Greatest Hits: Exploring the mindset of younger generations with Sabaa Quao

The Pivot Greatest Hits: Exploring the Mindset of Younger Generations with Sabaa Quao

The Pivot Greatest Hits: As we launch into 2023, we bring to you a past Season 4 conversation with Sabaa Quao, Chief Creative Officer at Cossette and Co-Founder at Wealthie Works Daily. Tune in for relevant insights on the shifting consumer mindset, how the digitization of money presents risks to younger generations, and the need for persistent and consistent financial literacy.

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If we look to generation Z, and even generation alpha, there is some hope. Generation Z are confident creators and less burdened with self-conscious expression, but for this potential to blossom, they need the financial independence and liberty to truly unleash their creativity, business savviness and activism.

**The Pivot with Ken Evans will return in February 2023 with continued marketing-focused content. We are excited to be exploring new topics and developments with industry leaders. Wishing you and your families a Happy New Year!**

Episode originally aired October 2020.

S7:E3 Exploring Inclusive Cultures with Dr. Sofia B. Pertuz and Therese O’Higgins

Inclusive cultures are evolving and more and more organisations are taking note. But, what does it really mean to foster equal and equitable opportunity? Why are listening, soul-searching and actionable leadership so important in marketing and messaging? 

This week, we are joined by key leaders from the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, Dr. Sofia B. Pertuz and Therese O’Higgins to dive into these topics. We also chat about the importance of trailblazers like Billie Jean King and specific steps organizations can take to address real issues, both internal and systemic, as we strive to create greater equitable opportunities, access, representation and inclusive cultures across the board.

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Guest Bios

Therese O’Higgins is a founding partner and the Executive Director of The Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, a Foundation founded in partnership with sports and social justice champion Billie Jean King to foster more equity and inclusion in the workplace. Using operational knowledge and prior consulting experience, Therese has also built a service line of Billie Jean King Enterprises that delivers consulting, counsel and strategic advisory on diversity, equity and inclusion to a number of clients across corporate and sporting entities.

Dr. Sofia B. Pertuz is a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professional and ICF certified executive coach with over 25 years of experience serving higher education, nonprofit and corporate organizations. has been an invited speaker for international audiences on topics in leadership, social justice, mental health, Latinx/Hispanic identity and LGBTQ+ advocacy, delivering keynotes in both English and Spanish. Prior to joining the Billie Jean King Leadership team, Sofia served as the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for young people. Sofia is also the Founder and Lead DEI Strategist for Mainstream Insight, LLC, consulting and providing training and workshops for organization aiming to achieve inclusive excellence.

S7:E2 Behind the Pixel of Digital Out-of-Home Advertising with Scott Mitchell and Debbie Benadiba

S7:E2 Behind the Pixel of Digital Out-of-Home Advertising with Scott Mitchell and Debbie Benadiba

The ad-spend pie is evolving and digital is now capturing a large portion of marketing dollars. This week we’re joined by  Vistar Managing Director, Scott Mitchell and NOVUS Media President, Debbie Benadiba, to talk about how they are moving the needle with digital out-of-home. From data to measurement to automation, we take a closer look at the evolution of these key pillars in out-of-home and discuss the steps marketers are taking as they leverage technology to generate omnichannel approaches that resonate with audiences.

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Guest Bios

Scott Mitchell is Managing Director for Canada at Vistar Media, the leading global provider of programmatic and software solutions for digital out-of-home. Since joining Vistar in 2017, Scott has launched the Canadian office and grown operations to a fully staffed team with strategic partnerships across the entire programmatic landscape. Prior to joining Vistar, Scott held positions at TubeMogul (now Adobe) opening Canadian operations and working with agencies, as well as in the Enterprise (SaaS) business working with brands directly. Scott also worked at Yahoo! Canada leading the CPG vertical.

Debbie Drutz is the President of Novus Canada, North America’s premiere Print and OOH Specialist agency. Novus leverages media services, geo-spatial planning and analytic capabilities to provide comprehensive media strategy programs to allow brands to reach their audiences where they are. Bringing over 22 years of extensive knowledge in the industry, Debbie joined Novus to shape the strategy and vision of the company, and to lend her expertise to driving growth for Novus and its partners.

S7:E1 True Sports Development with Matt Young and Paul Beirne

With Canadian sport continuing to be at the forefront of many recent headlines, some key questions are arising. How can we raise the standard in sports development to ensure the right balance between fun and competitiveness? How do we integrate EDI forward? And what does itreallymean to foster community? How do we create greater accountability to ensure the betterment of our partners, team members, support systems and developmental pipeline? 

Find out in our first episode of season 7, where Ken is joined by Matt Young and Paul Beirne to open the curtains on true sports development, what it means and how we can leverage it in 2022 and beyond.

Whether you’re heading an organization or looking for brilliant, salient ways to foster community in your every day sport, amateur and professional, you will want to tune in! 

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Guest Bios

Matt Young is globally recognized as THE expert in turning Long-Term Athlete Development Framework theory into strategy that works for organizations ranging from grassroots to professional & Olympic levels of sport. Matt’s ability to distill complex constructs into bite-sized pieces that can be understood has made him a sought-after business consultant. Young is also a Guinness World record holder with $6,000,000.00+ raised for charity to date.

Paul Beirne is one of Canada’s leading soccer executives and one of the people who brought the Canadian Premier League to life. As a serial sports start-up and turnaround specialist he has been part of many tremendous sporting successes: Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, and the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. 






Teaser: Introducing Season 7 of The Pivot with Ken Evans

#ThePivot with Ken Evans IS BACK and better than ever! Tune in now for a tip-top teaser of what you can expect in our seventh season, including a sneak peek at Episode 1: True Sports Development, with Matt Young, Partner, FSQ Sport, and Paul Beirne, Managing Director, Pacific Football Club.

In the coming months, expect salient content and industry insight from key senior marketing experts around a number of provocative topics. We will look at how marketing continues to evolve in the modern world!

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Ken Evans is the Host of The Pivot and a 23-year senior corporate communications strategist and communications trainer to some of the globe’s top brands. 

When not devouring news from the world politics and global business to the intrigues of celebrity chefs, Ken acts as the in-house communications and media trainer, as well as the agency’s corporate lead. Ken has worked with a diverse range of communicators — from Canada’s top corporate executives to TV and film artists.

Roku: The Next Frontier of Advertising

Have you found yourself streaming content more in the past few years? Since the start of the pandemic, Canadians have been leaning into streaming and away from traditional cable. On our TVs, our laptops, and even on our phones, we can stream almost anything anywhere.

But what does streaming have to do with marketing? Today, as marketers continue to find ways to reach audiences where they are, how do we tap into moments where many are already paying attention? Streaming platforms like Roku are now offering new ways for advertisers to reach audiences, and as marketers it’s time for us to lean into this opportunity.

In this episode Ken is joined by two experts from Roku, an APEX PR client, to discuss the state of streaming in Canada, including the rapid decline of traditional linear TV, and the streaming opportunities that are available to advertisers, marketers, publishers, and content producers.

Listen in and hear from Mary-Anne Taylor, Head of Content Distribution – Canada, Roku Inc. and Christina Summers, Regional Sales Manager, Roku Canada.

Since recording this episode, Roku is now the #1 Streaming Platform in Canada and has well over 100 FAST channels in TRC.



Guest Bio:


Mary-Anne Taylor, Head of Content Distribution – Canada, Roku Inc.

A seasoned entertainment executive with 20+ years of industry experience, Mary-Anne’s work has spanned broadcast, subscription, video on demand, and OTT platforms. She began her career as a production technician and project manager. Her passion for broadening Canadian content then led her to content acquisitions for Shaw Direct, chairing cross-functional teams responsible for launching channels at Rogers Cable, leading Affiliate sales for TELETOON and Cartoon Network, and most recently as Director of Content Distribution Canada for Sony Pictures Entertainment.  Mary-Anne has received scholarships to the Media Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School and Schulich School of Business and holds a degree in Radio & Television Broadcasting from Algonquin College, and a Theatre Arts degree from Sheridan College.


Christina Summers, Regional Sales Manager, Roku Canada

Christina helps drive successful strategies and measurable results for brand campaigns and content partners on the Roku platform. An accomplished and results-driven sales leader within Canada’s digital advertising industry, Christina has a successful track record of building relationships, designing winning sales strategies and driving teams to reach challenging revenue goals in highly competitive markets. She brings 15+ years of combined technology and telecom industry experience across digital, advertising, and sales. Christina holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Guelph, Canada.

From grass roots movement to social enterprise

Have you ever felt left out of discussions about important issues when you listened to the news? You’re not alone.

Samanta Krishnapilai was finishing a master’s degree in public health and working part time at Starbucks when the pandemic hit; working with the public every day she got the sense that there was no collective understanding of what was happening and what it might mean for different communities. This was the catalyst that drove her to found the On Covid Project, which would later become the On Canada Project.

In this episode of the Pivot, Samanta explains the issues she saw with communications from Canadian leaders throughout the Covid 19 pandemic – primarily a lack of compassion and accessibility. Armed with a formal education in public health and propelled by the desire to reach those who felt ignored, Samanta grew her project from a grassroots movement to a social enterprise, and a thriving online community with over 130 thousand members.

Together Samanta and The Pivot host Ken Evans explore what it means to truly reach people, and the difference transparency and a sense of connection can make when dealing with sensitive issues.



Guest Bio:

Samanta is a creative problem solver who actively challenges the status quo. She founded The On Canada Project while nearing the completion of a Master's degree in Health Information Science from Western University (London, Ontario) and serves as the executive director and editor-in-chief.

Her passions stem from her lived experience as a first-generation Tamil-Canadian and as someone who intentionally took time to focus on her mental wellbeing in her early 20s which fundamentally changed her perspective of the world. Samanta pairs this with her education in health equity, trauma and violence

Growing your brand with experiential marketing

In this episode of The Pivot, our host, Ken Evans, sat down with Sarah Krafman, Sr. Director of Brand Strategy and Communications from one of Canada’s favourite start-ups, Endy! Join us as we dive into the world of ecommerce marketing and learn what it takes to change consumer buying habits for big-ticket purchases like mattresses, traditionally bought in store. Sarah gives us an inside look in to how Endy came to be and how the brand captured their target audience’s interest through digital marketing, influencer content and subway ads. Endy has become a disruptor in its industry and is an excellent example of how a holistic marketing and PR approach can help brands shake up consumer expectations and become a fan favourite.



Guest Bio:

Sarah Krafman was most recently Sr. Director of Brand Strategy and Communications at Endy, the Toronto-based mattress brand revolutionizing the way Canadians sleep. Since exploding onto the e-commerce scene in 2015, Endy grew to become Canada’s leading online mattress brand, and one of the country’s fastest-growing retail brands — ever. With a diverse background in digital marketing, public relations, influencer marketing, content creation, copywriting, editorial, and brand partnerships, Sarah joined the Endy team from Indigo in 2017 to spearhead the company’s influencer marketing strategy and took over the communications portfolio shortly thereafter. As an innovator and thought leader in digital PR, building several cross-channel influencer programs with proven ROI, she has grown Endy’s influencer network into one of Canada’s largest and effective roster of content creators, seeing over 400+ content creators advocate for the brand each month.

Hear from Canadian senior marketers on The Pivot, talking about our CMO Lab research and how they, like you, are adapting.

Understanding the Intersection between Cybersecurity, Communications, and Public Trust

Our host, Ken Evans, was joined on The Pivot by Digital and Cybersecurity expert, Ritesh Kotak, to explore the intersection between cybersecurity, communications, and public trust. 

This episode delves into how technology has progressed to provide communicative and connective solutions to accessing key institutions and information with an emphasis on why cybersecurity should be baked into product development rather than treated as an afterthought. Organizations that experience cybersecurity breaches never quite recover their reputations and the public’s trust so it’s essential to have preventative measures, as well as a crisis communication plan. 

Ritesh also quickly realized there is a gap in the public’s knowledge on how to protect themselves from cybercrimes. In the episode he shares with us some of the key considerations we should incorporate to protect ourselves and maximize the benefits of technology. As our society relies on technology more than ever before to facilitate connections between communities and institutions, whether that be through online education, telemedicine or accessing legal support digitally, we must learn to build a digital first infrastructure focused on the safety of users. 



Guest Bio: 

Ritesh Kotak started his career within policing in Canada where he co-led the creation of the cybercrimes unit and the research and innovation portfolio focusing on digital transformation. He then transitioned to the private sector where he worked with various Fortune 500 tech companies on global projects related to Cybersecurity, Investigations and Next-Generation IoT applications for Smart Cities projects. In 2018, Ritesh was selected by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government for their Emerging Leaders Executive Program. In 2017, he completed an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and holds a BBA from the University of Toronto. Ritesh is currently pursuing his J.D. at the University of Ottawa. 

Hear from Canadian senior marketers on The Pivot, talking about our CMO Lab research and how they, like you, are adapting.

Image of Toronto city councillor Brad Bradford. Title on image is connecting with constituents in a digital world.

Connecting With Constituents in a Digital World

Brad Bradford began his career as an urban planner, involved in the politics of the city of Toronto, but always behind the scenes. Now, as a City Councilor, Brad must find different ways to address the key issues facing his community.

He does it by harnessing the power of social media to actively listen to, and engage with, his constituents daily. As community meetings move from church basements into online spaces, the ability to communicate clearly and effectively using all of the platforms available is more critical than ever. However, without careful planning, complex issues can become oversimplified and polarizing online.

Tune in to the latest episode of The Pivot to hear how Brad's modern approach to city politics has helped him address the unique needs of his constituents and create real positive change in his community.



Guest Bio: Brad believes that as our City grows and prospers we must work hard to ensure the benefits are felt by everyone. By bringing a pragmatic, non-partisan approach to local government, Brad supports community-led change throughout Beaches East-York. With experience as an urban planner, he has a passion for addressing local issues, advocating for those typically left out of the process and making neighbourhoods more accessible. Whether it’s through the regular community meetings or the bi-weekly newsletter, Brad wants to engage with all residents and work with our local leaders to support the communities that make Beaches East-York special.