• Karen
  • Nick
  • Pauline
  • Kathryn
  • Len
  • Craig
  • Russell
  • Kendra
  • Jeff
  • Cheryl
  • Natalie
  • Sharon

The Company

Founded in 1996, Parachute Executive Coaching is a full service executive coaching, assessment and talent management consulting firm based in Toronto, Canada. Our proprietary, consistent, measurable process supports our professional coaching work with both individuals and organizations in pursuit of personal change and growth, career advancement, leadership capacity-building, talent development and organizational performance improvement.

Our Point of Difference

In the still evolving field of professional coaching there are service providers ranging from multinational consulting and recruiting organizations who have added coaching to their offering, to untrained independent practitioners operating with just a laptop and a phone. The big firms focus on process and scale; the independents leverage their personal networks and trade on historical successes. Parachute Executive Coaching’s uniqueness rests in our ability to provide the scalability and process-based accountability of a big firm supported – and in fact, anchored – by true passion for the clients and the work.

What that Means for our Clients

We walk our talk – you can expect us to listen to what you need and to either deliver it or connect you with someone who can. We won’t take on a project if we’re not sure we’re the right choice. We are committed to being the best in our fields, and we are doing work we love, believe in and excel at. Our client relationships are partnerships, from which we believe we learn something every day that helps make us better. Our relationship with our clients doesn’t stop when the session ends – we care deeply about their success and will support them to the full extent of our skills and energy. We don’t “cookie cutter” our process – every client is different and therefore every engagement is different while still guided by our commitment to measurability and results. We bring the best of both ends of the coaching spectrum together in a uniquely flexibly yet professional approach.

The Team

Our team of associates brings global capabilities, diversity of background and approach, and a uniformly exceptional range of experience – along with exemplary professional coach credentials. They include:

Karen Wright, MCC (Toronto, Canada)

Karen WrightKaren has coached some of Canada’s top business leaders and helped individuals and teams from Fortune 500 companies manage change, increase productivity, integrate their personal and professional lives and achieve their own definitions of success.

A nationally published columnist (Chatelaine magazine, “Ask a Job Expert” and “Ask a Balance Coach”) and sought-after speaker, Karen founded Parachute Executive Coaching in 1996. Parachute is a Toronto-based coaching and consulting firm built on the foundation of a successful corporate career in consumer packaged goods marketing and advertising. Karen has been featured many times in the media including CTV News, CBC Radio One, The Globe & Mail, The National Post, Investor’s Business Daily, CFRA Radio Ottawa, TalkRadio (U.K.), the Toronto Star, Kiplinger’s and Computer World Magazine.

Karen has an MBA in Marketing from the Ivey School and an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario. She graduated from the world’s leading coach training organization, was one of the inaugural students in its sister program, and is now a certified trainer for both organizations. The first Professional Certified Coach (PCC) in Canada and now one of an elite group of Master Certified Coaches, a past Board member and founder of the Toronto Chapter for the International Coach Federation, Karen is a leader in the field of corporate coaching.

Karen’s first book, “The Complete Executive: The 10-Step System for Great Leadership Performance” was released in September, 2012.  Read more about the book and related programs at KarenWrightCoaching.com .

Nick Evans, PCC (Toronto, Canada)

Nick Evans is a business and leadership coach with 15 years of experience as a business leader in Fortune 500 organizations. Nick works with individuals who are committed to translating their efforts into high-impact leadership. He combines his experience in change management, team building, organizational dynamics and business strategy to support individuals and teams as they take on bigger challenges.

Nick has an MBA from the Ivey School of Business and a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Toronto. He has trained as a coach with Corporate Coach U, is a certified practitioner of multiple coaching and assessment tools and is a member of the International Coach Federation.

In addition to his coaching, Nick designs and facilitates an extensive number of development experiences on topics ranging from leadership, strategy, communications, mentorship and high performance team development.

Nick is a 2006 recipient of the Prism Award for Excellence in Organizational Coaching. See details at www.prismaward.com or www.gtacoaches.com

Sharon Flanagan, PCC

Sharon FlanaganSharon became a coach following an accomplished corporate career culminating as a Vice President of Human Resources in one of Canada’s major financial institutions. Her managerial expertise has been honed over twenty plus years and includes a business foundation involving national and international operations, retail, head office and information technology as well as experience as a human resources generalist and employment law specialist. Sharon is known for her practical understanding of executive work and life realities and bringing fun to learning, without losing sight of the bottom line.

Sharon holds a Professional Certified Coach designation from the International Coach Federation (ICF) and is also a proud recipient of two PRISM Awards, given by the ICF in celebration of Excellence and Business Achievement through coaching. Formerly a member of the Human Resources Professionals Association with a Certified Human Resources Professional designation, Sharon has a business degree, Certificate in Strategic Management and courses in Adult Learning. She has also has a wealth of experience coaching using several individual and 360º assessment tools, including MBTI, FIRO-B, CPI, CSI, CDP, StrengthsFinder, TAIS, Benchmarks, Campbell Leadership Index, Panoramic, Profilor, Team Diagnostic, The Leadership Circle and Workplace Big Five. She has volunteered as a Board member of the Human Resources Professionals of York Region and as Co-Chair of their Mentoring for Members program.

Pauline Fleming, MCC (Ottawa, Canada)

A leading edge retention expert, Pauline works with businesses that want to grow their leaders, and leaders who want to grow their business.

With 15 years experience teaching leadership to Generation Y’s, and a lifetime as a Generation X’er herself, she intimately understands the difficulties within multi-generational leadership development. With this background, open-minded leaders count on Pauline to help sharpen experienced leaders and groom emerging ones.

Pauline is an active director on the Ottawa Executive’s Association board, and a past director of both the national board of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and the global board of the International Coach Federation. Pauline has become a trusted resource for the media in employee retention issues.

Pauline earned her Bachelor of Education from Simon Fraser University and Master of Arts from the University of Victoria, and the Master Certified Coach designation from the International Coach Federation. She has been recognized as a top 3 finalist for “Canadian Coach of the Year”, awarded the Promotion Plus “Outstanding Role Model” leadership award and the Ottawa Business Journal “Forty under 40” award for business excellence, professional expertise and community involvement. A published author, international speaker, wife, mother, award winning business owner, and international leadership coach, she walks the talk by modeling the work-life balance so many of her clients are seeking. Pauline is referred to as “positively contagious”.

Kathryn Healey, CPCC

Kathryn HealeyKathryn Healey is an Executive and Team Leadership Coach with over 25 years of corporate experience. In the business world she is known for strategic thinking, leadership, and excellent communication skills. As a coach she is known for her ability to help clients pinpoint what is holding them back, and make lasting changes to achieve their highest goals.

Kathryn has held a variety of executive positions in the global pharmaceutical industry. She has provided strategic leadership for business units, lead and motivated national sales teams and championed the marketing and external affairs departments.

Kathryn has a proven track record of success in recruiting and developing talent, maximizing team performance, and delivering superior results. She always brings out the best in people, inspiring those on her team to believe in themselves and fully express their talents, and she can do the same for you.

Kathryn completed her training and certification (CPCC) through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the International Coaching Federation (ICF, Toronto).

Len Huckabay, CPCC (Calgary, AB)

As a committed Leadership Development Coach, Len’s vocation is building leadership capacity by focusing on an individual’s learning, awareness, growth, and emotional intelligence. Len believes that leaders who are more aligned to their values and engaged from their strengths are much more effective in today’s business environment. Len’s intention with all his clients is to create an environment for individual growth, purposeful action, and sustained improvement. His approach honours the transparency, confidentiality and distinctiveness of each client relationship.

Len is a Certified Professional Co-active Coach (CPCC) and Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the ICF. He is the co-author of the Intentional and Purposeful Leadership workshop series which he delivers in several Corporations as well as part of the Emerging Leader Certificate program at the University of Calgary. Len is a coach to the Winner of the 2008 PRISM Award presented for Excellence and Business Achievement through Coaching.

Len’s corporate experience has spanned over 20 years, many of which were in leadership, mentorship, and Executive Directorship. He has worked as both an employee and consultant for companies such as Gulf Canada, Petro-Canada, CP-Rail, xwave, Telvent, and Talisman Energy. He has successfully lead teams of 75+ and been responsible for multi-million dollar budgets, technology infrastructures, strategic planning, change management, project management, people management, contract and acquisition negotiations, etc. Experience and appreciation for the importance of strong leadership is what led him to become a leadership and executive coach.

Craig Kennedy (Halifax, NS, Canada)

Craig’s over 25 years experience as a manager, entrepreneur, and trainer provide him with extensive knowledge and unique skills in planning, organizational and personal development and interpersonal communication. Craig has worked with small business owners, managers, and executives who want to enjoy both career success and an extraordinary personal life. His work spans industries as diverse as health care, technology, nonprofits, government, professional services and postsecondary education. He is a Certified Work Less Make More© coach and has trained with Coach University, the world’s leading coach training organization. Craig was the Founder of the Nova Scotia Chapter of the International Coach Federation (ICF). He is a sought after trainer and facilitator, specializing in personal workflow management and effective interpersonal communications as well as Open Space Technology and World Cafe. He has been featured in national publications such as Chatelaine Magazine and Reader’s Digest and appeared on numerous local and national radio talk shows.

Russ Long, MCC (Charleston, SC, USA)

Russ draws on thirty years of executive experience in the business and non-profit sectors where he served as a chief executive officer, consultant and entrepreneur as the basis for his coaching. His coaching clients include executives, entrepreneurs, healthcare, government and other professional leaders. He specializes in the areas of change initiatives, strategic planning, board development, culture change, marketing and operational improvement.

Russ holds the Master Certified Coach designation from the International Coach Federation; is a graduate, faculty member, Professional Mentor Coach and licensed facilitator at Corporate Coach U; a Certified Business Coach; a certified graduate of Coach Training Institute; Certified in Organizational Development and in Change Management by National Training Laboratories for the Applied Behavioral Sciences; and holds both Master’s of Business Administration and Master’s of Healthcare Administration degrees. He served as the Vice-President of the Corporate Coaching Programs at Corporate Coach U, an international, accredited coach training program.

He was a founding officer of his local ICF chapter; has Chaired the ICF’s Membership Committee for 4 years and served as a member of the Research & Education Committee; currently he serves on the Credentialing Committee and is a credentialing assessor; American Society for Training and Development, OD Network, and other professional organizations. He has been a selected speaker at several International Coach Federation Conferences, Academy of Healthcare Executives, and other international, national and regional meetings including the Australasia ICF Conference in Sydney. He is an author of “Coaching for Extraordinary Results” published by ASTD in 2002. He serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and is a selected participant in the
ICF Executive Coaching Summit.

Kendra Reddy (Toronto, Canada)

Kendra Reddy specializes in Career Management at every stage of the employment cycle. An emergent strategist and dynamic professional speaker, Kendra morphs the long-standing tried and true career management process to combine creative solutions with swift action while maximizing resources and technology to deliver powerful results to the Gen X and Gen Y cohort.

A lifelong learner, Kendra is certified in the Birkman Assessment Instrument and is currently pursuing a degree in Psychology with a focus on Growth, Development, and Social Behaviour. Other areas of study include Neuroscience, Organizational Behaviour, Coaching, Talent Development, Professional Speaker’s Designation, Spanish, and her certification in Business Administration.

Kendra is a regular contributor to the Financial Post’s online Executive Career section, a member of and trusted resource to Women in Capital Markets and 85 Broads, and an advisor to the Board of Directors at Contact Point, an online information provider to career consultants and practitioners. Kendra has partnered with leading businesses, Ivy League Schools and talent solutions firms across North America, and has direct sector experience in executive recruitment, marketing, finance and public relations.

Jeff Richardson, PCC (Toronto, Canada)

In public and private sector organizations, Jeff coaches individuals and teams to improve effectiveness in terms of leadership, decision-making, relationships, communications and creativity. He also helps management assess the impact disaffected midlife/mid-career managers may be having on the organization, and to design and deliver programs to create successful outcomes for the managers and the organization.

Jeff’s clients benefit from his many years of experience related to communications, creativity and counseling. Before becoming a coach, he worked for more than ten years as a communications consultant and freelance writer for major corporate and government clients. He wrote and edited communications for the Chairman, Managing Partner and National Director of Human Resources for a major global consulting organization, and coordinated communications related to the firm’s work-life balance initiatives.

Jeff received his coach training from the Adler School of Professional Coaching in Toronto, earning the designation of Adler Certified Professional Coach (ACPC). He is recognized by the International Coach Federation as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC). He has completed further training in team coaching processes. Jeff holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from the University of Toronto.

Cheryl Smith, MCC (Vancouver, Canada)

Cheryl’s extensive corporate background includes international experience (Australia and the U.K.) and multiple sales performance and achievement awards with global Fortune 500 technology companies. Since changing her focus to coaching, Cheryl has taught, trained, coached and led by example not only with corporate and organizational clients, but within the coaching profession as a leading educator. Cheryl’s vast talents, energy and enthusiasm ensure that her work, whether at the individual or organizational level, has impact and receives high praise from participants and stakeholders alike. In her role as Vice-President of an international coach training company, she brought coaching skills to global leaders on five continents. She now devotes herself to leadership development, working for various corporate and government entities, and with all levels of staff.

Cheryl is known as “the coaches’ coach” as there are few in the coaching profession who match Cheryl’s skill, experience and credentials.

Cheryl is Senior Associate and trainer for Corporate Coach U, a Faculty member at Royal Roads University’s (RRU) in the Master’s of Leadership program and is a founding designer and Faculty member of RRU’s Executive Coaching Certificate program. A communications graduate, Cheryl has continued to develop her own professional expertise; she is a graduate of Coach U and Corporate Coach U coaches training program, has the Master Certified Coach designation from the International Coach Federation, and is a licensed facilitator and master trainer of The Coaching Clinic and Essential Conversations for Developing Others. She has a Master’s degree in Leadership from Royal Roads University and is a licensed facilitator of The Legacy Leadership Institute. Cheryl is the co-author of Dynamic Coaching to Build Dynamic Teams and the training program Navigational Coaching: Strategic Coaching Skills for Corporate Leaders.

Why Choose Parachute Executive Coaching?

Our Experience

We are business people. We understand the issues and challenges facing business because we’ve been there. We represent a wide range of industries and functional backgrounds and bring diverse perspectives and the wisdom of corporate, organizational and entrepreneurial experience to our coaching. We match our business experience with coaching experience gained over thousands of hours with hundreds of clients around the world, and we bring the learning gained from every coaching engagement to benefit the next.

Our Expertise

Established almost two decades ago, Parachute Executive Coaching has a track record of success in Canada and internationally. Our associates bring strong educational and professional backgrounds to their work as coaches and in addition every associate has completed an accredited coach training program to ensure top level coaching competency.

Our Process

Our success is predicated on having a proven process for implementation of a coaching initiative no matter how large or focused.

  • We operate on a frequency model – the more often coach and client meet, the greater the momentum and the more rapid the behaviour change and/or goal accomplishment.
  • We collect information. In addition to our own intake process (comprised of quantitative assessments and qualitative feedback solicitation) we examine any other performance and evaluation data available to ensure we have as complete a picture as possible.
  • We triangulate the coach/client/organization relationships. We understand that our work with an individual is done in an organizational context and we contract on that basis.
  • We measure the effectiveness of our work, in terms relevant to the client and the organization.
  • We solicit feedback to ensure we learn and improve along with our clients.

Our Standards

We are members of the International Coach Federation (www.coachfederation.org) and as such we adhere to the Code of Conduct and Statement of Professional Ethics of that organization.