Monday, May 25, 2015
1:25 - 1:50PM
Ted Talks - Trinity Ballroom One

How Storytelling Changed Canadian History

They said it could not be done. Uniting Canada's three well-established and fiercely competitive accounting professions under a single designation had been tried many times – and always failed. Learn how the profession used research to develop and deliver effective, audience-focused stories to unite 190,000 accountants – and change history. Heather Whyte, Vice President of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and the communicator behind unification, tells the story and shares key insights learned during the unification journey.


Heather Whyte
Vice-President, Strategic Communications, Branding and Public Affairs, CPA Canada

Education and qualifications

  • B.A. English, York University 1982
  • B.A. Post-Graduate in Journalism, Ryerson University, 1984
  • Master of Business Administration in Communications Management, Royal Roads University, 2005
  • Accredited in Public Relations (APR)

Heather is responsible for strategic planning, branding, marketing, public affairs, and member, stakeholder and employee communications. She plays a leadership role in the development of the CPA brand and unification strategy working closely with the provincial CPA legacy bodies to ensure consistent integrated communication supporting the profession's business goals.

Before the creation of CPA Canada, Heather was vice-president of Communications and External Relations at the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and chair of the National Branding Committee.

Heather is an award-winning communications professional who has worked with large and small organizations across Canada. She has extensive experience in public relations and marketing in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to joining the CICA, she was director of communications, marketing and membership for the Ontario Dental Association, and held various senior executive positions in the financial services industry. Before transferring into the communications field in 1993, Heather was one of Canada's most respected business journalists, holding senior positions with the Financial Post, Financial Times of Canada and the Wall Street Journal's Canadian bureau.

She has held several volunteer positions with not-for-profit organizations, such as The Learning Partnership and Red Ribbon Campaign. Heather currently sits on the advisory board of Conference Board of Canada's Public Affairs Executives Council for Seneca College's post-graduate public relations program.