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.
An Insights Discovery Distributor, Peter founded People First as an Organizational Development and Design Consulting company in 1998.
Peter’s philosophy of facilitation is to make the attendees the stars of the show; his job is to make that easy for them. Peter has a gift in reading the room well and can adapt to different leaders and cultures. Humour and lightness are hallmarks of Peter’s sessions to enable vulnerability and openness.
His process begins with a pre-meeting with the client: a critical success component in your work with Peter and his team. Peter’s organizational development experience helps connect the learning to context to make it real. His meticulous preparation ensures that he can focus on the dynamics in the room and adjust to shifts in energy. His informal approach allows the team to self-manage.
Peter’s refined and effective style are the result of experience and exposure to a wide breadth of organizations. He has been an organizational development consultant to some of Canada’s most notable entrepreneurs and leaders. His intuition on culture is fine tuned, he can tell a lot about an organization’s culture just by looking at its org chart.
An organization would benefit from Peter’s ability to work as comfortably with senior executives as he does with junior managers. He is a keen student of organizational behaviour and has been leading workshops and seminars on related topics for more than 20 years.
Peter has a background in Psychology and Criminology, and a Master’s in Business Administration and Doctoral studies focusing in Organizational Culture.
Peter is located in Niagara, Ontario, Canada.
Monique 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 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 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 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®.