Helping journalists, producers and conference planners find the female guests, speakers and expert sources they need.

Team

Shari Graydon
Founder, Catalyst – shari@informedopinions.org

Shari has spent more than 25 years shamelessly exploiting media to draw attention to issues she knows and cares about. Now she motivates and trains others to do the same, delivering highly-rated conference keynotes and practical workshops across the country. The founder and catalyst of Informed Opinions, she’s an award-winning author and women’s advocate. Since 2010, she has helped amplify the voices of more than 1500 women across Canada, supporting them in sharing their insights and analysis with a broader public.

A former newspaper columnist, TV producer and commentator for CBC radio and TV, Shari also served as press secretary to a provincial premier, and as president of MediaWatch. She’s a proud alumna of the University of British Columbia (Theatre) and Simon Fraser University (Communications), where she also taught. She has published two best-selling media literacy books for youth, received the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons’ Case, and been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. Royalties from her edited collection, I Feel Great About My Hands – And Other Unexpected Joys of Aging, benefit Informed Opinions. Her newest book, OMG! What if I really AM the best person? offers purse-size inspiration for knowledgeable women whose voices deserve to be amplified.

Kelly Nolan 
Executive Director – kelly@informedopinions.org

Kelly Nolan is a highly respected bilingual communications, marketing, and public affairs executive, with more than 12 years of experience in the education, health, economic development sectors including working closely with boards of directors, executives, government officials and elected officials, directing teams, and managing division and organizational budgets. Kelly has directed, developed and executed bold and innovative public relations, marketing, and communications strategies, including larger scale social media and internet marketing initiatives, membership and sponsorship programs for all knowledge economy sectors. She is an accomplished professional with an exceptional track record of building positive relationships with senior government officials, external partners, executives, media, clients, external agencies, and internal team members.

Samantha Luchuk
Manager, Administration and Recruitmentsamantha@informedopinions.org

Samantha joined Informed Opinions in January 2015 offering virtual administrative support, and quickly made herself indispensable. As Manager of Administration and Recruitment, she plays two main roles: she provides essential support to Informed Opinions’ programming and communications; and she enrols qualified candidates into ExpertWomen, a database to help journalists, producers and conference programmers find the female guests, speakers and expert sources they need. Samantha has more than 17 years of experience in office management delivering support for high level professionals, and a background in editing and communications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University (Montreal, QC).

Lyse Huot
Associate

Lyse Huot is a seasoned communications expert with over 25 years of experience in strategic communications, publications and project management in educational, not-for-profit and political environments. Fluent in French and English, she has extensive experience in media relations as former director of communications for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and the University of Ottawa, and as press secretary to the leader of a national political party. During her tenure in these positions, she wrote opinion pieces as well as letters to the editor in English and French, which were published in regional as well as national papers under other by-lines.

Spécialiste chevronnée des communications et bilingue, Lyse Huot possède plus de 25 ans d’expérience en communications stratégiques, en gestion de publications et de projets dans les milieux politique, sans but lucratif et universitaire. Elle a une vaste expérience en relations avec les médias à titre d’ancienne directrice des communications pour l’Association des universités et collèges du Canada et pour l’Université d’Ottawa ainsi qu’à titre d’attachée de presse pour le chef d’un parti politique national. Au cours des années dans ces postes, elle a rédigé des commentaires et lettres à la rédaction en français et en anglais qui ont été publiés dans des journaux locaux et nationaux sous la signature d’autres personnes.