2023 Annual Agency Panel – Brand Expression

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Grand Ballroom, Paradox Hotel
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February 7, 2023
8am - 10:30am
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About Event


Come join our Annual Agency Panel in person at the Paradox Hotel as we explore Brand Expression. How evolving values are challenging brands to rethink their cohesive brand voice.

We will be discussing:

– Brand purpose and its role in expression

– Ways to evolve and reinvent a brand while remaining authentic

– Changing environments and impact on brand expression

– Advancement in marketing (AI) and how they play a role in unifying consumer brand relationships.

Our 2023 Annual Agency Panel Thought Leaders


Svetlana Connolly

Svetlana Connolly

Head of Brand Marketing, Media and Consumer Insights

Best Buy

For 22 years, Svetlana has led brand communications and marketing strategies, educational programs and ad campaigns in the agency environment, covering diverse industries such as food and beverage, QSR, utilities, financial and travel. In the last 2 years, she transitioned to client-side, adding consumer electronics to her brand experience, at Best Buy Canada. Brand strategy has been a core part of her career and a particular passion – Svetlana enjoys uncovering research insights that help brands authentically connect with their consumers.


Andrea VanDerRee

Andrea Van Der Ree

Co-founder & Design Director


Andrea is a Co-founder and Graphic Designer of the small Vancouver brand studio OK DAVE. Prior to starting her studio, Andrea worked in advertising and branding agencies for 11 years. She has worked on brand communications projects for companies including Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver International Airport, Electronic Arts, CP Rail, Calgary Zoo, RioCan and Colliers.

Sean Carter

Sean Carter

Founder and Design Director

Carter Hales Design Lab

Sean is Founder and Design Director at Carter Hales Design Lab and previously he cofounded Hanger 18 Creative Group. For over 20+ years Sean has been leading his clients through the brand identity process and teaching our young inspiring creative minds at Capilano University.

Thomas Morton

Thomas Morton

Strategy Director

Pound & Grain

Thomas is a planning veteran, having held senior strategic positions at Cossette, Proximity BBDO, The&Partnership and JWT. Throughout his career, Thomas has worked with clients like Volkswagen, TELUS and The Economist. In his current role, Thomas is responsible for ensuring clients enjoy continued success in today’s digital and connected world. He has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing brands in this environment and is skilled at developing strategies that help them thrive.

Rachita Vasan

Rachita Vasan

Senior Strategist

Wieden + Kennedy

New York-made and Chicago-raised, Rachita (she/her) has spent her career working on beer, video games, and herself. Currently a senior strategist at Wieden + Kennedy in Portland OR, she uses culture to unearth insights about human behavior and shape resonant brand storytelling for Anheuser-Busch brands around the world. Prior to W+K Portland, she led strategy on the Nintendo account at Leo Burnett, spearheading their first ‘women gamers’ campaign in 11+ years. A fierce advocate for intersectionality in advertising, she’s a 2020 ADCOLOR Future and ERG lead who has helped shape executive training, employee workshops, and DEI programming throughout Publicis Groupe, W+K, and the industry as a whole. She believes diversity is potent fuel for creativity, culture, and the bottom line. (It makes for way better food, too.)


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