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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

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.

  • David Clarke, Durham Mental Health Services

    David Clarke is Coordinator of Communications and Training with Durham Mental Health Services. He has worked locally in community mental health for over 20 years as a case worker, a program supervisor, and now in his current role. David has delivered educational presentations to organizations including Ontario Shores for Mental Health Sciences, the Ontario Ministry of Revenue, the Region of Durham, and the Whitby Chamber of Commerce.


    • Compassion Fatigue
  • Deborah Fletcher, Virtual Teambuilders

    As a facilitator, Deborah brings her passion for learning and development to leaders in the areas of organizationall change, effective communication, teambuilding and leadership development.For over 20 years Deborah has facilitated leadership skills training programs through both a classroom format and e-learning platforms and provided ongoing coaching for front-line, middle and senior management teams, covering topics ranging from empowering teams, building a customer-centric organization to performing under pressure.

    As a sought-after presenter in national conferences and symposiums, Deborah brings her humour and energy to the podium and delivers dynamic, engaging sessions and programs. Deborah holds a Diploma in Adult Training & Development from Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (O.I.S.E.), University of Toronto and is certified by DDI in their Skills For an Empowered Workforce Programs, in Ken Blanchard’s Situational Leadership II and IHHP’s Emotional Intelligence Programs.


    • Twice the Work, Half the Time
    • Handling Difficult Situations

    For more information, check out her profile on virtualteambuilders

  • 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:

  • Gary Slye

    Gary is known as a results-oriented professional who draws on years of experience as a VP, COO and GM in private, banking and provincial government sectors.  As an advocate of a strength-based approach, Gary helps organizations find their purpose, develop their employees, and make strategic organizational changes that stick. Gary has augmented his Civil Engineering degree with a Master’s Certificate in Organizational Development, Human Resources degree, and a Teaching Effectiveness certificate. Gary has held board positions on the Toronto Organizational Development Network and President of the Canadian Organizational Development Institute.


    • Strength Finder
  • Irene Becker

    Irene is an award-winning writer, speaker, coach and mentor who has helped clients in Canada, USA and Europe achieve breakthrough results in high stress, high change environments and in the face of major disruption or transition.

    Passionate about our ability to rise to the challenges before us, Irene developed her 3Q model and founded Just Coach It in 2004.  Her background as a business executive, leadership in the community at large and track record as a trailblazer led Irene to post-graduate certifications in life coaching, emotional intelligence coaching and executive coaching.

    Irene co-authored the book Exploring Coaching, and was interviewed on her 3Q Leadership Model by one of the top leadership coaches in the world, John Mattone and subsequently trained with him. Her 3Q Leadership Blog has won numerous Top 100 awards and she was among the top 200 most inspiring and most read authors on the internet for three consecutive years.    3Q Leadership Blog


    • Better Communication & Relationships
    • Influence & Persuasion
  • Joan Hill, CORE Consulting Inc.

    Joan Hill is a highly experienced consultant with deep knowledge of leadership development. She is consistently praised for her ability to identify key issues and

    develop practical, results-oriented business strategies as well as for her outstanding coaching, instructional design and facilitation skills.

    For the past 25 years, she has successfully designed and implemented stimulating, practical leadership workshops and 360-degree feedback processes for an

    impressive range of clients in both the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in the US and Canada.

    Under her leadership, CORE Consulting has won six prestigious awards in the past three years for its work in leadership development.

  • 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.

  • Nina Penner, CORE Consulting Inc.

    As a highly knowledgeable facilitator and coach with international experience, Nina has helped hundreds of leaders enhance their professional and personal success, through facilitating impactful leadership development workshops, psychometric tools and coaching.

    She has consulted to organizations in Canada, the Philippines and India and has worked with clients in numerous public and private sectors.  

    An accomplished facilitator with a designation from the Institute for Performance and Learning, Nina has designed and facilitated numerous large-scale leadership development programs and is uniquely positioned to understand and help individuals and organizations address their leadership challenges.

    Nina’s areas of expertise include communication skills, performance management, coaching, 360-degree feedback and psychometrics.

    Clients consistently comment on her depth of knowledge, commitment and sense of humour in creating learning events that are both engaging and simulating.


    • Managing Conflict
    • Creative Problem Solving & Decision Making
  • 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.