CPRS Vancouver Island
CPRS Vancouver Island

Meet our Board of Directors for 2017/2018

Peggy Kulmala, APR

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Peggy leads communications for the Office of the Ombudsperson, British Columbia's independent voice for fairness.

Peggy has deep experience in the public sector as a leader, practitioner, and educator as well as a communications consultant and contractor. She has a diverse background, from script writing for a popular children’s show to advising federal officials during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Peggy has a MBA from Royal Roads University and is an Accredited, Public Relations professional. She received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Peggy joined CPRS in 2010 and has served on the CPRS-VI Board since 2014. She 
is Chair of the Executive Committee.

Susan Gee, APR

Vice President
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Susan is Director of Development for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, one of the city’s lead fundraising organizations.

Susan has extensive experience in public sector communications, serving as the Director of Issues Management and Media Relations for the Ministry of Health, and Director of Communications for the Ministries of Education and Advanced Education, and the Ministries of Finance and Revenue. Following her time in government, she worked in the private sector as Vice President of Acumen Communications.

Susan holds a Diploma of Broadcast Journalism from BCIT, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria and is an Accredited, Public Relations professional.

Susan has been a CPRS member since 2008, and joined the CPRS-VI Board in 2016. She is a member of the Executive Committee, Chair of the Nominations Committee and Chair of the Web Task Force.


Michelle Harris, APR

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Michelle works in local government as the City of Victoria’s Strategic Planning and Communications Advisor. She provides strategic communications support to Council initiatives, the senior leadership team, and a range of department portfolios. Michelle is also trained to serve as a Public Information Officer in the City’s Emergency Operations Centre.

Michelle has over 25 years of experience working in strategic communications, engagement and event planning for private enterprise, local and regional governments. Some of her previous clients have included BC Hydro, Department of National Defence and Health Canada.

Michelle is an Accredited, Public Relations (APR) professional and has been a member of CPRS since 2011. She is a certified IAP2 engagement practitioner and holds a diploma in Broadcast Communications from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Michelle won a Gold Award from the International Association of Emergency Managers for her Prepare Victoria! public relations campaign in 2011.

Michelle was appointed to the CPRS-VI Board of Directors in October 2017. She is a member of the Executive Committee.

Janina Stajic

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Janina Stajic is a communications professional with expertise in strategic planning; project management; media relations; event planning; publication production; writing, editing and research. She currently leads the Communications and Public Engagement
team at Vancouver Island University.

Throughout her career, Janina has been an active community member serving on a number of boards (both as a member and as Chair) and volunteering her time for nonprofit organizations in the variety of communities and countries in which she’s lived.

Today she is on the Executive of Equal Voice Central Vancouver Island and an active member of the Canadian Public Relations Society. Janina holds a Master’s degree in Modern English Literature (with a focus on the writings of Indigenous women in Canada) from the University of London, England.

Janina has been a CPRS-VI member since 2015, and has served on its Board since 2016. 
She is a member of the Executive Committee.


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Is your next step into the c-suite or as a community leader? Do you aspire to give back to your chosen field? Are you looking for opportunities to expand your network locally and nationally? Want to increase your leadership skills and set yourself apart from your peers? If yes, consider joining CPRS-VI's Board of Directors!

CPRS-VI is currently seeking nominations for a Treasurer.

The Treasurer's responsibilities include:
  • advise the Board of Directors on the Society's finances and investments, including the two strategic reserves,
  • manage funds payable and receivable,
  • coordinate the budget process, and
  • supervise the CPRS-VI bookkeeper.
The Treasurer position is a two-year term, and is a member of the Executive Committee. The ideal candidate should have been a CPRS member for at least three years, have at least five year's experience in public relations/communications and one year of board experience. 

All inquiries and expressions of interest can be passed to the Chair of the Nominations Committee, Susan Gee APR.

Marina Hawkeswood

Director and Communications Chair
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Marina Hawkeswood is owner and operator of Mainstay Communications, where she helps clients create effective brand identities - everything from logos to website design.

With a love for all kinds of sport, Marina has worked with athletes throughout her career. Most recently, she was the Manager of Communications at the Canadian Sport Institute. Marina has also spent time working with VANOC, CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, CTV Vancouver, and the BC Lions Football Club.

Marina has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of British Columbia, a diploma in Broadcast and Media Communications from BCIT and and a certificate in Graphic and Digital Design from New York's Parsons Design School.

Marina has been a CPRS member since 2015, and joined the CPRS-VI Board in 2016.


Marina Jaffey

Director and Education Chair
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Marina is currently a marketing communications instructor with Camosun College and textbook author for Pearson Canada.  Her industry expertise is in strategic planning, marketing communications and sales management with global packaged goods firm, Unilever.  Marina has also consulted for a variety of organizations including the National Gallery of Canada and the BC Provincial Government.

Community engagement and service learning are an integral part of Marina’s teaching philosophy. She has served on a number of nonprofit boards and committees and enjoys being an active volunteer in the Victoria community. 

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Education degree with a specialty in curriculum design and educational administration.

Marina has been a CPRS member since 2009, and was the Program Co-Chair for the 2012 CPRS National Conference in Victoria. She joined the CPRS-VI Board in 2016.

Alicia Morris

Director and Events Chair
Alicia Morris is the Manager of the RAVEN Aboriginal Youth Initiative, an ongoing Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) outreach program designed to build bridges into the Aboriginal communities in Canada and to make Aboriginal youth aware of potential
military or civilian careers with the Department of National Defence.

Alicia has been a been a RCN Public Affairs Officer since 2013, responsible for external and internal communications, with a specific focus on media relations.

Alicia graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with an Arts and Science degree focussing in Archaeology and Theatre.

Alicia has been a CPRS member since 2016, and joined the CPRS-VI Board in 2016.


Sonia Nicholson

Director and Archivist
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Sonia Nicholson is an Archives Specialist with Saanich Archives, which collects and preserves the documentary heritage of The District of Saanich and makes it accessible in-person, online, and through public outreach.

With nearly a decade of experience, Sonia is an archives professional by trade and a storyteller by heart. In recent years her work has focused on public programming and school outreach, social media, web content management, and promotions.

Sonia has been a CPRS member since 2016, and joined the CPRS-VI Board in 2016.

Ruth Mojeed

Director and Membership Engagement Chair
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A community organizer, strategist and connector, Ruth seeks to contribute to creating a more inclusive community where people find a sense of belonging. Her career in Communications, Public Relations and Project Management spans over six years in the non-profit sector, with a current progression in Strategic Communications (Cabinet Priorities) with the B.C. government. She hosts and produces Community Connect, a talk show on Shaw TV, where she engages stakeholders on various topics around equity, diversity and inclusion for newcomers and other marginalized members of the community. She has shared her thoughts, passion and experiences on many platforms including the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance "State of the Island" summit; Ryerson University International Student symposium; Royal Roads University annual EDTalk among others. She also connects with the community through her articles and columns in local magazines and newspapers;

Ruth grew up in Lagos, Nigeria; she moved to Canada in 2015, and has since fallen in love with the beautiful city of Victoria, B.C. She holds a Bachelor's in Communication from Covenant University, Nigeria; a Master's in International Communication from Royal Roads University and a Certificate in Leadership & Organizing from Harvard University. 

Sonia has been a CPRS member since 2017, and joined the CPRS-VI Board in 2017.

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