Meet The Team: Your Leadership & Recruitment Experts
Brenda La Rose, Strategic Advisor (Former Partner)
Brenda spent 25+ years as an executive and managing partner in executive search. She founded a national executive search firm that was recognized and respected as Canada’s leader in Indigenous executive and board diversity search. After selling her firm to Leaders International Executive Search, she transitioned to developing and leading the firm’s National Board Diversity search practice. Brenda is now focused on leveraging her expertise in executive, leadership and career coaching. She brings both experience as a successful leader and business owner who started several successful companies and branches from the ground up. After years of supporting professionals with onboarding into new leadership roles, she offers expertise to support new executives with integrating and transitioning successfully and quickly into their new organization.
Brenda brings experience working across a broad range of industries and sectors across Canada and a strong knowledge of governance and business, Brenda currently serves as an Advisory Board member to Air North – Yukon’s Airline, and a Board Director for the First Nations Bank of Canada serving on the Human Resources and Compensation Committee. This year she was appointed as a member of the Dean’s Global Council for the Schulich School of Business, York University. Recently she was an Executive Board Director for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and is a former Chair of the Board of Seven Oaks Hospital and Wellness Institute. She is an active member with the International Women’s Forum. Brenda is Metis and has received numerous awards including the CCAB’s Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Indspire Award in Business and Commerce.
Brenda LaRose is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and Certified Leadership Coach (CLC). She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba and Haskayne’s School of Business Director Education Program. Ms. LaRose resides in Ottawa.
Shalini Bhatty is a Partner based in our Calgary office and has held a variety of roles with Leaders (and Davies Park) since 2005. She began her executive search career in Toronto and has partnered with clients across Canada to successfully execute search assignments in the financial services, energy, private equity, technology, post-secondary and not-for-profit sectors. She also led the in-house talent acquisition function for an international energy company during a time of significant growth. With an extensive network of executives and senior leaders, Shalini builds strong candidate relationships and leads client engagements as a trusted advisor to identify and attract top talent into key roles.
Shalini holds a Bachelors degree from Western University and is a designated HR professional (CPHR). She has lived and worked all over the world, growing up in India, the Middle East and the United States before moving to Canada and settling in Calgary with her family.
John joined Leaders International in 2020 and brings more than 20 years’ experience in executive and professional search. With strong business acumen and broad based experience, he is able to successfully perform senior leadership searches for our clients in a variety of industries and sectors, both private and public. Most recently John has led and executed leadership engagements in the technology, energy and construction industries.
As the founder of two successful search agencies, John is an entrepreneur, bringing both expertise and enthusiasm to each assignment he undertakes. He has developed deep roots in the business community and is well known as a connector of dots and people. John is a professional, able to quickly establish credibility and rapport, allowing him the ability to identify key individuals to help drive his client’s success.
John holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Political Science from the University of Calgary. Since graduation, John has spent countless hours coaching community soccer and driving countless miles for his children’s dance competition. He is very active in the local tennis community, working with the AGCTC charity and is completing his level 1 tennis coaching certificate.
Tony Kirschner, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., CPHR, ICD.D
Tony brings a comprehensive range of business, management, human resource and consulting experience to the firm’s Vancouver office. Tony first became active in executive search in 1988, when he was hired by a major U.S. recruitment firm out of Chicago. He lived and worked in the U.S. where he also completed his Ph.D. before returning to Canada in 2003. Prior to joining the firm, Tony held senior HR management positions with several B.C. health authorities, as well as with a North American environmental assessment company. He is an active member of the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of BC and possesses the CPHR certification. Tony was raised in Vancouver but received his university education in the U.S. where he completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at DePaul University and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Tony spent time as a Professor in Maryland before returning to Vancouver and executive search. Tony enjoys the active west-coast lifestyle, spending his free time skiing, hiking, running and cycling with his family and three sons. He has participated in the cycling fundraiser Ride to Conquer Cancer five times and is dedicated to raising funds for cancer research. Tony serves on the Board of Directors for Family Services of Greater Vancouver and for Family Services of Greater Vancouver Foundation.
Ardyce Kouri, B.A., M.A.
A partner in the Edmonton office and a key member of the team since 2004, Ardyce is known for her outstanding commitment to clients. She has brought her comprehensive HR knowledge and business experience to search assignments in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to joining the firm, Ardyce worked in both Toronto and Prague as the National President for AIESEC Canada, and in recruitment for the ING Group’s Czech Republic office. Ardyce holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Alberta and a Master’s degree from Royal Roads University. She is an active member of the community and sits on the Board of Directors for AIESEC Canada. She enjoys spending time with her family, and two active young sons and no matter where her travels have taken her, she remains a passionate Edmonton Oilers fan!
Greg Longster, B.Com., M.B.A.
Greg’s Professional experience dedication and passion for executive search has helped him build a reputation for delivering excellence since opening the firm’s Vancouver office in 2007.
Greg brings a comprehensive range of skills and knowledge to his role as Partner of our Vancouver office with an extensive background in strategic sales management, communications, and business development. Prior to joining the firm, Greg spent 15 years in senior and executive management positions in the financial services industry, giving him firsthand experience in human resource management plus a unique understanding of organizations’ HR needs.
Greg obtained his Bachelor of Commerce degree with majors in Marketing and Finance from the University of Saskatchewan, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Royal Roads University with a focus on Executive Management. He is a former Chair of the Marketing Association for Credit Unions and a member of the BC Human Resource Management Association. He sits on the Board of the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association and is an active member of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) Vancouver Chapter.
Allan Nelson, B.Com., CMA, FCMA
Allan is currently one of two Managing Partners of Leaders International. He joined Davies Park and founded the Calgary office in 1997 and subsequently worked closely with his Partners to expand the business from two offices in Edmonton and Calgary into Vancouver, Toronto and Saskatoon. Through 2017-18 he played a key role in the merger of Davies Park with Leaders International further expanding the national presence to include Montreal, Ottawa and Winnipeg. Allan is also a founding member of the Private Equity practice group for Penrhyn International, our leading global network of executive search firms.
For over two decades Allan has loved the business of executive search. Nationally recognized for his strong business acumen and leadership competence, he has developed excellent relationships and a substantial network with Boards and key executive leaders in a number of industries and sectors across the country. His vast experience not only includes Board recruitment but also working with local and international clients to source and attract exceptional leadership talent to their organizations. Allan takes great satisfaction in working with our national team of Partners, Consultants and Researchers to source and attract the perfect candidate for each and every engagement.
Prior to joining the firm, Allan held senior positions in leadership, operations and sales management with a variety of Canadian corporations. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CMA/CPA). In 2002, he was honored to receive a national fellowship proudly adding the designation of FCMA/FCPA. Allan enjoys spending time with his family, including his six grandchildren. He loves being involved in the community and continues to serve on a number of volunteer boards.
Anurag Shourie, M.Sc., C.H.R.P., CMC
As a highly experienced executive search consultant, Anurag is an integral part of the Leaders International leadership team. A strategic thinker, he has been keenly involved in the firm’s growth since 1997 and has recruited entire executive teams for multiple client organizations. He has also worked closely with numerous boards of directors from government, industry, and the not-for-profit sector to identify and recruit key board members. In 1994, Anurag entered the field of human resources and management consulting, and his experience includes executive recruiting, career counselling, and coaching. He is highly knowledgeable in contract development and alternate compensation strategies and has consulted in change management. Anurag obtained his master’s degree from the University of Alberta plus formal training in recruitment and hiring from Simon Fraser University. He is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and a Chartered Professional in Human Resources. He currently sits on the Board of Covenant Health Foundation. He is also a member of a National CEO Forum Group.
Heather Fookes, B.A., M.L.I.S., CRA
Heather joined Leaders International (Formerly Davies Park) in 2008 and is responsible for directing the research on all of Leaders’ search assignments in Calgary. Heather is an information management professional with more than15 years’ experience researching and executing on competitive intelligence, due diligence, business development, and executive recruiting projects. She is highly skilled at sourcing and communicating with prospective candidates, finding the best resources for generating relevant names, and creating a detailed list of targeted prospects. Heather has built a significant cross-Canada database of key contacts for our firm, which she continually updates. The database provides research for executive and senior professionals in such industries as energy, power, manufacturing, construction, engineering, and post-secondary education. She has participated in many of Leaders’ most complex searches and enjoys the challenge that search provides. Heather is a credentialed Librarian with an Honors degree in History from the University of Calgary and a Master of Library and Information Studies from Dalhousie University. She recently led an initiative to qualify Leaders’ search associates with the Certified Researcher Associate (CRA) designation from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), and obtained the CRA qualification in early 2014. Heather has four children and she and her husband enjoy spending time with family. She loves nature, Thai food and Thailand and is an avid walker.
Sonny Kapoor, B.Sc.
Partner at our Edmonton office since 2023, Sonny has been a pivotal member of the team since 2011. With over 15 years of extensive international and North American experience in executive search, Sonny has honed exceptional expertise in identifying and placing top-tier executives across various industries and sectors. Known for his ability to forge impactful and enduring relationships, Sonny’s approach is both strategic and personable, making him a trusted advisor to clients and a guiding mentor to candidates.
Sonny earned his bachelor’s degree in hospitality management at Widener University in the United States. He has served on the Advisory Council for the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and is an active member of the Edmonton Executives Association.
Chelsey joined Leaders International in 2018 as a Search Associate in the Calgary office. Working collaboratively with the Leaders team, she aids in the beginning stage of the executive search process, concentrating on the discovery of well-aligned and qualified executives and professionals through industry-specific research. Chelsey is passionate about research and enjoys spending time learning about the various leadership roles and industries to assist her in finding and sourcing the best-qualified candidates for the searches she is involved in. As a generalist, Chelsey has provided excellent support in a number of industries/sectors including post-secondary, manufacturing, distribution, construction, high tech, financial services, energy, real estate, not-for-profit and municipal. Her strong work ethic and attention to detail enable her to work efficiently and have propelled her to become a value-added member of the overall Leaders team.
Chelsey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management and an Associate Degree in Architectural Technology from Brigham Young University. Outside of work, Chelsey loves to spend time with her family and enjoys an active lifestyle.
Nicholas Lay, B.A., M.Sc.
Nick joined Leaders International in 2015 and brings a far-reaching international consultancy background to the Vancouver office. Born and raised in the UK, he completed his B.A. at the University of Manchester and M.Sc. at the London School of Economics. While based in London, he spent two years as a professional Soccer Analyst, before immigrating to Canada and becoming entrenched in professional recruitment between North America and East Asia. Now a Consultant with Leaders, his focus is dedicated end-to-end executive search ownership across a wide range of private and public sector organizations, and areas of expertise.
Leo brings over 15 years of global recruitment experience to the Leaders International Vancouver office with the last half decade covering technology and heavy engineering sectors across North America. Having worked in all corners of the globe, Leo has gained a wide range of cultural and professional experience which gives him a unique global perspective of finding and attracting key talent to Canada.
He has a wealth of experience in various industries including Engineering, Real Estate Development, Technology, Construction, Mining, Retail, Architecture & Design, and Manufacturing. Leo has joined as a new business leader within leaders International with the aim of further establishing Leaders International as the executive search firm of choice.
Wendy is an executive leader with over 25 years of human resources management experience. Her public sector career began with Alberta Treasury Board and Finance in 1998 while completing her degree. Wendy believes in fully leveraging the organization’s most valuable assets—the people. She is known for her solid reputation in developing trusted and lasting relationships with employees/clients, stakeholders, and the HR community. She had a successful public service career as the Vice President, Human Resources with Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission (AGLC) where she spent over 20 years in senior and executive HR roles. During Wendy’s tenure, AGLC was named Alberta’s Top Employers for 6 years and celebrated the organization’s highest employee engagement scores.
Wendy’s extensive human resources background provides clients with leadership, recruitment expertise while offering additional HR insights and coaching. Wendy has a Bachelor of Commerce degree with distinction, majoring in Human Resources Management. She is also a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and received a Premier’s Award of Excellence team recognition in strategic planning.
Wendy has a passion for travel and has toured many parts of southeast Asia, Mexico, Europe and the US. She dedicates time to her personal fitness by working out regularly, skiing, and outdoor activities.
Laura Youngberg, B.A., M.B.A., CHRP, CCP, CRA
Laura joined the Calgary office in 1997 as Director of Research. Now a Senior Consultant, she brings tenacity, commitment, and creativity to all aspects of the search process. A Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) and a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP), Laura has experience working across a variety of professional disciplines, industries, and sectors and enjoys the challenge of finding candidates with the specialized talent her clients require. Laura completed a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration from the University of Alberta. She was born in Edmonton and has lived in Calgary for many years. She has two wonderful daughters, an adorable rescue Chihuahua, enjoys reading, walking, skiing and loves spending time with her family and friends sharing good conversation, food, and wine.
Julian joined Leaders (Formerly Davies Park) in the summer of 2015 after completing his BA in Industrial Relations at McGill University. A Senior Consultant in our Vancouver office, Julian leads key engagements across a variety of sectors including higher education, healthcare, not-for-profit, local/regional government, logistics and professional services. Julian advises clients on a diverse range of talent strategies tailored to developing and retaining executive talent.
Fluent in Spanish and French, Julian’s language proficiency enhances his ability to engage with a diversity of candidates and interest groups. When not focused on the task at hand, you can expect to have a conversation with him about soccer, cooking, or travel.
Robin Noftall, BA, TESL
Robin is a Senior Search Associate with our Vancouver office and has experience with the organization since 2008, holding a variety of positions including Director of Research at our Edmonton office. She is responsible for the initial and middle phases of the executive search process, focusing on industry-specific research to identify and evaluate qualified executives and professionals to present to clients. Robin has a passion for search and recruitment, previously participating in international searches and placements. She exhibits a strong work ethic and a commitment to the executive search process, having executed a range of searches in a variety of sectors. Robin is thorough, energetic and detail-oriented, and has demonstrated success in generating a high number of quality candidates and interest in executive opportunities. Her strong interpersonal skills and ability to develop solid rapport with clients and candidates make her a perfect fit for Davies Park. Robin holds an Honors Bachelor’s degree from Lakehead University in Ontario and two certificates in teaching English as a Second Language, with a specialization in teaching business English. Before joining the world of executive search, Robin spent many years as a successful recruiter for a variety of organizations and was also a Head Teacher Trainer in Japan, where she lived for three years following university. Robin is a member of the Lakehead University Alumni Association and enjoys contributing to philanthropic initiatives. She enjoys competing and participating in athletics and strives to remain active in her community.
A former entrepreneur, Deepthi is a Search Associate with Leaders International and a corporate business networker, with a focus on building solidified internal and external stakeholder relationships. She is also a small business support and solutions professional and a strong community advocate. Deepthi successfully led and established various global Bollywood driven business initiatives in Canada.
Including the first Bollywood inspired group dance fitness program called ‘Bollyrobics’ in North America in 2003. ‘Bollyrobics’ was successfully represented on Canada CBC’s Dragons Den, CTV, CBC Radio, Alberta Prime Time, Women's Health Magazine. She was also a nominee for Alberta Women Entrepreneur in 2015. She worked for the Royal Bank of Canada as a Business Accounts Manager where she had the opportunity to assist and build corporate relationships with small business owners within the Alberta community, by providing financial solutions with regards to their credit risk.
A systems analyst with a bachelor’s degree in business information systems from University of Lincolnshire, UK, she challenges and thrives in complex environments where change and stabilization are required. Her innate enthusiasm for business development (new market entry) and community growth has also guided her globally through diverse industries.
She is a diligent professional with passion, persistence, drive, and determination to help organizations succeed and see communities grow. Deepthi is excited about hosting key-note events, networking, and is driven when it comes to sponsorship, social innovation, and community development projects. She is a passionate Indian classical traditional dancer and an ardent business blogger!
Jacknick Travas, B.Com, MBA
Jacknick Travas is a Bachelor of Commerce graduate and has a Masters In Business Administration with a major in Project Management from Kaizen School of Management. He is Green Belt certified and has completed Black Belt projects for leading clients.
Jack started his career in Training & Development & Human Resources in 2001 with a multinational company and has worked globally across many countries providing his expertise to various clients in the Philippines, United States, Australia and the United Kingdom for leading Blue Chip and Fortune 500 companies.
As an Executive Search Associate with Leaders International, Jack is involved in managing various recruitment projects in executive, senior management and technical in various industry sectors. He is highly skilled at sourcing and communicating with prospective candidates, finding the best resources for generating relevant names, and creating a detailed list of targeted prospects. Jack is a motorcycle enthusiast who enjoys travelling and loves spending time with his wife in Edmonton.
Shadyar joined Leaders International in 2023 as a Search Associate; bringing diverse, and extensive research expertise to the Vancouver team.
A graduate of the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Economics and Sociology, Shadyar matches top talent in sectors such as Technology, Finance, Manufacturing and Non-profit. At Leaders, she applies her skills in research and candidate development to place Executives in meaningful, challenging and career-defining roles.
Outside of work, Shadyar enjoys traveling and experimenting with different cuisines.
Pearce joined Leaders International in the spring of 2023 following a 5 plus year career in both software and digital media sales as an Account Executive. During his time in sales, he has worked with clients in various industries from construction & development, to retail, design, and technology companies.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Pearce attended BCIT where he studied marketing, as well as UBC completing a Sales Management Diploma at Sauder School of Business.
Pearce has always had a passion for sports, when not at work you can find him coaching minor ice hockey in your local rinks, or spending time with family and friends.
Jessica joined the Leaders International Edmonton office in 2022, bringing with her a wealth of experience as a competent business administrative professional. With a background in public accounting and the financial industry, she has honed her skills to excel in her field.
Her commitment to personal and professional growth is evident in her embrace of a growth mindset, always seeking out new challenges with a natural curiosity about the world. Jessica has earned two business diplomas- one in accounting and another in Human Resources- as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Human Resources from NAIT.
Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Jessica has made Calgary her home for many years before relocating to Edmonton in 2020. Outside of work, she finds joy in activities such as golfing, skiing, and spending quality time with her husband and two young sons.
Kathy joined Leaders (formerly Davies Park) in 1991 and has watched it grow from one office in Edmonton with three employees to four offices as across Canada with over 30 staff. Kathy enjoys working with a team of dedicated professionals.
As Office Manager for the Edmonton office of Leaders, she is responsible for the smooth operation of the day-to-day business operations. She enjoys the everyday challenges of being part of the Leaders team.
Chloe Fenton, BA, MSc
Chloe Joined Leaders International in 2022 becoming the new Project Manager at the Vancouver office.
Chloe moved to Vancouver from Cork in Ireland where she completed her first degree, a BA in Economics and Psychology.
She then went on to complete a Master’s in Management and Marketing in University college cork.
Chloe’s hard work and communication skills have been a strong addition to the Vancouver team.
She provides support to clients, candidates, partners, and consultants throughout the recruitment process.
She enjoys travelling, hikes and spending time with friends.
Lorna McGinley, B.Comm
Lorna joined Leaders International in 2021 and brings a passion for Project Management.
Reared in Ireland, she completed her B.Comm, specializing in Human Resource at the National University of Ireland, Galway.
Lorna’s strong sense of community and interpersonal skills have been a welcome addition to the team.
She provides support to clients, candidates, partners, and consultants throughout the recruitment process.
She enjoys sea swimming, football and anything that will get her outdoors.