Born and raised in Ottawa, Vanessa attended California State University, Long Beach for her master’s degree after completing her undergrad at Concordia. She stayed in California for 15 years working in the music industry in various capacities. She became VP of Marketing and Sales for Premiere Radio Networks, a radio syndication company, and later headed up Sales and Marketing at Gavin Magazine, an industry trade publication in San Francisco. In between she spent five years on the air as “Jo Thomas” in morning and afternoon radio at KSAN/FM and KYCY/FM in San Francisco, and as “Tonya” on “Hot Talk with Tonya” on KHTK/AM in Sacramento.
She moved back to Toronto in 2002 to become SVP, Sales for Nielsen Music, North America for twelve years, and grew the business significantly on both sides of the border. She then moved into the Digital music space, opening the Canadian office for streaming service, Songza in 2014. She later spent time running competitor Rdio, then headed up Caras’ charity, MusiCounts. As Executive Director of the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of fame since 2016, a SOCAN company, she inducted and celebrated some of Canada’s finest Songwriters and Executive produced the induction Galas for Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, Bryan Adams and others. She joined Sound Royalties, to expand the company to Canada and Europe in the summer of 2022.
Her outside passions include continuing her on air and voice over work, riding hundreds of kilometers on her road bike with her husband and seeing the world every day through the eyes of her two boys, Devin, 17 and Kaden, 16.