Who We Are

We create innovative solutions to successfully address the priorities of individuals and organizations solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges in the technology, health, agri-foods, transportation, environment, education, and energy sectors.

Our Values

As an award-winning team of PR practitioners who are passionate about what excellence, insight and collaboration can achieve, we are united by the core values that are the foundation of our firm and the work we do together.

We Show Up

We are curious, compassionate, and committed to excellence as PR practitioners and communications professionals.

We engage sincerely with our clients, and we seek out clients whose mission and values speak to our own.

We are loyal to our client relationships, but loyal first and foremost to our integrity as professionals.

We Team Up

We take an approach of accountability, collaboration and respect with each project we take on.

As a team, we believe in each other and trust each other to think outside-the-box and beyond expectation.

We celebrate our wins, support each other, and bring the same approach to working with our clients as we do with each other.

We Deliver

As experts in our field, we work to constantly grow and consistently deliver for our clients.

We believe in being accountable — to ourselves and to our clients, as positive actors within the broader communications ecosystem.

We believe in being frank and fair with our clients, in uplifting them at every opportunity, and in holding ourselves to the highest standards of our profession.

Our Experts

Our work encompasses everything you would expect from a public relations firm but what sets us apart is our experience telling science stories simply and accurately. At PR Associates there is no learning curve because science storytelling is all we do. 

Robert Simpson

Robert Simpson

President & CEO

Twenty-five years of public relations experience with the contacts to get things done, master storyteller, and recreational fiction writer. Strategic communicator, thought leader, Forbes contributor, and terrific lunch companion. Motivated by conversations that get people noticed, broad smiles, and cold mojitos on sunny beaches. Runner, swimmer, and voracious fiction reader, working with the highest energy, smartest, and most dedicated team of professionals in the business.

Paola Ashton

Paola Ashton

Vice President

Two decades of expertise in business development, marketing, corporate communication, public relations, and investor relations. Problem solver, relationship builder, wife, and mother of two teenaged sons. Wine snob. Motivated by building long-term relationships, getting stuff done, and bringing smiles to people’s faces. Former journalism student, TSN camera operator, and visual storyteller now leading the most hard-working and creative team of professionals in the business.

Kamran Shaikh

Kamran Shaikh

Account Director

Team leader, master storyteller, media connoisseur and science, technology geek with a penchant for rooting out success stories. Avid Golden State Warriors fan and field hockey player who loves good food and stimulating conversation. Strategic planner, team player, motivated by seeing clients in the headlines, being on the winning team, and working with the most imaginative team of professionals in the business.

Swati Mehta

Swati Mehta

Account Director

Having worked with some of the most reputed international communications firms and clients for more than nine years, she has in-depth knowledge and understanding of the communication industry. Noted for bringing her creative spin to even the most ordinary projects in making it extraordinary is what she is known for. She believes in creating integrated campaigns that are compelling and drive tangible results. Swati is a strategy and ideation engine.

Brian Murphy

Brian Murphy

Senior Account Manager

Over 20 years producing award-winning media content enabled a transition to media relations specialist. Just out of university his first job was reporting, his beat was fires and police. That was good preparation for producing live TV news shows. Next came directing, writing, and producing documentaries; investigative pieces for CBC and science shows for Discovery and National Geographic. That interest in science led to senior communicator positions at 2 Canadian universities

Jamal Saad

Jamal Saad

Account Manager

Impact-driven storyteller with a knack for creating compelling content that got clients noticed via top-tier coverage. Equipped with international experience across practice areas and media landscapes. A natural-born wordsmith and a listener who’s already ready to lend out a helping hand. Language, travel, world cinema, and fiction aficionado. Jamal enjoys creating and selling stories for all audiences.

Celine Barton

Celine Barton

Account Executive

People person driven by creativity. Lover of a good story, knack for interesting ways to communicate them. Self-proclaimed stylist and makeup artist, mom of 3 Frenchies. Motivated by making connections, going the extra mile, and being up to date on the latest trends in the media landscape. Bachelors in Communications. TikTok addict, mixologist, avid concert attendee. Proud to be a part of the most progressive, brilliant, and diverse team of communicators. 

Michelle Hawkins-Wood

Michelle Hawkins-Wood

Office Manager

As the Office Manager, Michelle’s focus is providing the utmost efficiency for our company, team, and valued clients. Her expertise in accounting, office management, and customer service has spanned almost 20 years bringing an aligned relationship-oriented approach to our firm.

Pamela Rubio

Pamela Rubio

Marketing & Design Manager

Pamela has 18 years of experience in Marketing, Advertising, Graphic Design and Web Development plus 5 years of experience in Digital Marketing. Throughout her career, she’s assisted dozens of B2B and B2C companies stand out from the crowd by building meaningful brand identities.  Her expertise in creative design, digital marketing strategy, and website user experience has helped companies better understand, engage, and relate to their audiences in a meaningful and effective way.