Dan and his family

Dan Zaiontz, MCM is a Toronto-based professional communicator with more than eight years of experience representing some of Canada’s largest media brands.

Including stints at Rogers Sportsnet and Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, Dan has helped to share the stories of a number of major events and properties from the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games to the Toronto Blue Jays. In recent years, Zaiontz has pursued new opportunities in the higher education sector, joining the communications and strategic planning team at Seneca College, serving previously as the college’s Sports Information and Promotions Coordinator and currently as Special Projects Co-ordinator and Professor.

Specializing in social media strategy, speech writing, and public relations, he completed a Master of Communications Management (MCM) from McMaster University-Syracuse University in 2014.

In spring-summer 2013, Zaiontz conducted a major research study entitled #FollowTheLeader. The study was the culminating capstone project of the researcher’s tenure in the MCM program, informed by an exhaustive review of academic, industry and media sources; observation of relevant social media activity and more than 20 confidential interviews with Canadian and American university and college presidents. The study explored a number of emerging themes including: best practices in social media engagement by higher education leaders, the unique and perceived risks and opportunities of these activities, current conditions for university and college presidents on social media and recommendations for strategic advisers in assisting leaders to optimally and effectively employ these tools.

The findings of the study served as the foundation for Zaiontz’s first book #FollowTheLeader: Lessons in Social Media Success from #HigherEd CEOs which was published in January 2015 in partnership with mStoner Inc. and EDUniverse Media. Offering salient insights to higher ed leaders and their advisers, #FollowTheLeader also provides recommendations for those who want to adopt social media — or learn how to use it more effectively.

In October 2015, Dan was named a CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow along with 26 other emerging city builders in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Dan loves to talk leadership, politics, the frustrations of being a Toronto sports fan, health foods, running, motivation, great TV and film (see: Aaron Sorkin), rock music (see: Foo Fighters) and ethical shopping (see: bleeding heart).

Dan lives in the Toronto suburbs with his wife, Rebecca, and their daughter, Samantha.