As managers and executives at Stratford, we’ve led departments, divisions and whole organizations through growth and change. We have the “stars and scars” to offer meaningful, practical guidance or serve hands-on if that’s required.
Beyond our credentials, what sets us apart are the values we share and the ways we work. Every member of our team has a passion for giving back and helping organizations reach their goals. It’s why clients often tell us that when they met our people, they knew they wanted to do business with us.
To help you get to know us a little better, we sat down with some of our team members and interviewed them on everything from professional experience and obstacles to extracurricular activities and playlist recommendations. We thought you may appreciate seeing the personal side of our team through their shared personal insights, recommendations and hobbies.
Time with Stratford:
Area of Expertise:
Centretown Community Health Centre,
Northern Birch Credit Union
🎵 What do you like to listen to while working?
Where do I start! My taste ranges from choral music of all time periods, to jazz, to current indie music with a focus on Canadian Composers and performing artists – let’s support our own artists when we can!
Do you have any recommendations?
📚 What are your favourite business books, podcasts, and blogs?
I am not a big fan of business books.
I read The Economist for its exceptional breadth and depth of business and world affairs.
🌟 Who are you most influenced by?
The fantastic colleagues and clients I have worked with over my career including those at Stratford.
📝What is one piece of advice you find yourself constantly sharing with your clients?
Maintain the discipline of linking your people-related priorities, actions and practices back to what you are trying to achieve as an organization through your strategy and operating plans – if you can’t make the link why are you doing it?
🙋♂️How do you add value to your clients?
I strive to be a part of my client’s team as much as possible by fully understanding their business and the dynamics of the team, while retaining an independent third-party perspective to provide an outside view.
👀 What do you think makes Stratford unique?
The Stratford Team. We have a team that possesses vastly diverse backgrounds with a combination of on-the-ground corporate and consulting experience. It is the best of both worlds for our clients!
🤝 What is your favourite type of client engagement?
I get very excited when I have the opportunity to work with a client that is serious about changing and transforming their organization to align with new direction: a change in strategy, responding to external market changes, or expanding into new markets.
This gives me an opportunity to help a client address the people implications of the new direction in a planful and disciplined way – helping to drive their success.
✨ Do you sit on any boards or volunteer?
I have been involved in a number of different boards on a voluntary basis over the years. I am currently a Director of Excellence Canada and Chair their HR and Governance committee.
🎸 What are some of your favourite past times?
I am an active choral singer in two choirs and enjoy golfing, hiking, downhill skiing and cycling!
🍿Any recommended movies or TV programs?
These are big questions! I enjoy a wide range of movies and TV series.
My recent favourites include:
⛰️ What’s one of the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome as it relates to your career?
I have always seen obstacles as opportunities.
When I was in an account management role and the roles were all eliminated, I had the choice of going back to pension consulting or moving forward into focusing on employee engagement and people strategy-related work. I chose the path leading me into a much broader area of consulting.
When I left a leadership role in a global HR consulting firm, I had the choice of seeking a similar role in a similar firm, but I chose to pursue opportunities in smaller more diverse local firms.. leading me to Stratford.
🤔 If there is one thing you hope your clients gain from working with you, what would you want it to be?
After working with me, I would hope my clients would say that they have learned to take a step back from the day-to-day details and can now look at the bigger picture of how people can become aligned and motivated to drive organizational success.
We look forward to introducing you to others here at Stratford and we’d love the chance to get to know you better too. If you’d like to connect with Neil or other members of the Stratford team, please reach out. We’d love to hear from you.