Faculty Biographies

Our expert faculty members combine theory with practice, and are some of the most respected and experienced educators working in the fields of management, leadership and instructor development.

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Dr. Jason Cressey, PhD (Psychology) (Oxford University) specializes in interpersonal and communication skills. As a consultant, he assists corporations with customer relations, team building, emotional intelligence, and other psychological factors in the workplace.


Ruth Faber, MEd, F.L.E., is an adult educator and experienced facilitator. For 15 years she taught in the Department of Applied Human Sciences at Concordia University in Montreal, specializing in communication skills, group dynamics, small group leadership and facilitation. She has worked with First Nations communities as an instructor and administrator in a certificate program in community service. As a family life educator, Ruth has designed and facilitated a variety of group programs in community settings.

Vals Fauquier is a consultant and educator offering unique courses and workshops in essential communication skills, leadership empowerment, and transition management. With extensive experience in both the private and not-for-profit sectors, she brings facilitation and training to organizations seeking new perspectives for change with a focus on the holistic aspects of organizational and personal wellness.

Dr. Michal Fedeles, PhD (Education, UBC) specializes in strategic learning and leadership development. For the past 15+ years, his engagements in academia and healthcare have focused on stimulating transformative learning cultures, inspiring performance excellence and maximizing the returns on investment in advancing leadership. As an educator, coach and consultant, Michal helps leaders and organizations achieve superior outcomes by embracing an uncompromising pursuit of curiosity, mutual purpose, reflection, and humility.


Raj Gill, BSc, is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach and facilitator. She has 30 years of experience in health care in the areas of supervision, quality assurance, education, and training. Raj also has 15 years of experience in designing and delivering education programs for quality enhancement and utilization management, and specializes in inclusive leadership and participatory education workshops.

Susanna Haas Lyons, MA, is a public engagement specialist who develops strategy and provides training for better conversations between the public and decision-makers. Bridging online and face-to-face methods, Susanna has worked on some of North America’s largest and most complex citizen engagement
projects, including electoral reform in British Columbia, rebuilding post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, electronic health records for the US federal government, and the City of Vancouver’s transportation future. She is certified by the International Association for Public Participation and is a senior network associate with AmericaSpeaks, a global leader in large-scale public participation.

Dr. Shawn Ireland, EdD, MA, MS, is a clinical psychologist by training, with 27 years’ experience in organization development. His expertise includes action-learning initiatives in support of personal and organization development including managing change, coaching, management of virtual teams, project leadership, and fostering critical thinking. He has worked extensively around the world with a variety of organizations, including international Fortune 500 companies, local government bodies, domestic government departments, and charitable organizations. He is presently an instructor at Simon Fraser University and in the Graduate School, University Canada West, in Vancouver.


Doug Kerr, BA, MEd, has provided training programs for business, industry, all levels of government, and social profit organizations for over 30 years. He focuses his practice on instructional skills; supervisory, management, and executive development; commercial negotiation skills; appreciative inquiry; and executive coaching. Doug also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in leadership and management at post-secondary institutions in BC and Yukon.


Sophie Mas has over 20 years’ experience in leading and managing projects in the public sector. Sophie has worked on a number of high profile projects, including the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, the creation of the civilian-led Independent Investigations Office which investigates police in death or serious harm cases, the BC Policing and Community Safety Plan, and the response to the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. Sophie is currently the Project Director of the Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat with the BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. She is also the co-founder and President of STAND, a non-profit organization which helps vulnerable youth access post-secondary education and skills training in Metro Vancouver. Sophie is a certified PMP (Project Manager Professional) and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Victoria. She teaches Leading Projects at the JIBC and is one of the Project Management Institute Westcoast Chapter’s PMP exam preparation course instructors. 

Bill Maser, BEd, MET has designed and developed courses and programs across many content areas with a special focus in online and blended learning. He has an extensive background in instructor development both locally and internationally. His teaching methods promote interactive, engaging and learner-focused environments.

Justin Mills is dedicated to helping rid the world of boring presentations, endless bullet-point lists, and scary PowerPoint transitions. In 2013 he started a company called Presentation Geeks which consults and develops presentations for industry leaders around the world.  In working with presenters across nearly every industry, he’s seen the good, the bad, and the ugly and says that “Training people how to be better in (their chosen professions) starts with communication, and presentation training is the foundation!”

Georganne Oldham, BA, M.Sc.O.D., has almost 20 years of organization and leadership development coaching and consulting experience.  An accomplished group facilitator, consultant, trainer and coach, she is particularly skilled in helping groups and individuals grapple with the complex issues that come with organizational change.  She has worked closely with management teams in public, private and non-profit organizations to facilitate needed organizational changes based on thorough needs assessment.  She received her Masters of Science degree in Organization Development from Central Washington University in Washington State.


Gail Sexsmith is an executive with extensive experience in strategic leadership, organizational effectiveness, and human resources. She delivers facilitation, consulting, coaching, and adult education services that help organizations, teams, and individuals achieve superior results.

Alan Simpson, BTh., MA (Conflict Management), Cert. ConRes, is a facilitator of difficult conversations, conflict coach and mediator for individuals and groups. He provides conflict engagement processes and training seminars for leaders and their organizations nationally and internationally.  He has 25 years of experience in coaching and training adults, families and organizations in communication skills, change management and conflict engagement.  He has worked with family businesses, private schools and faith based organizations. His offerings include leadership development, non-profit board management, team building and retreat facilitation.  Alan is a skills coach and instructor for the JI at the Okanagan and New West campuses. 


Rick Thomas EdD Rick is a leadership explorer, coach, consultant and author with over 17 years of experience as a human resources development and learning strategist, facilitator, coach and organization development consultant. He has gained experience through multiple contexts facilitating leadership development, culture transformation, and strategic organizational development initiatives for progressive organizations of 55 to 23,000 employees. He holds a doctorate in educational leadership with a focus on human resources strategy and leadership, a masters in organizational leadership and systems renewal and a masters in adult education.

Kathryn Thomson, B.Ed, M.A., is an organizational consultant, facilitator, educator and coach with over 16 years experience training new and emerging leaders in government, private, and nonprofit organizations.  Kathryn defines a leader as anyone willing to positively influence their colleagues, their staff and their workplace; and she is passionate about enabling people to bring the best of who they are to work.  Kathryn uses dialogue practices extensively to help teams define their goals and uncover the latent brilliance each individual brings to their team.  She has been teaching at the Justice Institute for the past 15 years.


Last updated February 22, 2018