Melissa Durrell

Melissa Durrell

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.


Virginia Shay

Virginia Shay

Manager, Strategic Communications

Virginia is a strategic communications thinker and writer at Durrell Communications, who loves helping clients take control of their brand narrative. She enjoys engaging with clients who have incredible ideas, but lack the tools and time to make them come to life. Virginia’s listening skills and her ability to understand a variety of perspectives makes her clients feel heard, and it also allows her to identify the most strategic ways for clients to connect with their audiences. Virginia’s specialty is “diagnosing” writing (from blogs and marketing materials to complex communications strategies) to determine how to make it truly pop. Formerly an English major and forever a lover of books, Virginia has a knack for sifting through content to determine the most compelling points and the best stories to tell.

Virginia also loves writing creatively, weightlifting, and is a certified yoga teacher.


Shama Andany

Shama Andany

Manager, PR & Content Strategy
Shama is always knee-deep in headlines and breaking news, looking for the perfect angle to pitch her clients. She’s been part of some of the best PR teams in the country including Rock-It Promotions, Bell Media, and the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. She brings her knowledge and experience to Durrell Communications to be our resident media concierge where she’ll be with you every step of the way from the very first pitch idea to your brand making national news. With Shama by your side, you can be confident your story will be told the way you want. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from University of Waterloo, Shama pursued postgraduate studies in Corporate Communications and Public Relations at Seneca College, which led to her representing a wide range of high-profile clients such as HBO Canada and The Movie Network, Hudson’s Bay Company, GUESS, Etsy, and Toyota. In her spare time, Shama can be found planning new adventures with her fiance, getting lost in a good book, or watching Netflix with a (large) glass of wine and her puppy Widget by her side.


Hayley Zimak

Hayley Zimak

Media Relations & Content Strategist
Hayley is an award-winning journalist who has combined her love of storytelling with her desire to share unique stories from around the world. From covering “Brexit” while living in the UK to interviewing displaced residents following Nepal’s devastating earthquake, Hayley’s ability to connect and listen ensures that your message is being shared properly. As a former broadcaster, she understands the importance of a stellar stage presence and is able to coach clients to success by helping them build confidence through public speaking and media training. Years of working to tight deadlines in high-stress environments have honed Hayley’s problem-solving skills; she’s adept, flexible and always has a few tricks up her sleeve when handling a crisis situation. In her free time, Hayley enjoys exploring new cities, shooting short videos and practicing her beginner-level Greek on anyone who can listen.


Nicole Sandford

Nicole Sandford

Social Media Content Strategist
Nicole creates and curates content for social media and digital marketing campaigns. Her background in design from Conestoga College gave her an eye for presenting content in visually appealing ways. Prior to working at Durrell Communications, she worked in the marketing department for Beauti-Tone paint where she honed her skills in both digital and print content creation. Nicole loves helping others make their digital presence sparkle. Organization, order, and a well placed comma make her feel at peace.


Natalia Sielski

Natalia Sielski

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 DCOMM 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!


Kate Moore

Kate Moore

Media & Public Relations Assistant
Kate manages the various social media accounts of Durrell Communication’s clientele while also curating and organizing client events on a monthly basis. Kate’s “just do it” mentality allows her to sort out the smallest and most important of details in a timely manner, all while rocking her Nikes. Kate takes pride in creating a memorable experience for her clients and their guests at each and every event. She believes the success of a business rides strongly on how they are communicating. Here, Kate helps them to weave their stories for strong media presence and through hosting successful events. When Kate isn’t planning events, she’s attending them. An active member in the local arts community, Kate is on The Museum After Dark Committee and a piano student at the Uptown School of Music.


Claire Martin

Claire Martin

Media & Public Relations Assistant
Claire creates communications strategies, 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 they need to succeed. When it comes to organization; file folders, to-do lists and calendar blocking give her life. Before becoming a Media and Public Relations Assistant at Durrell Communications, Claire worked on the marketing team at the award-winning, non-profit 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, spin instructing, skiing, snowboarding and enjoys spending time outdoors.

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