People

Counsel’s Principals offer you the benefit of many decades of combined senior-level experience in strategic communications, public affairs, public relations, digital communications and organizational management. They are directly involved in all day-to-day client work, supported by skilled and efficient staff.

John Beaucage
Principal

jbeaucage@counselpa.com
416-920-0716 x 239

John Beaucage is one of Canada’s most respected First Nation leaders. He was elected as Grand Council Chief of the 42-member First Nations of the Anishinabek Nation (Union of Ontario Indians) in 2004, after serving four consecutive terms as Chief of Wasauksing First Nation.

Charles Beer
Principal

cbeer@counselpa.com
416-920-0716 x 222

Minister, CEO, Chief of Staff, Commissioner, Executive Director – with over 30 years of leadership experience in government and not-for-profit organizations, Charles brings extraordinary skills and experience in public policy and issues advocacy to your service.

 

Phil Dewan
President

pdewan@counselpa.com
416-920-0716 x 235

Philip Dewan is one of the leading public policy practitioners in Ontario. He has played critical roles in the election of two Premiers and helped shape the provincial agenda on issues as diverse as the creation of centres of excellence in technology, the crafting of sustainable landlord-tenant legislation and the designation of the world's largest urban Greenbelt.

Charles Harnick
Principal

charnick@counselpa.com
416-920-0716 x 221

Charles Harnick, Q.C. is an accomplished mediator and strategist. His broad network of relationships comes from years of experience working in the government and is evidence of his steadfast ability to resolve issues and provide sound, strategic communications counsel to clients.

 

Brad Lavigne
Principal and Vice President, Western Canada

Brad Lavigne has over 20 years of communications, government relations, and political experience. Prior to joining Counsel, Brad built his own successful consulting firm, serving a diverse range of organizations with GR needs in Western Canada. He was also previously Ottawa-based Vice President with a national public affairs company, where he worked with clients from across Canada in a wide cross-section of sectors.

Bob Lopinski
Principal

blopinski@counselpa.com
416-920-0716 x 251

Bob Lopinski led Premier Kathleen Wynne’s successful 2014 Liberal Campaign war room and played a key role in helping her new government and campaign team build on the experience of the previous McGuinty administration. Recognized by the Toronto Star as both “an architect of Premier McGuinty’s rise to power” and “one of the most influential officials in government”, Bob has over 25 years of experience at the highest levels of Queen’s Park and provincial politics.

 

Dorenda McNeil
Senior Vice President

dmcneil@counselpa.com
416-961-5898 x 216

Dorenda McNeil is a passionate and driven communications expert. With over 15 years of experience in public relations, marketing and strategic planning, Dorenda possesses the quintessential attributes needed to be successful in the business, including her never-ending curiosity for current events, business and culture.

Carol Mitchell
Principal

cmitchell@counselpa.com
416-920-0716 ext. 243

Carol Mitchel is a municipal and provincial leader with an intimate, hands-on understanding of rural Ontario. She was the highly respected MPP for the riding of Huron-Bruce from 2003 to 2011.

 

Sheamus Murphy
Vice President, Federal Advocacy

Sheamus has nearly 15 years of experience in government, communications and public affairs working on Parliament Hill, at Queen’s Park and in the private sector.

Caroline Pinto
Managing Principal

cpinto@counselpa.com
416-920-0716 x 220

As a seasoned public affairs and government relations practitioner, Caroline Pinto knows how to get to the root of a problem. With over 20 years’ experience, she has a keen ability to prioritize and determine influential people and issues, giving her a competitive edge in policy development, negotiation, and strategic problem solving.

 

Tara Wood
Vice President, Public Relations

twood@counselpa.com
416-920-0716 x 210

Tara Wood is a communications strategist with more than 10 years of experience working in corporate and financial communications. With a focus on return on investment, Tara specializes in developing effective thought leadership campaigns and messaging, media relations and working with her team to deliver strong results for clients.

 

Staff

 

Sandy Blackwood
Account Executive

sblackwood@counselpa.com
416-920-0716 x 240

Grant Gonzales
Consultant

ggonzales@counselpa.com
416-920-0716 x 234

Grant Gonzales started his political career at the young age of 13 when he was selected to serve as a Legislative Page in the Ontario Legislature. Inspired by his experience, he continued his passion for politics through his education, career and community service.

 

Cecely Roy
Office Administrator

croy@counselpa.com
416-920-0716 x 223

Devan Sommerville
Account Director

dsommerville@counselpa.com
416-920-0716 x 217

Devan Sommerville brings an impactful balance of practical public policy experience and forward-thinking insight to Counsel Public Affairs. He has engaged with many of Ontario’s leading elected officials and policy practitioners on the challenging issues confronting Ontario today.

 

Lauren van den Berg
Senior Government Relations Consultant

lvandenberg@counselpa.com
416-920-0716 x 232

A creative and proactive strategist with a strong history of engaging diverse stakeholders across the public and private sectors, Lauren has a decade of experience in government, public affairs, and strategic communications.