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Wilfrid Laurier University Lazaridis School of Business & Economics
February 25, 2017
Canadian Excellence


Lazaridis School of Business & Economics

Laurier students are finalists of Canada's Next Top Ad Exec

Mar 18/13


Megan Harris | | 519.884.0710 ext. 2948


Natasha Parnanzone, GCI Group | | 416.486.5902

Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec (CNTAE) announced the Top 10 finalist teams in the nationwide advertising and marketing case competition.

Laurier students Valerie Thomas (BBA) and Chris Drinkwater (BA Communications) are amongst the final Top 10 teams and are one step closer to claiming victory, being one of the final 10 teams remaining amongst 141 submissions amongst 30 schools across Canada. On March 26th, Thomas and Drinkwater will go head-to-head with the other Top 10 on the national stage to impress a judging panel of marketing and advertising executives with their integrated marketing campaigns for the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox.

“The passion and professionalism the students bring to the final judging round each year is contagious,” said Kevin Williams, president and managing director, GM Canada. “The Equinox is a game changing brand for Chevrolet that requires an equal level of innovation and creativity in its marketing. The top 10 finalist teams have really stepped up to the plate and we’re looking forward to seeing what they bring to the table during the final round.”

The battlefield in Toronto is cutthroat as finalists will pitch their big ideas in front of a judging panel of more than 20 industry executives from companies such as GM, PepsiCo Canada, Canadian Tire, McDonalds, GCI, MacLaren McCann, Carat, Tyco, and many more. These judges will provide the students with feedback and insights based on their industry experience. Presentations will be followed by a grilling period where judges can ask specific questions about each pitch before heading into the deliberation session.

“The top 10 teams know that the final round of competition is their chance to swim with the big fish in the industry,” said Cera McTavish, co-chair, CNTAE. “It’s their first shot at earning their stripes in an industry always on the look-out for the next big idea, so we’re expecting some exciting and lively presentations!”

The Awards Gala will include an evening of networking with industry professionals, media, and Canada's finest business students. Guests will also gain insights on 'Multiscreen Engagement' from our keynote speaker Natasha Hritzuk of Microsoft Advertising. This year Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec has upped the ante as the winning team will drive away with the grand prize of two fully loaded 2013 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ RS vehicles. The students also compete for internships with GM, PepsiCo and Canadian Tire, and $7,000 in scholarships from Chevrolet Canada.

Winners will be announced following the final round of presentations on March 26, 2013 at the InterContinental Hotel in Toronto.

About Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec

Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec is a national business case-study post-secondary student competition based out of McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business. The 2013 sponsors include Chevrolet Canada, MacLaren McCann, GCI Group, Cascades Recovery, Canadian Tire, PepsiCo, Microsoft Advertising, The Globe and Mail, Marketing Magazine, Institute of Communication Agencies, PPPC, McDonald’s Canada, Canadian Marketing Association, Barrett and Welsh, KoodoNation, Maple North, Environics Analytics, Search Engine People, ReviewRoom, TJX, and Awake Chocolate. The competition is entirely student-run with the generous support of sponsoring organizations and advisors. More information about the competition can be found at, on Facebook at, or by following @TopAdExec on Twitter.

About Chevrolet in Canada

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at, on Facebook at or by following @ChevroletCanada on Twitter.

For more information, please contact.

Natasha Parnanzone
GCI Group

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