Appointment of Mr. David Estok as Vice-President, Communications

PDAD&C #66, 2014-15

To: Governing Council
Academic Board
Business Board
University Affairs Board
University of Toronto Mississauga Campus Council
University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Council
Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
Professionals, Managers and Confidential Staff
President of UTFA
Presidents of Employee Unions
Presidents of APUS, GSU, SCSU, UTMSU and UTSU (SAC)
From:    Professor Meric Gertler, President
Date: February 26, 2015
Re: Appointment of Mr. David Estok as Vice-President, Communications

I am pleased to announce that the Governing Council has approved the appointment of Mr. David Estok as Vice-President, Communications for a five-year term effective March 9, 2015 and continuing until March 31, 2020.

The creation of the new position of Vice-President, Communications was approved by the Governing Council on October 30, 2014, following a comprehensive review of institutional communications.  The mandate of the Vice-President will be to transform the University's communications function, including both centralized and decentralized elements, into a strategic asset that supports the University's goals related to funding, reputation, and ranking. 

Mr. Estok has 30 years of progressive leadership experience in journalism (reporting and editing), as well as marketing and communications roles in the not-for-profit sector.  He began his career as a journalist, first as a Reporter and then Senior Editor at The Hamilton Spectator, and then at The Financial Post where he was a Senior Editor.  From 2003 to 2007, Mr. Estok served as Associate Vice-President of Communications and Public Affairs at Western University. At Western, Mr. Estok worked across the University to build a more consistent approach to communications and to telling the University’s story. While leading communications at Western, he also taught journalism, communications, and public affairs courses. He was recruited from Western to the role of Editor-in-Chief of The Hamilton Spectator.  During a time of financial challenge and change in the media industry, Mr. Estok fostered innovative approaches that were rewarded with nominations for numerous national newspaper awards. The paper also was named the best media organization in Canada by the Canadian Journalism Foundation.

Most recently, Mr. Estok served as Vice President, Brand Marketing and Communications with SickKids Foundation, where he led the Foundation team and worked closely with the Hospital’s communications team.  At the Foundation, Mr. Estok worked collaboratively to ensure coordination between the Hospital and the Foundation on branding, messaging, and media relations, and to develop a successful integrated, “single brand” approach to marketing communications. 

Mr. Estok’s extensive experience as a journalist and editor, as well as a communications and public affairs leader makes him particularly well suited for the newly established position of Vice-President, Communications, and the position’s immediate and longer term priorities.

I look forward to having Mr. Estok join the vice-presidential team.  I hope you will join me in welcoming him to the University of Toronto.