Catherine L. Aherne has been involved in the areas of clear communication, project and people management for over a decade in both the private and public sector, first as a writer and trainer, then in the roles of Director of Information Development and Training, and Chief Knowledge Officer for various software organizations.
Catherine has been engaged in issues around literacy and plain language through her work with Clear Language and Design (CLAD), the public education program of the Toronto Centre for Community Learning and Development since its inception. As a Senior Associate with CLAD, Catherine has worked with many organizations to improve the clarity and readability of both print and online publications, and to provide hands on plain language training. In 2004, Catherine expanded her portfolio to include teaching at the college level – first at Centennial College and now at Humber College in the English department.
Catherine holds an honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts degree from Acadia University. Most recently, she completed TESL certification through Humber College and is a member of TESL Ontario.
Laura Berg is the president and founder of My Smart Hands Inc., one of North America’s leading Baby Signing companies. Her YouTube channel is one of Canada’s top-ranked channels with over 30 million views. Because of her ranking, she was invited to join Maker Studio, North America’s largest YouTube network.
Laura started her business out of her home and has seen it blossom into an international company with over 200 instructors worldwide. Utilizing social media, specifically YouTube, she grew her brand internationally, becoming a recognized expert in the field of baby signing. In 2011, Laura secured a book deal with Avery Books, a division of Penguin Group (USA). Her definitive guide, The Baby Signing Bible was published in September 2012.
Laura has won many awards and is recognized in the media all over the world. She appeared on Canada’s Dragons’ Den television show where she secured a business deal from two of the investors. Laura was also named a top 10 Chatelaine Entrepreneur of the Year and a finalist in the TBOT Business of the YEar award. She has appeared on the front page of the Toronto Star, been showcased in the Globe & Mail’s Report on Business Magazine, Maclean’s Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune. Visit the media page for a complete list.
Laura’s extensive background in entrepreneurship, business and branding have led her to become an international speaker sharing her experiences, teaching others the ins and outs of business, and branding.
Suzanne (Sue) Bowness (www.suzannebowness.com) is a writer/editor with over 15 years of experience writing everything from feature articles to brochures to web profiles. She helped to develop Humber’s Professional Writing and Communications graduate certificate and now serves as its curriculum lead.
Suzanne writes regularly for the Globe and Mail, University Affairs, and other publications, and is a strong generalist with specialties in higher education, business, technology, and books. Through her copywriting business CodeWord Communications (www.codeword.ca (link is external)) she provides editorial services from copywriting to editing to proofreading for a variety of corporate clients.
Suzanne holds a PhD in English from the University of Ottawa and has been teaching in the English and Media Studies departments at Humber College since 2013. Prior to that she taught courses at York University and the University of Ottawa. She is a longstanding member and volunteer with the Professional Writers Association of Canada and has published a book of poetry called The Days You’ve Spent (2010).
Trudy Goldenberg is a communications and business strategy consultant, advising a variety of organizations on how to align and integrate marketing activities to achieve business goals. Her experience includes more than 13 years of overseeing the corporate communications and marketing activities of two of Canada’s leading law firms. She also has significant international communications and cross-cultural consulting experience.
Trudy hosts a monthly radio program on legal ethics, practice management and professionalism, and speaks regularly at conferences on reputation management, thought leadership and marketing communications.
Brendan Kennedy is an investigative reporter at the Toronto Star, where he has worked since 2009. Prior to joining the investigative team, Brendan worked as a sports writer – mainly writing about baseball and the Blue Jays – from 2012 through 2016.
He has also covered all manner of daily calamity as a general assignment news reporter for the Star, the Ottawa Citizen and the Kingston Whig-Standard. However, his first paid newspaper gig was as a music writer.
Brendan studied English Literature and Global Development Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston.
Dave (D.D.) Miller has published articles and stories in a number of journals and anthologies and is the author of a collection of short fiction, David Foster Wallace ruined My Suicide and Other Stories (W&W: A Buckrider Book, 2014), and a book of sports social history, Eight-Wheeled Freedom (Wolsak & Wynn 2016).
A professor in Humber’s English Department, Miller also serves on the editorial board (fiction) of The Humber Literary Review. He received undergraduate degrees in English literature and creative writing at Mount Allison university and the University of Victoria before completing his MFA at the University of Guelph.
Meaghan Strimas began teaching at Humber College in 2012 in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and in the School of Media Studies and Information Technology. Since the fall of 2015, she has been a full-time professor in Humber’s Department of English where she also serves as the editor of The Humber Literary Review.
She is the author of three collections of poetry and the editor of The Selected Gwendolyn MacEwen. Her latest book of poems, Yes or Nope, is a finalist for the 2017 Trillium Book Award.
Before coming to Humber, she worked at Quill & Quire magazine for several years as a marketing manager and at the University of Guelph as the program administrator. She has also spent time working as a freelance proofreader, copy editor, and project manager.
She holds a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing and English Literature from Concordia University. She lives in Toronto with her family.
Nathan Whitlock is the author of two novels: A Week of This (ECW Press, 2008) and Congratulations On Everything (ECW Press, 2016).
His fiction, reviews, essays, and journalism have appeared in the Toronto Star, Toronto Life, The Globe and Mail, Maisonneuve, Best Canadian Essays and elsewhere. He is a contributing editor at Quill & Quire magazine, serves on the advisory board for the Humber Literary Review, and is the managing editor of Humber Press.
He studied English Literature and History at Concordia University in Montreal and currently lives in Toronto.