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Our Team

End of program evaluations indicate our team of facilitators regularly score 95% and higher on delivery of learning objectives. Participants often state our real world case studies and engaging style create memorable training.

At Essential we are expert communicators with a diverse range of skills. We all understand that at the core of a successful workshop, speech or coaching session – is relationship. We build a link to the audiences’ real world scenarios and present leading edge content in a concise manner with energy.

We are passionate about the topics we discuss.

Ian Kennedy - Managing Director, Lead Facilitator

Ian Kennedy is a speaker, trainer, facilitator and consultant. His areas of specialty include business communication and presentation skills. Ian is an innovative implementer who – through programs, coaching, speaking and facilitating – stretches people and organizations to move past boundaries to create tangible and lasting results. With more than 10,000 hours front of the room experience, clients have described Ian as clear and direct and his work as inspiring and powerful. One client reflected: that “Ian’s sessions always remind me of who I am and the possibilities of all I can be. I always left sessions feeling exhilarated and creative!”

It was Ian’s focus on making gains in our personal style that had the most impact. I also really liked that Ian modeled what he taught: he provided us with a very clear example of what an effective presenter does (while maintaining his role as coach and supporter). Without hesitation, I would recommend Ian’s talents and his workshop to those who want a valuable opportunity to deliver ‘engaged and energized’ presentations.

Susan Horne, Chair
Faculty of Continuing Education and Training
Seneca College

Randi-Mae Stanford-Leibold - Consultant/Lead Facilitator

Randi-Mae Stanford-Leibold is an author, facilitator and a professional speaker. She focuses on wellness in the workplace, compassion, self-care and personal development. She has worked with the York Region District School Board, Victim Services, York Regional Police Service, The City of Toronto,The Waterfront Neighbourhood Community Centre, Micro Skills, TEMA, Service Canada and other community groups.

She has guest lectured at Humber College and Bermuda College.

Randi-Mae specializes in delivering and creating programs for employees who work in high-stress environment and focuses on self-care mindfulness and stress management.

Prior to starting her own coaching and wellness business, she was a crisis counsellor for five years at Victim Services of Peel and Victim Services of Durham.

Randi-Mae is a published author and has meditations available on the application Insight Timer.

She is a registered Social Serivce Worker. Holding a diploma in Social Services from Humber College and a degree in Family and Community Social Services from The University of Guelph.

A certificate in Applied Mindful Meditation from the University of Toronto and several other trainings in threat assessment and domestic violence.

Randi-Mae brings a high level of vibrancy and compassion when she works with groups and organizations. She genuinely believes that a workplace can be a place where wellness and health are the standard.

Susanna Trebuss - Facilitator

Susanna Trebuss became involved in facilitating adult learning after a 25-year business career, holding executive positions in marketing, customer service, strategic planning and general management in both Canada and the United States. In this second career, Susanna is engaged in coaching and training in both organizational and educational contexts. She has two primary interests: (1) to help participants be more effective in workplace communications and (2) to help trainers deliver better performance results by addressing the needs of adult learners.

Susanna’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University and Certificate in Adult Education/Staff Training from Seneca College. She is MBTI qualified and has published in both the fields of marketing and adult learning.

Clients have included Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, Ontario Association of School Business Officials, Toronto Water (City of Toronto), Toronto Rehab Hospital and Humber River Regional Hospital. Susanna also teaches a variety of courses related to adult learning at Centennial and Seneca colleges, including instructional design, presentation skills, facilitation skills, managing difficult behaviours, and managing diversity. She has been honoured with Excellence in Teaching Awards from both colleges.

Tina Wieringa - Program Coordinator/Lead Facilitator

Tina Wieringa is an adult educator and facilitator with over 20 years’ experience in diverse business environments: profit, government, and not-for-profit. Tina has a Master’s Degree in Adult Education and is a client centered business person who has a track record for positively influencing the lives of others. Tina also writes for various publications on topics relating to adult education and entrepreneurship. Tina is a member of the Canadian Society for Training and Development (CSTD).

Tina has worked with Essential Communications full time for more than 3 years. Also, she facilitates Negotiation Skills, Time Management and Team Building workshops.

Jamie Crookston - Lead Facilitator/Senior Coach

Jamie Crookston is a workshop designer/learning facilitator, business coach and professional speaker. He has been designing and delivering workshops to managers, supervisors and staff for the past 10 years. Jamie’s distinctive advantage includes experience in theatre, broadcasting, consulting and executive coaching. His success-oriented facilitated group training and individual coaching sessions receive outstanding client satisfaction ratings.

Jamie specializes in delivering workshops designed to build and enhance both interpersonal communication effectiveness and business leadership skills. Workshops include: “Speaking Clearly and Confidently”, “Authentic Performance Management Conversations”, Preparing to Move into Supervision”, “Achieving Goals – Creating Results”, “Influence Strategies”, “Shaping Organizational Vision and Mission” and “Coaching Skills”. He has an effective communication style that is dynamic, influential, engaging and often humourous and which stresses experiential learning.

Jamie’s background includes twenty plus years in broadcast management as an Operations Manager, Sales Manager and General Manager in Canada’s leading radio market. Having managed multi-million dollar operations, the staffing and associated people issues, he speaks with a depth of firsthand knowledge. Combined with this, his more than 10 years of facilitation experience has given him the intricate knowledge of balances required to manage in a multi-layered organization.

Jamie received adult education training and facilitation skills training at Seneca College and holds a Honours Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts (Theatre) from York University. He is an accredited Lifeskills coach, Personality Dimensions facilitator (Level 1) and is undertaking his fourth year of psychotherapy skills training in order to add further depth to his active facilitation, coaching and speaking engagements.

Heather MacGregor - Consultant/Lead Facilitator

Heather MacGregor is an engaging speaker, coach and facilitator with broad experience in public, private and academic adult education settings. Her energetic and authentic classroom style reflects her passion for her work and the people with whom she does it.

Heather has 20 years experience as a trainer and communications consultant in the Greater Toronto area and has worked with Essential Communications for more than fifteen years. She has provided front of the room training for organizations as diverse as Manulife Financial and the Royal Bank, MDS/Sciex Labs, government at all levels, along with Seneca and George Brown colleges.

With a background in public affairs in the Premier’s Office and Cabinet Office, she is a versatile and knowledgeable communicator — at home teaching, writing, speaking or consulting. Her experience as an independent training design specialist and as a principal instructor in George Brown’s Diploma in Adult Education Program provide her with valuable insight into the creation of practical and memorable training programs that meet the needs of individuals and organizations alike

Heather currently delivers courses on Collaboration, Managing Across Generations, Negotiation Skills, Internal Consulting Skills, Group Facilitation Skills, Train the Trainer, and Customer Service Skills, as well as several courses on Writing.

Heather holds a Bachelor’s degree from Queen’s University in Political Science, a Certificate for Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from the Canadian Co-operative for Language and Cultural Studies, as well as an Advanced Certificate in Instructing Adults from George Brown College in Toronto. She has certification for the Customer Service Standards of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and has received advanced training and certification in facilitation, group process, storytelling, conflict management, Mindfulness Meditation, voice and improv theatre.

Andrea Moffat - Facilitator, Consultant, Coach

Andrea Moffat has extensive experience in professional development training including diversity, team building and managing conflict. Her approachable and competent demeanor has garnered much praise while demonstrating her expertise in facilitation to hundreds of participants in the public and private sector, small businesses, and not-for-profit organizations.

Andrea has combined her passion for people and professional aptitude to develop training solutions that are exciting, practical and effective. She provides a ‘no-nonsense’ and creative approach that engages all people in an organization. Participants rave about their experience in her workshops and provide positive feedback regarding her expertise, energy and adaptability as top reasons they find it easier to learn and thoroughly enjoy their experience. Learning objectives are easily implemented into the day to day activities of the participants and improve the success of the organization.

For the past 8 years, Andrea has trained various workshops in ‘Managing and Preventing Conflict’ and ‘Building Teams and Diversity’. Recent participants rated both her ‘Getting Along with Others: Preventing and Navigating Conflict to Enhance Team Success’ and ‘Conflict Management for Managers’ overall satisfaction with the courses at 90% or above. Andrea has also developed and delivered ‘Building Effective Work Teams’, ‘Building Relationships: Ensuring Strong Teams’ and ‘Working in a Diverse Workplace’. Facilitating these workshops Andrea has been able to build a rapport with participants that makes them excited to return and learn more.

Andrea obtained an Honours degree from the University of Toronto where she was considered a diversity expert including co-developing the University’s Business Diversity Training Courses for executives and being on the forefront of diversity management in campus life. The university recognized Andrea’s contributions through a leadership award and chose her to represent her program in the admissions guide.

Tamara Elliott - Program Coordinator/Facilitator

Tamara Elliott was part of the start-up of Essential and remains an integral part of the organization managing projects, while also working on outside asignments. She brings insight and vision to the organizational process. Tamara has an extensive background combining years of facilitating communications skills, resume and interview preparation workshops, coaching, small business start-up and counseling with diverse groups. Her warm, clear facilitation style is informed by her social work training and her genuine interest in making a contribution to her participants work and lives. Tamara has a B.A. (English) from Queen’s University, a Bachelor of Social Work from  Ryerson University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto.

Yogesh Shah - Facilitator

Yogesh Shah is an organizational development consultant, change catalyst, speaker and trainer with more than 20 years experience and a proven track record in successful spearheading, coaching and consulting with medium and large, national and multinational organizations and business groups in the private & public sector in 12 countries in North America, Asia, Mid-East and Africa.

Yogesh’s contribution encompassed pro-active initiation, intervention and implementation of crucial Change, O.D. & HCM projects including business transformation, management & process re-engineering, leadership and talent development, performance measurement & management, productivity improvements & cost rationalization and other strategic initiatives. He provided value added analysis, interpretation and recommendations to achieve enhanced organizational effectiveness.

Yogesh’s O.D. initiatives have been undertaken at macro (strategy, leadership & policy) and micro (projects, programs, plans and process) levels, taking full responsibility of execution and implementation, as a ‘consultant in management’. These include conceptual design, development and implementation of innovative O.D. projects and programs; e.g. Productivity Improvement Centres (PICs), Value Added Management Systems (VAMS) & Value Added Process Systems (VAPS), Total Intrapreneurship Enterprise (TIE), enhancing leadership and high performance through a multicultural workforce.

Yogesh successfully drove (and leveraged) human capital management strategies for organizational development and achievement of strategic objectives and goals. Provided leadership and support to internal and external partners & clients on employee relations, talent management, performance management, training & development policies, programs, projects and processes.

Yogesh has a B. Com, LLB and is a Certified Management Consultant and Certified Trainer.

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