Sessions available to delegates at the announced date.

On Demand

The Kingston Brand Evolution

Donna Gillespie
Chief Executive Officer, Kingston Economic Development
Cathy Kirkpatrick 
Partner and Senior Strategist, Alphabet Creative
Alison Migneault
Director of Marketing and Communications, Tourism Kingston
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Donna Gillespie
Chief Executive Officer, Kingston Economic Development
Cathy Kirkpatrick 
Partner and Senior Strategist, Alphabet Creative
Alison Migneault
Director of Marketing and Communications, Tourism Kingston

In 2016, Kingston revealed a unique brand position for the city with the dual purpose of
both differentiating the city from its competitors and inspiring and compelling visitors to
choose the destination. A strong brand position, it was hoped, would also help galvanize
the then disparate tourism community.

This brand was built on the core truths about the city: it is authentic, local, youthful,
creative, and in constant renewal through the influx of university and college students
every fall. It was built in a voice that is non-commercial, authentic and shaped by
local creative voices. It was built to not be a “boardroom brand,” but rather one that is
inclusive and reflective of the people of the place.

The brand is managed and stewarded by Tourism Kingston through their dealings with
various city departments, partner agencies, community groups and business owners
with the intent that, over time, a common brand would be adopted and leveraged by
others. The Integrated Destination Strategy, a destination development strategy
and guiding plan for tourism, identified a “one voice vision” as key to the city’s
long-term success.

In 2019, Kingston Economic Development Corporation began to envision how the brand can be
leveraged by their organization in support of business and resident attraction efforts.
Their Integrated Economic Development Strategy, developed in 2021, recommended
adopting the Kingston brand and aligning the narrative of visiting, living and investing in Kingston.

About the Speakers

On Demand

Donna Gillespie

Chief Executive Officer, Kingston Economic Development
Donna is an experienced leader who has managed a variety of small and medium enterprises in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She has overseen significant community economic development initiatives in investment attraction, strategic planning, brand development, and corporate restructuring. Under her leadership as CEO, Kingston realized the highest levels...
Speaker Bio
On-Demand Session

Donna Gillespie

Chief Executive Officer, Kingston Economic Development

Donna is an experienced leader who has managed a variety of small and medium enterprises in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She has overseen significant community economic development initiatives in investment attraction, strategic planning, brand development, and corporate restructuring.

Under her leadership as CEO, Kingston realized the highest levels of new foreign direct investment in the city’s history with the establishment of Portuguese fruit processor Frulact and Chinese infant formula manufacturer Feihe – Canada Royal Milk. Donna is a founder of the Queen’s Career Apprenticeship: Kingston program for partnerships with post-secondary educational partners and the Kingston-Syracuse Path which is one of four cross-border economic corridors in Canada with a focus on health innovation – both initiatives received gold-rank awards from the International Economic Development Council.  In 2021, Donna was recognized as the Economic Developer of the Year by the Ontario East Economic Development Commission for her contributions to the region and leadership in supporting businesses during the pandemic.

Donna is a Board Member of Tourism Kingston, Advisor to the Kingston Accommodation Partners, sits on the City of Kingston’s Planning and Climate Leadership  Advisory Groups, the Kingston Immigration Partnership Steering Committee and the International Advisory Committee for the International Economic Development Council. 

On Demand

Cathy Kirkpatrick 

Partner and Senior Strategist, Alphabet Creative
Cathy has worked across all facets of place marketing, including destination brand development and strategic marketing planning. This includes the development of marketing plans across sectors including business & resident attraction, leisure tourism, sport events, business events, and travel trade. Cathy provides invaluable input and strategic direction for partnership and...
Speaker Bio
On-Demand Session

Cathy Kirkpatrick 

Partner and Senior Strategist, Alphabet Creative

Cathy has worked across all facets of place marketing, including destination brand development and strategic marketing planning. This includes the development of marketing plans across sectors including business & resident attraction, leisure tourism, sport events, business events, and travel trade.

Cathy provides invaluable input and strategic direction for partnership and product development, creative messaging and brand development,  media campaigns, digital strategy, sales support programs, experiential marketing and more.

Cathy has built a reputation as a trusted advisor with strong leadership and partnership development skills. Her client portfolio of current and past clients include: Tourism Kingston, Kingston Economic Development Corporation, Travel Nunavut, Government of Nunavut, Parks of the St. Lawrence, Resorts of Ontario, Ontario Regional Tourism Organization 9 (RTO9), Ottawa Tourism, Zoom Airlines, and Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

Cathy is a former board member of Algonquin College, an active mentor in the Ottawa Community Immigration Services Organization and the Spark Innovation Project, and has recently been appointed to the Board of Directors of Destination Ontario.

On Demand

Alison Migneault

Director of Marketing and Communications, Tourism Kingston
Alison Migneault is an accomplished marketing and communications professional with more than 15 years in the industry. As Director of Marketing and Communications at Tourism Kingston, she is responsible for managing the leisure marketing portfolio, stewarding the Kingston brand, and guiding its agencies of record. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Alison...
Speaker Bio
On-Demand Session

Alison Migneault

Director of Marketing and Communications, Tourism Kingston

Alison Migneault is an accomplished marketing and communications professional with more than 15 years in the industry. As Director of Marketing and Communications at Tourism Kingston, she is responsible for managing the leisure marketing portfolio, stewarding the Kingston brand, and guiding its agencies of record.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Alison expertly led the organization’s campaigns to drive much-needed support to local businesses and keep the city top of mind. In the last few years, the Kingston brand garnered several awards under Alison’s guidance, including multiple Creative Summit awards, an EDAC award, a TIAO award, and finalist for a City Nation Place award.

Before joining Tourism Kingston, Alison held a senior marketing role with Queen’s University for a decade. 

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