Founder & President
Lisa Taylor is a sought-after expert, speaker, and columnist on today’s changing world of work. As President of Challenge Factory and the Centre for Career Innovation, Lisa offers invaluable leadership and insights about the Future of Work—with a focus on how talent equity, demographics, the freelance economy, and new market dynamics present opportunities to gain strategic workforce and career advantage. She is the author of The Talent Revolution: Longevity and the Future of Work and the Retain and Gain series of career management playbooks for small businesses and non-profits and charities.
After receiving her MBA in Strategic Management and Public Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University, Lisa held progressive roles at Deloitte and Hewlett-Packard. In 2014, Lisa was recognized by the Urban Land Institute as one of Canada’s Top 100 Women for her work in leadership, employment, and city building. She was also recognized by the Career Professionals of Canada as their 2015 Outstanding Career Leader.
Lisa sits on the Boards of Directors of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Regiment Association and CERIC. She is a member of the Canadian Council for Career Development’s Standards and Guidelines stakeholder committee, and a representative for Team Canada with the International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy.
Click here to read Lisa’s full bio.
VP, Leadership & Consulting
As Challenge Factory’s Vice President, Leadership and Consulting, Emree is responsible for leadership development, coaching, and strategic human resources consulting. With a focus on the Future of Work, Emree works with future-focused clients to accelerate recovery ready business plans, strategy development, and business culture transformations.
Emree is a strategic and change-oriented leader, facilitator, and coach with almost thirty years of domestic and global human resources experience including leadership and executive roles at Stantec, BDO Global, Xstrata, and Hudson’s Bay Company. Alongside his knowledge and experience, he brings a deep well of passion to seeing organizations thrive through great leadership and engaged people. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Administrative and Commercial Studies from the University of Western Ontario, a CHRM, Human Resources from Seneca College, and a Certificate in Strategic Human Resources from Queen’s University.
Taryn Blanchard, Ph.D.
Head of Research
Taryn is Challenge Factory’s Head of Research. She works on human-centric research projects that seek to explore culture and context through multi-disciplinary collaboration. Her passion and expertise is exploring issues related to work, communities of practice, expression, and the relationship between humans and technology.
Taryn has previously worked in academia and the human rights sector on issues of free expression, press freedom, privacy and digital security, transnational NGO networks, and humanitarian assistance. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology, as well as an H.BA. in anthropology and linguistics, from the University of Toronto.
Ali Breen, BA, HNCP
Sales & Curriculum Development
Ali is Challenge Factory’s Learning Coordinator and leads our Centre for Career Innovation. With 10+ years in the career development and human resources fields, Ali is certified as a Holistic Narrative Career Practitioner and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dalhousie University.
A constant kickstarter in her field and community, she brings her experiences in adult education & facilitation, curriculum design, leadership training, community growth, career management and online branding to the team. With a background in workforce development, human resources, digital marketing and corporate recruiting, Ali drives people to level up, explore and take action in their careers & lives.
At a national level, Ali has developed and delivered learning frameworks, curriculum and tools for diverse audiences, including Armed Forces military spouses, career practitioners in continuing education at Dalhousie University, post-secondary student co-horts, Millennial & Gen-Z clients via private practice and professional groups like the Canadian Medical Association.
Ali has provided her expertise as a facilitator and author to pan-Canadian research non-profit CERIC, provincial career development associations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Alberta & Manitoba, community-building events like PodCamp, BlogJam Atlantic and Fusion Halifax and post-secondary schools like Nova Scotia Community College and Mount Saint Vincent University. She has been featured in and local & provincial news outlets, entrepreneurship magazines such as Halifax Chamber Business Voice and online publications like Flare, Careerwise and The Muse.
She equips people and organizations with the tools and mindsets they need to build flowcharts for their futures, and you can reach her here.
Marketing & Social
Jacqui is Challenge Factory’s Marketing and Social Specialist. Jacqui thrives on storytelling and design—from creative writing to in-print marketing, through website design and social media, and even to video editing and production. She’s thrilled to be telling stories with Challenge Factory in a way that makes a real difference in peoples’ lives.
Jacqui spent thirty years in professional theatre as a producer, director, teacher, and stage manager in Canada and the United States. She has helmed and been integral to staging and producing hundreds of shows and tours, with a particular affinity for shepherding new work to the stage. She left theatre about two years ago to pursue marketing and social clients full-time.
Data & Analytics, Business Development
Alicia is a data visionary who helps organizations think strategically about data and how they can use data to their strategic advantage. Alicia has over 25 years in data science and championing data infrastructure needs for business impact. She has lead Data & Analytics teams at Data Insight Group, Microsoft Canada, RBC Royal Bank and Canada Trust (now TD Canada Trust). Alicia has spent time on phone support lines at the Toronto Distress Centres and was formerly President of Mississauga Synchronized Swimming Association. Alicia holds a Bachelors degree in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, as well as a Masters degree in Education from The University of British Columbia.
Justin is a Project Coordinator at Challenge Factory. His role is to help both external clients and our internal team stay on task to meet critical deadlines while also maintaining a high level of quality and ensuring that communication between various teams is coordinated and efficient. He thrives in high stress situations and is quick to adapt or pivot when obstacles or issues arise.
Justin comes from a background in Education where he spent time as a Teaching Assistant with the University of Guelph while he was completing his Masters in Sociology. He also attended the University of Toronto where he completed an Honours Bachelor of Art degree in History, Sociology and Anthropology and also completed a post graduate certificate from Georgian College in the Research Analyst program.
Suzanne Filiatrault, M.Ed.
Suzanne Filiatrault is a visualizer of organization systems who places people at the center of all growth and change. Her mission is to ignite the untapped potential of individuals, teams, and whole organizations.
As a Challenge Factory associate, Suzanne is a leader in creating the ideal conditions for executive level learning to help produce more mindful interaction, engaged problem solving, and effective innovation. With over ten years of experience building executive level skill capacity, Suzanne has developed a deep appreciation for the complexity of aligning people in organizational cultures to work together with purpose and passion. She holds a M.Ed. specializing in Workplace Learning and Change and is certified in a diverse range of organizational assessment tools.
Nel Slater, B.Th., B.A., C.D.P.
Nel has post-graduate certification as a Career Development Practitioner and is a member of Career Professionals of Canada. She is also a certified Emotional Intelligence Facilitator (EQi 2.0 and EQi 360), MBTI® Facilitator, and a Job Development Professional. Nel brings over 15 years of experience to group facilitation, coaching, team building, public speaking, and administration.
With professional experience in post-secondary education and the not-for-profit sector, people often say that her workshops and coaching sessions bring out new ideas, solutions, and resources that they are delighted to discover.
Natalie Stuart, MBA, ACC (ICF), CHN
Leadership & Resilience Coach
As an accomplished Human Resources leader, Natalie has earned the reputation as a strong strategic partner, skillful executive coach, effective facilitator and trusted advisor. Natalie has a proven track record of delivering results, leading transformation, navigating complex and ambiguous environments, advancing diversity & inclusion, building relationships and coaching leaders at all levels.
To empower leaders to reach their full potential, Natalie engages a holistic approach to her delivery. With 19 years in the Financial Services industry and as a leader of individuals and teams, Natalie understands the concerns that leaders and businesses face and knows what it takes for them to be successful – – personally and professionally. Challenges like work-life-balance, balancing personal ambition and personal behaviour, navigating the Corporate political landscape, team engagement & performance, diversity & inclusion and driving transformational change.
Natalie’s experience also includes working with and successfully influencing challenging leaders at all levels to adopt new behaviours and demonstrate critical leadership capabilities. As an HR Leader she led and coached top performers and individuals identified as top talent to help them accelerate their performance & development, improve their brand and understand their blind spots to foster diversity, equity and inclusion and, as a result, build more inclusive teams and cultures.
Her background as a Holistic Nutritionist and a certification in Building Personal Resilience and Brain Health & Neuroplasticity complement her ability to provide a coaching experience that will not only help leaders enhance their performance and leadership capability, but also build the capacity to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of stress and adversity.
Natalie has an MBA from Schulich School of Business where she focused on International Strategic Management and Organizational Behaviour. Her professional coaching certification was obtained through The Coaches Training Institute and she is a member in good standing with the International Coach Federation.
Wayne Pagani, MCCS, MCIS, MCR
Career & Leadership Coach
Wayne possesses 15 years of experience providing in-depth career management and employment services to diverse clients. This is complemented by sound management experience in the corporate world. A seasoned professional offering extensive expertise, Wayne is a Master certified strategist in Resume, Interview, and Career strategy. An active leader within Career Professionals of Canada (CPC), Wayne currently serves as Senior Advisor, Regional Ambassador, and National Certification Chair.
Wayne is an eight-time recipient of the prestigious Award of Excellence from CPC and, in 2010, he was the recipient of the Canadian Career Leader Award. His contributions to the career development field have been recognized across North America, including a 2011 Career Management Alliance Mentor Award honouring those individuals who have guided others in tradecraft, entrepreneurship, and community building.
Priya Bates, ABC, MC, CM
Org. Communication Expert
Priya is an award-winning professional communicator with a passion for driving strong performance from the inside out. As President and owner of Inner Strength Communication, Priya builds strategic internal communication, engagement, branding, and transformational change plans that help connect the dots between business strategy and employee delivery.
In her 20+ year career, Priya has led communication for organizations including Loblaw Companies Limited, HP Canada, and Compaq Canada. Priya is an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) and recently became one of the first Certified Communication Management Professionals (CMP) in the world. In 2010, she received the Master Communicator (MC) designation, the highest honour bestowed upon a communication professional from IABC Canada. Priya is also a passionate volunteer with the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), most recently leading the organization’s global rebranding effort.