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.

René Tardif
National Practice Leader

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.

Samantha Wood
National Practice Leader


Samantha Wood leads our Executive Search team in Central Ontario.  With 12 years of search experience throughout North America, her expertise spans multiple functions in both the public and private sector including sales, marketing, human resources, operations and engineering at the Director level through to C-suite.

Samantha has been in a leadership capacity for over 15 years and has grown successful teams both in the recruitment industry as well as in her former role of Regional Sales Manager for a wireless communication company.   Hiring, mentoring, engaging and motivating top talent has always been a priority for Samantha, which has provided her with first-hand experience and appreciation for her clients’ needs.

Samantha graduated with a Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Western Ontario.  She continuously leverages her education by approaching each search with a proven methodology.  She believes that the right research, broad thinking and overall client and candidate commitment is what drives a comprehensive and fulfilling recruitment experience.

Gord Syme
Managing Director

780.432.5490 ext. 4439

Gord is the Managing Director of the Edmonton office of Optimum Talent and is also responsible for leading the private sector Professional Search practice for Northern Alberta.

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, having served as Chair of the Sorrentino’s Compassion House Capital Campaign, Chair of the Telus World of Science Edmonton,  Chair of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Prairie Region and as a Board member of Stollery Children’s Health Foundation, Golden Bear Football Alumni, TMAC Edmonton, and the Aspen Gardens Community League.

Tamara Mago
Managing Director

403.261.8080 ext. 4318

Tamara first joined Optimum Talent in 2010 as a Principal and later became a Partner in 2013. Now, as Managing Director, she leads search assignments for mid to executive level roles in corporate services, sales and operations across a variety of industries.

Prior to joining the firm, Tamara spent a decade with one of Canada’s largest privately held professional recruitment firms as well as a global Fortune 500 firm. She carries over 15 years of search experience and a broad network, which enable her to recruit top talent. Known for her authentic leadership style and enthusiasm, Tamara has an unparalleled ability to build lasting relationships with clients and candidates.

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

Terri Phipps
Managing Director

604.899.2095 ext. 4705

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.

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 the Market Leader for the Ottawa region where he supports clients in Career Management and Coaching and leads the business development efforts for all Optimum Talent services.

Rob is known for his strong network and consulting reputation across several business sectors as well as his long-standing community involvement. Over the past 20 years he has counseled a wide range of individuals and executives through career transition, led group downsizing, and implemented policy related to dismissal.

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 has worked in the areas of strategic planning, recruitment, employee relations, and training and development.

Rob’s involvement in the community began in his late 20’s when he coached minor league football with the Myers Riders. From there his extracurricular activities quickly spread to several volunteer positions including leading the Loaned Representative Programs with the Campaign Cabinet for the United Way, sitting on the Board of Ronald McDonald House and the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club, and spending 14 years as a Trustee of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre including three years as Board Chair. Currently, Rob is pleased to serve as Honourary Chair for the Ottawa Chapter of Kid’s Up Front.

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.

Scott Doupe
Vice President & Partner

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.

Randy De Piero
Vice President & Partner

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, 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.”

Carlos has over 15 years of experience supporting the development of leaders and management teams alike on an international scale.

Raised and educated in Argentina, Carlos now lives in Canada where he works as an Executive Coach and oversees the Centre for Neuromanagement at Optimum Talent.

Originally educated as a Medical Doctor in Argentina, Carlos draws on this training in medicine, and understanding of the brain, to apply neuromanagement coaching modalities that lead to obvious, sustainable change for his clients.

In addition to his executive coaching practice, Carlos is a frequent keynote speaker across North America, South America and Europe. He is a professor of Neuromanagement in the MBA program at the University of New York in Prague, a guest lecturer for the EMBA program at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto, and a thought leader with the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate.


  • Medical Degree, National University of Rosario, 1978
  • Internal Medicine Residency Program, University of Buenos Aires, 1983
  • Clinical Psychopathology Postgraduate Diploma, University of Barcelona, 2004
  • Roche International Managers & Executive Development Course, Laussane Business School, 1995
  • Psychotherapy and Hypnosis Certification, Institute Erickson Madrid, 2006
  • Psychotherapist Diploma, The Spanish Federation of Psychotherapist Associations, 2010

Associations & Memberships:

  • European Mentoring and Coaching Council
  • Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate
  • Neuroleadership Institute
  • NeuroMarketing Science & Business Association
Suzanne Ménard
Vice President, Operations and Client Relations


Suzanne Ménard joined Optimum Talent in January 2018 as Vice President, Operational Excellence and Client Strategy. Her professional career has enabled her to develop a global vision focused on efficiency, customer satisfaction, talent engagement, teamwork and objective achievement.

With 30 years of experience in consulting, Suzanne has served as a strategic advisor to leaders and managers of various companies identifying issues and preparing personalized solutions in talent. She has carried out mandates in strategic management, leadership coaching, talent engagement and skills development.

She has a solid track record in managing operations while also leading project teams and the operational direction of multidisciplinary professional teams. She has led several major organizational development projects including organizational surveys, engagement strategies, and 360 assessments for companies of all sizes.

Suzanne is a graduate of Aon’s Advanced Leadership Program in collaboration with Harvard University and holds a Master’s degree in Training Management from the Université de Sherbrooke. She has followed the intensive Organizational Development Program at HEC and is currently in the process of obtaining her SuccessFinder certification.

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.

Pierre Touchette, PCC
Senior Vice President, Strategic and Commercial Development


Pierre has been an executive coach since 1996. He first joined the Optimum Talent team in 2013 as Vice President and Head of the Coaching Practice. Now in the position of Senior Vice President, Strategic and Commercial Development – Eastern Region, Pierre is responsible for the development and management of the corporate strategy focusing on growth, innovation, multi-practice and cross-sell initiatives, and expansion into new markets. Pierre is also the Head of the Coaching Practice for the Eastern Region.

Prior to that, Pierre held the positions of Senior Vice President and Head of the National Coaching and Leadership Practice, and Senior Vice President, National Accounts and Executive Coaching.

For 13 years, Pierre worked as an entrepreneur providing consulting and executive coaching solutions, collaborating in the professional development of numerous executives, directors and entrepreneurs in organizations of every size, across various industry sectors. His rich experience enables him to promptly target the needs of his clients and thereby help them identify the paths needed to implement effective solutions. He has held several strategic positions in the financial services industry in Canada, including Director – Sales & Leadership Training and Executive Coach to the Bank of Montreal senior management team in Quebec Division.

Pierre is part of 60 top-level experts of the HEC Montréal – Business School for Leaders, whose mission is to support executives and organizations in leadership development. He is also a lecturer at the undergraduate level in Marketing & Sales, and MBA program at HEC 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.


Michel Nadeau
Vice President & Executive Coach

514.932.0159 ext. 3171

A musician in the 1970s, Michel is still impressed by the talent, genius and humbleness of renowned artists such as Paul McCartney, Diana Krall, James Taylor and Gregory Charles. Humility, intelligence, energy, a passion for excellence, such are the personality traits of these great artists, traits that are also those of a number of leaders he coaches on a day-to-day basis.

Born into a family of entrepreneurs, the businessman’s talent led him to create and develop four professional service firms in very varied sectors such as engineering, human resources, and financial and administration consulting. Thanks to his contribution to innovative management practices, one of these firms was awarded two prestigious prizes, that of Best Employer and the Grand Prix québécois de la qualité, a prize aimed at rewarding management excellence and overall performance.

Michel has coached more than 300 company directors on topics such as the position of the senior executive, increasing influence and leadership, fostering harmonious interpersonal relations and developing entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur himself, he knows exactly which skills are needed to succeed in business.

Guided by a strong belief in each person’s potential for development, Michel uses his coaching talents to help his clients achieve their vision. With his sharp business acumen based on solid financial expertise, he brings discussions to another level. Michel likes to work with people who are driven by a desire to learn and grow by developing their full potential, men and women who are not afraid to take part in introspection exercises, which are essential for bringing about change. His favourite saying, “Let’s make things happen!,” is proof of his need to take action, a quality that serves his clients very well.

With more than thirty years of experience directing companies, Michel is VNL’s senior partner. Very much involved in his professional coaching practice, he is also vice president of the Board of Directors of the International Coach Federation’s Quebec chapter, where he also leads three committees.

With his sensitivity, empathy, discipline and organizational skills, he is very much appreciated by his clients. While coaching is his passion, the need to excel is what drives his career.

Lori Dyne
Vice President, Marketing & Communications


Lori joined Optimum Talent in 2016 and brings with her a decade of experience working with national and global talent management firms. She began her career in digital marketing in 2005 and over the proceeding 13 years, she has continued to broaden her digital marketing expertise and expand her overall marketing and communications acumen to include brand management and strategy development for technology and professional services businesses.

In 2007, Lori transitioned into a leadership role with Intelex Technologies, where she led a team of 7 marketing professionals in the execution of a multi-channel marketing strategy and brand refresh. Since then, she has held various leadership roles, leading both centralized and remote teams in Canada and the United States.

Lori is known for her strategic approach to the evolving nature of marketing and for being an exceptional brand advocate. She prides herself on her communication skills and ability to translate complex concepts into approachable and effective language.

Lori holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Guelph.

Angelique Meyer, PCC, MBA
Vice President

604.899.2095 ext. 4706

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.

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
Market Leader


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.

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.

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.

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 an authentic and motivating style to her role as Vice President within the Career Transition practice at Optimum Talent. Working with senior leaders, she engages individuals to discover and communicate their brand, both written and verbal, and conducts interview coaching for executive clients offering candid, insightful and practical feedback. Jane partners with organizations in a variety of sectors advising and building solutions to meet the complete scope of career management needs.

Prior to joining Optimum Talent Jane worked at a design college and in the field of recruitment.

Jane actively pursues a variety of sports including boxing, competing in a sanctioned event. She is an avid runner, plays tennis and platform tennis. She leads Project Hope, an annual initiative close to her heart and volunteers with the Fight to End Cancer.

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.

Nathalie Dallaire
Vice President

514.932.0159 ext. 3177

Nathalie Dallaire has close to 20 years’ experience in the political field. She began her career in 1992 as a political assistant in the office of the Minister of Higher Education and Science of Québec. She then continued her career in federal politics as head of the constituency office for the Member of Parliament (and Minister) for Westmount – Ville-Marie, a position she held from 1995 to 2008. She interrupted her political career briefly to work in Toronto as an Administrative Manager for an investment
management firm.

Nathalie’s extensive political experience enabled her to develop and nurture an extensive network of contacts in the world of business, culture and higher education. In 2011, Nathalie decided to build on this experience and undertake a new career in executive search. Since then, she has successfully conducted assignments in in the public and para-public sector, science and innovation, the academic sector, the cultural and the philanthropic community, to name just a few. She has also developed a deep recruitment expertise in the non-profit sector.

Nathalie is known for her rigour, analytical spirit and her ability to quickly grasp the needs of her clients. She is passionate about bringing the career of senior executives to the next level and extending their human potential. Nathalie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Montréal’s École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC).

Chris Heselton
Vice President


Chris has a sterling track record in Executive Search & Recruitment spanning the past 6 years. Leveraging his industry experience in Financial Services, he prides himself on his ability to develop an intimate knowledge of his clients’ business model, competitive landscape, culture and market niche.

His expertise in Financial Services, Technology, Consulting, Private Equity, Venture Capital & Start-Ups have afforded him the privilege of partnering with North American market-leaders to identify and attract C-Suite and Executive Talent across an array of functions including Finance, Risk/Quant, Sales, Product Management, HR, Operations, IT, Strategy, Compliance & Legal.

Chris has an extensive network in the emerging Technology & FinTech space ranging from Robo-Advisors, Blockchain, AI, RegTech, Cybersecurity, Cleantech, Payments & Lending companies. He specializes in supporting marquis clients who are undergoing significant growth, scaling and transforming their operations, and launching offices and global headquarters. Applying a strategic approach, Chris advises his clients on market conditions, talent pipelining, organizational design, retention strategies and future state planning.

Having lived in seven countries and being versed in multiple languages (English, French, German & Spanish), Chris draws from this global perspective to form lasting relationships with clients ranging from Fortune 100’s to high profile Start-Ups.

Currently Vice President, Executive Search with Optimum Talent in Toronto, Chris will look to bolster their market presence in Financial Services, Technology & Start-Ups. Outside of work, Chris volunteers with Covenant House, United Way and is an active member of the Toronto Board of Trade.

Ryna Young
Vice President


Ryna has a proven track record of nearly twenty years of experience in recruitment and search, spanning a variety of industries.  She has successfully placed senior and c-level leaders within Finance and Accounting, Operations, IT, Human Resources, Marketing and Sales.  Her ability to assess talent has assisted in placing highly skilled senior level candidates and leaders.  Ryna has expertise in a broad range of sectors including Financial Services, Consulting, Insurance, Not-for-profit, Public Sector, and Technology.

Her clients often seek her out when addressing major change initiatives, capacity and or skills gaps.  She is known for her ability to build strong relationships and become a trusted advisor, which has allowed her continued success. With a hands-on approach, a solutions-driven mindset and a good sense of humor, Ryna will deliver.

Ryna has also taken on various leadership roles throughout her career and has built strong teams of driven, results-oriented search professionals. She strives for excellence and her passion for building and working collaboratively allows for a focused approach. With her experience as a leader, she understands the importance of achieving goals while managing risk and supporting strategic business objectives.

Tricia Mullen
Vice President

780.432.5490 ext. 4426

Tricia 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 Optimum Talent 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.

Christine Carrier
Vice President, Commercial Development & Client Relations

514.932.0159 ext. 3174

Christine inspires clients in the development of creative human resources solutions. She designs professional development activities for them to promote the development of their distinctive strategies.

Prior to joining Optimum Talent, Christine was involved in business development for one of Canada’s largest law firms. She was part of the managerial team of a communications leader for over 15 years. She possesses experience in several sectors, including human resource management, brand management, marketing, communications and product management, business development and sales management.

Robert Racine
Vice President

514.932.0159 ext. 3178

Robert Racine has been in executive search since 2000.  He co-founded and managed a reputable Executive Search firm in Québec from 2003 to 2018.  His considerable experience of both the public and private sectors, his knowledge of change management in the context of mergers, acquisitions and disinvestment in publicly-traded companies add important value to his professional work on behalf of his clients as well as with candidates.  His practice of recruiting executive positions as well as Board Members concentrates on the following fields: communications, health, telecommunications, manufacturing, finance, services, engineering, associations and community groups.

Robert holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from the Université du Québec à Montréal.  He has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of public and governmental affairs as well as in financial communications. He gained this experience not only in Canada but abroad.  Through his expertise in corporate affairs and organizational structures, he has built a solid professional reputation and a considerable business network.

Claudia Pascu
Vice President

514.932.0159 ext. 3407

Claudia is a Member of the Order of Human Resources Professionals in Quebec and has over 12 years of experience in recruitment at the national and international level. Her high professional standards have led her to face complex challenges in executive search. She distinguishes herself by the depth of her evaluations and the ability to grasp the strategic issues of the mandates that are entrusted to her.

Claudia’s expertise is full lifecycle recruitment, succession planning and the development and integration of new talent, in the fields of artificial intelligence, technology, retail, healthcare, entertainment, and life sciences.

Claudia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Bucharest and has completed courses in Executive HR leadership at Cornell University.

Bruno Ouelette
Vice President and Executive Coach

514.932.0159 ext. 3049

Bruno is renowned as an expert coach in the fields of human potential transformation, performance, excellence, team development and leadership. He has carried out organizational development mandates for large international corporations and developed customized leadership programs. As an executive coach, he has combined his experience of high-performance sports and his corporate skills to inspire hundreds of leaders and people of high potential to pursue their personal evolution and deliver the results that they are responsible for delivering.

He is an impactful speaker who sets himself apart by the energy, passion and inspiration that he conveys to his audiences. He knows how to use science, to get the message across in simple terms and, especially, to provide people with the tools they need to provoke change and improvement. Over the course of the past decade, he has given hundreds of conferences on the following themes: leadership, courage, creativity and innovation, cohesiveness and teamwork, communication, listening skills, coaching, emotional intelligence, stress and resiliency, energy management, etc.

Bruno also has a ferocious appetite for learning and reads some fifty or so books on a variety of topics each and every year.

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).

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.

Dawn Bergot
Director, Client Solutions

604.899.2095 ext. 4704

Dawn is the Director, 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.

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.

Carolina Castro
Director & Executive Coach

514.932.0159 ext. 3173

From the onset of her career, Carolina used her energy as well as her listening and accompaniment abilities to help others advance and adapt to life changes. Seeking to innovate, understand and build, she initially decided to study in aeronautics. However, despite her passion for planes and the cosmos, her sense of relations led her to explore and deepen the crucial contributions made by humans to create these majestic works.

Following her university studies in careerology and driven by a strong leadership and surprising maturity, she quickly made a place for herself in consulting services and began coaching leaders and decision-makers. For close to 20 years now, she has coached a multitude of organizations and individuals to help them acquire and develop competencies and successfully drive change. She admittedly takes pleasure in energizing people by making them aware of what they need to take action.

Given her ability to grasp issues, her powerful use of images and her ability to say things not said, Carolina enables her coachees to give new perspectives to their situation and environment. She excels in the engagement, positioning and development of individual and collective leadership. She encourages people to surpass themselves in stimulating and challenging contexts and diffuses complex and delicate situations to foster confidence and action.

In a context of growth and high turbulence, Carolina is:

  • Convinced of each person’s potential
  • Welcoming and non-judgmental
  • Observant and intuitive
  • An energetic promoter of strengths and self-awareness
  • Enlightening in complex situations
  • Stimulating and motivating when it comes to achieving objectives
Louise Poisson
Director & Executive Coach

514.932.0159 ext. 3172

Louise likes to get off the beaten path. She uses her intuition and resourcefulness to move ahead and succeed where others, more skeptical, begin doubting and choose to stop. Her adventure began when she made an unexpected career choice despite the uncertainties expressed by those around her. For 20 years, she worked in communications and then turned to coaching. At the same time, she dared to follow her heart and leave her native Quebec to gain experience working abroad. The result: inevitable challenges such as cultural diversity, the unknown and even chaos which, at times, were even a source of inspiration for her. Her distinctive style, eclectic and straightforward, are in sync with her need to try new and varied methods, approaches, and ways of doing and being, which have led to develop a great talent for listening, understanding and inspiring contemporary leaders.

Louise’s experience as project and multidisciplinary team manager benefits leaders and team members alike, and her impact on them is greater, more meaningful and more effective year after year. Her quest took on its full meaning during a team coaching session during which she realized that she could help leaders reach their full performance potential through relationship dynamics, that is, the relationship people have with themselves, others and their environment.

“We are always in a relationship. Even alone at the top, leaders are constantly faced with endless facets of themselves that thrust them forward or hold them back, and all this plays out through complex internal and external relationship dynamics.”

To enable leaders to evolve, Louise reconnects them with their power while giving them the tools to effectively mobilize their team. She helps them set new targets using a systemic vision. Her creativity and the ease with which she sets a climate of trust encourage leaders to dare to be different and innovate, while her open-mindedness and welcoming nature incite them to search for opportunities by exploring all sorts of possibilities. As a lever of change, she inspires optimism, co-responsibility and cohesion.

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 holds 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.

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.

Tammy Hoffman
Senior Consultant

613.238.6266 ext. 2231

Tammy is a highly experienced career and talent management consultant, specializing in career transition, leadership and organizational development, and psychometric assessment.  She has worked with and coached individuals from all sectors, including executives, professionals and those beginning their careers.

Tammy’s main drive is helping individuals identify and step into their unique “genius”, propelling them to career success and a life of meaning and fulfillment.  Tammy helps her clients uncover their authentic “brand” through the use of psychometric assessment, coaching and self-reflection.

Tammy has a particular interest in advancing women in leadership and has facilitated and championed an innovative panel series on women and leadership as portrayed in the dramatic arts. She is also currently involved with Optimum Talent’s Women in Leadership program. In addition, Tammy has an acute interest in neuroscience and its application to leadership and personal and professional development. She has delivered workshops on the neuroscience behind stress resilience and actively uses neuromanagement principles to guide her work with individuals.

Tammy is a sought-after speaker and facilitator and her talks/workshops have included dealing with change, work-life balance, emotional intelligence, humour in the workplace and creative thinking, and alternative careers for lawyers.  She is an active contributor to blogs and articles on issues relating to talent management and current organizational thought leadership.

Tammy holds a Masters of Education in Counselling from the University of Ottawa and a Masters of Arts in Sociology from Carleton University.  She is qualified to administer numerous psychometric testing, most notably, SuccessFinder for both individual and team development.

Susan McIntyre
Senior Consultant


Susan has been an enthusiastic member of our Career Management team for over 15 years.  Her Career & Work Counselling program and extensive practical experience allow Susan to focus on providing career transition counseling and coaching, retirement lifestyle planning, assessment and group facilitation.  She brings to her clients expertise in interviewing and a passion for coaching people through the transition process to realize their potential and achieve personal goals.  As a Certified Retirement Coach, Susan enjoys partnering with clients transitioning to life’s next chapter.

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.

Lisa Heymans
Senior Consultant

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.

Suzanna de Souza
Senior Consultant

604.899.2095 ext. 4711

Suzanna is a Senior 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 her career in Marketing, Sales and Business Development and transitioned to Human Resources to focus on Career Coaching, Leadership & Development and Executive Search.  Suzanna uses her unique blend of skills to help clients leverage their brand and effectively market themselves within their professional community.

With an innate interest in seeing people through times of change, Suzanna is passionate about 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 promote 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 enjoys mentoring women and facilitating employment opportunities for newcomers.

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.

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.

Angus McComb


Angus is a Manager of Executive Search in Optimum Talent’s Toronto office. He comes with years of experience in the fields of research, brand strategy, and marketing. Angus began his career in recruitment with a reputable search firm where he developed a demonstrated track record of identifying, engaging and delivering the strongest candidates for challenging search mandates across a variety of industries including insurance, wealth management, CPG, manufacturing, pharma and healthcare. Utilizing a methodical and strategic approach, he generates a high rate of success for his clients. It is this strategic focus and process-orientation that had Angus overseeing the business unit’s research functions to elevate success rates while simultaneously decreasing delivery timeframes.

Angus is known for being exceptionally professional and trustworthy – someone who always looks out for the best interests of his clients and candidates. He takes pride in selecting individuals who align not only with the position but the organizational culture. Dedicated and detail-oriented, he ensures client needs are met and only the best results generated.

Angus attended Concordia University in Montreal and holds a BA Specialization in the Human Environment, with a minor in Marketing from the John Molson School of Business.

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.

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.

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.

Mathieu Mina
Sales Consultant

416.364.2605 ext. 1439

Mathieu is a Sales Consultant for Optimum Talent where he focuses on developing and sustaining relationships with clients across all three practice areas, with specialization in Career Transition and Outplacement.

Prior to joining Optimum Talent, Mathieu spent time at Robert Half Technology as an Account Executive for Temporary Contractors in Manchester, New Hampshire. In this role, he was responsible for generating new business opportunities, conducting meetings to build personal relationships with every client, and providing solutions with a focus on optimizing the customer experience.

Mathieu received his education at Mount Allison University and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Commerce/Marketing Major and Sociology Minor. While at Mount Allison, he helped co-found a local Microbrewery with the Entrepreneurship Program and learned many valuable skills about starting and running a business that continues to carry into his sales and business development role today.

Aoife Horan
Research Assistant

780.432.5490 ext. 4411

Aoife is a Research Assistant with the Executive Search team in Edmonton where she utilizes her strong administrative and research skills, business knowledge and experience to enable her team to deliver an outstanding client and candidate experience. Born and raised in the rural Midlands of Ireland, Aoife relocated to Edmonton in May 2018, and is excited to learn from her Optimum Talent colleagues and get accustomed to the Canadian way of life.

Excited at the prospect of learning everyday, Aoife has had a varied career to date from a Trainee Accountant role to a Retail Betting Assistant. She graduated from Athlone Institute of Technology in 2014 with a First-Class Honours Degree in Accountancy. Aoife is an animal enthusiast and has a specific affection for dogs.

Jonathan Verhesen, BPE, MCoach
Coordinator, Client Services

780.432.5490 ext. 4438

Jonathan joined Optimum Talent in 2017 as a Research Assistant with the Private Sector Executive Search team. Since then, Jonathan has transitioned into the role of Coordinator, Client Services, Talent Management Services. Passionate about all things athletics, he has held various leadership roles at the competitive level and is excited to integrate his experience in instructing and developing winning teams into his work at Optimum Talent. Jonathan looks forward to supporting the team to our client organizations and seeing their partnership thrive.

Jonathan graduated with a Masters of Coaching and Bachelor of Physical Education from the University of Alberta. Prior to working with Optimum Talent, Jonathan held various basketball coaching roles with the University of Alberta, MacEwan University and Grande Prairie Regional College. When Jonathan is not in the gym coaching, he can be found spending time with his wife and their two young kids.

Lenna Bradburn
Executive Consultant


Lenna is an Executive Consultant with our Career Transition & Outplacement team in Toronto. In supporting clients through their transition, Lenna draws on her extensive experience leading organizational transformation initiatives focused on aligning people, process and systems to meet current and future demands.

Throughout her career, Lenna has been an innovator and trailblazer transcending boundaries and working in a diverse range of sectors including government oversight, gaming, housing and policing. In the category of “trailblazer”, she was Canada’s first female police chief. Lenna brings her passion for thinking “outside the box” and helping others succeed as she supports her career transition clients on their journey.

Lenna is an active community volunteer serving as a member of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee for The Centre of Education and Training, an advisor to the Halton Poverty Roundtable, and an English tutor for Literacy South Halton.

Lenna’s accomplishments have been nationally recognized as she has been a recipient of the Top 40 Under 40 award, and Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100. Lenna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Criminology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University.

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.

Yves Lanctôt
Executive Coach


Yves has been coaching since 2011. He joined the Optimum Talent team in 2017. Up to now, he has coached more than 65 managers, executives and business leaders through 15 different companies of all sizes, from multinationals to SME. His mandates range from Skills and Leadership Development, training the next generation of managers and executives, Strategic Planning, Business Staging, as well returning to a more balanced life. Over the past years, Yves has developed many training and coaching programs, all designed to meet his customers needs and to help them reach their full potential.

Yves holds 25 years of experience as a manager. He worked his way up the ladder from Manager of Engineering to Plant Manager and up to VP, COO. Throughout his career, he has mainly worked for multinational companies in Europe (Philips) and the USA (Westinghouse), as well as Nova Pb, a medium size company in Quebec. During these years, he has developed and implemented winning strategies for all of the many stages of the Business Life Cycle (start-up, fast growth, maturity and decline). He also worked at initiating and implementing diversified activities for a company’s renewed growth.

Yves has completed a Training Program in Professional Coaching, attained ICF certification (International Coach Federation) and is in the process of obtaining his PCC certification (Professional Certified Coach). He holds an Executive Master’s Degree in Business Administration (EMBA) specialized in General Management from Sherbrooke University and a Bachelor’s degree in Professional Engineering from École Polytechnique de Montréal. He is also a certified trainer in Management from the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail du Québec and a certified consultant for numerous psychometric tests firms.

Yves is a member of various organizations: ICF and ICF Québec, AMBAQ (Quebec MBA Association) and OIQ (Quebec Engineer’s Order). From 2005 to 2008, he was one of the member of the Montreal Club of Future CEO from the Groupement des chefs d’entreprises du Québec and in 2016, he has been acting as an Expert member for this organization.

Michel Lizotte, CRHA,, ACC
Executive Coach


Having a wide experience in various business sectors, Michel is able to recognize a person’s strengths and qualities in order to optimize potential and management skills. As a manager, he has always focused on talent optimization.

Over the past 30 years, Michel has held numerous executive positions for private and public companies in different business lines. He began his career in labour relations for Dominion Textile and the Fédération des caisses populaires Desjardins de Montréal et de l’Ouest-du-Québec. Subsequently, he managed the human resources department at Aciers Slater and Groupe Rona and was a member of both companies’ management committee. In 1992, he launched a Human Resources consulting office in Quebec City for Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. In 1994, Michel held the position of General Manager for Quebec City’s official candidacy for the 2002 Winter Olympics. In 1998, as partner at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, he was responsible for the executive search practice, where he managed numerous senior executive recruitment mandates for various companies, most particularly for public corporations. He then assumed the presidency of the Raymond Chabot Ressources Humaines

Michel holds a Bachelor in Administration from HEC and is a member of the Ordre des CRHA. He obtained his Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential from ICF (International Coach Federation).Over the past 30 years, Michel has held numerous executive positions for private and public companies in different business lines.  He began his career in labour relations for Dominion Textile and the Fédération des caisses populaires Desjardins de Montréal et de l’Ouest-du-Québec. Subsequently, he managed the human resources department at Aciers Slater and Groupe Rona and was a member of both companies’ management committee. In 1992, he launched a Human Resources consulting office in Quebec City for Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. In 1994, Michel held the position of General Manager for Quebec City’s official candidacy for the 2002 Winter Olympics. In 1998, as partner at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, he was responsible for the executive search practice, where he managed numerous senior executive recruitment mandates for various companies, most particularly for public corporations. He then assumed the presidency of the Raymond Chabot Ressources Humaines group.

Michel holds a Bachelor in Administration from HEC and is a member of the Ordre des CRHA. He obtained his Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential from ICF (International Coach Federation).

Lindsay McMurray, CEC, ACC
Executive Coach


Lindsay McMurray is a seasoned executive coach with highly developed communication skills. He exhibits a deep commitment to helping those he works with develop and expand their leadership capabilities.  His approach is a balance of performance consulting and coaching which addresses the root challenges his clients are facing instead of the symptoms. With extensive experience consulting, selling and coaching Canada’s largest organizations, Lindsay possesses wide business knowledge and an understanding of the differences and similarities across numerous industries.

Lindsay’s approach to leadership is understanding who you are, how you show up and what impact you make. He believes in personal accountability first and looking at where your finger prints are involved.  “Leaders get, from their people, the behaviours they tolerate or exhibit!” He believes being accountable, maintaining integrity, strong people skills and the willingness to look at ourselves will move mountains and engage people. The more we become part of the solution, we will transform the workplace and build to the most powerful organizations out there.

Lindsay is also a Chair with TEC Canada (The Executive Committee), helping senior executives take their leadership and businesses to the next level through the power of peer advisory. Lindsay is a Certified Executive Coach (CEC) through Royal Roads University.  Lindsay is an active member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC).  Lindsay is also certified in the Core Values Index™ (CVI™) assessment.  Lindsay holds his Honours B.Comm. through the University of Windsor.

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
Michelle Courchesne, B.SC, M.URB, ACC
Executive Coach


Over the course of her career, Michelle has had various professional experiences, which have given her strong leadership skills and now help her effectively coach executives. She has led many, often multidisciplinary, management teams in both the private and public sectors, that are in the midst of major organizational changes. Having a practical and strategic understanding of the world in which leaders are evolving, she coaches managers with determination and compassion. Michelle provides leaders with powerful tools and approaches, including courage and creativity, which help them in making difficult decisions and playing a unifying leadership role.

Michelle began her career as an urban planning consultant with many municipalities in the Province of Quebec and was elected to the City Council of Laval in 1981. In 1985, she worked in the financial sector at Lévesque Beaubien, now National Bank Financial. From 1988 to October 1995, Michelle worked at the Ministry of Culture and Communications as a Deputy Minister, providing efficient administrative management linked to strategic issues and government policy direction.

From 1995 to 2000, as Executive Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, she established herself as an agent of change amongst members of the Board of Directors, employees, musicians and the artistic director. In 2001, she held the position of Executive Vice-President, Human Resources, Marketing and Communications at Cognicase, a public company in the IT sector.

In April 2003, Michelle started her extensive political career in the Liberal government, where she held many important positions, including Minister of Immigration, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, Minister of Education, President of the Treasury Board and Deputy Premier of Quebec. She demonstrated her leadership and the ability to manage political issues combined with administrative management and change management, often in high profile crises.

Michelle was also a member of several boards of directors, including the National Bank of Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Chamber of Commerce of Montreal, Montreal Tourism and the National Theatre School of Canada. She currently sits on the boards of the Mental Illness Foundation and the “Fondation de l’Institut du Tourisme et de l’Hôtellerie du Québec”. Michelle has attained the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation and is a member of the International Coach Federation and ICF–Quebec.

Marc Filion
Executive Coach


Marc has more than 25 years of experience as a senior executive responsible for the management of business units in marketing, product management, business development, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions. Marc specializes in mergers and acquisitions, challenges pertaining to growth, business turnaround and strategic planning. Marc is an ICF certified executive coach and supports business men, women, and teams who want to reach new heights in their careers, projects, personal lives and within their companies. Passionate about the human dimension and recognized for his ability to think “outside-the-box”, Marc’s experience gives him a deep understanding of the challenges of individuals evolving in large companies and SMEs, as well as challenges associated with the development and transformation of these organizations. He sees coaching as a powerful tool that enables leaders to discover and acquire new perspectives., These perspectives help them take appropriate measures using new frameworks that are engaging and compatible with themselves, their environment and company objectives.

Marc began his career in the telecommunications industry with Bell Canada. In 1997, he helped create Emergis, an e-commerce and Internet solutions company in the healthcare and finance sectors. For 11 years, he assumed several executive roles, including business unit presidency, business development and marketing and product management for North America. Following TELUS’ acquisition of Emergis, Marc was appointed Chief Operating Officer of TELUS Health Solutions and Financial Services with over 1,600 employees under his supervision. In 2013, he joined the Laurentian Bank of Canada as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Virtual Banking, and in 2015, he became the Chief Commercial Officer for Lumenpulse inc. Recognized for his business leadership, his ability to find innovative solutions to achieve exceptional results, and his remarkable negotiating skills, Marc has built his reputation as a dynamic manager specializing in the challenges of growth and profitability.

Marc holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, and a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales at the Université de Montréal. During his career, he has worked for several boards of directors of public and charitable companies. Formerly President of the Council of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Quebec, he has been a member since 2009. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Société zoologique de Granby.

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.

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

604.899.2095 ext. 4703

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).

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


Kirsten is a subject matter expert in career management. As a Senior Consultant for Optimum Talent, she brings eight years of experience in developing and delivering thought leadership and learning modules and providing one-on-one coaching support. Kirsten’s approach with her clients can be summarized in eight simple words: Genuine. Thoughtful. Quirky. Fun. Empowering. Caring. Stimulating. Supportive. Kirsten is known for engaging with her clients in effective dialogue by asking the right questions and discussing answers, ultimately helping them build skills, create plans, and monitor their progress.

Kirsten’s credibility in career management comes in part from her own reinvention over her 15-year career within the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. She has held roles spanning from Labour Relations and Human Resources Generalist with Kraft Foods to Diversity Researcher and Consultant for Catalyst Canada to Human Capital Consultant with Knightsbridge and finally as career consultant for Knightsbridge and Optimum Talent.

Kirsten has a Bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of Waterloo and a Masters of Labour Relations degree from the University of Toronto.

Andre Pouliot, ACC
Executive Coach

Andre has over 35 years of experience as an executive coach, senior leader, strategic advisor and business administrator. He acquired his 17 years of experience as a senior leader as President of Fujitsu Canada, President of DMR in Quebec and CEO for DMR’s Quebec office. In these various roles, Andre was able to continuously develop the organization’s vision by combining initiatives to improve the service offering by various acquisitions that were profitable and ensured the constant growth of the business. As business advisor, he directed some 50 mandates-projects for more than 30 clients from the public and private sectors. Andre also acts as a Director on several boards of Directors.

Over the course of his career, Andre has always known how to mobilize people towards a higher purpose thus enabling teams and organizations to exceed their goals. Today, as Executive Coach, Andre supports people who wish to progress on both a personal and professional level in their quest to fully realize themselves, thanks to their infinite intrinsic potential. Andre’s listening skills allow him to grasp issues of a complex situation as well as the players’ motivations. His capacity to synthesize complex and paradoxical information allows him to generate guidelines for action. Finally, his natural emotional intelligence gives him an empathetic style that is focused on understanding human consciousness and balancing all components of a vast business ecosystem. Thus, any Executive can benefit from his human approach as well as his extensive business experience.

Andre holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Administrative Data Processing from Laval University. He has also completed his training in executive coaching according to ICF’s standards (International Coach Federation). He is member of ICF Quebec and ICF international.

Maxine Clark
Executive Coach


Maxine specializes in creating meaningful learning experiences for individuals and organizations. With a coaching style that is focused, fun, and designed for breakthrough results, Maxine loves helping clients exceed their own expectations.

Maxine has blended operations management and psychology throughout her 15 years of business experience in consulting and in leadership roles within corporate and post-secondary environments. This has included designing award-winning leadership development programs recognized at the provincial and national levels, recruiting and coaching leaders in senior positions, and leading operational and project teams in transforming the way they work. Maxine has worked with clients from all over the world, and consulted in France, China, and the USA, in addition to her home country, Canada.

Maxine’s education includes a Bachelor of Commerce, Certificate in Executive Coaching, and a Master of Science in Organizational Development as well as professional certifications in coaching and project management. Always curious about the development journey of others, her thesis investigated the pivotal career experiences, social influences, and mindset of executive leaders.

Maxine loves getting engaged in her community through volunteering and has served on many boards of directors and as a facilitator of governance workshops for non-profit organizations in recent years.

Dino Dello Sbarba
Executive Coach


Dino is an executive coach with Optimum Talent and brings with him extensive knowledge and expertise having had a successful career in the food processing industry. With a background in accounting, he evolved to executive positions after acquiring expertise in sales, marketing, distribution and general operations.

In 1990, Dino joined Saputo Inc. and spent 27-years with the organization. Throughout his career at Saputo he helped achieve and lead the integration of numerous company acquisitions in the United States, South America, Europe and Australia thus enabling Saputo to become one of the 10th largest dairy companies in the world, with over 12,000 employees.  Dino held several positions such as President and Chief Operating Officer of The Canadian Division, The USA Division and The International Divisions and finally, President and Chief Operating Officer from 2012 to 2017. Throughout Saputo’s growth from a medium size family business to the multinational public company it is today, Dino was a key executive in protecting and maintaining the company’s culture while adding new people through acquisitions.

Dino believes people to be the greatest asset of any enterprise and no success can be achieved without the total buy-in from key leaders, managers and doers within an organization. He transmits this passion through coaching.

Currently, Dino sits on two corporate and institutional advisory boards. He has also been an Associate Director at Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company Holdings Limited from May 2014 to March 2017, and Chairman of the Dairy Processors of Canada association from 2009 to 2017.

Dino holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce, Management and Marketing, is a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec (Order of Professional Chartered Accountants of Quebec), and was appointed Fellow of The Society of Management Accountants of Canada (FCMA). Dino is a member of the International Coach Federation and is currently working to complete an executive coaching training program with Coaching de gestion in Montreal.

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.