8020Info Profile:  Bios

Robert A. Wood

Robert A. Wood
CEO/President, 8020Info Inc.

With more than 25 years of experience in communications and strategic planning, research, marketing, and media management, Rob’s career began after his formal education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario (Commerce ’76), where he concentrated on applied mathematics/statistics, research, and marketing.

He followed that with two years working as Executive Assistant to the Minister of Community and Social Services and then two years as an award-winning newspaper editor.

His career background includes his role as Managing Partner of Wood & Wood Communications, a marketing strategy, research and communications consulting firm, which was later purchased (in 1999) by Enterprise Canada Research. This company undertook dozens of studies for clients as varied as radio stations, newspapers, hospitals, political parties, community colleges and municipalities.

In 1987, Rob’s career took him to the Frontenac County Board of Education, as Manager of Administrative Services and Communications. Here he oversaw office administration, marketing and communications for the Board office, and managed the service unit that supported the Board of Trustees.

During the 1990s, prior to launching 8020Info Inc., Rob served first as Program Director/ Director of Research and then as General Manager for the CHUM Radio Group where he managed four radio stations in eastern Ontario — two in Kingston and two in Brockville.

A former part-time instructor specializing in marketing and public relations at the St. Lawrence College School of Business, Rob has been a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops, including presentations in Halifax, Gander, Summerside, Waterloo, London, Sudbury, Kingston, Brockville, Belleville, Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton.

In his current practice, he has been actively involved as a consultant on a variety of strategic planning, public consultation and marketing communications projects. (See http://www.8020info.com/about-8020info/)

He is also busy as a facilitator – in a typical year he would lead more than 100 focus group or planning sessions, public meetings and workshops.

Rob currently serves as Chair of the Imagine Kingston Roundtable and the Queen’s Family Health Team Advisory Board as well as a member of the  Grand Theatre Advisory Board and Kingston Technology Exchange Centre.

He has been active for more than two decades on community boards and task forces such as Kingston Technology Council, Kingston Cultural Initiative (serving as founding chair for three years), Kingston Symphony and Ontario Federation of Symphony Orchestras, Kingston Tourism Strategy Committee, Downtown Kingston! Marketing Strategy Committee, The Whig-Standard Community Editorial Board and the Community Committee to Honour Great Kingstonians.

Karen Humphreys Blakce

Karen Humphreys Blake, APR
Senior Associate Consultant, 8020Info Inc.

Karen brings more than 25 years of experience in public relations and communications management across diverse sectors including government, health care, social housing, hydro development and education. She has also gained considerable expertise in the volunteer sector, association management and fundraising through work with arts, heritage, community service and charitable organizations.

A native of London,Ontario, Karen is a graduate of The University of Western Ontario with a B.A. (Hon.) Journalism. She began her career as a general reporter and subsequently spent several years as a business reporter.  Karen has achieved the APR designation through the Canadian Public Relations Association accreditation process, which requires evidence of a high level of experience in communications planning and implementation.  She has also pursued ongoing education in fundraising and development and management. Karen is a currently a student in the  Masters business program focusing on Communications Management offered jointly by the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University and Syracuse University. Research conducted during the program has covered topics including: social media; fundraising communications; organization­–community relations; public relations staff roles and public relations organizational structure; and reputation management.

Through her work leading the Communications and Consultation Branch of the Executive Council, Government of Newfoundland andLabrador, Karen developed a strong interest in citizen engagement and public opinion research.  She also gained considerable experience overseeing strategic communications planning and execution for government as a whole and for individual departments. In this role, she worked closely with the Cabinet Secretariat on both social and economic policy.

Karen spent close to ten years as the Director of Corporate Communications for a Crown Corporation responsible for social housing and land development.

Karen and her family moved to Kingston in 2002 when she took the position of Vice President, Public Affairs and Development,Kingston GeneralHospital. During her time with KGH she took a lead role in the development of the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation, the fundraising arm of the threeKingstonteaching hospitals. She also introduced and embedded strategic communications planning approaches and templates while in this position. Over the course of her career, she has developed considerable experience in internal communications and has won numerous awards recognizing excellence in this area.

Karen is a member of the board of directors of the Kingstonand Frontenac Housing Corporation, and is a member of the  Imagine Kingston Roundtable and the Kingston Women’s Network.

Harvey Schachter

Harvey Schachter
Consultant & Facilitator, 8020Info Inc.

Harvey is a consultant, editor and writer, specializing in management and business issues. He writes the weekly Monday Morning Manager and Balance columns for The Globe and Mail and biweekly Management Books column, and contributes to various publications, including Kingston Life and Canadian Government Executive.  He also has worked on a variety of projects for various levels of government.

Harvey has spent the bulk of his career in the mass media, giving him a unique understanding of how ideas and images are assimilated by a community, and has blended that with practical management and marketing experience.

After obtaining his B. Comm., Harvey edited the McGill News, taking it into the top ten rankings for North American alumni magazines, and then spent four years at the Toronto Star, as an education and feature writer. Harvey worked at The Kingston Whig-Standard for 16 years and held a variety of senior positions, including Planning and Promotions Manager, and Editor, winning an Owl award for his marketing work and two National Newspaper Awards for his writing.


Kathryn Wood

Kathryn A. Wood
Director and Consultant, 8020Info Inc.

Kathy Wood (Rob’s sister) has more than 25 years experience advising and providing project implementation support to businesses, institutions and not-for-profit organizations. She holds two degrees from Queen’s University (a B.A Hons. in Economics – 1977 and a B.Sc. Hons. in Environmental Science – 1996). As well as serving now as President/CEO of Natural Capital Resources Inc., her own environmental services consulting firm, Kathy is a Director of 8020Info.

In total, Kathy has directed more than 100 research projects of all types (telephone surveys, focus groups, intercept studies, one-on-one interviews, literature reviews, and secondary data analyses). She has analyzed primary quantitative research on the public impact of challenges with municipal water quality, managed multiple quantitative and qualitative research projects related to client satisfaction with health care and education services, conducted research for the Niagara Region Transportation Master Plan, and facilitated multiple focus groups for children’s services in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington area. She has also developed communications plans and implemented programs in children’s mental health, home care (Toronto), children’s aid, and innovation projects.

Kathy was also responsible for multiple public opinion research projects for the Ontario Ministry of Energy at the time of market deregulation.  Projects involving economic modelling and impact analysis include analysis of the impact of higher education (on behalf of the Council of Ontario Universities), economic impact studies in the tourism, entertainment, and energy technology sectors, and a capital needs study for the Ontario Hospital Association. Currently, Kathy is engaged with the Monieson Centre at Queen’s University to develop the research methodology for evaluating the success of the rollout of the Eastern Ontario Regional (Broadband) Network.


Other 8020Info Resources:

Depending on project requirements, we are able to propose or recommend services of experienced writers and associates for various creative assignments.  We can also draw on the specialized expertise of members of our advisory board.



August 13th, 2012 by


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