Worrying and how it affects your professional career

Let’s start our discussion with a few simple questions, and please respond honestly (Y or N will suffice).

Do you:

  • spend more time then you should procrastinating over making decisions, even minor ones?
  • feel reticent to express feelings and frequently suppress these (either positive and/or negative)?
  • feel compelled to check things over frequently?
  • pay close attention to physical symptoms, regardless of how minor these may be?
  • worry about the health of others, especially those closest to you?
  • find yourself incessantly reviewing the details of your day or planning the details of the next day?
  • dwell on errors you’ve made either recently or the distant past?
  • watch the clock carefully to ensure timeliness?
  • plan and re-plan, whether it’s a vacation, weekend, project…whatever?
  • wish you were better looking or more athletic or smarter or more prominent or richer or any of the above?
  • concern yourself with what others think of you?

If you answered in the affirmative to 4-5 of these questions, then in my personal view you are a worrier. Answer 6 or more of these questions in the affirmative and you are, in my professional opinion, a worrier.

Chances are, if you answered 6 or more of the “Pulvermacher Worry Quotient”, then chances are you are prone to:

– bouts of anxiety
– difficulty falling or staying asleep
– occasional palpitations or other nervous reactions
– people telling you to “stop worrying”, “make adecision”, and so on
– irritable bowel or loss of appetite
– need for tranquillizers, alcohol or smoking
– missing glorious opportunities
– periods of procrastination
– any combination of the above

The bottom line being that “worrisomeness” is a “dis-ease” which will undoubtedly undermine your effectiveness, satisfaction and happiness. In fact, it may cause those around you, whether friends, families or co-workers, to feel stressed around you as well.

Indeed, when we hear the statistics regarding the huge number of people taking sick days which they attribute to stress, I often ask myself what percentage of these people have selfinduced rather then work-induced stress. In my view, once a person has deferred control of their lives to what others may think, exaggerated the implications of events, such as making an error or not meeting a deadline, and fail to express perfectly reasonable and appropriate emotions due to their concern regarding how others might react, they are inevitably setting themselves up for periods of rumination, anxiety, and distress.

Where does the tendency to worry come from? Was it learned? Were you born with it? Chances are a bit of both. Regardless, blaming parents who themselves were worry-warts and analyzing root causes may prove interesting and provide people like me with lifetime employment, but it won’t change the “habit”…and indeed, worrying can become as habitual as brushing your teeth in the morning. This also implies that breaking the pattern of worrying is not easy, particularly for those of you who have been at it for a lot longer period of time then others.

Is it worth the effort to change the pattern? I ask the question because those of you who are worriers will have already have asked yourselves that question and likely a dozen more. “What if…” thinking is a hallmark of the worrier. ”What if I don’t succeed in breaking the habit”, “what if it gets worse if I focus on it”, and such other extraneous thoughts as “what if I don’t have all the answers”, “what if he/she doesn’t like me”, “what if this sore is a tumor”….and so on.

As I said earlier, “what if” questions are the hallmark of the worrier. Ironically, they rarely ask themselves the corollary question, “so, what if?” Now here is the paradox. Ask yourself, on a scale of 10, 10 being “always”, how often do the things you worry about actually come to fruition. And now ask yourself, if you didn’t worry about the potential occurrence of these events, and they actually did happen, would you have handled the situation any differently than if you hadn’t worried about it at all?

So, by now you have probably concluded that: A. Most things you worry about rarely happen–TRUE B. If they did happen, you’d have to handle these circumstances in the same way had you not worried about it at all—ALSO TRUE Lesson #1: you would handle those events you worry about, should they actually occur, in the same fashion regardless of whether you worry about them or not.

Lesson #2: worrying is a waste of time unless the worry leads to a specific plan of action which is realistic, implementable and that you are committed to. Apart from believing that anticipating a noxious event will allow you to manage it better should it occur, another dynamic related to intense worrying is the belief that if I worry about X, then I’m in control of X’s occurrence.

This fallacious assumption leads to such other beliefs as, I can totally control my wellness, I can control the behaviour of others, I can determine how people will feel about me, etc. That said, we can certainly engage in healthy behaviours and reduce risk factors, meet reasonable expectations of others, and so on.

Nonetheless, regardless of how hard you try, some people will think you are offensive, you will make the occasional mistake if you don’t check repeatedly, you won’t ever live up to everyone’s expectations….regardless of how much effort you put into it. Unfortunately, the worrier is reinforced in their worrying tendency even if that worry is reinforced on only one occasion. Consequently, they come to see worrying as an insurance policy against that which they worry about as happening or being better prepared to handle the situation if it were to indeed arise.

The paradox, of course is, that by worrying they actually increase the probability of bringing on the so-called disaster they are worrying about. So the worrier will forget words in a speech, undo a right answer and make it wrong, drive people crazy with their worrisome behaviour until they are rejected….and so on. Hence, the inevitable self-fulfilling prophecy.

Lesson #3: if you think you can control events or people, also try walking on water. Kidding aside, the way to avoid creating that which you worry about is, ironically, to stop worrying and/or take pre-emptive steps. Another very interesting phenomenon about worrying is that the tendency to worry is often a proxy for avoiding expressing feelings.

So, if you spend a great deal of time in your head worrying, noodling, dwelling, ruminating, and obsessing, you can thereby avoid spending equal and precious time in your gut….which euphemistically speaking is where your emotions lie (actually, emotions probably lie somewhere in the cortex of your brain, but don’t worry about it…it is of little or any consequence where emotions are located…they are simply felt). In my earlier days when I practiced as a Clinical Psychologist, a little trick I used to employ to help my patients quickly “get in touch with their feelings” rather than dwelling on their thoughts, was to ask them to wear a rubber band around their wrist, intentionally bring their worrisome thoughts to mind, flick the band with sufficient intensity so as to inflict minor discomfort, then take a deep breath and focus on their feelings (excluding the wrist pain, of course).

With several repetitions, patients would recognize the feelings they were trying so hard not to bring to awareness. Once surfaced, it’s those feelings, as well as those which subsequently emerged, which needed to be addressed. The nature of these feelings would often include fear, anger, regret, disappointment, and so on. Most of the feelings were directed towards others and the task now became to determine whether the feelings were justifiable leading to, if possible, some remedial action, or if the feelings were self-induced due to some irrational belief or expectation, e.g., everyone needs to love me if I’m to be a happy and successful person….in which case we needed to reframe the individuals unrealistic view of the world and how it operates.

Lesson #4: if you want to stop worrying figure out what the feelings are that these thoughts are obscuring and deal with the feelings constructively. My final point is that some people are beyond self-help strategies. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is an extreme form of worrying. If you are unable to gain control of the habit, my blunt advice is to seek professional help. Try not to worry about what others might think.

In fact, statistics now show that in NA, over 50% of people will seek out the help of a mental health professional. Therefore, if normalcy is defined as what most people do, then it is now abnormal not to seek the intervention of a counsellor. So, the next time you read or hear that NA American workers are less productive then they otherwise could be and it is due to excessive amounts of work-related stress, I would ask the question as to whether the stress is due to workplace demands or the tendency to intensify normal levels of stress through worry.

Remember, hundreds, if not thousands, of people may be confronted by the same workplace situation and not all of these people experience or report undue levels of stress. Remember too, some people are capable of taking a good situation and making it bad, and a difficult situation and making it worse.

Lesson #5: Do not be afraid to seek help should you feel that your worry tendencies are out of control or excessive. As always, feel free to send me your comments and reactions. Don’t worry….I won’t publish your messages.

In his initial professional iteration, Gerry practiced as a Clinical Psychologist. In that domain, he specialized in helping people learn to deal with and overcome phobias, anxiety-based disorders and psychosomatic problems in living, where stress was a known risk factor. Gerry then did post-doctoral training in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, which he has been practicing since the late ’70’s and still loves. Gerry works with publicly traded and private organizations, helping them formulate and implement business transformation strategies, either at the enterprise or business unit level.

He also works with senior-most executives, either individually and/or in teams, to assist them in aligning their leadership practices with the organization’s direction. Gerry has deep expertise in succession planning and implementation for senior-most executive positions and is a well-known executive coach.

Finally, Gerry sits on the Foundation Boards of Baycrest Hospital and Centre for the Aged (Toronto), Queensway-Carleton Hospital (Ottawa) and the Board of the Ottawa Jewish Community School. He previously sat on not-for-profit Boards in the New York City area. He doesn’t worry about being too busy and finds lots of time to spend with his family and friends….not all of whom like him. He doesn’t worry about it. Gerry practices both in Canada and the United States.


Lara Patriquin

Lara is a physician, speaker, and teacher of mindfulness meditation and of Transformative Inquiry in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Her personal quest for well being is informed by her medical studies on the brain and on the nature of thought.

She lectures extensively in the medical and business communities about the value of clear and reliable practices that optimize key functions of the mind. Inspired by her scientific knowledge and extensive contemplative practice, Lara’s clients are able to access a more creative, successful and inspired version of themselves. 

Debrah Wirtzfeld
Debrah Wirtzfeld

Debrah works with senior executive to facilitate organizational change management, including successful individual and team transitions. Working both one-on-one and in group settings, she assists teams in developing their strategic vision, enhancing effective team communication, incorporating best practices in board and management governance practices, including succession planning.

Debrah holds an MD degree from the University of Calgary, an MSc from Memorial University, and an MBA in Executive Management from Royal Roads University. She is a Certified Corporate Director (Rotman School of Management) and experienced facilitator in Crucial Conversations. She also holds a Certificate in Inclusive Leadership from Centennial College. Her most recent position was as the Associate Chief Medical Officer, Physician Diversity, Wellness & Leadership Development, Alberta Health Services.

Debrah is an Adjunct Professor of Surgery with the University of Alberta and has led significant change initiatives across Canada, having practiced in Newfoundland & Labrador, Manitoba, and more recently Alberta. She remains focused on the importance of building diverse and inclusive teams to support major transitions.

As a single parent to two busy sons, Debrah enjoys driving to basketball and football practices. She is a published fiction author and hopes to publish her first work of non-fiction around leadership transitions in the near future.


Elizabeth Bagger

Elizabeth has deep expertise as an adviser specialised in supporting family businesses on their journey towards more harmonious family dynamics, stronger family governance and next generation integration and education.

As the member of a family business and the former Director General of the Institute for Family Business in the UK, she has been involved in the family business field for over 20 years. She also currently serves on the Board of a 6th and 7th-generation UK-based family business and her own family business.

Elizabeth holds a certificate in family business advising from the Family Firm Institute in Boston and is trained as a facilitator and family business advisor. She holds an MA in Post-Colonial Cultures and International Relations and a BA in languages.

Having recently relocated from Europe to Mexico, Elizabeth works globally in English, Spanish and Danish.

Colleen Bastian

Colleen delivers executive coaching, leadership, team, and DEI (diversity, equity, & inclusion) consulting services to global leaders in small, privately owned companies to large Fortune 100 organizations.   She focuses on increasing leadership and team capabilities of leaders to perform at their highest level.

Colleen holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from The California School of Professional Psychology and a B.S. in Exercise Physiology from The College of Charleston. She is also a professional certified coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Prior to becoming an organizational consultant, Colleen was a senior sales professional at Pfizer Inc. Colleen lives in south Florida with her husband and two children.  She is a focused individual and athlete.  She enjoys competing in races and also volunteers to support marginalized communities.


Beth Corcoran

Beth Corcoran works with clients in the area of business consulting and coaching with a focus on organizational development and human resources. Based in Toronto, Canada, she works with leaders helping them solve challenges in the area of leadership, strategy, management development and organizational performance. As an executive coach, Beth works with the C-suite, VP’s and Directors, facilitating growth, development and insight for leaders both one-on-one and in group coaching settings. Beth also teaches Business Ethics at Trent University and post-graduate Organizational Behaviour at the Centre for Business at George Brown College.

Beth holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from Queen’s University (Kingston), a Master of Arts (Psychology) from the Adler University (Chicago), and a CHRL designation. In addition, she has attended Harvard Business School (Cambridge) Executive Education, is an Adler International Institute trained coach and is certified in The Birkman Method Assessment Tool. She is completing her Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Adler University.

Beth has served many organizations in both governance roles and as a hands-on volunteer. She enjoys travel, tennis and running. Beth’s long distance running took her to the Boston Marathon in 2005, which she ran with her husband Jon. Jon and Beth reside in Toronto with their two school aged daughters.


Liz Bernhard

Liz has more than 25 years of experience as a business psychologist helping organizations grow and achieve results by making the right talent decisions globally. A trusted talent advisor with a global mindset, Liz makes strong and lasting connections with her clients.

After completing her M.A. and PhD in Counseling Psychology at Northwestern University, Liz started her career in private practice in São Paulo, Brazil. She moved to the consulting world after seeing the profound and dynamic impact of this work on individuals and organizations. She is invigorated by helping leaders gain insight into their skills and deepen their ability to leverage their own and others’ talents to increase effectiveness.

Liz specializes in talent selection, coaching and development. She has worked globally across a variety of industries, including private equity, banking, consulting, consumer products, manufacturing, energy, media, and mining.

Liz has Canadian and US citizenship and lives in Vancouver BC.  


John A. Rogener

John Rogener has 30 years of global experience working in Fortune 500 firms in the talent development and coaching space. He is also a certified executive coach and has coached clients in the financial services, retail, not-for-profit and higher education sectors. This broad exposure of understanding human behavior in a variety of business settings gives him a unique perspective into the challenges executives face, and it enables him to identify sustainable solutions to address those challenges.

He has served as an adjunct professor at Rutgers University Center for Management Development, and also at New York University for 14 years where he was granted their prestigious Award for Teaching Excellence. 

John has a BA, an MA/Advanced Graduate Studies (Counseling) and received his coach certification via New York University. John is a member of the National Association for Talent Development (ATD) and is President Emeritus and member of the Association for Training and Development, NYC chapter. John is a recognized honoree for the New Jersey Governor’s Jefferson Award for Public Service.


Jane Brydges

Jane has over twenty years of management experience working with large companies to support their global leadership in the development and execution of enterprise-wide initiatives. With a primary focus on strategic projects, Jane works with organizations in both public and private sectors to assist them through corporate and operational transformations to achieve greater success, guide them through challenging times, or accelerate initiatives to capitalize on opportunities.

As a senior executive advisor with extensive international experience, Jane has provided executive level thought leadership and strategic consulting in organization restructuring, digital transformation, human resources management, technology and process design, change management, and organization development. She has a proven ability to direct global program initiatives designed to improve operations, impact business objectives and or maximize overall organization productivity/efficiency to ensure growth and process improvements. Her qualifications and experience enable her to deliver strategic solutions and advice on the selection, development and execution of transformative business initiatives.

Jane sits on the Board of Governors of Bishop’s University and is an active member of the Board of Directors at the Rideau Club in Ottawa.


Katrina Barclay

Katrina founded and ran a successful brick-and-mortar and e-commerce business for 10 years. Her contributions in business and the community led to her becoming a FortyUnder40 recipient in Ottawa, Canada in 2016. Before pivoting to business, Katrina had a career in journalism, working for such organizations as the CBC in Canada, and the BBC in London, UK.

A skilled communicator, Katrina holds a B.A. in communications from the University of Calgary and an M.A. in media studies from Westminster University, London, UK. She also completed an M.B.A at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa.

Katrina sits on the Board of Helping with Furniture, an award-winning not-for-profit.

In addition to her consulting responsibilities, Katrina holds the position of VP Operations for GPA.


Stephen Scanlan

Stephen Scanlan is a senior HR/Talent professional who has held senior HR roles with Deloitte, Macquarie Bank, Tangerine Bank and Dentons, the world’s largest law firm. Stephen also worked in Human Capital consulting for KPMG and Development Dimensions International. Stephen brings functional depth in human resources and change management to GPA with industry depth in financial services, real estate, private equity, insurance and legal.

He has done client work with a range of organizations including Aviva Canada, Manitoba Blue Cross, Manitoba Ministry of Health, Capstone Infrastructure, Biome Renewables and Shikatani Lacroix.


Claudio Silvestri

Claudio has over 30 years of experience successfully leading large, complex and transformational initiatives for a variety of organizations within the Information Technology and Aviation industries.  He is known for his inspirational approach in creating alignment and organizational support to successfully achieve valuable and important outcomes through the use of technology.

Claudio is a recognized IT leader and was named Canadian CIO of The Year by the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) in recognition of his leadership and vision in leading digital, cloud and mobile technology transformations.

Claudio also brings significant experience in Cyber Security specifically as it relates to governance, maturity, Board level oversight and risk management. He led the establishment of an international consortium on Cyber Security in the Aviation industry to help develop standards and leading practices to improve the safety and security for Air Navigation Service Providers.

Claudio is a member of the Ottawa Hospital Board of Governors and serves on the Audit and Finance Committee. He is a past member of the Board of Directors at the Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange (CCTX) which is a national organization that serves the Canadian industry by helping them collaborate to reduce cyber security risk. He is also the past President and Chair of Christie Lake Kids which is an Ottawa-based not-for-profit organization serving disadvantaged youth in the Ottawa valley region. 


Colleen Bastian

Colleen delivers executive coaching, leadership, team, and DEI (diversity, equity, & inclusion) consulting services to global leaders in small, privately owned companies to large Fortune 100 organizations.   She focuses on increasing leadership and team capabilities of leaders to perform at their highest level. 

Colleen holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from The California School of Professional Psychology and a B.S. in Exercise Physiology from The College of Charleston. She is also a professional certified coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Prior to becoming an organizational consultant, Colleen was a senior sales professional at Pfizer Inc. Colleen lives in south Florida with her husband and two children.  She is a focused individual and athlete.  She enjoys competing in races and also volunteers to support marginalized communities. 


Sharon Israel

Sharon holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, a Master of Public Administration and Graduate Certificate in Personnel Management and Labor Relations. She is an experienced leader, coach, mentor, instructor, and teacher. She has successfully coached individuals in all levels of leadership.

Sharon created and delivered training and development programs in the areas of leadership, conflict resolution, management, teamwork, creative problem-solving, active listening, performance appraisal, workplace ethics, organizational health and stress management, and resiliency. She has extensive experience in talent management and selection systems as well as multi-faceted management assessment centers. She serves on the Board of Directors for three non-profit organizations in the field of reading education, dyslexia, and literacy.


Hartley Stern

Hartley has held significant health care leadership positions over a 30 year period in Universities, Cancer Systems, and Hospital Systems, in Ontario and Quebec, and most recently in the Canadian Medical Liability System (CMPA). He has forged strong relationships with governments in most provinces but most significantly in Quebec while CEO of the Jewish General Hospital and with Provincial Ministries of Health and Regulators to improve the safety and quality of care in the majority of Canadian jurisdictions whilst CEO of the CMPA.

He has also driven major improvements in quality and safety using (but not limited to): compelling articulation of vision and strategy; major refinements in data acquisition and analysis; and innovative partnerships.


Hilary Becker

Hilary Becker is an Associate Professor of Accounting at the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University in Ottawa. He holds a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Certified General Accountant (CGA) designation in addition to a PhD and MBA.

Hilary has worked as an analyst with DuPont Inc., and has consulted with Board of Directors, management and on projects for the World Wildlife Fund, the MacArthur Foundation, AFNI, Mosaid, Merck-Schering Plough, Canada Blood Services, Canadian Dental Association, Ottawa Festivals, Global Affairs Canada and CGA Ontario, among others, in areas of Blue Ocean Strategy, Performance Management, Balanced Scorecard, Tourism and Financial Literacy. Hilary is certified in Blue Ocean Strategy by the Blue Ocean Strategy Network (INSEAD University, France) and has served on the National Board of Directors for CGA Canada as the Ontario representative for 7 years ending as Vice Chair, CGA Canada prior to the merger of the accounting professions in Canada.


Carey Stevens

Carey holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and has completed the Executive Program in Human Resources Management from University of Toronto, Rottman School of Business. He is also a Certified Fitness Instructor.

Carey has over 45 years of experience in behavioral psychotherapy, business and family mediation and forensic assessments and over 25 years of experience in the execution of large, complex business transformations. His guiding philosophy is to integrate psychological principles with innovative management practices that resolve both complex organizational challenges and result in sustainable personal changes. Carey’s unique history of blending psychological and business insights coupled with his hands-on style has provided his clients with deeper and more insightful executive coaching, transformational change management, talent management, and career transition within a business transformation environment.

Carey has provided coaching and leadership development services for individuals and several Fortune One Hundred corporations in Canada, United States, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Carey prides himself on being a builder of teams and a developer of people.


Sandra Bertoli

Sandra is located in London, England. Her role with GPA is as a talent management consultant and executive coach. Her strength is to support professionals in identifying their potential and developing it in accordance with their aspirations. Sandra treats each project as unique and combines relevant assessment, coaching and development methods to achieve the specific goal of the individual and teams.

An Organisational Psychologist, Sandra started her career in the banking industry with UBS. She held various Management Development then High Potential Management roles at local and international levels.  She moved into the consulting world 17 years ago. Her activities focus on talent identification, assessment, individual and team coaching, leadership development as well as training fellow consultants in the use of assessment methodologies and psychometrics.

Sandra has international experience having lived and worked in Switzerland, Singapore, Paris, Brussels and London covering global assignments.  

In addition to banking, Sandra has extensive experience in the automotive industry, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and professional services.

Sandra holds a BSc in Organisational Psychology and a diploma in Executive Coaching from the Academy of Executive Coaching in London. She is accredited in the Solution Focused methodology and in several psychometric tools (Hudson suite, Wave, OPQ, etc.). Sandra is also an in-house trainer for SHL’s psychometric tools.

Sandra is fluent in English, French and Italian.


Marc Prine

Known for his dynamic professional style and analytical approach, Marc thrives on using data and analytics to take an objective perspective to improving human performance. His key areas of focus include working with organizations to integrate empirically supported methodologies into the management of human capital. His expertise is on optimizing the selection, development, engagement, retention, and leadership due diligence of employees through use of people analytics, assessment, and psychology.

Marc has over twelve years of consulting experience working with organizations from financial services, technology, life sciences, manufacturing and both federal and local government. Marc earned his Ph.D. in Business Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, M.A. from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and undergraduate degree from Temple University. He is an adjunct professor in statistics and his work has been published in the Huffington Post, Forbes, and Fast Company.


Melissa Warner

Melissa holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology and a certificate in the Neuroscience of Business from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She has assessed and coached business leaders for over 19 years and held a leadership role at Canadian Tire Corporation, developing and overseeing executive assessments and leadership development programs. Melissa has extensive experience drawing on neuroscience, psychology, and business, to help leaders in various sectors and business functions. She has contributed to the academic body of research through publication in books, peer-reviewed journals, and conference presentations.

In addition to consulting with GPA, Melissa is a Professor in the School of Global Business Management at Seneca College, where she teaches training and development, leadership, and human resources. In addition, Melissa sits on the advisory committee for Specialisterne, helping organizations obtain business results through neurodiversity. Her style of consulting is customized, results-driven, and measurement/results-focused.    


Marina Ivanoff

Marina is a consultant and an Executive Coach specialized in helping individuals and teams reach their full potential. She brings a breadth of experience in human capital optimization, strategy and change management. Her industry experience ranges from FMCG, transport, pharmaceutical, public entities and financial institutions.

In the first part of her career, Marina held regional and global, operational and strategic HR roles with Griffith Laboratories, Coca-Cola Enterprises and DHL Express.

In the last 15 years, she has worked as a Leadership Consultant focusing on talent assessment, executive coaching, and leadership development. Her expertise spans leadership program development and design, facilitation, talent assessment, individual and team coaching.

In addition to consulting, Marina is a tutor at INSEAD for strategy and leadership programs and a co-founder of Acteva Stars, a boutique accelerator for start-ups.

Having lived and worked across Europe and the US, she is currently based in Singapore and has been working throughout the Asia Pacific Region for the last 10 years.

Marina holds a degree in mathematics and a Master’s degree in Individual and Organisational Psychology from INSEAD. She holds an advanced diploma in coaching from the Academy of Executive Coaching and is a certified coach (PCC) from the International Coach Federation. She is also a Practitioner Systemic Team Coach from GTCI.  She is an NLP Senior Practitioner and is accredited in several globally recognized tools (MBTI, Hogan, etc.).
She holds a certificate in Business Strategy and Financial Performance from INSEAD.

Marina speaks French and English fluently.


Jon Donald

Jon received his M.B.A. in International Management from the Asia-Pacific International Institute.

Jon is a recognized leader in designing and implementing organizational change.  He is an expert in organizational re-design, change management, business communication, and the development and execution of change strategy. He has extensive international experience in training delivery, alternate service sourcing & governance, program development & review, performance assessment, and strategic policy and planning.

With over 23 years’ practice in consulting, Jon has extensive experience with multinational corporations, NGOs, government-owned corporations, and the public sector. Rated in the top 1% of change management experts on LinkedIn Canada, Jon co-designed and delivered an in-house organizational change strategy for a global consultancy. He has also designed and delivered change management education and training at the post-secondary level.

Jon has served on boards and advisory councils for organizations involved with youth mentorship, cancer research, and amateur sports.


Gerald Pulvermacher

Gerry has been advising companies throughout North America for almost 50 years. Additionally, he has led 5 different consultancies including being Senior Partner and Global Practice Director of 4 lines of service (Change Leadership, Human Capital, Learning and Organization Performance) at Deloitte Consulting, was President of Oliver Wyman Delta (Canada), Managing Partner of PSS Consulting and Co-lead of PulvermacherFirth (acquired by the Hudson Highland Corporation, a publicly traded company listed on NASDAQ).

He has consulted to central banks, pension funds, multi-faceted real estate companies, oil & gas producers, pipeline companies, airports, professional services firms, lottery corporations, family businesses in such sectors as automobile dealerships and home healthcare, crown corporations and hospitals. He has sat on the Boards of hospitals, high tech companies and community services organizations. MacLean’s Magazine labeled Gerry as one of Canada’s “management gurus”. He has lectured in the business program of Queen’s University School of Business and the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Family Business. As a dual citizen, Gerry’s clients can be found both in Canada and the USA.


Marion Weiler

Marion Weiler serves as an Executive Advisor, Growth Strategist, and Branding Expert. She advises and guides businesses and leaders on how to create new levels of brand loyalty internally and externally based on a culture of teamwork and collaboration with a view to achieving high impact and sustainable growth.

As a global citizen and former Senior Executive working and supporting industry-leading global brands such as Sotheby’s International Realty, BMW and IBM, serving on executive boards and leading multi-million dollar business divisions, teams and projects, Marion has gained valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t across industries.

She has a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges businesses and leaders face as they navigate through the complexities of corporate environments, particularly complex when dealing with intercultural differences and sensitivities. At the core of her success is her talent for understanding people, and  bridging gaps and putting puzzle pieces together to recognize strengths in team members and leaders. She is also experienced at structuring organizations and teams on an international scale.