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;)
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.
Sarah completed a Bachelor of Arts program at York University before heading down under to Australia where she achieved a Masters in Strategic Public Relations from the University of Sydney. During her time in Sydney, she also worked in PR roles at the Cancer Council of NSW and CBS Interactive.
Sarah then moved to London, England where she worked at The PC Agency, specializing in tourism and hospitality PR. Here, Sarah led on numerous accounts including Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Ireland, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Alila Hotels & Resorts and La Sultana Hotel in Morocco.
After four years in London, Sarah moved back to Toronto and has since been at Siren Communications. She and her team successfully launched Bisha Hotel Toronto and Hotel X Toronto and she led on accounts such as The Crane Resort in Barbados, Gansevoort Hotel Group, The Curtain in London, TradeWinds and Exclusive Resorts.
Sarah enjoys travelling (can you tell?!) as well as checking out new restaurants and events in the city. She can also be found (occasionally) hitting up a boot camp or spin class but Netflix usually wins.