Marlo Pelysz is in one word: fierce.
When asked to describe her professionally a pool of former and current colleagues put forth the following list (in no particular order): focused, thorough, driven, authoritative, meticulous, precise, on-the-ball, dauntless, conscientious, champion, organized, accommodating, enthusiastic, wow!, engaged, ruthless, passionate, militant, mom and tenacious.
With over 10 years experience in digital media, Marlo has built her reputation of success and natural leadership on a solid foundation of planning, action and managing by example. Throughout her career, she has worked for three of the biggest media organizations in Canada and has expanded her portfolio of clients to include some of the largest brands in news and entertainment today.
A graduate of the well-established journalism program at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, Marlo started her career in Toronto for a prestigious internship writing for Canada’s top sports network, TSN.ca. There she got her first taste of the digital side of broadcast media. She spent her time absorbing everything she could, gaining valuable experience while interviewing some of the top names in women’s hockey, auto racing and racket sports.
After TSN, she took a job at Canoe.ca (now part of Sun Media) as an overnight editor. During her three months in the role, she survived the week of the aphids, a bomb scare post 9/11 and the job itself – manually moving approximately 600 stories a night from the print-page layouts to the in-house publishing system.
With a passion for writing, she jumped at the opportunity to join the editorial team at Canoe and became the Online Editor for Lifewise in October 2001. Shortly thereafter she discovered her innate talent for organization when in December of that year the first massive rounds of cutbacks caused her to pick up the duties of editor for two more content channels. A few short months after that in April of 2002 she was asked to step up and take on the duties of executive producer of all three channels when another round of cutbacks saw the team shrink even more.
Over the course of the next few years, Marlo worked to plan, produce and drive forward the content offering of her three channels. She worked with the various departments to deliver on time and expectation, a series of special sections, newsletters, contests and reports for each channel. She also made it her top priority, while working with a variety of interns, freelancers and partners, to ensure each site had relevant, informative and unique content every day.
In addition to her full time job, she maintained her desire to write and put out a weekly co-authored love and relationship column, supplemented by a weekly online chat show. This form of digital media was groundbreaking at the time using social media when it was still in its infancy stages. The new challenge further fed Marlo’s curiosity for new ways to reaching a larger audience.
Marlo’s success with three busy content channels opened up new career opportunities. After her wins with these channels, Marlo was offered a promotion into the new project management office (PMO) as a junior project manager. Eager to prove herself, and with no formal project management experience, she accepted the offer with unstoppable enthusiasm.
Very quickly her meticulous nature was drawn upon and she was given her first large project working with an external client, NFLCanada.com. The success of that launch in combination with her excellent working relationships within the company as well as her experience, made her an obvious choice to take on a massive project: The redesign of the entire Sun Media large daily urban newspapers.
Between 2007 and 2008 she worked with a dedicated internal team, external vendor and ever-changing group of stakeholders. In early 2008, as with many large projects, she encountered her first large-scale project set back with catastrophic results and a serious blow to her confidence. Drawing from this negative experience, she worked with upper management, clients and staff to develop and execute a Plan B solution. In less than one year, using an open-agile methodology of management, Marlo and her team delivered five of the six dailies: redesigned and reformatted for easier editorial management. She’d made her mark in the digital media industry and was hungry for more.
Mid-summer 2009, Marlo obtained her Scrum certification from Berteig Consulting Inc, and left Canoe.ca after 8 years to take a position as a scrum master/project manager at TOPS, the CMS solution provider and development hub of Torstar Digital. Marlo spent the next year and a half managing the Star Media group of online products using the Scrum/agile framework, including the redesigns of thestar.com, toronto.com and net-new financial product moneyville.ca.
In early 2011, it was time for change again and Marlo found herself back in the digital space of broadcast media with Shaw Media. She continues to lead her teams in an open-agile/Scrum format in successful project delivery as an enterprise project manager. The size and scope vary from project to project but it is at Shaw where she’s earned the reputation of fierce.
Marlo started to work on her first project moments after arriving on her first day with zeal and has carried that same level of dedication with every project since. In less than a year, she’s already racked up an impressive project portfolio with Shaw Media including the build of a new sales site, full content/CMS migration of Global TV and the entire Global News family of sites, and the build of net-new show sites like Lost Girl for Showcase and The Morning Show for Global News.
Her philosophy on project and team management has evolved over the years, but the underlying belief has remained consistent: Plan for 70 per cent and you’ll be able to see 100. In addition to this, Marlo brings her A-game to every project with fearless optimism, passion and team spirit. She absorbs information from all sides of the business so she can explain and use only what’s needed.
Outside of work, Marlo’s hobbies, friends and family keep her busy and balanced but she approaches it all with the same drive and determination as seen at the office. Marlo has been an active fundraiser for the Princess Margaret Hospital for the last three years, sits on the journalism advisory board at Loyalist College and has been a member of Wired Women Toronto for over 5 years. Her summers are filled with visits to all the festivals Toronto has to offer, she loves the holiday season and still makes time to work on her number one passion, writing.