Transition:

If your employer has provided you with Career Transition Support through Optimum Talent, fill out the form to get started.

Career Transition Support Form

 

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

Our Team

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.

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.

René Tardif
Partner

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.

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
Manager

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
Consultant

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
Manager

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
Manager

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
Consultant

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.