- Married to Lydia (a teacher)
- Two university-age sons, Josiah & Levi.
- Lived and worked in West Africa and Lithuania.
- MA in International Development, University of Waterloo
- MA in Worldview Studies & Political Theory, Institute for Christian Studies at University of Toronto
- Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE)
- Professional Director Certification (board governance)
- Balanced Scorecard Specialist
- Director of Research & Education, Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC)
- Director of Strategy, World Vision
- VP, Programs and Philanthropy - Canadian Feed the Children
- Cofounder of Flourish Financial, a nonprofit micro loan organization.
- Founder, Chisel Consulting
- Instructor - Organizational Behaviour, Tyndale University College
- Instructor - International Political Economy, Redeemer University College
- Instructor - Team Leadership and Conflict Transformation - Schulich Executive Education
- Instructor - LCC International University - Interest-Based Negotiation
Principal and Co-Founder
At seven years of age, I could shoot a rifle, hit a target with a high-powered bow, and drive a Ski-Doo with my three younger siblings on board. Living in a 20- by 30-foot cabin with no electricity or running water south of Owen Sound, Ontario, taught me life skills that remain with me to this day. My job was to break the ice on the well to get our daily water.
The experiment ended after two years when our roof caught fire and my mother insisted it was no longer safe to live there.
By the time I was 14, my family had moved 16 times. For some, that would be a negative experience. For me, it was all part of the adventure. I loved it. It allowed me to experience more, I think. My father’s philosophy of fearlessly embracing all that life has to offer while staying grounded in his Christian values informed my own approach to all of my pursuits.
I graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in International Relations. In 1992, I married Lydia, a teacher. After I completed a Master’s in International Development at the University of Waterloo, we took off for a one-year stint in Guinea, West Africa, where I worked with indigo cloth dyers on a microenterprise development project. This is where my love and appreciation for diversity and difference began to mature. Returning to Canada in the early 2000s, we became parents to Josiah and Levi.
After earning another Master’s in Worldview Studies and Political Theory from the Institute for Christian Studies at the University of Toronto in 2004, I went to work as Director of Research and Education for the Christian Labour Association of Canada. There, I learned that all conflict can be transformed into something beneficial for individuals and organizations, if addressed honestly. I saw that people really want to get along, but sometimes they need a path to reconciliation illuminated for them.
In 2008, craving a change, we took a one-year sabbatical and the family moved to Lithuania, where I taught negotiation in the business school at LCC International University, one of the only English-speaking universities in the Baltic States. I also helped them create an online Master’s program in Teaching English as a Second Language. I discovered a gift for teaching and was hooked on integrating it into my professional pursuits.
Back in Mississauga and ready for a new challenge, in 2011 I joined World Vision Canada’s (WVC) International Programs Division as Strategy Leader. During this time, I also taught organizational behaviour at Tyndale University College and International Political Economy at Redeemer University College.
In 2013, I co-founded Flourish Financial, a nonprofit loan organization. After a trip to Tanzania and Uganda in 2012, I realized that one of the key ingredients to job creation in places like East Africa was the lack of reasonably-priced capital for businesses wanting to scale up. I came home and gathered a bunch of like-minded people who wanted to help poor entrepreneurs get the capital they need for more job creation and to alleviate poverty sustainably.
Promoted to Director of Strategy at WVC in 2015, I led a major process involving staff at all levels and external stakeholders, to reimagine the NGO’s future. The result was a new five-year organizational strategy, which the President, Michael Messenger, called transformative. While at WVC, for four years I served on the board of the Canadian Christian Relief and Development Association (CCRDA), an umbrella group of 40 organizations working to alleviate poverty in developing countries. After directing strategy and operations for WVC’s Philanthropy division for two years I also became a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).
In 2016, wanting to expose our sons to life in the developing world, we spent a month travelling in Kenya and Tanzania. We went on safari and visited our sponsored child Naisheye and her family in Ketumbenie, Tanzania. The experience was life changing for Josiah and Levi, then 15 and 14.
Feeling a call to share my expertise with other organizations, I founded Chisel Consulting in 2018. I’ve developed an ability to build trust with people very quickly. I love the art of facilitation, asking the right questions, and being curious. I don’t tell the people I work with what to do. They have the answers and they can rediscover their clarity, focus and purpose. My job is to bring it out, like a coach.
We now live in Oakville, Ontario. Outside of work, I am an avid soccer player, a sport I’ve played since I was five. I also run half marathons, something I started a few years ago after doing a full marathon as part of Team World Vision to raise funds for water in Malawi. Our boys are in university now, pursuing their own adventures.
Partner and Lead Consultant
Lon is committed to seeing individuals, teams, and organizations become more human. He has led a national movement, launched multiple campaigns, and developed impact-driven programs, all with human-centered design at heart. He has coached leaders across sectors from local non-profits to the largest global tech companies to help them work through their toughest challenges. Lon has a Bachelor of Engineering, Master of Divinity, and a host of other training in marketing, leadership, coaching, and culture building. He lives in Toronto, Canada, with his partner Yvonne and two daughters.
Senior Research Associate
Vito is a seasoned Strategy Manager and Consultant that has recently been certified in User Experience Research and Design.
Fusing these skills together allows Vito to excel on both the client and customer side of a business, applying savvy market research and financial/operational analysis skills, as well as a heightened sense of empathy, design thinking, and customer-centricity to his work. In a nutshell, Vito can think like an enterprise, talk like a customer, and pivot like a startup.
Laura is an accomplished professional with nearly 30 years of experience in corporate communication and public relations.
She is passionate about helping organizations share their stories. She has worked in the fields of engineering, aerospace, funeral service, veterinary medicine, and Christian education. Whether she is engaged in communication planning, fundraising, media relations, or writing, Laura brings clarity to both the medium and the message.
Laura lives in Oakville with her husband and two children. She loves hiking with her family, friends, and her Labrador Retriever.
Mariana is a Certified Community Manager and Personal Assistant with almost three years of experience.
She can work on different platforms to create social media content, presentations and design websites. She also has organizational skills to help customers put things in order and visualize plans and strategies.
She is a passionate person and dedicates part of her time to helping others with her skills, always trying to do her best and learn something new in every experience.
She lives in Venezuela and loves to ride horses and spend time with her family.
About Chisel consulting
- To help organizations find clarity and focus and reimagine their future
Key Consultation Areas
- We help teams figure out their starting point and imagine their destination.
- We help leaders uncover how they can better use their resources for maximum impact.
- We work with leaders to create customized curriculum for organizational transformation.
Many people and organizations lack clarity and focus because they have done exactly what they should do, which is to say yes to opportunities as they arise.
Nonprofits in particular are filled with people who are servant-minded and who say yes all the time, sometimes to their detriment. The problem with saying yes and not calibrating it with your purpose is that you can lose your why among all the whats. You can’t do everything. You have to choose what will serve your purpose, your value proposition, and your constituents the best.
My own mission at Chisel Consulting is to help organizations find clarity and focus and reimagine their future. Organizations that are clear about their own mission and purpose enables them to know what to focus on and when to say no.
I love this idea of wayfinding for organizations.
We’ve all had this experience of coming into a large building like a hospital and wondering, “How do I get to my destination?” You look at the building map for direction and the first thing you look for is the you are here marker. Knowing where you are now is always the first step in navigating to where you want to go.
At Chisel, I work with teams to figure out their starting point and imagine their destination. Strategy is the process of mapping out the steps and milestones of how to get from here to there while staying true to a unique purpose.
Another common issue I see in non-profits is how best to allocate limited resources. Leaders so appreciate the sacrificial giving of their donors and they want to make sure they steward those resources wisely.
In working with organizations, I help them discover their own answers and uncover a new self confidence that this is who we are, this is what we’re good at and if we go in this direction, this is the best plan and the greatest chance for using our resources for maximum impact.
I also love to teach.
Through Chisel, I offer customized curriculum for what organizations want to learn. I’ve learned to read a situation quickly and can provide interim leadership for when a gap needs to be filled. Using tools and methods like design thinking, my process helps energize teams to think differently about particularly sticky challenges. I round out my offerings with conflict transformation, which can result in new value and epiphanies.
Get in Touch
I'd love to hear from you to learn more about your current organizational challenges and explore how we can address them together.
Give me a call, send me a message using the form below or connect with me on LinkedIn.