Gideon Lin

Gideon Lin

Business Development Lead, Western Canada

After working in countries around the world including the US, Israel and Costa Rica for the last 17 years with clients like HSBC, CIBC and Telus, Gideon has gained heaps of business development experience. He looks at it simply: it’s all about finding a solution to a problem. Now living in beautiful British Columbia since 2012 with his wife, Meg, and their two young daughters, Gideon is focused on helping us grow our client base in Western Canada. He loves watching soccer (but only the World Cup. Shhh, don’t tell Shah…) and the occasional black bear from his kitchen window (yikes!), and laughing with his wife and daughters. He says he can’t carry a tune so avoids singing in public at all costs, but (secretly) might be persuaded to belt out some of his favourite Leonard Cohen ballads, if, say, a karaoke night was to present itself out of the blue. We knew it! He’s our man.


Natalia Kushnir

Natalia

Natalia Kushnir

Account Executive

Natalia relishes working with AVC’s fashion and beauty clients, developing our relationships with companies like H&M, MAC, Guerlain, Clinique, and WINNERS, and making sure they have everything they need during campaigns and projects. And it’s no surprise, because Natalia is a designer herself and is on a constant hunt for unique and trendy pieces to add to her wardrobe. We bet one day Natalia will start her own fashion brand – and still find a way to do community work, which she’s also hugely passionate about. She travels to Israel a lot, touring historical sites, sampling the amazing food and chilling at the beach. We love her offbeat sense of humour, data junkie pride, dedication to efficiency and how she’s always coming out of left field with bits of knowledge, like quotes from Freakonomics or tips from Tim Ferriss; and unique ideas, like the importance of stylish spreadsheets and the health benefits of salad. That last one took a bit of getting used to.


Stephane Hu

Stephane Hu

Stephane Hu

Project Manager

If you want to get to know Stephane, you gotta go with him to an all-you-can-eat sushi place and a musical – not a Raptors or Leafs game. With an empty day and unlimited budget, he’d chose to spend it munching on Maguro or Sake Nagiri and being mesmerized by the sounds and spectacle of musical theatre (so it’s lucky he chose to move to Toronto from China a few years ago). And don’t think about bringing him to an insect zoo. Or an untidy house. But ask him to take on all he can to support a new client? He’s all over it. Stephane loves learning about every aspect of our marketing projects including understanding the client, getting a handle on the creative, exploring media and dabbling in business development. As AVC’s Project Manager, Stephane is in his element. Almost as much as he is at The Phantom of the Opera or Les Misérables.


Steven Flores

Steven

Steven Flores

Advertising & Marketing Coordinator

A self-proclaimed geek, Steven will lull you into a false sense of security with his stories of playing video games until all hours, and how his best weekend includes sleeping in lots. But then he’ll casually mention the Japanese manga comic, Berserk, is one of his favourite books, he loves snowboarding and surfing, or that time he crashed the VIP section of a Linkin Park concert in California. Yup, Steven’s all about the yin and the yang. He’s on top of the world when he’s able to help his team reach their goals and gets to learn from new experiences along the way, yet he’ll be the first one to blast out Creep by Radiohead at karaoke. He’s a huge fan of Ben Parker, Elon Musk and Warren Buffet, but he’s also a bit foot heavy when driving. He loves eating great food – and will buy some for a homeless person on the street all in the same day. Basically, Steven’s our man of mystery.


Abhinav Sood

Abhinav Sood

Abhinav Sood

Digital Project Manager

Abhi is keen on finding new ways to get work done. That’s part of what makes him such an amazing digital project manager. His face lights up when projects hit their marks, when he gets the chance to learn something new and make a difference – and then bring those lessons on to the next project. And he takes that sense of innovation to every part of his life. Abhi can’t think of anything he likes more than to head out the door and explore new places – in the city or around the world. He loves looking at things from different angles – all the time. He also loves watching all kinds of sports, any dish with chicken, and watching movies that push you beyond what you might think is possible, like Avatar or Inception. He’s a collector of gadgets and has lived in lots of different places on his own. And he’s always thinking of what’s next – next project, next vacation, and just what tomorrow will bring next.


Shirley Leng

Shirley

Shirley Leng

Finance and Accounting

As our fearless Finance and Accounting expert, you’d think numbers would be all Shirley thinks about. But she spends a bit of time each day thinking about food, too. Specifically, lunch (mmm, hot pot). Occasionally, what it would be like to be Elastigirl (maybe stretching her arm down the street to bring that hot pot back to the office quicker). Or her recent family trip to Banff, Alberta. But, mostly it’s numbers. Like telling us what we spent on printer toner and coloured markers this quarter. Or how much we earned from all those award-winning campaigns we launched last month. Or why a hot pot budget is so important to the wellbeing of all humans on the planet. Well those first two, for sure. That last one might just be all in Shirley’s head.


Mia Duan

Mia

Mia Duan

Media Coordinator

Mia coordinates everything from media contracts and relationships to media research and reporting. She is also an amazing content producer for clients like BMO Financial, H&M and WINNERS. Her favourite part of her role?When a big, multi-faceted project she’s worked on comes together, launches and the client is ecstatic. It fuels Mia. Makes her feel like she’s accomplished something massive – for us, the client and herself. It’s no wonder that sleeping all day on a Saturday would be a complete luxury for Mia. That, or skydiving. Or going for all-you-can-eat sushi. Or traveling. Mia’s favourite trip has got to be volunteering in Bolivia and backpacking through Peru with a friend, where she got to see a starry night and a brilliant sunrise reflected in the Uyuni salt flats. Family is hugely important to Mia, too, including her long-haired Daschund, Monty, here in Canada and her poodle, Coco, back in China. If Mia could have any superpower, she’d choose speed. So she could zip to China in a flash. Nice one, Mia.


Rachel Kwok

Rachel

Rachel Kwok

Media Planner

Rachel kicks butt when it comes to media planning for AVC client campaigns. We can’t think of anyone who’s better at getting into the heads and hearts of our target audiences to understand their behavior and habits, then meshing that with the best media mix to launch our clients’ brands into the stratosphere. She’s got loads of experience from digital and social roles in Toronto and Hong Kong including for Hearts & Science, Cue Digital, The Associated Press, and Maxus Global. After all that screen time, getting back to nature by going on hiking and back country camping trips to places like Ontario’s Arrowhead Provincial Park, is key for Rachel. Traveling with family to places, like Thailand, and trying new experiences with her friends, like finding great new Phō places, are also huge. Just don’t ask her to visit the tiger exhibit at the zoo. Or the Christmas Market in the Distillery District. One’s too scary. The other’s too cold.


M. Hassan Iqbal

Hassan

Hassan Iqbal

Art Director

Working with colours and shapes is something Hassan loves the most about his Art Director role at AVC. They’re things he does as a hobby, but getting paid for them is pretty awesome. Hassan has helped some of the biggest corporate names around the world bring their brand identities to life. At AV he’s worked with national and global icons including Western Union, Time Horton’s, H&M, and World Vision. In previous roles at agencies, like MullenLowe Group, Ogilvy & Mather and Anahata Studios in Lahore, Pakistan, Hassan worked with product giants including Nestlé, Phillip Morris and Samsung. He’s traveled extensively in Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey and the UK, where one of his favourite things to do is roam around city streets, taking photographs, sketching and soaking in all the culture and history around him. For fascinating sights and colours, Istanbul tops his list. He’s a self-proclaimed biryani junkie, but, frustratingly, won’t eat cake. Andy Warhol and Karim Rashid are his heroes, but being in enclosed spaces is his kryptonite.


Maureen Tang

Maureen

Maureen Tang

Account & Media Manager

Maureen’s pretty focused throughout the day on how to give our clients the best possible service as an Account and Media Manager. She’s psyched she gets to talk to and work with people from so many different countries around the world. It makes every day stand out with a million different awesome moments. That’s because people are what make Maureen tick. Her biggest accomplishment in life so far is having built great relationships with her friends, family and everyone around her. And we can all see why. Tell Maureen a good joke and her laugh is infectious. Share your best moving-to-Canada story and Maureen is all ears. Ask her to describe her favourite vacation and she’ll tell you about spending time at a family farm back in China, climbing hills, picking potatoes, smiling in the summer sun. See what we mean? We all feel better already.