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 ten 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.
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;)
Michelle is a savvy publicist with nine years of agency experience. With almost seven years at rock-it promotions, Michelle has rocked campaigns for TOMS, Soho House, Toronto Fashion Week and World MasterCard Fashion Week, Avocados From Mexico, eOne, Hudson’s Bay Company, SPiN Toronto, Clarks, Reebok Canada, and many more. Michelle also manages rock-it’s popular annual Spring/Summer Media Preview in February and Fall/Holiday Media Preview in July.
Before joining the rock-it promotions team, Michelle worked at Edelman Public Relations for just over two years, where she served clients including Swarovski, Red Bull and Johnson & Johnson. She has a bachelor’s degree in media, information, technology-culture (M.I.T.) from the University of Western Ontario, and completed a post-grad public relations program at Humber College.
Michelle loves attending concerts, checking out new restaurants, visiting gardens and parks, hosting dinner parties and enjoying all kinds of fun adventures in Toronto. She also a huge animal lover, and has an adorable Boston Terrier/French Bull Dog pup named Lucy (#rockitpromo pups!).
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 and Executive Assistant to the president and founder, Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski. After a few years with the company, she now assumes the role of ‘Director of Operations’.
She loves Toronto, the Raptors and bakes a mean banana bread.
With close to five years of experience in the public relations industry, Mary loves lifestyle PR and can’t imagine doing anything else. Mary graduated from Humber College’s PR program and quickly landed an internship at LouLou Magazine, followed by two agency posts and most recently, a role with the Rogers Media PR team at The Shopping Channel (TSC). At TSC Mary worked one-on-one with well-known talent such as Denise Richards, Camila Alves, Kimora Lee Simmons and Giuliana Rancic, among others. Mary also handled media relations, secured product placement, managed social media, organized media junkets and planned events.
Mary enjoys travelling, all things fashion, and has a new found love of running. Mary spends most of her spare time with friends and family at her cottage in Muskoka.
With over five years of agency experience, Daliah is a proactive publicist specializing in project and event management, developing and implementing strategic communications plans, client and media relations, social media management and on-air appearances.
Prior to joining rock-it promotions, Daliah managed brands including GUESS?, Dr. Martens, Manitobah Mukluks, ALEX AND ANI, Triumph Lingerie, Pet Valu Inc., ROXY, The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro, 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.
Outside of work, Daliah can be found cheering on the Jays, Raps or Leafs (depending on the season), trying new restaurants in the 6ix, attempting the latest fitness craze, or baking away in her kitchen.
Nicole is a passionate communications professional with a proven track record in creating successful campaigns across digital and traditional channels, engaging media at both the local and national level. She has worked in public relations, marketing, communications and events in Montreal, Miami and Toronto for over a decade, gaining experience in all aspects of brand building.
Whether as a publicist at boutique firms, an Internal Communications Specialist at the Aldo Group or as a project manager launching new brands, there’s one thing that she has always focused on: building culture and identity through information. Over her years in the industry, Nicole has worked with a range of fashion, entertainment, hospitality, restaurant, nightlife, beverage, charity/non-profit, art and design clients.
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, running, travelling and spending time with her family and friends.
Sheri works as an Account Specialist working with a variety of clients including the Oliver & Bonacini properties and The Brain Project. 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.
Graduating from Western University with a Honours Double Major in English and Philosophy, Janet continued her education at Humber College studying Public Relations and Corporate Communications.
The downtown Toronto native started her career in the non-for-profit sector at The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Soon after she made her way to rock-it promotions, working as a dedicated intern. After a few years working in hospitality and events, Janet has come full circle. Back at rock-it, she uses her love for social media to take her position, as the Talent Coordinator, to the next level.
Janet loves Beyoncé, shiny clothes, and a good old fashion dance party.
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.
A self-proclaimed yogi with a love for kale smoothies, Vanessa has a background in public relations and events and a degree in Public Relations from The University of Guelph-Humber. Her creativity and ability to improvise are skills which have helped her on the job whether it be producing media results for clients or working a fashion week after-party. When she’s not hard at work On The Fourth Floor, Vanessa is either sweating it out on her yoga mat or cooking up plant-based dishes in the kitchen.
A recent graduate of the Media, Information, and Technoculture program at Western University, Lara is excited to be rejoining the rock-it team as an Account Coordinator. Before becoming a full-time team member, Lara was a PV with rock-it and worked on accounts like TOMS, Oliver & Bonacini, and Pai Skincare and then spent a few months living in Germany and traveling Europe. Prior to joining rock-it, Lara spent time working 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 relaxing with her shitzhu-poodle Charlie by her side. When she really wants to unwind, she does all three at once.
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!)
Nicole studied Philosophy at Western University and began working at the Royal Ontario Museum fresh out of school. First as an intern, then a Communications Assistant, she gained invaluable experience in arts & culture PR while working exhibitions as well as events such as Friday Night Live. Excited to work with even more brands she loves, Nicole dedicates her spare time to entertainment, fashion, and food.
After completing her BA in Film Studies and Communications at Carleton University, Ally furthered her education by receiving a diploma in Public Relations from Algonquin College. She’s completed an internship at Strut Entertainment, worked as a freelance publicist for an emerging indie rock band and for a film premiering at TIFF. When she isn’t reading music blogs or catching up on pop-culture news, Ally spends her free time at concerts or watching movies.
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.
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.
After graduating from Trebas Institute with an Event Management diploma, Kristen decided to pursue further education in public relations at Humber College, where she will receive her diploma in May 2017. She has experience volunteering at events such as Toronto Fashion Week, Corus Entertainment’s ‘My Eventsuite Launch Party’ and Julie Daniluk’s workshop, ‘Meals that Heal.’ With knowledge in both PR and events, Kristen is eager to continue building her skills in the communications industry. In her spare time, you can find her dining out with friends, cooking up new recipes and exploring High Park with her two dogs.