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  • Career planning and assessment
  • Resume development and optimization
  • Creating your professional online profile
  • Networking training and events
  • Interview preparation

Our Team

Richard Bucher
Vice President

T: 403.261.8080 ext. 4361
E: email

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

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

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

Ronald Dahms
Executive Chair

T: 514.687.2218
E: email

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, MSc, MBA
Chief Executive Officer

T: 780.432.5490 ext. 4424
E: email

Mike offers over twenty years’ experience at the senior management level, including sixteen in the professional search industry. After a decade in the healthcare 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 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. Most recently, Mike was recognized by Business in Edmonton Magazine as a 2014 Leader of Tomorrow.

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.

Diane Wheatley
Chief Administrative Officer

T: 780.432.5490 ext. 4431
E: email

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

T: 416.800.5550 ext. 222
E: email

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

T: 514.687.2240
E: email

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, Leadership, Assessment & Development

T: 647.788.3204
E: email

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 new book, titled “Accelerating Leadership Development”, was published by Wiley and focuses on leadership assessment, leadership development and succession management.

Sandra Boyd
National Practice Leader

T: 647.788.3230
E: email

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

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

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

Tricia Mullen
National Practice Leader, Executive Search & Recruitment Solutions

T: 780.432.5490 ext. 4426
E: email

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

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

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

Lori Dyne
Vice President, Marketing & Communications

T: 647.788.3245   
E: email

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

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

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

Solange Gauthier, CRHA
Director, Human Resources

T: 514.687.2228
E: email

Solange Gauthier is Director, Human Resources at Optimum Talent. 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).

She joined Optimum Talent in 2010. In her current role, she is responsible for human resource management for our Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic offices. She advises and assists managers in the interpretation and application of policies, procedures and laws that relate to human resource management.

She also supervises the performance appraisal process, keeps the compensation system updated, manages the staffing process and collaborates with managers and employees in labor relations issues.

As she was involved in the developed and implementation of human resources programs, she is able to understand the challenges that human resources managers are facing. Solange has also extensive project management experience, primarily in a major consulting firm. She works at achieving excellence in the consulting process and continuous enhancement, thus reaching objectives based on the business plan.

Solange is known for her people skills, versatility and her desire to assist in the advancement of the HR profession.

Scott Doupe
Managing Director

T: 403.261.8080 ext. 4317
E: email

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.

Tamara Mago

T: 403.261.8080 ext. 4318
E: email

Tamara first joined Optimum Talent in 2010 to establish the Professional Search practice. Tamara is known for her authentic leadership style, enthusiasm and ability to build lasting relationships with her clients. She utilizes her search expertise and broad network to recruit top talent in the areas of human resources, finance, marketing, supply chain management, health and safety, and sales.

Prior to joining Optimum Talent, Tamara spent 10 years developing her search career with one of Canada’s largest privately held professional recruitment firms as well as with a global Fortune 1000 recruitment firm.

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

Terri Phipps
Managing Director

T: 604.899.2095 ext. 222
E: email

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.

Monica Murray, CPA, CA
Vice President

T: 604.899.2095 ext. 227
E: email

Monica is a Vice President, Executive Search with Optimum Talent specializing in professional and executive level finance positions for organizations in British Columbia.

The first two decades of Monica’s professional career has navigated her through the waters of finance, accounting, HR, executive leadership, board work, and entrepreneurship. As a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) the first 12 years of her career were in a finance and accounting capacity with PwC, Methanex, and 360 networks.

In 2004 Monica founded the executive search firm Higher Resources specializing in professionally designated finance and accounting placements for organizations in the Lower Mainland. Working closely with her candidates and clients, the team at Higher Resources were proud of the relationships built with several Vancouver based businesses and a candidate retention rate of 96%. After winding up the practice in 2010, Monica rounded out her experience, by providing CFO consulting services for small businesses working directly with Senior Management and their accounting teams.

Most recently in 2016, Monica was Principal, Diversity & Inclusion for CPA Canada giving her the opportunity to combine her extensive knowledge of the CPA profession and her passion for supporting diversity and women in business & leadership.

Monica continually gives back through years of active participation with various boards and committees focusing on women in leadership.  She is currently involved as a Board member with the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs supporting Canadian women entrepreneurs to become wildly successful.

Monica grew up and started her university life in Alberta, but the mountains and ocean called and she’s resided in Vancouver with her family ever since.

Angelique Meyer, PCC, MBA
Vice President

T: 604.899.2095 ext. 238
E: email

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.

René Tardif

T: 780.432.5490 ext. 4430
E: email

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, from business development to 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. His true passion for the executive search industry was developed 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 Board of Directors and is the past Vice Chair of Kids Up Front Edmonton. He donates his time with youth leadership initiatives in his community. When weather permits, you can find René relaxing at the lake and spending time with his children.

Terry Stein, FCPA, FCMA, CHRP
Vice President

T: 403.261.8080 ext. 4324
E: email

Terry is a Vice President with the Executive Search practice.  He has 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) for the last five years where he successfully launched and grew the Corporate Services practice.  Previously, Terry was responsible for launching, growing and managing Futurestep (A Korn/Ferry International Company) in Western Canada, which included offices in both Calgary and Vancouver with responsibility for business development and executing on senior level search projects and large-scale recruiting arrangements with local, national and international organizations.  Terry started out in the Search industry with Robert Half Canada where he spent six years specializing in finance, accounting and information technology while being individually recognized as a top global revenue generator.  He also spent ten years in various accounting, finance and management roles within industry and three years in a public accounting firm.

In addition to being a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Terry is a Canadian Human Resource Professional (CHRP) and was awarded the Fellow of The Society of Management Accountants (FCMA) designation in 2006.  He has actively served on the Board of CMA Alberta (including Chairing the Audit & Risk Management Committee), CMA Canada Competency Development Committee and the CMA Alberta Devolution Task Force.  He is an active member of both the Society of Management Accountants of Alberta and the Human Resources Institute of Alberta.  Since 2009, Terry has 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 and Alzheimer’s research.

Cheryl Van Duzen, RPR
Vice President

T: 604.899.2095 ext. 224
E: email

Cheryl is a Vice President of Executive Search with Optimum Talent in Vancouver. She has over 15 years of recruitment experience in the BC marketplace, specializing in mid to upper level roles in the areas of operations, sales & marketing and supply chain. Her results-centered approach and dedication to hard work allow her to build excellent rapport and long lasting relationships with both clients and candidates. Cheryl is consistently commended by her clients for her caring and honest approach.

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

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

Tania Corbett, Ph.D
Vice President

T: 403.261.8080 ext. 4304
E: email

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

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

Alain Forget, M. Ps.
Vice President & Coach

T: 514.647.2246
E: email

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.

Annie Lafrenière, M. Ps.

T: 514.687.2221
E: email

Annie LaFrenière holds of a Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.  She joined the Optimum Talent team in 2008, after working for the McGill University Health Centre’s Research and Intervention Centre for Healthy Workplaces.

Annie engages primarily in mandates that relate to professional and management skills evaluations, organizational diagnosis, training, team building and conflict resolution. She conducts investigations following a psychological harassment complaint at work. She also holds an expertise in the development of psychometric tools and training materials, data collection, facilitating workshops and working groups.

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

T: 647.788.3241
E: email

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

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

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

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

André Pouliot, ACC
Executive Coach

E: email

André 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 Québec office. In these various roles, André 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. André also acts as a Director on several boards of Directors.

Over the course of his career, André has always known how to mobilize people towards a higher purpose thus enabling teams and organizations to exceed their goals. Today, as Executive Coach, André 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. André’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.

André 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 Québec and ICF international.

Annie Clément
Executive Coach

E: email

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.

David Murray
Executive Coach

E: email

David has more than 21 years’ HR executive management and consulting experience.  With both Wood Gundy Inc. and TD Securities, he was Vice President and Director of Human Resources.  As a Partner with the executive search firm of Ray & Berndtson, his practice focused on all aspects of financial services including Wealth Management, Investment, Operations and HR, as well as giving him significant exposure to government, retail and the food and beverage industry.   David joined KWA in 2002 to coach executives one-on-one through all phases of career management. In 2006, he was appointed Senior Vice president and General Manager, responsible for managing the operations of Optimum Talent’s five offices in south western Ontario.

David is a past Chairman of the Board of Governors of Humber College, and was one of the first graduates of Humber’s business school.

David Roy
Executive Coach

E: email

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.

Émilie Bélanger, D. Ps
Senior Consultant, Psychologist Career Management

T: 418.650.6200 ext. 3626
E: email

Émilie Bélanger holds a Doctorate in organizational psychology. She joined Optimum Talent in 2010 and she is based in Québec city. She participates in selection processes and carries out skills assessment mandates for management and professional level positions. She also engages in organizational diagnostic related issues, conflict resolution and conducts inquiries in psychological harassment.

Passionate on the subject of psychological health at work, Émilie has developed an expertise in employee commitment towards organizational change, and psychological enablement at work.

She acts as coach for managers and professionals who wish to develop their management skills.

Germaine Watts
Executive Coach

E: email

Germaine has over 25 years’ experience working in the areas of Human Resource Management and Organization Development. This includes Workforce Design, Succession Planning, Team-based Resourcing, and Organization Assessment and Improvement. As a senior manager and certified Pathfinder Career System practitioner, she has devoted the past decade to developing innovative methods for enhancing team and organizational effectiveness using propensity-based talent management practices.

Focused on achieving superior human performance in high reliability contexts, she has pioneered new approaches to integrating human and organizational factors into the design and implementation of process-based integrated management systems. In addition, she has explored new ways of addressing organization performance challenges, including culture and leadership issues, using aggregate propensity data to understand workforce strengths and challenges and to define system-wide recruitment and development priorities.

Convinced that human beings are the most important ‘asset’ she continues to ask the question «How can organizations become what their members have the potential to be»?

Janet Wright, MED, ACC
Executive Coach

E: email

Janet is a certified coach and facilitator with Optimum Talent. in Vancouver, BC. For over 25 years, she has helped individuals and organizations with their career and talent management initiatives.

In her coaching practice, Janet works with mid and senior level managers as well as new HR professionals to build skills for career growth and success, improving effectiveness in leadership, communication, performance management and career planning. She has also designed and delivered a wide range of group training programs in areas such as team development, retirement lifestyle planning and handling difficult conversations.

In addition to her business consulting activities, she has managed Human Resources in the hospitality industry, taught psychology and assertiveness training at the community college level, held career counseling positions at York University and University of Toronto and managed the Graduate Services department for a national vocational school. Her current volunteer work involves supporting new entrepreneurs in the helping professions.

Janet holds a Master’s degree in Adult Education and Counseling, certificates in Executive Coaching and Conflict Mediation and is a designated DISC Behavior Style and PIAV specialist.

Jennifer Pierce
Executive Coach

E: email

Jennifer brings more than 20 years of diverse experience to Optimum Talent. She held the position of Senior Vice President, HBC Talent Management – North America with Hudson’s Bay Company as well as the position of Vice-President, Human Resources for a national retail organization. Jennifer also worked for several years as a Consultant at KPMG Career Consulting.

As an Adler Trained Coach, Jennifer is currently completing her certification in the Pathfinder Career System assessment tool. In addition, she is trained/certified in a host of assessment tools.

Jennifer completed her MBA at Wilfrid Laurier University, her HBA (Psychology) at York University and her BA (Political Science) at the University of Western Ontario. Jennifer brings a rich diversity of experience and enthusiasm to Optimum Talent, among which is her passion for our business space as well as her consultative approach and leadership style

Lindsay McMurray, CEC, ACC
Executive Coach

E: email

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.

Marge Watters
Executive Coach

Marge Watters is a career consultant, author and coach who has spent more than 20 years helping individuals find their ideal career path and maximize their career potential.  She has extensive experience both with those in transition and those seeking development on the job.

As an independent coach and career consultant, Marge has been active in coaching individual clients from a variety of organizations on leadership competencies, managerial skills, communication style and career fit.  Her background as a business leader and individual consultant position her well to help clients recognize and capitalize on their strengths as well as identify blind spots and make changes that improve both relationships and performance.

Prior to 2006, Marge and her partner, John Knebel, built and led Knebel Watters & Associates, a successful and well-respected career management firm.  As KWA grew from start-up to ranking among the top five organizations in its industry, Marge gained solid experience in strategic planning, business development, and operations.  As a career consultant, Marge worked with individuals from all levels of the organization to help them move successfully through the challenging process of career transition.  She also developed programs to support corporate clients in planning and implementing organizational change initiatives including re-structuring, outsourcing, acquisition integration and downsizing. Marge has worked with several organizations in the development of strategies and programs using career management as a retention tool. Among Marge’s notable achievements is the authoring of It’s Your Move – A Guide to Career Transition and Job Search for Canadian Managers, Professionals and Executives, published by HarperCollins in 2001 with subsequent editions in 2004, 2007 and 2012.

Marge’s previous experience includes 19 years in the financial services industry including corporate finance, and investment banking. She was a Vice President of Citibank Canada, and co-founder of Penfund Management Ltd. and Permanent Commercial Corporation.

Marge holds an M.A. in Theology and an M. Div. from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Northwestern University. As a certified Pathfinder Career System practitioner, she is qualified in the use of a variety of interpersonal and career development assessment tools.

Mathieu Blais, Psy. D.
Senior Consultant

T: 514.687.2249
E: email

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

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

Michele Roy
Executive Coach

E: email

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.

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

E: email

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

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

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

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

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

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

T: 514.687.2215
E: email

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

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

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

Nicola Johnson

T: 416.947.3278
E: email

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.

Nicole Langlois, PCC

T: 514.687.2238
E: email

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.

Normand Côté
Vice President

T: 647.788.3228
E: email

Normand has over 38 years of banking and consulting experience in both Line Banking and various staff functions. His last position at BMO before joining Optimum Talent was as Head of Employee Relations and had the dual challenge of protecting the legal and legislative rights of both employees and the Bank across North America and abroad.

He is a certified ADR Mediator and Labour Arbitrator and a professionally trained executive coach. He also has extensive experience in commercial and personal lending, staffing, training and compensation. He played a leading role for over 20 years at the Canadian Bankers Association by representing the banking industry and all federally regulated employers at numerous parliamentary and senatorial committee hearings and at the United Nations’ International Labour Organization in Geneva where he acts or has acted as the Canadian employer spokesperson, Delegation Head and Employer Chair for all 180 member-states.

Normand is Chair of Parachute and Workplace Safety and Prevention Services Ontario and is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Pat Minicucci
Executive Coach

E: email

Pat is an executive coach passionate about inspiring and uplifting individuals, teams and organizations to achieve what they thought was not possible.  He provides informed advice, advocacy and strategic encouragement by establishing empathetic, supportive and confidential working relationships enabling leaders to be authentic, confident and accountable.

Pat’s career spanned over three decades in the Canadian banking industry, with over twenty years as a senior executive. During that time, Pat coached, mentored, and supported Boards of Directors, C-suite and senior executives in financial services and across a wide range of industries both in Canada and internationally.

In addition to being a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute (CTI), Pat is a certified corporate director (ICD.d) from the Institute of Corporate Directors & the Rotman School of Business, and a graduate of the Advanced Management Program from the Harvard Business School. He is a fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers (FICB), and holds a B.Comm from McGill University

Richard La Rue, CPCC, PCC
Vice President & Coach

T: 514.687.2217
E: email

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).

Robin Altman, PCC
Executive Coach

E: email

Robin is an executive coach, speaker, coaching faculty member, and adult learning designer. Since 2008, her highly flexible and adaptive style has allowed her to successfully customize her approach to a variety of executives, teams and groups. Robin has worked with clients in industries such as marketing communications, media and entertainment, telecommunications, IT, retail, CPG, financial services, insurance, the public sector and not-for-profit.

Prior to her coaching career, Robin acquired twenty years’ experience as a creative leader in the media, entertainment and telecommunications industries, developing and staging original content and brands for presentation on multiple platforms. She became known as an entrepreneurial trailblazer, occupying various communications, programming and content development positions for companies such as Just For Laughs: The Montreal International Comedy Festival, CTV Television Networks, and TELUS. Her experience spanned live events, television as well as digital and mobile platforms. As coach since 2008, Robin’s flexible, adaptive and thoughtful approach has helped executives, entrepreneurs, creative professionals and teams at all levels access their full potential in order to accelerate their organization’s success and advance professionally. Robin is a practiced, astute listener who can get to the core of the matter with ease. She brings an amenable and genuine style that enables clients to trust as they explore terrain that is unfamiliar, exciting and all too rarely visited.

Robin is also on the Coaching Faculty at Adler Learning, a worldwide pioneer in coaching education, where she is highly rated as a teacher of all aspects of Adler’s Professional Coaching program. Robin is also a sought-after Mentor Coach for students working toward certification with the International Coaching Federation. Before joining Optimum Talent’s roster of coaches, Robin served as Executive Coach to Lee Hecht Harrison Knightsbridge. Since 2011, Robin has also partnered with Toronto’s exclusive Spoke Club to deliver coaching workshops and professional development events. Robin has also appeared as a guest expert on City TV’s Cityline and Breakfast Television.

Robin is certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF).  She obtained her Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Marketing from Concordia University. She received her Certification in Leadership Coaching and Team Coaching: The Living Systems Approach from the University of Toronto in conjunction with Adler International Learning.

Susanne Laperle
Executive Coach

E: email

Susanne is an accomplished senior executive who has led Human Resources and Communications portfolios on behalf of a number of well known Canadian organizations. A leader and coach, she has been recognized for facilitating transformational change and has been a valued, trusted advisor and resource for Boards of Directors, CEO’s and their senior management.

Throughout her career, Susanne prioritized Leadership Development, at the corporate and individual level.  Susanne successfully led the design and implementation of Succession Plans in several organizations, including the oversight of customized individual development plans for executive successors.  She has supported Boards, CEO’s and Leadership teams through turnarounds and restructurings, plus spent several years as a senior consultant with one of Canada’s leading marketing consultancies.

Before joining Optimum Talent as an Executive Coach, Susanne was the Senior Vice President Human Resources and Communications with Export Development Canada (EDC). She brings deep experience from the service and financial services sectors, encompassing both national and international aspects. She has served on advisory boards for Human Resources Associations and was recognized in 2012 as the Strategic Goals Champion with a Vision Award from the Ottawa Chapter of the OHRPA.

Susanne is a graduate of Rotman School of Business (University of Toronto) with a Masters of Business Administration. She completed her lCD – Directors’ Education Program at Rotman in 2007 and her undergraduate studies were at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Sir George Williams (Concordia).

She also completed the CTI (Coaching Training International) curriculum in 2013, in support of her coaching career

Trina Boivin
Vice President

T: 647.788.3202
E: email

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 a certified in Successfinder, multiple other assessments, and adult training with a Masters certification in Organizational Psychology and a BA in International Relations.  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.

Uri Galimidi, MSc, MBA, ACC
Executive Coach

E: email

Uri uses a combination of mentoring and coaching to help leaders develop the skills and behaviours that will enable them to achieve remarkable career and life outcomes.

These skills may include communicating with impact, navigating the corporate landscape, developing alliances, cultivating your professional brand, inspiring your team, and building your competitive resilience.

Uri helps his clients identify the top most impactful qualities they wish to acquire, develop a plan for achieving these qualities, motivating them, and holding them accountable until they meet their goals.

Uri spent most of his career in senior Management Consulting positions, including Global Partner with the Consulting Firm Accenture in South Africa, Vice President with Oracle Corporation in the USA, and Senior VP with Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Canada. In these roles, Uri helped his C-Level clients and their teams develop business strategies and implement complex projects with budgets of up to $50m and project teams of up to 300 members.

In 2008, Uri shifted from active consulting to mentoring, coaching, writing, and speaking on topics such as Leadership, Organizational Transformation, and Personal Development.

Uri earned his MSc in Bio-Medical Engineering and his MBA in South Africa. Uri is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and hold an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential. Uri also holds a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification from the PMI (Project Management Institute).

Uri is an avid traveler, amateur photographer, and long distance runner.

Virginia Murray, CPCC, ACC, ICD.D
Executive Coach

T: 416.947.3271
E: email

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.

Nicole Maxfield
Director, Systems and Operational Efficiency

T: 647.788.3210
E: email

Nicole originally joined Optimum Talent in 2007 as an executive search consultant. In 2009, Nicole moved to a role to support the Corporate HR Team in technology roll-outs and training and development before expanding her family one last time.  After a few years Nicole has returned to Optimum Talent to play an active role in the Interim Management Solutions team, refining processes and future strategies balanced with companywide training and development initiatives.

Nicole is fun-loving and enjoys life to its 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.

Monica Simpson

T: 403.261.8080 ext. 4320
E: email

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

T: 403.261.8080 ext. 4322
E: email

Jon joined Optimum Talent in 2017 following five years of previous search experience in the Alberta marketplace. He brings 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.

Megan Schwann
Director, Corporate Services

T: 780.432.5490 ext. 4421
E: email

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.

Tracy Presisniuk

T: 780.432.5490 ext. 4402
E: email

Tracy has been part of the Optimum Talent organization 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.


Gord Syme
Managing Director

T: 780.432.5490 ext. 4439
E: email

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

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

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

Stephanie Walden

T: 780.432.5490 ext. 4405
E: email

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 Search 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.

Braden Norman

T: 780.432.5490 ext. 4433
E: email

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.

Michael Hladun
Vice President

T: 780.432.5490 ext. 4435
E: email

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

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

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

John Walker

T: 780.432.5490 ext. 4434
E: email

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.

Veronica Odynski

T: 780.432.5490 ext. 4410
E: email

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.

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

T: 306.949.8875 ext. 4501
E: email

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.

Dawn Bergot
Senior Consultant

T: 604.899.2095 ext. 231
E: email

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

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

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

Debra Adey
Senior Consultant

T: 647.788.3211
E: email

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.

Lynn Catenazzi
Vice President

T: 647.788.3214
E: email

Lynn has over 15 years’ experience in the career transition industry, with a focus on business development, relationship management, and client services.  She has supported numerous organizations in effectively planning, managing and implementing restructuring initiatives.  Lynn has provided coaching and training to client organizations through all phases of a project, including a large-scale national initiative, impacting more than 1,000 employees.

Lynn began her career in the outplacement industry with Murray Axmith, and played a key role in supporting the national network of offices.  As Vice President, Business Development, Lynn complements our team of seasoned professionals and brings a dedicated focus to business development and account management.  Lynn holds a BA in Commercial & Administrative Studies, University of Western Ontario.

Randy De Piero

T: 416.800.5550 ext. 4225
E: email

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.

Matt Goff
Vice President, Sales

T: 647.788.3246
E: email

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.

Richard Gudino
Vice President

T: 416.800.5550 ext. 272
E: email

Richard Gudino joined the Toronto office of Optimum Talent May 2017 as Vice President, Executive Search, Financial Services Practice. With 20 years of search experience in both corporate and consulting organizations, he has deep market expertise in advising senior financial services leaders on talent issues.

Richard began his career at the Toronto office of Russell Reynolds Associates where he conducted searches across North America for the firm’s financial services practice. He then led the Corporate Finance Talent Acquisition portfolio at Manulife Financial before introducing the build out of in-house executive search functions at both BMO Financial Group and TD Bank.

Richard earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts “with High Distinction” degree in Philosophy from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier’s School of Business & Economics. He is fluent in Spanish and is an active bassist in the Toronto music scene.

Peder Jacobsen
Vice President

T: 647.788.3217
E: email

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

Laurie Kornmuller
Regional Manager

T: 519.913.8029
E: email

Laurie has 15 years’ experience as a transition consultant, facilitator and manager first with a large telecommunications company and then as co-founder of an independent career management firm. She has extensive experience in developing client based programs, individual coaching and workshop facilitation. She is qualified to deliver the MBTI and Strong Interest Inventory.

Heather Lawson
Vice President

T: 416.947.3275
E: email

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

Margaret Maich
Vice President

T: 647.788.3215
E: email

Margaret’s corporate experience in HR includes positions with Canada Life, Deloitte and finally,York Finch General Hospital where she was Director and then VP, HR.  Her experience includes labour relations and contract negotiations, management and executive recruitment, corporate-wide retention strategies, implementing performance evaluation programs and planning and implementing organizational restructurings and downsizings.  Margaret has over 20 years’ consulting experience in career transition management, working one-on-one with executives.  She has particular expertise in strategically positioning executives in the marketplace, fine tuning their marketing presentations and creating impactful written communications.  Margaret has served on the Board of Directors of the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario and has chaired their Annual Conference Committee.  Margaret has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Queen’s University.

Susan McIntyre
Senior Consultant

T: 647.788.3224
E: email

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

Lisa Myers
Manager, Client Services

T: 647.788.3220
E: email

Lisa Myers is an optimistic and motivating career and talent management services professional with over 20 year’s 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.

Arwa Nasrallah

T: 416.800.5550 ext. 276
E: email

Arwa started her career working in research. After completing both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the UK, she continued to work in the UK in the market research field, as well as conducting research with a renewable energy company. Soon after, she shifted her career to the legal field and worked as a Paralegal & Translator before finding her way to Executive Search.  Arwa worked with a large global Executive Search firm for over 3 years identifying and attracting senior talent for clients across a broad range of sectors, including; Government, FMCG, Industrial Manufacturing, Retail, and Education.  After relocating to Canada, she is now working with Optimum Talent- Conroy Ross Partners as Executive Search Consultant, and continuing to attract top talent to senior positions across a variety of sectors.

Donna Eden

T: 613.238.6266 ext. 2247
E: email

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.

Rob Notman
Managing Director

T: 613.238.6266 ext. 2224
E: email

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

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

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

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

Michael Parkinson
Vice President

T: 647.788.3210
E: email

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

T: 519.746.2616 x. 2123
E: email

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.

Frances Sardone

T: 647.788.3244
E: email

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.

Doug Tansley
Vice President

T: 613.238.6266 ext. 2226
E: email

Doug has worked with Optimum Talent since 1998, and primarily works with Clients from Senior Manager to C-Suite levels. Before joining Optimum Talent, he was Senior Consultant and then Vice-President of Consulting for another large career transition consulting firm. Going ‘way back, he was a member of the management team for a major high-tech manufacturing plan, and he also has an entrepreneurial side, having owned his own human resources consulting practice for a number of years. Fun facts: Doug used to play the Blues with Dan Aykroyd (also ‘way back!), and he has his Sommelier designation.

Jane Watson
Vice President

T: 647.788.3236
E: email

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

Irene Zimmerman
Senior Consultant

T: 647.788.3206
E: email

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.

Pierre Payette
Vice President

T: 514.687.2233
E: email

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

T: 514.687.2232
E: email

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.

Johanne Pettigrew

T: 514.687.2241
E: email

Johanne is a Search Manager with the executive search team. In addition to her Bachelor’s degree, Johanne has more than 25 years’ experience in a variety of sectors where she has held different positions. Her fifteen plus years of recruiting experience has made it possible for Johanne to take part in carrying out numerous recruiting assignments for senior and middle managers. Johanne is recognized for her team spirit and constant concern for improving processes and client services.

Kim Hirsch
Manager, Marketing and Communications

T: 403.261.8080 ext. 4310
E: email

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 worn many hats including, training and development, event management, IT implementations, and colleague engagement initiatives.

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

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

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

Lisa Heymans

T: 519.746.2616 ext. 2124
E: email

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.