Our Team

Lisa Taylor

Lisa Taylor

Founder & President

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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.

Taryn Blanchard, Ph.D.

Taryn Blanchard, Ph.D.

Research Coordinator

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Taryn is Challenge Factory’s Research Coordinator. She works on human-based research projects that use applied ethnography and 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.

Isabella Johnson

Isabella Johnson

Client Manager

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Isabella is Challenge Factory’s Client Manager. She develops and coordinates all aspects of the Centre for Career Innovation, and supports clients throughout their learning process.

Isabella is passionate about education and has spent her career to date promoting lifelong learning and career development. Isabella spent the last five years working in international education where she was placing university students in short experiential learning programs and running global conferences. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University in Montreal.

Jacqui Burke

Jacqui Burke

Marketing & Social

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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.

Natalie Stuart, MBA, ACC (ICF), CHN

Natalie Stuart, MBA, ACC (ICF), CHN

Leadership and Resilience Coach

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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.

Suzanne Filiatrault, M.Ed.

Suzanne Filiatrault, M.Ed.

Instructional Designer

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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.

Priya Bates, ABC, MC, CM

Priya Bates, ABC, MC, CM

Org. Communication Expert

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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.

Michael Ehling

Michael Ehling

Leadership Coach

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With a strategic focus on leadership development and alignment, Mike helps teams and organizations achieve results with the right people in place. With over 20 years of coaching experience across all sectors and industries, Mike has helped businesses of all sizes dissolve obstacles, build future-focused leadership pipelines, and develop winning teams. Mike is certified in several organizational and personal assessments tools.

Wayne Pagani, MCCS, MCIS, MCR

Wayne Pagani, MCCS, MCIS, MCR

Career & Leadership Coach

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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.

Nel Slater, B.Th., B.A., C.D.P.

Nel Slater, B.Th., B.A., C.D.P.

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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.