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Our Leadership

Linda Smith
Managing Partner & President

Linda has worked in public relations in Canada for nearly 40 years, consulting to some of Canada’s best-known companies.
She has extensive expertise in corporate reputation and brand building.

Linda founded Fleishman-Hillard in Canada and for 16 years developed the operation into one of Canada’s largest agencies with three major sub brands and more than 10 offices across Canada.

Her work in reputation management includes corporate affairs and thought leadership, issues management, crisis communications and media training. Linda was part of the Maple Leaf Foods crisis communications team that handled the Listeriosis outbreak in 2008 and subsequent recovery.

She founded Smithcom in 2010 to service clients facing reputational damage or special situations. Many of the company’s clients have been with Smithcom for over a decade.

Joanne Kearney
Managing Partner

Joanne has over fifteen years of experience in corporate affairs, with a focus on transactional communications, issues and crisis management and reputation-building campaigns. Joanne’s work focuses on the mining and capital markets sectors, with a recent focus on supporting clients through the global pandemic. She has acted as a communications advisor on many of Canada’s largest mergers and acquisitions, shareholder activism mandates, corporate restructurings, operational crises and litigation issues.

Joanne is passionate about enhancing the reputation of Canada’s global mining sector, acting as the senior strategist behind the 2019 – 2021 #ThisIsMining campaign; the 2017-2019 #DisruptMining initiatives; and the 2016 Integra Gold Rush Challenge. Joanne was also a senior member of the team that launched the NEO Exchange, Canada’s newest stock exchange.

Prior to Smithcom, Joanne was Associate Vice President at a global communications firm. Previously to that, she graduated with bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from McGill University.

Joanne sits on the UHN Foundation Board of Directors, the philanthropic arm of the 4th best-ranked hospital in the world, and is Board Champion for the Live On Transplant Campaign. Joanne also co-chairs the Ireland Fund of Canada’s annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon.

Lauren Joakim
Vice President

Lauren has deep experience in reputation management and corporate affairs, with specific focuses in the healthcare, sustainability and consumer marketing sectors.

Lauren has delivered numerous award-winning, integrated programs for pharmaceutical companies, not-for-profit organizations, government, professional associations, b2b companies and consumer companies that differentiate them from competitors and drive market share by connecting them with their key stakeholders.

Her career in public relations began with a mid-sized agency in Toronto before moving to a multinational agency in 2008 where she led several key accounts in the healthcare and consumer marketing sectors.

She sits on the Board for the Science Teachers Association of Ontario.