Excellence Award Judges

Dave Albright

Dave has been involved with the broadcast industry for over 30 years in the production department. His passion focuses on a career teaching broadcast media at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. He says, “Preparing the next generation to join an ever-changing media landscape is a great way to continue a strong future for broadcast media.” Dave is a member of the Broadcast Educators Association of Canada.

Bill Downie
Creative Director and Partner, Slingshot Communications

Bill’s energy and passion for advertising is just as strong today as it was 34 years ago when he first began on this adventure in advertising. An art director by trade, Bill combines his creative mind with that of a strategic thinker to lead the creative process towards captivating, relevant, and effective campaigns.

His portfolio features everything from award winning print, TV, radio and guerilla ideas to packaging, design, online and events. Bill has a knack for intimately understanding the client business to gain provocative insights and uses these insights to continually bring great creative to life.

Brent Flink
Principal, Creative Director at Flink Creative

Veteran Art Director and Designer, Brent Flink, has worked with many of Vancouver’s top agencies including DDB, Now, Grey, and BBDO on some of their largest accounts. Now, with his newly-launched firm, Brent is concentrating his efforts on Brand Development and Advertising Creative for food, technology, education and healthcare organisations.

Justin Hnatiuk

Over 25 years of experience in creative direction, art direction, brand development, design, packaging design, interactive solutions (website, eCommerce, social media), advertising and strategic planning.

From working in Sydney, Australia, to Europe, to South East Asia and the United States, Justin has worked hard to provide inspiration via award-winning brand and communication solutions. Justin has participated as Creative Director at various agencies in the Lower Mainland, and acted as principal partner, owner and Creative Director at Kinky Logic.

Justin has brought enviable expertise to new and emerging brands, from partnering with global brands such as Bell Canada, McDonalds, Rogers Communications, Yellow Pages, Lindeman Wines, Toshiba Asia, BC Hydro, Telus, Windset Farms, to local agencies such as Kinky Logic, Cossette Communications, Saatchi & Saatchi, MacLaren McCann and Grey Advertising.

Vida Jurcic
Partner and Co-Creative Director, Hangar 18 Creative Group

Vida is a founding partner of Hangar 18 Creative Group, whose work has been recognized by Communication Arts, Applied Arts, The One Show, Graphis, DesignEdge Magazine, the Summit Awards and New York Festivals. She has been an art director/designer for over three decades and has created award-winning work for both corporate and retail clients. In addition to her Co-Creative Director role at Hangar 18, which she shares with partner, Dean Ponto, Vida teaches design part time in the IDEA School of Design at Capilano University and at Vancouver Film School. She has been a judge for the Ottawa Advertising Association Awards, the Western Canadian Magazine Awards, the Salazar Student Awards, the Saskatoon Elevator Awards, the DesignEdge Redgees, the Unisource UVU Awards and Applied Arts Design Awards. When not creating, designing, teaching, Morris Dancing, playing in a Croatian band or judging award shows, she loves to ponder the possibility of alien life forms in distant galaxies.

Steve Olson, EdD
Associate Dean, SAIT

Steve was born in Calgary and raised on a farm outside of Edmonton.  He began his career at CIOK, St. Paul, and over the next few years furthered his career at CKPG (Prince George) CKXL and CJAY-92 (Calgary) and K-97 (Edmonton).  Besides his announcing duties, Steve was also heavily involved in Music Directing, and concluded this phase of his career as a Program Director.  In 1995 he joined the faculty at SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary, and for the next 16 years taught in the Radio, Television, and Broadcast News, and Film and Video Production programs.  Today he continues to work as a voice actor, narrator, MC, and talent coach.  In 2011 Steve took over as Academic Chair for the two media programs, and then last year moved into the Associate Dean position for the School of Information and Communication Technologies.

Steve has a BFA (Drama) from the University of Calgary, an MA (Drama) from the University of Alberta, and in 2011 completed his Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University.

Alan Russell
Creative Director/Writer, Alan Russell Creative

Alan has been a prominent figure in Canadian advertising for many years, producing memorable work for agencies DDB Canada, Palmer Jarvis, Grey and BBDO. He was Strategy Magazine’s top-ranked copywriter for five consecutive years, #1 Creative Director twice and has been named in Advertising Age’s List of Top 10 Creatives. Alan also featured in Marketing Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential’. His campaigns span just about every brand category and have won numerous awards, including Cannes, Communication Arts, One Show, ADC, Clios, D&AD and London International. When not obsessing about creative, Alan enjoys travel, hiking, theatre, curries, live music and, masochistically, following Bolton Wanderers in the English Football League.

Rob Sweetman
Founder & Executive Creative Director, One Twenty Three West

In 2013, Rob, along with three partners, launched One Twenty Three West (123w) in a garage in East Vancouver. (Some agencies have foosball, 123w had a backyard trampoline.)

Prior to launching 123w, Rob helped establish the first North American office of UK digital agency DARE, was VP/ECD at Cossette West helping transform the agency’s creative reputation, and was a GCD and Partner at Rethink Vancouver.

Career highlights include winning over 800 national and international awards including One Show pencils, Cannes Lions, Clios, Webby nominations and D&AD pencils. He’s been ranked the top-awarded art director three times and top 10 creative director in Canada according to Strategy Magazine. Rob has also had the honour of speaking at Cannes International Festival of creativity and judging several award shows including London International, The Digital Marketing Awards, and Cannes.

Morgan Tierney
Creative Director, Rethink Communications

Morgan is a Creative Director and writer at Rethink Communications in Vancouver, BC. In nearly five years at Rethink she’s worked with a wide range of clients including Shaw Cable, Coast Capital Savings, Molson Canadian, Science World, Playland, and most recently the Vancouver Canucks. Ranking among the top 25 writers in Canada on Strategy’s Creative Report Card, Morgan’s work has been recognized both locally and internationally.

Alvin Wasserman
President, Wasserman + Partners

Alvin is well known as a creative strategist and a writer by trade, whose work over 25 plus years has been both highly visible and highly effective. His touch is behind many of the most successful campaigns in the market. Alvin was Creative Director and General Manager of McKim Advertising. He then opened the creative shop Wasserman, Cozens and Dundon before becoming El Presidente of Wasserman + Partners 15 years ago. He has guided Wasserman + Partners to becoming the largest full-service independent agency in British Columbia.