The Social Media Superheroes Have Arrived!


Our new Social Media Superheroes P2P Group is officially off and running! The Group held their inaugural meeting – or CHAPTER ONE as we call it – recently and have already completed their first assignment.

This passionate group of Social Media Super Users was tasked with compiling a list of their own personal local favourite’s on Social Media – 1 Individual & 1 Company/Organization – and the results were, as expected, pretty awesome.

Now, without further adieu, it’s time to meet the Social Media Superheroes Team & their personal picks.


SM1      NAME: Marc Tortola

      CODE NAME (TWITTER): @MarcTortola

      BASE OF OPERATIONS: Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

      SUPER POWER: Communications Coordinator


Adrenaline Extreme Fitness have built their brand through social media. Although they have a strong following on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, they are killing it on YouTube. With over 11,000 subscribers and video’s with 340,000+ views, AXFIT.COM is inspiring people locally and around the world to live a more active healthy lifestyle. Their hook? A genuine, free spirited, SoCal vibe that’s totally on point.

Arms Bumanlag: Twitter, Facebook
Arms has a solid skill for creating engaging content. His content strategy blends casual, lighthearted content with news stories and alerts that target a wide demographic. His hook? Community engagement. He connects with his followers and is all about bringing the community together.



      NAME: Eric Bonnici

      CODE NAME (TWITTER): @EyesOnWindsor

      BASE OF OPERATIONS: Eyes on Windsor

      SUPER POWER: Co-Owner


Group Hug Apparel: Facebook, Instagram
Born with Downs Syndrome and facing many health challenges Andrew Banar and his family understand first hand the importance of receiving help and giving back to others. Andrew and his mother Karen operate Group Hug Apparel which sells T-shirts featuring Andrew’s “Be Strong Rock On” drawings. The company is heavily involved with community and donates much of their proceeds towards helping sick children and related causes. Group Hug Apparel has strong reach and visibility on various social media channels. Clearly, both in person and online Andrew enjoys helping others and accepts everyone no matter who you are or what challenges you may face. Group Hug Apparels Facebook page has over 6000 followers, rarely ask people to buy their product (although they sell really well), and makes heavy use of happy photos including those with Andrew and the people he’s met over the years. Group Hug Apparel is killing it on Facebook because they post all kinds of photos not just the ones with Andrew and people he meets. Examples, of photos include animals “hugging” one another, photos of Andrew at different ages, inspiring quote photos, and those with Andrew eating at his favourite restaurant, building a snowman, or meeting his favourite bands or sports teams. Through the use of photos Group Hug Apparel successfully connects and engages with Facebook fans, without directly selling, ultimately communicating a sincere message that encourages people to be kind to each other.

Cathy Gaudry A.K.A. The Lunch Reporter: Facebook, Twitter
Windsor’s Cathy Gaudry started a Facebook Page called The Lunch Reporter which is steadily picking up fans. She is lucky to have a boss at her day job that takes the staff out to lunch each day. The concept for her Facebook page is simple, post a photo and a her thoughts about what and where she ate that day. Cathy also shares food photos, contests, and events from the Facebook pages of Windsor Essex restaurants and food related Facebook pages. Cathy’s strong points include promptly replying to comments. The key to the success of this page is engagement and photos. Lunch Reporter has taken her personally passion for eating out and combining it with spreading the word about the wonderful places to eat in Windsor Essex.


      NAME: Thuy Doan


      BASE OF OPERATIONS: Generator Design

      SUPER POWER: Social Media Specialist


Carrots n’ Dates: Facebook, Twitter
For a carnivorous being such as myself, the thought of only eating plant-based foods makes me sick. For a vegan restaurant to even have me consider eating at their place means they did something right. They got the first impression right. They got the visual appeal right. They got presentation right. Both their Facebook and website pack a punch so hard that, even if you were reluctant to look at it, you couldn’t help but look away and be interested enough to learn more about them – to try them out. Carrots n’ Dates made the investment in their early years to get their branding in a place that could be attractive and sustainable for the years to come and many businesses starting out miss the mark on that when it comes to their digital advertising and social media.

Dan Wedge: Twitter
Many people say they want to meet new people, form relationships, and build their network but it takes purposeful effort to make that happen. Dan moved from Calgary to Windsor and immediately started looking for Windsorites that were active on Twitter. Once he found them, he would ask them if there was anyone else he should connect with. And then he connected with those people! That’s follow-up. That’s commitment. He actively looks for opportunities to join in on conversations on the platform and builds rapport and shares his expertise in doing so. Social media done well is a two-way street and Dan puts in his half and works hard to ensure the other half is there.


    IMG_3685  NAME: Danielle Ramsten

      CODE NAME (TWITTER): @DanielleRamsten

      BASE OF OPERATIONS: Windsor-Essex Alzheimer Society

      SUPER POWER: Community Engagement Officer


TLC Animal Aid: Facebook
Their love of our furry friends is amazing. TLC always has great pics and stories to share on their Facebook page. They not only show us the four-legged friends they have for adoption but their work on raising awareness about the importance of spaying/neutering and other animal issues. They post and engage their followers regularly and have an excellent mix of the warm and fuzzy stuff as well as education pieces.

Arms Bumanlag: Facebook, Twitter
I have to echo Marc’s choice.  Arms is amazing and he is everywhere. He connects with so many people in our community and is always ready to lend a helping hand. When he is at an event you will find him taking that extra minute to take some pics to share across the multiple platforms he is on. He knows the importance of social media and knows how to use it!


SM4      NAME: John-Marc Vachon


      BASE OF OPERATIONS: WEtech Alliance

      SUPER POWER: Programs and Marketing Manager


Happy Soul Project: Facebook
WARNING: Do not visit this page if you’re allergic to smiles. For everyone else, I highly recommend it. The Happy Soul Project was started in March 2013 by Windsor-Essex native Tara Cassidy McCallan, who describes herself as “A quarky wanna-be writer/blogger, adoring/annoyed wife, minivan mumma to two hooligans, one who just happens to have Down syndrome & most importantly a Happy Soul…”.

Although no longer technically local as she now lives in Kingston with her son Noal, daughter Reid “Pip” and husband, Tara was born & raised in Windsor-Essex and still travels back often to visit with family & attend public events for the Happy Soul Project and they have a clothing line that is available in local shops.

Since its inception, The Happy Soul Project’s popularity has absolutely EXPLODED with over 20,000 Likes on Facebook and has been featured by numerous media outlets including Huffington Post, Global News, Fox News, Today’s Parent Magazine and the Windsor Star just to name a few.

Duane Acorn: Twitter
Duane is an Integrated Media Strategist for The Windsor Star and an active sharer of Social Media knowledge bordering on Guru Status. Duane is always posting great tips, tricks and links to articles on all things Social Media. I consider his Tweets to be required reading on a daily basis & a 1-stop Shop for all things Social Media for it’s perfectly curated & relevant information.


SM5      NAME: Matt Senechal

      CODE NAME (TWITTER): @MatthewSenechal

      BASE OF OPERATIONS: Motor City Community Credit Union

      SUPER POWER: ON-Line Marketing


WindsorEats: Facebook
With a collective following of following of almost 12K across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, they are Windsor’s premier go-to when it comes to all things food in Windsor-Essex. Not only do they help customers on deciding what to eat, they have inspired a movement to buying local among other initiatives. WindsorEats is changing the way we look at food in Windsor-Essex and I am definitely a big supporter of theirs!

Yvonne Pilon: Twitter
Yvonne is a powerhouse when it comes to marketing herself. She is so involved, I among others don’t know when she has time to sleep. It’s my opinion that she has been and continues to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to everything and anything Windsor-Essex. She inspires me and I’m sure many others to think differently and has shown over and over again that you can achieve your dreams in Windsor. As she’s set out to be a local voice for youth in Windsor-Essex, I no doubt see big things for this community with Yvonne leading the charge.



IMG_3690      NAME: Yvonne Pilon

      CODE NAME (TWITTER): @YvonnePilon

      BASE OF OPERATIONS: WEtech Alliance

      SUPER POWER: President & CEO


Mike & Lisa AM800: Facebook, Twitter
One word: ENGAGEMENT. Social media is supposed to be a two-way conversation. There’s nothing worse than tweeting a person or company and never getting a response. Isn’t the whole point of social media to have a conversation? So why don’t more companies and people do so? What I love about Mike and Lisa is how they engage listeners online and on-air. Try it out for yourself! Follow @MikeLisa800 and respond to one of their daily questions on Facebook or Twitter and don’t be surprised if you hear your Tweet on air. I have admit, it’s because of this ‘engagement’ that I love listening to them (and why the Bell Media app is my go-to place first thing in the morning).

Dry Parlour Inc.: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Let’s face it! We all make decisions based on what we see and what we hear. For example, would you hire a landscaper whose work was an eyesore? Of course not. Seeing is believing. That’s why I’m giving some social media love to @DryParlourInc. Ladies (and Men), we know your locks are important and that’s why you’ll love Dry Parlour’s tweets. Tons of daily photos of Blowouts, Updos and Braids done in-house. So, if you’re leery, just take a peek on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I assure you you’ll love what you see (and likely see someone you know). Oh, and if you’re looking to book an appointment, you can book directly on Facebook. How easy is that! They also share daily openings and cancellations just in case you need an emergency #blowout! One closing note, I would like to wish Dry Parlour a very happy 1 Year Anniversary!


Brian Aspinall: Twitter

Brian, Mr. Aspinall, was one of the first #yqg people I found online and was very impressed with his grasp of not only social media but technology in and out of the classroom. Everyday I see new things from Brain and he makes my inner child jealous. One example of his creativity was using 3D measurement asking: how large is the Super Mario pipe? I wish such learning methods were being used when I was in school I think it would have helped myself and my peers. He has recently created Edmettle which is designed to assist in learning skills and work habits in the Ontario class room via gamification.  Furthermore, he is very social and willing to engage in all content with vigor and gumption, and it seems he has a digital hunger that is never satisfied.

Dry Parlour Inc.: Facebook, Twitter

The people and I say people because their presence seems like that they have an entire team working with them have done social media very well. Their content and posts are a direct manifestation of their product and philosophy: enhancing natural beauty. Their posts bring their followers to tropical locations, alerting their followers to opening during the day, and specials that are presented, with a feeling that your “bestie” just called and said “YOU NEED TO GO HERE”. Dry Parlor interacts and appreciates their customers and love showing off their great digital and brick and mortar skills. I would be very proud to be part of their amazing work.


Donal McArthur: Twitter

I work at The Windsor Star with Don, but I followed him on Twitter well before I joined the Star team. He was an early adopter, and tells a great story about covering a fire downtown several years ago and how things have changed since then in terms of journalists using Social Media. Don is a journalist, but he also gives his opinions, and whether that’s about local politics, his beloved Maple Leafs, or golf, you can tell who the real Don is through his Twitter account. Don’s (along with Dylan Kristy‘s), social media coverage of the last municipal election and their trail talk broadcasts were tremendous, and provided social media users with incredible access to the candidates and platforms.

WEtech Alliane: Facebook, Twitter

This is an organization that clearly cares about our community, and posts tons of great content from the various social and business events that take place. Whether its boasting (in a non-obnoxious way) about the accomplishments of its members, or promoting the region as a great community to start and run a business, this organization is something that we can all be proud of. The people from WEtech that manage this account are social media gurus, and use their influence to help engage with and promote other local Social Media users. Anybody that is looking for a job in tech, looking to stay in touch with the community, or just want to read fun messages from around the city should be following WEtech on the various social networks.

Snapd Windsor: Facebook, Twitter

Nothing but positive… Everyone wants to hear good news, and Snapd does a great job at highlighting all of the exciting news in our community! It’s nice to see all of the smiling faces from fundraising events through their Facebook posts and then read about how money is directed in Windsor/Essex.

I’m not sure how Snapd gets to every event, but they do! Snapd has been successful for 3 years now and provides a free advertising resource for local organizations. Snapd Tix Solution is a fabulous new addition, so people have an online option to purchase tickets.

Snapd does an outstanding job with sharing happy news and engaging our community with positive news.



Are you a Social Media Lover and Active User? Then we’d love to have you! Your expertise, klout and appreciation of all things Social Media would be a welcome addition to our group.

Group members meet on the last Wednesday of each month to talk about the opportunities and challenges in the area of social media as it pertains to their company/organization. The group will target the following three areas:

  • Best Practice Sharing – Through discussions and presentations;
  • Community Advisory Services – Working with local non-profits organizations to assist them with their social efforts; and
  • Community Education and Promotion – Working on projects as determined by the group. Potential projects could include: establishment of a regional hashtag (we love #YQG), establishing a community database for social media users, planning activities for Social Media Day and Week, etc….

If you’re interested in participating in this monthly group or learning more, please email John-Marc Vachon at