Jim Shields is co-founder of Business Link Media Group and a proud supporter of the Niagara community.
A lifelong advertising executive, Jim originally worked as a vice-president and general manager at CHSC-AM / CHRE-FM in St. Catharines for 16 years before starting his own advertising firm called AdMar Marketing in 1990. Here, Jim would establish offices in St. Catharines and Williamsville, N.Y., and serve dozens of clients throughout the greater Niagara Region.
In 2003, however, Jim took his expertise to a whole new level, launching a new B2B publication called “The Business Link” with his son and business partner Adam. Since that time, Jim and Adam have worked long and hard to develop Business Link Media Group into a successful multi-media and publishing firm – and a powerful advocate of Niagara’s business community.
An active volunteer, Jim has been involved with several charities and business associations over the years, sitting on the board of directors of Wellspring Niagara and the St. Catharines Jaycees, and acting as president of the WHEO Business Club. A recent member of Niagara North Fundraising Committee for the St. Catharines General Hospital, Jim continues to keep active in his community, taking on support roles with St. Catharines Minor Hockey and the St. Catharines Junior “B” Falcons.
Since diving into the media industry 15 years ago, Adam has worked hard to bring creative and innovative ideas to his clientele. Being brought up in an entrepreneurial environment, Adam has always been intrigued with advertising and marketing. After graduating from Brock University with Honours, Adam and his father partnered together to launch The Business Link in February 2003.
Adam is a true believer in giving back to his community and does so with donations to many not-for-profit agencies. Adam, along with a few business friends, started the Niagara Business Group to help connect young entrepreneurs with successful business leaders in Niagara and also started the Niagara Golf Marathon to raise money for health care in Niagara. He is also currently an active member of the Wise Guys committee, was a board of director and vice-president for the St.Catharines-Thorold Chamber of Commerce for eight years, a delegate for Desjardins Credit Union and was the recipient of the Young Entrepreneur Award in 2006.
Julie Van Ruyven
Julie Van RuyvenOffice Ninja
Julie holds the position of office manager with Business Link Media Group, where she’s responsible for running the firm’s day-to-day operations. This includes managing various print and administrative assignments, supporting the sales and creative departments, and advising the senior management team.
A graduate of Leadership Niagara and Mohawk College’s business and marketing program, Julie has a strong passion for going that extra mile for her clients and co-workers. That desire to help people has enabled Julie to achieve an extremely high level of success – no matter what the challenge.
Prior to joining Business Link Media Group, Julie worked in the human resources field as an HR coordinator. Graduating from Niagara College with a post-graduate certificate in human resource management, she originally moved to Waterloo where she spent three years recruiting for the staffing division of Pivotal Integrated HR Solutions. In 2013, Julie decided to move back to the Niagara Region to join The Burke Group as a senior recruiter, helping countless local residents, firms and agencies with their staffing needs.
Julie is a highly motivated individual who looks forward to helping others succeed – and living life to the fullest.
Scott LeslieStaff Writer
Scott has considerable experience working in the Niagara community, having collaborated on thousands of publicity and writing assignments on a full-time, contract and freelance basis.
Growing up in a publishing family, Scott originally graduated from the University of Guelph with an honours degree in English and history before specializing in media writing and book & magazine publishing. A professional member of the Canadian Authors Association, he has held several positions in the publishing, theatre and communications fields throughout his career. Most recently, Scott acted as communications coordinator at Meridian Credit Union, where he worked closely with Meridian’s various corporate, commercial and retail teams, and generated hundreds of internal, brand and charitable communications.
Over the years, Scott’s creative writing has appeared in dozens of audio, print and online publications, winning multiple short fiction awards. In his spare time, Scott continues to hone his craft by working on various writing and local history projects.
Brian FletcherSenior Account Executive
Brian has lived in the Niagara Region since 1969 and worked in printing for 30 years. In 2009, he decided to make a career change and enrolled in Niagara College’s Business Sales & Marketing program. Graduating in 2010 on the Dean’s and President’s lists for scholastic achievements, Brian won the Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA) award. He also competed in the Ontario College Marketing Competition and finished third in the management event.
Brian would spend the past three years selling promotional products before joining the Business Link Media Group’s team in 2014
Brian enjoys connecting with his clients and building strong relationships. He is a family man who is married with two teenage sons and has been an avid member of the Welland Curling Club for the last 10 years.
RoseAnn WatersAccount Executive
After a life altering journey of self-discovery to Egypt, RoseAnn found a new appreciation and realization that she could affect positive change. Upon her return to Canada she launched her career as a change catalyst. Realizing a need for professional development based on self-awareness as well as skills training, she launched Success Vision. Through her innovative model of coaching, RoseAnn has been responsible for facilitating change in the lives and careers of hundreds of people. After a hiatus of several years, RoseAnn has gone back to her roots – sales and marketing.
RoseAnn has always been an integral part of her community. A volunteer on the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce’s Membership Committee, she has facilitated workshops for the Niagara Folk Arts Council’s Crossroads Program. She was also the past director of the Defyeneurs St. Catharines TANK as well as a past Board member for A.R.I.D. House.
RoseAnn is a passionate lifelong Niagara resident. Not one to sit still, RoseAnn joined the team at Business Link Media Group in 2017. She’s learned never to say “never” and is happy being back in the saddle so to speak. Her passion for sales and marketing – helping businesses grow through promotion – is her bliss.
Shelley BallinGraphic Designer
Shelley is a graphic designer at Business Link Media Group.
Over the past decade, Shelley has dedicated her life to becoming a go-to marketing and graphic design expert. After graduating from Ryerson University back in 2011, she spent three years working in sales and creative development at Jordan Publications in Port Colborne. During her tenure with the firm, Shelley was responsible for the design and layout of various print books and eBooks for the sports, policing and motivational markets.
In 2012, Shelley would also launch her own personal design studio – Graphic Expressions Niagara – where she’s gone on to design business cards, invitations, signage, logos and assorted promotional materials for Niagara businesses and individuals alike.
Since coming on board the Business Link team in 2016, Shelley has demonstrated an undeniable flair when it comes to creating advertisements and laying out our core publications like Business Link Niagara and HWS Magazine. She’s also taken a lead role in the development of stunning client magazines for Vintage Hotels, Habitat for Humanity Canada, Brock University and Gem Home Staging & Designs.
A busy freelancer – and even busier mom with her three boys – Shelley is famous for her playful personality, her shameless love of food – and her out-and-out passion for the world of design.
Rob PetrulloMultimedia Designer
Rob is a multi-media designer at Business Link Media Group and an award-winning member of the firm’s graphics team.
Born and raised in the Honeymoon Capital, Rob has always had a strong inclination for the creative arts. Over the past decade, he has pursued his calling in earnest, completing the graphic design and art fundamentals program at Niagara College, and proving himself time and again in the print, marketing and hospitality sectors.
Rob began working as a graphic designer at Impact Media Marketing in Niagara Falls back in 2008, and has quickly risen up the ranks. The following year, he joined Rev Publishing as art director and production manager, where he supervised the creative team and coordinated the production of several monthly publications. Prior to joining the Business Link team in 2017, Rob held the position of marketing and graphics manager for a local homebuilding firm. Here, he executed several successful marketing campaigns and tackled a host of print, social media, photography and video projects.
Outside of work, Rob is a doting father, an avid photobug and an unabashed Bruins fan. But when it comes to his artistic “chops,” Rob prides himself on developing world-class creative that commands attention and most importantly, gives his clients a strong return on their investment.