Former john st. CEO Stephanie Hurst tapped to lead theturnlab

3 min readApr 10, 2023


Toronto, ON, April 10, 2023 — Stephanie Hurst joins marketing technology startup theturnlab as their new CEO. Stephanie brings over 25 years of marketing experience on both the client and agency side to lead an ambitious growth plan. Howard Chang, the founder and former CEO, will remain on as Executive Chairperson in an advisory and governance role.

“Since our founding in 2018, theturnlab has been quietly and successfully reinventing the ad agency model, and with Stephanie, we are poised to move from startup to scale up in order to have a bigger impact on the marketing industry,” says Howard Chang. “Given our consultancy-led model, our search was focused on C-suite leaders with a true marketing pedigree vs. a prototypical agency CEO.”

Stephanie brings a unique résumé that includes extensive stints as a client-side marketing executive at Unilever and a series of senior roles at john st. advertising, from account leader to President and finally to CEO. Her ability to see and solve problems from a 360-degree perspective makes her a highly valued partner for clients and also gives her a unique appreciation of theturnlab’s business model.

“What attracted me to theturnlab was their unique combination of part consultancy, part ad agency and part technology company, all working together to help clients wanting to solve big problems or realize ambitious plans,” says Stephanie. “This curated suite of practices allows us to offer the kinds of complete solutions that marketing leaders need today.”

Growing from a handful of staff in 2018 to now almost 60 employees, theturnlab is sought by more and more leaders facing big marketing and business challenges. The talent spans many areas including market research, consulting, marketing strategy, branding, creative, paid and social media, digital transformation and tech incubator.

“What we love about theturnlab is the access to senior subject matter experts in all areas of marketing, who possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise rare in the business,” says Sepideh Morshedizadeh, VP Marketing for Mattamy Homes Canada. “The leadership of a seasoned marketing leader like Stephanie only bolsters their ability to solve big problems and help brands like Mattamy win in a challenging marketplace.”

Stephanie has an ambitious mandate to continue to grow the business in both Canada and the US, working with both established brands facing headwinds and ambitious startups wanting to scale up. As the new leader of a values-based organization, her focus will be to work with clients that share the belief that business can do good as they do well.

About theturnlab

Established June 2018, theturnlab is a consultancy-led, marketing technology company whose mission is to be the organization that leaders seek to help solve their biggest challenges. The diverse, in-house team conducts primary market research to “fall in love with problems” in order to build winning strategies for brands wanting to close the gap from their audience. theturnlab boasts a full suite of bespoke in-house practices including market research, marketing strategy, brand strategy, branding, creative, media planning and buying, social media content and strategy, digital commerce, app development, CRM and consulting services. They are also a tech incubator, funding and developing tech solutions to solve market problems, like the growing collaboration deficit in the knowledge economy, with solutions like

theturnlab hosts a 10,000-member consumer panel that is regularly polled and engaged to uncover audience insights for their clients. theturnlab is a values-based organization that is a certified B Corp and operates 100% carbon neutral.

For information, call

Howard Chang 416–712–5503 or email

Stephanie Hurst 416–524–5390 or email




From insight to result, we close the gap between you and your audience through evidence-based marketing and technology. Certified B Corp.