Our team is one-of-the-world’s best, comprised of leaders who have already made their mark on business and society.
When we say that, “we walk our talk”, we really mean it. We pride ourselves in offering the best-of-the-best business and leadership expertise available in the marketplace. It is our pedigree that sets us apart. We wouldn’t want anything less for our customers.
We deliver our value through a team of seasoned business and leadership experts, who collectively, have put in more than 200 years of C-Suite hands-on world-class experience. When we listen and when we talk, our insights and dialogue pack a powerful injection of value into the growth of our leaders and their organizations. Each member of our senior team brings a unique blend of expertise, experience and insight into each customer experience.
We match our leaders and organization customers to the best business, leadership or performance advisor geared to ramp up success fast.
Leon Goren brings over 25 years of experience as a senior leader which enables him to understand the needs and challenges of exceptional leadership. He has an extraordinary ability to listen to and in time hook up executives and business owners with a roadmap for action. Leon first joined PEO as a participant in 2001 when he was President and CEO of Justwhiteshirts.com. During this tenure, his leadership elevated the company from a start-up to being recognized as one of Canada’s multi-channel success stories with brand recognition of 85% among their target market of business professionals. In 2004 he sold Justwhiteshirts.com, and became a significant shareholder and the President of Presidents of Enterprising Organizations (say “PEO”). In 2010 Leon purchased the Company from its original founder and became the CEO.
Today with Leon’s guidance PEO has brought together a strong group of executive advisors who have all had successful careers as leaders in various industries. With Leon at the helm, PEO has grown considerably in size and now extends its reach beyond the GTA. Leon has set clear objectives for PEO, to be the place for the development of exceptional business leaders today and future leaders of the 21st century who have the desire to stretch their personal and professional capabilities and build organizations that stand the test of time. Leon comes well prepared for his role. As a staff accountant with Coopers & Lybrand his experience was in advising small businesses, as a manager at Deloitte in the Boston and Vancouver offices, Leon honed his skills in managing teams, client relationships and working with large financial institutions. The time spent working at an up and coming pharmaceutical company gave him firsthand experience in taking a company public as well as gaining knowledge about consumer products.
Today Leon is a sought after speaker for business audiences as the recognized authority on leadership and business strategy. As a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario Leon was asked to address the graduating class of Chartered Accountants of 2003 and 2006 at their respective Convocations. He has articles written and published in the CA Magazine, Globe and Mail, and National Post.
Leon is married to his wife, Michele Calpin, and has three young children. He continues to be active in a number of sports including swimming, triathlons, skiing and running. He is a member of the board of directors for the North York Aquatic Club, and sits on the Advisory Board of UMBRA. In 2012, Leon was recruited to join Tiger21, North America’s peer-to-peer learning group for high net worth investors as a Vice Chair in Toronto.
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Jenny Nicholson joined PEO in the summer of 2001, bringing with her over 25 years of management experience in working with executives from large corporations, entrepreneurs as well as small business owners. The leaders that Jenny works with today describe her as the consummate professional.
Prior to joining PEO, Jenny’s served as Executive Director of the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce for thirteen years where she grew the membership by 800 percent by expanding the programs and services to meet the needs of the members. This experience has contributed to her ability to understand the workings of both small and large businesses a great attribute in managing the day to day operations of PEO. As a Consultant in the print business for ten years Jenny became intimately familiar in working with all levels of government. Jenny hails from South Africa where she spent a decade in the publishing business managing the advertising client base for a number of professional and retail publications. PEO is fortunate to have Jenny on board where her responsibilities include all event management, the co-ordination of facilitation services, and the day to day operations of the organization.
Jenny is married with two children and two grandchildren. She is a member of WXN Women’s Executive Network.
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As leader of PEO’s leadership and enterprise performance solutions group, Pierre Lebel brings a unique and compelling blend of future vision, business insight, seasoned street-experience and innovative methods to inspire, provoke and enable leaders and organizations to realize their potential.
Pierre is a specialist in helping people and organizations articulate the future state, build new pathways to thinking and growth and to capture the value of their unique contribution.
He sees his job as helping to create those magical moments – or epiphanies – where organizations and their leaders build the strength, courage and know-how to achieve sustained results.
Fun loving and eager to experience life to the fullest, Pierre brings over twenty years expertise from some of the most senior executive positions in Canada, or in high performance consulting roles in Canada, the U.S.A. and Europe, all focused on helping organizations unleash their inherent value.
Pierre’s focus on creating unique solutions for clients to accelerate their organization’s performance beyond expectation has translated into millions of $ enterprise value for his clients. Working in the aerospace, high-tech, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, financial, energy, risk management, professional services, retail, entertainment, all levels of government, health care and not-for-profit sectors, Pierre honed his craft in delighting and provoking the best out of leaders and organizations.
Born with a gift of gab, Pierre’s early days involved cutting his teeth as a story teller, first as a street journalist and newspaper editor then a media propagandist. He went on to learn and head up large scale transformations as a strategic provocateur inside global organizations. Pierre regularly speaks at conferences, workshops, and board rooms across North America, has worked with and coached leaders in all walks of life. A recipient of numerous awards for performance excellence and community contribution, Pierre delights mostly in the success of others. And, oh yeah, he enjoys a great home-cooked meal with a wonderful glass of chianti.
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So far David Smith’s career has two distinct phases: Marketing and Human Capital.
Upon graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University, David was recruited to Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) Marketing Department. At P&G David received what most describe as the best Marketing training in the world. From P&G, David was headhunted to the advertising world. Bates Canada and Young & Rubicam furthered David’s marketing expertise. David’s success at Y&R, with business building and award winning creative, created an opportunity for partnership in what was then Canada’s leading retail agency-Prism Communications, as Director of Client Services, then Managing Director. Prism was eventually sold to what is now Draft/FCB. After fulfilling his management contract, David became President of Marketing & Promotion Group, the genesis company of publicly traded Mosaic Group.
David joined Mandrake in 1999, then one of Canada’s leading recruiting firms. In his twelve years with Mandrake, David set the rookie sales record and became a partner in record time. Within the recruiting part of Mandrake, David led the Creative, Digital, Human Resources and Public Relations Practices. As Managing Partner David also led Mandrake’s other two business practices; wwwork, a 25 person staffing business and NexCareer, an outplacement business. David has written and been widely published in both the marketing and human capital areas. When Marketing Magazine wanted to do a Top 30 under 30 awards show, they enlisted David as one of the original Co-Chairs, in recognition of his market leadership.
The Province of Ontario gave David an award for his community contributions. For over ten years David serviced as a Board Member, President and eventually Chairman of the Board of Directors for The Toronto Business Development Centre – Toronto’s Small Business Incubator. As well, David was a Board Member of the Ontario Advertising Review Board. David is a strong believer in continuous learning. First, David joined Young Presidents Organization, then evolving and becoming a member of President’s of Enterprising Organizations.
Firsthand experience has taught David the importance of leaders; connecting, learning and growing!
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Anjali Desai joined PEO a year ago as Group Financial Controller. Her vast experience in the world of finance most recently at D&B Specialty Foods and Bass & Murphy Chartered Accountants has given her substantial insight and understanding into the requirements that drive many of the companies and leaders who make up PEO. She is responsible for the day to day financial management of the company.
Anjali is married and has two daughters.
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Mike Cooke joined PEO as an executive advisor in February 2007 bringing along his unique experience and leadership skills as a turnaround expert. Mike spent 15 years with the Jimmy Pattison Group in such a role – in fact he was given the nickname “The Suitcase” living in approximately 10 different cities during his tenure. In his first 9 years he acted as the President overseeing the Flexible Packaging Group which was essentially comprised of over 5 different North American plastic companies in the food and industrial segments. Whenever a new acquisition was made or a turnaround required, the Companies’ success was often the result of Mike’s work. During the last 6 years he served as the President of The News Group, responsible for taking the original acquired Company from $250,000 in revenue to $1Billion, achieving a 10 fold increase in market share with a significant increase in profitability.
Mike has a unique leadership style – his experience allows him to look at things from a different perspective- be it selling beer, operating a salt mine, or performing a roll-up in the North American magazine wholesale distribution business. He has a reputation for developing a dominant market position in any business based on a realistic assessment of its unique value. He then focuses its people, systems and resources intensely against creating that value. The ability to do this in different industries, business sizes and situations speaks to the extraordinary value Mike brings.
Mike is married to Lynn and they have two adult children: Patrick and Mark. He is active in the community and is an alumnus of PEO.
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Veronica Ding’s goal has always been to inspire and challenge people and organizations to be the best they can be. She has a sincere and engaging leadership style that easily builds trust in people.
Veronica brings more than 20 years of senior executive experience in the financial services industry. She spent 14 years with Edward Jones (Canada) as Head of Human Resources, being invited to become a Principal of the Firm in 2004, and serving three years in the Firm’s global Branch Development Division in the Firm’s Head Office in St. Louis, Missouri.
Prior to this, Veronica was Senior Manager, Administration and Human Resources at Bank of China (Canada) for almost 10 years where she made notable contributions to the success of the Canadian subsidiary of this Chinese multinational. She taught English at a major science and engineering university in northeast China before immigrating to Canada in the 1980s. Veronica’s leadership and international experience bring unique insight and value to her role as a PEO Executive Advisor.
Veronica received her undergraduate degree in China, and completed her Executive MBA in 2005 in a joint program with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management (Chicago) and York University’s Schulich School of Business (Toronto). She gained her Advanced Human Resources Management credential from University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and completed a development program at SIFMA’s Securities Industry Institute with Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania between 2005 and 2007. Veronica is currently enrolled in the Certified Coaching Program at Adler International Graduate School in Toronto.
Veronica is married, with one son, an Optics Engineer in Boston, USA.
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After enjoying PEO membership for twelve years, Owen McManamon has joined the organization as its newest facilitator. Recently retired, he brings decades of experience and a wealth of knowledge to PEO’s environment as he takes the helm of a business leader’s peer support group.
Specializing in consumer packaged goods, Owen has marketed some of Canada’s strongest brands including Shell, Pennzoil, Quaker State, Black and Decker and General Electric. In 15 years at GE, Owen was responsible for Marketing and Sales in a variety of businesses including the large lamp sector; at Black and Decker his responsibilities included Sales Management, becoming General Manager and in 1990. As president of Quaker State, Owen led the motor oil giant’s Canadian merger with Pennzoil in 1997. He joined Shell Canada in 2001 and was responsible for the integration of Canadian organizations into the Shell Global Lubricants business. Owen sat as a member on the Country Chair Committee, overseeing the entirety of the Shell Canada Organization.
Supported by the European Reconstruction Bank in London, UK, Owen recently travelled to Eastern Europe to assist senior management of privately held companies evolve from a communist control into an open market. Owen holds an Executive MBA from the University of Western Ontario.
With a passion for the outdoors, Owen and his wife recently built a house on the shores of Lake Huron. They have four grown children and recently celebrated the birth of their first grandson.
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Catherine Morgan brings her energetic leadership style to PEO as an executive advisor after spending 17 years in the technology industry. She held a number of different roles including senior sales and marketing within IBM, Compaq and Hewlett Packard. After receiving her Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Accountancy from Concordia University in 1984, Catherine started her career with IBM in Montreal. She later moved to Compaq in the early 90′s as the Account Manager for Quebec and the Atlantic region. While there, Catherine serviced accounts like CNR, Air Canada, Irving and McCain. Her move to Toronto came after a year of self-fulfilling travels around the globe. Upon her return, she landed a position within the marketing division of Compaq’s head offices. There, Catherine successfully put together a logistics and pricing plan that earned Compaq a position on the Federal Government product acquisitions list (NMSO).
In 1994 Catherine moved to Hewlett Packard to manage the marketing efforts for all the HP business printers. The business grew as did her responsibilities. Catherine evolved the position into a business unit leader, which was responsible for over $43 million annually. Strategic hiring and mentorship allowed the team to achieve rapid growth.
Catherine’s business sense and her effective team building skills exemplify what PEO leadership is all about. Catherine is married to Dennis and has three young children. The family is originally from Quebec and enjoys a number of outdoor sporting activities.
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Mike Russill joined PEO as an Executive Advisor in October 2008 after participating as a member during his tenure as the President and CEO of WWF Canada between 2004 and 2008. Mike brings the organization a fantastic ability to listen, understand and then assist executives with their desire to reach their goals and objectives. Under Mike’s strong leadership, WWF Canada doubled its revenues and broadened its conservation reach into Climate Change and Freshwater. Under his guidance, WWF became a leading Canadian Conservation Organization partnering with business to reduce their footprint. Mike became recognized in Canada and abroad as a leader in finding and building value through sustainability. He is a member of the Advisory Boards of Dalhousie University School of Management, Green Living Enterprises and the P&G Expert Advisory Product Panel.
Prior to his tenure with WWF Canada Mike enjoyed a thirty-year career in the energy sector, with Shell Canada Inc., Petro-Canada Inc. and Suncor Energy Inc. During his 14years at Suncor he held Vice-President assignments in Strategic Integration, Business Services, and Retail. He has served on the Board of Directors of The Nature Conservancy of Canada, CS Able Ltd. USA, Pioneer Petroleum Limited, and UPI Petroleum. Mike is past Chairman of the Atlantic Petroleum Association, and the Ontario Region of the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute.
He graduated from Ryerson in Business Administration and completed the Western Executive Program and the University of Michigan Human Resources Executive program. He is an alumnus of the Sustainable Enterprise Academy of the Schulich School of Business at York University and PEO.
Mike is married to Karen and has three wonderful children: Jeff married with daughter Ardyn; Lindsay, 33, married with son Ellis; and Danielle.
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Rob is passionate about helping leaders exceed their potential and as such brings this energy to the PEO Executive Advisor team. He has varied and diverse experiences accumulated from 30 years in the entrepreneurial and corporate sectors. Rob’s focus incorporates innovation and creativity to drive business results.
Rob’s experience base includes:
- CEO of Benecaid, a 3rd party administrator in employee benefits. Benecaid was named one of Profit 100’s fastest growing private companies;
- One of the Founders for Boost Motor Group, a startup in automotive software. Boost became a national business with operations in Ontario and provinces west by leveraging web technologies to re-define how automotive dealers marketed and sold their pre-owned inventory;
- Head of Marketing for mPower, a Silicon Valley based startup provider of online investment advice. Rob led the growth initiatives and helped mPower become the second largest player in the US. mPower was sold to Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN);
- Chief Marketing Officer for Emergis (then TSE:EME), Vice President, Marketing and Business Development for Thomas Cook, and Assistant Vice President, Strategy for Manulife Financial;
- Consulting with the Boston Consulting Group and Mercer Consulting complemented with an MBA from the Rotman School of Business.
Rob is married with a son and keeps physically fit playing competitive tennis, golf, hockey, and skiing. He is active in the community supporting United Way, Big Brothers, Salvation Army, and the Yonge Street Mission.
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