Our Team

Brett McDermott

President

Having been a speechwriter for the Prime Minister of Canada, his work in corporate communications has involved brand building and brand enhancement using targeted messaging in English, French and other languages across Canada.  He has also developed expertise in government relations, policy-making in government and advocacy having worked in different levels of government and having worked in advocacy roles for two non-profit associations.  While employed by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, he helped elevate engineers’ profile in the Ontario government and with the public.  These efforts assisted in advocacy efforts on regulatory and public policy issues.  Mr. McDermott also worked for The Financial Advisors Association of Canada (Advocis), where he defended the financial services industry during the 2008-09 financial market crisis and its aftermath.

Mr. McDermott holds a BA in history and political science from Huron University College, Western University, an MA in political science from Wilfrid Laurier University and is currently enrolled in the Master of Communications Management program at McMaster University.  He can be reached at brettmcdermott@collaborativeideas.ca.


Graham Murray

Consultant

Graham Murray has worked in and around Queen’s Park since 1974 as government relations consultant, political advisor, researcher and commentator.

Murray joined the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations in 1974 after teaching political science at Western University.  As OCUFA’s Executive Director, he was responsible for government relations and communications.

In 1978, he worked at the centre of the successful campaign to elect Michael Cassidy as Leader of the Ontario NDP, subsequently, joining Cassidy’s office with responsibility for media relations and legislative affairs.

Having founded G.P. Murray Research Ltd. in 1987, he has advised corporations, associations and unions in their government relations activities. His work is well respected by political staff, civil servants and MPPs of all provincial parties at Queen’s Park.

Murray has been frequently quoted in the media as an expert on Ontario government and politics and has often spoken at government relations conferences and workshops. His astute counsel has assisted many to maximize their impact at Queen’s Park.

He can be reached at grahammurray@collaborativeideas.ca.


Taylor Train

Marketing Advisor

Taylor has executive-level expertise developed over 30 years in marketing.  He was a Vice President with Aetna and Desjardins Financial Security Canada in addition to having been Chief Operating Officer for both The Financial Advisors Association of Canada (Advocis) and the CLU Institute (now known as The Institute for Advanced Financial Education).  He is an Elder Planning Counselor and was involved in establishing the Financial Services Practitioner Program at Seneca College.  In all of his roles, he developed and implemented high-level marketing plans that elevated the brands for the organizations for which he worked while increasing revenue.  Mr. Train can be reached at taylortrain@collaborativeideas.ca.


Ann Walker

Corporate Communications Advisor

Having previously worked in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada, for the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), and The Financial Advisors Association of Canada (Advocis), Ann has extensive experience working with senior executives.  In addition to working with Collaborative Ideas, she works as an independent consultant whose clients include one of Canada’s big six banks.  She has an extensive background in media and public relations, corporate writing and brand building.  She worked with Brett McDermott at Advocis where they defended the financial services industry during and after the 2008-09 financial market crisis.  While working for IBC, she was heavily involved with communications for a campaign to reduce insurance fraud.  Ms. Walker can be reached at annwalker@collaborativeideas.ca.