Debra studied creative writing at Concordia University and dreamed of becoming a poet and a playwright. However, her creative soul also has a pragmatic side that encouraged her to channel her love of writing into something that would support Canadian artists and businesses, so she opened a boutique PR firm, rock-it promotions. In January 2000, she started the business out of her parents’ spare bedroom with a phone book, a fax machine and a lot of determination. Now, rock-it resides on Richmond Street West in the heart of the city, with a team of talented PR professionals supporting the growing company alongside her.
As the company’s president and founder, Debra has appeared as a PR expert on MuchMore Music, eTalk and Global News, and has been featured in National Post, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and more. Debra reaches dedicated, engaged audiences through blogging for Huffington Post Canada, Inside Toronto and Toronto Special Events. In 2012, Debra was voted the PR Professional of the Year at the inaugural BizBash Toronto Readers’ Choice Awards.
She’s also had the good fortune to work one-on-one with talent including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Gerard Butler, Jane Seymour, Emily Blunt, Woody Harrelson, Scott Speedman, Morgan Freeman and Sarah Polley, among others. Some of rock-it’s current clients include Soho House, The Drake Hotel, Tommy Hilfiger, Seventh Generation, Canadian Stage, eOne (formerly Alliance Films), World MasterCard Fashion Week, Arts & Crafts and many more.
With more than thirteen years of media and influencer relations, social media engagement, brand ambassador programming and event management experience, Kate oversees a group of account managers and rock-it’s lifestyle client roster. Kate’s extensive food & beverage, fashion, retail and luxury PR background includes in-house as well as agency insight and she has experience working on various local and international powerhouse brands. With her extensive experience in event management, media relations, social media and strategic planning, Kate is a self-described multi-tasking maven and lover of all things communication.
In 2017, Kate was recognized with PR Team Leader of the Year and Top 40 Under 40 awards by PR in Canada.
Fun fact: she has a degree in Cultural Anthropology and once owned her own flower shop.
A disciplined strategist, Marela draws from over 10 years of communications experience covering media, public relations and crisis management. Her broad perspective is shaped by having practiced communications in five countries, leading the execution of spectacular programs that deliver business-oriented results. Marela has extensive in-house and agency experience in travel, hospitality, luxury, retail and lifestyle with expertise representing blue-chip clients, international organizations and high profile events both in Canada and abroad. At rock-it promotions, she leads teams whose passion for PR drives the pursuit to generate maximum brand awareness impact for our clients. She advocates applying strong creative vision to every PR program, anchored by emotive storytelling that connects clients to desired target audiences.
Fun fact: Marela likes to travel without an itinerary and credits her best travel memories to getting lost on her way to a tourist spot.
Carrie is a seasoned PR professional with over 12 years of agency experience. She has had the pleasure of developing and executive PR campaigns for many notable brands such as Caudalie, L’Oreal Professionnel, NIVEA, Nespresso, Weight Watchers among others.
As Director of Business Development, her collective experience allows her to clearly identify opportunities and develop tailored PR programs for new and existing clients. She is based in Montreal, but will be visiting the Toronto office frequently.
Carrie and her husband also recently opened a bistro named after their 5 year old daughter, Grace. She took her mother’s advice and married a chef;)
Mary has more than nine years of public relations experience managing and executing successful traditional and digital PR campaigns for global and local brands both in house and in agency settings. Mary has always loved both the creative and strategic aspects of PR and as the new Director of Business Development she is excited that the role allows her to combine both.
After graduating from Oxford Brookes University in England with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Media and Communications, Alice has since lived and worked in Los Angeles, Hawaii and New York. After a fantastic year working in Manhattan for a post-production company, she moved back to London to take on a role at the BBC, organizing events and then transitioning into a finance role.
After four wonderful years at the BBC, Alice decided it was time to spread her wings once more and immigrate for the final time. She moved to Toronto and joined the rock-it team as Office Manager. After a few years with the company, she assumes the role of ‘Director of Operations’, and now also runs Fourth Floor Management.
She loves Toronto, her cat, Winnie and bakes a mean banana bread.
With nearly seven years of agency experience, Daliah has worked with local, national and international brands including Dr. Martens, Manitobah Mukluks, ALEX AND ANI, Pet Valu Inc., The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro, and more. At rock-it, she oversees accounts including GUESS?, Etsy Canada, The Broadview Hotel, Consonant Skincare, Power Ball and more.
She graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a B.A. in English and Political Science before completing a post-graduate Corporate Communications and Public Relations program at Centennial College.
With five years of experience in the public relations industry, Corinne received her post-graduate certification in public relations from Humber College before starting her career in-agency working on brands including Forever 21, MaxMara, Equinox Fitness Clubs, Sears Canada, Mulberry and the inaugural Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFA), where she secured 100+ million media impressions and celebrity attendees such as Joe Zee and Brad Goreski. Most recently, she helped develop the in-house public relations department at L’Occitane En Provence, increasing awareness of the French beauty brand across Canada.
Corinne loves to travel (Italy, Israel and Spain are her favourites) and is consumed by all things fashion and beauty. She loves to explore the 6ix with friends and family and can often be found cheering on the Raptors/Jays, especially during the playoffs!
Zai graduated with a degree in Film and Pop Culture from Brock University, a post-graduate certificate in Sport and Event Marketing from George Brown College and an Award of Achievement in Social Media from the University of British Columbia. Zai has worked on accounts including AMC Theatres, MGM and Walt Disney Studio Home Entertainment. She also spent four years working as an Event Coordinator for UBC as well as a freelance Publicity and Promotions Specialist. In her free time, Zai enjoys brunch, reading, travelling and spending time with her family and friends.
As an Associate Account Manager Sheri works with a variety of clients including Club Med, Frank And Oak, Casper and Spirit of York. In addition to looking after her lifestyle and fashion accounts, Sheri also manages rock-it’s blog, onthefourthfloor.com. Before entering the PR world, Sheri spent a few years living in South Korea as an English teacher. Sheri holds a B.A. in English Literature and Cultural Studies from McGill University and a post-graduate certificate in Public Relations from Humber College. With an appreciation for clean design and modern aesthetics, Sheri spends her free time adding to her library, wardrobe and music collection in equal measure.
Stacey loves the fast-paced environment of public relations. She holds an Honours Degree in Communication Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University and a post-graduate certificate in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Seneca College. Prior to joining the rock-it promotions’ team, Stacey interned in New York City at a top PR firm and continued her career in the beauty category with a leading brand in Toronto. Outside of the office, Stacey is the ultimate sports fan and can be found cheering on the Leafs and Raptors, with her adorable rescue pooch by her side.
A recent transplant from Calgary, Alberta, Lindsey moved to Toronto to pursue a career in the Fashion industry after getting her BCOM from Queen’s University. Before joining the rock-it team, Lindsey gained an understanding of Canada’s fashion landscape through interning with local stylists and PR agencies including Talia Brown and THE COLLECTIONS. This experience accompanies her international perspective attained through living and studying in the US, UK, and Europe. As a pop-culture, music, and animal enthusiast you can often find Lindsey listening to the latest hits, or day dreaming of two-stepping at the Calgary Stampede.
After graduating from York University with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree, Andrea decided to follow her energetic spirit and join the fast-paced world of public relations. She is a graduate of the Event Marketing program at George Brown College and has a background in public relations, marketing and event planning. Andrea began her career at a boutique PR agency working with top fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands where she was able to showcase her creativity and build lasting relationships with clients and the media. Beyond work hours, you can find Andrea either baking something sweet, putting in work at the gym, or trying to convince you to watch her latest TV obsession. (in no particular order!)
Alex joins the rock-it promotions team as the Administrative/Executive Assistant. Alex has over 10 years experience in the administrative field. He’s the first friendly smile to greet all visitors, guests, and clients, and enjoys currently being the only man in the rock-it office.
For fun, Alex spends most of his free time running/organizing The Toronto Spartan Volleyball League, Canada’s largest LGBTQ league. He’s also a long-time player/member and loves every minute of it.
After graduating from Trent University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and French, Erin set off to Europe to work and travel, living in Ireland for a year. Since returning to Canada and obtaining a Postgraduate Certificate from Humber College’s PR Program, Erin worked at several top Toronto agencies before taking on the role of Bilingual Account Coordinator at rock-it. Erin’s always had a passion for the arts, performing in several musicals in University and volunteering for TIFF. In her downtime, you can catch her cuddling up with a blanket to binge watch FRIENDS on Netflix.
A graduate of the Media, Information, and Technoculture program at Western University, Lara works on a diverse range of accounts at rock-it including Etsy, GUESS, and Consonant Skincare. Prior to joining rock-it, Lara worked in the marketing department of one of Canada’s leading beauty brands. Outside of work, Lara loves curling up with a good book, having a strong cup of tea, and tending to her ever-growing plant collection. When she really wants to unwind, she does all three at once.
Sari studied Political Science and Management and Organizational Studies at Western University. Right after graduating, she started working at a boutique entertainment PR agency. First as an intern, then a Promotions Coordinator and Junior Publicist, she gained an incredible experience in entertainment PR and events, including working at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. She will receive her Master’s degree in Professional Communication from Ryerson in August 2017.
Sari loves to watch movies, read, travel, spin and eat anything with avocado.
Lexi completed her BA in International Development and Communications at McGill University. After travelling for three months in Asia, she is back with a refreshed perspective and ready to dive into the world of PR. With experience in marketing and events, Lexi thrives in a fast-paced environment. Outside of work, Lexi can be found shopping, checking out the best restaurants and cheering on her favourite sports teams.
With a passion for acting and creative writing, Shanice loves to express her craft through storytelling. Her hardworking attitude has led her succeed through various roles, such as Vice-President Secretary of University of Ottawa Public Relations Association and Sports Control Crew member for 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games. She will receive her Honors Bachelor Degree in public relations from the University of Ottawa in June 2017.
As a champion for PR and events, Christine brings her love for all things lifestyle, to rock-it promotions. After graduating from the University of Toronto, she harnessed her entrepreneurial spirit to launch her freelance makeup business. Working in the beauty industry allowed Christine to develop skills in event planning, social media and content creation. This led her to pursue a post-graduate certificate in Public Relations from Humber College. She is excited to rejoin rock-it as an account coordinator after participating in the PV program. In her free time, Christine can be found practicing photography, cuddling with her Jack Russell or watching scary movies.
On the weekends, you can find her digging for the newest Hip Hop and RnB tracks, watching The Office or doing Hot Yoga.
Lauren graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Production with a focus in public and media relations from Ryerson University. During the course of her degree, she has volunteered consistently with both World MasterCard and TOM fashion weeks, as well as ETalk during TIFF. As her final practicum project, Lauren joined forces with a few classmates as the Marketing and PR director to put together a sponsored live stream fashion show event with 8 designers, 6 vendors, and over 360 guests all to raise awareness of sustainable fashion here in Toronto. An ambitious and creative individual with a passion for all media and fashion-related angles, she looks continuously to gain experience in the PR and media industry. In her off time you may find her achieving fitness goals, socialising, or working on her own personal clothing craft.