Staff Bios

Kirk Howard, President and Publisher
Kirk Howard is the founder and Publisher of Dundurn Press, a company he started in 1972 to address the lack of books dedicated to Canadian history. Kirk named the company after Dundurn Castle, near which he grew up in Hamilton, Ontario. In 2012, Kirk was presented the President’s Award by the Ontario Historical Society for his contributions to preserving the province’s heritage.

Carl Brand, Vice-President
Carl Brand is Dundurn's vice-president and general counsel. He has an academic background in history and anthropology (York '74) and law (Osgoode Hall '79). He has been associated with Dundurn for over twenty years.

Rudi Garcia, Production Manager
Rudi, who was born in Chile and grew up in Etobicoke, honed his skills in production and design at Toronto Image Works, Xtra!, and NOW Magazine before coming to Dundurn. A lover of film, books, and bikes, he co-parents an elderly rescue dog named Baanjo and enjoys watching Scandinavian crime dramas on Netflix.

Laura Boyle, Senior Designer
Laura, originally from the East Coast, moved to Toronto in 2009 after completing her Bachelor of Arts in Montreal and France. In her spare time she is a visual artist and a musician in an electronic duo.

Michelle Melski, Publicity Manager
Michelle Melski graduated from Ryerson University's Arts & Contemporary Studies program with a major in English. She has worked at Second Story Press, ECW Press, and Fitzhenry & Whiteside Publishers. When she's not reading or discussing books with her book club, Michelle likes to hang out with her dog Tucker, travel, and eat sour candy.

Kendra Martin, Publicist & Marketing Administrator
Kendra graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University and Centennial’s publishing program. She has worked in marketing and production for McArthur & Company and James Lorimer & Company. Other than reading the latest CanLit and mysteries, for fun Kendra bikes, bakes, and explores Toronto’s food and culture.

Elham Ali, Publicist
Elham graduated from the University of Toronto, where she double majored in English and History and minored in Near and Middle Eastern Studies (she’s a huge Egyptology nerd). After completing the Humber College publishing program, she worked in the marketing departments at Canada’s Ballet Jörgen and Penguin Random House Canada before coming to Dundurn. When she’s not reading, she loves baking and spending time hanging out with her large extended family.

Tabassum Siddiqui, Senior Publicist
Tabassum is a Toronto-based (by way of wintry Winnipeg, where she grew up) writer who has worked as a journalist and communicator for the past 15 years, reporting and editing for many of Canada's top publications and also helping organizations to tell their stories. When she's not busy trying to craft compelling copy, you'll find her listening to and writing about music as a longtime critic who also serves on the juries for the Polaris Music Prize and Prism Prize.

Dominic Farrell, Developmental Editor
Dominic has an MA in English from the University of Guelph and studied editing in Ryerson University’s publishing program. A lover of all kinds of books from before he can remember, Dominic has a special interest in history and politics (though poetry also has a special place in his heart). Food, film, music, and travel are also faves.

Allison Hirst, Developmental Editor
Allison Hirst has worked in Dundurn’s editorial department for ten years. She has a special interest in mystery and crime fiction but has also worked extensively on nonfiction titles that include history, sport, the arts, politics, health, and nature. She is an avid birdwatcher and hiker, is a member of Toronto’s Inquisition Trivia League, and is a passionate TFC supporter.

Kathryn Lane, Editorial Director
Kathryn started her career in publishing at an educational book packager in Toronto. Beaten down by curriculum checks, she bought a one-way ticket to London and convinced travel guide publisher DK Eyewitness to hire her. A few years later she shifted to Rough Guides. Eventually she returned to Toronto and dove fully into Canadian trade when she joined Dundurn in 2015.

Jenny McWha, Assistant Project Editor
Jenny holds a B.A. in English literature from the University of Toronto. Armed with a love of books and grammar, she entered the only field available to her — publishing. When she’s not guiding books and authors through the editing process, Jenny likes to fit in some pleasure reading, Netflix, and cuddling with her dog, Xena.

Elena Radic, Project Editor
Before coming to Dundurn in 2017, Elena worked as a freelance copy editor and proofreader, with clients in educational publishing. She started her publishing career in 2010 at Oxford University Press Canada as an intern, staying on to become editorial assistant and later, associate editor. She has a BA in English from U of T.

Rachel Spence, Editorial Assistant
Rachel has a B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Toronto and a Publishing Certificate from Ryerson University. When not helping the editorial department, she enjoys visiting her cat and two poodles, riding her motorcycle, and curling up with a good book.