Executive and Professional Development


Our EPD course facilitators are leaders in their fields, chosen from the Sobey School of Business and the local corporate community. Programs in partnership with the Schulich Executive Education Centre at York University provide the opportunity to meet instructors from other areas of Canada. Collectively, their experience, research and consulting expertise represent the most current business practices, skills, and strategies available. All of this knowledge is yours to apply once you’ve completed your training and returned to your workplace.

Bridget Brownlow Sandra Martyn Harriette Schumacher
Brenda Fair Alison McEachern Crane Wood Stookey 
Michael Kennedy  donalee Moulton Ravi Tangri
Rose Landry Michael Petitpas Sylvie Thibault
Alex Lowy Debi Peverill Terry Wagar
  Kathryn Pottruff  
  Michael Sanderson  

Bridget Brownlow, BA, MA, Con. Res. Cert.

Bridget Brownlow is the Conflict Resolution Advisor for Saint Mary’s University. She is a certified conflict resolution specialist and has over 20 years of extensive experience in organizational conflict management. Her expertise is focused on delivering a wide range of alternative dispute resolution services, training and education designed for employees, faculty, management and unions at all levels within the organization.

For the past thirteen years, Bridget has been the Senior Coordinator for an international conflict resolution initiative in Northern Ireland. This involves development and implementation of peace education programs in collaboration with Peaceful Schools International and Saint Mary’s University. She is currently a Director on the Board of Peaceful Schools International and teaches part-time in the Departments of Political Science and Irish Studies at Saint Mary’s University.

Bridget facilitates: Managing and Resolving Conflict in the Workplace

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Brenda Fair, BA, CPHR


Brenda has been a principal of Fairwinds Training and Development since 1995 and in that time has worked with many local and national businesses and organizations. A graduate of Acadia University, Brenda received her Certified Human Resources Professional designation through the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations in 2001.

Brenda has served as a Director for both the Human Resources Association of Nova Scotia and the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. She is currently the Past Commodore of the Cheema Aquatic Club, a globally recognized Sprint Canoe and Kayak racing club, home to six Olympians.

Brenda focuses her client work in the areas of leadership, organizational and team development. In addition, she provides HR consulting services and training in many other content areas. She believes in an interactive, learner centred approach in her classroom and strives to create an atmosphere that is enjoyable as well as informative.

Brenda facilitates: Developing Managerial Effectiveness | Essentials of Managing People | Human Resource Fundamentals |  Leadership Skills for the New Manager | Talent Selection, Development and Retention  | Successful Team Leadership

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Michael Kennedy, BSc, CAE, MEd

Michael is an independent contractor delivering education in leadership and management. A retired Lieutenant-Colonel, he served thirty-one years with the Canadian Armed Forces. His numerous leadership and staff positions included Commanding Officer (CO) of 404 Maritime Patrol & Training Squadron, CO of the CF Academy of Leadership & Languages, and Senior Staff Officer Directorate of Flight Safety. His last posting was as the Deputy CO of the Maritime Warfare Centre. Suffering a back injury, he took a medical release in 2004.

Michael managed business plans, budgets, operations and personnel. He conducted numerous personal evaluations, as well as coaching and counselling members on performance. He conducted summary trials, Boards of Inquiry and grievance hearings. He investigated harassment allegations. He served as a panel member of a court-martial. He has seen the good, the bad and the mediocre.

A passion for continuous learning led him to return to university earning a Certificate in Adult Education and a Master of Education. He also qualified as a practitioner in the MBTI and Personality Dimensions (temperament model). Since 2004, he has worked with companies profit and non-profit and government agencies across Canada improving leadership, management and communication skills. His sessions are informative, interactive and make you think deeply.

Michael facilitates: Confronting Conflict and Change | Building Organizational Excellence | Improving Interpersonal Communication | Leveraging Team Dynamics | Understanding People Dynamics

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Rose Landry

Rosemary Landry is the owner and Principal Consultant of Landry & Associates Management Consulting.

She has extensive experience working and consulting at a senior level on key governance and management issues with both the private and public sector.

As a consultant, she has provided strategic advisory, facilitation and coaching services to a wide array of organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Rose facilitates: Developing Policy that Performs

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Alex Lowy, BA, MES

Alex Lowy consults widely as a strategic advisor and educator, helping organizations address major dilemmas in a systematic and effective manner. Clients, from the resource, banking and government sectors, enthusiastically draw on his assistance and methods, describing his work as deeply strategic and insightful. Alex began in the public sector as the Director of Training & Development at the City of Toronto. Following this, he joined Shell Canada, designing and launching high performance work sites. Alex co-founded The Alliance for Converging Technologies consulting firm, serving a global client list. He oversaw the global implementation of e-business strategies for the firm’s clients. Alex is co-author of several best-selling business books including The Power of the 2 x 2 Matrix, and Digital Capital. His most recent book No Problem, is being taught in business schools around the world.

Alex facilitates: Critical Thinking and Strategic Problem Solving

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Sandra Martyn, PMP

Sandra is President of The Martyn Group, a private consulting and training company specializing in project management. Spanning 25 years Sandra consistently receives the highest ratings for the value she provides in her courses across Canada. Adhering to methodologies defined by The Project Management Institute, she combines project management theory with “real life” experiences, making difficult project management concepts seem easy as she delivers her training in clear and understandable terms. Sandra loves what she does and that is clearly evident in her enthusiasm and humor in sharing her knowledge.

Sandra has developed courses in project management fundamentals, PMP® exam preparation, implementing a project management office, managing multiple projects, using Microsoft Project, as well as the Certificate in Comprehensive Project Management, an 8 day program, at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In addition, she participates in the Certificate in Business Skills for Managers program, at York University, Toronto. She has also authored and facilitates courses for the health care industry, as well as social services, and clinical leaders.
Her courses are considered some of the most highly rated courses for several universities across Canada. Sandra is also on the program advisory committee for the Graduate Certificate.

Sandra facilitates: The Project Management Course | Using Microsoft Project® Workshop | Certificate in Comprehensive Project Managment

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Alison McEachern, MEd

Alison McEachern is the owner of Groupatwork, a company that specializes in helping people develop their ability to collaborate effectively and engage others through participation. Alison's unique approach to her work has been shaped through over 20 years of facilitation and training experience; graduate studies in education and counselling; and her collaboration with some of Canada's most talented trainers and facilitators. She has delivered training programs for trainers since 1992 through Saint Mary's University, Saint Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia Community College, and Dalhousie University. She has led workshops that have been attended by over 5,000 people throughout the United States and Canada. 

Throughout her career Alison has worked with a diverse client group: Provincial and Federal Government Departments, Halifax Regional Municipality, Saint Mary’s University, Université de Moncton, Saint Francis Xavier University, Dalhousie University, Halifax International Airport Authority, Laidlaw Transit, Xerox, various power corporations, and a variety of trade organizations, as well as many other community and private sector client groups. She has conducted many large-scale public consultations. She has worked with many learning organizations across Canada and the United States helping them design effective programs that boost learner retention and engagement.

Alison facilitates: Essential Design Skills - for presenters and trainers | Essential Facilitation Skills - for team and group leaders

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donalee Moulton, BA


donalee is our resident wordsmith. As a communications specialist, award-winning writer and freelance journalist with more than 25 years’ experience, donalee facilitates many of our writing-related courses including Editing Essentials, Writing Skills for Plain Language, and Grammar, Punctuation and Proofreading Boot Camp. For donalee, communicating effectively in writing (or any other way) is about much more than finding the right word. It’s about understanding your audience and tailoring a message to meet their needs – and ultimately yours. That’s why, for example, she recommends not starting emails to your boss with “Yo Dawg.” (donalee also believes that learning should be filled with laughter.) In her spare time, you can find donalee digging into the New York Times Crossword or out unearthing misplaced modifiers.  

Donalee facilitates: Business Writing Skills | Editing Essentials | Grammar, Punctuation and Proofreading Boot Camp | Individual Writing Analysis | Strategic Communications for Government Professionals | Writing Effective Policies and Procedures | Writing for Digital Audiences | Writing Skills for Challenging Communications | Writing Skills for Plain Language | Writing Strategies for Reports and Proposals

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Debi Peverill, BComm, CA

Debi Peverill is a veteran speaker known for her sense of humour and the depth of her financial knowledge. She holds a Bachelor in Commerce (Honours in Accounting) from Dalhousie University and a Chartered Accountant designation from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. She spent ten years with national accounting firms before founding her own public accounting firm, Peverill & Associates, in 1988. SBR Communications was founded in 1998 to separate the growing volume of training and speaking business from the accounting practice. In March 2006, SBR published Debi’s first book, Organize So That The Taxes Don’t Kill You, a primer on income tax for business owners and managers.

Debi has been teaching certificate and diploma courses at Saint Mary's University for many years. She has also provided financial training to participants of the HRDC Self Employed Assistance program, and facilitated taxation seminars for a number of community groups and the general public. The feedback from previous participants testifies that Debi presents what appear to be boring or complicated topics in an easy to understand and humorous manner.

Debi facilitates: A Manager's Guide to Financial Management | Budgeting Essentials | Certificate in Financial Management

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Michael E. Petitpas, BEd, CRCert

Michael is Principal of Clear Resolutions, Conflict Management Services as well as Senior Conflict Management Practitioner with the Conflict Resolution Centre Atlantic, CFB Halifax. He was previously the Acting Director of the Office of Early Conflict Resolution with Veterans Affairs Canada. In 2008 Michael was awarded the highest Civilian Award for an employee, the Deputy Minister’s Commendation, for Significant Contribution to Employee Well-being and a Respectful Workplace.

Michael has 20 years’ experience as a Certified Mediator and Senior Conflict Management Practitioner. This includes providing services in mediation, facilitation, coaching, group processes and training. As a member of the Inter-governmental Shared Mediator Program, he provided services to several government departments, mentored and helped assess new mediators to the program. 

In the past ten years, Michael has had extensive training and experience in dealing with groups in conflict. Group intervention training has included Transformative Justice Australia Conferencing, Group Conflict Intervention, Transformative Teambuilding, Circle Processes and Peacemaking. 

Michael has designed and presented hundreds of customized workshops for both private and public sector organizations including: Communication, Change Management, Negotiation, Leadership, and Instructional and Facilitation Techniques for Classroom Instructors.

To his workshops, Michael brings enthusiasm, passion, and a sense of humor to create an interactive and experiential learning environment.

Michael has a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the University of Prince Edward Island, and a Certificate in Teaching Negotiation in the Corporation from the Project on Negotiation, Harvard University.  

Michael facilitates: Foundations of Conflict ResolutionThird Party Neutral

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Kathryn Pottruff, MSPM, PMP

As President of Pottruff Consulting Inc., Kathryn helps individuals and organizations become better at managing projects, programs, and portfolios. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies from across many sectors including financial services, manufacturers, healthcare, telecoms, and three levels of government. In her consulting practice, Kathryn has worked with a number of small and medium sized businesses.

Kathryn is active in the Project Management Institute and has volunteered as a Board member of the Lakeshore Chapter. In this capacity, she has ‘given back’ by volunteering at student events for local colleges and universities. Each year Kathryn is a judge in the provincial student case study competitions and the project management competition for DECA (Deliver Excellence, Celebrate Achievement)-University. Both students and Kathryn benefit from the mentoring relationships that grow out of involvement with DECA.

Kathryn holds a Masters of Science degree in Project Management and is PMP certified by the Project Management Institute.

Kathryn facilitates: The Project Management Course | Using Microsoft Project® Workshop

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Michael Sanderson, BA, MBA

Michael Sanderson, MBA has over 12 years of experience in entrepreneurship, economic development and professional training. He has extensive leadership and project management experience in his role as Manager, Skills Development and Training at the Saint Mary's University Business Development Centre. He has been responsible for the development and delivery varied projects including multi year employability training programs for recent graduates, conference planning and coordination, a variety of research and consulting projects and professional development training.

In addition he has gained significant entrepreneurial experience through ownership of several businesses, the most recent being a retail video store. Michael’s educational training consists of a Masters of Business Administration from Saint Mary's University and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Dalhousie University.

Michael facilitates: Applying Strategic Thinking

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Harriette Schumacher, BA, CACE, CEC, PCC

Harriette is a Certified Executive Coach, Facilitator, and Consultant who specializes in transformative leadership development. While she calls Halifax, Nova Scotia, home, she engages with a global audience, helping them get to the root of their professional roadblocks. She formed Big Leap Leadership in 2013 after 15 years in the corporate sector. 

Professionally, she’s been described as a change agent, and a vanguard of new thought leadership. She's a compassionate professional with a knack for making uncomfortable situations comfortable, bridging the gap between fear and results.

Harriette has a Bachelor’s degree from Carleton University, a Graduate Certificate in Adult Education from the University of Victoria and another in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University, and 12 years of experience executing learning strategies within large corporations.

More importantly, she has a knack for teaching individuals to balance “smart” with “heart.” This whole-brain approach to leadership has become her secret weapon in a world where emotions and vulnerability are often checked at the office door.

Harriette facilitates:  Coaching for Development and Performance | Influencing Behavior and Developing Potential | Maximizing Your Management Effectiveness

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Ravi Tangri, MSc, MBA

Ravi Tangri is the Chief Rocket Scientist for Chrysalis Strategies Inc. and the author of Leading Authentically and Stress-Costs Stress-Cures. He has facilitated strategic and operational planning for the private, public and not-for-profit sectors across this country and helped organizations large and small achieve lasting results. He is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), which is the highest earned professional designation for speaking excellence, held by fewer than 10% of all professional speakers worldwide.

Ravi taps his first career in nuclear physics to create breakthrough results for his coaching and corporate clients. His understanding of chaos theory and complexity allows him to see hidden patterns and leverage points to catalyze personal and corporate change. While he uses quantum physics to create innovation, his solutions are refreshingly easy to understand and use.

Ravi facilitates: Engaging Stakeholders | Making Change Work

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Sylvie Thibault, BA, MBA

Sylvie is a bilingual leadership capacity builder and seasoned management professional with a proven track record in developing individuals, teams, businesses, and associations in both the private and public sectors.

Sylvie holds an Executive MBA, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Mary’s University. She also studied at the University of Ottawa and the University of Manitoba where she completed the coursework for the Master’s Degree in Linguistics. Sylvie is also a Certified Trainer with Emploi‐Québec.

Sylvie has been a value-added partner of Fairwinds Training and Development Inc. since 2007 and has been highly praised as a coach, trainer, consultant and facilitator. Prior to joining Fairwinds, she spent over a decade in the information technology industry where she managed operations, provided in-house training and coaching to managers and employees, and facilitated the strategic planning process.

As a senior business consultant, she brings a wealth of hands-on knowledge that she accumulated while tackling business challenges in environments ranging from small private start-up companies to publicly-traded large global organizations.

As a trainer and facilitator, her style is dynamic with an emphasis on hands-on learning. She is passionate about personal and professional development and enjoys the synergy that takes place when facilitator and participants share knowledge and experiences.

Sylvie facilitates: Certificate in Consulting and Advisory Skills

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Terry H. Wagar, LLB, PhD

Terry H. Wagar is a Professor of Human Resource Management / Industrial Relations at Saint Mary's University in Halifax. He was a Research Associate at the National Institute of Labour Studies, Flinders University of South Australia and has also taught at the University of South Australia, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Western Australia. Terry's degrees include an MBA from the University of Toronto, a Master of Industrial Relations from Queen's University, an LLB from the University of Ottawa Law School, and a PhD in labour relations, human resource management and statistics / research methods from Virginia Tech.

During the 2002-2003 academic year, he was a Visiting Professor at the Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky. In 2002 and 2004, he was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Waikato Management School in Hamilton, New Zealand. During the 2008-09 school year, Terry was on sabbatical -- he spent Fall 2008 as a Visiting Professor at Queen's University and from January to July 2009, he was a Visiting Professor / Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia.

In 2006, Terry received the International Personnel Management Association (Canada) President's Award. The President's Award is IPMA-Canada's highest award and is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the practice of human resources management in Canada. Other awards include the Excellence in Education Award from the U.S. Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA), the Distinguished Teacher Award from the Association of Atlantic Universities (Award for Excellence in Teaching), and the Leaders in Management Education Award (sponsored by National Post, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Bell Nexxia). His research has been published in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Terry facilitates: Negotiation and Dispute Resolution

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Crane Wood Stookey

Crane Wood Stookey is a Tall Ship officer and leadership coach with over 20 years experience of leadership and workforce engagement on ships at sea. He is the founder of the Nova Scotia Sea School, and was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for the Sea School’s contribution to Canadian Society.

Since 2006 he has used his “crew-building” and mental performance skills to help leaders achieve better performance and deeper commitment for their people, through greater mastery of their own personal leadership practice.

Crane holds a Masters degree in architecture from Harvard, and ran his own architectural practice in Boston before going to sea professionally. He is faculty at the ALIA Institute for Authentic Leadership in Action, and has published a new book, Keep Your People in the Boat: Workforce Engagement Lessons from the Sea. He has also taught mindfulness meditation for more than 25 years. Crane moved to Nova Scotia from the US in 1994, and says it’s the best move he’s ever made.

Crane facilitates: Aligning Team and Organization: The Personal Approach

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