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Robert Waite

Managing Director, Waite + Co.

Robert Waite is one of North America’s foremost experts in the fields of communications and stakeholder relations. Mr. Waite is a professor at Seneca College and serves as Managing Director of Waite + Co., a firm specializing in communications strategy and advice with offices in Toronto, Ottawa and Boston. He has led, modernized and transformed communications, government relations, marketing, donations, sponsorship, CSR and investor relations functions at companies as diverse as IBM, Ford, CAE, CIBC and Canada Post Corporation.

He is also a widely published travel writer.

Earlier in his career Mr. Waite served as Press Secretary to Senator Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts and Senator Bob Dole of Kansas. While working for Senator Dole he wrote the speech nominating George H.W. Bush for vice-president of the United States, delivered at the Republican National Convention in Detroit.

Mr. Waite served as Vice President, Public Affairs at the Export-Import Bank of the United States during the Reagan Administration. Prior to entering government service, Mr. Waite was an award-winning journalist and writer, including three New England Journalism Association best columnist awards. He served as national political correspondent for Pacific New Service (PNS), covering the 1976 Democratic and Republican presidential primaries and the general election. He subsequently was assigned as PNS’ East European correspondent, based in Warsaw, Poland.

Mr. Waite continues to write and publish on topics of business leadership, politics and education and also delivers speeches and lectures to academic and general audiences.

Mr. Waite is Chair of the Canadian Stamp Advisory Committee; a Trustee of Hebron Academy; and is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

He is past Chair of the Ottawa Liaison Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; past Chair of the CIBC YouthVision Scholarship Committee; served on two United Way of Greater Toronto campaign cabinets (1993 and 2002); past Treasurer of the Canadian Science Writers Association; a past Board member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business; past member of the Senate Press Secretaries Association; past member of the Parents Advisory Committee at Carleton College (2010 -13) and the Parents Advisory Committee at UCLA (2012-14); and served as Employer Representative at the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland (1982).

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Mr. Waite received his undergraduate education at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he majored in European social history. He holds certificates in Corporate Social Responsibility (University of Toronto, 2009); Theory and Practice of Investor Relations (University of Michigan, 1995); and Marketing (Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, 1989).

Mr. Waite holds dual Canadian – U.S. citizenship.
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Are We Becoming Increasingly Inconsiderate?

I could understand people bailing out on a root canal; but do people really bail out on a chance to savor fresh grilled swordfish at Toronto's Scaramouche or truffles at Ottawa's Beckta? Apparently they do, not only at those two fine restaurants, but at establishments from one end of the country to the other.
03/28/2017 12:51 EDT

Barbados - Land Of Sun, Sand, Surf And A Canadian Super Gun

Designed and built in the 1960s by a Canadian ballistics engineering genius named Gerald Bull, the massive artillery piece today sits rusting amid encroaching foliage, on the island's southeast corner, just down a hill from the end of an airport runway.
03/09/2017 10:38 EST
Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters

Dear Canada, Put Leonard Cohen On A Stamp

But putting personal sentiment aside, I do firmly believe Leonard Cohen deserves to be on a stamp. I wish it had happened before his death -- as I have written previously, placing living Canadians on stamps, beginning 11 years ago, was the right thing to do, honouring groups like Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip and individuals like Stompin' Tom Connors, Joni Mitchell and Anne Murray.
02/21/2017 06:31 EST
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Should We Have Sympathy For Sean Spicer?

Spicer, at 45 years of age, is no neophyte. He has served as press secretary to four Republican Congressmen. In short, he should know better. At a minimum, he should have known that he'd have about as much chance controlling his own destiny in a twitter-mad Trump White House as did those monkeys the Americans used to send into space to test the Mercury space capsules. Meaning none.
02/06/2017 08:02 EST
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Why Can't Canadian Expats Vote Forever (Like Americans)?

No one seems to know how many Americans live in Canada. Estimates vary from 900,000 to 2 million full- and part-time residents: The 2011 census says that 372,575 people claim American "ancestry." Whatever the exact number, in a tight election they could tip the balance in key battleground states . So the question remains: Why do Americans outside of the U.S. get to vote forever from wherever?
10/11/2016 12:06 EDT
Big Cheese Photo via Getty Images

Using Humour In Speeches Is Often No Laughing Matter

The ability to communicate effectively to groups is a key requirement for any business executive. As someone who has written speeches for various politicians and business executives for decades, I often get asked if there are any "tricks" that might make the ordeal more palatable. Inevitably, people eventually get around to asking about humour. Should they start a speech with a joke? My emphatic answer to this question is "maybe." And it is based on actual experience.
09/22/2016 06:31 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sunny Ways And Sunny Days May Soon Darken For Justin Trudeau

There is no other way to describe it -- Justin Trudeau has been a public relations superstar from the very moment he took office as prime minister almost a year ago. However, just as September has shorter days and produces a tinge of frost in the evening air, this prolonged period of public basking in the sun may soon be coming to an end for our prime minister.
09/06/2016 10:17 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Toronto Maple Leaf Fans, Be Careful What You Wish For

The stars seem to be aligning for the Toronto Maple Leafs as they head into their 100th anniversary season. The team won the NHL lottery and will have the first draft pick on Friday. In coach Mike Babcock, GM Lou Lamoriello and President Brendan Shanahan they have arguably the most impressive (and expensive) management cadre in NHL history.
06/20/2016 04:46 EDT
Kutay Tanir via Getty Images

A Spur-Of-The-Moment Decision Turned Me Canadian

Until recently, some of my American friends continued to urge me to return "home'. They said I must find it boring to be in Canada. Or that I must get tired of the cold; or the high taxes; or the dipsy-doodle currency we affectionately call the loonie. The truth is, I am home. And it feels pretty good.
05/27/2016 11:10 EDT
Ralph Freso via Getty Images

Will Canada Be Awash With Americans If Trump Becomes President?

It happens every four years.The United States holds a presidential election -- and many of its citizens claim they will move to Canada if one of the contenders is elected. This year, with the advent of people like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz on the right (and Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on the left), these mutterings have become increasingly louder.
12/18/2015 01:43 EST
Tara Walton via Getty Images

Canada Post Should Retain CEO Deepak Chopra

At a time when the U.S. Postal Service is losing $5 billion a year, Canada Post has returned to profitability under his stewardship, and one would think you would want to keep a steady hand on the Canada Post tiller at a time when Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is staring a $10 billion deficit in the face.
12/14/2015 03:42 EST