nabs adds four directors as part of restructuring

Canada’s national industry charity, nabs, has added four new directors to its board, part of a strategy to enhance the charity’s offerings and increase revenue.

The new members, unanimously approved at the board of directors meeting Aug. 19, are:

  • Alan Dark, SVP, chief revenue officer at Rogers, as director at large and media sale co-lead;
  • Cynthia Fleming, marketing and media professional, as director at large, and governance co-lead;
  • Mike Searson, VP, local revenue at Corus Entertainment Inc., as director at large, and governance co-lead; and
  • Sunil Sekhar, VP human resources at FCB, as director at large, and programs and services co-lead.

“When Tom and I were appointed to our co-chair roles, we were facing challenging times in an uncertain Covid reality as our events-based fundraisers continue to be significantly impacted,” said nabs’ interim co-chair Rosetta Heckhausen. “We immediately focused on two priorities: To pursue new revenue opportunities and to ensure programming and services are serving the changing needs of our community. To achieve these goals, we decided to expand and diversify our board to deepen its industry knowledge and expertise.”

Dark, Fleming and Searson will be called upon to help with the annual nabs Media Sale, the charity’s largest source of revenue, while Sekhar’s HR experience will help the organization assess its programs in an industry landscape reshaped by 18 months of the pandemic.

Heckhausen and Tom Shipman were named interim co-chairs in July, when the charity parted ways with its previous executive director, Jay Bertram. At the time, Heckhausen told The Message they planned to restructure nabs, but would take a few months to review the entire organization.

In an email, Shipman said they don’t yet have a plan to replace the executive director role.

“The board is committed to review the organization’s overall structure and set our strategic goals accordingly,” he said. “Step one in this process was to add new board members in specific areas of qualification. This has now been completed, and we can begin the review process.”

“The new board members will work closely with our existing board members (below) over the next few months as they complete their onboarding and help us build nabs’ strategic plan with the staff,” said Heckhausen in the release.

nabs National Board of Directors:

  • Rosetta Heckhausen, VP communications, FITC, and interim co-chair, programs and services co-lead;
  • Tom Shipman, director of strategic solutions, Mediology, and Interim co-chair, nabs West board chair;
  • Samia Chebeir, president, FCB Montreal, and director at large, bec board chair;
  • Boris Cho, senior director of strategy, Midas Exchange, GroupM, and director at large, central committee lead;
  • Perry MacDonald, VP, advertising sales and partnerships, Bell Media, and director at large, media sale co-lead;
  • Alexandra Panousis CEO and chair Dentsu Media Canada, Dentsu International CEO, Carat, and director at Large
  • Vito Rezza CFO, Jam3, director at large, Treasurer; and
  • Kate Torrance VP brand strategy and communications, Sick Kids Foundation, director at large, marketing lead.

*Rosetta Heckhausen has been providing business consulting advice and support to The Message on a voluntary basis.

David Brown