Leading kids and family marketing and media agency announces the promotion and expansion of their senior leadership team 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–TORONTO, ON Dec. 15 –Beacon Communications, a division of Integrated Marketing and Media Agency, Beacon Media Group, has announced a series of new appointments to support its next phase of growth and enhance operational efficacy in the new year. The agency is focused on its global brand strategy and strong foundation within the family, toy, gaming, and lifestyle industries, with a commitment to expanding into new markets.

“As we head into 2023, we’re building on the tremendous success we’ve enjoyed in connecting brands with diverse audiences spanning multiple generations – kids, tweens, parents, families and fans,” says Donna MacNeil, President. “With that vision, we are proud to introduce these exciting new appointments to our leadership team of strategists, storytellers, and expert marketers who help shape the conversation and influence the influencers.”

Under the leadership of MacNeil, Amanda Lao moves into a newly expanded role as Vice-President of PR, Communications, and Engagement. Lao joined Beacon in 2018 and has been instrumental in charting the agency’s path forward with strategic initiatives driving client agendas.  Lao, is an award-winning executive with over 11 years of marketing leadership experience working with consumer and retail brands, including Toys ‘R’ Us, Calgon, Goliath Games, Bazooka Candy Brands, Rimowa, Conair, and more. 

Joining senior leadership is newly-appointed Senior Director Aaron Wade, a masterful toy and entertainment marketing veteran with over a decade of experience within the kid, family, and retail industries, with expertise in niche-focused fan and collector spaces.   

An enterprise leader who has held multiple leadership roles including, Brand and Customer Communications Director of Canadian Retailer, Giant Tiger, Wade brings cross-functional expertise and a successful history of building brands and driving awareness for makers such as Spin Master Toys, Tastemakers LLC. (Arcade 1Up), Jazwares LLC., Beverly Hills Teddy Bear, the Red Planet Group and Iscream.

Karen Nussbaum joins as Account Director,  Marketing and Communications, bringing over 15 years of experience as a results-oriented strategist and practitioner in the public relations and marketing sector. Nussbaum was responsible for developing and successfully implementing strategic communication plans for globally recognized clients, including Ford, Scotiabank, Toyota, Lexus, Tim Hortons, Pfizer, and Visa. She has been recognized for her work on award-winning campaigns for Air Canada Rouge and RONA.

Rounding out the newest appointment to the team, Despina Danishwar comes on board as Senior Account Manager within Beacon Communication’s Marketing and Communications team. With a decade in the Broadcast-Media realm and seven in Public Relations, Danishwar has utilized her story-telling aptitude and deep expertise in media strategy to help develop and extensively shape brand recognition for clients such as Marriott Hotels, Zirkova Vodka, Dalcini Stainless, StageCoach, and DRMG.

Beacon Communications’ new leadership structure marks a significant milestone in the agency’s journey to further amplify its strong foothold in the kid, family, lifestyle, and gaming industries while expanding its client base and expertise.  Each team leader brings a strong track record of results that deliver high-impact campaigns and strong ROI.



Amanda Lao, VP PR, Communications and Engagement 

Beacon Media Group



Beacon Media Group is a full-service marketing, communications and media agency group focused on building meaningful connections between consumers and brands across a diverse range of industries, including consumer products, entertainment, gaming, lifestyle and technology. Beacon Communications’ integrated expertise brings the voice of brands to the forefront and makes them part of influential consumer conversation through PR, social media, and influencer marketing. Through the Beacon Media division, Beacon Media Group offers media research, strategic planning and buying services across traditional and emerging platforms (including TV, OTT, VOD, OLV, Social, Paid Influencer and other leading Digital Media channels).

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