I arrived in Canada from Belgium in October of 1988, with nothing but a set of chef’s knives and $500 in my pocket. Armed with my chef training and front-of-house experience, I ran the food services at the newly opened National Art Gallery in Ottawa. On multiple occasions, I was asked to take over the leadership of teams that were deemed “dysfunctional” and requiring a “complete overhaul”, by which my bosses meant that I should fire everyone and rebuild from scratch.
Really, I wondered? How could no one on these teams be good at anything? Rather than blindly following advice from the powers-that-be, I did my own thing (something I’ve been known to do over the years). For starters, I was genuinely curious about each individual’s story, and I was eager to uncover their unique talents. What did each person bring to the table? How could I put their gifts to good use?
I began to notice a pattern: teams I lead were becoming high performing. On top of that, we were having a blast.
My eagerness to understand how I was leading differently is what motivated me to study industrial psychology, human resources management, executive coaching, leadership, and, eventually, to redirect my career into human capital management.
I believe there’s an urgent need to redefine our model of organizational leadership so that it places equal value on organizational and individual success.
To this end, I’ve dedicated several decades to building workplaces that are simultaneously values- and outcome-based. I’ve worked in organizations of all kinds (private and public) and all sizes in a number of industries, including hospitality, tourism, and real estate.
In my previous roles and my current one, I’ve been at the helm of large-scale, business-transformation initiatives. This is to say I understand and empathize with the pressure and demands of those in senior leadership roles, and I take pride in the ability I’ve had to find common ground in the midst of conflicting stakeholder perspectives and needs.
Named by BC HRMA (now CPHR BC & Yukon) as the 2014 HR Professional of the Year, I hold a Certificate in Industrial Psychology, a B.A.A. in Human Resources from l’Université du Québec en Outaouais, and an M.A. in Leadership from Royal Roads University. I am also a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and a Certified Executive Coach (CEC) who incorporates the research of Dr. Brené Brown into both my life and my work.
- Certificate in Industrial Psychology, Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO)
- BA in Human Resources & Industrial Relations (UQO)
- Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching, Royal Roads University (RRU)
- MA in Leadership (RRU)
- Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR BC & Yukon)
- Certified Executive Coach (CEC)
- Accredited Certified Coach (ACC, International Coaching Federation)
- Certified Dare To Lead™ Facilitator (Dr. Brené Brown)
- Birkman® Certified Consultant, The Birkman® Method
- HR Professional of the Year, BC HRMA 2014
- Royal Roads University Founders’ Award 2012
- SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts named by Achievers as One of Canada’s 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ in 2013 and 2014
- SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts named 2013 Company of the Year by Kostuch Media, publishers of Foodservice and Hospitality magazine and Hotelier magazine