By working on an associates model we are able to partner with many talented experts.
Strategic Steps creates a team tailored to each client's specific needs in order provide the best possible value for each and every client.
Meet some of our professional associates here!
Ian has had a broad range of experience including work in government, for-profit and non-profit spheres. He is a nationally recognized Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and accomplished author.
Ian has extensive municipal government experience, both academically and practically. Having also worked for the department of Municipal Affairs in Alberta, Ian is aware of the relationship that municipalities have with the provincial government. Further, he is certified in change management using the ADKAR (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement) model of change management.
Ian is an expert on Strategic Planning and Sustainability Planning. He has further guided local government organizations in translating Strategic Plans into effective Corporate Plans that account for budgeting with respect to meeting the needs of ongoing municipal operations while adhering to goals that have been prioritized through an approved Strategic Plan. Ian is one of Canada’s few experts on Priority-Based Budgeting, leveraging the tool to assist in achieving sound Financial Planning.
Ian's areas of focus include: Good Governance, Strategic Planning, Corporate Planning, Organizational Reviews, Governance Reviews, Policy and Bylaw Reviews, Professional Development/ Public Speaking
Visit IanMccormack.ca to book Ian for your next event or workshop or order a one of his books.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT LEAD
Melanie is a respected leader and collaborative team player who is known for her ability to build strong relationships and work effectively with diverse stakeholders. She is passionate about local government and service to community having dedicated 18 years to the public sector.
In addition, Melanie’s background includes excellence in board governance having served on the Local Government Administration Association of Alberta’s executive team. She is most proud of her role in the development of their strategic plan as well as the advancement of their annual conference and tradeshow.
Recently, Melanie completed her Project Management Certification and is pursing the PMP designation.
SENIOR CONSULTANT & STRATEGIC PLANNING SPECIALIST
Jacquie is a leader in the municipal space and in helping organizations reach their ideal state. She is an expert in Strategic Planning, along with various additional processes aimed at actionable and aspirational goals for Board- and Council-driven organizations. Jacquie has developed a deep knowledge of governance and strategic excellence through experience in local and provincial public service, as well as in working with myriad boards and committees.
Jacquie seeks to be part of a positive working environment that sees Great Governance and Strategic Planning as essential for each organization to achieve.
Jacquie's areas of focus include: Good Governance, Strategic Planning, Board Structures and Dynamics
SENIOR CONSULTANT / ATLANTIC CANADA LEAD
Craig is a highly effective government relations and advocacy strategist known for creating clarity out of chaos. Drawing on a successful career in municipal public policy, Craig provides training, counsel and strategic guidance on governance and public policy.
Craig spearheaded advocacy campaigns that saw unprecedented results during his twenty-five-year tenure at Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL). His work significantly increased municipal funding, autonomy, and capital investment support and provided a more supportive regulatory environment. For example, in 2020, he successfully lobbied to change federal wastewater system effluent regulations to reduce the regulatory burden on local governments. In addition, he successfully championed the provincial government to implement a province-wide ban on single-use plastic bags. Respected as one of Newfoundland and Labrador's leading public policy voices, Craig is a regular on-air media panellist and conference speaker on economic development and governance issues.
Lauren is a strategist, community service professional, and communications specialist with extensive public service experience, having worked at lengths with municipal organizations and in the health care system in Alberta.
In addition, Lauren’s background includes journalism, communications, and crisis communications, bringing a strategic communications lens to Strategic Steps, in addition to project coordination experience.
Lauren is a skilled project manager, having overseen process execution ranging from short-term municipal planning updates to long-term Municipal Bylaw Updates, and various projects in between. She has been extensively involved in Public Consultation, and other Stakeholder Engagement efforts, leveraging her communications skills to ensure related processes and data collection are done in a manner that best serve each unique project undertaken.
Lauren's areas of focus include: Strategic Planning, Code of Conduct/Formal Complaint Reviews, Policy and Bylaw Reviews, Communications
BUSINESS OPERATIONS MANAGER
Logan Muller has worked in a variety of roles within the private sector. With a background in Business Administration and Operations Management, he has a deep understanding of leadership, efficiency, and quality. Logan has advanced skills in project coordination and organization, having spent much time in coordinator roles. He is now putting these skills into practice with Strategic Steps in an administrative and project management capacity.
Logan's areas of focus include: Project Management, Administration
CODE OF CONDUCT SPECALIST
Deanna is Strategic Steps' lead investigator on issues of Code of Conduct reviews and investigations. Deanna is a retired member of the RCMP, and is a National Certified Investigator (NCIT). In addition to investigating general Code of Conduct breaches, Deanna has extensive experience conducting workplace investigations specializing in harassment, bullying, discrimination, and sexual harassment.
Having also served as a local elected official in Alberta, along with having held positions on numerous boards and committees, Deanna has unique insight and involvement in local governance, and with municipal Codes of Conduct. Her goal is to assist municipalities and organizations in increasing productivity by creating and maintaining positive and healthy working relationships.
Deanna's areas of focus include: Code of Conduct/Formal Complaint Reviews, Workplace Investigations
GEORGE B CUFF, FCMC
George B. Cuff & Associates Ltd.
Established in 1984, the firm of George B. Cuff & Associates consists of a wide variety of seasoned professionals who offer their services on a per diem basis. As a result of this approach, and as President of the firm, George Cuff is able to assemble the best minds in a particular field. This can be done on short notice for significant engagements. His firm provides a variety of specialized consulting services to mostly public sector clients principally in the areas of board and council governance, governance reviews, trouble-shooting, staff and elected official training, and special projects.
George's areas of focus include: Good Governance, Organizational Reviews
MARIA DEBRUIJN, MA
Engagement Expert and Professional Development Provider
Maria deBruijn is a much sought-after critical thinker and consummate problem solver, with over 20 years of achieving successful outcomes. Maria has advised and supported many organizations in enhancing their internal and external engagement efforts, developing and facilitating corporate planning initiatives, and providing professional development and training. Maria is an International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) trained public and stakeholder engagement practitioner. She holds a Master’s degree in Communications and Technology from the University of Alberta and previously served as Director of Research on the Canadian International Association for Public Participation Board.
Maria's area of focus include: Stakeholder Consultation
Planning, Communications and Issues Management
Carissa is a writer, speaker and trained facilitator. With her collaborative, strengths-based approach, she helps clients develop achievable strategic and communications plans. Her experience spans senior leadership positions in non-profit and government sectors.
Her facilitation techniques and strategic advice is sharpened by her work as a journalist, publicist and senior political advisor. She is trained in IAP2. As a writer, her essays have captured magazine awards and been anthologized. Her debut book, Little Yellow House: Finding Community in a Changing Neighbourhood (University of Alberta Press, 2018), was a finalist for the Edmonton Book Prize. She is a member of the Speaker’s Bureau of Canada, and is an experienced presenter at conferences, Professional Development days and in-house trainings. Her boutique consultancy, Halton Strategic, is based in Edmonton, Alberta.
Carissa's area of focus include: Strategic Planning
LAURIE FENSKE, PFP, ECPC, PCC
Empowering Excellence with Individuals and Organizations
Laurie Fenske offers solution-based coaching to clients throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Laurie focuses her high-energy executive coaching sessions to achieve substantial improvements in the areas of productivity, leadership skills, staff management, and communication. In team coaching sessions, she utilizes behavioural analysis to enable team members to better understand their colleagues, with the goal of working together more harmoniously.
Laurie's areas of focus include: Business Coaching, Team Building
MARK ANIELSKI, BA, BSCF, MSCFE
Economics of Well-Being
Mark Anielski is an economic strategist specializing in measuring the well-being and happiness of nations, communities and businesses. Mark holds three degrees from the University of Alberta: Economics, Forest Science, and Masters of Science in Forest Economics. For ten years he was a professor of corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship at the University of Alberta’s School of Business. He has lectured internationally on the economics of happiness and well-being in Canada, the US, China, Tahiti, The Netherlands and Austria.
Mark's areas of focus include: Economics, Community Well-Being
Roxanne is a consensus builder who looks for collaborative solutions in her extensive work with municipal government. Throughout the years, Roxanne has provided leadership in the provincial scape through her role with boards and committees in the Capital Region. She is well-known for her time, having served Strathcona County as mayor, following an additional two terms on Council.
In addition to having held the role of Economic Development Officer for an Alberta municipality over an extended period of time, Roxanne has overseen and has managed annexation negotiations and is a current member of Alberta’s Land and Property Rights Tribunal. She places significant emphasis on increasing organizational efficiencies, strengthening stakeholder relations and service delivery outputs, cultivating business innovation, and empowering organizations while leveraging their unique resources and strengths to increase internal capacity.
Roxanne's areas of focus include: Organizational Reviews, Annexation Negotiations, Amalgamation Studies, Good Governance, Governance Reviews
Michaela is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, in the Department of Political Science. She is currently a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada doctoral fellow, as well as the first Margaret Meagher Research Fellow at Global Affairs Canada. Michaela also previously held the Graduate Fellowship at the Institute for Municipal Finance for her research on heat wave mitigation in Canadian municipalities.
She has provided in-depth policy research and support to the Environmental Governance Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the Smart Prosperity Institute, the Government of Canada, the China Institute at the University of Alberta, and with Strategic Steps Inc., among others. Michaela holds an MA in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, and a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Alberta.
Michaela's areas of focus include: Research and Discovery, Policy and Bylaw Reviews
Marketing - Making a Big Splash
As an entrepreneur and experienced marketing Manager, with a unique sales-based approach, I help identify target audiences, launch well-focused campaigns, enhance customer experience and support trust-building communication.
Samantha's areas of focus include: Marketing Strategy, Effective Communications, Community Engagement
Alberta Local Government Expert
Dennis Pommen has a long history in local government in Alberta and beyond. Serving in many administrative roles up to CAO, he gained experience working for a cross-section of Alberta municipal councils. Following his career in the industry, Dennis established Pommen and Associates, a local government consulting firm that ran for over 25 years, serving dozens, if not hundreds, of local governments within the realm of governance and operations.
Dennis also branched out into work in human resources, policy, transportation, and other aspects that affect the lives of people who live in the community.