Our Team


Mark Quinn

Mark is an experienced and effective government relations professional. Named one of the Top 100 Lobbyist (2011) by the Hill Times, Mark brings over 20 years’ experience in the federal government as a senior executive and communications professional in the federal government to the service of his clients. He has served in the following positions:

  • Chief Negotiator for the Government of Nunavut on a multi-party treaty overlap land claim
  • Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor for Economic Development to the Minister of Indian Affairs & Northern Development.
  • Special Assistant to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment
  • Campaign Manager for the successful 2010 municipal campaign of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.


  • Honours BA in Political Science and History from Trent University
  • Masters of Philosophy in International Peace Studies from Trinity College in Dublin. Ireland.

Mark launched Quinn Public Affairs with his late wife and business partner, Natalie Quinn, out of desire to offer a more client-centric approach to government relations, particularly with regard to Indigenous clients

Community Relations

Ovid Mercredi

A Cree born in Grand Rapids, Manitoba, Ovide is a lawyer, writer and skilled and resolute negotiator, committed to the belief that getting constitutional recognition of Aboriginal Rights is the necessary first step to solving the problems of Indigenous peoples. Ovide is best known as the former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) during the Meech Lake Accord debates. Following his second term as AFN National Chief, among other activities on behalf of First Nations, he went on to serve as Chief of the Misipawistik Cree Nation from 2005 to 2011. Ovide is the recipient of several awards and honorary degrees and continues to advocate for the rights of Canada’s Indigenous peoples and to be active in both federal and provincial public affairs.


John Giokas

John Giokas is a retired, bilingual lawyer who worked in criminal and Aboriginal law and policy for thirty years. Half that time was spent in the private practice of law, as legal counsel at the federal Justice Department and as the Director of Legislation and Law Reform at the Canadian Bar Association. For the rest of his career he worked as a consultant for several federal government departments including Justice Canada, Public Safety, Canadian Heritage and Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

He has also worked as a policy advisor in the offices of two ministers of Indigenous Affairs and consulted with three Aboriginal organizations (Assembly of First Nations, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and the Manitoba Metis Association), two commissions of inquiry (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and the Indian Claims Commission) and a Canadian Heritage task force on Aboriginal languages. He has published extensively in print and in electronic form in the fields of Aboriginal law and policy, has testified before parliamentary committees on many occasions and is a registered lobbbyist.


Sarah Surrett

Sarah Surrett is an independent administrative assistant and office manager. She has provided administrative support to small businesses for the last 20 years. She is diligent, efficient and provides competant office management skills and support to businesses and their clients.


Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy, a career journalist and former member of the National Press Gallery, is a strategic communications and media relations specialist with extensive experience as a senior advisor to three federal cabinet ministers. As a consultant, Mike does video production, media training and provides a wide range of strategic communications services and develops a host of media products for indigenous organizations, government, health care providers and other clients.

Mike has worked as a journalist and a communications professional in both government and the private sector. He covered the federal and Ontario governments as a political correspondent for an independent television network, reaching hundreds of thousands of viewers across Canada on a nightly basis. Mike later changed gears to handle communications for three ministers at separate times in the portfolios of Fisheries, Oceans and Coast Guard, Justice, and International Co-operation. He also worked closely with the Ministers’ office as a senior media relations officer in the Department of Indigenous Affairs.

Mike served as a Senior Director of Strategic Communications and Stakeholder Relations with the organization representing the innovative pharmaceutical industry in Canada for nine years.


Malcom Bernard

Malcolm is a highly accomplished trainer who coaches clients for public speaking roles, presentations and media interviews. His client list includes public and private corporations as well as the Canadian government. He has coached some 200 Canadian ambassadors for Global Affairs Canada, as well as cabinet ministers, senior public servants, and corporate leaders. In government, he served as communications director for the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, managing political communications for the government’s response to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Nisga’a Final Agreement, and the creation of the Nunavut territory.

Malcolm held leadership positions in Canadian media organizations. He directed daily news coverage and special events from Parliament Hill in Ottawa, anchored national radio news coverage of several elections and political events, and provided commentary on network television broadcasts.

Malcolm is a former president of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Ottawa chapter. IABC links 14,000 communicators in a global network that inspires, establishes and supports the highest professional standards of quality and innovation in organizational communication. He is also a member of the Public Affairs Association of Canada. He holds an MBA from the University of Ottawa and an MA in political science (international relations) from Carleton University.


Willi Puerstl

Willi has 30 years of experience working in the national media in many capacities: producer; editor; and, cameraman. He is a continuing member of the National Press Gallery in Ottawa and for the past 12 years has owned and operated his own video production company, Skyfly Productions Inc.

Summary of Skills

  • Fluent in English/German/Spanish
  • Capacity to motivate development and build support for changing priorities within the teaching and training of new technical employees and interns
  • Ability to direct complex projects and initiates in a diplomatic manner
  • Strong strategic communication and organizational skills
  • Extensive experience in managing sensitive interpersonal situations