Tracey Sandilands



By the Numbers





Visionary and highly accomplished executive with verifiable successes building corporate and community stewardship, leading marketing communications and managing administration. Utilizes a persuasive approach alongside strong communication skills to gain corporate and philanthropic support and donations. Motivational coach and mentor to staff and volunteers, empowers teams with the energy, tools and strategies to deliver exceptional results in tight time frames.


Brings a tremendous level of creativity, a genuine sense of passion and integrity, and a tireless, goal-driven work ethic. Blends a collaborative, engaging leadership style with strategic focus and decisiveness. Champions and models personal and professional integrity in all endeavours, fostering trust in all levels of organization.






MediaWorld Toronto, Toronto, ON

Began a Toronto-based start-up specializing in online content for international small and medium-sized business clients. Includes writing web pages, articles, press releases, business blogs, white papers, eBooks and social media posts for inbound marketing, veterinary hospitals, travel agents, nonprofit organizations, conferences and events.


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR                                                       2008 – 2011

Pride Toronto, Toronto, ON

Recruited to this non-profit organization championing Toronto’s annual Pride Week celebrations following a 9 month vacancy to transform a turbulent environment suffering with a $40K deficit and complete staff turnover into a highly influential and internationally respected event.

Business & Operations Executive Leadership


§  Directed operations, managed business, staffing, marketing development, government and sponsorship relations and policy advocacy.

§  Fronted synergistic relationships with corporate sponsors and funding authorities, establishing trust-based partnerships founded on fiscal responsibility and respect.

§  Developed two-year strategic direction, architecting a unified vision with the Board of Directors to refresh annual business planning processes.

§  Standardized purchasing and procurement with integrated strategic & operational planning processes, defined & measurable objectives, and performance metric tools.

§  Successfully produced two annual 10-day arts and culture festivals that included the three-day street closure of 20 city blocks in downtown Toronto, drawing attendance in excess of 1.2M.


Financial Management Excellence


§  Managed a $3.5M+ operations budget: labour costs, infrastructure including power & facilities, festival security, event marketing, communications and administration, steering fundraising strategies to establish a revenue reserve.

§  Successfully secured a line of credit while operating with an organizational fiscal deficit.

§  Forecasted income and expenditure and provided monthly financial reports to the Board of Directors.


Human Resources Governance


§  Transformed the organizational layout, ushering in improved premises, workflow management and HR processes.

§  Implemented new recruitment and retention strategies that led to an improved retention rate, taking a hands-on role in coaching and mentoring managerial and director level staff.

§  Coached, mentored and developed 2 directors and 3 senior managers, empowering up to 16 permanent and contract staff, 150 year-round volunteers and 1000 festival assistants to achieve economic benefit of $136M in 2009.


Marketing & Communications Direction


§  Revitalized the organization’s brand across online and print publications, refreshing marketing and communications look and feel.

§  Project-managed Pride Week street festival, parades and peripheral events, etching out a vision encompassing street closures, obstinate liquor laws, and grant applications while promoting eclectic performers (e.g. Cyndi Lauper).

§  Injected modernized systems and tools into an outmoded website and technology network, knitting interactive media into an online database to improve membership participation and volunteer management.

§  Married social networking sites (such as twitter, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr, FourSquare, and Facebook) with Pride-friendly communications to establish a membership database of 10K+ in one year.

§  Pushed boundaries, developing seamless marketing collateral spanning web, print media images, and promotional material as well as establishing media relationships from-the-ground-up to secure an increase of $10M in publicity in 2010.


Government & Industry Advocacy


§  Fostered relationships with InterPride and International Pride organizations by employing an expansive world view to balance local demands with international best practices.

§  Nominated as a Vice President of InterPride global umbrella organization.

§  Recognized by stakeholders at provincial, federal and municipal levels for ability to re-establish connections spanning corporate sponsors, community leaders and multiple levels of government.

§  Delighted event goers and critics alike and awarded 2009’s Best Festival in Canada Star Award.  

§  Championed arts and culture initiatives, driving Pride Toronto to the forefront in national and international media.

§  Secured the rights to host the Fourth World Pride in Toronto in 2014 with a budget of $10M.



EDITOR                                                                            2005 – 2008                                                                                                                                                                                    

Property 24

Hired to industry-leading online property news publication with international readership, to develop the strategic direction of the editorial division, shepherding change management initiatives to drive drastic increases in revenues and readership.


Selected achievements


§  Catapulted website traffic from 50K to 300k unique monthly visitors, driving improvements spanning content, designs and strategic direction.

§  Managed an annual budget of R500K with forecasting and monthly reporting to ensure expenditures aligned with projections.

§  Improved editorial policy, expanding web portal to include lifestyle and homeowner sections, increasing readership and advertising revenue.

§  Expanded capacity to build a four-person strong staff writing team, as well as eight freelance contributors and 15 guest columnists, to improve and retain expertise.

§  Managed article syndication with News24, drawing on sister organizational readership to increase market reach.


MEDIA AND EVENTS MANAGER                                   2004 – 2005                                                                                                                                                                                     

The Triangle Project

Joined this non-profit organization supporting the LGBT community in a newly created position to build up public image and internal infrastructure through brand and marketing creation and event management.


§  Revitalized web materials and marketing collateral, improving image and corporate brand through the development of educational materials, photographic campaigns, and clothing and promotional materials.

§  Spearheaded event budgeting and creation for industry recognized, innovative pageants including the “sex and culture festival”, drawing interest and awareness of LGBT community.

§  Tapped into new markets, developing insightful collateral that expanded the reach of niche services.



IEP Bridging Programme, Certificate in Business Management, York University, Toronto, (Current)

Bachelors Degree, Communications and English, University of South Africa, 2008

Competent Leader Programme (Mini MBA), Kagiso Business Leadership School,1999

Public Relations Diploma, Damelin Management School, 1981





Advisory Board Member – Pride Alliance Long Island (PALI), New York

Member – Major International Festivals and Events of Ontario (MIFEN)

Member – Toronto City Summit Alliance (TCSA) working group on Arts and Culture

Member - Women’s Executive Network, Toronto (WXN);

Member - Economics Club of Canada



Nominated, Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, 2010



Marketing & Communications Specialist, Green Planet Marketing and Communications, 2002 – 2004

Marketing & Communications Manager, Metropolitan Life Insurance, 1991 – 2002

CEOProClean Commercial and Industrial Cleaning Services, Johannesburg, RSA, 1989 – 1991




 Board Director, Church Wellesley Village Business Improvement Association, 2009 - 2010

Chairperson/Administrator, Joburg Gay Pride Festival, 2006 – 2008

Board Director, Cape Town Gay Pride Festival, 2002 - 2005

New Homes Assessments, Domestic Animal Rescue Group, 1990 – 2005

Regional President / Editor of National Magazine, Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees), 1983 – 1989


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