Loading...
  • Susan
    Willemsen

    President and founder, The Siren Group Inc.

President and founder

As president and founder of The Siren Group Inc. (www.thesirengroup.com) a boutique public relations agency specializing in the consumer marketing and lifestyle sectors, Susan designs and implements innovative and compelling marketing communications programs for her clients.

Prior to founding The Siren Group in 2001, she was vice-president of consumer marketing, and vice-president of business development in the Toronto office of a multinational public relations agency, for eight years. Prior, she spent four years at an agency specializing in consumer PR managing CPG, retail, fashion, beautycare, hospitality and food and beverage brands. With more than twenty-five years of public relations, special events and marketing experience spanning the lifestyle sectors, Susan gleaned an insider’s view of fashion, media and the creative industries through her years as a fashion model, both in print and on the international catwalk. In addition, she worked in the UK music industry, in artist talent management, promotion and publicity.

Susan has spearheaded numerous award-winning programs including the International Public Relations Association’s Golden World Trophy, and the International Association of Business Communicators’ Silver Leaf and Gold Quill Awards, among others. Experienced in writing, editing, branding and strategy development, creative direction, special events management, digital and social media, and media relations, she volunteered for ten years — both as event Co-Chair and Chair of PR — for Fashion Cares (Canada’s largest annual fundraiser benefiting the AIDS Committee of Toronto) for which she was awarded the Canadian Public Relations Society’s Community Service Award. She currently sits on the Steering Committee for Terroir Symposium (www.terroirsymposium.com), Canada’s leading hospitality industry symposium, for which she also oversees the public and international media relations; she also volunteers on the Terroir 2025 Committee, dedicated to creating a long term vision for the Canadian foodservice and hospitality industries. She is currently working with Community Food Centres Canada (www.cfccanada.ca) managing PR for their upcoming Restaurants for Change national fundraising and food advocacy initiative.

Susan’s passions are food, wine, fitness and travel. She studied at Havergal College in Toronto followed by secondary studies at Canadian Junior College in Lausanne Switzerland; then at the University of Toronto, and Ryerson University where she received diplomas in Marketing, and Public Relations. She also attended the Cordon Bleu Cookery School, followed by studies at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust http://premier-pharmacy.com/ in London, UK. Susan is a long-standing supporter of Fashion Group International (www.fgi.org) , a former Board member and current member of the Toronto chapter.