Career Transition:

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  • Career planning and assessment
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  • Interview preparation

Our Team

Ronald Dahms
Executive Chair


Ronald Dahms joined Optimum Talent in 2005 as Managing Partner, to contribute his solid experience in business development, marketing and strategy.

During his career, Ronald successfully held several executive positions within major corporations such as Bombardier, Desjardins and Export Development Canada. Prior to this, he worked nearly a decade for The Great-West Life Assurance Company.

Ronald holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Toronto and has completed the Executive Program in Strategy and Organization from Stanford University-Graduate School of Business.

Ronald is the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Montreal Rehab Institute. He is also a very active member of the “Young Presidents’ Organization” where he held the role as Chairman of the Quebec Chapter and also served on the Canadian Executive and on a committee of the International Board of Directors.

He serves or has served on many boards of directors in the business and educational community.

Mike Bacchus, BSc, MBA
Chief Executive Officer

780.432.5490 ext. 4424

Professionalism, integrity, culture and spark! These are the traits that attracted Mike Bacchus to Optimum Talent. Mike offers over 20 years of experience at the senior management level, including over 18 years within the professional search and HR advisory space.

Mike is a graduate of the University of Alberta and Athabasca University. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree, an Advanced Graduate Diploma in Management, and a Masters of Business Administration. After 10 years in the health care industry with major Fortune 500 companies such as Baxter Corporation and Merck & Co., he joined the David Aplin Group in 1998. As President of the organization, Mike was part of a team that achieved tremendous success. Mike then joined Conroy Ross Partners in 2009, soon to become CEO until their recent sale to Optimum Talent Inc. in 2017.

Mike believes that surrounding oneself with exceptional people leads to personal and professional growth. His career has focused on attracting leading talent and harnessing that energy to produce outstanding results. His accomplishments include being recognized with awards such as one of “Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies” in 2007 and again in 2008, in addition to recognition as a Canadian Profit 100 firm. Mike was recognized by Business in Edmonton Magazine as a 2014 Leader of Tomorrow, and most recently, Optimum Talent was recognized by the Canadian HR Reporter Readers’ Choice Awards as one of Canada’s Best Talent Management Consulting Companies in 2017.

Corporate social responsibility is a cornerstone at Optimum Talent and a key component of our culture. Mike is a true believer in giving back as displayed through his recent professional and community involvements, including:

  • Director, Americas of IIC Partners
  • Director of World Health Fitness
  • Board Trustee on the University of Alberta Hospital Foundation
  • Norquest College Community Foundation
  • WPO Alberta Mentorship Chair
  • Director of Enerbuilt Technologies
  • Director of The Young President’s Organization (YPO)
  • Director with Junior Achievement Northern Alberta
  • Director of The Support Network
  • Director of The Royal Glenora
  • President and Director of the Entrepreneurs Organization
  • EO Global Mentorship Chair
  • Founding Friend of Little Warriors
  • Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation
Diane Wheatley
Chief Administrative Officer

780.432.5490 ext. 4431

Diane first joined the firm in 2012 as a Principal on the Executive Search team after twenty years with a major financial institution. In 2014, she decided to take on a new challenge within the firm and transitioned to a leadership position on the corporate services team. In her current role as Chief Administration Officer, Diane is responsible for overseeing and managing all corporate functions and team members to ensure the successful achievement of the firm’s annual strategic plan. Her previous leadership roles in the areas of finance, strategic planning, sales and change management allow her to see the spectrum in each corporate function.

Diane is the epitome of a team player. She is always willing to lend a hand, provide strategic guidance and participate on any project or initiative whether it is large scale IT implementations or a social event in the office.

Dedicated to her community, Diane sits on the University Hospital Foundation Festival of Trees Committee.

Peter Zukow
President, Central Region

416.800.5550 ext. 4222

Peter is a business builder with an extraordinary track record of delivering results and positive outcomes for key stakeholders. Over the past 21 years, Peter has been the driving force behind one of Canada’s largest independent professional search firms, recruiting the very best talent in a wide cross section of industries including Consumer Goods, Retail, Industrial/MRO, Pharma/Biotech, Insurance and Financial Services. Having joined Lock Search Group when it was a small boutique firm in Vancouver with three employees, he deeply understands what it takes to build a national presence in the search industry.

A member of Presidents of Enterprising Organizations (PEO), he is also an active volunteer.  Currently Peter sits on the boards of Kinark Child and Family Services and the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.


Marie Pinsonneault
President, Eastern Region


Marie Pinsonneault is well known in the Montreal business community for her leadership, her contagious energy and her innovative spirit.

While Marie has played key business roles for almost 35 years, she has more specifically been involved in HR and talent consulting since 2006. Prior to discovering the world of consulting, she led various organisations and business units, in addition to  fulfilling several executive functions with prominent companies.

In 1984, Marie founded Intelpro Inc., her own business which specialized in databases and digital information. The company was acquired by Thomson Corp. in 1991, but she maintained her leadership role until 1997. She then moved on to fulfill various executive assignments in the media industry, including the position of  New Media & Business Development Executive Director at Radio Canada.

Marie initially embraced her HR consulting career working with a well-know executive search firm. She then became Senior Vice-president at Aon Hewitt where she led eastern Canada’s business development for almost 10 years.

Jocelyn Bérard, M.Ps, MBA
National Practice Leader


Jocelyn Bérard is National Practice Leader, Leadership Assessment and Development at Optimum Talent. In this role, he is responsible for the Organizational Psychology growth plan while developing the level of quality that sets the firm apart in its field, by maintaining a team of proficient professionals that can meet the needs of its clients.

Jocelyn has extensive Canadian and international experience in the areas of human resources and business management in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia, in a variety of industries such as telecommunications, auto manufacturing, health care, retail, aerospace and banking.  His interventions focus on Talent Management, especially in the area of leadership assessment and development, performance management, succession management and selection best practices.

Fluently bilingual in French and English, Jocelyn holds undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Human Resources, a Master Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and an Executive MBA.  Jocelyn’s book, titled “Accelerating Leadership Development”, was published by Wiley and focuses on leadership assessment, leadership development and succession management.

Sandra Boyd
National Practice Leader


Sandra Boyd is National Practice Leader, Career Transition at Optimum Talent. She brings over 20 years’ experience in Career Management and Career Transition.

Sandra developed her consulting skills and worked with organizations in a variety of sectors – including professional services, telecommunications, health care, financial, consumer goods, manufacturing, and government.

Sandra is the author of “The Hidden Job Market” McGraw Hill-Ryerson and Co-Author of “Flexible Thinkers Guide to Extreme Career Performance”. Sandra has been widely published and quoted across the U.S. and Canada and in such publications as the Globe & Mail, Huffington Post and has been a guest on both radio and TV shows to discuss the ever changing workplace. She is also a contributor for Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling’s (CERIC) landmark publication “Career Development Practice in Canada: Perspectives, Principles, and Professionalism.

Tricia Mullen
National Practice Leader

780.432.5490 ext. 4426

In her role as National Practice Leader, Search, Tricia is focused on driving quality and consistency through our search model nationwide. She also leads the public-sector Executive Search team in our Edmonton office, responsible for filling key leadership positions across the government, academia and not-for-profit sectors. Tricia’s authenticity, values and strong intuition enable her to build lasting partnerships with both her clients and candidates.

Prior to joining Conroy Ross Partners in 2010, Tricia spent more than eleven years with one of Canada’s largest privately held professional recruitment firms. While in the position of Vice President of Corporate Services, the firm was named one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies and one of Canada’s Profit 100 firms. Additionally, as a Senior Consultant on the Information Technology team, Tricia’s accomplishments were recognized with admission to the “Top Performers” group at the Platinum level in consecutive years.

Tricia is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s Bachelor of Commerce program, where she established relationships that she continues to uphold today. She is honored to volunteer her time with Little Warriors, the Stollery Women’s Network and is actively involved in her community league. As a proud hockey and dance Mom, you will often find Tricia spending time with her kids or cheering them on in their various activities.

Scott Doupe
Managing Director

403.261.8080 ext. 4317

Over the past 25 years, Scott has recruited many of Calgary’s most influential leaders and has built an executive search practice focused on c-suite positions and senior financial executive roles. He leads search assignments for boards and executive teams in several key industries and has a functional specialization in the CFO, finance/accounting, and financial services sectors.

Scott understands that organizations reach success only when they have the right people in the right places, and that attracting the next leader to any organization is only possible by gaining a thorough understanding of an organization’s culture and strategy.

Scott holds both a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Commerce, and is an active volunteer in the Calgary community. He is the past Board Chair of Wood’s Homes, past President of the Human Resources Association of Calgary (HRAC), and a previous director of the Human Resources Institute of Alberta.

Terri Phipps
Managing Director

604.899.2095 ext. 222

Terri is Senior Vice President of Talent  Development Solutions for Optimum Talent in our Vancouver Office. Terri’s primary role is to work closely with our customers and bring them innovative solutions to help them address their talent management needs. Terri is also responsible for bringing fresh thought leadership ideas to our clients. As the Managing Director in Vancouver, Terri is tasked with helping our customers effectively address the challenges of managing four generations in the workplace. To assist with this, Terri draws upon her extensive HR experience in areas such as career  management, career transition, employee retention, motivating and driving inspired teams, leadership development and performance management.

Terri also has a strong business development background including 25 years at Xerox where she held numerous roles including General Manager of Sales for the Pacific Region and Human Resources Director, Western Canada. Terri was also Vice President of Client Solutions, Western Canada for a prominent human resources consulting firm and Vice President of Sales for the largest food service employer in the world.

Terri comes to Optimum Talent with a unique background. She studied Arts at the U of A then went on to study acting in New York City at The Neighborhood School of Theatre and then moved to San Francisco to continue her studies at The Drama Studio of London in Berkeley. Terri completed her studies in Los Angeles, graduating with distinction and receiving her Masters in Performing Arts.

Terri worked in film and television and was also a stand-up comedian at the famous Improv Comedy club in Los Angeles before finding her way into business development. She is known for her authentic and energetic style and her warm approach builds long lasting relationships with her customers and her staff.

Gord Syme
Managing Director

780.432.5490 ext. 4439

Gord has 30 years business experience, gained with a major financial institution and a big four accounting firm.  During his career, he has worked in the areas of operations, sales, marketing, finance, human resources and business development.  His work has taken him to a number of cities and regions of Canada, giving him a broad understanding of the Canadian economy.   For the last nine years, he has primarily worked with mid to large size privately owned businesses and their owners to help them achieve their goals.

The firm’s commitment to leadership, growth and community were the main reasons Gord chose to join the firm.  Gord is active in the community, currently Chair of the Sorrentino’s Compassion House Capital Campaign and as Past Chair of the Telus World of Science Edmonton.  He has previously acted as Chair or Board member of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Stollery Children’s Health Foundation, Golden Bear Football Alumni, TMAC Edmonton, and the Aspen Gardens Community League.

Gord is married to Marcie, a teacher with Edmonton Public Schools, and they have one daughter.

Greg Fieger, MA, CPA, CMA, FCMC, CHRP, ICD.D
Managing Director

306.949.8875 ext. 4501

Greg has been a trusted business advisor to his clients for over twenty-seven years. Located in Regina, Greg is the Managing Director of our Saskatchewan practice.  Prior to joining Optimum Talent, Greg was a founder and served as President of Strategic Future Group which was comprised of two companies offering distinct capabilities: providing strategic organization development services to clients from a variety of industries; and, assisting SME clients to leverage the Internet to support the achievement of their business goals.

Greg was also formerly Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Canada’s leader for the People and Organization Solutions team within the Strategy & Transformation Service line. In this capacity, he built and led a team of approximately 20 professionals located across Canada, whose mandate was to support the human and organizational dynamics associated with major business transformation engagements. In the mid to late 1990’s, Greg was the Partner in charge of Ernst & Young’s successful management consulting practice in Saskatchewan.  Throughout the years, Greg’s clients have valued his business sense, whole system perspective and business transformation capabilities.

Greg has in the past been very active and held leadership roles in the Certified Management Consultants provincial and national organizations. Committed to the community, Greg is a volunteer with Kidsport Saskatchewan chairing a very successful fundraising golf tournament each year.

Rob Notman
Managing Director

613.238.6266 ext. 2224

Rob is responsible for the leadership and overall direction of the Ottawa office.

During his career, he has held numerous senior management positions in the areas of marketing, business development and human resources across numerous industry sectors. Rob has counseled a wide range of individuals and executives through career transition choices. He has developed and implemented policies related to dismissal and has personally managed individual career transitions and group downsizing.

Prior to entering the field of career transition consulting, Rob was Director of Marketing Programs at one of Canada’s leading defense electronics firms. For more than 10 years, he directed the efforts of Human Resources Departments within both unionized and non-unionized environments in the high technology industry. During this time, Rob gained extensive practical experience in dealing with the needs of senior executives in fast-paced, rapidly changing organizations. In addition to his business management experience, Rob also has experience in the areas of strategic planning, recruitment, employee relations, training and development.

Rob holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from Carleton University, has his Certified Human Resources Professional designation, and has earned a Certificate in Strategic Marketing from Duke University.

Tamara Mago

403.261.8080 ext. 4318

Tamara first joined Optimum Talent in 2010 as a Principal. Now, as Partner, she brings over 15 years of search experience and a broad network to recruit top talent for mid-to executive level roles in the areas of corporate services, sales and operations in a variety of industries. Tamara is known for her authentic leadership style, enthusiasm and ability to build lasting relationships with her clients and candidates.

Prior to joining Optimum Talent, Tamara spent a decade working for one of Canada’s largest privately held professional recruitment firms as well as a global Fortune 500 recruitment firm.

Tamara is a graduate of the Business Administration program from Mount Royal College. Tamara is passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle and is committed to giving back to the community through participating in various athletic fundraising events.

René Tardif

780.432.5490 ext. 4430

René is a Partner with Optimum Talent and is responsible for leading the private sector Executive Search practice in Edmonton. René is passionate about the recruitment industry and is actively involved in every aspect of the search process, including business development, research, interviewing, candidate assessments, and client management.

Prior to joining Optimum Talent, René spent several years gathering experience in the areas of client relations, project and account management, and business development within the Oil & Gas and Pharmaceutical industries. He discovered his true passion for the executive search industry in his former role at a local recruitment firm.

Since joining Optimum Talent, René has placed top executives for leading organizations in a variety of industries with a focus on the industrial services market in Northern Alberta. René believes in the value of his client partnerships and strives to ensure that every client experience is a positive and memorable one.

René holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Psychology major from the University of Alberta. He currently sits on the Alberta Forward and Edmonton Ski Club Board of Directors, and is the past Vice Chair of Kids Up Front Edmonton. He donates his time to youth leadership initiatives in his community. When weather permits, you can find René relaxing at the lake and spending time with his wife and two daughters.

Randy De Piero

416.800.5550 ext. 4225

Throughout his career, Randy has always been committed to a hands-on relationship-based approach to serving his clients’ needs. Randy brings over 25 years of search experience and works primarily on senior positions that have a focus on growing a business and impacting change. As a result, the key to his success has been built around understanding the nuances of the business and matching it with the right person to ensure long-term, mutual success.

Prior to joining Optimum Talent, Randy was a co-founder of Funnel Search Group and helped to build a solutions oriented search firm that focused on creative resourcing solutions. The multi-faceted servicing approach stemmed from the evolving and increasingly complex needs that organizations faced in recruiting.

Previously, Randy led the Canadian practice for a large multinational search firm, overseeing a team of 15 people. In addition to his management responsibilities, Randy remained actively involved in growing relationships and servicing client needs across all industry and functional streams.

Carlos Davidovich, MD, MBA, EMCC
Vice President & Executive Coach


“Coaching relies on the importance of supporting leaders at key turning points in their lives. It provides a non-judgmental “mirror” to enable leaders to define and achieve what they deeply want. And then to walk their talk.”

For over fifteen years, Carlos has been coaching internationally supporting the development of leaders and management teams alike.

Originally from Argentina, he has been living in Toronto, Canada and working with Optimum Talent since 2013, working as an executive coach, facilitator, and is certified in Optimum Talent’s SuccessFinder Career System. Carlos has expertise in NeuroManagement, and NeuroMarketing. He draws on his skills as a medical doctor plus his twenty years of experience as executive in the pharmaceutical industry to deliver insights to both organizations and executives about neuroscience and leadership.

Carlos received a psychology degree in Spain, a medical degree in Argentina, an MBA in Switzerland (Roche internal program) and coaching credentials from the European Mentoring and Coaching Council.  He is a professor of Neuromanagement in the MBA program at the University of New York in Prague (UNYP) and a guest lecturer for the EMBA program at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto. He is also a member of the Neuroleadership Institute, the NMSBA (NeuroM arketing Science & Business Association) and faculty of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School affiliate.

Manon Deschênes, M. Ps.
Vice President & Market Leader

418.650.6200 ext. 3634

Manon Deschênes is Vice President, Work Psychology and Organizational Development at Optimum Talent in the Quebec City office. Occupational psychologist for more than 20 years, she holds a broad organizational experience and has completed numerous consulting mandates, which enables her to quickly identify organizational issues in order to offer tailored advice. Having achieved hundreds of assessment mandates, she has a wide expertise in assessment and evaluation and is recognized for her ability to quickly identify job responsibilities, assess the various executive leadership styles and forward constructive feedback in selection boards and development issues.

She coordinated a Career Center for a telecommunications company and accompanied several managers and professionals to effectively manage their careers in project development, succession planning and transitions.

She is a member of the Ordre des psychologues du Québec as well as the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés. She is recognized as a dynamic consultant engaged in her business community and always striving to provide personalized client services.

Laurie Kornmuller
Regional Manager


Laurie is the Regional Manager for Optimum Talent’s London office and is a member of the Career Transition and Outplacement team where she focuses on helping individuals discover future opportunities and fulfill their career potential.

Recognized for her energy and enthusiasm, Laurie is passionate about assisting individuals in achieving their personal and professional goals. In addition, she has been actively involved in developing and utilizing technology to enhance the job seeker experience.

Laurie began working in career transition consulting while at Bell Canada, after which she was the owner of a boutique outplacement firm. Joining Optimum Talent in 2004 provided the continued opportunity for her to deliver premium programs and services to individuals and organizations experiencing transition.

Laurie holds a CIM designation and an Adult Learning Certificate from the Western University Continuing Education. An avid sports and games enthusiast, you will often find Laurie on a court, pitch, diamond or rink enjoying an evening of competition with family and friends. Solving challenging puzzles or planning engaging team building exercises are some of her favourite things to do.

Lori Dyne
Vice President, Marketing & Communications


Lori Dyne is Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Optimum Talent, with responsibility for national marketing, brand management, and corporate communications.

She joined Optimum Talent in 2016, and brings over 10 years of marketing experience to her role, with a history of marketing professional services and technology-based solutions designed to drive business performance.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in English and Literature from the University of Guelph.

Angelique Meyer, PCC, MBA
Vice President

604.899.2095 ext. 238

Angelique is the Vice President, Leadership, Assessment and Development with Optimum Talent in Vancouver, B.C. She works with clients to create strategies and implement programs using an integrated Talent Solution approach. These strategies include Executive Coaching, Succession Planning, Emerging Leaders, Strategic Design, Executive and Team Assessments.

Angelique comes with extensive business acumen through managing her own companies and working with C-Suite leaders. In her work as an executive coach and strategic partner for medium size businesses, Angelique’s clients have won awards for leadership development programs and creating an exceptional service culture. Prior to her role at Optimum Talent, Angelique worked as the National Director for Talent Development at a leading CEO, peer advisory group, working directly with former CEO’s across Canada to launch their own peer advisory groups.

In addition, Angelique was a volunteer with the Werklund Foundation when it first began, bringing teen leadership training into public high schools in Alberta. The program, now called Empowering Minds, was part of a formal study produced by the University of Calgary, about the sustainability of leadership training programs for youth. The Werklund Youth Leadership Center has evolved from that teen leadership initiative, and is part of the University of Calgary, Werklund School of Education.

Angelique has her MBA from Royal Roads in Victoria, B.C. She is an accredited leadership coach, with a PCC (Professional Certified Coach) designation from the ICF (International Coaching Federation). Angelique also is a graduate of the Advanced Leadership Program with CTI (Coaches Training Institute) in California, Master Graduate from Rapport Leadership International, and graduate of the neuroscience coaching program from the NeuroLeadership Institute. For fun, she has her pilot’s license and likes to travel across the continent.

Terry Stein, FCPA, FCMA, CHRP
Vice President

403.261.8080 ext. 4324

Terry is a Vice President with the Executive Search practice and brings an extensive background in Search and Talent Management for organizations in the energy, professional services, healthcare, manufacturing, construction and property development industries.  His honesty and ethical approach to business has gained him a reputation for genuinely assisting individuals and organizations in making the right choices.

Prior to joining Optimum Talent, Terry was a Partner in a boutique Search firm (Pekarsky Stein), where he successfully launched and grew the Corporate Services practice. Previously, Terry had years of experience as a Practice Leader for Korn/Ferry where he was responsible for launching, growing and managing Futurestep (A Korn/Ferry International Company). Terry started out in the Search industry with Robert Half Canada, where he was individually recognized as a top global revenue generator.

Terry is currently active on the SAIT School of Business Program Advisory Board and the CPA Awards Nomination Committee. He previously served on the Board of CMA Alberta (including Chairing the Audit & Risk Management Committee), CMA Competency Development Committee, CMA Alberta Devolution Task Force and was an active member of both the Society of Management Accountants of Alberta and the Human Resources Institute of Alberta. Terry has also been a member of the Mount Royal University Accounting Advisory Committee and served on the Board of Hospice Calgary (2010-2014).  Terry leads an active family lifestyle along with giving back to the community through his philanthropic efforts directed towards Hospice Calgary, the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Alzheimer’s research and the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

Cheryl Van Duzen, RPR
Vice President

604.899.2095 ext. 224

Cheryl is Vice President of Executive Search & Recruitment Solutions with Optimum Talent in our Vancouver office. With over 17 years of recruitment experience in the BC marketplace, Cheryl specializes in mid to upper level roles in the areas of operations, sales & marketing and supply chain.

Her results-centered focus and dedication to hard work allow her to build excellent rapport and long-lasting relationships with both clients and candidates. Cheryl is consistently commended by her clients for her caring and honest approach.

Prior to joining Optimum Talent, Cheryl was a Senior Consultant at one of Canada’s largest privately held professional recruitment firms, during which time she consistently ranked as a Top Performer. Previously, she served as a Business Development Consultant for a boutique employment agency and spent over two decades working for BC Rail in a variety of positions.

Cheryl strongly believes in supporting the local community. She is an active member of The Vancouver Board of Trade and gives back through causes such as Dress for Success and The Minerva Foundation. Cheryl enjoys spending her free time with her family and friends, being active, and exploring the outdoors.

Tania Corbett, Ph.D
Vice President

403.261.8080 ext. 4304

For almost 20 years, Tania has been helping organizations clarify their talent needs and building organizational capacity required to meet strategic goals. She has worked with leaders from a wide range of industries including energy, services, finance, and pharma to create strategies and implement programs for talent management. Tania has led a variety of engagements including succession planning, high potential development, performance management, team effectiveness, talent assessment selection, and leadership development. A principle focus in all of her work is aligning talent needs to organizational strategy.

Tania holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Guelph and is a certified Executive Coach. She is an active member of her community as a Board member of YMCA Calgary and past Board member of the Team Panorama ski team. She is also a member of the International Coaching Federation and Society of Industrial Organizational Psychology.

Alain Forget, M. Ps.
Vice President & Executive Coach


With over 30 years of experience in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Alain is a member of the Order of Psychologists of Quebec since 1983 and holds a M.Ps. in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Montreal (1982). Having worked as national and international consultant in organizational performance and change management, Alain also intimately knows the workings of large organizations.

Alain conducted psychometric assessment of leadership profile and 3600 survey feedback for hundreds of leaders from all levels and evolving in various industries. He coached his clients in the interpretation of their results and supported them in their development plan and career planning.

With his conceptual and practical mind, he contributes greatly to the success of his clients through his ability to identify key dimensions of each leadership profile and proposes appropriate solutions. Alain has developed expertise in the implementation of creative solutions for individuals and teams through psychometric evaluation, team effectiveness diagnostic and coaching, and at the organization level by undertaking major projects in the field of organizational transformation.

Normand Côté
Vice President


Norm is a senior executive with more than 40 years of experience in banking and consulting (both in the banking sector and in various personnel functions). In his current role at Optimum Talent, he supports executives at all levels in their respective organizations by offering them psychometric expertise throughout their talent management cycle (succession planning, professional development, etc.). His expertise also covers workplace harassment and violence investigations and the development of human resource policies.

In his previous position at BMO Financial Group, Norm was Head of Employee Relations and had the dual challenge of protecting the legal and legislative rights of employees and the Bank in North America and abroad. He has led teams in Toronto, Montreal, Chicago and Milwaukee. Norm is an accredited mediator and arbitrator, professional executive coach and “SuccessFinder” accredited coach. He also has extensive experience in commercial and personal credit, staffing, training and compensation.

Norm played a leading role at the Canadian Bankers Association for more than 20 years representing the banking industry and all Canadian employers at numerous parliamentary and senatorial hearings and at the United Nations International Labor Organization in Geneva where he acts or has acted as spokesperson for Canadian employers, Head of Delegation and Employer Chair for the 180-member states.

Norm was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in November 2012. He was President of the Canadian Employers Council for several years, was appointed by the Canadian Minister of Labour to the Board of Governors of the Canadian Center for Occupational Health & Safety and has been a member of the Advisory Council for various Canadian Labour ministers. He also served as President, Vice-President and / or member of various boards of directors, including the Canadian Employers Council (Past President), Parachute (Current Member and Past President), the Work Wellness and Disability Prevention Institute and The French Theatre of Toronto.

Richard La Rue, CPCC, PCC
Vice President & Executive Coach


Richard is a seasoned, internationally experienced leader in Senior Executive positions in various industries. He has gained strong credibility by providing value-added senior managerial and legal services during periods of both growth and difficulty. Having successfully managed his career, Richard strongly believes in the potential and natural resourcefulness of his clients and is committed to helping them to powerfully manage their career and career transitions.

From 2001 to 2011 Richard operated as Interim President & C.E.O, as well as Vice President, Legal Affairs, Human Resources & Corporate Secretary for Ambrilia Biopharma Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company. From 1998 to 2001, he acted as Legal Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary for PCI Chemicals Canada Inc. From 1996 to 1998, Richard was a member of two international consultants teams; one sponsored by the World Bank, advising the Republic of Congo, the other sponsored by CIDA, advising the Government of Indonesia. From 1987 to 1996, he was Senior Solicitor for Canadian Pacific Limited. Prior to that, from 1975 to 1987, Richard was a practitioner in civil and commercial law.

Highly committed to the coaching profession, Richard is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) with the designation of Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach® (CPCC) from CTI® – The Coaches Training Institute. He is a Licentiate in law and holds a degree in Notarial Law. Richard is currently Past President and serves on the Board of Directors of the International Coach Federation (Quebec).

Trina Boivin
Vice President


For over 20 years, Trina has been helping organizations identify and accelerate the capability of their top talent to deliver business strategy and results. Working in both consulting and corporate roles, Trina strives to make a difference working cooperatively with business and HR to align talent strategies with practical solutions.

Trina has deep passion and expertise in leadership development and is keenly interested in the pragmatic applications of the latest tools in neuroleadership and psychometrics deploying their outputs through effectiveness programs that evolve individual and team capability. Trina is certified in SuccessFinder, multiple other assessments, and adult training with a Master’s certification in Organizational Psychology and a BA in International Relations. She is also a certified Brain Based executive coach from the NeuroLeadership Institute, helping to build upon her many years of experience in coaching executives through significant and transformational change initiatives. In her last position at Maple Leaf Foods before joining Optimum Talent, she successfully implemented an integrated talent management solution and coached senior executives to identify, grow and plan succession for top performers leveraging SuccessFinder.

Throughout her career, Trina has worked across a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, postal, pensions, retail, telecommunications, oil & gas and natural resources.

She fervently believes that everyone has a natural talent that can be developed and maximized for organizational and individual performance.

Virginia Murray, CPCC, ACC, ICD.D
Vice President


Virginia brings years of experience as a business executive and as one of Canada’s most respected executive search professionals to her coaching practice. She is passionate about working with executives and leaders to help them realize their full potential, adjust to new dynamics and challenges, or hone their leadership skills. Her experience working with hundreds of executives as either candidates or clients has given her in-depth insights into successful leadership, as well as many of the pitfalls along the way.

As a coach, Virginia is valued for her total commitment to her client’s successful outcomes. She is energetic, pragmatic and positive in her approach to the coaching partnership. Her clients know that she is someone who they can absolutely trust to listen, to challenge, to reflect, and to work with them as an experienced professional and trusted catalyst as they work toward their own individual goals.

Virginia began her career as an organizational and leadership consultant with a particular focus on succession planning and the identification, assessment and development of high potential leaders. Her career has always involved working with organizations and individuals to help them become “best in class”. Her coaching focuses on executives who are new to their roles, looking to improve their leadership skills, preparing themselves for promotion, or dealing with change and transformation in their workplace.

Virginia has an undergraduate degree in Honours Economics from Smith College, followed by post-graduate work at the London School of Economics. She is a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute, with a CPCC certification and an ICF accreditation. She is also a graduate of the ICD.D programme from the Rotman School of Management and a certified EQ-i 2.0 (Emotional Intelligence) assessor.

Michael Hladun
Vice President

780.432.5490 ext. 4435

Michael is Vice President, Talent Management Services for Optimum Talent, a leading provider of Talent Management services in Canada. In his role, Michael is responsible for delivering Optimum Talent’s quality consulting practice services to the Edmonton market.

For over 30 years, Michael has developed strategic marketing programs and lead business unit operations for a number of Canada’s most recognized consumer and business to business brands. His career started in consumer packaged goods marketing with Molson Breweries and evolved to directing national agency accounts for DDB, before moving on to over 15 years at Intuit where he lead the consumer and professional tax business unit in Canada (TurboTax). Throughout his career, Michael’s considerable focus with aligning leadership and organizational development efforts to business strategy has accelerated growth results for companies and brands in a number of the most challenging and competitive market categories. His engaging and collaborative approach to solving complex business challenges has proven to be an effective platform for developing leaders and teaching them how to drive team performance.

Michael holds a Diploma in Business Administration, Marketing and has taught Marketing Management certificate programs for the Canadian Institute of Management. He has served on a number of charity and no-profit boards in Northern Alberta.

Lynn Catenazzi
Vice President


As Vice President, Operations & Client Relations in the Toronto office, Lynn leads the career transition practice within the GTA-SWO region.  In this role, she manages the Career Consultants, Client Services and Administration team and oversees several key customer accounts, both local and national.

Recognized for her industry knowledge and strong customer service, Lynn has worked for more than 25 years in the career transition industry and possesses exceptional relationship management skills.  She has been directly involved in the planning phase of several restructurings in multiple industries, providing guidance and support for small and large-scale initiatives.  She has earned the trust and respect of many key customers.  Skilled at developing and implementing sound practice policies and processes, Lynn works closely with Optimum Talent’s practice leaders and staff across the country to ensure consistency of program delivery and administrative practices.

Lynn graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Commercial & Administrative Studies.

Matt Goff
Vice President, Sales


Matt is the Vice President of Sales for Optimum Talent. He is responsible for developing and maintaining client relationships across all three practice areas, with a specific focus on Leadership, Assessment & Development. Prior to joining Optimum Talent, Matt spent 12 years with CEB Talent Assessment (formerly SHL) in a variety of commercial leadership roles in Toronto and London, England including Managing Director. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing both the commercial and professional services operations for the Canadian business, and advising organizations on their talent acquisition and talent management strategies, often involving the deployment of Psychometric assessments. Previous to his work at CEB, Matt held commercial leadership positions at Knightsbridge and Huthwaite (Founders of SPIN Selling), the latter involving advising and working with clients on change management and sales performance improvement initiatives in both Canada and the US.

Matt’s education is rooted in Industrial and Sport Psychology, having received his Masters degree in the latter discipline from one of the leading institutions in the field, University of Exeter. Matt has been lucky enough to work with some great organizations over the years, including AC Milan, Bank of Montreal, Canada Post, Citibank, JCI, Rogers, Royal Bank of Canada, Siemens, Telus, Tesco and the United Nations.

Peder Jacobsen
Vice President


Building on a strong variety of HR and consulting experience, Peder has a passion for helping our clients explore new roles that leverage their interests and strengths. Following completion of his B.A. Honours (Psychology) from Queen’s, Peder worked in research, project management, and client service roles in retained executive search. Inspired by the benefits of engaging talent in the right roles, Peder completed his Masters of Industrial & Labour Relations at Cornell, working with Fortune 100 HR leaders to determine how to align their business and HR strategies and enhance their employment brands. Peder has since worked with two global management consulting firms, advising clients on HR strategy, employee engagement, and change management projects. Recognizing that his strongest interest lies in working one-on-one with individual clients, Peder joined Optimum Talent to coach our professional and senior management clients through their career transition processes.

Heather Lawson
Vice President


Heather brings extensive experience in business leadership to our executive search practice. She has held senior leadership roles in healthcare, financial services, media and telecommunications firms, as well as serving as President of a major national retail travel chain. Heather brings with her a first-hand understanding of candidate assessment, based on the responsibilities she undertook during her own career path.  She has sourced executives for both consumer and industrial clients including transportation, print and online publishing, energy, utilities, mining, healthcare and outsourced services. She also has extensive experience in assisting corporations in transition and consulting to boards on organizational issues. Heather is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she continues as an active alumna.

Margaret Maich
Vice President


Margaret is a Vice President supporting our Career Transition and Leadership, Assessment and Development practices.  She brings a wealth of knowledge to coaching senior executives to fulfill their career aspirations. She has over 20 years’ experience working one-on-one with leaders from diverse industries and has particular expertise in guiding them through change and transition. Margaret works closely with her clients, strategically positioning them to achieve their own success by fine tuning their message and strategy to help them engage in impactful conversations.

Her corporate background includes positions within Financial Services, Professional Services and Health Care, where she was Vice President, Human Resources for one of Toronto’s community hospitals. Her experience includes labour relations, talent management and retention strategies as well as aligning human resources to overall business strategy.

As a guest speaker at numerous events, Margaret has presented on such topics as Women in Leadership, Impactful Networking and Career Management for Senior Women.

Margaret has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Queen’s University and is a certified SuccessFinder practitioner. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Human Resources Professionals Association and has chaired their Annual Conference Committee.

Kevin O’Leary
Vice President


Kevin has over 30 years of senior management marketing, consumer and business-to-business sales management, advertising and consulting experience in a range of diverse industries including consumer packaged goods with Campbell’s Soup and General Foods. Kevin was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for nine years with Mediacom in the out-of-home advertising industry and for three years was Senior Vice President of Marketing for Gannett Outdoor North America.

As a consultant Kevin has led strategic thinking for senior management teams and conducted major studies of the retail food trade and the frozen food industry. His experience includes coaching and consulting to general managers in a major North American change effort and the coaching and facilitation of internal cross-functional teams in corporate HR assessments and action plan development. Kevin has almost seven years consulting experience in career transition management, working one-on-one with executives.

Kevin holds an M.A. in Modern History from the University of Toronto and an MBA from York University. Kevin has taught marketing part time at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Michael Parkinson
Vice President


Michael has acquired over 25 years of senior human resources experience that has included: providing advisory support to line executives and management, career counseling to senior management and professional staff, planning and implementing broad reorganizations and related down-sizings, responsibility for organizational learning and leadership development.

Michael joined Optimum Talent following a human resources career with two of Canada’s major financial institutions. Most recently, he was Vice President, HR at a wholly owned subsidiary of CIBC where he was responsible for the organization’s human resources strategy development. He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and holds a B.A. in Economics and also a member of the HRPAO and the UWO Alumni Association.

Patricia Polischuk, ACC
Vice President

519.746.2616 ext. 2123

Patricia Polischuk is Vice President, Regional Manager and is located in Optimum Talent’s Waterloo office. Patricia provides leadership to the career mangement team and is responsible for business development and account management activities in the Region. In addition to her sales and operations funcitons, Patricia is an certified coach who provides career transition support and leadership coaching to senior leaders and executives.

Known as a trusted advisor in the Southwestern Ontario region, Patricia has worked with leaders from a variety of sectors including insurance, finance, government, healthcare, sports & entertainment, high-tech, manufacturing, professional services, pharmaceutical and post-secondary education. Prior to joining Optimum Talent she held senior roles in an international consulting firm and began her career in real estate development and telecommunications organizations. Patricia spent several years at McMaster University where she built their Alumni Career Coaching program.

As a recognized subject matter expert, Patricia has spoken at conferences, published articles and appeared on television to discuss trends and issues related to career management.

Patricia received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and a post graduate certificate in Public Relations from Humber College. Patricia is passionate about creating prosperous communities and is actively involved at the leadership level as a member of the Board of Governors at Wilfrid Laurier University and as President of the Board at the YWCA of Kitchener Waterloo.

Doug Tansley
Vice President

613.238.6266 ext. 2226

Doug is a Vice President of Career Transition and Outplacement, focusing primarily on coaching senior managers through to C-level individuals who are in transition. Prior to joining Optimum Talent in 1998, he was Senior Consultant and then Vice-President of Consulting for another large career transition consulting firm. Prior to that, Doug was a member of the management team for a major high-tech manufacturing plant.

Doug also has an entrepreneurial side, having owned his own human resources consulting practice for several years. Doug has his Sommelier Designation, and decades ago, used to play Blues with Dan Aykroyd (Dan was talented; Doug was not!).

Jane Watson
Vice President


Jane brings to Optimum Talent diversified experience acquired through the fields of education and recruitment. Jane held the role of Director of Part Time Studies at a private design college working closely with students, administration and corporate clients. Prior to that Jane worked in recruitment, with individuals and corporate clients successfully managing search mandates. At Optimum Talent, Jane provides career transition and coaching to management and executive clients. She brings an energetic and motivating style to both individual sessions and seminars supporting individuals in achieving their professional goals.

Pierre Payette
Vice President


Pierre brings in-depth experience to our executive search practice.  He began his career in the oil and gas industry with Petro-Canada, where he spent 12 years in various management positions in Sales and Marketing.  He subsequently moved to a career in Executive Search where he joined the ranks of a leading international executive search firm.  He remained with the firm for 20 years and was a global Partner for 15 years, managing some of the firm’s key client relationships in Canada. Over the years, Pierre has serviced a wide range of clients with particular emphasis on retail and distribution, manufacturing as well as the media and broadcast sectors.  Pierre brings an extensive track record of recruiting candidates to executive level positions across a broad spectrum of C Suite functions.  He has also worked closely with Boards on more strategic issues in Talent Development and he has brought added value to highly complex searches across international markets.  Pierre holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Université de Montréal and a MBA from McGill University.

André Couillard
Vice President


For nearly 20 years, André has been active in executive recruitment with national and international executive search firms based in Ottawa and Montréal. His previous business experience includes executive positions in human resources and operations in Montréal and Toronto for large national and international corporations, including Sears Canada, Chateau Stores, Shirmax, and Henry Birks and Sons Ltd.

André possesses a broad range of executive search expertise spanning the public, para-public, not-for-profit and private sectors. He has led engagements in numerous industries including, energy, retail, manufacturing, crown agencies and corporations, government, associations and foundations, health, academia, and education. Over the years, André has advised many private and public boards and placed a number of directors, board members and senior executives.  His recent client list includes: Saputo Boulangerie, Velan, Bell Helicopter Textron, BDC, City of Ottawa, Vermont Gas, Ottawa Hydro, Brookfield Energy, Groupe Dynamite, and a number of schoolboards and universities.

André is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and has contributed to its Montréal Director Program for many years, being one of the panel members on its board recruitment session. André has firsthand board experience having served as both President and a Member of the Board of Governors of Le Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la Capitale nationale in Ottawa, a Board Member of the Montréal Clinical Research Institute and Chair of the Board of its foundation, and holding Board Member positions with the Quebec Retail Council, Montréal Destination Centre-Ville, and the Quebec Kidney Foundation.

Danielle Fafard
Vice President

514.687.2214 ext. 3104
Richard Bucher
Vice President

403.261.8080 ext. 4361

Richard is Vice President Career Transition for Optimum Talent. For more than two decades Richard has been partnering with organizations to assist them in dealing with change events in a manner that safeguards the corporate brand and the dignity of the people affected. He has partnered with leaders across a range of industries including oil and gas, telecom, manufacturing, financial services, education, public sector and pharma.

His background includes supporting clients with major change events as well as individual events. Additionally, his engagements include leadership development, new leader development, integration and on boarding, 360 assessments, career management and development planning.

Richard is a thought leader and subject matter expert in career management, has been a regular contributor to CBC’s Calgary Eyeopener, Alberta at Noon, Global TV, Calgary Economic’s Re-Engage Series as well as the Global Petroleum show and a published author. Areas of expertise include Executive Coaching, Career Coaching, Career Management – Onboard Coaching and Career Management for Organizations.

Pierre Touchette, PCC
Vice President & Executive Coach


For nearly 25 years, Pierre has developed a sustained experience and a profound passion for the development of individuals and organizations. His personal development, professional and academic practices as well as his approach as an Executive Coach have enabled him to become a subject matter expert in his field.

Pierre joined the Optimum Talent’s team in August of 2013 as Vice President and Practice Leader of the coaching practice. He was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President and Head of the national practice, Coaching and Leadership in 2015, at which time he led the national team of coaches, ensuring the company’s outreach in order to maintain its reputation of excellence in coaching. Since July 2017, Pierre has reinvested himself in his consulting and training business, while continuing his collaboration with Optimum Talent as Executive Coach and Project Manager for the Coaching Practice in Quebec.

As entrepreneur since 2000, he has collaborated in the professional development of numerous executives, managers and entrepreneurs in organizations of all sizes, in various sectors of activity. Previously, he has held several strategic positions in the financial services sector in Canada, including as Regional Director, Branch Manager, Director, Sales Training and as an Executive Coach to the SVP for BMO Bank of Montreal Quebec Division.

Pierre is part of 60 top-level experts of the HEC Montréal Executive Education, whose mission is to support individuals and organizations in leadership development at all levels. He has also been teaching at the undergraduate level and in the MBA program at HÉC Montréal since 2002.

Pierre acquired the title of Professional Certified Coach (PCC) from the ICF (International Coach Federation) and is a member of ICF Québec. After earning a Bachelor of Business Administration, he continued his MBA studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax.


Solange Gauthier, CRHA
Director, Human Resources


Solange joined Optimum Talent in 2010 to support the development and implementation of human resource programs. In her current role as Director of Human Resources, she is responsible for national human resource management across the organization. Solange has keen understanding of the challenges that human resource managers are facing and helps both propose and create solutions.

In previous roles with major consulting firms, Solange developed extensive project management experience. She continually strives for excellence in the consulting process and in reaching business objectives.

Solange is known for her people skills, versatility and desire to assist in the advancement of the HR profession. She holds a Bachelor of Administration with a specialization in Human Resource Management and is a member of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (CRHA).

Annie Lafrenière, M. Ps.


Annie joined Optimum Talent in 2008, after working for the McGill University Health Centre’s Research and Intervention Centre for Healthy Workplaces. She specializes in mandates relating to professional and management skills assessment in contexts of selection, promotion, professional development, and career transition. Annie is also involved in 360 feedback surveys, succession planning and management initiatives. Her project management skills have been put to good use on many occasions, including the creation and implementation of a management skills development program aimed at increasing employee engagement in a large financial institution (200 managers/directors involved in the project).

Annie is also responsible for the development of the firm’s practices in organizational climate diagnostic, conflict resolution and interventions related to psychological harassment in the workplace. She takes part in the design and facilitation of workshops on a variety of topics such as group problem solving, communication skills, team efficiency, and many others. Her goal is to engage team members in a dynamic reflection process to bring about a common vision of the strategies to be initiated in order to optimize their efficiency and effectiveness.

Annie holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Montreal and is a member of the Order of Psychologists of Quebec. For the last 10 years, she has volunteered with Compagnie F, an organization that trains, supports and provides tools to women throughout their entrepreneurial journey. Annie served on the company’s Board of Directors for several years and from 2013 to 2015 she held the role of Chairman.

Nicole Langlois, PCC


Nicole believes that genuineness has its place in any organization while being aware that actions prevail in all leadership situations. Emotional intelligence is at the hub of her coaching approach and she is empathic towards her clients in order to help them reach their full potential.

Led by her inquisitive nature and desire to learn, Nicole has grasped all opportunities for development as manager in a large telecommunication company for more than 20 years. Her vast experience in budget analysis, recruitment, operations and as a change agent has allowed her to develop strong interpersonal skills and a talent for coaching.

Over the past 15 years, 10 of which at Optimum Talent, Nicole has helped managers from all business sectors successfully manage their career and develop their skills. Nicole has successfully completed her training at the Coaching de Gestion school and has additional training in helping relationship and mental health. She holds the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and Professional Certified Coach (PCC) titles and is a member of the International Coach Federation as well as the FICQ (Fédération internationale des coachs du Québec). She is also certified in administering the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Nicole Maxfield
Director, Systems & Operational Efficiency

403.261.8080 ext. 4323

As a member of the Corporate Services team, Nicole is responsible for ensuring that Optimum Talent has the right IT systems and processes in place to support current and future business needs. Her areas of focus include day-to-day management and strategic planning for IT operations. Nicole also plays a key role in identifying and leading the adoption of emerging infrastructure and software to strengthen our internal needs and those of our client base.

Nicole’s strong analytical and project management skills, in combination with her calm and approachable demeanor, are crucial in helping the organization continually refine and enhance its IT infrastructure and operational efficiencies.

Nicole is fun-loving and enjoys life to the fullest.  She is always willing to accept a new challenge whether it’s keeping up with her kids, training for some outrageous race or unwinding in a yoga studio.

Megan Schwann
Director, Corporate Services

780.432.5490 ext. 4421

Megan joined Optimum Talent in 2008, enthusiastic about delivering consulting services in Edmonton’s business advisory practice. There she spent several years working with our clients with a focus on strategic planning, change management and post-merger integration projects. As the firm evolved, Megan joined the Corporate Services team to shift her focus internally to corporate development and growth initiatives. She has been an integral resource in expanding our operations across the nation, both organically and through acquisition. She has served as the Controller, responsible for all aspects of finance and accounting. In her current role as Director, Corporate Services, she is focused on supporting the firm’s continued growth efforts across all corporate functions, including Marketing & Communications and Human Resources.

Committed to serving her community, Megan is an active member of the Stollery Women’s Network Fundraising & Donor Recognition Committee. She has also proudly served as President of the Junior League of Edmonton and Treasurer of Edmonton’s YWCA. Passionate about health and wellness, Megan is also a Motivator at YEG Cycle and an Ambassador for Kit and Ace.  Megan holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta, along with a Certified Managerial Accounting designation.

Donna Eden

613.238.6266 ext. 2247

Donna joined Optimum Talent in 1997, bringing with her an extensive background in business education, real estate, banking and people management.

Donna uses her people and organizational skills – as well as her optimism and confidence – to ensure that each client and staff member has all the tools necessary to effectively manage their work in a positive and supportive environment.

Donna is responsible for the successful organization and administration of all office administrative activities and is the primary support to the executive team. She also co-ordinates major projects that benefit both clients and staff alike.

An avid reader and committed to ongoing professional development and lifelong learning, Donna is a wealth of knowledge on human dynamics and on virtually all aspects of the career management and executive leadership business.

Frances Sardone


Fran is a Director with over 10 years experience providing research services and research skills training to a broad range of information seekers. She has worked in both the public and private sectors in Canada and the United States including CIBC, Nova Southeastern University and University of Toronto.Fran has a Master of Information Studies degree and Certificate in Records Management Fundamentals from the University of Toronto; and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from York University.

Pierre-Philippe Bédard

Émilie Bélanger, D. Ps
Senior Consultant

418.650.6200 ext. 3626

Émilie Bélanger is a Senior Consultant and Organizational Psychologist who has joined the team at Optimum Talent in 2010 and works at the Quebec City office. She is a member in good standing of the Order of Quebec Psychologists.

She holds a doctorate in organizational psychology from the Université de Sherbrooke and has always demonstrated a strong interest in commitment, motivation and well-being at work, leading her to support organizations and their managers in the optimal management of their talents and human resources. In recent years, she has specialized in carrying out psychometric assessments for all levels of positions and in developing management skills. She is involved in planning and deploying leadership development programs, facilitating training workshops, and in career management mandates. She also intervenes in organizational diagnosis, work climate and conflict management cases.

Customer-oriented, she quickly identifies business issues and makes sure that organizations are supported in an efficient, pragmatic and professional manner. She bases her interventions on scientific foundations derived from the best practices in her field. She is particularly interested in neuromanagement approaches, as well as in neurolinguistic programming.

Ms. Bélanger is also involved in her community. Since the fall of 2016, she has volunteered for the international organization the Little Brothers. Each year, she also contributes to several important causes, such as Leucan, Autism Quebec, Relay for Life and Moisson-Québec.

Ivana Lemme
Senior Consultant


Ivana joined Optimum Talent in November 2009 as a career consultant. Perfectly trilingual and with a clinical psychology background, she possesses solid experience in crisis interventions and career counselling with a diverse clientele. With her energetic personality, Ivana brings novelty and combines high-touch with high-tech effortlessly. She is committed to providing excellent and inspiring career transition support by creating personalized solutions. She continually demonstrates her strengths when supporting individuals through change and counselling them through their critical decision making processes. Ivana is passionate about social media and has extensive knowledge and management experience with social tools and website creation.

Ivana holds a Bachelor’s degree with a specialization in psychology from Concordia University, a Master degree in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University and also a Certificate in Career Management from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). She is also member of the Ordre des conseillers et conseillères d’orientation du Québec (OCCOQ) and a certified Successfinder practitioner.

Mathieu Blais, Psy. D.
Senior Consultant


Mathieu Blais is completing a doctorate degree in organizational psychology from the Université de Sherbrooke. Fascinated by psychometrics, his thesis contributes to the ongoing development and validation of the Pathfinder Career System. He has collaborated with Optimum Talent since 2012, before taking a consultant role as part of our organizational psychology team in 2014.

Mathieu routinely engages in mandates that relate to potential evaluation of professionals, managers and students, as part of personnel selection processes, leadership development initiatives and career orientation. As an organizational development consultant, Mathieu is involved in activities supporting effective HR processes, as competency modeling, job analysis and organizational diagnostics. His interest for team dynamics and psychological health in the workplace also led him to take part in various projects, from supporting team effectiveness through workshops to evaluating work climate within groups or supporting psychological harassment investigations.

Nadia Salvati, M. Ps., M. Sc., CRHA
Senior Consultant


A graduate of the University of Montreal in Work and Organizational Psychology, Nadia Salvati holds a master’s degree in Human Resources Management from HEC Montréal. She is a member of the Ordre des Psychologues du Québec and a member of the Ordre des Conseillers en Ressources Humaines Agréés. She has been doing consulting work in organizational psychology since 2004.

Nadia has extensive expertise in the field of measurement and assessment. The numerous mandates carried out in assessing competencies and the potential of a diverse range of executive, management and professional positions have led her to work with organizations as well as small and large companies operating in a wide variety of sectors. She is also involved in leadership development programs, 360o surveys and succession management processes. She is also called upon to develop competency profiles, individual development plans or training materials on various subjects. Lastly, she also provides assistance to selection committees in the staffing of upper management positions of organizations in the parapublic or non-profit sector.

Her experience and her knowledge of human resources management and practices enables her to contribute effectively to organizational diagnosis and other organizational development projects.

Nicola Johnson


Nicola began her career in executive search with a boutique recruiting firm before joining us in 2000. She has wide-ranging experience in identifying and attracting talented individuals for clients across a broad range of sectors, including energy, natural resources, technology and telecommunications, professional services, non-profit, financial services and manufacturing. She is a psychology graduate from the University of Waterloo. Outside of the work place, Nicola is a competitive athlete and also supports the community by working with emotionally and behaviourally challenged adolescents.

Monica Simpson

403.261.8080 ext. 4320

Monica has had a successful career in executive search for the past 17 years. Her area of expertise focuses on executing senior level executive recruitment assignments in both the private and public sector practices. Monica has developed an exceptional understanding of the public sector (government, not for profit and education) and private sector (industrial & oil & gas) in Canada. Through her extensive experience leading the recruitment delivery for a variety of industries and executive roles she has successfully built a very strong knowledge base and network for leadership talent.

Monica is very passionate about making a difference and believes executive search is about establishing relationships with candidates and clients; this is the key to finding the right talent and cultural fit to support our clients’ successes.

As passionate as she is about the Executive Search business, Monica has had been a long standing volunteer and former Board member for the Making Changes Association, a non-profit organization focused on helping to create futures for women in transition.

Jon Madder

403.261.8080 ext. 4322

Jon joined Optimum Talent in 2017 following five years of previous search experience in the Alberta marketplace. He has demonstrated expertise across many sectors including accounting and finance, not for profit, manufacturing, oil and gas and construction. Jon brings an analytical approach to the recruitment process and prides himself on his ability to build and foster relationships with senior executives.

Growing up just west of Calgary, Jon has had the opportunity to take advantage of the Rockies through snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking in the great outdoors. In addition, he is an avid golfer and enjoys taking in a NFL or NHL game on his time off.

Jon has completed a LLB (Hons) Law Degree in London, England and a BA in Political Science at the University of Calgary.


Tracy Presisniuk

780.432.5490 ext. 4402

Tracy has been part of  Optimum Talent since 2003.  As a Search Manager, Tracy provides full cycle recruitment services, at both the executive and professional level, sourcing the best candidates to fit the needs of our clients.  She has placed candidates in a variety of organizations in both the public and private sectors.

Prior to her current role, Tracy utilized her strong organizational skills to support the day to day operations of the Edmonton office as Office Manager. Tracy brings over 20 years of executive administrative experience to Optimum Talent. Before joining Optimum Talent, Tracy spent 14 years at a global accounting firm, providing extensive senior support to partners in practice areas such as management consulting, executive search, insolvency, and audit & advisory services.

Tracy is a graduate of Grant MacEwan University.


Braden Norman

780.432.5490 ext. 4433

Braden joined Optimum Talent as a Manager on the Public Interest Executive Search team in 2017. He was drawn to the organization by its reputation for professionalism, integrity and commitment to the betterment of their clientele. Braden is a voracious learner and enthusiastic individual with extensive experience in search.

Braden grew up on a cattle ranch near Cochrane, Alberta and moved to Edmonton in 2005 to attend the University of Alberta. He completed a BA in Psychology there and followed that up with a certificate in Human Resource Management from which he graduated with honours. For the next 6 years Braden performed successfully as a Resource Manager/Recruiter in the information technology sector within the Edmonton market.

Braden has an extensive history coaching and organizing youth sports. He has also been regularly involved in charity events for STARS Air Ambulance. Braden is an avid golfer, sports fan and film buff who loves to travel whenever possible.

John Walker

780.432.5490 ext. 4434

John was attracted to the Optimum Talent’s team due to the firm’s professionalism, reputation and commitment to client excellence. John’s enthusiasm and outgoing personality align well with the values that Conroy Ross Partners upholds. A holder of the CMA designation, John is a recruitment specialist in Finance and Accounting roles from the professional to executive level.

After obtaining his CMA designation in 1995 in public practice, John moved to the private industry sector where he spent the next 14 years as a Controller for various organizations in the Edmonton area. His experience includes working within the service, manufacturing, publishing and wholesale industries. Prior to joining Optimum Talent, John started an accounting and consulting business where he provided professional services to several local clients.

As an active member of the Sherwood Park community, John has spent the last 10 years coaching various sports, including competitive soccer. He continues to stay active in the CMA Association, the finance and accounting industry, and within the community. He is excited to bring his expertise and industry knowledge to Optimum Talent clients and candidates.

Dawn Bergot
Manager, Client Solutions

604.899.2095 ext. 231

Dawn is the Manager, Client Solutions in Vancouver.  She has a passion for establishing and cultivating new business relationships, and facilitating client success by working with them to identify the best service offerings from Optimum Talent’s extensive portfolio.  With a varied background in executive recruiting, human resources, marketing, market development, and office administration, she has gained the expertise to engage corporate clients and truly understand the challenges they face in an ever-changing business environment.

Dawn has held key roles in industries such as forestry, manufacturing, and executive search.  Prior to Optimum Talent, Dawn was a consulting associate for a boutique career management firm in North Vancouver, BC.

Dawn is working towards her degree in Business Administration, with a focus on Human Resources Management and Marketing.

Debra Adey
Senior Consultant


Debra holds an honours Business Management degree and a post graduate diploma in Human Resources Management. Prior to joining Optimum Talent, Debra spent 8 years in HR, specializing in recruitment and employee relations. Debra has worked for a large international staffing firm, managing large staffing projects for clients in the financial services industry. She has extensive experience consulting to corporations on their temporary and permanent staffing needs. Debra brings over 11 years’ experience in Career Management to help individuals pursue rewarding and meaningful career opportunities. She is an enthusiastic career coach and workshop facilitator.

Susan McIntyre
Senior Consultant


Susan has over 20 years’ experience as a Human Resources Consultant with Prudential Insurance, specializing in recruitment, performance management, coaching and counseling. She also managed an on-site Career Centre for 600 staff members to support their external job search when the company was acquired. As Senior Consultant, Susan works with senior management and professional clients and facilitates a variety of workshops. She brings to her clients, expertise in interviewing and a passion for coaching people through the transition process to realize their potential and achieve their personal goals.

Irene Zimmerman
Senior Consultant


Irene partners with corporate Canada and its employees to help achieve successful workplace outcomes and deliver customer service excellence. She utilizes her rich and diverse background in marketing, sales, training and consulting to coach, counsel and consult individuals in all aspects of career management. In addition to a Bachelor of Education in Adult Education, Irene has completed a Diploma in Career and Work Counselling and in Training and Development. She also has achieved Career Management Fellow status through the Institute of Career Certification International.

Marguerite Barras
Senior Consultant


Marguerite Barras joined Optimum Talent Montreal office, as senior consultant, in September 2008. She is a fluently bilingual, seasoned career transition consultant, with extensive experience in training at both corporate and distribution levels of the service industry. She has a proven track record in HRD project management, more specifically, organizational and personal skills development programs inherent to management, sales, consulting and customer service practices.

While working in training and human resource departments, she developed recognized strengths in dealing with ambiguity and building partnerships that generate useful, hands-on solutions that are in-synch with organizational goals. Her background also includes coaching managers and professionals.Her career has evolved throughout the financial services industry as well as the private and public sectors.

Marguerite holds a Graduate Diploma in Educational Technology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies from Concordia University. She also successfully completed professional training as a psychotherapist.

Kim Hirsch
Manager, Marketing & Communications

403.261.8080 ext. 4310

Kim is a member of Optimum Talent’s Corporate Services team and is responsible for brand management, marketing and internal communications. Since joining the organization in 2011, she has had a broad range of responsibilities including, training and development, event management, IT implementations, and colleague engagement initiatives.

Kim gained insightful exposure into the world of recruitment and marketing while acting as a campus ambassador and brand representative for a large experiential marketing company. Her previous work in promotions, marketing, and customer service has helped her gain a strong skill set and understanding of the unique communication methods required when working with people from different backgrounds, experiences and cultures.

Kim holds her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Calgary. She is passionate about lifelong learning and plans to build upon her formal education in the coming years. Committed to sustainable development, Kim is the volunteer Communications Lead for Engineers Without Borders, Calgary Chapter. She is also an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators.

As a former competitive athlete, Kim knows firsthand the importance of commitment, hard work, determination, and how a little bit of humour can get you through most situations. She draws upon these characteristics when challenging her colleagues to fitness, cooking or trivia competitions.

Lisa Myers
Manager, Client Services


Lisa Myers is an optimistic and motivating career and talent management services professional with over 20 years of experience in the human resources field specializing in recruitment and selection, career and succession planning, and employee relations in the commercial real estate and financial services industries. She has an expertise in meeting the specialized needs of individuals who have experienced job loss and may be in crisis. Her talent for building long term collaborative employer client relationships is built on integrity and results, specifically in providing counsel and support in orchestrating workforce restructuring projects that align with best practices.

Lisa has her CHRM designation through the HRPA, a Certificate in Psychology from Ryerson University, and a certificate in Adult Learning & Education from George Brown College.

Lyn Densmore
Manager, Client Services

613.238.6266 ext. 2229

Lyn is usually the first point of contact for employers, providing information regarding the range of services offered by Optimum Talent.

She advises on transition and career management matters, gathers information on the client and the situation, and arranges planning meetings and on-site support for individual dismissals as well as large-scale downsizing.

An important element of Lyn’s role is to match the individual with the most appropriate consultant, taking into consideration the employee’s needs as well as the consultant’s current workload and availability.

Lyn’s career encompasses work in the federal government, engineering, corporate real estate, insurance, and in the entertainment field. She joined Optimum Talent (formerly KWA Partners Ottawa Limited) in 1987. She has made a major contribution to the growth and development of the firm and has earned a reputation among clients for her appropriate and timely responses to requests and for reliable and thorough follow-through.

Lyn is a member of OHRPA and has served on the nominating committee of The Vision Awards.


Stephanie Walden

780.432.5490 ext. 4405

Stephanie joined Optimum Talent in 2015 as Director of First Impressions in the Calgary office. Since then, Stephanie has worked in both the Executive and Professional practices with involvement in a variety of leadership positions.

As a Consultant, Stephanie strives to establish exceptional candidate and client rapport with honest, dedicated, and genuine communication that extends beyond the duration of an engagement. Stephanie is a continuous learner, fueled by curiosity in learning the intricacies of our clients’ operations.

Stephanie graduated from Grant MacEwan University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She is an avid adventure seeker and enjoys spending her free time in the Edmonton river valley, mountains, or dog park with her Goldendoodle, Murphy.

Veronica Odynski

780.432.5490 ext. 4410

Seeking a new challenge, Veronica joined Optimum Talent as a Research Assistant in late 2015 providing support to both the Professional and Executive Search teams in the Edmonton office. Veronica continues to be amazed and impressed by the values, energy and culture fostered by the Edmonton team.

As a Search Consultant, Veronica is a part of the Professional Search team in the Edmonton office working with her team to provide full cycle recruitment services to source the best candidate to fit the needs of our clients. She is very excited about the opportunity to continue to learn and grow with Optimum Talent.

Veronica graduated from the University of Toronto in 2013 with a degree in Art History. She is a harpist and passionate about supporting the arts in all forms in the community.

Julie Chamard, M.A, c.o.

418.650.6200 ext. 3622

Julie joined Optimum Talent Quebec City office in 2016 as consultant in Talent Management and is a graduate of a Master’s degree in Orientation from Laval University. In the organization, she works in a career management context with people wishing to reposition themselves in the labour market following a job loss. She also contributes to psychometric assessments using our SuccessFinder Evaluation System, and supports the team by preparing competency development mandates.  Julie is recognized for her client sense, professional efficiency and ability to establish a relationship based on trust with customers.

Lisa Heymans

519.746.2616 ext. 2124

Lisa has over 22 years’ experience in the Financial Services Industry, first with Canada Trust and then with, TD Bank Financial Group. Lisa has extensive experience in Recruitment, Coaching performance management and Facilitation of Behavioural type workshops. She is a passionate and motivated team member who works diligently to ensure her clients achieve their future career goals and work towards being their personal best. Lisa is a Consultant and Job Search Partners Coach.

Jessica Londei-Shortall

514.932.0159 ext. 3066

Jessica is a member of our Leadership, Development and Assessment Team, where she focuses on individual evaluations for selection and development purposes, team interventions and the development of other solutions for organizations of various sizes.

A French-English bilingual practically from birth, Jessica also has a functional knowledge of Spanish (and Excel). She loves analyzing and playing with data to better understand human behavior, whether it be for individual SuccessFinder debriefs or team interventions. She enjoys collaborating with others to bring clients optimal solutions to their organizational and individual needs.

Jessica is currently completing her Ph.D. in organizational development at Université de Montréal with her thesis on job crafting, or the elements employees can modify to feel more satisfied and productive in their jobs. She hopes to apply this knowledge not only to her clients, but also to her colleagues and herself.

Jessica enjoys giving back to the community and is particularly invested in youth homelessness. She regularly volunteers as a van driver for Dans La Rue, a Montreal-based organization supporting this cause.

Bob Michinsky
Executive Coach


Bob Michinsky joined the team in 1997, after a successful Human Resources career in the financial services industry. In addition to general management experience and a sound business perspective, he brings substantial expertise developed through progressive assignments in Human Resource Management, spanning 18 years. Bob has particular experience and competence in the areas of career transition consulting, individual coaching/counselling, recruitment & selection, performance management, and conflict mediation/resolution.

An early advocate for our Practitioner Certification program, Bob co-facilitates our training workshops, and supervises practicum sessions. He traces his commitment to career coaching to his own early circumstances.

Bob entered the University of Waterloo to pursue Math, Physics, and Chemistry, but found his true interests, and his degree, in Applied Psychology and Counselling.

Annie Clément
Senior Consultant


Annie Clément joined Optimum Talent’s Quebec City office in January 2015. In addition to her senior adviser responsibilities, she conducts skills assessment mandates for management and professionals positions and is also involved in the recruitment process.

Annie possesses 10 years of experience in Sales and Communications and nearly 15 years of experience as an Human Resources Manager working for large corporations. Her experience has allowed her to gain a good knowledge of organizations and serve on various management committees. She also holds extensive experience in local and international recruitment, an area she particularly is fond of. Her business knowledge combined with her HR expertise enables her to grasp HR issues in organizations, particularly with regard to staffing, has she is involved from the beginning of the process, up to the integration of newly hired candidates.

Annie is known for her efficiency, innovative ideas and willingness to apply best practices in all operations. She works closely with her clients and is able to understand their needs in order to meet expectations.

She holds a B.A. in Communications with a major in Marketing and a master’s degree in Human Resources Management and Organizational Effectiveness from Laval University.

Chantal Bédard, PCC
Executive Coach


A professional coach since 2012, she helps business leaders, managers and entrepreneurs to discover practical strategies to support the growth of their leadership and to achieve their business goals.

During the previous 25 years, Chantal had worked in various managerial and executive positions linked to marketing, business development, strategic planning and skills development. Her early career experience cultivated her versatility when she was a consultant in marketing research and strategy. She perfected her skills by helping her clients make business decisions in numerous industry sectors, including retail trade, manufacturing, agri-food, textiles, steel and technology. Chantal continued her professional career in Bell Canada’s Business Market Branch, managing marketing programs. Later on, she steered the transformation of the sales force’s learning culture, in her capacity as Senior Director of Talent Development at Bell Mobility.

Chantal is recognized as a passionate, proactive, well-organized and effective professional. As a certified business coach, her ability to listen attentively and mobilize people lends authority to her interventions. In addition, with her various certificates in psychometric profiles, she accompanies her clients to develop a deeper self-awareness, a veritable foundation for discovering new possibilities.

Bilingual, Chantal is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and member of the International Coach Federation (ICF). She has a BBA from the Université de Sherbrooke, with a major in Marketing.

David Roy
Senior Consultant


David has a history of building strong teams in a wide range of customer related service organizations.  He is skilled at engaging work forces to drive positive results and create sustained competitive advantage.  In today’s volatile, uncertain and highly competitive market place strong leadership supported by a commitment to talent management are critical to organizational success.  David passionately believes that coaching is a key enabler to maximize the potential of individuals and teams.

In joining Optimum Talent David brings with him a proven track record in Sales, Business Development, Marketing and Product Development, as well as Customer Service and Operations, in a number of Executive roles with Bell Canada and Canada Post.  Most recently he has been engaged in International Business Development in the renewable energy field.

Amongst his executive and team-based coaching engagement, David has coached The Canadian National Sailing team and represented Canada in International Sailing events.  He serves on the Advisory Council for Algonquin College School of Business.  In addition David is a part-time professor in the Global Business program at Algonquin where his passion for developing and coaching is demonstrated as he prepares graduate students to enter the complex competitive world of global business.

David has a BA from Carleton University coupled with professional development courses in Finance, Negotiating and Management Strategic Alliances and a certificate in Strategic Thinking and Management from Wharton University.  David has completed the Advanced Coach Development Program at Ericson College.

Micheline Daigle-Leblanc, MSc (I/O Psych), CHRP, CEC, PCC
Executive Coach


Micheline is a seasoned Executive Coach with expertise in strategic organizational change, leadership development, 360 and psychometric assessments.  With over 20 years of experience in both public and private sectors, her focus is on helping organizations improve alignment between business imperatives and human capital from the top down.

Her clients hold executive positions in academia (Medical Schools), financial institutions, accounting services, government, business and not-for-profit.  She has established a solid track record as an astute and intuitive thinking partner, resourceful leader, credible facilitator and trusted executive coach, adept at diagnosing and articulating abstract issues and formulating innovative approaches.

Micheline earned a Master of Science (Applied Organizational Psychology), holds a current CHRP designation, holds a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching and is an ICF accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC).

Originally from New Brunswick, Micheline is fluently bilingual, equally at ease conducting business in English & French.

She currently sits on the Board of Governors for the Université de Moncton, as well as on the Board’s Executive Committee.

Kirsty Ross
Executive Coach


Kirsty is a Certified Executive Coach (CEC) and an Associate Certified Coach (ACC).

Kirsty uses coaching to develop and train leaders, create high performance teams, and empower people to succeed. Her coaching expertise focuses on executive coaching, leadership development, change/transition management, building effective teams, team coaching and organizational design.

In Kirsty’s career, she has ascended from the front line to senior management. As one of the first women District Agriculturists in Alberta, she knows what it is like to be a woman in a leadership position and a woman in a male dominated field. She has been through countless organizational changes, endured budget cuts, led various teams of differing personalities, and had numerous bosses.

As an Executive Coach, she can assist coachees to get through these changing times by working with them (or their team) to set goals, identify outcomes, manage personal change and determine actions to implement immediately.

Kirsty wants to be able to empower others to be great leaders. Whether it is one on one or group/team coaching, she will help discover how to become a better leader by assisting coachees to be more self-aware, learning how to communicate better, and increasing their emotional intelligence.

Academic & Industry Accreditation

  • Certified Executive Coach from Royal Roads University
  • Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation
  • Certified with MBTI, EQ-I, SDI
  • Well versed in Strengths Finder
Nicola R. Johnson, PCC
Executive Coach

613.238.6266 ext. 2260

Nicola joined Optimum Talent in May of 2015 as an Executive Coach and Director of Business Development for the Ottawa Region.  In her role, Nicola is committed to developing relationships that will lead to innovative, customized and high quality Talent Management Solutions for individuals and organizations.

For over 20 years Nicola has developed businesses and worked with individuals and organizations to improved both personal and business leadership skills.  Her career started in the field of Corporate Fitness and Wellness and evolved into Leadership Development and Coaching. Nicola has led national initiatives to build and integrate leadership development programs for organizations including Executive and mid level coaching.  As an Executive Coach to a national clientele of Corporate Leaders in the public and private sector she has assisted individuals and teams build strong working relationships, communicate with impact, increase productivity and achieve their own definition of success.

Nicola’s business experience in leadership gives her an exceptional breadth and depth of knowledge of organization and interpersonal dynamics combined with a profound understanding of life in business and as a leader. Nicola holds a Masters Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University and is an alumni coach for current Royal Roads Masters students.

Carolyn Poole
Executive Coach


Carolyn is a multi-certified coach with over 25 years of experience in adult education, workplace learning and leadership development. She became a full-time executive coach and facilitator in 2008 and holds a PCC (Professional Certified Coach) with the International Coach Federation. Carolyn provides both executive coaching and facilitation services and teaches at the University of Calgary as a sessional instructor.

Carolyn has held a number of senior leadership roles in both large and small organizations. In the late 1980s she founded and led a publically traded company with over 70 employees. Prior to becoming a coach, Carolyn was the Founder and Director of the Centre for Business Development at Mount Royal University. The Centre supports organizations in the design and delivery of customized leadership development programs and services including coaching.

Working with clients in mid to large size organizations, Carolyn has coached with individuals at all levels; from individual contributors to C-Suite executives.  Industry experience includes; energy, manufacturing, post-secondary education, communications, financial services, healthcare and not-for-profit.

Using an inquiry and strengths-based approach, Carolyn coaches executive clients around increasing their competence and confidence in balancing the demands of task and people, enhancing communication and conflict resolution skills, building trust, illuminating blind spots, and leveraging strengths.  Carolyn’s signature strength as a coach is her ability to connect deeply with her clients and be a compassionate, challenging, and persistent catalyst that calls forth each individual person’s very best.

Recent Coaching Assignments

  • Assisted President of international manufacturing organization with transitioning into a new role, strategizing for a revitalized visioning process, team development, and strategic planning
  • Coached Senior Director with international energy company with delegating, team building, conflict resolution and influencing skills
  • Assisted CFO transition into new role in new organization; navigate a challenging political environment and internal resistance to change, and build greater internal resilience
  • Supported Global Director with expanding capacity to develop individuals, build resourceful teams, enhance interpersonal communication, and develop greater leadership presence

Education and Professional Affiliations

  • Sc. (with distinction): University of Alberta
  • PCC (Professional Certified Coach): International Coaching Federation (ICF)
  • CPCC (Certified Co-Active Professional Coach): Coaches Training Institute (CTI)
  • MBTI, DISC, Internal Forces and Workplace Big 5 Certified
  • ICF and ICF, Calgary Chapter – Member
Bea Bohm Meyer
Executive Coach


Bea is a certified leadership coach. She is trained by CTA in Colorado, USA (member of the International Coaching Federation). Her caring and direct style help leaders understand where they need to go and feel supported in the process of development.

Bea previously sat on the advisory committee for the University of Alberta Corporate and Governmental Affairs. Currently she sits on the Advisory Committee for the University of Alberta Executive HR program, is a founding Mentor for the University of Alberta Venture Mentoring services program and is a speaker’s committee member for the Synergy Network. Bea is also Chair of the Winnifred Stewart Association Board of Directors, supporting individuals with developmental disabilities. Bea also takes pride in being a big sister in the Big Brothers and Big Sister organization. In 2014 she was recognized as one of the top 100 Women in Business. In 2015 Bea was nominated for the Alberta Entrepreneur Award. Bea has participated in various events supporting youth success and hopes to continue that journey. Her personal dream is to create a movement of leaders who understand the potential of leading culture with intent.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts special degree in International Political Science from the University of Alberta, Canada and is certified as a Patient Safety Executive by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston, MA, USA. Bea has participated in high profile leadership and client service delivery programs including The North American Customer Management and Leadership Forum and The Canadian Management Centre.

Bea also prides herself as being one of Edmonton’s Fab 5 and a founding member of the Amazing Ladies. Ask her about both groups if you get a chance.


Christine Martinelli, ACC
Senior Consultant

613.238.6266 ext. 2238

Christine, is a trainer and professional consultant, brings significant years of relevant experience to her clients. Having worked in both large and small organizations, ranging from unionized establishments to high tech start-up operations, Christine has participated in company acquisitions, mergers, and restructuring. Assisting management and staff through organizational change has been a common component throughout Christine’s career. She has coached displaced employees to assist them in their transition to new opportunities.

With a strong background in recruiting, Christine is also able to share with individuals in transition the elements and finer points of resume preparation and interviewing techniques. Through collaborative exercises and exploration, she has seen her clients transform as they recognize their value and authentically define themselves.

An enthusiastic and receptive facilitator, she believes strongly in helping individuals help themselves by providing them with the necessary tools, training and confidence to successfully manage their career progression.

Christine holds a BA from Trent University, a Certificate in Human Resource Management and her Professional Coaching designation.

Liana Wisniewski
Senior Consultant


As a native of Sudbury, Liana has extensive knowledge of the Northern Ontario culture and labour market. Her background and training in education, facilitation, coaching and guidance enables her to provide optimum service and direction to her clients.

Liana’s empathy and encouraging approach, coupled with her highly developed intuitive skills, enables her to quickly build trusting professional relationships. These very attributes will benefit clients as they work to move forward and to identify the most appropriate career path based on their personal skills and preferences.

Having lived in third-world countries, Liana offers the richness of direct exposure to unique cultures. This enhances her ability to relate to individuals from diverse backgrounds and to guide them in a supportive and motivating manner.

Liana earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Laurentian University and a Bachelor of Education degree from Nipissing University.

Lisa Culbert
Senior Consultant


Lisa has extensive experience as a career consultant and corporate trainer and has delivered a wide range of job search, retirement and career transition programs for clients in the public and private sectors.

Since 1995, Lisa has successfully guided executives and professionals through career and job transition. Her extensive business experience and in-depth knowledge of the job search process ensure clients receive high-quality, up to date information.

Lisa’s expertise lies in facilitating personal growth and development, guiding clients and organizations through change, and teaching professional job search strategies. She challenges clients to learn about themselves, to set attainable goals and to take the necessary steps to achieve personal and professional success. Her counseling and coaching abilities enable clients to capitalize on their strengths and pursue their dreams.

Lisa earned a Bachelor of Nursing Science from Queen’s University and a Master of Business Administration at the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario. She is qualified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Lisa also draws upon her strong business background, which encompasses health care, consumer packaged goods and entrepreneurship.

Sandra Moore, CHRP, MCouns
Senior Consultant


As Senior Consultant with Optimum Talent, Sandy brings over 20 years of diverse human resources experience including career counseling, recruitment and selection, career transition, employee retention, and performance management.

Previously, Sandy managed the HR department for one of the top 10 public accounting firms in BC, receiving North American recognition for best practices in recruiting.  Additionally, she held the role of Senior Consultant specializing in career transition for a global career management consulting firm, and consistently achieved top results as a recruiter with an established placement firm.

Sandy served as a Career Manager for MBA graduate students, and has created and facilitated numerous workshops focusing on the job search process.  She holds a Master of Counseling and Bachelor of Education, in addition to CHRP (Certified Human Resources Professional) and CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) designations.  Sandy is also trained in various vocational assessment tools including DISC, Birkman, and StrengthsFinder.

An active volunteer with the Vancouver Arts Club Theatre, Sandy was elected to the Board of Directors, participated on both the Executive Search and Human Resources committees, and served as a Fundraising Co-Chair.  Additionally, Sandy is a Mentor for the Human Resources Management Association (HRMA).

Suzanna de Souza


Suzanna is a Career Consultant with Optimum Talent in Vancouver, BC.  For the past 17 years, Suzanna has worked for global and local organizations across a variety of industries. She started off her career in Marketing, Sales and BD and has transitioned to Human Resources focused on Career Coaching and Development, Executive Search and Global Relocation.

With an innate interest in seeing people through times of change, Suzanna is passionate about her work and providing clients with a strong foundation to successfully move forward.  Her goal is not only to help clients secure employment or develop in their current career path, but to realize new opportunities and proactively market themselves.

A life-long-learner, Suzanna holds Diplomas in Marketing Management and Human Resources and a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree.  She received her coaching training with the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and is currently working towards the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation with the International Coach Federation (ICF).  She is also a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) candidate.

Suzanna is a volunteer with ISSofBC assisting Syrian refugees to secure new homes and settle into Vancouver, BC and surrounding areas.  She plans to mentor women and facilitate career transition and employment opportunities when the time comes.

Margot Ross Graham, CHRP, CPCC
Executive Coach


Margot Ross Graham is an experienced senior executive with extensive background in leadership coaching, change management, and organizational development.

Margot provides coaching, consulting and facilitation services in areas such as:

  • strategic planning,
  • leadership development
  • succession planning
  • change and transition
  • team effectiveness

She has led numerous acquisition initiatives from the people aspect of the transaction and is known for big picture thinking while never losing sight of important details. She is recognized for providing fully customized, practical solutions for and in partnership with her clients.

Margot is an instructor with the Alberta School of Business Executive Education and is featured every Tuesday as the Workplace Columnist for CBC Radio’s Edmonton morning show.

Margot holds her Certified Human Resource designation (CHRP), is a Certified Professional Coach (CPCC) and is a Meyers Briggs facilitator.

David Gardner
Senior Consultant


David works with senior leaders to help them transition to their next career opportunity. Prior to joining Optimum Talent, David enjoyed a career as a Human Resources Executive with broad experience in large national and international organizations operating in the retail, consumer products and industrial sectors.

David Hoad
Senior Consultant


David works with senior leaders to help them transition to their next career opportunity. Prior to joining Optimum Talent, David enjoyed a career as a Human Resources Executive with broad experience in large national and international organizations operating in the retail, consumer products and industrial sectors.

Emma Geoghegan, M.Ed, R.Psych
Executive Coach


Emma Geoghegan is a Registered Psychologist who has been working in the career development field for 20 years. Within her practice Emma utilizes various leading-edge assessment tools, supplemented with in- depth feedback and coaching, to assist clients in their personal and professional development. In addition, she possesses considerable experience in group facilitation, curriculum development, and program coordination.

Emma possesses experience conducting in-depth leadership assessments for selection and development purposes, typically for high potential leaders, VP, and executive level positions. Furthermore, she holds strong knowledge of, and utilizes, a variety of standardized assessment tools such as; the Leadership Effectiveness Assessment, 360 feedback tools, Firo-B, CPI 434, TKI, MBTI, and Watson-Glaser. In addition, Emma has extensive experience interpreting assessments, providing feedback and recommendations that allow leaders to gain a greater level of self-awareness and enhance performance. Time and time again, Emma has demonstrated to be skilled at helping leaders capitalize on strengths, addressing leadership challenges, and enhancing their performance.

Emma completed her Masters in Counselling Psychology at the University or Victoria, under the Faculty of Educational Psychology and Leadership. She also holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of Calgary. Emma is a Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists and a member of the Psychological Association of Alberta.

Clint White, CPA, CA, CED
Executive Coach


Clint White is a Certified Executive Coach and former executive himself. He combines over 20 years working in finance within the energy sector, including over 15 years as CFO, with coaching expertise support individuals and build teams with the goal of achieve results.

He sees coaching as working at the intersection of personal growth, leadership development and corporate strategy. Clint draws upon his belief in the power of personal empowerment, as well as his career in executive leadership roles to support all three areas. He enjoys working with teams and individuals to build corporate and personal strategies, as well as developing the plans to execute.

Clint’s mission is: Inspiring people to live deliberately to realize their true potential. With the philosophy that coaching recognizes that you have within you both the potential to realize your dreams, and the answers on how to achieve them.

Clint holds a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University, and is a member of the International Coach Federation. Clint is also a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary.

Vicky Walker, BSc, ACC, CEC
Executive Coach


Vicky Walker’s work as a senior consultant and certified coach brings a broad range of expertise to her work from 35 years of experience in industrial and academic business environments from both a corporate and personal perspective.

Through explorative and reflective dialogue, Vicky engages her clients with fortitude and authenticity. She partners with them to provide the space to discover their own questions and empower them to chart the path to their own, innovative solutions.   In her consultant role, Vicky quickly adapts her insight and knowledge to act with a results oriented approach for her client’s best interest.

Vicky’s consulting expertise includes teaching, training, mentoring, and coaching for business. She has several sales training certifications, including Professional Selling Skills and Miller Heiman. Her interaction extends from executives at a multi-national corporate level to those who are working independently.

Vicky has a long history of volunteerism and believes strongly in giving back to the community in which she is involved. She is also very involved with her virtual communities and business networks.

Jane Reid, CPCC, CHRL
Senior Consultant


As a Career Transition Consultant with Optimum Talent, Jane intuitively leads and supports clients as they work to land their next career opportunity.  Jane is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach through The Coaches Training Institute, and Certified Human Resources Leader with over 20 years experience in senior HR generalist roles, providing coaching, advice and guidance to leaders and employees, in the areas of employment law, performance, talent and disability management, and full cycle recruitment; across retail, IT, and financial sectors, including Make-up Artist Cosmetics, IBM, and TD.

Prior to this, Jane gained deep knowledge, and contributed in political and bureaucratic arenas across the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government for several Mayors, a provincial Cabinet Minister, and federal MPP, problem solving constituent issues and providing executive assistance.

Jane teaches the Human Resources Management Program with an affiliate of St. Lawrence College in Toronto and is the Human Resources Program Manager and Coach for Shift Happens, a start up that provides life coaching to Youth-at-Risk; and Life Skills Coach for members at The Centre for Dreams, for adults with developmental delay.

Kirsten Stanger
Senior Consultant

James Reid
Senior Consultant

613.238.6266 ext. 2240

James is a consultant, facilitator and trainer known for enabling individuals to shape meaningful career road maps.

He has 20 years of career transition and human resources consulting expertise in union, non-union, public and private sectors.

Skilled in facilitating change with diverse individuals and groups, James has designed and delivered workshops covering the full spectrum of career transition topics. He is effective at partnering with organizations in planning and carrying out workforce restructuring exercises, as well as training leaders on notification processes.

James obtained certification as a Professional Career Management Consultant at the University of Montreal, where he studied Industrial Relations and Human Resources Management. He is qualified to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Birkman First Look motivational and behavioural tool, as well being experienced with the Strong Interest Inventory and Jackson Vocational Assessment Instrument.

Michele Roy
Executive Coach


Michele Roy is a Professional Certified Coach with over 18 years’ experience working with successful leaders in a variety of organizations. Michele coaches leaders to expand their awareness, enabling them to understand the impact they have on others. She engages leaders to focus on activities that foster relationships, increase capacity to manage change, and develop their teams to deliver more effectively on business results. She has coached senior leaders and managers in oil and gas, construction management, financial services, information services, engineering consulting and health services, as well as entrepreneurs. Michele has over 20 years of experience in delivering training and development programs including: Mastering coaching skills for managers, essential skills in delivering feedback, customer relationship management, targeting sales performance, managing diversity in the workplace, accelerating leadership development for high potentials, and leading organizational change – including change management, employee transitioning, knowledge transfer and succession planning.

In addition, Michele is known for her interactive approach in delivering comprehensive learning programs which support individuals in career transition and leadership development. She uses leading-edge coaching tools to coach, develop and challenge her clients. She engages leaders in strategic thinking, enabling them to identify and leverage the human resourcefulness, knowledge and talent present in their teams.

Michele’s programs and tools support leaders and their teams to increase their awareness and skills in building relationships and positively impacting team performance. For the past 5 years she has been working collaboratively with organizational HR partners to implement and deliver programs supporting organizational succession plans. Recognizing the significance of the inherent knowledge within an organization, Michele supports the transfer of explicit and tacit knowledge with a multidimensional approach, delivering the coaching, mentoring, and training required to maintain uninterrupted leadership, critical in today’s changing global market.

Michele is committed to the professional coach credentialing process, and has supported hundreds of coaches to achieve their ICF coach certification. She is an accredited Coach Supervisor and Mentor Coach. In 2010 Michele received the “Prism Award” for coaching excellence from Chevron Canada Resources. Michele is also a senior consultant with Optimum Talent Canada and was on the coaching team that was awarded the 2016 “Prism Award”, won for Optimum Talent’s work with McKesson Canada.

Len Huckabay, PCC
Executive Coach


Len is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the ICF (International Coaching Federation) who has been working in the field of coaching and leadership development since 2004.  Len’s 30+ years of business experience includes leadership, mentorship, and Executive Directorship roles. He has worked as both an employee and consultant and has successfully lead teams of 75+ and been responsible for multi-million dollar budgets, strategic planning, change and project management, talent management, etc.

Len works with leaders and teams in individual and group coaching scenarios, as well as training and facilitation. Len has coached leaders at all levels of the organization, his vocation is building sustainable leadership presence by focusing on an individual’s self-awareness, intention and impact, and emotional intelligence. Len’s areas of strength include leadership presence, influence, communication, conflict management, team development and trust. Len’s style is genuine, insightful and intuitive, challenging and supportive, and at time humerous.

Len’s coaching and facilitation experience is borderless and geographically dispersed with many clients from across Canada, United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Middle East, and Australia.

Executive Coaching includes assessment(s) and 360 feedback, goal setting, a guided plan and accountability partnership.  The process includes co-active coaching around issues like; communication, decision-making, managing political environments, developing leadership presence, difficult conversations, health and stress, organizational strategy, alignment, leading teams, performance and behavioural change. Measurement is typically tied to key performance indicators like financial growth and/or cost containment, employee satisfaction/retention, reputation, job satisfaction and organizational health.  Leadership development may also be measured through follow-up 360 feedback surveys, mini surveys, peer interviews, confidence, job satisfaction or performance/competencies reviews.

Eve Gaudet, BA, ACC
Executive Coach


As an executive coach, Eve is known for her caring and direct style in working with clients. Her approach is accessible as she uses curiosity and deep questioning to help clients gain new perspectives. She employs various strategies to fit the unique needs of each client. These include a number of assessment tools including 360s, succession planning, emerging leaders, strategic/operational planning, team coaching and assessments, and executive coaching.

Eve comes with extensive experience in both private and public sectors. A former public sector executive, she understands the critical nature of effective leadership. As an executive coach she supports senior leaders and executives in understanding their leadership strengths and supporting them to step into their full potential.

Eve’s experience spans small business to global initiatives. She has worked with organizations at the community, provincial, national and even international levels. She has represented Canada at UNESCO and World Health Organization events. In her coaching practice she’s worked with small to large organizations with clients in the hospitality, medical, education, public sector, telecommunications and IT industries.

Her extensive volunteer work includes grass roots community development, directorship on a number of boards including the YM-YWCA of Greater Victoria and as Chair of the Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Conference. As a sought after mentor, Eve supported numerous colleagues throughout her public service career.

Eve has her undergraduate (Honors) from the University of Victoria and has completed her Master’s Certificate in Executive Coaching through Royal Roads University. She’s an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coach Federation and is currently in the process of obtaining her Professional Certified Coach designation (PCC). She is also certified in facilitation through the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2).