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About Us

Beacon North Strategies is not your typical public affairs firm. We are a Canadian boutique firm specializing in identifying unique needs, offering tailored training and skills development, and delivering comprehensive public affairs strategies to achieve your advocacy and government relations outcomes. Our expertise in government relations, stakeholder relations, strategic communications, and campaigns helps reduce the noise, ensuring your voice is heard. When you partner with us, you align with a team deeply committed to your goals. Unconstrained by traditional boundaries, we don't just think outside the box — we surpass it. Just as a beacon guides ships to safety, Beacon North Strategies is prepared to guide you successfully through the dynamic and complex landscape of public affairs.

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“Traditional methods work, but sometimes success calls for bold and creative solutions.”​

– Stephanie Mitton, Principal and Founder of Beacon North Strategies

Mission:  

At Beacon North Strategies, our mission is to serve as your guiding light in the complex world of public affairs to help you achieve your advocacy and government relations objectives. We aim to understand your unique needs and provide tailored, comprehensive solutions that transcend traditional boundaries. We are dedicated to delivering exceptional value, meeting immediate needs, and preparing you for future challenges with our innovative and value-driven strategies.

Vision:

 

At Beacon North Strategies, our vision is to redefine public affairs, fusing innovation and creativity to deliver exceptional value. We aim to transcend quick-win strategies, adopting a comprehensive and client-focused approach that genuinely serves the diverse needs of our clients. Our goal is to establish a reputation for integrity, authentic relationships, and impactful results. We envision a future where our unique approach shapes public affairs, where creativity, forward-thinking, and value-driven strategies thrive and results for your advocacy and government relations objectives are achieved.

Values: 

  1. Client-centred Approach: We prioritize understanding our clients' unique needs and delivering tailored solutions that advance their objectives.

  2. Results & Value: We are results-driven and committed to providing high-quality services that deliver exceptional value for investment.

  3. Innovation: We value innovative thinking and creative problem-solving.

  4. Collaboration: We believe in harnessing the collective strength of collaboration and engaging with diverse stakeholders to drive impactful results.

  5. Relationships: We nurture strong, authentic relationships, building trust and confidence with clients and stakeholders.

  6. Integrity: We uphold honesty, transparency, and ethics.

  7. Resilience and Perseverance: We adapt and persevere in challenges to continuously deliver value.

Founding Story

The journey of Stephanie Mitton, our founder, from her first tentative steps into the world of politics to the establishment of Beacon North Strategies, is nothing short of self-made. It all began in the dorms of Carleton University, extended to garden parties at the Prime Minister's residence, and culminated in her parents picking her up from outside the gate, marvelling at their daughter's unexpected political journey.

Beacon North Strategies didn't originate from political lineage. Rather, it emerged from Stephanie's passion, curiosity, and innate ability to connect with people. In a family where her parents didn’t even share their voting habits, Stephanie discovered her political spark during her university years, volunteering and then working at Parliament Hill.

 

Post master’s degree, Stephanie worked in government relations at World Vision Canada. An opportunity she embraced despite never envisioning herself in such a role, believing she would work in policy. But her extroverted personality, problem-solving aptitude, and love for connecting people meant she thrived in government relations.

 

Stephanie's years of contributing to national and international campaigns and repeated requests to open her firm led to the birth of Beacon North Strategies. Named after her community in Ottawa, Beacon Hill North, the firm began as a one-person operation in 2020. This came at a critical point in Stephanie's life. After a challenging period of illness and recovery, she returned to the workforce with renewed vigour, even working for an NGO while cultivating Beacon North to life.

 

Since then, the firm has grown and continues to expand, guiding clients through the often-complex world of Canadian advocacy and government relations. Stephanie's initial uncertainty about advocacy may have passed, but her unstoppable determination and commitment to serve as a beacon for her clients remain undiminished.

 

Stephanie is a visionary, creative, and tenacious leader (a trait she embraces despite it not being traditionally considered feminine – as she has been told). She's just getting started, forging her own path, and doing things differently.

 

"I always felt a calling to be an entrepreneur, but never thought of starting my own public affairs firm until I was repeatedly requested. I love a good challenge and taking calculated risks, so I jumped in," Stephanie says. Her story and Beacon North’s is far from over.

Come join us at Beacon North as we continue illuminating the path and chart the course in the world of public affairs.

STEPHANIE MITTON

Principal and Founder of Beacon North Strategies

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Stephanie Mitton, Founder and Principal of Beacon North Strategies, is a seasoned public affair professional known for her effective campaign approach to public affairs advocacy with national and global impacts. Stephanie has built an influential career in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. Noteworthy roles include the Managing Director of Children First Canada and Director of Government Relations at Universities Canada.

Her commitment to empowering women shines through her co-founded podcast and blog, "WOMENdontDOthat", as host, she features conversations with high-profile personalities and everyday remarkable women. She is a respected speaker and hosts transformative events and workshops, adding to her value delivery. Her academic foundation includes a master’s degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and a bachelor’s degree from Carleton University.

Known for her relentless drive, creativity and innovation, Stephanie consistently delivers unparalleled value to her clients. She eloquently states, "In the ever-evolving landscape of public affairs, we weave the old with the new, crafting pathways where others see roadblocks." Her commitment to excellence and innovative approach propels clients toward tangible success in an increasingly complex world.

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Team

Integrity. Relationship. Results.

Andrew Defor

Senior Associate, Beacon North Strategies

Andrew Defor is a Senior Associate at Beacon North Strategies. He has over a decade of experience in public affairs and government relations.  Andrew began his career at the World Health Organization, advising G20 Ministers and managing high-level communications with EU, African Union, and World Bank officials. His prior roles include executing successful public affairs campaigns at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the Canadian International Council. Andrew is also a Professor of Canadian Politics at Mohawk College and Director of Policy & Government Relations at the Center for Global Health Security & Diplomacy. 

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Wraychel Gilmore

Senior Associate, Beacon North Strategies

Wraychel Gilmore, a Senior Associate at Beacon North Strategies, specializes in community development and strategic change. Her critical thinking and analysis skills have driven social impact, earning her recognition on Peter Mansbridge's podcast, The Bridge. Wraychel's career spans executive, non-profit, government, and consulting roles, including global collaborations on community programming and political advocacy from Jamaica to Austria. Also serving in a sworn oversight position for the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island, Wraychel, currently pursuing her Ph.D., contributes significantly to Beacon North Strategies.

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Sagni Kuma

Public Affairs Coordinator, Beacon North Strategies

Currently completing her Health Science degree in Population & Public Health at the University of Ottawa, Sagni serves as the dynamic Public Affairs Coordinator at Beacon North Strategies. Her professional journey includes roles at Deloitte, where she honed her skills in project management and strategic framing, as well as roles with Ontario’s Ministry of Social Services, Global Affairs Canada, and Children First Canada, emphasizing her skills in public outreach and policy consultation. Passionate about innovative public health approaches/solutions, she enriches our team – combining her academic background and grasp of digital assets to offer a multifaceted view on public affairs.

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Chelsea Oleniuk

Public Affairs Coordinator, Beacon North Strategies

Chelsea Oleniuk is a dynamic professional excelling in public relations and communications. She holds a certificate in Public Relations from Simon Fraser University, and is currently completing a BA in Social Communications at Saint Paul University. Passionate about diplomacy and politics, Chelsea's extensive experience includes roles in communications for Members of  Parliament, Manager of Public Relations and Social Media at the Embassy of Israel, and other diverse organizations. Her expertise extends to multimedia management, script writing, video editing, and strategic social media planning. Chelsea's proactive approach provides a proven track record in managing online communities, developing communications strategies, and overseeing media relations.

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Giovanna Mingarelli

Strategic Partner, Beacon North Strategies

Giovanna Mingarelli, Co-Founder of M&C Consulting, is a celebrated tech entrepreneur, thought leader, and influential writer. She brings 20 years of experience in political and digital communications, including service in the office of a former Canadian Prime Minister. Recognized as a Global Shaper, Giovanna is renowned for contributing to entrepreneurship and civic engagement in international circles. A powerful advocate for women in politics and STEM, she serves on the boards of Equal Voice and Women in Cloud. Her writings are widely published in The Globe and Mail and Huffington Post. She has been honoured as one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

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Natasha Hope Morano

Strategic Partner, Beacon North Strategies

Natasha Hope Morano, M.A., President of NHM Connect, is a distinguished expert in corporate and government relations. With a rich background in the non-profit sector, she offers strategic advice to a diverse client base. As former Vice President of the Economic Club of Canada, she hosted global influencers, earning respect in business, academic, and political circles. An advocate for small businesses, children's rights, and cancer research, Natasha's philanthropy includes contributions to 'Making it in High Heels 4' and recognition as a 40 Under 40 recipient. A master's graduate in political science with a focus on International Affairs, she remains active in equestrian sports while growing her business and supporting impactful causes.

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"Stephanie is talented, creative and results-driven. Having worked with Stephanie for more than a decade, I can say with confidence that she listens closely to her clients’ needs and advocates effectively on their behalf. She demonstrates integrity in everything she does and has a sincere passion for her work."

 -        Sara L. Austin, Founder and CEO of Children First Canada

Get to Know Our Principal & Founder, Stephanie Mitton

Q&A

What fuels your passion? At heart, I'm a problem solver who's eager to help people. I'm an advocate with a heart for the underdog. My journey started at World Vision Canada, amplifying the voices of women and children globally to the Canadian government. And, after becoming a mother, I felt even more privileged to champion these voices who didn’t have their own voice in Canada.

Play it safe or take risks? I enjoy taking calculated risks. Once, I traded a director role with all its perks to vie for a nomination in federal political office. Although I didn't secure the victory, the experience enriched me, steering my life and career towards uncharted territories I hadn't previously imagined.

Didn’t that scare you? Never let fear limit your potential. If hesitation holds you back, you'll never discover the endless possibilities that await. I often say, 'I'm more fearful of missing out by not seizing an opportunity than the inherent risk of trying in the first place.' It's essential to assess and address the risks, but if everything else aligns and it's solely fear standing in your way, take the step forward.

How might your colleagues describe you? I'm often tagged as someone with immense drive, creativity, and energy; I LOVE results AND efficiency. But beyond that, I'm a kind, tenacious, outgoing person who loves connecting with people. An amusing story that comes to mind: once, during a reference check, an HR person asked about my weaknesses. My colleague candidly said, "She's like a dog with a bone, unwaveringly persistent in chasing down goals. You need to be clear if you want her to pause. Otherwise, she's all in until she achieves what she set out to do."

Any advice for advocacy newcomers? Remember the three Ps: Patience, Persistence, and Politeness. They're the cornerstone of success in our field.

What value do you seek to offer clients? Through Beacon North, I aim to craft innovative strategies and solve messy problems to support clients in reaching their advocacy goals.

Most cherished life lesson? Life has taught me that investing in people is the most important thing you can do.

How do you rejuvenate? Finding moments of rest is a continuous journey; it's one of my lifelong challenges and areas I'm consciously working on. To rejuvenate, I enjoy being active with my children, delving into a good book, and spending time by the water or in a boat, a warm cozy fire. And, of course, nothing beats a spa day surrounded by my friends.

What's one thing most people don’t know about you? Many might be surprised to learn I'm a trained classical singer, having achieved my Grade 8 from the Royal Conservatory of Music. There was a time when I regularly graced stages, sharing my voice with hundreds of listeners. Although, these days, the pipes are a bit rusty!

How do you envision the future of advocacy? The advocacy industry is in the throes of a pivotal transformation. From the impending influence of AI to the changing landscape of journalism and the inundation of the market with public affairs professionals, we are on the brink of a new era. The hybrid parliamentary model, with its reduced in-person interaction in Ottawa, adds another layer of complexity.

At Beacon North, we're focused on a different approach. We champion value for money, senior expertise, and tangible outcomes, addressing the evolving challenges of today's advocacy landscape while setting new industry standards.

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