CMDC celebrates next generation at Future Impact Awards

Last week, the Canadian Media Directors’ Council held its YA Future Impact Awards in Toronto. Hosted and run by the CMDC’s Youth Ambassadors—created to help mentor a new generation of media leaders in Canada—the awards are about recognizing and celebrating the young minds that are going to shape the industry in the years to come.

After two years of going virtual during the pandemic, the awards returned to a live event this year, and saw 230 attendees enjoy the show at Toronto’s Artspace— chosen by the YA for its reputation as a hub of creative entrepreneurship dedicated to helping Canadian artists and creatives thrive.

“Human potential is our industry’s most valuable asset,” said Shannon Lewis, president, of the CMDC. “Together as an industry, we create a massive impact. Supporting each other and helping each other grow is the spirit of the CMDC YA program.”

“CMDC YA program showcases the commitment, passion and diversity of thinking of next-generation talent in our media community,” added Karine Courtemanche, CMDC chair and CEO of Touché/PHD.

In all, there were 238 submissions this year, across 12 categories with the winners chosen by the Youth Ambassadors, and selected for “breaking barriers, demonstrating passion, skill and ultimately pushing the media industry forward.” We’re sharing the full winners list below, but also asked the winners to tell us more about themselves. We’ve got four below, and we’ll share more next week.

  • Advocate of the Year: Teryn Clapp, Epitaph Group Inc.
  • Innovator of the Year: Manon Hug, Starcom
  • Collaborator of the Year: Kyle Storey, PHD
  • Sustainability Champion of Year: Alexandra Martin, Jungle Media
  • Notable Newcomer of the Year: Jessica Baldachin, OMD Canada
  • Young Marketer of the Year: Irene Daley, Canadian Tire
  • Data Miner of the Year, Chloe Chan, OMD Canada
  • Female Technopreneur of the Year: Karolanne Theroux, Cossette
  • Community Builder of the Year: Mallory Thompson, PHD
  • Techie of the Year: Labeeb Mirza, Starcom
  • Mentor of the Year: Derek Laurendeau, Jungle Media
  • Media Leader of the Year: Johari Williams, Media Experts
Alexandra Martin and Sydney Kirkland of the CMDC’s YA committee

ALEXANDRA MARTIN (left in photo), Media Planner, Jungle Media
What excites you most about working in media today?
Working in media today represents meeting innovative people that share a common vision—making the media industry a more inclusive and ethical place. Brands work on having a measurable positive impact, agencies are conscious of their responsibility and consumers rightfully denounce unacceptable content. This creative and collaborative environment brings meaning into our daily activities, and this is what excites me the most.

Is there one trend in the industry you’d like to see more of?
I would like to see more of NFTs. From loyalty programs to gamification, the marketing opportunities seem multiple and fruitful. A sense of community can be built, across diverse audience groups and interests. NFTs generate a lot of curiosity, and probably even more questions, and I look forward to following and contributing to their growth.

Mentorship: Who is the one person that you’re not currently working with that has had the biggest impact on your career so far, and why?
Maxime Duchesne, VP at Impact Research, has in just a few months already had a great impact on my career. He gave me tools that continuously contribute to reaching my ambitions—useful for a variety of different situations and at any given moment. Applying his advice has been a great learning experience that I am very grateful for.

Mallory Thompson with CMDC Youth Ambassador Brittany Khan

MALLORY THOMPSON, Digital Activation Manager, PHD Canada
What excites you most about working in media today?
I work with amazing people everyday who are constantly striving for innovation across global brands and its exciting to be a part of. I’m always learning new things and everyday is different so the work is interesting.  I’ve gotten to work on a variety of global brands and have been part of key media launches and I love how I can help influence the relationships between consumers and brands.

Is there one trend in the industry you’d like to see more of?
Not sure if this counts as a trend but I would love to see more engagement between brands and fans—especially in the music industry. The fans have such an impact on the success of an artist or the success of a brand and leveraging them in those key conversations can be such a game changer for your advertising campaigns. Fans are ultimately the people buying your products and giving those recommendations and making your brand successful—talk to them, influence them, ask them what they want. Consumers and fans want to know that brands care about them and making them front and centre can do nothing but good things.

What do you think was the personal quality or attribute that was most important in winning a CMDC Future Impact award?
I think passion, because it comes across in everything you do. If you love what you do and you believe in your team and your industry then I believe that ultimately fosters connection and community. I’ve always tried to bring my passion for learning and improvement to my career and my passion for this industry and the future of young talent. I care about my team and want them to do well always.

JESSICA BALDACHIN, Social and Search Strategist, OMD
What excites you most about working in media today?
For me, it’s all about generating excitement. Since Covid-19, there has been so many cancelled events, changes from normalcy and isolation. As I work mainly with entertainment clients, I have had the chance to ignite excitement with new movie premiers and connect people together again in the cinema. Finally, people are able to start creating memories again with loved ones and I am able to help create some of those… On the media side, I love working at OMD for it’s collaborative environment. I am never working alone, there is always a strong team lifting me up behind every meeting, report and set up.

Mentorship: Who is the one person that you’re not currently working with that has had the biggest impact on your career so far, and why?
In 2017, one of my best friends passed away from suicide. After her death, I dove into mental health advocacy headfirst, hoping to make a change and help young people across Canada. While I loved working in the mental health care field, I always found myself attracted to marketing and communication type roles within the organizations I chose to align myself with but never seriously thought about pursuing it.

My good friend, Jake Bradshaw, oversaw a lot of the work I was doing with mental health advocacy. When I went to him for career advice after realizing clinical psychology may not be for me, he suggested marketing. Sometimes, it takes a good friend to look at the work you do objectively and pick out where you thrive, not just what you like to do. With Jake’s help, I realized that marketing and communications may be a good fit for me and without his advice, I may have become a social worker or therapist! Every time I got anxious while going through this large career swap, he was incredibly supportive and kept my spirits high. I very lucky to have such great people in my inner circle.

What is your media diet: podcasts listening to, long form, short form editorial to entertainment?
A week a go there is no way I would have said podcasts but since discovering true crime podcasts… I’m hooked! I find the majority of my media consumption comes from social media (let’s say I’m just “researching”), and entertainment platforms like Netflix and YouTube. I love any docu-series in the holistic wellness space and any programs on travel and food. Youtube and TikTok have been in my media diet for a while now to literally help with my diet and cooking!

CMDC Youth Ambassador Junior Thompson with Teryn Clapp

TERYN CLAPP (right in photo), Specialist, Integrated Planning, Epitaph Group
What excites you most about working in media today?
I love working in media because no two days are the same. There are always different projects to be worked on, and new things to learn. I feel as though there will never not be something to learn in this industry which excites me for the future.

Is there one trend in the industry you’d like to see more of?
I love using OOH, especially if the creative is great, it is such a good way to grab attention. Even OOH in cinema, it’s a great way to showcase a longer video without the audience having any other distractions. There are so many different avenues you can go with OOH, and I am so excited to see what else teams can come up with in the OOH space.

What do you think was the personal quality or attribute that was most important in winning a CMDC Future Impact award? A quality that is important for winning this award would be passion. My goal is to bring people together, both in my personal and professional life. Oxford Dictionaries describes passion as an intense desire or enthusiasm to do something, and I can strongly say that having passion is what lead me to winning the Advocate of the Year award.

Chris Powell