Our Team

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.

Leadership TeamSenior Advisors

Leon Goren
Leon Goren

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.

Jenny Nicholson
Jenny Nicholson

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.

Miguel Gonsalves

In October of 2013, Miguel Gonsalves joined PEO as its Chief Development Officer, responsible for the organizations growth and development, public relations and affinity programs.

Miguel Gonsalves is a business leader with extensive experience and successful results in both the public and private company sectors. His specific expertise is in the areas of marketing, sales, corporate development, investor relations, employee development and project management. He developed his unique set of skills and knowledge within the communications (wireless, wired and global location) and high tech marketplaces. He is known as an influential leader with a history of building productive business environments that deliver on corporate objectives.

Miguel spent fifteen years as President and Senior Consultant at NeoCortex Inc., the management consulting firm that he founded. His clients spanned from the largest corporate employers in Canada to start-up businesses. The firm provided strategic consulting services, tactical planning and hands-on implementation support to a broad variety of organizations. Simply put, under Miguel’s leadership, NeoCortex helps its clients to grow and operate their businesses, with a large emphasis on building growth engines.

Miguel spent over seven years as part of the Executive team that lead AirIQ Inc., a high tech start-up in the Telematics industry, to grow from “0” to $40,000,000 in annual recurring revenue. During his tenure, he held the positions of VP-Consumer Strategic Business Unit, VP-Commercial Transport, and VP-Marketing and Investor Relations. He was part of the Senior Executive team that took the company from private to public.

Prior to AirIQ, Miguel was with Clearnet (now Telus Mobility) for seven years where he held the positions of Director, Major Systems and Director, Continuous Learning. He was part of the team that launched two of Canada’s national wireless networks and the resulting businesses operations. He worked with the company from its infancy as a private company though taking the company public.

Miguel joined Clearnet, when the company he founded with a partner, Trace Communications Inc. (a hardware, systems and services company specializing in wireless communications) was sold to Clearnet as part of Clearnet’s long term acquisition strategy. The sale of his company to a much larger entity was his first mergers and acquisition experience.

Miguel has two adult daughters: Suzanne and Christine, who are both enrolled in Canadian Universities. He is an active contributor within the YMCA of the GTA community.

Anjali Desai
Anjali Desai

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.

Mike Cooke
Mike Cooke

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.

Veronica Ding
Veronica Ding

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.

Owen McManamon
Owen McManamon

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.

Catherine Morgan
Catherine Morgan

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.

Mike Russill
Mike Russill

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.

Robert Rutledge

Robert Rutledge

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.