Rubicon Strategy

When the die is cast

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In 49 BC...

Julius Caesar crossed the River Rubicon with a single legion and went on to create an empire that ruled the world for over 400 years.

That empire's influence is still felt today.

"Crossing the Rubicon" has survived to refer to any individual or group that is prepared to irrevocably commit to a course of action that is "all in."

All in.

We are experienced strategists and campaigners who relish a challenge that others say can’t be done.

No challenge is too difficult and we are ruthless at finding a pathway to success.

Data is at the heart of everything we do.

Caesar would never have crossed the Rubicon if he wasn’t confident that he had the data and intelligence to mount the coup that created an Empire.

Our research will give you the confidence you need to win.

Our Services

We integrate data and digital to shape modern strategies for age-old problems.

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

We don’t sugar coat the truth. We give candid advice that will lead you to victory. We are trusted advisors to companies and associations in health care, gaming, cannabis, government procurement, entertainment, environment, energy, natural resources, and more.

DIGITAL MARKETING

Our digital campaigns have elected Premiers in Ontario and Alberta. When you need to win online, we are ready. Whether it's shaping public opinion, building blazing fast websites, or converting prospects into customers, we get the job done.

COMMUNICATIONS

We integrate our research to provide unparalleled strategic communications support, in times of crisis, or to avoid one in the first place. We carefully craft messaging to support our corporate clients through complex issues and litigations to win support from the public when it really matters. Our team has more experience, and can provide better media training than any other firm in Canada.

RUBICON DEFENCE

Rubicon Defence is a premier aerospace and defence consulting group comprised of battle-hardened experts in the areas of Canadian federal procurement with a focus on policies, practices, politics, procedures and the detailed requirements of complex military acquisitions. This multi-dimensional team provides strategic advice intended to deepen your tactics, and maximize your probability of win.

Environment, Social, Governance (ESG)

We are the only firm in Canada offering strategic ESG advice to drive continuous improvement and investor confidence. In a world with increasing pressure, we demonstrate how organizations are positively impacting society while lessening their environmental footprints. Our team will ensure ESG success through a multiple stakeholder approach by collaboration with private and public sectors, NGOs, community groups and Indigenous partners.

Kory TeneyckeCo-founder and CEO

If you’re in a tough fight, Kory is the guy you want on your side.

With two decades in public affairs, Kory has served as the Director of Communications to the Prime Minister of Canada, managed the cable news channel “Sun News”, and served as Executive Director of the Renewable Fuels Association. Kory was the manager of the 2018 and 2022 campaign that saw Doug Ford become Premier of Ontario and is the leading force behind the Premier winning a second term, increasing the Ontario PC Party's majority.

Mike CoatesCo-founder

Nobody has more experience in the industry than Mike Coates.

Mike has led teams and managed companies in Canada, Australia, the U.S., and Latin America, rising through the ranks to become CEO of Hill and Knowlton Americas, and Vice Chair, Global. Canadian Business magazine named Mike one of Canada’s “Top 50 Most Powerful People” and he has provided counsel to North American corporate industries and has served as a director on publically listed, crown and not-for-profit boards.

Andrew BalfourManaging Partner, Ottawa

Andrew closes deals.

There’s a reason that Andrew was named a Top 40 Under 40 by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce in 2018. In every year since becoming a lobbyist Andrew has been named in The Hill Times top 100. If you want things done in Ottawa, you need Andrew Balfour on your team.

Patrick HarrisManaging Partner, Toronto

Patrick changes government policy.

Joining Rubicon after years of building his own practice at the provincial and municipal levels, Patrick has a track-record of success for clients in the gaming, energy, agricultural, and food and beverage sectors. Cutting his teeth as a senior political staffer and campaigner, Patrick specialized in integrated public affairs strategies that move opinion. In 2022, Patrick served as the Campaign Manager for Toronto Mayor John Tory’s successful re-election campaign.

Don NewmanExecutive Vice President

Don Newman is the news.

When it comes to mastering the media, broadcast veteran Don Newman can’t be beat. Having spent decades anchoring Canada’s most trusted news broadcasts, Don Newman has interviewed the movers and shakers that have shaped our nation. If you need to make sure your message cuts through the spin, Don Newman is who you want on your side.

Don Newman is an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is the recipient of Honorary Degrees from both Queens and the University of Winnipeg as well as numerous professional awards.

Elizabeth RoscoeExecutive Vice President and Ottawa Practice Lead

Elizabeth solves problems.

With over 30 years navigating government, politics, and public opinion, Elizabeth delivers results for clients. She has advised numerous TSX listed companies with an emphasis on regulated industries, and holds a strong track record of building stakeholder support to pitch government. As a leader in the public affairs industry, Elizabeth is a seasoned advisor on foreign investment transactions. If you want to engage with government, talk to Elizabeth. 

Stephanie DelormeChief Operating Officer

Stephanie is a strategic thinker and problem solver.

With extensive experience in the private and public sectors, in think tanks and politics, Stephanie’s range of experience gives her an innate understanding of a range of policy issues and creative approaches to solving them. Stephanie has worked in federal politics in the Opposition Leader’s office, on the provincial campaign in Ontario seeing Doug Ford elected as Premier, and in local politics in Ottawa.

Andy SinghVice President, Public Affairs General Counsel

Andy gives effective strategic advice! 

Accompanied with years of federal political experience and practicing law, Andy gives effective strategic advice. He brings his political experience, deep understanding of policy and regulatory knowledge to client mandates.  After years of providing general counsel to the Liberal caucus, Andy is known as a seasoned and strategic government relations practitioner. As a senior strategist, he has led and succeeded in federal health, energy, telecommunications, transportation, and defense client mandates. 

Jan O'DriscollSenior Vice President

When the game is on the line, you want Jan on your side.

With years of experience leading tactical communications and tough policy files, Jan is a straight shooter that gets the job done. He’s held senior leadership roles in the private sector as well as with several federal cabinet ministers in Harper’s government. Most recently, Jan served as Chief of Staff in several key ministries in Premier Ford’s government where he drove transformational initiatives to get wins for the people of Ontario.

Aaron GairdnerSenior Vice President

When it comes to managing big files and winning teams, Aaron is it.

Aaron has spent nearly 20 years in senior public policy roles, including key roles as Chief of Staff to the federal cabinet ministers for Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, and National Defence. He oversaw the largest defence procurement effort since the 1950s and was instrumental in some 50 foreign missions to advance Canada’s economic, security and diplomatic interests. With two degrees in Political Science and extensive experience at the highest levels, Aaron has a blue-chip understanding of machinery of government.

Matthew MitschkeVice President

Matt is experienced.

Matt has spent nearly a decade in senior government roles both provincially and federally, as Chief of Staff to the B.C. Ministers of Environment and Justice and in Ottawa as a Senior Advisor at National Defence and as Chief of Staff at Employment and Labour. Matt leverages his extensive understanding of defence procurement, skills development, TFWs and Canada’s natural resource sector for client success. Armed with a law degree, Matt has the experience to achieve results.

Sarah LeterskySVP & National Health Practice Lead

Sarah knows government decision making.

As a war room operative she helped elect Doug Ford as Premier of Ontario. As a Chief of Staff in Premier Ford’s government, Sarah built an impressive network of peers, and successfully managed communications on a number of contentious files. If you need something at Queen’s Park, Sarah knows who to talk to and how to get it done.

Tim SmithemanVice President

Tim produces results.

With over fifteen years of public affairs experience, Tim has worked alongside major domestic and international companies. Tim understands that effective government engagement is essential for success, and his experience within the government and private sector ranges from policy development and stakeholder engagement to operations and crisis communications. His innate understanding of the unique political, policy, and decision-making culture of government generates wins for you and your business.

Lieutenant-General (Retd) Michel GauthierSenior Defence Advisor

Michel (Mike) Gauthier enjoyed a highly successful 36-year career in the Canadian Armed Forces, highlights of which included senior roles as the military’s intelligence chief in the transformational period after 9/11, and as the senior general responsible for Canadian operations overseas including Canada’s combat mission in southern Afghanistan for almost four years. Since leaving the military, he has remained very active in the defence and security community as a mentor, consultant and lecturer, offering critical analysis, strategic insight and a range of other advisory services.

Major-General (Retd) Andrew JayneSenior Associate

Andrew understands Defence technology requirements. 

Served a very successful 35-year career in the Canadian Armed Forces, reaching the rank of Major-General. Andrew has gained extensive experience in Defence requirements, procurement and policy development with specific expertise in the land and cyber domains. He was a key contributor to recent Defence Policy planning and was a leader in the development of strategic policy proposals for increased military and civilian cyber capacity. He has worked closely with the military, the Communications Security Establishment and Shared Services Canada on future technology requirements to ensure Canada remains a secure global player.    

Andrew SkerrittSenior Associate

High Calibre International Aerospace Professional.
With 23 years of experience in International Marketing and Business Development, Andrew has enjoyed a sterling career, winning major aerospace and defence programs in Europe, Middle East and Africa. He has a comprehensive knowledge of avionics products, cockpit upgrades and building international relationships and alliances.

Utilia AmaralSenior Associate

Utilia understands the Canadian energy sector. 

Utilia founded MarketStep following a career spanning 20 years which included executive-level positions in the private sector, the not-for-profit sector and as a senior ministerial advisor serving in government. Previously, she served as the Chair of the Canadian Solar Industries Association and was the Managing Director of Strategic Affairs for SunEdison Canada.  

Steven CouplandSenior Associate

Steve is energy.

Steve brings over four decades of experience and has held senior positions across the federal government, Canadian politics, and the private sector. He is a respected expert in energy and regulatory affairs, and has led industry-wide approaches to regulatory issues. Steve’s expertise in the energy, environment and resource development sectors and his exceptional insight into the critical relationships between businesses, stakeholders, First Nations and all levels of government will ensure you get results.

Christine SimundsonAccount Director

Christine wins campaigns.

Christine’s extensive experience in the legal profession, coupled with her experience in political activism and working knowledge of government, gives her an advantage when developing strategic government relations plans for clients. A strategist and campaigner who relishes a challenge that others say can’t be done, Christine has been influential in achieving results for our clients since joining Rubicon in 2018. 

Daniel PascucciAccount Director

Dan shapes narratives to advance decisions

Dan excels at building and maintaining connections that advance client opportunities with nearly a decade of political affairs and communications experience working at the highest level in the federal and provincial governments. He understands the complexity of government, the nuances of policy creation, and the advantages of utilizing narratives when shaping decisions. Dan believes that every obstacle is another opportunity, and every opportunity is another path for results.

Abinaya ChandrabalanAccount Director

Abi is insight-driven.  

Abinaya (Abi) is a driven multi-hyphenate who marries past experience working at Toronto City Hall with her nursing career and training in business strategy. Serving as a registered nurse during the pandemic, Abi is incredibly resourceful and works well under pressure. Abi leverages her fresh perspective, MBA training and out-of-the-box thinking to craft sharp strategies that make meaningful change. A strong communicator who makes every second count, Abi’s excellent track record of wins speaks for itself. When you need a savvy strategist with a sterling reputation and a strong network, get Abi on your team.

Vladislav YakovlyevAccount Director

Vlad knows strategy.

With five years of experience in the Ontario government, Vlad has led some of the province’s most transformative policy files. With a thorough understanding of the workings and motivations of government, Vlad has the knowledge and expertise that will achieve results and set you up for success.

Christina LeysExecutive Assistant & Director of Administration

Christina is resourceful.

With 20 years of experience in Executive and Human Resources Administration, Christina holds the highest standards of service to support her colleagues. She possesses a formidable track record of achieving goals and getting results from her work managing CEOs at an international public relations firm and in global sports racing and natural resources companies. If you need something done, call Christina.

Saifina MaknojiaFinance Manager

Saifina is a problem solver.

With more than four years of corporate accounting finance and operations, Saifina knows numbers. Her ability to be analytical and thrive under pressure contributed to the success of North America's largest food delivery network. Saifina's expertise is no challenge for day-to-day accounting, AP AR, month-end, year-ends, tax filings and everyday banking for corporate structures.

Stefani VukmanovicSenior Consultant

Stefani is committed to your goals.

Stefani is an asset to any team as an experienced researcher and analytical thinker with a keen understanding of provincial government processes. Her experience in project planning and coordination, paired with an Honours Bachelor’s in International Relations, delivers results that make a difference. You can trust Stefani to understand your needs, bring you pragmatic solutions, and deliver results.

Mustapha KhamissaSenior Consultant

Mustapha is connected.  

With campaign leadership experience at every level of government and exceptional research skills, he understands what clients need to succeed. Mustapha graduated from the University of Toronto with a focus on Canadian politics, which complements years of experience working at Toronto City Hall and on political campaigns in Ontario. Mustapha’s efforts have earned him a strong network of decision-makers to help deliver meaningful results for clients.

Braedan de BakkerSenior Consultant

Braedan understands government.

With his experience at Queens Park and the Federal Opposition Leader’s Office, Braedan brings the policy know-how to get things done for clients. Braedan has a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration and knows where politics and policy intersect to craft tailored solutions to achieve results.

Samira LevesqueSenior Consultant

Samira is a connector.

During her time as an Advisor on Parliament Hill, Samira gained first-hand experience in how political considerations factor into government decision-making. Now, Samira keeps her ear to the ground for the political considerations at play, and how they impact the priorities of her clients. On the Hill, Samira advised caucus and was responsible for managing complex stakeholder relationships for political gain. She brings previous public affairs agency experience, where she advised clients in the health, financial and tech sectors. Samira can be counted on to deliver for clients and keep her ear to the ground. Samira has her Master’s in International Affairs from Carleton University, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Studies from Queen’s University.

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