Heckhausen named managing director for Nabs to kick off 40th anniversary year

The Canadian ad industry’s largest support charity, Nabs, has announced a new managing director, along with some new faces on its board, as it rolls into its 40th anniversary year.

After roughly 18 months as a co-chair with Tom Shipman, Rosetta Heckhausen has left the board to become managing director. Heckhausen has spent her entire career in Canadian media sales, including extended stops at Marketing Magazine and Applied Arts. Heckhausen and Shipman assumed the co-chair roles in mid-2021, after the charity underwent a restructuring following the departure of executive director Jay Bertram.

“I’m here because I love Nabs,” said Heckhausen. “I joined Marketing in 1992—31 years ago—and I’ve been part of this business since then. This is my gift back, this is my opportunity to do the work I love and to help a charity that I have known for 30 years.

“And it’s in a year of celebrating all its accomplishments—we get to focus on the great work it has done and will do. That’s why I said yes.”

The Nabs mission—raise money to provide wellness, counselling and support programming for the ad industry—remains the same, though some organizational changes have been made to continue its bounce-back from the pandemic.

After taking a lead role on fundraising over the last 18 months, Mark Neves, director for Nabs Central Region, will continue to spearhead those efforts nationally, for example. And Libby Begg (former publisher at The Message) has joined as its first communications director, helping coordinate messaging across the country. “Communications is critical to educating, but also to fundraise,” said Heckhausen.

Along with the management changes, Nabs also announced other changes to its board. Shipman was unanimously elected to the role of chair, while new directors replaced the resigning Vito Rezza, Kate Torrance, and Samia Chebeir.

“Nabs would like to thank Vito, Kate, Samia and Rosetta for their amazing contributions to the organization,” said Shipman in a release. “Each has worked tirelessly to strengthen Nabs, improving fundraising initiatives and helping to expand Nabs suite of programs and services.”

The board also unanimously approved the election of the following new directors:

  • François Canuel, president and general manager, Tam-Tam\TBWA as director, bec advisory board chair;
  • Yan Du, vice-president, finance, Mediabrands Canada, as treasurer; and
  • Jack Latulippe, chief creative officer, No Fixed Address, as director, marketing portfolio.

“We are so grateful to have the support of this incredible volunteer board of directors,” said Shipman. “As we shape Nabs’ future, including celebrating two important milestones in 2023: Nabs’ 40th and bec’s 20th anniversaries, input from the industry at various levels is critically important.”

Nabs is planning a number of special activations and events over the rest of the year to mark the anniversaries, including a possible fundraising climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro, and a large celebratory fundraising event for December.

“We’re going to be focused on celebrating the fact that we’re still here and really trying to highlight the work we’ve done,” said Heckhausen. “And also to look to the future, to figure out how do we continue to be a value to our community.”

David Brown