President Beginning as an award-winning journalist, Melissa reported the news from Toronto, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Sudbury, and Kitchener-Waterloo for nearly two decades before founding her own startup. Fueled by great ideas, she has grown Durrell Communications to one of the top communication firms in the region. Melissa has worked with hundreds of startups, entrepreneurs, VCs, and Angels across Canada. She uses insider knowledge to gain local, national and global exposure that tell the amazing stories of her clients and get the word out.
Director, Public Relations and Event Strategy Samareh is a passionate and motivated leader. She mixes innovation and energy with a proven track record in the public relations field. A master of communication, with an impressive sense for entrepreneurship, Samareh deals with some of the most high-profile businesses and individuals in the Waterloo Region and beyond. She has worked with some of the largest companies developing brand awareness, social influence, and positive public image. Educated at the University of Guelph, with a focus in Creative Writing and Stage Management, Samareh brings a wide range of experience to Durrell Communications. With tenure at some of Canada’s top arts and cultural organization such as TIFF, Stratford Festival, Drayton Entertainment and THEMUSEUM, her wealth of knowledge and experience in the strategic marketing, communications and events is tough to match.
Strategic Communications Writer Geena helps create effective communication strategies and compelling content to help clients reach their goals. Passionate about good writing, she uses her editing skills to make writing clear and engaging. Geena has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Waterloo and a Graduate Certificate from Conestoga College in Integrated Marketing and Communications. She knows how important storytelling is and can help clients connect with their audiences with well-planned communications. When she’s not in the office, Geena loves making travel plans, watching football, and discovering her next favourite book.
Media & Public Relations Strategist Claire develops communications strategies, key messages, media lists, awards plans and speaking opportunities for clients at Durrell Communications, helping organizations share interesting stories and engaging content. Claire enjoys researching and has the tenacity to dig deeper. She takes pride in preparing clients for media exposure and giving them the confidence and skills they need to succeed. Before becoming a Media and Public Relations Assistant at Durrell Communications, Claire worked on the marketing team at the award-winning theatre organization Drayton Entertainment. She graduated from Western University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Media Information Technoculture (MIT). Outside of the office, Claire is a lover of music, cycle instructing, skiing, snowboarding and enjoys spending time outdoors.
Media and Public Relations Assistant Holly brings her journalism training, media relations, and student leadership experience to the Durrell Communications team as our Media and Public Relations Assistant. She approaches writing the same way she interacts with reporters —by being memorable. Previously assisting with media relations in the public affairs branch at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Holly has a passion for serving others. She enjoys bringing tech, science and business news to life by breaking down technical jargon and creating meaningful connections for readers. Every news story has what she calls an “emotional quota.” She loves learning about rhetoric and persuasion techniques used by political figures and historical personas. Between media pitches, she enjoys chipping away at her reading list, watching classic films, traveling, exploring neighbourhoods with a camera in hand, and visiting her parents’ grass-fed beef farm in Grey County. She has a diploma in Journalism: Print and Broadcast, and an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Conestoga College.
Office Strategist Driven by an innate passion for helping others to succeed, Natalia uses her creativity and a keen eye for detail to help the Durrell Communications team and clients get the information they need, promptly and enthusiastically. As an office strategist, she makes it her business to find the best ways to keep the lights on. Using her background in both English Literature and Marketing, Natalia takes a creative approach to everything she does, from organizing the calendar, to sending emails, to researching and writing content for blogs and podcasts, you can rest assured that little bit of TLC will be given to each. She values empathy, comradery, and a hearty sense of humour, bringing it with her into the office every morning, alongside her coffee and strange concoction of food choices. What gets Natalia excited? A light quip, a good book, traveling, and her handsome dog Boots!