Starting up: Provident Communications Inc.

Today is a big day for me. My hope is that it will also turn out to be a big day for leaders and companies who want to become better at telling their stories and building valuable, meaningful and lasting connections with their audiences.

I’ve made the difficult decision to leave my role as Vice President of CEO Communications at Manulife Financial Corp., a leading global financial services company. I’m parting ways with what has been an exciting and rewarding career as a corporate communications leader to launch a new business, Provident Communications Inc.

The definition of “provident” is being prepared for the future, and having foresight, imagination and good judgment. I think that sums up, in very broad strokes, what a client-focused, innovative and agile communications firm like Provident can offer.

I am also humbled and excited that Manulife has agreed to become a Provident client. I’m grateful to everyone at Manulife for this generous and significant opportunity, and am delighted we will be able to continue to work together.

Provident will officially open for business next Monday, June 20, but the website is live now, at www.providentcomms.com.

Let me provide some context about how I got to today.

As part of my roles at Manulife, RBC and TD, and earlier, during my journalism career, I had the good fortune to meet various leaders at some of the world’s biggest brands, as well as some truly exciting startups. Our conversations revolved around everything from organizational trust to the need to drive higher employee engagement through communications and executive thought leadership. I learned a lot, much of which I applied to my work.

At the same time, I also heard the same persistent needs: almost universally, these leaders are eager for big ideas and stellar execution in storytelling, both in terms of content and channel. Not surprisingly, many of them seek fresh communications strategies anchored by innovative thought, insight and sound counsel.

They want advisors who take the time to learn and understand their businesses before offering input. They want trusted communications partners who develop bold and original approaches to building employee engagement and public profile alike. They want calm, seasoned issues-management expertise when crisis hits.

And among startups, many face their own unique communications hurdles, from pitching investors to shaping their brand and scaling awareness of new products.

That’s where Provident comes in.

Provident will solve these challenges with expert and innovative advice, flawless and agile execution and best-in-class service. My track record is built on both global daily business journalism and bluechip corporate communications leadership, and my firm will be bringing all of that to bear for our clients.

I look forward to working with many of you soon.