Stephen Brown, Winner of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award
Stephen Brown has almost three decades of work experience in marketing and advertising serving high profile clients such as CIBC, GE, Cashmere and the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games. In 2003, Stephen and his partners launched FUSE, which is an independent agency located in Toronto focused on delivering innovative marketing solutions to clients across Canada and the United States.
Brown began his career training at Wunderman Thompson and Young & Rubicam Brands in the 90s and Mosaic in the early 2000s. He specialized in early data analytics by working on aggregated data completions to confirm best addressed and unaddressed targeting and retail locations in new markets as a main contributor to the popularity of CRM and success with clients like Canadian Tire and Mercedes Benz.
Since the creation of FUSE, Brown has led the agency to growth beyond CRM by investing heavily into trending disciplines throughout its history such as digital marketing, social media, healthcare and experiential marketing. Now just shy of 100 employees, the agency features three distinct business units to offer its wide range of services.
Some of the top marketing campaigns Brown has worked on include:
- Canadian Tire Options MasterCard Launch
- Co-operators Insurance deregulated direct selling
- Rogers Home Phone launch in Newfoundland
- Smart Centres’ Paul Hnederson 1972 Team Canada Jersey Tour
- GE Money Canadian mortgage launch
- Mercedes Benz CRM revamp
- Fashion Cares (HIV/AIDS mega fundraiser)
- A countless number of campaigns with CIBC
Brown’s entrepreneurial successes also include the incubation of three startups:
- Amplify, a youth influencer company
- Vet Success, a marketing data company in the vet space
- Hip Digital, a receipt recognition and analytics platform
Brown is currently leading the marketing and communications efforts for Casey House, Canada’s leading HIV/AIDS hospital focused on fundraising and branding initiatives, as its Board Chair. He raised $1 million for its new hospital, which represented 10 per cent of the total capital campaign goal. Brown also serves on the board for the Covenant House Foundation, the largest agency in Canada serving youth who are homeless, trafficked or at risk.
Brown became a member of PrideAM (adveritising and marketing), which is a newly formed group aiming to help inform and elevate LGBTQ+ issues and voices in the industry. Within FUSE’s company culture, Brown championed initiatives to celebrate diversity and inclusion while showcasing the history of LGBTQ+ people in Toronto.
Brown was also a partner with the Toronto Chapter of Social Venture Partnership, which is an international network of philanthropists who invest time, money and professional expertise in local non-profits.
Brown has shown a life-long commitment to the Canadian Marketing Association through a variety of roles over the past 20 years:
- Chair of the Board of Directors in 2015
- Board Chair in 2014-2015 and Vice Chair in 2013-2014
- Awards Emcee from 2007-2014
- Awards Chair from 2010-2012
- Awards Strategic Chair from 2007-2009
- National Convention Chair, Vice-Chair and Committee member from 2001-2005