Deborah E. Trouten, APR, ICD.D
Deborah is a senior associate of SEG and president of Dakota Communications Inc. She has more than 25 years experience advising companies on critical strategic communications, change management and stakeholder issues. She has developed an expertise in reputation management, stakeholder relations, employee communications and change communications and has assisted several organizations develop a more disciplined and strategic approach to internal and external communications.
Deborah supports clients in the following service areas:
- Design and facilitate strategic and business planning sessions for boards and senior management teams
- Change communications – support leadership in the planning and execution of change processes and communications and engagement in major business transformation initiatives
- Planning and implementing the communications for organizational start ups
- Communications Branch/Department organizational reviews – systematic evaluation and restructuring of an organization’s communications services to reduce costs and improve effectiveness and align the communications function with the organization’s strategic direction
- Governance effectiveness for boards of directors of agencies, boards and commissions
- Governance evaluation
- Board and committee structure and mandates
- Board policies (e.g., conflict of interest, code of conduct, confidentiality)
- Corporate communications – communications strategy development and implementation, issues management and crisis communications, reputation management
- Change communications
- Stakeholder engagement – identifying, engaging and managing stakeholders
- Crisis communications planning and management.
Background and Qualifications
Deborah Trouten is founder and president of Dakota Communications Inc. a communications consulting firm specializing in corporate, organizational and financial communications. Since its founding in 1999, Dakota Communications has built a national client base providing communications consulting across several industries including the financial, energy, environment, manufacturing, retail and high-tech/communications sectors.
Deborah has more than 25 years’ experience advising clients on critical strategic communications issues. She has developed an expertise in reputation management, stakeholder relations, employee communications and change communications and has assisted several organizations develop a more disciplined and strategic approach to internal and external communications. She has also taught management communications at the Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario.
Prior to starting Dakota Communications, Deborah was senior vice-president and director of the Canadian corporate practice of a leading global public relations firm advising a range of public and private corporations on complex communications issues. Previous to that, she was senior vice president with a Toronto-based agency specializing in corporate communications and investor relations.
Before becoming a communications consultant, Deborah held several senior management positions including department head, communications & education at the Greater Vancouver Regional District (now Metro Vancouver), and director of communications & corporate secretary with Peel Region. She was also with Bell Canada as a manager of public affairs/community relations and began her career as a writer/editor with an international non-profit humanitarian organization.
Deborah is an accredited board director (ICD.D) and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and an accredited public relations practitioner (APR) and a member of the Canadian Public Relations Society. In addition, she has successfully completed the Canadian Securities Institute course. She holds a master of arts in communications from the Wheaton Graduate School and a bachelor of arts (honours social communications) from the University of Ottawa.
Deborah is currently a director on the board of the Electrical Safety Authority where she chairs the Investment and Human Resources committee and is a member of the Audit Committee. She is a former director of the Association of Change Management Professionals, Habitat for Humanity, Toronto where she chaired the Governance and Nominations Committee; College of Nurses of Ontario (Complaints Committee and Finance Committee); Theatre Passé Muraille (Finance); Vancouver Richmond Association for Mentally Handicapped; and Family Services of Peel.