Crisis Communications Panel
Moderator: Heather Coleman
Senior Account Director, Hill + Knowlton Edmonton

Heather is an experienced communicator and strategist in corporate and crisis communications, is a strong writer and editor, and is certified in the Incident Command System. As an integrated public relations and public affairs professional, she has a track record of managing complex accounts and issues to meet and exceed client expectations. Her work is also informed by a solid understanding of government and legislative processes, and the key government players in Alberta.

Passionate about training, Heather played an integral role in the development of Flight School, our comprehensive crisis simulation offering, building and client testing early versions of the tool that inspired Flight School. Her crisis experience includes work with energy, health, insurance and manufacturing clients, in situations that range from natural disasters and operational incidents to product recall and reputational threats. Heather specializes in energy sector clients, including Statoil and Athabasca Oil Corporation, but has experience across sectors, including technology, healthcare and not-for-profit.

Before joining H + K, Heather provided a full range of communications support to government members at the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, including public relations, issues management, media relations, strategic communications, speech writing and web design.

Panel Members:
Benjamin Morgan

Supervisor, Crisis Communication, City of Calgary

Benjamin Morgan is a dynamic communications professional with over ten years of expertise in public and media relations, issues management, and crisis communications.  He holds a Masters Degree of Professional Communications from Royal Roads University where he focused on crisis communication and the influences of new media.  His experience and education was recently tested as he played an integral role in Calgary's communication response to the 2013 flood as The City of Calgary's Supervisor, Crisis Communications.

During his 16 years as an Advanced Life Support Paramedic, Benjamin served as the Public and Media Relations Officer for the City of Calgary Emergency Medical Services. During his tenure, he regularly appeared in local and national television, radio, and print media. Media strategies, media training, public service campaigns, key message development, crisis communication, and event management, underpin his career accomplishments.


Heidi Pfeiffer Sparks

Communications Director, Western Canada, Canadian Red Cross


Heidi Pfeiffer joined the Canadian Red Cross in February 2012 as the communications director for Western Canada. Heidi's career started in the broadcast industry nearly 25 years ago before transitioning to corporate communications and marketing in 1998. Since that time, she has worked in the education and non-profit sectors with a focus on crisis communications and issues management. Throughout the Alberta Floods, Heidi provided leadership and guidance to communications staff and volunteers from across Canada and the United States who helped to assist with the response.
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