Our Partners

Learning & Development is working with a variety of skilled partners to facilitate and deliver learning opportunities to University of Guelph employees. We work with a number of internal and external partners to provide quality learning and development services.

To learn more about each of our external partners click on their names below:


Darren Thomas, Darren Thomas Professional Services

Darren Thomas is a member of the Seneca Nation; Bear Clan and resides at the Grand River Territory of the Haudenosaunee. Darren has a PhD in community psychology and his research interests are on First Nations community health and well-being, Indigenous rights and governance. Darren has over thirty years of experience working in theatre, radio, addiction, Indigenous community development, and education.

Darren Thomas Professional Services works to create community development projects that specialize in motivational, empowerment, and leadership training. We started as a non-profit community development project at Six Nations in June of 1999 and transformed into a for-profit consultation business in 2004. The ongoing poor health and well-being statistics that Indigenous peoples endure are the direct impact of colonization. Our work has focused on working with Indigenous and settler communities, public and private sector organizations, families, and individuals in the spirit of reconciling historic wrongs in Canada by working to restore the principles that Indigenous Peoples and Settlers agreed to live by in the Peace and Friendship Treaties.

Doug Heidebrecht, Sun Mountain Self Management

Doug is the principal of Sun Management Self Management. Self Management learning (also known as workload management, results management, priority management, etc.) has been his specialty for the last 17 years. Working in Canada’s corporate market, he has facilitated workshops across Canada and more recently in Italy and Romania for thousands of people in hundreds of organizations.  He has also appeared on BNN, and has been featured in the Globe, the Star, Your Workplace, On Board (the Toronto Board of Trade magazine) and various other publications.

After completing a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University he developed an enthusiasm for bringing ”what they don’t teach you in business school”, specifically self-management to the corporate world. Helping people produce better results, feel less stressed and enjoy life more is what really motivates Doug. In his efforts to promote long term learning implementation – real change – he has become an Adler Certified Professional coach.

Meghan Kirwin, The Kirwin Group

Meghan Kirwin, Principal, founded The Kirwin Group based on her drive to implement positive change in client organizations. With over a decade of senior HR and leadership experience, Meghan blends experience, best practice, and business understanding to build innovative solutions for clients that drive performance. She has extensive experience working with leaders as a trainer, group facilitator, project leader, and coach. Her depth of expertise provides a valuable and innovative approach to many organizational issues. She has consulted in a wide range of industries including education, high tech, professional services, pharmaceuticals and health care. Meghan completed her Masters of Business Administration program specializing in Management and Organizational Behaviour at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Jackie Lauer, Axletree Consulting Inc.

Jackie brings over 16 years of experience in management, human relations, and systems development to her work as an executive consultant and coach. Prior to launching Axletree Consulting she managed large-scale sales and marketing initiatives in the Education (public and private) and Telecommunications Sectors with such organizations as Carleton University, ITI Information Technology Institute and Nortel Networks.

She has managed as many as 200 individuals. As a leader, she soon learned her talents were in facilitating buy in for large-scale change initiatives and developing the leadership skills of those around her.

Her approach is based on proven consulting and coaching methods, integrating individual performance, personal development, change management and well being, with business results. Trained in Change Management methodologies, Jackie combines her knowledge of assessments and change strategies with her training at the Coaches Training Institute and the B-Coach (Business Coaching) program, as well as being certified in Emotional Intelligence and Relationship Systems Coaching. Her coaching supports increased awareness, allowing leaders to take more purposeful action, build greater competence, and increased confidence as individuals learn how to become more efficient and effective. By integrating skillful use of intention, reflection, dialogue, and action to transform vision into reality, her clients experience genuine and sustained change.

John Rutledge, RCC Training

John Rutledge is the founder of RCC Training. With over 25 years of experience in the IT field, John is an expert computer consultant who has a broad range of experience and knowledge about computers and technology. He teaches others how to use computers efficiently, effectively, and safely. John was the Manager of a Technical Support Desk for a multinational for several years. Prior to that, he held roles as Project Lead on a national software implementation project, Systems Analyst, and Programmer Analyst. John works regularly with businesses of all sizes to assist them in understanding and managing their data. He holds a Microsoft Office Specialist “Master” certification and completed his International Computer Driver’s License certification testing in record time. 

Kate Jones, Live to Learn

Kate's extensive experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors across Canada spans more than twenty years in the areas of Performance Improvement, Training, Facilitation, Leadership, Sales and Sales Management, Communication and Group Interaction. This knowledge and expertise enables her to effectively communicate with learners at all skill levels.

As a facilitator, Kate utilizes innovative training methods that create dynamic learning environments. She conducts customized workshops and personalized coaching sessions in a variety of areas including Leadership Development, Customer Service, Selling Skills, Time Mastery, Building Effective Work Teams and Understanding Behavioral Styles. Her focus is to utilize proven strategies and the techniques necessary to optimize the personal and professional success of her clients.

Warren Crawford, RCC Training

Warren is a Microsoft Instructor with over 30 years of experience. He provides consulting and training for all levels of Microsoft Applications especially SharePoint, Power BI, Excel & Project. He has a Business Degree from Lakehead University focusing on Human Resources.