Steve Virtue M.A. Ed.
Co-Founder, President & CEO
Steve Virtue is an award-winning communications and public affairs executive with multi-sector, global experience. For two decades he has created innovative communications and public affairs programs that have built credibility, developed authenticity and meaningful engagement.
Steve has broad experience in provincial and federal public affairs. His background in crisis management, media relations and corporate communications provide a solid platform to inform senior executives and boards. Steve has been a featured speaker on branding, public affairs and communications initiatives with the Fraser Institute, University of Toronto (OISE), Humber College, ALI Conference, MarComm conference, Ontario Directors of Education summit and the PDAC Convention.
Follow Steve on Twitter: @stevevirtue
Nate Habermeyer, APR
Co-Founder, Managing Partner
Nate Habermeyer is a founding partner of HOWE&WYE and a trusted communications advisor to corporate leaders and thought leaders. For 15 years Nate has led transformative communications, media relations and public advocacy campaigns for world-class brands in almost every market sector and from around the world. As well, he's worked with clients from England, Chile, Mexico and China on their business interests in N. America.
With a background in PR and journalism, Nate has used communications to deliver strong ROI and business outcomes through integrated marketing strategies for Google, Toyota, Walmart, LG, Transcontinental Publishing, AMEC Foster Wheeler, Chile and others. Nate has deep expertise in integrated brand strategy, issues management, media training, social media and content. He has created positive narratives for clients in practically every major business news outlet in North America. Nate also spent two years as an executive in advertising industry.
Follow Nate on Twitter: @natehaby
Cailey Murphy M.A.
Managing Director, W. Canada
Cailey Murphy is a communications and government relations professional with more than a decade of progressive experience in strategic communications and political affairs. As HOWE&WYE's Managing Director, Western Canada, Cailey leads the firm's project management and business development in the West, working with various not-for-profit, private and public sector clients.
Prior to joining HOWE&WYE, Cailey was the Director of Communications and External Affairs for the Mining Association of British Columbia where she led strategic communications, government relations and stakeholder engagement initiatives on behalf of the BC mining industry. Previously, Cailey held the communications portfolio at the British Columbia Hotel Association as the Director of Communications and Government Relations. She offers a broad range of policy experience in natural resource development, corporate social responsibility, tourism, taxation, liquor and retail.
Cailey has additionally held various communications and stakeholder outreach positions with the Liberal Party of Canada, the Government of Canada and the BC government. She has a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Queen’s University and a Bachelor’s degree from Simon Fraser University.
Senior Counsel, Public Affairs
Michael Ras is a public affairs and strategic communications professional with broad experience representing a wide variety of industries at the Federal, Provincial and Local levels of government. In one of his larger engagements, Michael acts as Executive Director for a provincial legal association representing over 12,000 lawyers in private practice across Ontario. He is also a course instructor in the Government Relations certificate program at Seneca College where he teaches public policy development. Over Michael’s 20 years as a public affairs consultant, he has interacted regularly with the Federal, provincial and municipal governments across Canada.
Much of Michael’s focus on behalf of clients over the years has been on helping companies capture public sector markets through targeted marketing campaigns and on building public-private partnerships. Demonstrating his breadth of experience Michael has expanded his horizons and worked as the Director of Development for the Ivey Centre for Health Innovation and Leadership – a centre dedicated to introducing innovation and higher-levels of leadership and business focus to the Canadian health care system. He has also worked as the leader of a team seeking to privatize Ontario’s casino-gaming operations. This diversity of client experience and engagement gives Michael a breadth of experience and insight into a wide swath of government at all three levels.
Senior Counsel Crisis & Reputation Management
Jan O’Driscoll is an accomplished, bilingual public affairs professional with extensive experience in crisis communications and media relations. He has an established track record of providing strategic communications and public policy advice at the highest levels. He has an extensive network of business media contacts in outlets such as Bloomberg, Globe and Mail, BNN, CBC, BBC, CTV.
Jan has held leadership roles with several federal cabinet ministers and was the lead spokesman for a variety of high profile files including the Lac Megantic rail disaster, the Attawapiskat First Nation housing crisis and the Idle No More protests, all of which received national and international media coverage. Jan is able to tell your story where it matters most. Jan takes a client first approach and throughout his career has developed a reputation as a straight shooter who is available 24/7, and can be counted on to get the job done.
Senior Counsel, Health/Biotech
Robert Eakins is a senior strategic communications practitioner with more than 25 years of experience working in the biotechnology/sciences, pharmaceutical, medical device and vaccine industries. Robert provides counsel in areas such as corporate reputation, issues management, brand communications, advocacy/stakeholder relations, professional communications, media relations and public and private market access/reimbursement. Robert has worked with Hamilton Health Sciences to convey news to support the implementation of its recently launched strategic vision, including stories around innovative new technologies that are contributing to a more patient-centric and sustainable environment.
Bernice Couto is a communications specialist with global expertise in content development, event management, media relations, social media & digital strategy, and crisis communications. For more than 14 years, as both a journalist and a public relations (PR) executive, she has worked in various industries including B2B technology, financial-technology services, healthcare, consumer goods, not-for-profit, and tourism. With a focus on client service, Bernice develops holistic strategies that deliver return-on-investment to the business, with a line of sight into your brand at the highest level. A native Portuguese speaker, Bernice also speaks conversational Spanish.
Amanda Scriver is a veteran social media strategist, passionate community builder, freelance journalist and speaker with nine years of experience under her belt. Specializing in helping companies better connect with their customers via social media and digital marketing channels, Amanda has been recognized by Social Media Week Toronto, FoodStarter and PodCamp Toronto speaking on everything from influencer marketing to brand reputation growth. Previously, she held the title of Community Lead at The National Post, managing three community managers Canada-wide while introducing an events and influencer programming into their sales and marketing strategy. Since becoming a consultant, Amanda has developed and managed strategies for clients such as Digital Howard - who shared they had one of the "biggest successes we’ve ever had in social media" with Amanda on board. She's also worked alongside Society Plus, Shameless Magazine and FoodStarter. Throughout her journalism career, she has had bylines appear in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, THIS Magazine and Buzzfeed Canada. Amanda has a book being released in May 2017 titled, The Hunt Guides: Toronto - a travel guide to our city and all it has to offer.
Nickolas Kohlmann M.Sc.
Senior Counsel, Investor Relations
Nick Kohlmann delivers extensive Investor Relations/Communications experience to the team. Nick has provided IR leadership in the exploration and mining industry with over a decade of experience developing & implementing investor relations & marketing programs. Nick has a M.Sc. geologist with 30 years’ industry experience, designing and managing all stages of exploration projects. Nick has developed extensive investment and industry networks, and enjoy portraying a company’s performance & prospects to current & potential stakeholders.