analysis, he’s your guy. Paul is passionate about equality and social justice, is an active supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, and is a staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Because even the smallest of causes deserve a champion.
Image of Phillip Haid
Phil Haid

Founder & CEO

As Founder & CEO, Phil drives and oversees the growth of the business, ensuring our clients, team and partners profit with purpose. A passionate advocate for businesses to create social and environmental impact that benefits the bottom line, Phil can’t help but get involved in strategies and campaigns that prove our thesis. Phil’s favourite weekend activities include coaching his son’s basketball team, watching the Raptors with his boys and wife, jogging, dinner with friends and as many Netflix movies as possible.
Rachel Klysen

Coordinator, Client Strategy

Rachel likes to take complicated things and make them simple. When she isn’t knee-deep in research, Rachel can be found knee-deep in snow. Time in nature is a must, and for her, best spent when she’s making outdoor adventures accessible for people with unique needs. She also plants trees: 250,000, to be exact. Which, she’d like to point out, will be toilet paper in 80 years.
Image of Robyn Lobay
Robyn Lobay

Director, Client Strategy

Robyn is a Senior Client Strategy Manager who makes it her job to solve problems creatively, keep projects impactful, strategic, and have fun. In a past life she worked as a sexual assault counsellor, peer educator, and worked in mental health curriculum development. Outside work, this true-crime podcast lover’s flair for justice and investigation doesn’t rest. And she makes her impact felt by rallying for diverse social justice concerns, like women’s and indigenous rights and volunteers for animal welfare and environmental action.
Image of Sarah Civil
Sarah Civil

Manager, Client Strategy

Her previous experience in commercial post-production paired with her passion for storytelling and desire to live on purpose has led Sarah to Public's Client Strategy team. Between her knack for thrifting and eating a plant-based diet, she is always looking for new ways to be sustainable. And in her free time, you'll find her writing grant applications for the environmental non-profit she volunteers for, taking on a new DIY project, or playing with her rescue pup.
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Scott Beaudoin

US Lead

As an experienced leader in purpose-led brand building and marketing, Scott is passionate about working with corporate and brand leaders to co-create platforms, programs, partnerships, and campaigns that not only deliver on an organization’s purpose but also accelerate social and environmental change.  Scott’s favorite weekend activities include playing golf; lots of golf! He also loves playing tennis, enjoying time with his two golden doodles, and watching his favorite sports teams, the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, and Boston Bruins.  He is an avid worldwide traveler and spends a week every summer in Mykonos, Greece with his husband Drew.
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Shalyse Mackay


A love for social impact and a passion for creative writing is what led Shalyse to pursue a career as a copywriter. She's thrilled to finally be joining the two together, at Public. With a mix of volunteer and agency experience, she’s an optimist who always looks towards possibility. If she’s not writing she's probably reading, doing yoga, thrift shopping or restaurant hunting.
Image of Teju Oladoyin
Teju Oladoyin

Manager, Client Strategy

With a background in Communications and Marketing within the nonprofit sector, Teju has a penchant for asking "why?" Having always had an interest in the complexities within the socioeconomic landscape, how they come together to inform the lived experiences of different people, and whose stories are told and why, friends have coined her "the people watcher".  Perhaps this explains her interest in reality television. Teju's ultimate goal in life is to lead with love and help drive positive, purpose-driven change in the world.
Black & white headshot of Tess DiFrancesco
Tess DiFrancesco

Coordinator, Client Strategy

Through interdisciplinary approaches to strategy and innovation, Tess is determined to do work that empowers others and invokes meaningful, lasting change. With her Master's degree in Sustainability Management from the University of Toronto, Tess joins Public after helping to manage the global channel partner sustainability program at HP. In the summertime Tess enjoys hiking, rowing, camping, and portaging but, in the colder months, you'll find her cooking, baking, and playing games with family and friends.
Image of Valerie Aguiar
Valerie Aguiar

Director, Client Strategy

Valerie is a strategic marketer who’s spent a decade working across sales, marketing, and social change. She's worked with small social enterprises through Engineers Without Borders Canada and previously spent her time eating chocolate for a living at Nestlé. Valerie believes collective action and compassionate dialogue are integral to rebuilding traditional business models for justice and regeneration. She holds an MBA from the University of Oxford and is a graduate of the Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship’s Impact Lab. Her happy place exists at the end of a good home-cooked meal or a meditation.
Zaehen Ghanshani


Zaehen’s passion for art began at an early age when she was growing up in Mumbai, India. Even after moving to Canada to pursue a Psychology degree at McGill, she constantly found herself involved in personal and professional creative projects, realizing that it was her true calling. She enjoys using her art as a medium to draw attention to social issues and facilitate meaningful discourse. Her other interests include trying out new recipes, riding her bicycle around Montréal, and being a devoted cat mum.