People First believes in the power of people.

People are at the heart of everything we do. The People First team is composed of four invaluable industry professionals: Peter Bedard, Monique Kavelaars, Earl Hoeg, and Dianne Surman. Not only does our staff work together in order to achieve great results for our clients, but we never stop trying to evolve ourselves.

Combining skills relating to team building, cultural shifts within the workplace, workplace effectiveness, and learning consultancy allows for a powerful and innovative driving force for change. Bringing our expertise to a wide range of companies where corporate cultures differ significantly enables us to navigate complex challenges and work closely with industry professionals to successfully implement plans that work for their staff. Regardless of the task at hand, our team continually focuses on collective results, straying away from strictly individualized outcomes.

We take pride in putting people first, because without our people none of this would be possible.

Peter Bedard         

An Insights Discovery Distributor, Peter founded People First as an Organizational Development and Design Consulting company in 1998. Over the years, Peter has been very fortunate to work closely with some of Canada’s leading executives and entrepreneurs, helping them to design their organizations and build their teams. Peter has extensive experience working with management teams in several industries, namely real estate, manufacturing, education, healthcare and recreation. Peter loves discussing an organization’s vision toward growth, hearing about their culture and their people plan.

Peter is located in Niagara, Ontario, Canada.

Peter has a background in Psychology and Criminology, and a Master’s in Business Administration and Doctoral studies focusing in Organizational Culture. 

Monique Kavelaars has over 15 years of experience working closely with leaders and teams creating cultural shifts to achieve better performance. As a skilled facilitator, she focuses her talents on leadership and team cohesiveness for executive and corporate teams.

She brings her talents as a motivating team member to encourage and inspire teams to be more supportive and collaborative to achieve success together while staying focused on overall shared results.

Monique creates a solution-focused approach to quickly identify challenges, find solutions, and encourage clearer decision making and team synergy. Her clients describe her as engaging, real, direct, and able to provide invaluable insight into people, situations and to empower results.

Monique has worked alongside various organizations and industries such as Canadian Olympic Committee, Spotify Global, Oxford Properties and Scotia Wealth Management.

Monique has also worked with the Canadian Olympic Team offering her expertise and skills as the ‘Athlete Mentor’ at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.


Monique is located in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada.

Earl Hoeg is a bilingual (English/French) workplace effectiveness coach who is committed to helping create inspiring, engaging, and safe workplaces. Through his extensive experience, network, and relationship-building skills, he knows how to connect people, places, and processes required to meet the challenges of work today.

After 25+ years of leading teams from five to 150+ people, Earl is on a mission is to support other leaders in building effective teams. Throughout a 33-year career with the Canadian Federal Government, Earl gained significant experience in executive
leadership, change management, workplace strategy, facilitation, and employee development.

Earl has an MBA from Queen’s University, is a trained executive coach, Insights Discovery Licensed Practitioner, Centre for Creative Leadership-certified Assessor, workshop leader, and public speaker.

Earl is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Dianne Surman is the Managing Director of a learning consultancy, Development Toolbox Inc. D worked for over 34 years at Unilever within the Consumer-Packaged Good industry focusing the last 25+ years in learning and leadership development.

D is a highly experienced learning and development professional with extensive experience in needs assessment, learning design, content development and curation, creation of detailed learning journeys, learning evaluation and facilitation. She facilitates change to drive results to realize organizational and individual peak performance.

D is a passionate coach and facilitator conducting bespoke workshops around High Impact Teams, High Potential/Transition Programmes, Line Manager Capability, Finding Your Purpose, Equity/Diversity and Inclusion, Mindfulness and Wellbeing. She is accredited to facilitate Insights Discovery, Everything DiSC®, and The Five Behaviours of a Cohesive Team®.