Refinery gives clients the real feedback and the right tools they need to develop their leaders and inspire people to do great work.
We’re a highly skilled team with diverse, deep business and life experience. We share a natural curiosity, passion for our work, and a desire to develop our clients. We’re always learning, evolving and sharing.
Refinery Leadership Development
Years In Business
Meet our Facilitation, Coaching & Leadership Team
Sue Abuelsamid, Consultant, Leadership Coach
Sue Abuelsamid is a specialist in cultivating leaders with a focus on using curiosity as a tool for engagement in authentic dialogue and designed relationship that brings about sustainable, impactful, and effective leadership. An experienced facilitator, educator, and professional certified coach, Sue brings a wealth of experience to deliver results that lead to real culture change and enables clients to design their ideal teams and lives while connecting with their whole selves.
Judith Asher, Consultant, Leadership Coach
Judith Asher is global Executive Coach and Facilitator with 20 years’ experience working across multiple industries with clients ranging from some of the world’s leading multinational Fortune 500 companies to startups and NGOs. Highly skilled in communications and leadership development, Judith brings a unique cross-cultural expertise to her work. This, combined with her sense of humour and genuine commitment to fostering the personal and professional development of others are distinctive features of her engagement with clients.
Originating from Montreal, Judith has lived abroad for most of her life. Speaking English, French and Italian, she has lived on four continents and has worked extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East and North America.
Chantal Bédard, Consultant, Leadership Coach
Over the last 30 years, Chantal held several senior leadership roles in three business areas: talent development, marketing and sales. As the senior learning and development director, she has transformed the learning culture of one of Canada’s largest telecommunication companies business sales organization. Fluent in English and French, Chantal is a certified business coach (PCC) from the International Coaching Federation and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Sherbrooke.
Catherine Burdett, Consultant, Leadership Coach
Prior to becoming a coach, Catherine spent over 20 years in the workplace having held senior roles in management and leadership. An accomplished facilitator and executive coach since 2009, she is highly knowledgeable in the fields of emotional intelligence, resilience, and mindfulness as pathways to transformational, sustainable change and impact. Her coaching philosophy is steeped in a holistic perspective, allowing clients to see and experience themselves differently to achieve the desired results. Catherine is a PCC level coach from the International Coaching Federation.
Warren Baxter, Senior Consultant, Leadership Coach
Warren Baxter is an Executive Coach and Business Consultant with 30 years of experience elevating organizational performance. As a young entrepreneur, Warren built a successful manufacturing and distribution business, creating a company that was admired as much for its culture as it was for its financial success. After selling his company to a European multinational, he went on to hold senior roles in a variety of public and private organizations.
A respected and engaging facilitator, Warren’s approach to development has been further enhanced by a love of travel, experiencing the diversity of more than 35 countries. This truly unique background fosters the capability to build the leadership skills in others that can shift the performance dynamics of individuals and entire organizations.
Ralph Cochrane, Consultant, Leadership Coach
As an Executive Coach, Ralph brings broad experience garnered from a diverse career in which he worked with over 250 executives globally across many industries. His strong business acumen and strategic mindset build upon a firm foundation of solid business knowledge and experience. Ralph’s focus is helping leaders and teams create accountability in the workplace, develop coaching skills for leaders to create sustainable results, and improve executive presence. A dynamic and engaging facilitator and who leaves a lasting positive impression, Ralph shares experiences in his sessions and is a great storyteller.
Barry Forward, Consultant, Leadership Coach
Barry Forward is a Vancouver-based Certified Executive Coach with 20+ years’ marketing and executive experience including CEO, President and Board Director (public and private companies), Community Governance Board Member, and Vice President Marketing and Communications. Barry has worked with large corporations, small and medium-sized businesses, early-stage start-ups, government agencies and the non-profit sector.
Sue Bock, Consultant
Sue is a recognized executive coach, consultant and facilitator with over 25 years experience in organizational development. Her collaborative approach with clients brings lasting relationships and focused results. Sue’s diverse background has led to a unique approach to leadership and workplace development. Her passion for coaching weaves through all her work including mentorship programming, strategic planning, board development, feasibility studies and community development. Sue intentionally coaches leaders to embrace the importance of their role and develop those around them to do the same.
Faris Khalifeh, Consultant, Leadership Coach
Faris is an international leadership coach, consultant, and facilitator with over 10 years of experience working with clients from different industries ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. His corporate background has given him a unique perspective on life coaching, leadership, and training. Faris coached more than 1000 leaders globally across many industries.
His passion for coaching is visible through all his work including teaching, mentoring, consulting, community development, and serving on boards including The International Coaching Federation (ICF). Faris is also a Keynote Speaker and spoke at many international events alongside well-recognized thought leaders such as Bob Burg, Celina Caesar-Chavannes, and Dorie Clark.
Prior to becoming a coach, Faris spent 10 years in the workplace having held senior roles in management and leadership.
Dan Buchner, Consultant
Dan is an award-winning designer, entrepreneur, educator, and leadership facilitator. As the former Vice President of Leadership at the Banff Centre, Dan provided overall leadership, strategic direction, and program philosophy focusing on leadership for social innovation.
His recently published book, “How Might We…Championing Design Thinking In Your Organization?” has drawn accolades from leaders around the world who are striving to bring innovation and practical ideation to their organizations.
Ben Miller, Consultant
Having led leadership and team development workshops in a variety of countries and companies. Ben’s success is attributed to his engaging facilitation style, curiosity and passion for learning. Ben brings a business background with a Master’s degree in Organizational Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He is trained in improv, worked in creative development in film and television and led business development for the e-learning platform, Pollenzie. Ben enjoys developing creative leadership programs.
Dave Momper, Consultant
As a Refinery consultant, Dave provides a down to earth, yet dynamic style of facilitation drawing on both an analytical and relationship-focused mentality to leadership. He seeks to empower innovative, mindful, and resilient leaders who can navigate the constant nature of change and innovation in our modern working environments.
After leading business development for two award winning creative agencies in Denver, Colorado, Dave developed a deep passion for creativity, the power of storytelling and the art of listening. In conjunction with the Growth-Mindset and a design-thinking philosophy, Dave infuses many of these key leadership aspects into every interaction and program he facilitates.
Dave has a Bachelor of Science & Business Administration – Finance from the University of Colorado, and is a Certified Listening Practitioner, Certified in DISC Behaviors
& 12 Motivators.
Vanessa Lesperance, Consultant
Vanessa is a decolonial facilitator who thrives on creating safe and brave spaces in order for folks to feel heard, seen and valued.
Vanessa is a mixed heritage Metis woman originally from Treaty 1 (Winnipeg). She is on a mission to invoke heart-centered transformation and decolonize business.
Vanessa has 12 years of corporate experience and thrived on creating strong, productive and engaged teams. She has worked extensively with Indigenous women entrepreneurs with the not-for-profit Indigenous LIFT Collective. Her economic reconciliation work includes advocating for improvements with federal ministers on Indigenous procurement; designing and delivering entrepreneurial and leadership programs; holding online circles; and overseeing the creation of a decolonizing business online course.
She has presented at Fairleigh Dickinson University, the 2020 Kindness Matters Conference, Surrey School District, Royal Roads University, HILTI North America and has hosted “Indigenous Enough” circles for Google and Trent University.
She is also an instructor at the Justice Institute teaching courses on Power and Privilege and Relational Leadership.
Lauren Morrison, Consultant, Leadership Coach
As a certified Career & Business Performance Coach, Lauren’s work is dedicated to helping women — largely women of color — get clear on the next steps to take in their careers (in corporate settings as well as independent entrepreneurship) and figure out how to show up as their whole, authentic selves in every aspect of life.
Prior to becoming a Career Coach, Lauren spent 13 years working in corporate. There, she went from entry-level to Director within 6 years, won multiple awards, spoke at several corporate events for women, black professionals and youth as well as assumed the role of marketing and communications lead for the Black Professionals Network.
Throughout her career, she has coached and mentored many in the professional space. Those who have benefited from her leadership, mentorship and coaching have gone on to build executive presence as well as earn promotions, exceptional performance ratings, and increased salaries. Lauren is an Associated Certified Coach (ICF Certified), Certified Personal & Business Performance Coach (ACSTH), EQ-i 2.0 Certified, and Project Management Professional (PMP).
Dagmar Meachem, Leadership Coach
For over 15 years, Dagmar has worked with leaders locally and internationally at all different levels of crisis, business models and personalities, coming alongside them through their change, growth and transformation as they take the next step in reaching their full potential. Her focus and methodology for change is to help create more courageous individuals, as she believes in courage as a catalyst for change, pushing us to act, move forward, and power through challenges. She is an accomplished leadership coach, facilitator, entrepreneur and change maker.
Dagmar’s approach is one of compassionate and focused encouragement, where her clients are held accountable to the goals they set together. Her specialty is being a supportive and consistent force in helping her clients face their challenges head on and grow and develop because of them. Dagmar is an accredited Certified Professional Coach by Erickson Coaching International, Professional Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coaching Federation and is EQ-i 2.0 Certified.
Ana María Larenas Mackay, Consultant, Leadership Coach
Ana María has developed her career as a psychologist and consultant, always inspired by her passion and main interest in life, which serving people in their development and transformation. With that goal in mind, the world of work and business has been a propitious setting for deploying and growing her coaching and skills development competence. Ana María is an expert in listening to clients and understanding their dynamics, empathizing with the participants of our programs and discovering the strengths to take them to the next level of development.
Pam Schmidt, Consultant
Specializing in high engagement and high inquiry facilitations, Pam partners with leaders and works with them to design custom facilitations. She is a leader and organization development consultant, working in both private and public sector. Pam holds a Master of Applied Behavioral Science and has training and/or certification in: Human Systems Dynamics Co-Resolve, Deep Democracy, The Art of Hosting, Large Group Conferencing, and Problem Solving through Human- Centered Design Thinking.
Lisa Slavid, Consultant
Lisa is an organizational consultant, keynote speaker, cartoonist, and executive coach. She designs and facilitates programs on leadership, innovation, DEI, and strategic planning, and is known for coining the term “learned hopefulness” in relation to expanding ones’ sense of creativity and agency.
Her DEI facilitation work spans several decades and many industries, including higher education, non-profits and global corporations. Expertise in this area encompasses foundational DEI theories, inclusive leadership, and encouraging the framework of compassionate life-long learning on this topic. Her gentle yet energetic style helps people and organizations reach their highest potential through the frameworks of positive psychology, appreciative inquiry, creativity and innovation.
Lisa is also a trustee for Semester at Sea who spent 25 years as a higher educational professional. An extensive traveler, she is always seeking ways to help people, organizations and communities thrive.
Carolina Sougarret, Executive Coach, Leadership Development Consultant
Carolina brings on a valuable combination of HR expertise having worked on important multinational organizations in various HR roles together with Leadership Development and Coaching skills that enable a powerful systemic view appreciation for business context and people strategy.
Her passion is coaching people and being able generate awareness on improvement areas and talents, empowering them seek actions that will build the best version of them.
She enjoys generating collaborative work networks, keeping abreast of the latest trends in the world of work, education and human capital, achieving impact and influence in what she does.
Melody Taylor, Senior Consultant
The foundation of Melody’s practice is her commitment to helping people get better at what they do. Her work with our clients is practical, personal and context driven. She helps leaders understand how to strike the right balance of people, ideas and discipline for the situation, knowing that what works one day, doesn’t the next. To Melody, that’s what makes leadership a worthwhile endeavour and challenge.
Melody brings twenty years of experience in client service and leadership roles to her coaching. Her approach is informed by work as a business leader, engineer, management consultant, self-driven learner and committed team partner. Her approach is integrative, helping to translate big picture needs into day-to-day, practical behavioural practices.
Melody has worked with clients across a wide array of industries to design, facilitate and lead their strategic planning, management and people practices. In the last several years, Melody has coached senior executives (CEO & C-Suite) and middle management (Directors, Managers, Supervisors), through the specific transitions required to move from one leadership level to another.
Erin Waddell, Leadership Coach
Over a wide-ranging career, Erin has been a successful international speaker, executive coach, transformational change manager, leadership development facilitator, management consultant, accountant, educator, software technology consultant, researcher, and project manager. She is passionate about coaching in ways that enable clients to embrace change, align goals, think creatively and achieve results.
Erin is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CGA), Project Management Professional (PMP), and holds a Master of Arts in Leadership. She actively contributes to the global community through volunteer work with organizations supporting education, health and infrastructure in developing countries. She is a volunteer director with Health Reach Canada and an active participant on development projects in Nepal, Tanzania and Mizoram, India.
Erin is also engaged in her professional communities as Director of External Relations with the International Coach Federation and past Chair of the Calgary Chapter of CPA’s.
Stacie Wilkinson, Leadership Coach
Stacie Wilkinson is a Calgary based Executive Leadership Coach. Educated as an engineer she has worked with STEM leaders of all levels who are inspired to be better and make a difference. Prior to becoming a coach, she spent 25 years in both technical and business roles in Canada’s energy industry. Her experiences include strategic planning, operations management, business improvements, and implementing profitability optimization and cost reduction tactics. She has built teams, implemented processes, managed change, and created great leaders. She has worked at and held Director and Vice President roles at Suncor Energy, Husky Energy, Parkland, and Accenture.
John Whitehead, Consultant, Leadership Coach
John Whitehead is an experienced leader, facilitator, and Professional Certified Coach (ICF Credentialed), with over 40 years of senior leadership and management experience. John holds a Masters Degree in Leadership from Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC, and before becoming a Certified Executive Coach (CEC, Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC,) held a senior operational position with a leading national organization, achieving significant recognition for his results. John’s clients have included senior and emerging leaders in various industries including major utilities, mining, sports, Hi-Tech, entertainment, retail and direct sales, along with coaching other coaches and training professionals.
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