Marco Campana epitomizes positive energy. A convincing communications strategist, his enthusiasm for his role and for the people he serves is infectious.

Marco is part of the communications team at Maytree – a private foundation focused on poverty reduction, increased diversity in leadership and economic prosperity for newcomers to Canada. Marco’s focus is helping Maytree build and implement web and social media strategies, providing user engagement support and enhancing internal communication.

Inspired by early international exposure

Marco says he was initially drawn to the nonprofit world through pure idealism. “I was lucky to spend a year in Brazil on a student exchange when I was seventeen. I came home wanting to go back to the South in some international development capacity. At university I was exposed to some amazing people and ideas. I quickly realized I had no business going overseas to develop anything until I had done some work at home! That led me to the immigrant services sector and a path that brought me where I am today”.

Along that personal path Marco earned a Bachelor of Political Science degree and a Career Development Practitioner Certificate (aka employment counsellor). He spent a number of enjoyable years working frontline at the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre and was involved in web/social media projects with other community agencies and government. Prior to joining Maytree in 2010, he contributed his energy to the development of Settlement.Org and Settlement Atwork.

Connecting people to information and services

Marco is excited that Maytree has been very forward-looking and gets the importance of a strategic communications approach. “My job has been a bit of an experiment for Maytree.  We’ve built up our communications capacity by involving the entire organization. Everyone sees the potential of better approaches to collaboration, both internally and with our amazing networks.”

“For me it’s all about serving people – providing the right information at the right time in the format that works best for them.” Marco admits he is totally inspired by Library 2.0 bloggers and educators. “They’re also trying to provide service to people who increasingly demand digital services and online approaches. Every lesson they have learned applies to our sector and our work at Maytree.”

Marco also knows that the real magic comes from optimizing high tech and high touch. He shares a favourite story of one highly trained immigrant whom he coached a few years ago. “This very talented architect was not convinced at first that my strategy for him finding employment in his field in Canada was sound. I was relentless and worked closely with him, connecting his obvious talent and experience with my local knowledge. When I saw him a few years later he told me that, while initially skeptical, he had decided to follow my counsel and was now well-employed in his specialty. I was thrilled! It was an important moment for me, learning that providing information and technology tools are not enough. We need to connect, engage and spend time with each other.”

Inspired by purpose and technology

Marco is energized about the future of nonprofit marcom. “We all need to be strategic in our work – experimenting,  innovating, and evolving with the times and technology while fulfilling the core of what we do. Tools will evolve and change, but the why I do what I do won’t”.

“My wishes for the future are that everyone in the sector gets that communication is the core of our work, not an add-on, and that more transparency through knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer becomes the norm”.

Marco is purposeful about his family time as well. “My weekends are for my wife and two young boys – a time to  renew my energy by exploring all that Toronto’s parks and festivals have to offer.”

Sue Derby

Sue Derby

Sue Derby is an independent organizational communications professional. A seasoned Appreciative Inquiry practitioner, Sue’s focus is helping organizations engage in possibility focused dialogue to inspire positive change. She has worked with nonprofits such as Canadian Diabetes Association, Canadian Hemophelia Society, Breakfast for Learning, as well as many healthcare, government and educational institutions. She was a volunteer producer to two Toronto Foundation for Student Success galas.
Sue Derby