Six new inductees named to Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends

The Toronto chapter of the American Marketing Association announced six new inductees to Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends on Wednesday.

The newly announced legends are:

  • Judy John, global chief creative officer for Edelman;
  • Sharifa Khan, president and CEO of Balmoral Multicultural Marketing;
  • Rem Langan, former CMO of McDonald’s Canada and president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada;
  • Bryan Pearson, former CEO of LoyaltyOne Co.; and
  • Ratana and Arran Stephens, co-founders of Nature’s Path.

“These exceptional leaders are Legends—they’ve shaped and influenced marketing in Canada and in many ways have global impact,” said AMA Toronto president Miglena Nikolova in a release.

Aside from the six legends recognized for their career accomplishments, AMA Toronto also announced Sahar Saidi, founder and CEO of LUS Brands, as the 2021 Marketer on the Rise.

“It is an absolute honour to be inducted into Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends,” said Saidi in a release. “I started out my career 20 years ago in a different direct-to-consumer environment (door-to-door sales). Now I run a fully digital (ecommerce) brand, and while the marketing mediums have changed over the years, the principles have not.”

The new legends were chosen by a selection committee led by David Kincaid, founder and managing partner of Level5 Strategy and a 2014 Legend inductee (see profiles of the six Legends below).

“This year, Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends acted on an acknowledged need, and changed to better reflect the diverse character of our marketing sector,” said Kincaid. “The selection committee is very pleased that our commitment to address and enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in 2021 successfully generated more nominations than ever before, as well as our most diverse group of inductees yet.”

The new legends will be honoured during a virtual gala event April 22, and the winners will also take part in AMA Toronto’s Legendary Leadership Series, interactive events during which inductees share stories and discuss their achievement and influences.

Rem Langan: “Totally unexpected, but very much appreciated… This is proof-positive that one’s contributions in business and for charities are recognized as important by our amazing marketing community in Canada. I am truly humbled by this induction into Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends that has honoured so many wonderful and creative marketing leaders over the years.”

Sharifa Khan: “Multicultural marketing to me is not just a business, it’s a responsibility to ensure ethnic minorities are not ignored by brands, and that they are spoken to on a deep and personal level. And for this pursuit to be inducted into the 2021 Class of Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends is an absolute honour.”

Bryan Pearson: “It’s such an honour to join the incredible group of innovators that have been previously recognized for their accomplishments. Canada’s leadership in loyalty marketing is acknowledged globally and I consider myself fortunate to have collaborated with an amazing team to grow and change the way people think about loyalty. I will celebrate this honour as one of the highlights of my journey as a marketer and a leader.”

Judy John: “For me, this honour is a recognition of the power of creativity. I’ve always believed creativity can solve problems, change behaviour and change the world. This is also a recognition of how incredibly fortunate I am to get to work with inspiring creatives and partners, and courageous clients.”

Arran Stephens: “When we started Nature’s Path out of the back of our vegetarian restaurant in 1985, we never imagined one day being recognized as Canadian Marketing Legends, we were just following our hearts, making delicious, organic cereals! We would like to thank Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends for finding us worthy of such an honour.”

Ratana Stephens: “To say Arran and I learned everything we know about marketing ‘on the job’ is an understatement! We spent years learning about marketing, and are still learning every day at Nature’s Path. We are deeply grateful and humbled to receive this honour and be included in such esteemed company.”

David Brown