Tamarack
FacebookTwitterRSSContactStaff Directory
About Tamarack Learn Events Join a Community
  Thought Leaders
 

Tamarack's Thought-Leaders are a select group of individuals who are leaders within their fields. These individuals have agreed to share their ideas, wisdom and experience to enrich the learning experience for the members of Tamarack's Learning Communities and also provide input into the strategy and evolution of Tamarack overall.

Mark Cabaj

Mark Cabaj
Principal -
Here to There Edmonton
Vicki Cammack

Vickie Cammack
Founder
Tyze Personal Networks
Jay Connor

Jay Connor
Founder/CEO
Learning Ovations
Lindsay Daniller

Lindsay Daniller
Director Community Initiatives and Development
REACH Edmonton Council for Safe Communities

Jim Diers

Jim Diers
Author, Speaker
Neighbor Power

Tim Draimin

Tim Draimin Executive Director
SiG Toronto

Al Etmanski

Al Etmanski
President and co-founder
PLAN

Milton Friesen

Milton Friesen
Program Director
Social Cities, Cardus

Elayne Greeley

Elayne Greeley
Coordinator
Community Career & Employment Partnership Project St. John's

Mark Holmgren

Mark Holmgren
CEO
Bissell Centre
James Hughes

James Hughes
President
Graham Boeck
Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson
Director of Corporate Initiatives, City Of Hamilton
Michael Jones

Michael Jones
Partner
Pianoscapes


Iris Kachuck

Iris Kachuck
Teacher
Mount Madonna Center
Celeste Licorish

Celeste Licorish
  Cameron Norman

Cameron Norman
Principal
CENSE Research + Design
Sherri Torjman

Sherri Torjman
Vice-President Caledon Institute of Social Policy
Michael Toye

Michael Toye
Executive Director
Canadian CED Network
 

Meet the Thought Leaders

Mark Cabaj
Principal - Here to There Edmonton
CCI Thought Leader focusing on Community and Complexity, Social Innovation, and Strategic Learning and Evaluation

Mark is President of the consulting company From Here to There and an Associate of Tamarack - An Institute for Community Engagement. Mark has first-hand knowledge of using evaluation as a policy maker, philanthropist, and activist, and has played a big role in promoting the merging practice of developmental evaluation in Canada.

Mark is currently focused on how diverse organizations and communities work together to tackle complex issues, on social innovation as a "sub-scene" of community change work, and on strategic learning and evaluation. While studying the Solidarity movement in Krakow, Poland, in mid-1989, Mark experienced a variety of tumultuous events that signalled the end of communism in Eastern Europe. He stayed to experience the rebirth of the region and worked as an Investment Advisor in Poland's Foreign Investment Agency, the Foreign Assistance Coordinator for Grants in the new Ministry of Privatization, and the Mission Coordinator for the creation of the United Nations Development Program's first regional economic development initiative in Eastern Europe.

Back in Canada, Mark was the Coordinator of the Waterloo Region's Opportunities 2000 project (1997-2000), an initiative that won provincial, national and international awards for its multi-sector approach to poverty reduction. He served briefly as the Executive Director of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) in 2001. From 2002 to 2011, he was Vice President of the Tamarack Institute and the Executive Director of Vibrant Communities Canada. Mark lives in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) with his wife Leann and their children Isaiah and Zoë.

See posts from Mark

Contact Mark Cabaj:

Back to top.

 

Mark Cabaj

Vickie Cammack
Founder - Tyze Personal Networks
Deepening Community Thought Leader focusing on linkages between Formal and Informal Care Systems, Strengthening Community, and addressing Isolation and Loneliness

Vickie's unique response to the isolation and loneliness that underpin some our most intractable health and social problems - a network model of care, has been adopted internationally. She is a social entrepreneur who has established many organizations dedicated to strengthening community and addressing social isolation including Tyze Personal Networks. This pioneering Canadian social enterprise has been called the next frontier of caregiving for its work in creating online networks of care for people facing life challenges.

Vickie is also the founding director of the Family Support Institute of British Columbia and she co-founded Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN). She created PLAN's Personal Network program, a practical and strategic approach to address the isolation and loneliness experienced by people with disabilities. She mentored the spread of grass roots PLAN groups in 30 locations globally.

Vickie writes, consults and lectures on social networks, organizational transformation and scaling social innovation. She is co-author of 'Safe and Secure - Six Steps to Creating a Personal Future Plan for People with Disabilities' and Accelerating a Network Model of Care - Taking a Social Innovation to Scale. The Women's Executive Network named Vickie one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women and she is a member of the Order of Canada.

Back to top.

 

Vicki Cammack Email Liz Weaver

Jay Connor
Founder / CEO, Learning Ovations; Managing Partner, Rubicon Partners LLP; Founder / Chair, The Collaboratory for Community Solutions
CCI Thought Leader focusing on Achieving Outcomes, Community Engagement, and Education

Joseph "Jay" Connor, JD/MBA, is the Founder/CEO of Learning Ovations, Inc. Our central product is A2i, Assessment to Instruction, which is the commercialization/technology transfer resulting from his role as the Managing Partner of Rubicon Partners, LLP which, in partnership with the US Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, Florida Center for Reading Research, and Florida State University, has developed A2i, a research-based tool available to school districts across North America that uses student assessment to recommend individualized instruction activities to achieve significant improvement in reading achievement across the economic and ethnic spectrum.

This recognition of the need to develop evidence-based tools in order to achieve transformative outcomes in our community systems - most notably education - was a driving consideration in his founding of The Collaboratory for Community Solutions. The research findings from over 75 communities are found in his book, published spring 2003 (second edition 2005) by Wilder Press, Community Visions, Community Solutions: Grantmaking for Comprehensive Impact. Jay has 20+ years of experience in senior business management at the multi-billion dollar corporate level. He was a Regional President of ADT Security Systems, where he oversaw a $150 million unit with 1100 employees and offices in 35 communities.

See posts from Jay

Back to top.

 

Jay Connor

 

Lindsay Daniller
Director Community Initiatives and Development - REACH Edmonton Council for Safe Communities
CCI Thought Leader focusing on Inclusion and Transformation, Adaptive Leadership, and Collective Impact

Lindsay Daniller has been involved in a variety of community building work in her original home of South Africa and adopted home of Edmonton. In addition to being a seasoned consultant and facilitator with public, private and community organizations, she has been in a variety of leadership positions in organizations in both countries. This includes a position of Senior Manager of the Tourism Enterprise Partnership in South Africa, where she played a central role whose mandate is to create business, development and transformational opportunities for international tourism, the legacy project for 2010 World Cup™ and opportunities for those who were previously marginalized under apartheid. In Canada, she was Vice President (Communication), Economic Development Edmonton, where working with the business community she helped develop stronger networks and opportunities for Edmonton nationally and internationally.  Lindsay currently works as the Director of Community Initiatives and Development at REACH Edmonton Council for Safe Communities, a new initiative in Edmonton that aims to catalyze and support community action to make Edmonton a safer city. Collective impact is a passion for Lindsay as collectively they tackle complex social issues and knows that you need true resilience to be that backbone in the community.

See posts by Lindsay

Back to top.

 

Lindsay Daniller

 

Jim Diers
Author, Speaker - Neighbor Power
Deepening Community Thought Leader focusing on Neighbours and Neighbourhoods, Asset-Based Community Development, and Activating Caring Communities

Jim Diers has a passion for getting people engaged with their communities and in the decisions that affect their lives. His work in the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods was recognized with an Innovations Award from the Kennedy School of Government. He was appointed the first director of Seattle's Department of Neighborhoods in 1988 where he served under three mayors over the next 14 years creating what some would say is a miracle of neighbors where he put his passion to work for a direct-action neighborhood association, a community development corporation, a community foundation, and the nation's largest health care cooperative.

He teaches courses at the University of Washington and serves on the faculty of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute. Jim travels internationally to deliver speeches and present workshop on neighbours and neighbourhoods. His book, Neighbor Power: Building Community the Seattle Way, is available in both English and Chinese editions.

See posts by Jim

Back to top.

 

Jim Diers

 

Tim Draimin
Executive Director - SiG Toronto
CCI Thought Leader focusing on Social Innovation, Complexity, and Cross-Sectoral Partnership

SiG is a partnership of The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, Toronto's MaRS Discovery District, the University of Waterloo; and Vancouver's PLAN Institute. By fostering social innovation, SiG enables the creativity of social innovators to tackle the profound social and environmental challenges facing Canadians. As Executive Director, Mr. Draimin supports SiG's growing network of academics, practitioners, social entrepreneurs, allied institutions and partnerships in expanding Canada's Social Innovation ecosystem. SiG's role is to help enable Canadians' ability to innovate to overcome large scale complex social and environmental challenges through change - or solution-labs and new forms of cross-sectoral partnerships.

See posts from Tim

Back to top.

 

Tim Draimin

 

Al Etmanski
Advisor and Founding Director, PLAN Institute; Founding Member - SIG
Deepening Community Thought Leader focusing on the Power of Belonging, Social Innovation, and Social Enterprise

At various stages of my life I've been a community organizer, social entrepreneur and author, most of it with families of people with disabilities. I write a regular blog and my new book on social innovation and impact should be out soon. Lately I've been active in the Canadian collaboration, Social Innovation Generation (SIG) and BC Partners for Social Impact

Currently I am interested in understanding more about the social innovation 'terroir' of Canada and what can be done to support our capacity for natural care and belonging. Mostly I delight in the pursuits of my adult children and perfecting my badminton game with my wife Vickie Cammack.

Back to top.

 

Al Etmanski

 

Milton Friesen
Program Director - Social Cities, Cardus
Deepening Community Thought Leader focusing on Network Weaving, Enabling Structures, and Social Capital

Milton Friesen is a member of the think tank Cardus and is considered one of Canada's leading thinkers in the area of social capital and its impact on neighborhood development. Milton is finalizing a Ph.D. at the University Of Waterloo School Of Planning. He participates in the Waterloo Institute on Complexity and Innovation. Milton was also an elected municipal official for three years. He lives in Hamilton with his wife and four children.

As a Seeking Community Thought Leader, Milton is currently exploring Network Weaving in order to attend to the relational nature of community work more effectively; Enabling Structures to determine what types of structures and processes contribute to the well-being of a community; and Social Capital and how that information can be used to improve our quality of life.

See posts by Milton

Back to top.

 

Milton Friesen


Elayne Greeley
Coordinator - Community Career & Employment Partnership Project St. John's
Communities Collaborating Thought Leader focusing on Communities of Practice, Visual Creative Expression, and Innovation in Community Agencies

Possibility aficionado, big picture thinker, collaborative team player, unabashed optimist and lover of natural history, thats me in a nut shell along with all that is exciting and messy. By day I have the privilege of working with a grand group of career practitioners and their community agencies in a partnership called CCEPP in St. John's, Newfoundland (www.ccepp.ca). I came to this work from the cultural sector so I insert as much creativity as they will allow me by hosting groups differently and driving curiosity and learning within the sector. Three topics that I am chewing on this year are: sharing tacit knowledge through communities of practice, driving innovative attitudes across community agencies, and knowledge democracy through creativity.

See posts from Elayne

Back to top

 

Elayne Greeley

 

Email Michael

Mark Holmgren
CEO - Bissell Centre
CCI Thought Leader focusing on Leadership in Complex Times, Upside Down Thinking, and Leadership tied to Eastern Thought

I am the son of Fredrick and Betty Holmgren, both retired. My father was a theologian, a Judeo-Christian scholar, and a writer. My mother was an administrator and a musician/singer. I have two adult children, Sarah, who is a teacher and a singer-songwriter, and Nils who is doing HR work for a major oil company.

I have spent much of my life working to address social issues like poverty, homelessness, and in general the challenges faced by those most vulnerable in our communities. My history includes working with others to build many social housing facilities, create new organizations, and help organizations as a consultant to build capacities for new visions.

I believe human service organizations can only effect big change if they work together and become more engaged in, and focused, on community development, something we are not known for.

I am the CEO of Bissell Centre,a 103 year old organization that offers a wide range of services to thousands of disadvantaged people. I am also an organizational change consultant, avid writer/blogger, facilitator, innovator, and I am fond of homemade cookies. Unfortunately I am not a very good crib player.

See posts from Mark

Back to top.

  Mark Holmgren

James Hughes
President - Graham Boeckh Foundation
Vibrant Communities Thought Leader focusing on Mental Health, Philanthropy, and Poverty Reduction through Policy

Hello, I'm James Hughes, husband of Jane Wheeler and proud father of three teenagers, Nicholas, Jenna and Frances. I want a fairer, smarter, greener and healthier country for them and the Canada they're growing up in. Being connected to VC is one way for me to do that. Graham Boeckh Foundation is set on doing their part to bring about the transformational changes necessary to improve the lives of people with or at risk of mental illness.

See posts from James

Back to top.

  James Hughes

Paul Johnson
Director of Corporate Initiatives, City Of Hamilton

Paul is a community innovator as the Director of Neighbourhood & Community Initiatives for the City of Hamilton. Paul has worked in the private sector with Compaq Computer Limited and in the not-for-profit sector as Executive Director of Wesley Urban Ministries. Paul is a member of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction and served as its founding Director. He is also the Past Chair of Hamilton’s Best Start Network and played an important role in developing a framework for service service planning as the Chair of the City of Hamilton's Human Services Planning Initiative. Paul has been named a Paul Harris Fellow by two Rotary Clubs in Hamilton and in 2007 served as the Honourary Chairperson for the Week of the Child and Youth. An avid basketball fan, Paul was the play-by-play voice of McMaster University basketball in the 1990s and has been a referee for 22 years. He is currently the President of the Ontario Board of Basketball Officials.

Back to top.

  Paul Johnson

Michael Jones
Leadership Educator, Author and Composer
CCI Thought Leader focusing on Inner Leadership, Place-Based Leadership, and Community and Transformational Leadership

Michael is a leadership educator, author and Juno nominated pianist/composer.
His most recent book; The Soul of Place: Re-imagining Leadership Through Nature, Art
and Community is the third in a series on Re-imagining Leadership. Others include Artful Leadership: Awakening the Common of the Imagination and Creating an Imaginative Life: Following the Songline of the Heart.

Michael has served as leadership faculty at the Banff Centre and thought leader with The Fetzer Insititute and many other prominent leading edge universities and centres. He has also been a guest speaker and conference facilitator for a variety of projects including Connecting with Our Future with Quaker Foods and PepsiCo Global Nutrition Group, The Greenleaf Centre for Servant Leadership, the International Leadership Association and many others.

As a pianist/composer he has composed and recorded fifteen CD's of his original piano compositions which have served as benchmarks in the popular genre of contemporary instrumental music worldwide.

Michael is widely recognized for his innovative work in bringing together authentic
leadership with his music, creative artistry and dialogue practice to further the work of placemaking, personal transformation and collective learning.

Throughout his work he asks how leaders can re- imagine places as living systems
inspired by nature, art, community and our deepening humanity.

To learn more about Michael and his work please visit www.thesoulofplace.com and
www.pianoscapes.com

See posts from Michael

Back to top.

  Michael Jones

Iris Kachuck
Founding Member – Mount Madonna Center
Deepening Community Thought Leader focusing on Teaching and Learning, Yoga, Service, Relationship and Community as a Transformational Experience

Iris is one of the founding members of Mount Madonna Center, an Intentional Residential Community, Retreat, Conference Facility and K-12 Children's School in Watsonville, California. Iris has held various positions in the field of Education, as a High School Teacher, School Principal, Researcher and College Professor. Since 1987, she has served as a Professor at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose where she has taught both on-campus and online courses with a deep commitment to explore the role of Community in the learning process.

For over 30 years, as a Residential Member of the Mount Madonna Center Community, she has facilitated teaching and dialog in the areas of: Teaching and Learning, Yoga, Service, Relationship and Community as a Transformational Experience. She is currently working with a team to develop Experiential and Certificate programs in Community Studies and Engagement as part of the newly developed Mount Madonna Institute.

See posts by Iris

Back to top.

  Iris Kachuck

Celeste Licorish

Celeste is a single mom with multiple passions - especially making Hamilton a better place for those struggling with poverty. Originally from Toronto she moved to Hamilton to attend McMaster University and has called Hamilton home ever since. Her diverse background includes public relations, marketing and carpentry but she has found her calling in creating and co-ordinating Speak Now Hamilton Speakers Bureau for the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction

Celeste holds a BA in Philosophy from McMaster University, is a member of the McMaster Research Ethics Board and a Vibrant Communities Thought Leader for the Tamarack Institute

Her passion for helping those in need shift attitudes in others while discovering themselves through stories has made her a sought after speaker and presenter in Ontario and the US. Her most recent presentation was a TedX talk in Hamilton

Celeste believes the words of John Quincy Adams who says; "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more or become more, you are a leader"

When she's not organizing Speak Now, Celeste is busy in the community with her three daughters in the Sherman neighbourhood in East Hamilton.

Back to top.

  Celeste Licorish

Cameron Norman
Principal - CENSE Research + Design 
CCI Thought Leader focusing on Complexity, Developmental Evaluation and Program Design, and Adapting Modeling for Innovation

I work with health and human services organizations and networks to do learn about what they do and design and re-design their offerings to better support their goals and aspirations. After all, learning and building things are fun activities we've enjoyed since kids and are even more relevant to us as adults. I do this in my role as the Principal of CENSE Research + Design, a social innovation design studio based in Toronto, Canada. My work supports social innovators in evaluating their programs and designing and re-designing them for impact and sustainability. I consult and deliver workshops to train and support innovators in making a difference. Systems thinking, design and evaluation are the areas that I work in and my specialty is weaving them together into something I call developmental design for social innovation (think: discovery + developmental evaluation + design thinking).

I am an enthusiastic learner, bookworm, coffee roaster, cook, movie lover and travel fan and blend my love of art with my attempts to create it for fun and for work. My learning spills into my experience as a student and teacher. On the student learner side: I have an MA in psychology, a PhD in public health, and a Master of Design degree in Strategic Foresight and Innovation. I'm a Credentialed Evaluator with the Canadian Evaluation Society, an accredited practitioner with Cognitive Edge systems, and certified in the NCI Design Charrette Process from Harvard University.

See posts from Cameron

Back to top.

  Cameron Norman

Sherri Torjman
Vice-President - Caledon Institute of Social Policy
Vibrant Communities Thought Leader focusing on Municipal Policy Developments, Disability, and Caregivers

Sherri Torjman is the Vice-President of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy. Educated at McGill University, she has written in the areas of welfare reform, disability income and supports, caregivers, long-term care, employment policy and community-based poverty reduction. Sherri is the author of the book Shared Space: The Communities Agenda.

As one of our Vibrant Communities Canada Thought Leaders, here are the three areas Sherri is interested in exploring:

Municipal policy developments: Municipal governments are involved in several areas that affect the quality of life of people living in poverty. These include affordable housing, transportation and recreation. She is interested in learning more about local government initiatives in selected municipalities that can be seen as exemplary models for other communities.

Disability: Sherri has been involved for many years in writing about various aspects of disability policy, especially with respect to disability-related income and supports. She believes this topic is of special interest to Vibrant Canada because of the disproportionately high rates of poverty among persons with disabilities.

Caregivers: She has written about various policies that are supportive of caregivers. These are the family members and friends who provide informal, but crucial, support to the frail elderly and to persons with severe and prolonged disabilities. Many caregivers experience emotional turmoil. They also face the "ghosts of poverty" arising from threats to their current and future income stability.

See posts from Sherri

Back to top.

  Sherri Torjman

Michael Toye
Executive Director - Canadian CED Network

Vibrant Communities Thought Leader focusing on Community Economic Development, Social and Economic Inclusion, and Community Resilience

I'm Executive Director of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet), located in Victoriaville, QC. As one of our Vibrant Communities Canada Thought Leaders, here are the three areas Mike is interested in exploring: Community Economic Development, Social and Economic Inclusion, and Community Resilience.

CCEDNet is a national association of local organizations and individuals in every province and territory who are strengthening communities by creating economic opportunities that improve environmental and social conditions.

See posts from Michael

Back to top.

  Michael Toye
 
Paul Born Mark Cabaj Liz Weaver Laura Zikovic Learn more about Paul Born Email Paul Born Learn more about Mark Cabaj Email Mark Cabaj Learn more about Mark Cabaj Email Dal Brodhead Email Sylvia Cheuy Email Garry Loewen Email Rachel Brnjas Email Liz Weaver Email Laura Zikovic Michael Toye Email Paul Email Michael