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Team Bios

Karen Wood
Karen Wood

Founder + President

A team is only as good as its leader.  With more than 25 years’ experience within the communications spectrum, from branding to marcom; from creating integrated campaigns to resolving corporate PR issues; from developing social/digital platforms and finessing communications strategies to working her magic with generous sponsorships and glam events, Karen does it all. Trusted advisor and superior connector with perhaps the most formidable network in the National Capital Region, Karen is the masterful leader of Knock on Wood.  Whether you are a stakeholder, supplier, client, or colleague, you are always on Karen’s radar.

When not in the office you’ll find Karen: entertaining friends poolside or puttering in her garden

What you didn’t know about Karen?  She was in the Naval Reserve Summer Student program when she was 17.

Fav food: Red wine and Pad Thai

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Whitney Zelmer

Whitney's adventure in the event industry kicked off at KoW back in 2003. With a zest for bringing ideas to life, she dived into coordinating launch events for brands, businesses, and live shows, always with a keen eye for detail. Over the years, Whitney has orchestrated more than fifty annual networking events for the Ottawa Business Journal and expertly managed catering and logistics for events of all sizes at Thyme & Again Creative Catering. One of her standout moments? Playing a key role in Canada's Table, a spectacular dinner for 1,000 guests right outside Parliament Hill.

When not in the office, you’ll find Whitney: Taking long walks around the City

What you didn’t know about Whitney? She spent a year living in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Fav food: Chocolate ice cream. 

Whitney Zelmer

General Manager + Account Director

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Mary Jelly

If you have had any contact with the music industry here in Ottawa over the past 35 years, you have probably met Mary Jelley. This former Regional Manager for Warner Music Canada, former chair of Canadian Women in Communications, and Ottawa Music Industry Coalition board member is now on board with KoW as senior communications strategist. Mary has played a critical role in the development and success of many Canadian artists including Blue Rodeo, Great Big Sea, Alanis and Brett Kissel, and she brings this experience and expertise to your communications challenge through KOW.

Mary Jelly

Senior Communications Strategist

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Farouk Shaharudin

Farouk is an accidental creative. Having experienced living all over the world, he is inspired by the fact that despite the richness and uniqueness of different cultures, we all have similar goals and motivations as humans. This is reflected in his work, illustrating that there are an infinite number of ways to achieve a goal. In Malayasia, Farouk ran his own boutique creative agency focused on local lifestyle brands. He designs for festivals and professional sports teams, and is a creative director working with major infrastructure companies, property developers, and he even has a podcast. Farouk brings his refreshing outlook on life and communications to each and every KOW project.

When not in the office, you’ll find Farouk: watching sports, reading up about wildlife or planning road trips that he may or may not actually take.

Farouk Shaharudin

Website Content Editor + Account Coordinator + Admin Support

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Kath Thompson

Kath Thompson was once described as a “radio maverick”. She has launched five radio stations, and twice was named Major Market Music Director of the Year for her work at 106.9 The BEAR in Ottawa.

Kath is also an award-winning program host and producer and is known nationally for her syndicated music specials with U2, The Tragically Hip, Bon Jovi, Nickelback, AC/DC and many other Canadian and International artists.

With impeccable timing, Kath deftly transitioned, harnessing her wealth of past experience to catapult herself into the world of social media, where she now reigns as an undisputed expert.

Kath Thompson

Social Media Specialist

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Julie Findlay

Spokesperson and publicist for brands and ideas that encourage and promote creative, fun, fit, health and socially conscious families.

Julie Findlay

Communications Strategist

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Stephanie Kelly

Following 15 years  of entertainment marketing and event management, Steph launched her own consulting agency supporting executives in their quest for work life balance; developing healthy habits and mindsets, and navigating transitions among a host of other specialties.

Steph's history of event planning and flawless execution, combined with her dedication to ensuring her clients' peace of mind, offers a unique contribution to KoW.  With a solid foundation in digital marketing, Steph brings a wealth of expertise and tranquility to every business endeavour.

Stephanie Kelly

Digital Strategist + Special Projects

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Aqilah Rahim

A communications and social media strategist with experience in content creation and marketing, public relations, and writing. Additional experience includes donor solicitation, engagement and management for charities and non-profit organizations, and participating in video and creative production processes.

Aqilah Rahim

Account Coordinator + Admin Support (on Maternity Leave)

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Alejandra Guarin Vega

TBD

Alejandra Guarin Vega

TBD

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