Getting to know… A new treatment for hiring announcements. First up, Maura Hanley

Ah, appointment notices. They’re a staple of trade publications, whether they’re dedicated to covering marketing and advertising, accounting, or supply chain management (interesting time to be working in that field).

We get a lot of appointment notices here at The Message. But if we’re being honest, they don’t always make for the most compelling content: A corporate head shot, a list of credentials and past job(s), and a canned quote about what they bring to the organization. Frankly, you can find all of that information on LinkedIn if you’re interested.

We said from the outset that our goal with The Message is to create a sense of community for people working in Canadian marketing, media and advertising. So, starting today, we’ve decided to try something a little different with appointment notices (Note: we’ll still be including many of the regular notices in our The Really Brief roundups).

Rather than a typical corporate headshot, we’re asking new appointees to provide a more candid picture with a brief explanation, and share a little bit of information about who they are as humans rather than employees. The goal is to provide a more interesting picture of the industry, and the people within it.

Our first Getting to Know… profile, is Maura Hanley, who was recently appointed chief digital officer for Dentsu Media. 

About the picture: I would like you to use the attached photo from my recent dentsu photoshoot because it shows me with my hair completely natural – the last of the colour was just cut off in July. It was a big decision to give up colouring even though I’ve been mostly grey since my thirties. But it is so liberating to be myself!

Favourite TV show of all time and why: Star Trek: The Next Generation is an all-time favourite. I started my career when it was first on air, and I loved the idea of working with a diverse group of smart, capable people, each bringing their special talents to the table.

I aspired to be a leader like Picard—ethical, wise, and calm in the face of danger! As I look back on it now, I can see that the diversity was circumscribed, with the women in nurturing roles (doctor, counsellor), the Black men in supporting roles (engineer, security officer), and the white guys in charge. We’ve made some progress in the last 30 years—at least enough to keeping me believing the better future Star Trek imagines.

Favourite thing about weekends: Weekends are a chance to indulge in my love of food culture—shopping at farmers’ markets, trying new restaurants and cooking new foods.

Do you have kids? What are their names? I have two sons that I am enormously proud of. Ian, who is studying philosophy at the University of Toronto and plays lead guitar, and Sean who is a research and insights manager at Rogers Sports & Media and plays bass. They have a band called Drupe.

Most important person in your life outside work: My husband of 35 years, Paul Dillon (yes, I was a child bride).

Favourite thing about this industry. Least favourite thing about this industry: My favourite thing about the advertising industry is the focus on the future—there is always something new to learn. My least favourite thing is something that plagues all industries—the ever-increasing pressure to do more with less. We need more focus on sustainable practices for our people and our planet.

Chris Powell