Who We Are
John Berard in context
Credible Context is rooted in the idea that products, services, ideas, companies, institutions and individuals earn endorsement on the strength of who they are, what they deliver and how they affect the way people work and live. Telling that story requires more than simple statistics. It demands that they exist in a context that give them the best chance to be understood.
The idea first came to John nearly 40 years ago when he helped implement noise reduction requirements along a busy highway. The interplay of motorists, residents, highway officials, politicians and advocates revealed the shortcomings in just focusing on noise now vs. noise later.
Ten years after that, when helping introduce a new Asian vehicle to the U.S., it was clear that gas mileage and seating capacity were only two of a complex set of variables.
Ten years after that he helped an entrenched global technology company reveal its nimble side to a market enamored of Web 1.0.
And ten years after that he led a company seeking to make online advertising more meaningful by embracing privacy, not running from it.
Before founding Credible Context, John served as an executive in residence for an Ottawa, Ontario, Canada-based internet business focused holding company, Momentous.ca (www.momentous.ca).
His primary role was as CEO of Rabio Corporation, a start-up focused on internet advertising software and services (www.talk.rabio.com). The company sought to build a user-directed advertising network, a market opportunity created by the increasingly intrusive technology being deployed to track, trace and eavesdrop on consumers.
The model has recently been validated by companies ranging from Google to BlueKai to Yahoo! who are seeking to give consumers control over the ads they see online.
Prior to joining Momentous.ca, John ran West Coast offices and operations for three public relations agencies. Fleishman-Hillard, FitzGerald Communications and Zeno Group each gave him insight into managing the creative process within the context of business success.
He is an advisor to a small group of public relations agencies; each of which partners with Credible Context to add geographic reach, subject matter expertise or talent in support of client initiatives.
John practices one essential aspect of counsel he promotes to clients: It is important to be a participant in the communities you serve. He has served as a member of the board of the D.C. Hotline, the Washington, D.C. crisis counseling service and as a communications advisor to the National Capital Food Bank, also in Washington, D.C.
He was a communications advisor to the San Francisco Food Bank for four years before serving two terms on the board, where he was part of the effort to help develop a “consumer” brand to elevate public awareness and provide a stronger profile for giving. He is currently a member of the board of The Market Street Railway, the private support organization for historic street cars in San Francisco.
It is equally important to be a part of the discussion of industry issues, too. In 2010, he was elected to the policy-setting General Names Supporting Organization Council inside ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. He is a member of the Business Constituency of that organization.
In 1997, he was a founding member of the board of TRUSTe, the online privacy rights group. He served on the board until the end of 2004. More recently, John was a member of the board of the IAPP, the International Association of Privacy Professionals. He remains a member of the organization for corporate and governmental professionals engaged in privacy.