Meet The Team
Jennifer Stewart is
Founder and CEO
Jennifer is an accomplished leader in Canadian business, government, and public affairs. She is renowned as an expert in this field, often being called upon by national media for commentary. Additionally, Jennifer has twice been named one of the “Top 25 People in the Capital” by Ottawa Life Magazine, one of Ottawa’s “Top Forty Under Forty” by the Ottawa Business Journal and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, and was a finalist for Ottawa’s “Established Female Entrepreneur of the Year.”
Jennifer has actively taken on many business and community affairs roles, including President & CEO of the Canadian Energy Marketers Association (CEMA), Chair of the Board of the Canadian Transportation Alliance, Co-Host and Co-Founder of The Honest Talk podcast, Chair of the Village of Carp Business Improvement Association (City of Ottawa), Board Member of the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa Foundation, Member of the Board of Trustees for The Women in Technology Scholarship of Willis College, and Member of the Leadership Council of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.
Jennifer Madigan is
Executive Vice President
A communications and media relations professional with a long history in the TV and online news industry, Jennifer has a Bachelor of Journalism, with combined Honours in Sociology from Carleton University. Over nearly 15 years in TV news, Jennifer worked as a reporter, videographer, and producer locally, and later as the Executive Producer of The West Block with Tom Clark on Global News.
During the years, Jennifer has gained a great understanding of the media maze, and possesses a keen ability to spot and solve problems during a crisis. She also knows how to tell a story with impact. Jennifer uses these skills to help clients effectively shape and communicate their narratives. Jennifer provides strategic communications advice, crisis communications and media relations support, as well as media training for a list of clients including crown corporations, national associations, and non-governmental organizations.
Jake Enwright is Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications
Jake is a public affairs strategist with 13 years of government and public relations experience. Previously working in the fast-paced, highly visible setting of Parliament Hill, Jake has a proven track record of success managing communications for large organizations that earn significant media attention and has held senior roles advising cabinet ministers and corporate leaders. Jake’s areas of specialization include strategic communications, media relations, crisis communications, government relations and ghostwriting.
Jake continues to be actively involved in federal politics and previously served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the former Leader of the Official Opposition, Erin O’Toole. Jake also worked as a senior advisor and media spokesperson for former Conservative leader Rona Ambrose and the former Minister of Industry, James Moore. He has been consistently recognized by the Hill Times as one of the top political staffers in federal politics and is often asked to contribute political commentary for national media outlets.
Jake holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) in Political Science from the University of Ottawa.
Catherine Clark is Strategic
Counsel - Associate
A nationally respected broadcaster, emcee and writer, Catherine is President of Catherine Clark Communications and Special Advisor to Syntax Strategic. Through her work in television, radio and print, Catherine has interviewed Canada's most influential people and has hosted and co-produced documentaries on Rideau Hall, 24 SussexDrive, the Centre Block of Parliament and the Supreme Court of Canada. Catherine is co-host and co-founder of The Honest Talk, a popular new podcast featuring frank discussions with notable women. She writes the Giving Back column for Ottawa at Home Magazine and serves on the boards of CARE Canada, CARE International in Kenya and The Writers' Trust of Canada, whose board she chairs.
Geneviève Painchaud is Strategic
Counsel - Associate
Originally from Québec City, Geneviève is a seasoned, fully bilingual communications professional with experience working in some of the country's leading industry associations and private sector organizations in senior strategic, marketing and sales roles. She has taught the subjects at Collège La Cité and some of her marketing projects have earned national and international IABC awards. She has a broad level of involvement at the governance level and devotes a lot of her time as a director on several boards and is very involved in her community.
Janet Silver is Senior Director,
Advocacy and Communications
Janet has spent nearly 30 years working in news and current affairs across all mediums in Canada and the U.S. Given her years covering politics on the Hill, Janet has numerous contacts across all political parties, the press gallery and various stakeholders in Ottawa.
Prior to joining Syntax Strategic, Janet was the Managing Editor at iPolitics, an online news outlet focusing on policy and politics on Parliament Hill. While there Janet led the editorial team’s daily news coverage, hosted the weekly podcast ‘No Talking Points’ and moderated/appeared on numerous panel discussions.
Previously Janet was executive producer of Global Television’s The West Block, a writer/producer for CBC’s Power and Politics and news director for CTV2. Janet spent 20 years in Washington, D.C. where she worked for the ABC Australia, Reuters, Fox News Service and various documentary companies as a freelance producer. She also did two stints in Russia as communications director for the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies.
Sarah Kastner is Director
of Advocacy and Research
Sarah is an award-winning academic turned policy, advocacy, and organizational strategist with a passion for community-based research and social impact projects. With 6+ years of progressive experiences developing and leading projects with non-profits and community-based organizations, Sarah brings a unique set of research, project management, and policy skills to the Syntax team. She has a keen eye for opportunities to improve policy and advocacy outcomes with evidence-based decision making and is a big-picture thinker who is adept at integrating accessible and culturally responsive approaches and organizational strategies.
Sarah received her doctorate in literary studies from Queen’s University, with a focus on global literary studies, and was the Bora Laskin National Fellow in Human Rights Research at York University from 2018-2020. Prior to coming to Syntax, Sarah was the Director of Social Development at the Native Women’s Association of Canada, where she led the development of policies and projects aimed at improving the lives of Indigenous women across Canada and Inuit Nunangat.
Dana Telfer is Director
of Brand and Marketing
Dana is a marketing and communications professional with over 20 years of experience developing and executing unique marketing campaigns and events. She is a passionate and creative marketing strategist who has worked alongside some of the most successful and recognizable brands. Dana has extensive experience in strategic event planning and execution, with a creative vision for capturing audiences. She is a results-driven team player committed to delivering high-quality work.
Prior to joining Team Syntax, Dana worked at the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club where she was the Manager of Brand Integration. There, she developed and executed strategic marketing initiatives and led numerous customer acquisition and customer experience initiatives.
Devon Larock is Director of
Finance and Business Operations
With a background in the field of psychology, Devon specializes in client relations and account management. A forward-thinker, Devon has extensive experience in business operations and process management to enhance operations and improve client experiences and communication.
Prior to joining Syntax, Devon worked as a Behavioural Instructor Therapist for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and a tutor for students with Dyslexia.
Amanda Deseure is
Director of Digital
Amanda’s technical expertise, creative concepts, and zest for keeping up with social trends make her the Syntax digital expert. From developing results-driven digital advertising strategies to brainstorming entirely new approaches to social media for our clients, Amanda is quick to find innovative solutions for today’s problems.
Prior to joining Syntax Strategic, Amanda was a Communications Advisor for the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction and the Director of Communications for Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada. In addition to her leadership in digital campaigns, Amanda spent numerous years on Parliament Hill learning communications and advocacy techniques from the perspective of Members of Parliament.
Liane Mamo is Director of Marketing and Creative Content
With a focus on brand and strategy and a background in design, Liane is passionate about storytelling and communicating. At Syntax, she is responsible for developing and executing effective marketing campaigns, events and conferences.
A creative thinker and effective marketing and communications expert, Liane has over 15 years of experience in brand marketing roles. She has worked with several national brands creating local and national marketing campaigns and partnership plans from concept to execution. Liane spent 11 seasons working for the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club. In addition to her marketing and partnership experience, she has managed several marquee events for the NHL and Ottawa Senators including the Stanley Cup Finals, NHL All Star Game, Heritage Classic, and the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.
Vanessa Sorgard is a Senior Digital Media Strategist and Graphic Designer
Vanessa has close to 20 years of experience in desktop publishing, graphic design and art direction. She has worked on a variety of multimedia projects ranging from marketing campaigns, print collateral, news page layout and design, signage, corporate branding and more.
Vanessa began her career in local media and has since developed brand identities for many businesses and professionals in the health and fitness industry. Before joining Syntax, she was a senior designer and creative supervisor for Costco Wholesale Canada. In her 10 years with Costco, Vanessa was responsible for the design and development of high-end print products including brochures, magazines, packaging and training manuals.
Kayla Bryant is a Senior Digital Media Strategist and Graphic Designer
Kayla is a highly experienced and skilled senior digital media strategist who has worked on a variety of multimedia projects ranging from corporate branding and custom illustrations, to social media content, print advertisements, and more.
With over a decade of experience, she has worked with many different industries and hundreds of clients in the government, petroleum, health, not-for-profit, travel sector, and more.
Jon Dugal is a Senior Consultant in the Policy and Government Relations Practice
Jon specializes in advancing public policy goals with the federal and Atlantic governments through integrated public affairs campaigns. With several years of experience in public affairs consulting, Jon provides strategic advice to clients in a variety of sectors, including cannabis, health and pharmacy, technology, charitable and not-for-profit, and transport.
Prior to joining Syntax, Jon helped launch Diplomat Consulting, where he led public affairs and government relations for a broad range of clients and oversaw the development of a first-of-its-kind report on the future potential of the cannabis industry, titled What Cannabis Can Be.
Beyond public affairs and government relations, Jon has been heavily involved in politics. He’s worked with the Liberal Party of Canada, served as a campaign advisor to a former premier of New Brunswick, and is active as a Table Officer with the PEI Liberal Party.
Paula Boon is the Copy Editor
and Quality Assurance Officer
Paula applies her keen eye and broad knowledge of the English language to developmental edits and proofreading for a wide variety of print and digital products such as reports, websites, presentations, and social media copy. She also provides background research for a number of Syntax projects.
A writer, editor and researcher with extensive experience, Paula honed her skills through seven years as a copy editor for an award-winning community newspaper and spent more than two decades as an independent contractor for clients in print media, business, government, academia, the non-profit sector, and the arts.
Farhana Cynthia is a Digital
Farhana is a digital marketing professional who specializes in digital branding, advertising, content development, and copywriting. She has over five years of professional experience in digital marketing with national and international companies. Farhana is skilled and experienced in brand and market communication, and product development.
Before coming to Syntax, Farhana worked for two leading telecom companies in Bangladesh as Loyalty and Partnership Manager and Brand Specialist. There, she successfully developed brand strategies, launched multiple 360-degree customer-centric campaigns, designed telco products, and worked with cross-functional teams to generate revenue.
Stacey Baker is a Senior Graphic
Designer, Print and Digital Media
A graphic design professional with 20 years of experience managing full-scale print and digital projects from their creative stages to completion, Stacey prides herself on providing clean, polished, cohesive work and meeting tight timelines in a kind and courteous manner.
Stacey is a graduate of the Graphic Design & Communications program at George Brown College and a recent graduate of video motion graphics through the accredited School of Motion. Over the past two decades, she has worked as an independent contractor for clients in retail, food and beverage, internal corporate communications, print and digital advertising and branding.
Lisa Weagle is a
Lisa is a strategic communications professional with a talent for writing impactful content, developing strategic plans, and providing thoughtful advice. With over 11 years in government communications, Lisa is able to quickly understand and synthesize complex topics and effectively communicate them to diverse audiences to drive awareness and optimize results. She is skilled in project management, event planning and execution, working with the media, and stakeholder engagement.
Lisa has experience in the not-for-profit sector and is knowledgeable about fundraising, social media campaigns, and strategic partnerships. Lisa thrives as part of a team and in high-pressure environments, combining her work in internal and external communications with experience as an Olympian and World Champion in curling.
Vanessa Baillie is
Vanessa is a meticulous, task-driven executive assistant with more than 25 years of administrative experience in managing client-centric office operations. She is equipped with an exceptional ability to facilitate all aspects of internal and external communications, and to support day-to-day administrative, financial, and operational functions by working collaboratively with her colleagues. She has a proven talent for aligning business objectives with comprehensive administrative knowledge to achieve maximum operational impacts, conserve time and boost efficiency.
Prior to joining Syntax, Vanessa was Director of Operations at the Kanata North Business Association. She also owned and operated a local virtual assistant business where she assisted VPs at Bell Canada and department heads at both The Ottawa Hospital and The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.