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A person of diverse passions: Meet Zachary Harper

Written by
Amanda McGee, Maclean's intern

Zachary Harper is SJC Media's 2024 Chairman's Award recipient.

As senior manager of audience development, Zach Harper says his job is to figure out how to increase audience engagement without being “click-baity.” After graduating from journalism from Carleton University in 2007, he completed an internship in Kigali, Rwanda, at a newspaper called The New Times. His journalistic endeavours led him to SJC, where he has worked since 2019, first as a digital managing editor with HELLO! Canada. Since starting his new role in December 2022, Zach has enjoyed taking unique approaches to meet the needs of the multiple brands he works with. “The opportunity to work on eight different brands is incredible and nothing is ever the same,” he says. It can be a challenge, but Zach emphasizes evaluating where brands gain the most traffic and finding new ways to meet different audiences. 

As a member of the transgender community, Zach says he is grateful to have a workplace “that is open and accepting.” The Benton environment is collaborative, supportive, and most importantly to Zach, it’s welcoming. “You stand up and you see somebody else so it's hard to just walk by someone without acknowledging them and saying hello.” 

Zach considers himself a very curious person, which he says is in large part due to his Judaism – which taught him to question everything. He is heavily involved in his synagogue, from teaching kids Hebrew to leading service and chanting the Torah. He says he lives by the quote “the highest wisdom is kindness,” and tries to put that in every single thing that he does. 

Music is another large part of his life. He plays the piano and self-taught himself the guitar. If he isn’t learning new tunes, Zach is indulging himself in the latest book. “I’m a voracious reader, I have a hard time not having like 20 books on my floor,” he jokes. 

Zach’s charity of choice is the Native Women's Association of Canada as he wishes to centre Indigenous voices. 

About the SJC Chairman's Award: Each year, we pay tribute to the legacy of our founder, Gaetano Gagliano, and the dedication of our associates by presenting the SJC Chairman's Award. This award recognizes four outstanding individuals who consistently bring our SJC values to life and positively impact their colleagues, customers and communities. Each recipient will be featured in an issue of Maclean's and has the opportunity to select their charity of choice to have a full-page ad in an SJC media brand. Meet our 2024 and 2023 recipients.

Profile written by Maclean's intern Amanda McGee, with thanks to her supervising editor, Claire Gagne.

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