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Speaker bios

Below is some information about the speakers who will facilitate our professional development sessions in 2019-2020:

  • Anita Brisson, MBA, PMP, CLSS Black Belt

    Anita Brisson has 20 years of extensive hands-on experience in project management, administering new business projects, contracts and multi-million dollar progressive programs within telecom, data management, information technology, construction, health-care and aerospace industries. She has demonstrated a unique talent for problem solving and had become the 'go-to' person for troubleshooting within any program. Her strong leadership skills bring cohesiveness, clarity and a mutual sense of purpose to any multi-disciplinary team, which is imperative for project success.


    • Project Management

    For more information, check out her website:

  • Ann Morgan, PH&S Consultant

    Ann is a certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor and a recognized pioneer in the field of workplace mental health and Psychological Health and Safety.

    She delivers training, coaching and consulting to workplace leaders committed to creating psychologically safer workplaces. Ann has facilitated transformational healing for individuals and groups in various workplace settings.

    Ann is the chair of the Knowledge Transfer and Exchange Advisory Committee for the Institute for Work and Health where she champions the call for applied research on workplace mental health. In addition to her PH&S expertise, Ann is also a registered psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and is a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.

    Ann has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from McMaster University. Ann is PGAP (Progressive Goal Attainment Program) certified; she also holds a certificate in Conflict Management from Waterloo University and is a certified Workplace Fairness Analyst. As a psychotherapist, Ann provides treatment for adults, focusing on anxiety disorders, trauma, depression, chronic pain and adjustment difficulties; particularly those involving work-related challenges.


    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Psychologically Safe Leadership

    For more information, check out her profile on the drjotisamra website.

  • Diana Kawarsky, MA, CCP, President, The Soft Skills Group

    Diana is the President of The Soft Skills Group (TSSG). She has more than 20 years of experience working with more than 20,000 business professionals, effectively improving their management and communication skills to achieve higher impact results. Her clients include RBC, Sunnybrook Hospital, Just Eat, Government of Ontario, and many educational institutions. She holds a Master of Arts degree, is a Certified Coach Practitioner and is certified to use profiling tools including MBTI®, Certified Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ-i), True Colors®, and Life Skills.


    • High Impact Customer Service - You are the University!

    For more information, check out her profile on the TSSG website.

  • Doug¬†Heidebrecht, BComm

    After completing a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University, Doug developed an enthusiasm for bringing ”what they don’t teach you in business school”—specifically, self management—to the corporate world. Helping people produce better results, feel less stressed and enjoy life more is a huge motivator for Doug. In his efforts to promote long term learning implementation—real change—he has become an Adler Certified Professional coach.


    • Managing Me
    • Mastering the Mental Game

    For more information, check out his website:

  • Louisa Jewell, MAPP

    Louisa is the founder of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association. She has a master's degree in Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and teaches Positive Psychology at the University of Texas, Dallas. Previously she was an instructor of Positive Psychology at the University of Toronto. As a spokesperson for improving psychological well-being and happiness, she regularly contributes to various Canadian newspapers, including Forbes, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Huffington Post, Canadian Living Magazine, Live Happy Magazine, Chatelaine, Psychology Today, Women’s Agenda, Toronto Sun, Ottawa Citizen and many more.


    • Positive Teams

    For more information, check out her website:

  • Mila Naimark, Clockwork Talk

    Over the last 25 years, Mila Naimark has helped hundreds of leaders become better presenters in North America, Europe and Asia. She has worked with executives, managers, professionals, entrepreneurs and experts across a wide range of industries, from financial and business services to education, government and non-profit; from media and entertainment to health care, pharmaceuticals, and biotech; and from technology and telecommunications to hospitality and retail.

    She excels at helping you get to the heart of your topic, with strategies that ensure your presentations—and your delivery skills—produce the right results. A master crafter of messages and an insightful instructor, she is highly in demand as a consultant, facilitator and coach.

    Her communication expertise is built on leadership positions in communications at:

    • Sony in Tokyo and New York.
    • EY Advisory Services, as well as a boutique communications firm, in Toronto.

    She founded Clockwork Talk in 2008.


    • Designing Powerful Presentations
    • Powerful Storytelling

    For more information, check out her bio on the Clockwork Talk website.

  • Peter Hiddema, CEO, Common Outlook

    Peter got started in this field with the global pioneers at The Harvard Negotiation Project, a think tank at Harvard Law School. He has leveraged the Harvard methodology to teach executives from Global Fortune 500 companies such as Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, Royal Bank of Canada, MasterCard, CIBC World Markets, ING, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, KPMG and IBM the skills they need to successfully drive business performance for their organizations. He has also advised on transactions valued at many billions of dollars, and has had the pleasure of teaching students and executives at several universities.


    • Effective Negotiation Skills

    For more information, check out his profile on the Common Outlook website.

  • Shannon Thompson, Conflict Management Expert

    Shannon Thompson is a passionate and engaging facilitator, trainer, mediator and coach. She is known for bringing fresh energy and a keen sensitivity to the needs of each group. For more than 10 years she has designed and led training sessions, including team-building, communication skills, conflict resolution, and Personality Dimensions. She trained in Interpersonal Mediation at St. Stephen's in 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Education and coaching certification with the Coaches Training Institute. She is a graduate of WCREC's Facilitator Training Program, Anti-Oppression Anti-Racism Model. She draws on her prior work as an Executive Director in the non-profit sector and as a journalist with the CBC.


    • Deep Diversity: A Framework for Understanding Action
    • The 4 Rs of Conflict Management/Understanding People Styles
  • Simone Lee Hubers, BA (Hons.), Learning Curve

    Simone has provided computer training to many clients for more than 30 years. She has an incredibly extensive portfolio of clients, and has taught at several academic institutions over the years. Currently she teaches at the University of Toronto, and has taught at Ontario Tech University since 2012. She consistently delivers fantastic Microsoft Suite training that remains up-to-date and relevant. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and focuses on helping her students build efficiencies in their work.


    • OneNote
    • Outlook
    • Beyond Basic Excel
    • Intermediate Excel
    • Excel Functions and Formulas (1, 2 and 3)
  • Stephen de Paul, PhD

    Stephen has worked with technical and administrative documentation since 1985. He founded WordTask Information Strategies in 1991 and has helped clients in the private and public sectors with their communications skills and processes. Clients include the City of Ottawa, the City of Toronto, National Research Council, Region of Waterloo, Canadian Securities Transition Office, Communications & Power Industries Canada, Literacy Council York-Simcoe, Health Canada, Canadian Forces Grievance Board, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Public Service Commission, Canada Revenue Agency, Public Health Agency of Canada, and other groups in the federal government of Canada, to name only a few.


    • Documenting Processes and Procedures

    For more information, check out the WordTask Information Strategies website.