John M. Miller (BA, MA, CPF, CTF) Certified Professional Facilitator and ToP™ Methods Trainer Facilitator of Productive Successful Public Consultations John Miller is a well-informed, passionate, yet neutral third party presence in situations that are politicized or conflicted. He is familiar with the public sector through his 20 years experience as a consultant and his two degrees in Political Science. He has worked with all three levels of government in Canada, in both training and consulting capacities. Consultations have been both internal with staff and executives and external with stakeholders and the general public. His background in community development and consulting with a wide range of NGOs equips John to help participants address the larger and deeper issues in a trusting, constructive atmosphere.
Karen is a stakeholder engagement, innovation, and communication consultant. She has more than 20 years experience in post-secondary education, journalism, and stakeholder engagement along with training in public participation. For 10 years, Karen led the journalism program at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, through innovation and change as communication technologies and practices evolved. She specialized in citizen participation in the news and pioneered innovative uses of technology and collaborative partnerships with community organizations to increase student engagement in learning. Karen now uses her teaching background to create facilitative processes that engage stakeholders in mutual learning and collaboration. She is actively involved with IAP2 Canada as a webinar presenter. Karen wrote a white paper on evaluating public engagement (2016) for the organization. As a result of this work, she was invited to help the City of Edmonton Council Initiative on Public Engagement by creating evaluation standards.
Cindy is the Senior Project Manager for Community Special Projects for the City of Hamilton. She is responsible for leading the implementation of Hamilton’s new 25-year Community Vision. Her work involves leading city-wide public engagement initiatives and building collaborative relationships with a broad range of stakeholders to make Our Future Hamilton a reality.
Since joining the City of Hamilton in 2014, Cindy has supported a number of high-priority projects including newcomer and refugee integration efforts. She has over fifteen years’ experience leading award-winning community engagement initiatives to improve health outcomes among traditionally ‘hard-to-reach’ populations.
Cindy is passionate about fostering collective results and providing platforms for diverse community voices to inspire action. She holds both a Bachelor of Arts degree and Masters of Arts degree, specializing in Anthropology.
Gerri Gershon, a former psychiatric nurse, was first elected as a public school trustee to the North York Board of Education in 1985. Along with her regular trustee responsibilities, she chaired many Board and Community Committees including; the Budget Sub Committee and the Strategy Team for Negotiations.
Gerri became involved with broader citywide issues when her peers elected her to be Vice Chair of the Metropolitan Toronto School Board, an umbrella Board for all seven Boards of Education in Toronto
In 1996, Gerri became Chair of the North York Board of Education. When the provincial government amalgamated the seven Boards of Education in Toronto, Gerri was selected by her peers on the previous Boards of Education to chair the transition team, the Local Education Implementation Committee (LEIC) to prepare for the united Toronto District School Board.
Since 1997, Gerri continues to act on behalf of her constituents as a Trustee on the Toronto District School Board. She has served on numerous external education-related committees such as the Toronto Board of Health, the Learning Partnership of Canada, the Ontario Studies in Education/University of Toronto Advisory Board and the EQAO Advisory Committee.
In 2002, trustees from across the province of Ontario elected Gerri as President of the Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA). She served as President during the Rozanski's Hearings and Report, the supervision of school boards and the change from a Conservative to a Liberal Government. Adding to her achievements and responsibilities, she was then elected by school boards across Canada to be president of the Canadian School Board's Association for the year 2005. In 2009, Gerri Gershon was appointed by the Provincial Government to Chair the Citizen's Forum which will make recommendations to the government on pharmacological and other health related issues.
Throughout her years as a trustee, Gerri has met bi-monthly with community educational leaders including; parents, teachers and principals, to discuss and keep updated on local concerns and to share information about central educational issues. Gerri's goal is to provide a humane, innovative and first rate school system for all children in the Toronto District School Board.
John is the manager of community initiatives for the City of Hamilton. He oversees a diverse community portfolio that includes the 25-year Hamilton Community Vision, Age-Friendly Hamilton, Local Immigration Partnership, Strategic Youth Initiatives and Hamilton’s first Urban Indigenous Strategy.
He is a well-respected municipal expert on public engagement and community strategic planning. He has a great passion for raising the engagement consciousness of the community, and ensuring diverse community voices are used to shape municipal priorities.
John is a director and treasurer at Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, and also sits on the on the Program Advisory Committee of Humber College’s Research Analyst Post-Graduate Program. He is a credentialed Project Management Professional (PMP), with a Master’s degree in Development Studies.
In July 2017, he was selected as a community baton bearer in Hamilton for the Queen’s Baton Relay, leading to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Rob Philpott has 15 years of leadership experience in government, finance and human resources, including his current role as the City of Summerside’s Chief Financial Officer. Rob has managed significant human and financial resources throughout his career, and he has worked closely with boards of directors, municipal councils as well as elected and appointed officials at all levels of government. He came to his current role having worked as a Regional Director of a human resources consulting firm in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Prior to that, he served with the Nova Scotia Treasury Board, where he led capital infrastructure planning for the Province. Rob has also served as the Executive Director of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Hillsborough Hospital in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He worked as a Vice-President Corporate Services and Vice-President Operations with a Newfoundland and Labrador public sector agency, and he has also served in leadership roles in the Nova Scotia government, in the areas of community services and finance. Finally, Rob has worked in environments of strong government oversight while developing effective working relationships with all stakeholders.
Liz Yeigh joined the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, as Director of Strategic Engagement in the Strategy and Policy Division in September 2016. She brings to this position a wealth of experience in the areas of public policy development, government decision-making, intergovernmental relations, stakeholder engagement and finance and administration.
Prior to joining the AGCO, Liz worked at the Ontario Ministry of Finance as the Director of the Gaming Policy Branch, where she was responsible for overseeing the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, and leading provincial policy work on gambling and horse racing.
Liz began her career with the Ontario Public Service in the early 1990’s and has held a variety of progressive leadership positions within the Ontario government working at the ministries of Community and Social Services, Health and Long Term Care and Consumer and Business Services.
Liz is a graduate of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto with a B.A. in Economics and English.
Natalie Poole-Moffatt is the Vice-President of Corporate Affairs at Hydro One Inc, Ontario's largest electric utility. Natalie is responsible for leading Hydro One's government affairs, public and external relations as well as all media relations and external communications teams.
With over 20 years' experience in media, public affairs, public policy and government relations; Natalie Poole-Moffatt brings a wealth of expertise in building and leading strong initiatives in the energy sector.
Prior to joining the Hydro One team in 2017, Natalie held progressively senior leadership roles in the oil and gas industry. She was the head of Corporate Affairs for Canada at Woodside Energy, an Australian oil and gas company. In 2010, she left the role of Chief of Staff to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources in British Columbia to join Apache Canada, where she led the development of a new corporate affairs department. She grew the team into an influential arm of the company, managing to affect significant energy policy change across Canada, while simultaneously engaging with stakeholders and First Nations. Natalie's team of communications and government relation professionals were tasked with internal communications, community relations, public affairs, corporate giving and working with government of all levels within the region.
Pat Tobin is the Director of Arts & Culture Services at the City of Toronto, a role he assumed in February 2017 after a meandering career including stints as a bartender in Holland, a marketer of Inuit art, and an ice hockey referee. In his current role, Pat is responsible for such City functions as cultural policy, granting and the delivery of major events such as Nuit Blanche. Prior to joining the City of Toronto, Pat worked with the federal government, the Maytree Foundation and an Inuit organization. Pat's experience in public consultation spans a number of areas, including community safety, official languages policy, economic development and civic engagement.
Kirk has been working in research for 17 years. He has run projects in Canada, and internationally using qualitative and quantitative methodologies in the areas of public policy. Prior to joining Ipsos in 2016, Kirk worked in the education sector as an assistant professor at Beijing Normal University. In his current role, Kirk is the Director of Consultations, and is tasked with growing the business in this area, having penned white papers relevant to the transportation and education sectors. Kirk has run consultations, focus groups, and interviews for the federal government, think tanks, financial industry, and the energy sector.
Kirk holds a PhD degree in Education from the University of Toronto.
Marc is an experienced facilitator and project director with more than 20 years’ practice conducting and managing public opinion consultations in both the public and private sector. Prior to joining Ipsos-Reid in 1999, Marc worked in the federal government, providing strategic counsel to departmental officials on consultation needs with a focus on supporting policy priorities on various issues. He has extensive experience conducting both quantitative and qualitative research projects for a variety of private sector, not-for-profit and government clients.
Marc is one of Public Affairs most experienced facilitators having facilitated dialogue and/or deliberative sessions, town hall meetings, and workshops with a wide variety of target audiences including business elites, health care professionals, youth, seniors, aboriginals, accountants, lawyers, community leaders, as well as the general public. Marc is fully bilingual in both English and French. Marc holds a holds a degree in Sociology (Honors) from the University of Ottawa.
Brad has been a researcher since 2000. Prior to joining Ipsos in 2002 Brad worked for Goldfarb Consultants. Brad led the formation of the Ipsos Public Affairs Qualitative Hothouse practice in North America and now leads both the Public Affairs and IUU/Marketing qualitative teams.
Brad has conducted countless focus groups, in-depth-interviews, ethnographic interviews, consultations and other engagements over his career.
Brad is a member of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association. He has completed the qualitative moderating course at RIVA in the US and holds a degree in Sociology from Queen's University. Prior to becoming a researcher, Brad was an advertising media buyer/planner for OMD.
Based in Toronto, Sara is the Managing Director of both the Public Affairs and Agency practices at Maru/Matchbox. She leads a versatile team of 15+ consultants who are all passionate about utilizing technology and innovative research solutions to deliver impactful outcomes in each sector. With extensive consultative and research experience, Sara has built lasting client partnerships and thought leadership to establish Public Affairs and Agency as dynamic verticals leveraging the voice of the stakeholder to help clients build their brands.
Sara joined Maru/Matchbox through the acquisition of Vision Critical’s Research & Consulting business where she has helped grow the Public Affairs team since 2009. Sara was a leading expert providing strategic guidance to clients in the not-for-profit, education, government and utility sectors, with a focus on branding, engagement, corporate reputation and social responsibility, loyalty and new product development. With a focus on consulting clients to navigate acquisition and retention dynamics to grow, Sara has focused on developing a client-centric, agile, outcomes-oriented team.
Sara has a Hon BA from the University of Toronto in Peace and Conflict Studies and an MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is an avid “political junkie” and brings her enthusiasm for understanding the voice of the stakeholder to all aspects of the practice.
Katrina is a believer in both the power of sport and the value of a brand. With an impressive blend of educational and practical experience within the sport industry, Katrina has spent a combined 14 years in sport strategy and brand management, always prioritizing an insight driven and purpose lead approach to marketing integration. Whether its from the client, agency, property or consulting perspective, she proactively leverages research to move the brand forward.
While at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017, she worked directly with Maru/Matchbox to uncover insights to fuel a movement around the transformative power of sport to heal. Having lead research initiatives for Vancouver 2010 as well as at Nielsen Sports (formerly Repucom), Katrina used a collaborative research-focused approach to realizing and sharing the impact of the Invictus Games here in our city.