The work.

Loving what we do.

The work.

Loving where we do it.

The work.

Loving who we do it with.
That’s what we’re about. And leaving our campsite better than we found it.

Our Team

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Ian Macdonald, Strategic Partnerships Director, Co-Founder

Ian has worked in strategic marketing and communications for 25 years as a business manager, copywriter, planner and creative director at international agencies Carlson Marketing Group, Vickers & Benson and BBDO. With Vaka, Ian has brought his international experience to Vancouver, the BC interior and the Sunshine Coast, leading a team of exceptionally talented design, communications and project management professionals to deliver world class creative, strategy and results.

 
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Jane Macdonald, Co-Founder

Jane's career took off the moment she was recruited out of Northwestern University in Chicago by Maritz Inc., of St. Louis Missouri, where she went on to design employee engagement, retention and performance improvement systems for Fortune 500 companies. She eventually accepted a transfer to Toronto, Canada to build the Canadian division of the company. Jane's impact was profound, with the company growing from 30 to 150 staff within 24 months, and continuing to this day as a top performance marketing agency. Jane expanded her career into consumer and B2B marketing with two of Toronto's top digital & interactive agencies, before founding Vaka with her partner Ian. Jane provides strategic counsel, planning and key account relationship management.

 
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Jen McParland, Agency Director

With a decade of experience as a Marketing & Project Manager, Jen has managed the planning and execution of multiple brands, design projects and product launches, specializing in real estate marketing in BC. Jen studied at Simon Fraser University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Certificate of Innovative Leadership. Collaborative by nature, Jen thrives in building sustainable working partnerships, and enjoys the pace and energy of creative, high-volume, results-driven environments. As Agency Director at Vaka, her skilled leadership, focus and insightful direction ensures the ship is always on course.

 
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Lissa Nunweiler, Creative Director

Lissa is the design team leader at Vaka, specializing in branding, experiential & environmental graphic design, interior design and architecture. A graduate of the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now Emily Carr University of Art & Design) in Vancouver, Lissa brings a highly articulate visual language to the communication goals of Vaka clients. Studying art and psychology before obtaining a degree in communication design, Lissa’s appreciation of the relationship between brands and their visual representation is apparent in all of her work. Lissa has been involved in a diverse portfolio of projects, including work for Hilton Hotels, Whole Foods, LAX, and BC Nurses Union. She has also worked extensively for UBC Properties, providing property development packages, wayfinding, donor recognition programs, signage campaign strategies, advertising initiatives and brand identity development.

 
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Chelsey Allen, Strategy Director

Chelsey has a background in public relations, brand strategy, freelance writing and business management. Her combined experience includes 12 years in tourism, hospitality, nutrition, health and wellness. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Sociology from the University of British Columbia, and she completed the Social Enterprise Program through the faculty of Economic Development at Simon Fraser University. Chelsey has launched and operated a local small business and thrives in cultivating meaningful brand experiences. Chelsey is passionate about delivering connective, engaging and innovative solutions.

 
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Sarah Duro, Project Administrator

Sarah has worked in the financial industry for over 16 years as a financial advisor, mortgage underwriter and team leader. She graduated from the Business Management program at Vancouver Community College. Sarah thrives on ensuring her team is performing at their peak through encouraging a communicative, collaborative environment. Sarah is passionate about people management and nurturing a high-performing, sustainable team. Within a fast-paced, results-driven model, her goal is to ensure both her team and clients receive the best experience possible.

 
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Deanna Clause, Web & Graphic Designer

Deanna has specialized in graphic design, website development and digital marketing for the past 12 years. She graduated from the New Media Design program at Sheridan College in 2006. Working primarily with Marketing & Publishing agencies, she has produced custom solutions for a diverse range of clients and businesses. Her main goal is to create exceptional user experiences with clear, intuitive functionality and contemporary design. With her expertise in Wordpress and a strong design acumen, Deanna delivers outstanding results across multiple industries.

 
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Erin van der Lee, Strategy, Content & Creative Planning 

Erin has over 10 years of experience building successful Content Marketing Strategies for B2C & B2B businesses spanning various industries including beauty, healthcare, consumer goods, retail, tech, finance, cryptocurrency, and others. Before joining the Vaka team, she led Marketing programs and teams at tech start-ups in Vancouver and New York City. Erin’s passion for content marketing strategy was born out of a love for writing, and a job in Editorial in her earlier years. She’s written for several publications including Estates West Magazine, The Financial Post, National Post, and Forbes.