Past President and Chair, Nominating Committee, Empire Club of Canada; President and CEO, Jesson Communications

Barbara Jesson is a seasoned marketing strategist with experience from both agency and client-side perspectives.  Her career has spanned the gamut of marketing and communications issues including: analysis and strategic positioning, advertising, corporate communications programs, planning, copywriting, crisis management, event and cause marketing, design and corporate identity programs and media relations.


Barbara has headed up communications teams at some leading Canadian companies, among them Four Seasons Hotels, Abitibi-Price, Allied (now Allied Signal) and Labatts.  More recently she has had her own advertising and public relations company.   Client experience includes Lufthansa German Airlines, ICI International, Air Canada/Air Ontario, The Movado Group, all William Grant & Sons products including Glenfiddich, Lever Ponds, The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership, the former Inco, Trump Hotel Toronto, Kempinski Hotels, Lockheed Martin and others.  She was involved in the rebranding of Enbridge (formerly Consumers Gas).  As well, she has had extensive experience in the gaming sector and has worked in several Ontario Government portfolios. She has also provided counsel to the University of Toronto’s Rotman School, York University’s Schulich School, Sheridan College, The Banff Centre and The Stratford Festival.


Barbara provided counsel and leadership during the high profile ownership negotiations for the Toronto Raptors and the Air Canada Centre and has provided them with senior strategic communications support on a broad range of issues, culminating in the sale of Steve Stavro’s interest in the sports franchise.  Her technology experience includes wireless telephony.  She provided strategic communications advice for a number of technology companies including Bell Mobility and, an early start-up VOIP provider, where she developed the name and brand.  She launched the Porsche designed Blackberry and has represented Maxcom.  She currently works on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program.


A lateral thinker, recognized for her creative ideas and innovative problem solving, Barbara is frequently sought out for challenges that demand unique ‘outside-the-box’ strategies or tactics.  She holds an M.A. in History from the University of Waterloo.  She was founding Chair of The Quilt Project, a breast cancer support project and past member of the Wellesley Central Health Corporation board and a past Friend of The Banff Centre.  Currently she is a member of the Board of Theatre Museum Canada.

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