Meet the Team

We are a dedicated group of specialists, each with a wealth of experience and expertise as senior line managers, consultants, and trainers in the six bodies of knowledge.

Larry Chester, P.Eng., MBA

Larry Chester, a professional facilitator, consultant and educator for the past 25 years, founded Process Design Consultants in 1997. Larry Meet the TeamPrior to that he was a partner in Benchmark Performance, a Canadian-based training and development firm; a vice president in Kepner-Tregoe, an international training and development firm based in Princeton, NJ; and Sales and Marketing VP for a large air-conditioning equipment distributor.

Larry brings his in-depth knowledge and experience to the six knowledge areas in which Process Design specializes. He originally developed most of the conceptual models and training workshops used by Process Design Consultants and its clients. His key strength: He makes difficult or complex concepts, ideas, and processes clear and understandable by managers and professionals within client organizations.

Larry designed and developed many of the training programs used by Process Design, all of which have been customized to meet the specific needs of client organizations. An accomplished adult educator and facilitator, Larry is especially committed to the measurement of training effectiveness. In 2000, he was cited for Instructional Excellence for his work in Continuing Education at the University of Toronto. He also sponsors of the Larry Chester Excellence in Leadership Award at the University of Toronto.

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Tom Barker, Ph.D., PMP

Tom Barker is a principal in Process Design Consultants. He delivers value to clients through both consulting and training activities. Tom’s special interests are in strategy deployment, customer requirements definition, and leadership for transformation.

tom Meet the TeamOver the past two decades, Tom has led projects to change the way a wide variety of private sector and public sector organizations in North America and Europe conduct their business. Typically this has involved working with CEOs, executives, management teams, project teams and internal change agents (such as HR) to accomplish this. Industry sectors include packaging, forest products, pharmaceuticals, industrial distribution, retailing, food production, computer systems, provincial government, city governments, healthcare, professional associations and charitable organizations.

Tom transfers skills to the client, or partners with the client, to generate superior solutions with a high level of organizational commitment. He is energetic and determined in his mission to enable individuals and organizations to articulate their desired direction. He is a firm believer in the maxim that “organizations seldom fail because of their mistakes, more often they fail because they are simply not going anywhere.”

As a consultant he uses his highly developed listening skills and extensive experience to probe, sift, and synthesize data from conversations about the future and direct observations on behaviour into a coherent picture of the both direction and obstacles. Thus, he releases energy that is channeled into actions that people have both the talent and commitment to carry out successfully.

As a coach, he supports individuals to analyze their decisions in terms of alignment with their chosen direction, and to develop actions and agendas to make change happen.

He is a trainer who enjoys making a connection with workshop groups, helping them to understand concepts and put them to use in their own environment. He particularly thrives on case studies and application, seeing in them a setting for deeper discussions and relating of experiences that bring home the learning points to participants.

Tom earned a Ph.D. from Manchester University, is a senior member of the American Society for Quality, and is certified in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. He is also a PMP.

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Jen Lawrence, MBA

headshot Meet the TeamJen is a Principal in Process Design Consultants, with an expertise in Issues Management, Critical Thinking Skills and Change Management. She has provided Individual Coaching for a number of senior level executives. Jen has worked for a Big 4 consulting firm and then ran the training department for a Fortune 500 company’s Canadian subsidiary, where she developed a 360 degree performance review system and a mentoring program. After completing her MBA in finance from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, she worked for the investment banking arm of a major Canadian bank, focusing on acquisition financing as well as financial restructurings. She also served as Executive Director of a children’s museum.

Jen is an accomplished speaker and writer, with work published by The Toronto Star, Today’s Parent, Demeter Press and Key Porter. She has guest lectured in the Strategic Leadership program at the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto. She also writes about business thinking at Engage the Fox and has just written a book, Engage the Fox: A Tale of Critical Thinking, based on our Critical Thinking program. She is also a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Step I and II administrator.

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Michael McKenzie, B.A.Sc.,M.B.A.

 Meet the TeamMichael McKenzie is a professional dedicated to assessing and bridging the gaps between current levels of performance and desired levels of performance for individuals and organizations. Michael has managed the design, development and implementation of training that has been recognized by the American Society for Training & Development (Excellence in Practice – Citation in Technical Training category) and the Ontario Society for Training & Development (OTTER Award for Best Internal Training Program).

Michael’s areas of expertise include:

Instructional Design
Defining learning strategy, training content, material design and development

Needs Analysis & Evaluation
Questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and statistical analysis
Private workshops in addition to university and community college courses
Performance Support
Job aids, quick reference guides, and reference material

Michael has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey School of Business and a B.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo. He has furthered his knowledge and expertise with various public and private professional development courses, workshops, conferences and seminars.

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Julia Li, B.A.Sc.

Julia has many years experience in supporting senior partners in a training and consulting environment. She has been involved in and contributed to many of Process Design’s projects in the areas of training materials development, research, presentation and proposal preparation, consulting support, documentation, inventory management, training coordination, and materials printing and distribution.

Julia takes the lead in making sure that arrangements for scheduled events, including customized materials, are delivered as and when needed. Julia also acts as an invaluable communications hub between Process Design team members and clients.

Julia has a B.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, an Ontario College Diploma in Office Administration from Seneca College, and a certificate in Instructing Adults from George Brown College. She is fluent in Mandarin.

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Jon Wagner, BASc. MASc.

Jon Wagner 160x233 Meet the TeamJon Wagner has provided high-impact Organizational Development, Change Management and Human Resources consulting internationally for over 35 years in both the private and public sectors. His experience includes holding Senior Human Resources, Organization Development and Change Management roles at Loblaw, Hewlett Packard (now HP), Agilent Technologies, Oracle and Alcan. He has also led or facilitated projects in the Ontario Public Service and a number of non-profit organizations.

Jon has led numerous large-scale change projects and organizational transformations. He has led or facilitated initiatives in the areas of strategic planning, business process reengineering, leadership and executive development as well as team and organizational effectiveness initiatives. Jon is a pioneer in working virtually. He has led, supported and researched virtual teams for over 20 years. He developed and delivered team and organizational effectiveness assessments, workshops, highly interactive webinars and interventions for global/cross-cultural teams both virtually and in the classroom .

Jon earned a BASc and MASc in General Systems Engineering from the University of Waterloo where he specialized in cross-cultural systems. He was a founder of the Toronto Organizational Development Network and is on the faculty of the Canadian Organizational Development Institute. Jon has recently released the 3rd edition of his book: “Building Effective Virtual & Remote Teams Handbook”. He has been a speaker at major conferences including OD Network Conference in Baltimore (2011), Government Greening Conference in Ottawa (2011), HRPAO Conference in Toronto (2004) and is a confirmed speaker at the Conference Board: Change Management Conference in Toronto (2012). Jon was awarded HP’s Corporate “best practice” award for pioneering work on measuring training effectiveness.

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Russ Milland, BASc. MASc.

Russ Milland 166x233 Meet the TeamFor over 40 years, Russ has worked extensively across industry sectors including petroleum, aerospace, insurance, transportation, education and health care. His experience includes senior management roles with major companies such as Imperial Oil and Allied Signal’s (now Honeywell) Aerospace Equipment Systems Division. He has also coached, mentored, taught and provided consulting services to many small and medium sized businesses and their senior management.

Russ has been a pioneer in the design and optimization of businesses as they struggle to transform themselves. He is a pioneer in the application of advanced information technologies to the transformation of businesses using cross-disciplinary teams. Russ recognized early that applying sound change management to the people systems involved in transforming organizations is critical to the success of almost every transformational change. In order to be able to facilitate such initiatives, Russ expanded his capability to include Organizational Development.
As a consultant, he has also been involved in developing web-based technologies and communications systems to reach out, develop and engage communities of stakeholders in a number of different businesses – long before the concept became the currently popular “social media” trend.

Russ earned both a BASc in Engineering Science and an MAsc in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Toronto. He also is a graduate of the Atlantic Summer School of Business at Dalhousie University and the Senior Managers Program at McGill University. He is an accredited Business Coach, a co-founder of the Canadian Association of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and on the faculty of the Canadian Organizational Development Institute.

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Hind Kabawat

Picture of Hind biography1 Meet the TeamHind Kabawat, an attorney, lives in Damascus and Toronto, and holds a BA in Economics from Damascus University, a degree in Law from the Arab University, Beirut; a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the University of Toronto; a Certificate in Strategy Leadership from the University of Toronto, and a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Currently Hind is an International Council at Janssen and Associates, Toronto; Senior Research Associate, lecturer and trainer  at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, CRDC , George Mason University.

She was awarded in 2007 the Peacemakers in Action Award from the Tanenbaum Centre for Interreligious Understanding in New York, and also the Public Diplomacy Award from CRDC, George Mason University in 2009. 
Hind is also a member in the Global Agenda Council for war intervention, World Economic Forum and a founding member of the Syrian Centre of Dialogue.