Victoria Ollers, CEO – Communications
Strategy, Planning & Project Management
DART Insight and Communications

With over 25 years of communications experience on both the client and agency sides, Victoria has worked with clients in industry, finance and government facing a wide range of communications challenges. Her expertise includes corporate and financial communications, stakeholder and community relations, public affairs, media training, and crisis and issue communications.

Victoria began her communications and project management career at Merrill Lynch. There she developed and managed the company’s marketing research, corporate rebranding, external and internal communications, media relations, sponsorships and event production, monthly print and video newsletters, and advertising.

Later as a communications consultant, Victoria advised corporate executives and senior management in the areas of corporate, financial and crisis communications and reputation and brand management. During this period she led the communications team for the Slaight-Bitove group that pitched and won the Toronto Raptors NBA franchise. Her tasks included designing, directing and managing the national “Name Game” to choose the team’s name, the subsequent name and brand global launch as well as issues management.

In 1996 Victoria joined Microcell Telecommunications as Director of Corporate Communications where she was deeply involved in the launch of many Microcell companies and services including the now well-known “Fido”. She also directed all aspects of communications including the company’s initial public offering.

Victoria then led the corporate and marketing communications practice for a leading national advertising agency – where she was a judge for the $1 million Alcan Prize for Sustainability.

For over fourteen years Vicki has led GoldFenix Communications, a virtual communications consultancy that offers strategic communications planning and execution. Projects have included rebranding, strategic plans for new or evolving organizations, media relations and issue management to event production of a Royal visit and two Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Gala events at Roy Thomson Hall.

Vicki is on the Council of the Queen’s York Rangers, and recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award.

John Wright, CEO – Insight
Opinion/Market Research, Demographics & Ideation
DART Insight and Communications

John’s expertise is in the use of strategic and tactical quantitative and qualitative opinion research. His experience derives from countless national and international assignments in public affairs, public policy, communications, and media relations over 35 years. He’s one of Canada’s best known and respected pollsters with clients in the private, public, government, not-for-profit, association, media, and professional services sectors.

Whether working confidentially with clients to understand consumer-citizen insights, construct or better a reputation, define concepts for advocacy, identify ranking messages, calculate segmentation for communications, or create credible media polling releases, he’s widely acknowledged as a ground-breaking leader of his craft. His ability to conceive insight driven research, find the story in the data, and construct powerful presentations with actionable recommendations have put him front and centre with corporate and government leaders at home and abroad. There’s literally not an industry or issue he hasn’t dealt with.

In the public domain, he’s been the most prolific public opinion surveyor and commentator in the country. Pioneering the first multi-country polls for CNN International and the Economist in 1992 bookended by his constructed monthly 24 country Thomson Reuters Global Primary Consumer Index in 2015, he’s been the point person for hundreds upon hundreds of media sponsored polls with the likes of CBC, CTV, Global TV, the Globe and Mail, Post Media, NewsTalk 1010, the Toronto Sun, Report on Business, Associated Press, McClatchy News, and Reuters to name a few. With three national best-selling books, he also hosted his own weekly radio show and regularly co-anchored for a business news network.

A highly sought after speaker, John is a Founder and Lifetime member for each of the Public Affairs Association of Canada, the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Centre for Scholars, and the Canadian Forces College Foundation. A Senior Fellow at the Angus Reid Institute and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, he’s an Honorary Colonel for the Royal Canadian Air Force with three Commendations, has been awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal for Military History and Education, the Ontario Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Community Volunteerism, and the Arbor Award from the University of Toronto.

Dr. Heather Bastedo, Senior Associate, Opinion Research & Public Affairs
DART Insight and Communications

With a passion for civic engagement, Heather has more than ten years of hands-on experience in engagement and motivation research, as well as extensive expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research design and execution.

A former Skelton Clark Postdoctoral fellow at Queen’s University, Heather holds a PhD and MA in Political Science from the University of Toronto, where she earned her degree in political psychology and motivation, focusing on democratic engagement.

Working as Senior Vice President of Angus Reid Global, she honed her understanding of state-of-the-art panel research and engagement methods and has delivered strategic advice on numerous public affairs and market research projects. She now specializes in market segmentation, panel development, and brand management.

Heather is co-editor of Canadian Democracy from the Ground Up: Perceptions and Performance, a book that measures the health of Canadian democracy, and co-author of Representation at Home: Members of Parliament in their Constituencies (forthcoming). She has published work in the Canadian Journal of Political Science and the Journal of Youth Studies, among others.

Dr. Bastedo also serves as a founding director on the board of Canadian Association for Public Opinion Research.

United States Ambassador Hon. Frederick M. Bush, Senior Associate, Executive Leader & Political Insight/Business Development & Fundraising
DART Insight and Communications

Hon. Frederick M. Bush is a widely-respected executive and United States Ambassador with a unique combination of diplomatic, political, and business experience in both the public and private sectors. He is a world-class fundraiser with broad expertise, including extensive experience leading strategic planning, business development, public relations, and marketing endeavors for start-ups, nonprofits/NGOs, and corporate enterprises. Ambassador Bush has an exceptional ability to forge strategic partnerships and manage high-profile relationships, with a wide array of international contacts. Having completed many assignments in multiple countries (including Canada), he has an impressive track record of breakthrough problem-solving under challenging conditions and tight deadlines. Ambassador Bush is Fluent in French.

In addition to his insights into modern day politics in Washington, Ambassador Bush provides clients of DART Insight and Communications with advice and counsel for nonprofit development/fundraising, public relations/outreach, relationship management, strategic planning, international diplomacy, business development, executive management negotiation, budget management and program development.

The following are some of the key positions held by Ambassador Bush over his career: 

Senior Consultant, Keystone Center

Counselor, Friends of the American University of Afghanistan

President of Development, The BizWorld Foundation

Executive Vice President, Council on Competitiveness

Associate Director, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Deputy Chief of Staff to Vice President Bush (41st President of the United States of America)

Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Tourism, US Department of Commerce Finance Director

Finance Chairman, Republican National Convention

United States Ambassador/Commissioner General EXPO 92

Vice President, Angus Reid Group

Illinois Republican Party – Finance Director

President Ford Committee – Deputy Finance Director

Finance Office of the Republican National Committee – Various Positions

United States House of Representatives – Legislative Aide

Republican Policy Committee, US Senate – Staff Assistant

Principal Advisor & Fundraiser, George & Barbara Bush Endowment for Innovative Cancer Research

Board of Trustees, Tower Center

Global Asset Management Corporation – Sun Trust

Advisory Board, Aichi EXPO 2005 – Aichi, Japan

Principal Consultant, Philadelphia Host Committee, Republican National Convention

Delegate, Presidential Delegation to Namibia, Africa 


Ambassador Bush’s formal education includes the American University, School of International Service (Master of Arts, International Studies), University of Nice (Certificat d’Aussidite), University of Colorado (Bachelor of Arts, Political Science)

Kathy Cheng, Senior Associate, Multicultural Research, Moderator & Ethnographer
DART Insight and Communications

Kathy Cheng is a leading researcher, moderator and ethnographer in Canada’s multicultural and newcomer markets, and is a pioneer in artificial intelligence providing innovative solutions to understanding customers, citizens and employees.

With two decades of global marketing research and consultancy experience of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, Kathy has helped clients in the financial services, consumer packaged goods, telecommunications, retail, media, and non-profit sectors understand Canada’s rapidly changing multicultural markets. Previously, Kathy developed and led cultural research practices at Environics and Ipsos-Reid creating and managing syndicated studies such as “Financial Services among New Canadians” which became the industry’s benchmark and most widely subscribed syndicated research of newcomers to Canada.

Kathy has designed and executed diverse qualitative projects involving multicultural consumers in Canada: focus groups, ethnographic interviews, shop-alongs a nd various online studies. She has moderated more focus groups with multicultural consumers and newcomers than any moderators in Canada.

Kathy co-authored Migration Nation: A Practical Guide to Doing Business in Globalized Canada, the first book of practical, data-driven insights about Canada’s multicultural markets. It is the only book that helps organizations plan for growth and relevance in the increasingly multicultural Canada.

Kathy merges behavioral science with the most current technology to connect the dots between culture and heuristics in consumer decision-making. She’s building Canada’s first comprehensive cultural model in a groundbreaking joint venture with the Rotman School of Management and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration. The project utilizes her trailblazing research platform that enables real-time conversations with a large group of participants and automates qualitative insights through incorporating artificial intelligence, neuroscience and gamification theories.

In 2001, Kathy moved to Canada from Shanghai, where she spent a few years with Nielsen. While based in China, she travelled extensively, conducting qualitative research to help multinational companies understand the Chinese context and grow their presence in that dynamic emerging market.

Kirk W. Corkery, Senior Associate, Operations Management
DART Insight and Communications

Mr. Corkery is an internationally experienced executive and Corporate Director with a broad background in systems, business strategy and general management. He is the Founder and President of Technology Mediation Services Inc., a consultancy specializing in negotiations, arbitration and mediation of business issues and C-level interim management services. He is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and holds their ICD.D designation.

Typical recent engagements include: with an IT services management firm where he increased margin levels by 500% and reduced receivables by 70%; the Chief Operating Officer for a technology company specializing in hardcopy document security where he negotiated new international VAR and distributor agreements, revamped the business processes and developed new pricing models leading them to profitability; Chief Strategist/CIO for a legal services firm where he helped position them for their eventual acquisition. Additionally he has acted as a coach/advisor to several CEOs.

Prior to becoming involved with smaller, entrepreneurial firms he was an executive for several large corporations including EDS Systemshouse and Bell Sygma, where he structured the largest outsourcing deal ever in Canada. In the UK, for Mercury Communications, over a 6 month period he transformed their IT Operations driving up customer satisfaction levels and achieving new levels of service compliance while reducing budgets and gaining ISO certification. For Bell Canada International he was the Chief Operating Officer of their software development joint venture in Malaysia managing projects in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, Australia.
An active volunteer in his community, he is a past Chair of York Central Hospital in Richmond Hill (now Mackenzie Health) and a past Chair of the GTA/905 Healthcare Alliance, an association of the 13 community hospitals in the GTA golden horseshoe.

Kirk has chaired St John Ambulance for Ontario and has sat on their national Board and on their national executive committee. He also is or has been a director for several other charities focused on healthcare, youth or sports. He has recently been appointed to the inaugural board of the Kingston Health Sciences Center as Vice Chair.

Rick Findlay, Senior Associate, Environmental Strategy, Policy & Management
DART Insight and Communications

Rick Findlay, CMC, has been consulting in the environment and recycling sectors for over 20 years, across Canada, the USA, South America, and Europe. He has provided strategic and policy advice, and has led the development of operations, performance management and reporting for numerous programs and organizations across this sector. Rick introduced Activity Based Costing to the recycling industry in 1996, he started providing Life-Cycle Assessment (LCAs) in the 1990s identifying environmental and socio-economic impacts and has led the development of numerous recycling collection and processing performance models.

From 2012 to 2014 Rick was the Director of Oversight and Operations for Waste Diversion Ontario. In this role Rick was responsible for oversight, policy, issue management, monitoring and reporting on the performance of the Blue Box, e-waste, used tires, and household hazardous and special wastes programs, as well as evaluation of proposed new individual stewardship programs.

Rick is a Certified Management Consultant with an engineering and finance background. He is currently providing consulting assistance to a variety of organizations on strategy, governance, financial management, developing new environmental programs, and assisting growth management for three environmental cleantech companies.

Stephen Gardner is DART’s Executive Producer and Creative Lead, Video and Commercial Production

Stephen has been a creative producer and director of video and long-format documentaries, commercials, and shows for live events for over 20 years. He has worked in various sectors including education, corporate, healthcare, technology, and consumer, and travel.  A former producer with CBC and CTV, Stephen has a passion to bringing great stories authentic stories to life.

Headquartered in Toronto’s film production area, his work for clients encompasses high-end cinematography, studio audio, 2D and 3D graphics, animation and special effects. He and his creative team of producers, editors, scriptwriters, and animators have brought over 200 production stories to life.

He’s won numerous awards for his work and also donates his time and resources back to various national charities. Stephen has travelled the world working on international projects for various media and fundraising, and recruitment campaigns, linking international successes with life experiences. These are the types of products and services he provides for DART clientelle:

Corporate / Business Video Production—Today’s business environment is a convergence of visual and written communications, and video is being used increasingly to reinforce corporate messaging.

Marketing / Advertising—The top branded videos have an emotional impact on an audience where they are shared on social media and create a conversation. We excel at creating videos that connect with viewers on a deep level, either live-action or animated, helping to ensure the brand’s voice is heard.

Video for Web Production—We provide video for web production services that deliver outstanding content to websites.

PSA Video Production–Public Service Announcements are another way we can help brand messaging, by educating and informing audiences in an emotionally powerful fashion. Our videos help our clients not only to reach target audience members but to influence them as well.

Video Production Producers—We have the skills, knowledge, and creativity to deliver your project the way you want it, with style, and within budget.

Event Video Production—If there’s an event that needs to be captured, our event video production services can document every moment of it. It’s an opportunity to showcase the event for those not in attendance, and a chance for those who were there to re-live every moment.

Promotional Video Production—We help clients construct a documentary that’s not only informative and educating but incredibly emotive.

3D Animation—3D animation has seen significant growth in the corporate sector and has become a staple of commercial branding for many businesses. 3D animation has proven to result in higher engagement with branded content, in particular with commercial and explainer videos.

Explainer Video Production—Whether for customers or internal teams, explainer videos have become a staple in helping explain complicated concepts. Often animated, these videos effectively convey your message while keeping people engaged.

Sean Mallen, Senior Associate, Media Training & Strategic Communications
DART Insight and Communications

For more than 30 years Sean was an award-winning reporter, anchor and host, covering major stories across Canada, the United States and around the world. He leverages his decades of experience and deep knowledge of the news media to offer high level communications counsel to government, industry, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.

Sean brings unparalleled real world expertise to media training, having interviewed Prime Ministers and Premiers, Nobel laureates and notorious murderers, CEOs and shantytown dwellers. Clients of his training program 10,000 Interviews have included politicians, C-Suite executives from multinational transportation and mining companies, leaders of industry trade organizations, non-profits, First Nations and the labour movement. Sean delivers expert, insider advice on how reporters work, how to deliver a message effectively and how to handle aggressive questioning.

His companion training program Powerful Presentations offers wise, practical counsel on how to persuasively speak to audiences large or small, focusing on vocal projection and elocution as well as how to effectively structure a compelling presentation.

With deep insights in the news media, he is a calm and knowledgeable hand in the face of communications crises. He delivers keynote addresses to industry organizations with practical advice on how to navigate the news media onslaught in the face of disaster.

An acclaimed writer, he guides clients in crafting eloquent messages to drive strategic communications plans, bringing a reporter’s eye to earned media strategies. He writes speeches that are entertaining and enlightening, informative and accessible, including a series of crucial addresses for a senior cabinet minister articulating a key government initiative.

For Global TV News, he was the London-based Europe Bureau Chief, Ontario Legislature Correspondent and Host-Producer of the influential Focus Ontario program. He is a four-time winner of the Radio-Television News Directors Award for excellence in broadcast news and was awarded a Bronze Medal at the New York Festivals in an international competition for Best Correspondent.

Sean is also an occasional panelist on Newstalk 1010 Radio Toronto and enjoys a sideline of writing travel stories for major Canadian and British dailies.

Jeff Munn, Senior Associate, Change Management and Project Implementation, DART Insight and Communications Inc.

Jeff’s clients are involved with strategic change —from structural to program to personnel. Once a new initiative/project has been agreed upon, Jeff helps the leadership team plan, manage, and implement that effort across the organization by engaging all departments and/or regions to ensure successful roll-out. He has almost 30 years of national and multi-national experience from all business vantage points: entrepreneurial, agency, consulting, and client-side. Jeff brings unique and professional approach to aid C-suite leaders with project support, insights, business cases, methodology and/or project management services.

His offer is measurable: Jeff takes on projects to ensure the time, work and effort invested in the strategic planning is actually realized. Great ideas are not realized until they are implemented and adopted: Jeff facilitates and helps manage the changes required. He’s an expert in leadership and employee engagement: Jeff develops relevant training for each project and conducts team/departmental facilitations to generate win-win outcomes.

A former Navigating officer in the Royal Canadian Navy, he has a Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University and an MBA from Schiller International University, Heidelberg, Germany, he went on to build a national sporting goods manufacturing and distribution business that continues to be successful and profitable today, Jeff then joined an established agency and advised and serviced both start-ups and multinationals on strategic brand, marketing, and communication efforts. After two multinational client-side experiences with Carlson-Wagonlit Travel (Paris, Minneapolis, and Toronto) and Scotiabank (International division, Toronto-based) he established his own company to provide experienced, contract staffing resources to larger institutions and companies to help them roll-out their good projects and ideas.

Jeff’s critical input is his personal leadership value system: business and project success are best achieved by facilitating frequent collaboration, truly listening, and finding mutually beneficial results. This process provides C-suite management with expertise mentoring to support the awareness, understanding and engagement of all company stakeholders—both internal and external.