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Sharon Oatway

An accomplished customer service, marketing and operations professional with success in start-up, turn-around and rapid growth situations, Sharon has provided full-service customer experience consulting services specializing in sales and customer service since 1998.

With proven success in identifying key opportunities for growth and revenue improvement, Sharon has worked with a wide-range of companies covering financial services, telecommunications, utilities, ecommerce, advertising and travel industries helping them achieve both revenue and NPS results during periods of tremendous change and growth.

As President and Chief Experience Officer of VereQuest, Sharon’s team of highly specialized coaches (in 2011 alone) evaluated over 70,000 customer interactions for over 20 lines of business involving 5,000 individual sales/service representatives. Sharon has conducted full audits of a number of onshore and offshore, internal and outsourced business units, end-to-end, from technology and processes through to recruiting, training and performance management — with immediate results. Most notably, over a two-year period, Sharon mapped the entire customer experience for three Canada Post divisions. In 2011/2012, 100% of VereQuest customers would recommend their services to a friend or colleague.

VereQuest has developed a variety of proprietary technologies in support of customer experience monitoring and in-market message/offer testing and is currently launching a Customer Experience online training program (the “Check-up™”).

Kari Michaelsen

Kari Michaelsen has been working as a strategic business consultant for over 10 years and has assisted numerous organizations with large-scale business transformation projects.

With a specialization in customer value management and customer experience management, Kari has assisted Canada Post, Export Development Canada and Entrust Inc. with the design, implementation and evaluation of customer experience programs.

Change management is a critical element of many business transformation projects. Kari brings a wealth of experience in this domain. She recently has worked with Public Private Partnerships Canada and PWGSC as a Change Management Specialist for enterprise-wide Information Management Solutions.

She has also assisted the Bank of Canada, Environment Canada, Health Canada and Export Development Canada with strategic corporate planning, communications and outreach.

As a complement to her expertise in business transformation and customer experience, Kari has worked on many strategic market research, marketing and workshop facilitation projects for various clients across diverse channels and sectors; including Purolator, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the City of Ottawa, the Government of Nunavut, Coca-Cola, Clean Air Champions, the United States Postal Service and those named above.

Carol French

Carol French’s research expertise has been developed through her 25 years of experience within the electric utility, financial services and telecommunications industries. During this time all of these businesses were confronted with regulatory restrictions, a rapidly changing marketplace with intensifying competition and increasingly sophisticated consumers. In meeting the challenges to achieve these different firms’ objectives, Carol has gained the skills and capacities to provide strategic insights, resolve critical marketing issues, and take on technical and general management roles, in both the business-to-business and consumer arenas. The experiences and challenges to which she has been exposed in these various industries have provided her with a ‘bottom-line’ business orientation that has proven invaluable in addressing our clients’ strategic and practical concerns. Carol’s current clients include companies operating primarily in the financial and service sectors.

Carol holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from the University of Toronto.

Carey Stevens

Ph.D., C. Psych. CFE

Carey has over 35 years of experience in behavioural psychotherapy and forensic assessments and over 18 years in large consulting organizations. He has blended his insights and knowledge of people and business consulting experience to provide expertise in developing the strategic as well as the tactical implementation of processes around multi-national, large-scale and complex people management initiatives. He has worked in several public, private and crown corporation environments throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

As a business leader, Carey co-founded PSS, an organizational consulting company that was acquired by Deloitte Consulting in 1996. He also founded Pulvermacher, Stevens and Shack, Clinical and Consulting Psychologists, which was acquired by a public company that aggregated non-medical clinical services. As a Deloitte Consultant for 15 years, he spent the last 5 years as their Canadian Change Management Practice Leader. Subsequent to that he held the position of National Change Management Director at the Hay Group. Carey then held the position of General Manager of Corporate Leadership and Executive Development at Canada Post Corporation, where he was responsible for leadership development, enterprise-wide assessment strategies, and succession planning and talent management for the “Top 400.” Many of his initiatives continue to flourish to this day.

Carey has over 35 years of experience in executive coaching and providing advisory support to some of the world’s top organizations. They include Lucent Technologies, Avaya Communications, Global Crossing, Deloitte Consulting, Parmalat, Irving Oil, Bell Canada and US Cellular. Within the public sector, Carey has provided leadership development and executive coaching to CATSA, Canadian Mint, Canada Post, CBSA, CIC, Public Service Commissions and the Treasury Board Secretariat.

Carey has published and conducts seminars in the area of the development of morality and ethics, a long-time interest and the subject of his Ph.D. thesis. He has been recently accredited as a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

Elizabeth Myers

Elizabeth Myers has over 30 years of experience working in a large Crown Corporation comprising of over 60,000 employees. During her career, Elizabeth held several executive level positions in Head Office functions including Human Resources, Strategic Planning, Electronic Products and Services, and Retail Operations.

As Director, Human Resource Policy and Recruitment Strategy for Canada Post, Liz and her team set the standards, policies and processes for recruitment, staffing, employee recognition, employment equity & human rights for the Corporation and assisted in education and negotiation of these policies with the bargaining agents. She ensured that the recruitment strategy and recruiters across the corporation kept pace with and leveraged the rapidly changing social media environment.

Liz Myers developed, implemented and managed a “Stage/Gated” approach to support senior executive investment decisions and the annual Corporate Plan for a $7 Billion corporation as well as accountability through to performance measurement. This methodology was integrated with the project management process to ensure a simple, focused and seamless path for both new ideas and ongoing maintenance projects.

Through an Executive Interchange Program with the Federal Government, Liz shared the Stage/Gated methodology with HRDC (now ESDC) and Services Canada. This project, which was part of a program to improve Financial and Procurement processes, saw the successful implementation within the department including a new Senior Executive decision-making process, integration with Treasury Board funding approvals and, most importantly, the hand-over to the management team to sustain the change.

Liz has a keen interest in the science of decision-making within large organizations as a foundational component of short term management as well as long term strategic planning. She completed a program in Strategic Decision and Risk Management as part of Stanford’s Center for Professional Development and participated in the Executive Program at Queen’s School of Business. She has been working as a consultant with Janet LeBlanc + Associates since 2015 and is a former volunteer for Dress for Success Ottawa.

Kurt Hofmeister

Kurt R. Hofmeister holds a BSME from Michigan State University and for eight years had been the Director of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) at the American Supplier Institute. He was in charge of program direction, course content, material improvements, instructor delivery and certification. For the past fifteen years, Mr. Hofmeister has been pursuing many quality-related interests including Six Sigma and DFSS (Design for Six Sigma).

Kurt is an international expert in the “Voice of the Customer” (VOC), Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) and Quality Function Deployment, having led many projects at Nestlé-Purina, SC Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Ford Motor Company, Mercury Marine, Cinergy, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), GE Plastics, Hewlett-Packard, GTE Service Operations, M&M/Mars, Nortel, Texas Instruments, Hercules (chemical industry), Cabot Corporation (carbon black), General Tire, Milliken & Company, Abbott Laboratories, Coca-Cola, Bobcat (makers of the Bobcat skid-steer loader), McDonald’s, and the Ritz-Carlton. He has assisted in the training and implementation for over 200 companies worldwide.

Kurt specializes in applications for service and process-intensive companies. He has developed specific quality management models for a wide variety of industries including food, continuous/batch process industries, service industries, and assembled product industries. Of particular noteworthiness, Mr. Hofmeister developed the Pre-Planning Matrix Concept, now widely used to streamline the Quality Function Deployment process and quickly focus a team’s energy on critical company issues.

Wendy Cumming

Wendy Cumming is a senior communications executive with proven performance across a range of C-suite requirements, including strategic positioning and reputation stewardship, effective profile-building strategies, stakeholder engagement, partnership negotiation, issues/crisis management, corporate ghostwriting, media/social and national/international event design and execution.

Wendy has held senior positions with Weber Shandwick (Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto) and Hill & Knowlton Canada (Senior Vice President, Ottawa).

Wendy has devised successful strategies and led national/international campaigns that have profiled executives and their organizations, achieved business and competitive objectives, increased profile and revenues, built trusted relationships, launched new programs and services, and both strengthened and preserved reputations. Her experience spans the following sectors: academic and research, defence and space technology, electricity/renewable energy, food and beverage, financial services, health care, international development, national policing and security, federal mandates, physician and pharmacy education, transportation and the global supply chain, travel and tourism, and Canada’s ports and seaways.

Montreal-born, Wendy is bilingual and is the recipient of multiple awards for client performance and client service excellence. A media veteran (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation — TV/radio broadcasting), Wendy brings a solid understanding of media practices to her client strategies and program development.

Wendy earned a combined B.A. Honours in Communications and Canadian Studies from Carleton University. A committed member of her community, Wendy has served on the National Arts Centre Gala Committee and provided volunteer counsel to various boards, including the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Canadian Museum of Nature.

As a teacher and mentor, Wendy regularly takes the time to meet with aspiring communications professionals to share her experience and open doors.

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