Beyond the Hype Speakers

Meet Tamara Taggart


Keynote speaker at 8:45 am - Off-Camera: Tamara Taggart Gets Real

Tamara Taggart’s broadcasting career spans 28 years in both radio and television.  She has focused more than 20 years of volunteer effort on health care, the well-being of children and people with disabilities. A a strong community leader, she advocates for others, volunteers and raises much-needed funds for many important causes. 

Tamara chaired the BC Women’s Hospital ‘Hope Starts Here’ campaign, raising $17 million for a newborn intensive care unit. Since 2014, she has chaired BC Cancer Foundation’s Inspiration Gala, raising over 15-million dollars to date for cancer research and treatment in British Columbia. In 2015, she received the Order of BC.

Tamara and her husband Dave have three children - son Beckett and daughters Zoë and Poppy.  They also share their home with George their Airedale Terrier, Penelope their rescue dog from Mexico and rescue cats Broccoli and Brussel Sprout.

Meet Liza Aboud

9:45 am - What's UX and Why Should You Care?

Liza is the Vice President, Customer Experience and Communications with Land Titles and Survey Authority of BC (LTSA), uses Design Thinking principles to optimize current and new electronic services. She develops customer, Voice of the Customer and User Experience strategies. She also oversees the LTSA's communications functions.


Prior to joining the LTSA in November 2007, Liza was the National Director of Marketing at a Canadian law firm. She has over 25 years of strategic marketing, communications and investor relations expertise gained in the legal, technology, utility and advertising sectors. Liza is a member of the Board of Directors of Ridley Terminals Inc., and a member of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Civic Affairs Committee. She has a BA in Economics, and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and International Business, both from McGill University. She is accredited by the International Association of Business Communicators.



Meet Katie Hamilton
11:15 am: Don’t feed your public steak and your employees dog food.

Katie Hamilton is a management consultant proven in her ability to build relationships and lead teams, develop transformative organizational systems, customer service, communications, and public engagement strategies. As the former Director of Strategic Planning and Citizen Engagement at the City of Victoria for 12 years, Katie led staff in broad service areas including strategic and operational planning, communications and citizen engagement, as well as leading open government initiatives and media relations. She often provides support for the strategic internal and external engagement needed to inform organizational decisions and change. Her passion and focus zeroes in on organizational culture and the internal staff/external customer relationship that is a key, and often overlooked, lever for successful implementation. One of her proudest achievements was receiving the Organization of the Year award for North America from the International Association of Public Participation in 2015.

Meet Dr. Terrence (Terry) Flynn

Lunchtime keynote - Storytellers and their stories: Lessons learned from Behavioural Sciences.

Dr. Terence (Terry) Flynn, APR, FCPRS, is an associate professor of communications management in the Department of Communication Studies & Multimedia at McMaster University. Dr. Flynn’s research intersects public relations, crisis communications, reputation management and risk communications.


During his 20-year professional consulting career, he built an international practice specializing in crisis and risk communications and public/community engagement working with such organizations as: the Hamilton Port Authority; the Town of Walkerton Ontario; the U.S. Navy Public Health Agency; NASA; Florida Power Corporation and the Chemical Manufacturers’ Association. Terry completed his Ph.D. in Mass Communication at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University in 2005.


Terry has an extensive history of being of service to his fellow practitioners. He was previously awarded the 2015 Philip A. Novikoff Memorial award for his countless, significant contributions to the Canadian public relations profession and he received the Canadian Public Relations Society’s Mentor of the Year award in 2018.




Meet Eva Taylor


(1:30 pm: Demystifying Social ROI in 4 Steps)

Eva Taylor leads the Global Social Marketing team at Hootsuite, the leader in social media management, where she is responsible for developing and executing strategy as well as understanding and demonstrating social ROI.


Having worked at startups, agencies and large-scale companies, Eva brings over 9 years of experience in social media, digital marketing and campaign management. During this time, she has created and executed strategies for the likes of Microsoft, Tourism Vancouver, RPS Energy and lululemon. Eva has a passion for using her expertise to support the community and also holds positions as a Social Media Principal with Women in Tech World and as a Digital Analyst with the BC SPCA.

Meet the panel members


3:00 pm - Cracking the code: How to Show Value & Speak the Language of the C-Suite


Meet Lacey Sheardown

Lacey Sheardown, President of, spent nearly 10 awesome years with Destination Greater Victoria (formerly Tourism Victoria) in a variety of roles, concluding as the Marketing Manager.


Lacey was tapped to join Black Press as part of the team in 2013 as the Director of Marketing. She did something right, because in late 2015, Lacey was appointed the Acting President & Director of Marketing for, and in November of 2017 she was promoted to be the President. Compelling a 43 year-old (traditionally print) media company to innovate continues to be the biggest challenge for Lacey.


With her team of 20 doing the heavy lifting, Lacey is leading through the biggest strategic change it’s faced in 15 years. Communication has been instrumental in fuelling these changes...Lacey uses open ended questions, trends, analytics, passion and honesty when persuading decisions and discussions with her team and C-suite counterparts.







Meet Kimberley Hughes


Kimberley Hughes manages the gorgeous Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort. Kimberley graduated from Queen's University in 1988 with a BA in Political Science. She moved to Victoria in 2008 from Whistler, BC with her husband Damon and two children Mitchell (20) and Katie (17). Delta Hotels was acquired by Marriott in 2016 and this has opened up endless opportunities for Kimberley and her team. Kimberley is the Chair of the Western Canada Business Council which focuses on community engagement in BC. She is an active member of the tourism community and is currently the Vice Chair of Destination Greater Victoria. 


Kimberley was one of the founding (and current) Board of Directors of the Victoria Hotel Destination Marketing Association, which is instrumental in generating significantly more marketing dollars for Destination Greater Victoria. Kimberley's business acumen and passion for customer service are the driving forces behind her successful career in tourism. Kimberley is an advocate for women in leadership and has sat on several panels and continues to mentor women in hospitality. When she is not working, Kimberley loves to golf and ski with her family.


Meet Dr. Hannes Blum

Dr. Hannes Blum started his career with The Boston Consulting Group in Germany and founded his first company (JustBooks GmbH) with colleagues of his PhD program in 1999. After selling his business to, he was asked to take over as CEO of AbeBooks which brought him and his family to Victoria, Canada in 2003. After acquiring 5 companies, he sold AbeBooks to in 2008 and stayed on as a VP for until May 2015. He won several industry awards during his tenure at AbeBooks and Amazon (e.g. Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Consumer category for Pacific Canada).

Currently, he is Venture Partner North America for Acton Capital, a Munich based growth VC fund focused on consumer internet. He serves on the Board of five companies (Mobify in Vancouver, Chef’s Plate in Toronto, Eloquii in New York and Codename Entertainment as well as Monk Office in Victoria) and is an active Angel Investor (e.g., – sold to Active Network, – sold to Twilio,, – he received the “Angel of the Year” Award from Viatec in 2018). He is also a recent Co-Founder of a young startup in Victoria called In his spare time, Hannes loves to spend time with his wife and 2 children, on tennis courts, ski hills and golf courses.

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