NavigatorWhen the stakes are high.
When you face challenges or opportunities that will define your reputation.
When you find yourself on the wrong side of public opinion.

The Ivey Business School has partnered with Navigator, Canada's leading high-stakes communication firm,  to provide a proprietary five-day program focusing on how to manage reputation capital and mitigate risk during reputation-defining situations.

Reputation risk has a material impact on a company’s performance and position in its industry. The Ivey-Navigator program uses simulations and case studies to prepare executives with the strategies and tactics to plan, respond and recover from any situation that could adversely affect their company’s reputation. Participants will be instructed by a team of professors, business leaders and communications experts.

The program features proprietary exercises that allow participants to engage in the planning, response and recovery during a situation where reputation is threatened. Program participants work through simulations and case studies from a variety of stakeholder perspectives. This holistic approach allows them to identify and leverage both the opportunities and challenges associated with a reputation-defining event and ultimately, prepares them to adopt communication strategies that build trust with the stakeholders that matter most.

Navigator Program Overview

Upcoming Sessions

Join us for one of our upcoming sessions.


$9,900 CDN
(Program fee includes all materials, meals.)

Have a question? Call us: 1.800.948.8548 or 1.519.661.3272

Who should attend?

The course will be a five-day comprehensive, immersive program intended for:

  • Vice presidents;
  • Senior directors;
  • Board directors;
  • CEOs; and,
  • Leaders in public facing communications, media, and government relations roles (including public relations, analyst relations, and marketing).
  • A readiness and resilience for leaders to control and manage reputation-defining situations;
  • The ability to make timely decisions based on best available facts and clear thinking;
  • A clear understanding of the responsibilities and roles of the boardroom during a crisis; and,
  • Tools, tactics and best practices for handling internal and external communications during a reputation-defining situation.

Strategic positioning and message development

  • Development of fundamental messaging and positioning is particularly important in the run-up to any major transaction or company decision that could incite media coverage.

Government relations

  • Many companies deal with both regulatory and political pressures during the course of a crisis, and participants will be required to develop plans that deal with this pressure.


  • Participants will learn about the threats and opportunities represented by increased digital communications, including the pressure of social media, understanding the pressure it can exert on an organization, and ensuring your key messages resonate in a digital space.


  • Investors, regulatory bodies, internal employees, boards and shareholders all represent important constituencies that must be communicated to in a crisis. Participants will develop plans and face complications from communicating with such stakeholders during the course.


  • All communication strategies should be research-guided, with a full understanding of the challenges and opportunities an organization faces as a crisis develops. 

Media Relations

  • One of the key components of managing any important and foreseeable file is being prepared for the ensuing media coverage. This includes having capable media spokespeople who have been trained and are comfortable in a public-facing role, and having a media plan that encompasses potential challenges.

Issue management and crisis communication

  • Organizations face challenges that are unexpected. In cases like this, they face a variety of challenges, including immediate legal pressures, stakeholder issues and the need for a quick response. Organizations may be caught flat-footed without a prepared crisis-response plan, including hierarchy and approval systems. The course will outline the importance of having a plan developed far in advance of a crisis, and also walk participants through how to manage a crisis when it strikes.

Reputation recovery

  • Following a crisis, organizations often find that their reputation has been challenged. A reputation recovery plan ensures that company leaders can fix any residual problems the company faces with positive announcements and programs.


Gerard Seijts

Gerard Seijts: Faculty Director

Gerard Seijts received his PhD from the University of Toronto in 1998. Prior to joining Ivey Business School in 2000, he was on the faculty at the I.H. Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba. Gerard is teaching on several leadership programs. For example, he has worked with organizations including Aecon, Intact Financial Corporation, OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Maple Leaf Foods, J.D. Irving Limited, Hutchison Ports, Cigna, A.S. Watson, Bank of China Hong Kong and many others. He has also worked with local government in Canada and Hong Kong on issues such as leadership and change. Gerard has taught EMBA, MBA and undergraduate courses in leadership, leading change, organizational behavior, performance management and staffing.

His research activities, spanning journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers, cover a wide range of topics including leadership, change, goal setting, training and development, teams, organizational justice, and performance management. He also enjoys writing practitioner-oriented articles.

Jana Seijts

Jana Seijts

Ms. Seijts is a lecturer in Management Communication at the Ivey Business School. She received her B.A., B.Ed., and M.A from the University of Toronto. Before arriving at Ivey, Ms. Seijts was the Coordinator and English Language Specialist at the Writing Support Services from 2000 to 2009 at Western. She has over 23 years’ experience teaching professional and technical communication courses to undergraduates and graduate students at Western University, Schulich School of Business-York University, and the University of Manitoba. She is the co-author of A Concise Guide to Technical Communication (First and Second Canadian Editions, 2010 and 2012), as well as IMPACT! A Guide to Business Communication, (Ninth Edition, 2017). Ms. Seijts is also a best-selling author of business cases in Management Communication, Marketing Communication, and General Management, and her cases have appeared in the Harvard Business Review.

Ms. Seijts is the owner of a consulting company specializing in technical and professional communication. Her clients have included J.D. Irving, Lanxess, Toronto Hydro, the Ready Mixed Concrete Association of Ontario, Ontario Power Authority, Tangerine, CIBC, the Agricultural Bank of China, Aecon, AVIVA, Skanska, and The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. She is regularly invited to speak at postsecondary institutions and conferences (most recently Stanford University, The Management Communication Association and the Association for Business Communication). Ms. Seijts speaks on such topics as Unlocking Your Leadership Presence, Strategic Storytelling for a Rapidly Changing World, Reach Your Potential: Designing Winning Proposals, Getting Social: Effective Social Media in Business, and Delivering High Impact Pitches.

Mary C. Weil

Mary C. Weil

Mary C. Weil is a lecturer in the communications area group at the Ivey Business School. She graduated with a Master of Arts in Journalism at Western University and earned a Bachelor of Arts and Science (Honours) at McMaster University.

Prior to joining Ivey in 2005, Mary worked at CTV's Business News Network (BNN) in a series of progressively higher positions. While there, she booked high-profile Fortune 500 CEOs as guests, managed a dozen staff, and produced two-and-a-half hours of live programming every day.

Mary also spent five years as a reporter for Dow Jones & Company, where she wrote news and feature-length articles on initial public offerings, biotechnology and retail. She has had numerous stories published in newspapers across Canada as well as in The Wall Street Journal and The Wall Street Journal Asia.

Mary is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

Guy L.F. Holburn

Guy L.F. Holburn

Guy Holburn is the Suncor Chair in Energy Policy and a Professor in the Business, Economics and Public Policy group at Ivey. His area of expertise is in the intersection of business strategy and public policy. Much of his research and teaching is applied to strategy and policy issues in the energy and utilities sector in Canada, the United States, and internationally.

Holburn joined Ivey in July 2001 after completing his Ph.D. in Business and Public Policy and M.A. in Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the founder and Director of the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre, Canada’s leading university-based centre for research and outreach on national energy issues. Prior to his Ph.D. studies, Holburn worked for several years as a management consultant with Bain and Company in London, England, and was a founding member of the Bain South Africa office. His undergraduate degree (Economics, B.A. Hons. First Class) is from Cambridge University.

Lisa Pearson

Lisa Pearson

Lisa Pearson is a Principal at Navigator, bringing more than a 15 years of experience in communications and public affairs.

A demonstrated strategic thinker, Lisa has served diverse clients in the public, corporate and not-for-profit sectors. She has expertise in a range of functions including issues management, crisis communications and public affairs campaign planning and execution.

Prior to joining Navigator, Lisa was the Manager of Communications for Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). While at the IESO, Lisa developed and implemented internal and external communications programs for energy stakeholders, consumers, employees, media, and the general public.

Lisa has senior-level government experience, having served as the senior policy advisor to the Honourable John Baird.

Lisa received an undergraduate degree from Bishop’s University and a Master’s degree in Canadian Public Policy from McMaster University.

Mike Van Soelen

Mike Van Soelen

As Managing Principal, Mike helps leading organizations reach and engage their most important audiences.

Mike helps lead the Navigator team by providing clients with honest counsel on strategic and crisis communications, public affairs and research. His track record speaks to his unique understanding of how messages properly delivered can facilitate concrete, measurable outcomes.

Before joining Navigator, Mike founded and ran a successful boutique public affairs and communications firm with offices in Toronto and Ottawa that served leading organizations across Canada. Mike sold his firm to Navigator in 2015 and brought his unique insights and results-focused style to the Navigator team.

Prior to running his own company, Mike worked in communications and marketing, both in the private sector and political realm. He has served on countless political campaigns and his posts in government have included Chief of Staff to an Ontario Minister and Director of Communications in Ottawa. Mike also worked at one of the country’s largest public relations agencies as a senior communications consultant, supporting clients in the finance, health and government sectors.

Mike began his career in the grassroots of Canadian journalism at two regional daily newspapers. He also contributed to some of the country’s largest publications, such as The Globe and Mail, and won several awards for his writing.

Mike holds a Masters of Journalism from the University of Western Ontario. He lives with his family in Toronto.

Anne Kilpatrick

Anne Kilpatrick

Anne Kilpatrick has over 25 years’ experience harnessing traditional and innovative market research techniques among both general public and stakeholder groups to uncover insights that assist clients in developing policy, program and communication responses to their strategic challenges. Anne has extensive experience developing and executing qualitative and quantitative research programs for longstanding association clients, clients in the financial services sector, federal and provincial regulatory arenas, as well as the health care and not-for-profit sectors.

Anne is a highly seasoned qualitative researcher, with particular skills in the design and application of innovation techniques within group discussion formats and in focus group moderation. She often employs advanced projection techniques while moderating focus groups and innovation sessions. Having undertaken advanced training at the Creative Problem Solving Institute in Buffalo, New York and The Burke Institute in Minnesota, she is conversant with numerous projective techniques that allow research participants to more easily articulate the emotional and intangible considerations that underlie behaviour and attitudes.

Anne has extensive expertise in quantitative research including service and program evaluation, corporate image and image positioning, communications testing, market segmentation and employee engagement. She is adept at utilizing quantitative analytical techniques including factor analysis, cluster analysis, conjoint analysis, perceptual mapping, and multiple regression.

Anne works with regulatory bodies to explore stakeholder evaluations of new regulatory initiatives, perceptions of regulatory supervision, and emerging issues that may positively or adversely affect regulated entities in the marketplace.

She has worked with a cross-section of financial service companies to develop and implement strategic research in support of the development of new brand positions, communications campaigns, and product launches. Beyond these point-in-time studies, Anne works with financial services clients to interpret and act on longstanding studies that delve into changing trends in consumer behavior and attitudes on issues as diverse as payment technologies, retirement savings and financial literacy.

Prior to joining Navigator, Anne was a partner at a national public opinion and market research firm with offices in Toronto and Ottawa.

Will Stewart

Will Stewart

As a Managing Principal at Navigator and founding Principal at Ensight, Will has earned the trust and respect of leaders in corporations, government and not-for-profit organizations for his expertise as one of Canada’s leading public affairs advisors.

Will has demonstrated expertise in qualitative research, media relations, campaign planning and reputation management and recovery. He provides strategic planning, research and communications counsel to clients in a diverse variety of traditional and emerging sectors, including an expertise in Canada’s legal cannabis sector where he works with a series of licensed producers and other organizations in the space.

Prior to joining Navigator and founding Ensight, Will served as Chief of Staff to the Honourable John Baird in a variety of portfolios.

A respected media commentator on politics, public policy and social media, Will appears regularly on television, radio, and in print as a strategist. Will was honoured to be chosen by the Hill Times as a member of its Top 100 Lobbyists for six consecutive years and was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canadian public policy.

Deirdre McMurdy

Deirdre McMurdy

Deirdre McMurdy’s career experience spans print and broadcast journalism, politics and corporate communications.

Prior to joining Navigator, she was speechwriter and communications advisor to CEOs and other senior executives in the financial services sector. Deirdre has also worked for federal Cabinet Ministers as a strategic communications advisor.

She was a host of Canada AM for five years before producing and hosting her own business program for Global Television. She went on to host Moneywise for Global Television, while also writing a nationally-syndicated weekly column of the same name for the National Post and Southam national newspaper chain.

She has been a business editor and columnist at Maclean’s magazine and a business columnist with the Globe and Mail, the National Post and Canadian Business.

She is a frequent public speaker and moderator of corporate and not-for-profit events.

Joseph Lavoie

Joseph Lavoie

Joseph Lavoie leads Navigator's Digital Practice and has a decade of communications and public affairs experience.

Joseph returns to Navigator after serving, first, Foreign Minister John Baird and, then Prime Minister Harper as Director of Strategic Communications. Joseph is the architect of Navigator's Digital Activation model, which he used to conceptualize and launch Canada's direct diplomacy efforts in Iran. Joseph has a proven track record of using new technology to help organizations reach their audiences and stakeholders, having first honed his craft on a U.S. Presidential campaign.

In the Prime Minister’s Office, Joseph led a team of communicators tasked with delivering the government’s message directly to Canadians. Embracing innovative concepts from the private sector, he shifted the government’s focus towards content marketing to make the government’s message approachable and shareable.

Joseph has directed campaign teams responsible for developing data-driven strategies, online mobilization, advertising, outreach, candidate services, video production, real-time content production, monitoring and analysis, and digital get-out-the-vote programs.

In 2007, Joseph was selected Canada's Next Great Prime Minister by Canadians as part of a scholarship program sponsored by Magna International, the Dominion Institute, and the Canada-US Fulbright Program. Joseph graduated from York University's Glendon College.

Randi Rahamim

Randi Rahamim

Randi Rahamim is a Principal at Navigator where she focuses on the management, design and execution of public affairs, stakeholder management and communications campaigns. Randi has over sixteen years of communications and public affairs experience working with clients in Canada, the United States and internationally.

Randi’s career at Navigator first began in 2002. At the time she was a Senior Consultant involved in advertising planning and creative development, stakeholder relations, research analysis, and message development.

Prior to rejoining Navigator, she spent seven years working as a Vice President at a management consulting firm specializing in the energy and infrastructure sectors. She has led multi-faceted communications and grassroots campaigns in the energy, health, waste, financial and agriculture sectors.

Randi has senior level government experience working for a variety of politicians at the municipal and provincial levels. She has a unique understanding of municipalities, and has counselled the private sector in her role as the Managing Consultant of a municipal government relations practice.

Randi is a frequent media commentator on politics and public affairs, appearing regularly on Newstalk 1010 and Global Television among others.

Carrie Kormos

Carrie Kormos

Carrie Kormos is a seasoned communications and public affairs practitioner with 18 years’ experience in corporate, consulting and government settings.

She has a keen understanding of the Canadian political landscape serving as a political advisor and Chief of Staff in a number of government ministries including the Ministries of Health, Tourism, Mining and Consumer Affairs. Carrie was also the Principal Secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff to Ontario’s Opposition Leader. In the private sector, she served as the Director of Corporate Affairs for Magna International and the Vice President of public relations at a consulting firm.

With a wide range of expertise across many sectors including the gaming and tourism industries, she has been recognized for creating award winning national and international communications and media relations campaigns for clients.

Carrie uses her breadth of experience to provide counsel on crisis management, media relations, stakeholder management and developing integrated communications campaigns.

Carrie currently works as the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Gateway Casinos Entertainment Ltd.

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