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____ Wednesday March 23, 2016 ____



ICA announces resignation of CEO Gillian Graham

Leader and champion of Canada’s advertising industry embarks on new chapter following tenure of achievement

Toronto - The Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA) announced that Gillian Graham will resign from her position as CEO effective July 15, 2016 after nine years of respected leadership and significant achievements in the position. When approached to join the organization in 2007, Ms. Graham’s role was to lead a mandate of change and revitalize the organization’s membership, while pursuing a progressive agenda of thought and industry leadership to diversify the not-for-profit’s financial base. Despite disruption driven by technology, consolidation and new industry models, Ms. Graham and her team were able to reinvent and reinvigorate the ICA’s mission that has enabled it to significantly grow membership over her tenure, and widely diversify its sources of revenue.

Most importantly, the ICA radically enhanced its thought leadership role for both its members and the industry through the launch and growth of events such as FFWD: Advertising and Marketing Week, a national initiative which achieved its strongest attendance and revenue performance in 2016, and FutureFlash, now a must-attend conference for leaders of the Canadian advertising and marketing industry.

“My decision to leave the ICA is driven primarily by personal reasons,” explained Ms. Graham. “It’s been an incredible period of growth and achievement for both the ICA and for me, and I believe now is the right time to start the next chapter. There are a number of opportunities and wide range of interests which I want to address -- businesses to start, Boards to contribute to, books to be written, young people to be mentored – and I am incredibly excited about the possibilities. I owe a huge thank-you to our staff, my colleague and president Jani Yates and to the ICA Boards for their dedication and commitment to our wonderful industry.”

“Gillian has led the organization with resilience, passion and grace. She has seen us through the thick and thin of industry issues and has guided her team to be a proactive agency voice,” added Penny Stevens, president, Media Experts and Chair of the 2016 Board of Directors. “The solid steadfast footing upon which the ICA stands because of her leadership and the timing of her announcement and departure allow the Board the chance to review the leadership and structural needs of the organization. So to Gillian, a heartfelt thank-you. She has been and I know will continue to be a passionate advocate for the contribution of Canada’s advertising agencies and their association, the ICA,” she concluded.

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