The remit of the CASSIES Benchmarking Panel is two-fold:

  • Only send forward to Final Judging cases that have a reasonable chance of winning an award.
  • Ensure there is no incremental degradation over time of winning standards.

Members of the Benchmarking panel are senior industry professionals from Agency, Client, Research and Academia backgrounds, have been past CASSIES Final judges, and have a vast amount of experience in evaluating business cases. Many are also regular judges at Effies.

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Moya D Brown

Vice President of Marketing

Campbell Company of Canada

Moya is Vice President of Marketing, Campbell Canada. She is responsible for driving consumer and shopper engagement through Canadian-led strategy, and integrated activation, in addition to providing overall leadership to the Campbell Canada Marketing team. She leads teams across powerhouse brands including iconic Campbell’s soup, Chunky soup, Goldfish crackers and V8 beverages.

An agile and collaborative leader, with an innate challenger mindset, Moya has led the strategic redefinition of Campbell’s soup portfolio in Canada along with an ambitious plan to revitalize canned soup. She’s proud to be part of the Campbell Canada team and the work we’ve created to bring the company’s purpose, Real Food for Life’s Moments that Matter, to life through integrated activations.

Prior to joining Campbell Canada in 2002, Moya held progressive marketing roles at Procter & Gamble in both Toronto and the United States.

Moya’s commitment to excellence, innovation and best in-class marketing keeps her connected to the marketing and advertising community. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and as an executive advisor for Camp Campbell, a program to develop the next generation of female leaders. She has been recognized as one of Marketing Magazines Top 30 Under 30, and more recently as one of Strategy Magazine’s 2016 Marketers of the Year.

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Marilyn A. Cresswell


Humber College

Marilyn is a proven marketing leader and a full-time Professor at Humber College with the added responsibility of leading the highly regarded Advertising Account Management program. Marilyn firmly established the Humber AdCentre an in house ad agency for the college in order to provide students with real client mandates over 10 years ago. With over 25 years of global corporate and product marketing experience, she has been a key element in building the reputation many brands.

Prior to joining Humber, Marilyn was a Director of Product Management in the software industry growing Corporate Marketing and Communications. In her own consulting company she worked to strategize and launch new products and ideas. Key customers included financial services, software and consumer products companies such as Microsoft, DuPont, Great West Life, Manulife, and MetLife.

She has worked with not-for-profit and for-profit organizations driving growth as measured by a variety of KPI’s. Marilyn has served as a judge on many occasions including the CFA awards. She has also won awards and recognition for her own innovations and for community support.

Marilyn currently serves as the Chair on the board of the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.

In addition to a degree in Economics, Marilyn holds a postgrad diploma in management studies, as well as an MBA from McMaster University.

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Florence Girod

VP, Strategic Planning


Passionate about the study of consumer behaviour, Florence is constantly searching for the right insight. And to find it, she’s adopted a consultative approach—the client, account execs, experts and the creatives all contribute to planning and developing brand strategies that are smart, relevant and effective.

Florence has put her talent and flair to use for many integrated campaigns that have been rewarded for their strategic and creative excellence at the Cassies, Boomerang and Strat Awards. Tourisme Québec, La Presse, VIA Rail, Home Depot, General Mills, Liberté and Loto Québec have all benefitted from her clear strategic vision. A much sought-after speaker, she is often invited to discuss social issues and communications challenges in the media.


Florence heads the strategic planning team. Always at the forefront of trends and innovation, she inspires everyone involved in creating Cossette’s integrated campaigns.

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Yann Jodoin

Senior Vice-President – Client Strategy, Marketing and Branding

National Bank

As part of his duties, Mr. Jodoin is responsible, with his team, for understanding, anticipating and influencing the behaviour and needs of clients by developing quantitative prediction models, strategies and marketing campaigns based on the channels clients use to interact with the Bank. He also oversees traditional and digital marketing, brand management, community relations and charitable activities, as well as all activities associated with payment products, including credit cards.

He has been with the Bank since 2005 and has held various positions within the organization, including in Product Management, Credit Risk and Operations.

Before joining National Bank, Mr. Jodoin was a senior consultant with a consulting firm specialized in risk management and business intelligence. He also has 10 years' experience at a major Canadian telecommunications company.

Mr. Jodoin has an MBA from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from HEC Montréal.

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Christine Kalvenes


PepsiCo Foods

Christine is the CMO of PepsiCo Foods Canada. She has over 20 years of marketing, innovation, research, design and corporate strategy experience.

She has been lauded for her passion for the consumer and her ability to leverage consumer insights to build brands. In her 14 years at PepsiCo she has used these skills to fortify the positioning for both established and high growth brands in Frito-Lay North America, a division of PepsiCo. She built an Experience Design Center integrating consumer, culinary and design principles which later set the stage for a broader PepsiCo investment in design. Most recently Christine was VP of Innovation where she led Innovation strategy and new product development producing a more than $1B 3-year pipeline. She assumed her current role as CMO in Canada in February 2014 and leads a team of 50 marketers focused on building a PepsiCo portfolio of highly loved food brands including, Lay's, Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos, Ruffles, Quaker, and Stacy's among other well-known brands.

Christine received her MBA and Bachelors of Journalism from The University of Texas. She currently lives with her husband, Joakim and two children, Anders and Isabella in Toronto, Ontario.

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Jill King

Jill is the former President of Sandbox Canada. Prior to being at the helm of Sandbox, Jill was the President of One Advertising, one of Canada's leading independent agencies.

A results-oriented, senior marketing professional with a proven track record of growth, building brands and successful teams, Jill is a passionate and skilled business leader.

Jill has senior level experience in a broad range of sectors including retail, social responsibility, consumer goods, government, high-tech and not-for-profit.

Jill is a member of the Ad Women of Toronto and sits on the ICA's Board of Directors.

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David Leonard



David started his advertising career on the other side of the camera, starring in a Nabisco Shreddies commercial at the age of 12. With more than 30 years in the communications business, David has held successive leadership roles both agency and client side across Canada.

Joining Palmer Jarvis in 1993 as a Group Account Director, David spent over 5 years leading major clients including TELUS, Labatt Breweries, Fairmont Hotels and Nabob. In 1998, David went client side as Director of Marketing Communications for Canadian Airlines, until it was absorbed by Air Canada. At that time David returned to Palmer Jarvis DDB to run the McDonald’s business for Western Canada.

Named President & CEO of Arnold Worldwide in 2001, he drove the dramatic growth and creative reputation for the Arnold brand in Canada with leading clients Volkswagen, BMO, GlaxoSmithKline and

David rejoined DDB Canada (formerly Palmer Jarvis) as President of the Toronto office in 2005, and in 2010 was appointed President & COO. Responsible for operations across all divisions and offices. During his 10 years at DDB Canada, the agency won Strategy Magazine’s Agency of the Year seven times, and Digital Agency of the Year three times in partnership with clients including the Canadian Tourism Commission, Capital One, McDonald’s, Subaru, Canadian Tire and Eli Lilly.

In May of 2015, David took over the reins of McCann Canada (formerly MacLaren McCann) as CEO, responsible for all four Canadian offices. His clear mandate was to accelerate business growth and to re-ignite the agency’s creative renaissance to return the agency to its former position as the most respected and influential communications company in Canada. The transformation is well underway.

David currently serves on the Board of the Institute for Communications & Advertising, and The Cannes Canada Advisory Board.

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Jo-Ann McArthur


Nourish Food Marketing

Jo-Ann has spent a career building brands with consumers and retailers at Procter and Gamble, Unilever and Cadillac Fairview. As a divisional President of Molson Coors, and a member of its North America Management Board, Jo-Ann led the charge to sell more beer more profitably.

As a Founding Partner and President of Nourish Food Marketing, Jo-Ann now builds powerful brands for food and beverage products in Canada, the US and Europe, creating marketing strategies that help move products off the shelves, into the consumer’s shopping basket, onto their plates and into their hearts.

She has worked with entrepreneurs launch award winning products and with Municipal, Provincial and Federal agencies to create programs that support Canada's food industry.

Jo-Ann is founding chair of the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada, a Past President of The Empire Club of Canada where she hosted leaders from around the globe, and serves as Board Chair of ABC Life Literacy Canada.

Previous speaking engagements include:

  • Restaurants Canada
  • Ontario-European Agri-Food Forum
  • Food And Beverage Ontario, (formerly the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors)
  • TFO Canada
  • The Pet Food Association (Canada and U.S.)
  • Woman of Influence WXN
  • Packaging Association of Canada
  • IEG Annual Conference Chicago
  • World Congress of Sport New York
  • Women & Leadership Summit
  • Women in Business
  • Canadian Institute
  • Canada Sports Forum
  • Numerous Chamber of Commerce appearances
  • Numerous television appearances.

She enjoys hiking and running half marathons with her husband, 3 children and goldendoodle Gracie – a necessity as she enjoys tasting everything that comes out of the Nourish test kitchen!

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Stephanie Nerlich

Managing Director, Chief Marketing Officer


Stephanie Nerlich joined MDC Partners in April 2016, to support business development, strategy, operations and financial growth across MDC’s partner agencies globally.

Prior to joining MDC Partners, Stephanie was President and CEO of Grey Canada where for five years, she led the Canadian offices, expanding digital capabilities and driving significant new business growth.

During her tenure, the agency notably elevated its creative focus, resulting in 14 Cannes Lions and recognitions at D&AD, The One Show, The Effies (including a first for Canada, the Grand Effie), The Cassies (Grand Prix’s) and ADCC, where Grey was named “Agency of the Year” twice.

Preceding Grey, Stephanie was President and CEO of Lowe Roche in Toronto, and spent more than a decade at BBDO Canada, rising to the position of Senior Vice President, Executive Managing Director.

Stephanie is wife to Chris and proud mom to Livie, Riley and dog Peter Tosh & David Bowie.

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Jill Nykoliation


Juniper Park\TBWA

As CEO of Juniper Park\TBWA, Jill brings together the disciplines of strategy, design and advertising for their North American client roster, CIBC, Nissan, Apple, EOS, Virgin Mobile, Pfizer, among others. Jill has been named to AdAge's prestigious “Women to Watch” list, and as one of Canada’s "Mad Women" by Globe & Mail. Her team has won 14 Cassies, including the Grand Prix, and 11 Effies, among numerous other awards.

Jill’s passion for creating brand platforms was cemented during her role at Kraft Foods as co-creator of its award-winning CRM initiative across North America, in addition to numerous brand management and corporate marketing roles.

After Kraft, she joined agency side as Partner at Grip Limited, before co-founding Juniper Park in 2007. A graduate of Queen’s University School of Business, Jill and her daughter live in Toronto. She loves to run, bike, hit the ski slopes, and enjoys a nice glass of wine.

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Manoj Raheja


Sklar Wilton & Associates

Manoj Raheja is one of five managing partners at Sklar Wilton & Associates (SW&A) - a leading insight and marketing advisory firm that helps CEOs, CMOs, and Marketing teams solve tough business and marketing challenges.

We help clients get clear on their growth plan, be it creating a portfolio strategy, defining brand architecture & positioning, delivering return on research investment (RORI), charting their innovation path, or planning for change. As strategic advisors and in-sourced insights partners, we understand our clients' businesses deeply and work collaboratively to co-create successes.

For over 30 years, SW&A has had the privilege of developing long-lasting relationships with many of Canada’s and the world’s most iconic companies, including with the talented people who lead them. We are proud of the marketing and research acumen we possess, exemplified by our founding partners receiving top honours through the AMA Marketing Hall of Legends, and the Fellowship through the Market Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA). However we are most proud of creating a great place to work, and being recognized by the Great Place to Work Institute, so that our Associates are engaged and wanting to do more than expected to help you succeed!

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Serge Rancourt


No Fixed Address Inc.

An entrepreneur at heart, Serge has spent his entire career starting, leading and scaling global agencies. During his 12 year tenure at Y&R he rose to run both the Canadian and German operations. As CEO of Publicis Canada for 10 years, he grew it from a 35 person agency to one of Canada’s largest networks with over 400 employees. Most recently, as owner of DS+P, Serge once again exponentially grew the agency before embarking on starting No Fixed Address to meet the changing demands of our industry.

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Diane Ridgway-Cross

Vice President, Business Strategy and Development

McCann Montreal

In 2013, Diane joined McCann Montreal from the U.S., where she was managing partner at one of Advertising Age’s A-List agencies and ran the Interpublic Group’s marketing-to-women practice. Her roster of clients includes world-leading brands including L’Oréal, Nespresso, Kimberly-Clark, Air Canada, General Motors, Nestlé, Lowe’s Home Improvement, The Coca-Cola Company, Hasbro Toys and more.

Diane is a recognized expert on the topic of marketing to women and moms, speaking at conferences across North America. She is a member of the Network of Executive Women and the National Retail Federation, and is a distinguished scholar for the In-Store Marketing Institute.

In addition to her 15+ years of agency background, Diane has also held the post of Chief Marketing Officer at a major retailer in the U.S. where she oversaw the marketing for 1,100 stores and helped craft the company’s eComm growth strategy.

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Valérie Sapin

Director, Marketing and Innovation

Gaz Metro

Communications expert and strategist, Valérie has been manager, Marketing and Innovation, at Gaz Métro since 2011. She is responsible, with her team, of the company’s corporate position and its evolution, notably through marketing and communications strategies and through energy efficiency programs.

Prior to joining Gaz Métro, Valérie spent more than 11 years at Cossette where she was General Manager of their Strategic Planning group. She directly advised a number of clients on subjects relating to their business, marketing, and brand strategies, including Rio Tinto Alcan, Bombardier, Canada Post, Bank of Montréal, Tourisme Québec, Canadian Red Cross, Radio-Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, Bell and Holt Renfrew. Her diversified experience gave her a wide and multidisciplinary vision of key business and strategic issues, allowing her to devise strategies and propose action driven solutions anchored in the reality of her clients.

Before joining Cossette, Valérie supervised the repositioning of Discreet (now Autodesk), a world leader in software and visual effects systems. Prior to that, she was the marketing director of a division of CGI, a global technology consulting firm.

Valérie sits on the board of directors of the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde in Montréal and of the Natural Gas Technologies Center. She chairs the Réseau APCM’s board of directors.

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Mark Tomblin

Chief Strategy Officer

Juniper Park\TBWA

A UK native, Mark started his advertising career in account management in London and was lucky enough to spend his formative years at leading UK creative agencies WCRS, Leagas Delaney and Collett Dickenson Pearce. Following a spell in a boutique market research consultancy, he moved into planning, where he has remained ever since.

His last role in London was at Leo Burnett, where he led a team of nearly 40 planners and researchers. His time there was capped by the agency winning two Golds in the globally prestigious IPA Effectiveness Awards in 2012 – the most the agency has ever won.

Mark came to Canada in January 2013 to head up planning at TAXI Toronto. Six months later, he was appointed their first network CSO. Under his strategic stewardship, the agency enjoyed a string of success at both the Cassies and the Effies for clients such as Canadian Tire, Kraft Foods and Koodo, as well as an enviable new business record in 2015.

Mark is a Certified Member of the Market Research Society, a Member of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (UK) and Chair of the Account Planning Group of Canada. In addition, he has judged the APG Creative Planning Awards in the UK, been a jury member for the Cassies, a finals judge for the North American Effies and Co-Chair of the inaugural Strategy Awards here in Canada.

He joined Juniper Park\TBWA in May 2016.

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Alvin Wasserman


Wasserman and Partners Advertising

Alvin founded Wasserman and Partners Advertising about 22 years ago with a desire to give clients a West Coast agency alternative to the multinationals.

He had won wide recognition for creative excellence including Clios, Marketing Gold's, inclusion in the One Show, Communication Arts Annuals, The New York Advertising Festivals, Mobius and the International Broadcast Awards. He was after something more. A creative lens on strategically savvy work.

His agency has helped drive the ongoing success of some of the most powerful brands in the marketplace. Vancity, ICBC, Worksafe BC, Whistler Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler, Granville Island Brewery, The Community against Preventable Injuries, Pacific Blue Cross, Encorp Return- it, Sun Rype and London Drugs are among the clients.

Wasserman + Partners has grown to be BC’s largest full service independent advertising agency.

Follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter at AlvinWasserman.