Jenny Smith

President and Executive Creative Director

With over 20 years in the advertising business, Jenny is no stranger to creating internationally recognized, award-winning work. She’s ranked one of the top creatives in Canada, has won hundreds of awards including a few gold Cannes Lions, and has judged every ad show in the country. Perhaps one of her biggest accomplishments was representing Canada at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity where she had the honour of judging in 2009 and again in 2018 – the only woman east of Toronto to be invited twice. But unlike most ad veterans across the country, Jenny lives nowhere near Toronto. Or Montreal. Or Vancouver (although she likes shopping in those places).

She has worked on local and international brands including Irving Oil, Air Canada Jazz, Tango, Maple Leaf Foods, Atlantic Lottery, McCain Foods, Sobeys, Labatt, Eaton’s, A&P, Sprite, Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, Ikea, Harry Rosen, Nalcor, NL Hydro, Purina, Crime Stoppers, Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation, Quidi Vidi Brewery, Nova Scotia Tourism, Bell Aliant, Western Union, AHL, Opera on the Avalon, Air Labrador, True North Seafood, Brunswick Sardines, and many more.

After working for other people for 15 years, she took a giant leap and launched Ray in 2013 – a strategic and creative boutique that’s proven to be one of the hottest shops in Atlantic Canada. So far, her team has received many accolades and awards including the Top 50 Start-Ups in Canada according to PROFIT and Canadian Business and Maclean’s, E&Y EOY Finalist, NLOWE Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year Award, ICE Best of Show, St. John’s Board of Trade Winner in Growth and Sales, and various other creative-related awards – all in just 4 years.

She lives in St. John’s with her husband and is a proud mother of two children, James and Mary. Who like some of her work.

jenny@rayagency.ca

Terri Roberts

Creative Director

As Creative Director, Terri likes to shake things up, creating powerful marketing solutions for her clients along the way.

With nearly 20 years of experience, she’s helped to create successful campaigns for brands like Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, Maple Leaf, Irving, Air Canada, Brock University, Capital Mitsubishi, MINI St. John’s, RMM, The Cahill Group, and Lamb’s Rum.

One of the most decorated copywriters in Atlantic Canada, Terri has won a host of metal bits and pieces from shows like ICE, CASSIES, London International, Applied Arts, ADCC, Marketing, Extras, Crystals, Media Innovation Awards, Canadian Marketing Awards, HSMAI, Atomic, and Promo Awards.

For fun, Terri designs tea towels, drinks rosé, and hangs out with her giant rescue dog Buckley. She’s also recently discovered surfing, which may or may not end well.

terri@rayagency.ca

Jeff McLean

Creative Director

Jeff is one of Canada’s most talented art directors. To top it off, he’s really, really nice. He’s spent the past 25 years working in places like Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, and St. John’s, winning hundreds of national and international awards along the way. But all he’s really concerned about is helping clients achieve their business goals – and hockey.

Jeff’s strengths lie in the areas of brand strategy, concept development, and execution of design and advertising campaigns. Jeff also has the ability to transcend advertising into powerful social initiatives. Two of Jeff’s projects, Nohomophobes.com and Pride Tape, have literally helped change the conversation around the world.

His ability to take an insight and turn it on its head has helped him get recognized in Lurzer’s Archive, The One Show, Communications Arts, How Magazine, Marketing, Cannes, ADCC and Applied Arts.

Jeff’s credits include McDonald’s Canada, Clearly Canadian Beverage Corporation, Melitta Canada, Nestlé Canada, City of Edmonton, Government of Alberta, Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, University of Alberta, Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club, Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, St. John’s IceCaps, MetalSmiths, Pipers, Maples Leaf, and NLC.

Jeff loves advertising in general, and has a keen eye when it comes to design and branding. His package design for the beverage Orbitz is in the permanent collection of the Cultural Design Exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Not too shabby at all.

jeff@rayagency.ca

Tracy Russell

Chief Client Officer

When we heard Tracy loved wine, we knew she was exactly who we were looking for.

Plus, it certainly didn’t hurt that as a senior marketing professional with nearly two decades of experience, Tracy has successfully created and executed countless national brand strategies and integrated marketing campaigns that have been recognized by the Canadian Marketing Association, Media Innovation Awards and MarComm International Awards. Prior to joining Ray, she spent 14 years at Johnson Insurance as their Director of Marketing, where she – when she wasn’t developing award-winning campaigns –  led their content, social media and national sponsorship strategies. We love Tracy’s obsession with branding, passion for good creative, and her keen insight into the creation and maintenance of strong, trusting client-agency relationships.

And somehow, she still has time left over to be a dedicated hockey mom to two active boys and two black cats. Tracy also loves spending her weekends camping at the trailer. We don’t know how she does it. Maybe it’s the wine.

tracy@rayagency.ca

Courtney Wells

Senior Designer

Courtney Wells loves design. And we love her.

A graduate of CNA Graphic Design Program, Courtney is a bright mind with equally bright hair, and a special affinity for the colour purple.

With ten years’ experience in the ad and design business, she’s not afraid of a deadline or juggling multiple requests. Throughout her career, she’s worked her special blend of magic for clients like RRFB, Dairy Farmers, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Mental Health Awareness, RNC, Marble Mountain, and Newfoundland Power.

This ICE Award-winning production designer also loves playing with words. So much so, she started a side gig of putting Newfoundland sayings on stickers and buttons. And she puts her love for typography to good use for pro-bono initiatives like the Vagina Monologues.

A self-proclaimed sci-fi nerd, Courtney is a big fan of comic books, peanut M&Ms, and the Beatles. When possible, all three at the same time.

courtney@rayagency.ca

Terry Hudson

Digital Lead

There are cowboy songs written about Terry. Those songs are written by Terry. One song at a time, they tell us more about a guy with a taste for cheap bourbon and expensive scotch.

But what the songs don’t tell you is that Terry is a talented, award-winning web developer with over 18 years of experience working with clients like Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, Tourism PEI, East Coast Music Awards, Atlantic Canada Airports Association and Whitecap Entertainment, just to name a few.

When Terry’s not writing cowboy music, designing websites that have won international awards, or enjoying cheap bourbon (sometimes all at the same time), he writes poetry, designs and builds furniture, and chips away on his home renovation that’s scheduled to be finished in 2045. He’s currently writing a theme song for Ray*.

*this part may not be true. 

terry@rayagency.ca

Chris St. Croix

Head of Research and Development

Chris is a know-it-all. No, really, he knows everything – or at least he likes us to think so. And what he doesn’t know, he’ll find out. A serial-obsessive, he loves to dive deep into wiki pages, podcasts, subreddits and YouTube to get a handle on whatever strikes his fancy – whether it’s coffee, sneakers, or woodworking. And we put that inquisitive nature to work researching new opportunities and uncovering strategic insights that ensure we ask the right questions and find the right answers.

Chris has worked as a writer, copyeditor, designer, production coordinator, and video editor for over 30 years, including projects with Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Irving, and Air Canada.

In his spare time, Chris is a pretty awesome baker. We’re all convinced he should try out for Bake Off, but he contents himself with making cookies, pastries, and cakes for us (alright, not just us). And he hosts an annual cookie-themed Christmas party, hunkering down in early December to create hundreds of delicious treats of all kinds.

Denise Seach

Account Director

Simultaneously shepherding multiple integrated campaigns to award-winning success. Whipping up the tastiest baked goods you’ve ever had. Denise does it all. And she makes it look easy (and delicious).

With over 20 years’ experience in the Canadian and South African advertising and marketing industries, Denise has worked with a diverse array of clients, ranging from BP Southern Africa, Bacardi, Air Canada, Brock University, Acadia University, Fortis Inc., the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, The Rooms, and Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism.

Denise loves red wine (not judging), cider (still not judging), gardening, baking, and is a proud, sane cat mom (i.e., not a crazy cat lady). And we love her because she’s a warm, lovely, straight-shooter who’s a dream to work with. We know you’ll feel the same way.

denise@rayagency.ca

Kate Greenwood

Strategy and Communications Manager

Similar to the crime podcasts that she listens to in the morning, Kate enjoys getting into people’s minds and thinking about what makes them tick.

Prior to working at Ray, Kate spent more than three years honing her public relations and communications skills consulting for industries like health care, oil and gas, natural resources, post-secondary, and public services. She loves finding killer insights that lead to powerful communications solutions for her clients.

A lover of higher learning, Kate has an undergraduate degree in Business Commerce (with a focus in marketing) and a minor in Psychology, plus a Master of Science in Strategic Marketing which she achieved while studying abroad in the UK.

When she’s not working for Ray, Kate enjoys reading as much as physically possible and hiking new trails. She’s also the mother of two adorable cats, Frida and Guinness, who are in a constant loop of battling each other, cuddling each other, and sleeping.

kate@rayagency.ca

Josh Tucker

Marketing Advisor & Business Development Lead

Josh, self-described as being “one pour-over and a hoppy IPA away from your basic millennial hipster,” has been working in Canada’s communications and public relations sector for over a decade, with clients like Tangerine, Young Adult Cancer Canada, CBC, CFL, Best Buy, Microsoft, Spin Master Brands, Bandai Toys, Dove Men+Care, and Ben and Jerry’s.

After many years on the mainland, he’s returned to his roots in St. John’s and brings a knack for creative, integrated campaigns and effective evaluation to his position at Ray. He’s particularly proud of his work in social impact and corporate social responsibility projects and believes that business can be an agent for positive change. Although he has conflicting feelings about helping to launch the children’s entertainment juggernaut that is Paw Patrol.

Josh is an avid hiker and camper and tries to get outdoors as much as possible, any time of the year, and thankfully for the canine members of our team he’s a shameless petter of any dog that will sit still long enough to be admired (no job too big, no pup too small!). And we’ve added yet another foodie and home baker to our team, which will make office days extra yummy.

Apparently he is also a music lover and reformed drummer, but we’re not sure about letting him set up a drum kit in the conference room just yet.

 

josh@rayagency.ca

Allison Hopkins

Account Coordinator

Whether it’s her beloved thriller novels or her love for this job that’s keeping her up at night (probably the thrillers), Allison still manages to put hard work and dedication into everything she does.

Armed with a Public Relations degree, Allison has worked with clients like the Devour! Food and Film Festival, the YWCA Halifax, and the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia. She’s also skilled in building strong relationships, research, and communication plans, along with rocking the social media side of things. 

Genuine at heart, Allison saves all her strong opinions for the Bravo shows she binges (especially The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City), and tries to justify eating nachos for every meal (relatable). In her spare time, you can find Allison spending all her hard-earned money on new outfits for her dog, Scooter, as well as on the ingredients for gluten-free treats and charcuterie boards which she graciously forces her friends (and hopefully work friends) to enjoy.

allison@rayagency.ca

Sarah Park

Writer

Sarah has worked at advertising agencies all across Canada. No, literally. From St. John’s to Vancouver, she has created campaigns for brands like Sobeys, The Source, Shaw Communications and Maple Leaf (Vienna Sausage). Her other notable clients include Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, Larsen, A&W and Mr. Lube. Sarah attended George Brown College, University of Toronto and Humber College, but she is most proud of participating in a comedy-writing workshop taught by a writer from The Colbert Report.

Sarah is a wordsmith pro and has written copy for many national brands. Her wit and ability to say things in a creative way that truly connects with people is why her clients (and us) love her so much. She’s fast, she’s funny, and she’s fabulous.

Before she worked as a writer, she was a chef. And a damn good one too. She loves all food products. This, coupled with her ability to express how great things taste, is a true advantage for clients.

Mike Butler

Senior Creative Lead

Like the art-rock records and mid-century furniture that he loves, Mike’s designs will never go out of style. 

With a BFA in design and more than 10 years of experience working for clients like McDonald’s, Subaru, and Telus, Mike’s work has been recognized at shows like ICE, Applied Arts, Webby, and SIA.

His modern take on traditional designs and heightened attention to detail serves him well in all the work he does, whether that’s logo design, digital illustration, 3D sculpting, or printmaking. As a lover of self-improvement, Mike always puts his best foot forward and explains his ideas with a level of passion that can’t be matched.

When he’s not designing for us, you can find Mike designing for his Instagram comic, Perfect Sunday, which combines two of his hobbies – doodling and comedy. His worst critic: his mom.

mike@rayagency.ca

Maya Rosa

Junior Graphic Designer

Originally from Brazil, Maya perfected her English by watching Friends and memorizing the lyrics to every Beyonce song. Now, she’s creating designs for us, and we’re crazy in love.

A natural risk-taker at heart, Maya never says no to a challenge. Whether that’s in her everyday projects or the decision to jump on a plane without knowing exactly where she was going. Maya’s wide-ranging interests and architecture studies inform the distinct approach she brings to design, and her work reflects her cheerful and confident personality, often incorporating the colours of her home country.

In her spare time, Maya loves to travel. Ironically she’d never heard of Newfoundland before moving here, but we’re happy to hear she was pleasantly surprised. And now, so are we.

maya@rayagency.ca

Carol Tower

Production Designer

Some will say Carol regularly walks the East Coast Trail all the way from Pouch Cove just to get to Ray’s office. Others will say she just does it for fun. Those nay-sayers are actually right, but with her skills and love for designing for us, we still like to believe the former. 

With more than 13 years of production design experience, Carol has harnessed her design skills, working for numerous clients, like Hudson Group, Zwift, and KISS Road Race, doing everything from signage design to promotional product and print production. She has a true knack for the finer details, creating finalized looks, and is passionate about designing for the cycling industry.

Her artsy and perfectionist side can also be seen in the 3D printing work she does for her gaming room, making everything from controller mounts to themed decorations. In her spare time, you can also catch Carol sporting a graphic tee, gardening, learning about space exploration, or spending time with her rescue beagle, Molly, who she helped lose over 25 pounds.

carol@rayagency.ca

Yi Tian

Full Stack Web Developer

We were sure we’d made the right choice bringing Yi on board when he bought us all sushi soon after joining. A quick study, he knew just how to make us all happy – with food! And we’re holding him to a promise to prepare us all an amazing meal, as his skill at cooking just might have been one of the reasons we hired him. 

Yi is originally from Harbin in Northern China, a city famous for its ice culture, which meant the Newfoundland weather didn’t have a chance of scaring him off, although his love of snow does not extend to shovelling. He and his wife recently welcomed a little girl into their family, and are making their home here in St. John’s now that Yi has finished his studies at Memorial.

A problem solver with a studious nature, he loves taking on new challenges and learning as much as he can about the systems he’s working with. In addition to his MASc in Computer Engineering, he has a BSc in Network Engineering, and is AWS and CCNA certified. He worked as a cloud service coordinator before moving into full stack web application development, and brings a range of WordPress and deployment experience that will be invaluable to our clients.

We just hope that between work, a new baby, a new house, and a frankly intimidating range of hobbies, he can still find time to make us that dinner!

Lisa Hynes

Finance and Office Manager

Whether it is coordinating travel and finances or making sure we fill out our timesheets, Lisa does a bit of everything around here. ‘Finance and Office Manager’ could be putting it modestly, as she literally helps to steer the ship. From keeping the cheese drawer well stocked to keeping track of invoices. Maybe she should go by ‘office navigator’ instead.

Nautical puns seem fitting as Lisa has recently returned home to Newfoundland. While she may be shy about her accomplishments, she counts 20 years of accounting experience in heavy industry in Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Ottawa among them.

Lisa is thrilled to be back home in Newfoundland amidst traditional music and the great outdoors. When she’s not at the office, woodworking, or hiking with her dogs, Lisa can be found watching hockey, going to concerts and festivals, and dancing. Although we’re not sure if this is all done at the same time.

lisa@rayagency.ca

Buckley

Human Wellness Specialist / Bone Crusher

With nearly a decade of experience studying humans in close proximity, Buck decided it was time to get out of bed and get down to work.

Today, he spends his days at Ray in his dual role as a Human Wellness Specialist / Bone Crusher.

A trained Zen master, Buck can sense tension from 50 feet away (he says it smells like hot dogs). To keep things calm, Buck strategically places himself in the middle of meeting rooms, and divides his time equally between each participant, whether they are receptive or not.

Though he has a complete disregard for deadlines, Buckley never misses a chance to personally greet each and every client, courier, and mail carrier with ample enthusiasm.

He’s also been known to drag his treasured blanket around the office, steal boots and place them thoughtfully in high-traffic areas, and cajole anyone into a quality head rub.

To keep his mind sharp and natural creative instincts finely tuned, Buck often partakes in active play during business hours. His favorite games include ‘Who’s at the door?’ and ‘Get the kibble out of the old coffee cup by pushing it around on the floor with your nose while people Snapchat it until it’s all gone.’

Bodie

Junior "arf" Director

When we first met Tracy’s puppy Bodie, we thought that his appetite for bugs made him a natural for the digital team, but it was his love of a soul-restoring nap that cemented his position on the creative side of the agency. Everyone knows the best ideas come when your brain is well-rested.

When faced with something new, he’s initially cautious, but once he’s really done his research he sinks his teeth into whatever is put in front of him. He’s quick on the uptake and doesn’t like to be fenced in, but will also put in the long hours gnawing at the problem to find a solution.

Although he can be loyal to a fault, he’s a natural peacemaker, reaching out to other teams to collaborate whenever he can, even if they find his approach a bit avant garde and unexpected. 

And by other teams, we mean Tracy’s cats. Who tolerate him. Barely. 

They’re clearly account side.

Molly

Pawject Manager

When we brought Carol on to the team, we asked her if she knew anyone else that might help us manage our workload and keep everyone on track. She told us about Molly. Some pups just take the day as it comes, but Molly is a creature of habit. “On schedule, on time!” is her mantra, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

She keeps an eagle eye on everything happening at the agency (particularly if it’s outside a window), and can only be distracted from her work by promises of tennis balls, or the even more delicious snow balls. With a solid grasp of work-life balance, she’s quick to down tools at the end of the day, because supper is at 5:30 gosh-darn-it! And if you’re late, the food dish will take the brunt of her displeasure.

A rescue with a lot of challenges, Molly has come a long way since first being fostered with Carol and her family. She’s lost her chonk status and feels comfortable burping loudly no matter who’s nearby, so it’s no wonder she charmed Carol into keeping her around. Now if they could only convince her to stop hiding their shoes.

Scooter

Barketing Coordinator

World domination aside, working for Ray has become Scooter’s top priority.

He may be a newcomer, and only 15 pounds, but that doesn’t stop him from believing he’s the top dog of Ray (and the rest of the world). His feisty attitude, strong nose, and urge to protect his territory helps him fend off bad ideas (as well as any children on bikes).

As a trained Barketing Coordinator, Scooter has an eagerness to complete any barking and research task at hand, granted there’s chicken involved.

With his Adidog tracksuit, and matching high energy, Scooter harnesses enough confidence for everyone at Ray, and settles for only the best results. Forward thinking and keenly assertive, Scooter is already looking for that promotion (and extra cheese). And we think he may get it.