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Meet the team

We are a team of trusted advisors with a diverse set of experiences, skills, and approaches for helping leaders and teams to consciously align their intentions with their desired impacts.

The Ally Co.'s core values

Our core values are the cultural pillars connecting and directing us. They keep us grounded and accountable to the commitments we make - to ourselves and others.

Power-conscious

We use power proactively with care, skill, and wisdom. This means we understand the different types of power and how they show up in relationships. It also means, that in our own power, we acknowledge our privilege, invite feedback, and act both consciously and responsibly.

Systems-aware

Meaningful change requires an awareness of systemic forces, and the skill and willingness to challenge the status-quo. This means we seek to create understanding, alignment, and agreement by exploring different experiences and beliefs, power dynamics, structures, and other deeply rooted forces.

Human-centred

Human connection, belonging, and impact are the heart of our work. This means we endeavour to lead with empathy and compassion - activating deep listening and meaningful dialogue to understand people's true needs, values, and goals.

Always learning

We live and thrive at our growth edges. This means we step outside of our comfort zones and lean into compassionate curiosity, experimentation, and transformation. It also means we do not have all the answers and work hard to avoid "expertitis".

Creatively simple

We are clear, concise, and direct in in how we reach and move people. This means we check our biases and assumptions and operate in lean, responsive, and practical ways when it comes to our work with teams.

Fun-seeking

Our work can be deep, emotional, and tough AND also connecting, exciting, and fun. We bring as much of ourselves as we can to our work and the people we meet. And we look for opportunities to recognize and celebrate our differences through connecting and fun moments.

Jeff Barrett, Consultant, Content Creation

Jeff Barrett

Consultant, Content Creation

Purpose

I create content that is impactful on people's lives.

Happy place

Spending time with my family, whether that is around the dinner table sharing laughs and stories. I am lucky to have most of my family here in Calgary and getting to spend time with them!

Journey

Back in 2016, I graduated from Mount Royal University in their Broadcasting program. I jumped right into the field with Ride Guide TV helping them catalogue and splice all of their content in the past 15 years.

Shortly after, I got a position with a small startup, Bootkik, as an assistant video editor, and this opportunity was incredible as I was mentored in developing my video editing skills. I created content that was posted on their social media platforms and I knew that this was the field for me.

I have done some freelance work over time, which eventually led me to Virtual Gurus! I have been a part of Virtual Gurus for over a year now and they have put me in touch with incredible organizations such as The Ally Co.!

Life-changing moment

My life-changing moment was when I joined the Calgary Power Hockey League in 2005. The CPHL is a competitive hockey league for people with disabilities and uses a power chair for daily living. The CPHL introduced me to a world I didn't know was possible for me - meeting like-minded individuals who compete week after week. It has also given me the chance to travel across North America and Europe to compete against the best our sport has to offer!

It's incredibly rewarding to see the sport continue to grow as more players join to compete - allowing me to be a mentor like those before me when I originally joined!

Connect with Jeff
Jeff Couillard, Co.CEO & Director of Team Development

Jeff Couillard

Co.CEO & Director of Team Development

Purpose

I help people connect with their power, align with what’s most meaningful, and take positive action towards it.

Happy place

I love all things teaching, facilitating, speaking and consulting. My sweet spot is helping leaders and teams engage in meaningful dialogue, identifying challenges and opportunities and creating the conditions for high levels of trust and engagement. This often looks like:

  • Core Values, Purpose, and Vision Exploration
  • At-Risk vs. At-Stake Understanding + Direction
  • Alignment with Corporate and/or Board Expectations
  • Clear Strategies (choices), Ownership, and Action Plans
  • Effective Communication for Engagement and Action

Journey

Having spent many of my earlier years leading teams and helping to build world-class addiction treatment programs, I’ve developed a skill set and approach to change that is grounded in the human experience and a deep understanding of power and motivation.

I’ve worked with a wide range of leaders (and their teams) over the years, on a single mission - to help build world-class, human-centred organizations that create the kind of impact that we usually only dream about.

Life-changing moment

In my late 20s, halfway through our first pregnancy, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. This event kicked off a series of life-changing moments, including a TEDx talk, quitting a senior leadership role to pursue life as an entrepreneur, and a deeper focus on living (and helping others live) a meaningful life.

Connect with Jeff
Julie Macdonald, Consultant, Marketing & Communications

Julie Macdonald

Consultant, Marketing & Communications

Purpose

I help leaders and teams reconnect with the magic of what they do, and build strategies that invite others to rally behind it.

Happy place

My happy place is the moment when I’ve just asked you a question, and the answer you give makes your eyes light up. It’s from there that I have the privilege of building powerful and authentic brand strategies – both for individual leaders and teams.

Here are a few of the things I offer:

  • Personal and leadership brand development
  • Strategy facilitation
  • Persona development
  • Social media strategy and management

Journey

My love of storytelling began at family gatherings growing up. Before the wine was opened, the atmosphere came alive with boisterously shared memories and anecdotes, each of which revealed a part of our larger family story. But beyond the laughs, tears, and happy memories, these stories imbued us with a sense of comfort, belonging and identity. We found our place inside them.

Whether leading a team or growing a brand, I know the most powerful tools we have as brand marketers are the stories we tell. Crafting stories people want to be part of is how we break through the clutter and inspire engagement.

My career has led me through many different industries - from banking and post-secondary, to hockey and clothing and apparel. And while my education and early experience is in public relations, I eventually evolved my practice to include digital marketing, marketing technology, and brand development.

Because, as I heard on a podcast once: good stories, well told, will change the world.

Life-changing moment

In May 2021, my dad was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer. In the 15 months that followed, I experienced professional highs and lows, while watching my dad’s health deteriorate.

Eventually, my mental and physical health began to suffer – as it turns out, that was a blessing.

In March 2023, I quit my corporate job, took on some contract work and incorporated my own company not long after that. It meant I was able to rest, to grieve, to get my body healthy again, reinvest in my relationships, and find work with teams I believe in – like The Ally Co.

Connect with Julie
Kate Woodford, Director of Client Experience

Kate Woodford

Director of Client Experience

Purpose

I harness co-design to support people and groups through complicated or complex scenarios, while keeping projects on track.

Happy place

My fundamental goal is to steer projects through the process by making a plan and seeing them through to a positive solution. By employing a variety of human-centred facilitation and project management tools, I help people and groups get from uh-oh, oh no, and huh!? to aha!

Here's a few ways you might encounter my contributions:

  • Action-oriented, thoughtful, co-designed project plans
  • Ongoing project management and coordination
  • Adjusting and adapting plans to accommodate team insights and needs
  • Human-centred meeting design and facilitation

Journey

I say I'm originally a facilitator, project manager, and designer by accident, but a professional partner, problem solver, and organized human by choice. At its core, my work has always been in pursuit of enabling the right people, with the right tools, to tackle the challenges in front of them.

My educational background is in business and public policy, which has enabled me to work in the private, non-profit, and public sectors. My work has taken me from the arts and culture sectors in Calgary and Toronto, to social impact analytics, alumni relations, and strategy consulting. I am constantly on a journey to find the next project, place, or team I can help next.

Life-changing moment

My life changing moment is an ongoing one. As the older sister of a brother with cerebral palsy, I've consistently had the privilege of looking at the world as a really fascinating obstacle course to be navigated. I'm inspired by his determination to participate in and contribute to his world. My brother has taught me to look at the world with a curious, compassionate, problem-solving lens that isn't about "can't or won't", and always about "how". There's nothing you can't do without a little ingenuity, the right team, the right tools, a great plan...and a back-up plan.

Connect with Kate
Pablo Romero, Co.CEO & Director of Leadership Support

Pablo Romero

Co.CEO & Director of Leadership Support

Purpose

I help courageous, human-centred leaders to take responsibility for themselves, their teams, and their world.

Happy place

I love collaborating, innovating, and creating with others in the People and Workplace Culture space, helping leaders and teams to design meaningful and impactful experiences, services, and relationships. Here's what that can look like:

  • Leading with Human-Centred Design
  • Transforming Culture and Experiences
  • Re-imagining the Employee Journey
  • Building Adaptive Capacity with Autonomous Teams
  • Designing meaningful careers
  • Developing conscious and effective communication skills
  • Learning how to use conflict/tension to innovate and connect

Journey

Self-expression, autonomy, and change have always been leading values of mine, so over the last 20+ years I've had the opportunity to experience a diverse mix of industries, organizations, and roles.

From managing a sales and marketing practice at age 20 in the consumer products industry for global brands like Pepsi, Unilever, Shiseido and Coty Prestige, to leading large and dispersed teams in customer and employee experience and operations for a global investment firm, to helping human-centred leaders and some of North America's best places to work to design and implement impactful workplace experiences - it's all been an incredible journey so far!

Life-changing moment

After years of not listening to my body, and at the age of 30, I got really sick…and my marriage was in jeopardy, we were expecting our first kiddo, I’d resigned from my high-paying job in beautiful SE Asia, and we were heading back to Canada with no home or employment.

I made the decision to use what I’d learned, and put my energy into humanizing the workplace - a structure and collective that holds the power to enrich the lives of its people and community.

What's one of your life-changing moments?

Connect with Pablo
Pamela Perez, Consultant, Human Resources

Pamela Perez

Consultant, Human Resources

Purpose

I help advocate for vulnerable audiences and visible minorities by designing and implementing meaningful DEIB practices.

Happy place

I have two happy places! The first is the ocean (preferably the Caribbean), as it has always brought me peace and reminds me of home and roots.

My second happy place is my home, where and when I'm with my son, and surrounded by people that love, respect, and see me as I am. I love the feeling of safety and family.

Journey

Academically, I have a Bachelor's in psychology. From there, my career journey has included various roles in the Human Resources and People + Culture space - from being a Partner, to specializing in areas such as recruitment, learning and development, DEI, and more recently facilitating and consulting.

Life-changing moment

Two come to mind.

The first being my son - from dealing with infertility, unsuccessful IVF treatments, and being pregnant during Covid.

The second was moving to Canada, after having lived in South America - experiencing extreme cold winters, getting used to the diversity of people and cultures, the language, finding employment, and situating myself in a new country without my family.

Navigating my cultural and personal programming has been a hard process, but one I'm truly grateful for.

Connect with Pamela

Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Whatever it is, we would love to hear from you!

team@theallyco.world