Our new mayor announces her new staff


Today Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward announced the new staff members that will be joining her in the mayor's office.

Victoria Hughes-Al Samadi is assuming the role of Mayor’s Chief Communications and Strategic Advisor, beginning Jan. 7. A South-East Burlington resident, Victoria brings a wealth of experience in communications and strategy, having worked with senior executives at companies like Manulife and Sun Life on their internal & external communications, as well as helping create innovative new corporate policies in the highly regulated financial industry.

She joins the city from her most recent role as AVP at MD Financial Management where she oversaw content, social media and digital marketing. Hughes-Al Samadi is the co-author of a book on inheritance planning, and spent time over the years partnering with many local Burlington business owners through the Burlington Downtown Business Association as well as Burlington Tourism to create digital content and strategy. A key role for the mayor is building relationships toward shared goals and Victoria has the background and experience to make it happen.

John Bkila is taking the role of Media Specialist and Community Liaison, beginning Dec. 17. John comes to the Office of the Mayor with nine years as an award-winning journalist for community newspapers in Mississauga, Oakville, Milton and Burlington. Most recently, he covered Burlington City Hall matters and provincial and federal politics for Halton.

John also has experience working communications during a brief volunteer stint with Engineers Without Borders. He has an Honours degree in Political Science and a deep interest in all levels of politics, particularly municipal. John’s previous work kept him connected to the pulse of the community and made him eager to assist the public with their issues and concerns.

Annemarie Cumber has taken the role of Constituent Assistant. Raised in the downtown core of Burlington, Annemarie brings strong dedicated city experience having worked in various departments within the city.

Prior to coming to the City of Burlington, Annemarie worked for senior executives at Ontario Hydro and Electrical Safety Authority providing executive assistance support. Annemarie also has experience working in the community’s fitness industry helping others keep healthy. In the few weeks we have worked together since the election, Annemarie has been compassionate and dedicated in serving residents and getting results, often going above and beyond the call of duty.