Board of Directors

Juliet Irwin, President

Juliet has a passion for developing the next generation of leaders, a continuous growth mindset, and a quest to make a positive impact on organizations in our community. Juliet has spent over 20 years working in both the private and public sectors as an OD and Change Management consultant and has specialized in working in large corporate environments coaching leaders through transformations, leading organizational change initiatives and developing talent.

Juliet’s educational background includes a BSc. in Psychology from the University of Alberta, and a MSc. Degree in OD from Pepperdine University. She is the proud recipient of the George Award from Pepperdine University for leadership and scholastic achievement. Juliet has certifications in IT Management, Knowledge Management and a Prosci® Change Management certificate. Her most recent BCODN Board position was Programs Co-Chair. She has also been involved as a volunteer mentor and BCO committee member. With combined experience on the BCODN Board of Directors, on the BCO committee, and years of professional OD experience, Juliet is ready to take on leading the new Board through 2020/21. She is excited about the possibilities for the future and continuing to serve the BCODN mission and the community.

Shayda Sobhani, Secretary-Treasurer

Shayda was introduced to the world of OD through her keen interest in systems and complexity theory developed during her Masters in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Shayda firmly believes the OD perspective of viewing an organization as an open and complex system is necessary for designing effective and long lasting solutions.

Shayda enjoys teaching and tailoring her communication to various audiences, including piano teaching to young children, instructing teenagers on flying gliders, and presenting academic research to peers. Having lived in Beijing and Shanghai, she has developed an appreciation for differing perspectives and encourages them in any discussion. Using these skills, Shayda helps highlight BCODN for the incredible group of professionals that it is, as it surrounds emerging and seasoned practitioners with a supportive and encouraging environment.

Shayda’s Honours thesis research on incivility experienced by leaders at work has been published in two different journals, and her Masters thesis research on empathy and negotiation was nationally funded. Shayda works at the Provincial Health Services Authority in its Transformation Leadership Office, supporting the coordination, management, and execution of provincial strategic initiatives.

Kim Braidwood, BCO Liaison (Co-Chair)

Kim is a Leadership and Organizational Development consultant and ICF certified ACC coach with a calling to transform people and processes. She goes beyond business to help leaders develop a growth mindset, increase their performance, embrace change, innovate, and thrive.

Kim brings over 17 years experience as entrepreneur of a successful retail business, and has consulted a diverse range of leaders from retail, mining, non-profits, and health care. She has a Master of Arts in Leadership (RRU), is a certified coach (ICF), an award of Achievement in Sustainable Business Management (UBC), and a BA of Psychology (UBC). She partners with executives, directors, start-ups, and leadership accelerators to improve performance, identify complex issues holding them and the organization back, and together develop strategies to build internal value alignment, capacity and increase organizational effectiveness while fostering sustainable growth.

Kim leads BCODN’s Building Community Organizations (BCO) where she continues to build on the mission and impact of BCODN by providing opportunities for learning, mentoring, and growth to emerging practitioners, mentors, and non-profits.

Kim brings experience in consulting and coaching a diverse range of people and organizations, and continues to build on the mission and impact of BCODN by providing opportunities for learning, mentoring, and growth to emerging practitioners, mentors, and Non-Profits. She continues to foster appreciation, relationships and collaboration. The OD community is very welcoming and there is a great sense of support and synergy. Kim builds on this momentum so it continues to ripple throughout the community.

Jerome Dickey, BCO Liaison (Co-Chair)

As a dynamic business professional with solid expertise in both Operations and People, Jerome has been focusing his professional practice on enhancing organizational success by transforming business through people for optimum results. He is dedicated to the art and science of leadership development, organizational development and conflict resolution. During his 20 years of leadership and management roles in a variety of sectors including commercial aviation, transportation, and utilities, he has crafted his ability to leverage challenging business problems into opportunities through workplace collaboration. With a Master of Arts in Leadership as well as qualifications including Certified Human Resources Professional, Certified Organizational Coach, and Mediator, Jerome brings a unique combination of education and practical experience to the workplace.

Jerome believes in the art of possibility. By partnering with organizations and people, he promotes innovation to shift paradigms for personal and professional fulfillment building workplace success.

Kate Lane-Hill, VP, Communications (Co-Chair)

Kate has a diverse background in project and change management, communications, strategy consulting and leader/sponsor coaching, and worked as Change Management Lead in BC Clinical & Support Services (now PHSA) for two years, and as a Senior Consultant and Leader, Strategic Transformation, in Fraser Health Authority for over 12 years.

Kate is a strong advocate for OD methodologies and values and is currently a leader in change management practice at Fraser Health. Kate believes Organization Development’s focus on whole systems, culture, environments and the people side of change aren’t just what works: they’re also the right thing to do. OD practice builds trust, confidence in leaders, and change capacity—all crucial in any workplace. Kate got hooked on OD early in her career after attending a Leading for Engagement and Clear Leadership program through Fraser Health. This experience broadened her view of her consulting practice and was the spark that ignited her passion for leadership and teams, psycho-social safety, systems thinking, healthy conflict, and enabling leaders and teams to succeed in planned and emergent change.

Kate (I-N-F/T-J) has a Master’s Degree in Leadership (RRU), a BA in English and Communications (SFU), and is a Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP). A Prosci® Change Management Trainer, Kate is also certified in MBTI®, Parker Team Player®, Kilmann Conflict Model® and is a Human Systems Dynamics (HSD) Professional. Kate is currently pursuing a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) designation through the International Association of Facilitators.

Elaine Pedersen, VP, Program Development (Co-Chair)

Elaine is an organization development practitioner who is passionate about fostering employee engagement, building leadership capacity at all levels, and improving organization effectiveness. Currently the Manager of Employee Experience at Vancouver Community College, she has had the opportunity to provide leadership coaching; implement performance management systems; manage an employee mentorship program; develop and deliver training programs on leadership skills, motivation and retention, conflict resolution, team alignment, and emotional intelligence; and organize numerous training and development events across Canada. She has also volunteered as an OD consultant for a non-profit mental health society through the BCODN’s Building Community Organizations.

Elaine’s educational background includes a Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia. Elaine is also a Chartered Professional in Human Resources and Prosci® Change Management and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® certified. A continuous learner, the BCODN continues to expand her OD knowledge and provide a sense of community.

Barb Richards, VP, Communications (Co-Chair)

Barb is a senior consultant at Habanero Consulting Group, working on culture and transformation and digital workplace engagement. Habanero exists to help people and organizations thrive and Barb has been inspired by its purpose since she started there in 2006. Habanero has also placed in the top five on the Great Place to Work’s list of Best Workplaces in Canada for 10 years in a row and Barb is proud to be part of a high-trust, purpose driven organization that exists to humanize the world of work.

Barb Richards found her way to the field of OD as a User Experience consultant and working with people through the change that technology brings. She now works with clients to become more purpose-driven, support their leaders in creating employee experiences where people thrive, and enable people with tools and technology. Habanero also has a unique coaching-based performance management structure and Barb loves her role as a coach at Habanero.

Prior to working at Habanero, Barb worked in various user experience roles in international research and development organizations in the Philippines, Indonesia and Italy. Barb also spent five years at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN in Rome, Italy where she led the initiation of many user experience practices to improve FAO’s ability to provide information to people in support of its goal to reduce food insecurity around the world.

Barb has a Bachelor of Sociology, a Masters Degree from the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies and completed a Graduate Certificate in Organization Design and Development from Royal Roads in 2018. Barb’s OD superpowers are curiosity, co-creating solutions with people, and also the ability to make great analogies

Jen Schmidt, VP, Program Development (Co-Chair)

Jen is an external Organization Development consultant on a mission to help companies implement sustainable continuous improvement. She believes there is always a better way to do things and an OD approach is the most effective way to create desired change.

Jen has a Masters Certificate in Organization Development and Change from York University, a BBA in HR and Innovation from SFU, and a Certificate in Management Excellence from UBC. Jen is also a certified Lean practitioner.

Jen’s OD work is primarily in the tech sector where early systems work enables more efficient scaling. Using the action research model, Jen delivers value to clients in the areas of high-performance teams, leadership development and strategic planning.

The BCODN has been a catalyst for Jen’s career by growing her network, expanding her toolkit, and providing mentorship support to her volunteer consulting opportunity with the BCO. Her role on the Board of Directors is consistent with her drive to keep growing personally and professionally while giving back whenever possible.

Gurjit Sekhon, VP, Community Engagement (Co-Chair)

Gurjit Sekhon BBA, CPTM, has acquired 10 years of Training and Leadership Development experience; holding various roles in both profit and non-profit organizations. She spent 6 years in various L&D roles including both Workforce Optimization and Online Learning at Fraser Health Authority. Currently, she is working as a Learning and Leadership Specialist at Save on Foods. She was inspired to work in Organizational Development when she became an integral part of a culture change initiative at Fraser Health. This opened her eyes to the positive impact OD initiatives have on an organization and each person.

She is a transformational leader that leads collaboratively, inclusively, and with authenticity, putting immense value on continuous learning, teamwork and trust in the workplace. She believes strongly that cooperation, support and empowerment is the recipe for success and the most efficient way to results and organizational profits.

As a Learning and Leadership Development Specialist and “Change Champion”, she is involved in bonding leaders and team members at all levels. She delivers effective solutions after analyzing both data-driven models and unmeasurable competencies of the organization such as leadership intuition.

She is a devoted wife and mother to two beautiful children and loves spending time with her family, baking and going for a jog.

Neera Vohra, VP, Community Engagement (Co-Chair)

Neera’s passion lies in building high performing teams and HR practices in alignment with corporate culture that support organizations in achieving the business strategy. She is a results-driven and proactive HR Leader with 10+ years of progressive HR & Operations experience in the public sector.

In her current role, Neera manages the HR and Operations functions of a non-academic department within one of the most well-known post-secondary Institutes in Western Canada. As a strategic member of the Dean’s Executive Team, she is responsible for operational planning, procedure development, financial reporting and continuous process improvements.

Neera is a performance-driven individual, fast learner and resourceful, somebody who genuinely cares. She believes in questioning the status-quo, continuous improvements and that nothing is constant. Neera is also a big advocate of growing people and feel most fulfilled when achieving personal and professional goals. She also has a natural flair for connecting with people.

Neera is a lifelong learner and a believer that the moment we stop learning is when we stop growing as an individual. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a management certificate in HR from BCIT. She is also currently enrolled in the MBA in Executive Management at Royal Roads and has a CPHR designation.

All BCODN Officers and Directors can be reached by email:


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