Director of Finance and Performance Aaron Law oversees all accounting and finance functions at Habanero, including monthly and quarterly reviews, bank account management, cash management and forecasts. He is also responsible for establishing and maintaining accounting policies, processes and procedures. Aaron conducts financial analysis and prepares plans and forecasts. As part of Habanero’s leadership team, he uses his financial acumen to identify opportunities for strategic growth and success.
Aaron previously served as Habanero’s controller. Prior to joining Habanero, he held financial positions at Cardiome Pharma Corp. and Intrawest ULC. Early in his career, Aaron developed his auditing and accounting skills at PwC and Smythe Ratcliffe Chartered Accountants. As a chartered accountant and certified internal auditor, Aaron sits on the board of directors and chairs the finance committee of Crucible Church. He enjoys all kinds of sports, including golf, volleyball and skiing.
Experience Designer Anya Aksenovich helps design holistic solutions in the people and culture space. She loves to approach everything she does with a beginner’s mindset, a concept that she learned from yogic philosophy. Drawing on her diverse work experiences, she views everything from multiple perspectives and continuously tests her assumptions as a researcher.
With a background in sociocultural anthropology, Anya is keenly interested in diversity and cultural fluency in the workplace. Outside of work, she is an avid traveller. When she is back home in Toronto, you can find her taking photos, doing yoga and forever redesigning and rearranging her living space.
Senior Consultant Barbara Richards works closely with our clients throughout the journey of creating great workplace experiences. She uses her roots in the social sciences, deep appreciation for experience design principles and years of strategic IT consulting to co-create experiences that help employees and organizations live up to their potential.
Prior to joining Habanero, Barbara held user experience roles in international research and development organizations in the Philippines, Indonesia and Italy. She spent five years at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN in Rome, Italy, where she co-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. This front row seat into the inner workings of international development programs and projects influenced her perspective on the value of design thinking concepts.
Barbara holds a bachelor of sociology from the University of British Columbia and a master of archival studies from the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at UBC. When not working, she is often having conversations about The Avengers, Star Wars or Lego (she has two young boys), visiting the local yoga studio or discovering trails in the North Shore mountains.
Vice President Ben Skelton provides guidance and oversight to Habanero’s leadership team, ensuring Habanero’s continued success and innovation within all areas of the business. He does this through a balanced scorecard approach to management, which provides a continuous and equal focus on our company, team and clients. Ben is also a passionate advocate of Habanero’s brand. He works to ensure that clients are proud to be associated with Habanero and that each of the solutions we create exceeds expectations.
Ben opened Habanero’s Toronto office in 2013 and continues to manage a number of Toronto-based accounts while directing the growth of Habanero’s business in Ontario.
A recognized user experience leader, Ben is a founding member of the Vancouver User Experience Group (VanUE) and creator of Habanero’s User Experience Done Right! seminar series. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Simon Fraser University. Ben is an ardent traveller and plane geek whose favourite place is 38,000 feet somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.
Junior Product Support Specialist Brandon Martel helps provide ongoing support to the modern and classic GO Intranet products. Brandon has a passion for problem solving, helping others and optimization. He strongly values efficiency, not just in his own life but in the world around him and believes you can only be as efficient as your tools allow you to be. His natural inclination in these areas come from a place of understanding that life is already difficult enough and making it easier for others is a feeling he chases.
Before joining Habanero, Brandon worked as a learning strategist and data analyst at MaKami college, providing strategic support along the students' learning journey, as well as detailed insight to best direct decision making within the company. With a background in psychology, much of his career has been service-focused and, as a result, he loves working with people. He continues his journey as a lifelong learner with a data science program through IBM.
Coming from a small town in northern Ontario, he loves the outdoors and spends a lot of his free time biking, swimming, camping and snowboarding. His love for data and analytical thinking shine through in his love for puzzles, board games and card games.
Director of Products and Services Brian Edwards leads, creates and maintains the business plans and roadmaps of Habanero’s technology solutions and services. This includes developing an investment strategy for new offerings and developing partnerships that augment or complement our offerings. He also guides our strategy for bringing our services to market.
Brian has been with Habanero since 2000 and previously led Habanero’s collaboration practice. Prior to working for Habanero, he ran the corporate intranet for a Fortune 500 bank in the United States. Passionate about the impact technology can make within organizations, Brian has been recognized as a thought leader in collaboration solutions and business strategy and is a highly credited public speaker.
Infrastructure Architect Carmen Craciun is one of North America’s leading experts in SharePoint infrastructure. She works with Habanero clients to design enterprise IT architectures and infrastructure requirements. Carmen’s deep knowledge and technical ability ensure the high quality of Habanero solutions.
Carmen has numerous Microsoft certifications and is a Microsoft Certified Engineer. She holds a master of science degree in pharmacy from the Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Iasi, Romania. Carmen often shares her SharePoint expertise at conferences and workshops across North America.
Interaction Designer Carmen Huard designs intuitive and engaging experiences founded in ethnographic research and human-centred design principles. She enjoys delighting users with intentional, creative and empathetic design solutions.
Prior to Habanero, Carmen was the UX design lead for Blackline Safety, where she was involved in holistic UX for their products. Carmen is a graduate of Mount Royal University, where she received her bachelor of communications with a major in information design and discovered a passion for making the complex simple and designing engaging experiences of diverse users. When Carmen isn’t designing, you can find her eating local food (specifically pizza), petting dogs, exploring the farmers’ market or planning her next travel adventure.
Senior Advisor, Workplace Experiences, Caterina Sanders works on our culture and transformation, corporate strategy and digital workplace engagements. She is an expert facilitator, experience designer and communicator – and she is a 20-year veteran of Habanero.
Caterina is a founding member of the Vancouver User Experience Group (VanUE) and currently sits on the CSA Caregiver Friendly Workplaces Technical Committee. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of British Columbia. Caterina is also an honest and inspiring presenter who is regularly asked to speak about employee engagement, high-performing cultures and design thinking. Travel is a longstanding passion for her and her family, and in 2015, they all took a year’s leave to travel the world.
Digital Workplace Consultant Chris Lucier enjoys learning about clients’ needs and creating effective, delightful solutions to enable great employee experiences. He brings a passion for automation, efficiency and data analytics to both his professional and personal life.
Prior to joining Habanero, Chris was part of a team that leveraged ServiceNow to build an automated framework that provided triage and remediation solutions for high-frequency enterprise incidents. He also has a wealth of experience developing tools and scripts to automate repetitive tasks such as data entry. When he’s not improving processes for others, Chris is automating at home, trying new recipes in his kitchen or looking for his next weekend road trip destination.
Digital Workplace Advisor Chris Radcliffe brings years of senior-level consulting and client experience management to his role at Habanero. He has extensive experience in employee portals, enterprise social, information architecture design and governance. Chris manages some of Habanero’s key client relationships and provides mentorship and support to other Habanero account managers. He has been with Habanero since 2000.
A thought leader for Habanero, Chris often speaks on how social computing trends are impacting strategies for organizational communication, innovation and knowledge management. He has an active interest in helping organizations use technology to improve their workplaces and is always looking for opportunities to grow Habanero’s core competencies. Chris holds Yammer Power User and Administrator certifications to support the development of Habanero customers’ community manager and social consulting services. He holds a bachelor of commerce degree from Queen’s University.
Front-End Architect Christopher Parsons is responsible for the architecture behind the visual design, interactivity, accessibility and authoring of Habanero solutions. His work also includes writing and reviewing project requirements, demoing and training clients and advocating for best practices around front-end development.
Chris graduated with a bachelor of science with a major in computing science from Simon Fraser University and completed an eight-month co-op term with Habanero in 2011. He is a Microsoft Certified Software Developer, a Certified ScrumMaster and a certified Sitecore Professional Developer. Outside of work, Chris enjoys reading about baseball analytics, listening to podcasts about wrestling and pop music, and catching up on the latest news in technology and gadgets.
Product Support Lead Christopher Scollard supports exceptional client experiences with Habanero’s GO Intranet Accelerator. Christopher has a passion for working with people and bringing them together with technology. As a natural problem solver, he supports people with technology that simplifies their lives and allows for more time to do what they enjoy most.
Originally from Ireland, Christopher holds a bachelor of arts and a master of arts from University College Dublin. Before joining Habanero, he worked as a support technician and project support lead for Valentia Technologies in the global health technology industry. His work with Valentia took him all over Ireland and on multiple trips to New Zealand to support product expansion. Outside of work, Christopher’s primary passion is following or playing rugby. He also enjoys watching or playing nearly all sports and reading history and science fiction.
Front-End Developer Craig Smith uses a combination of user research, audits, analytics and prototyping to deliver solid user experiences. His work sits at the intersection of design, development and research, and he uses his practitioner experience to support project outcomes and ensure clients get the most out of their technology investments. With a background in software quality assurance, Craig has a solid understanding both of customer needs and of the importance of end-user advocacy.
Prior to coming to Habanero, Craig was a test lead at SMART Technologies where he worked on education software for use with SMART Boards. He has both a bachelor of commerce and a bachelor of arts in English from the University of Calgary.
Interaction Designer Danielle Kovacic designs engaging user experiences through websites, intranets and other applications. Danielle is passionate about bringing creative and unique ideas to her designs.
Prior to Habanero, Danielle worked as a designer and project manager at Mediashaker and continues to work as a freelance designer, creating websites, brand identities and other digital assets. She graduated from Grant MacEwan University with a major in design and digital media. When Danielle isn’t working, you can find her reading, binge watching TV shows or organizing something in her apartment.
Technical Architect David Webb works on the analysis, design and development of SharePoint, GO, Sitecore, Power Platform and custom development solutions. With more than 35 years of IT experience, David has a strong background in Microsoft solutions such as .NET, ASP.NET, and SQL Server. Prior to working at Habanero, David was a senior developer at WorkSafeBC in Richmond and Great-West Life Assurance Company in Winnipeg. In both positions, he worked on a wide variety of platforms, from mainframes to PCs. David holds a bachelor of computer science (honours) degree from the University of Manitoba.
Senior Solution Developer Elena Rosu uses her technical expertise on a variety of employee, customer and member portal projects. Her role involves creating new solutions as a member of project teams as well as working directly with clients in sustainment engagements. Elena is also a technical lead on several projects. She is well versed in Sitecore, SharePoint 2016, SharePoint 2013, SharePoint Online and ASP.NET.
Elena holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of British Columbia and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Iasi, Romania. Elena is also a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer and a Certified ScrumMaster. In her spare time, Elena enjoys doing yoga, walking and reading biographies about painters.
Finance Manager Elizabeth Torry leads all aspects of accounting, payroll, receivables, payables, government returns, staff group benefits and other related responsibilities. A valued veteran of Habanero, Elizabeth has been with the company since 1999 and has skillfully supported the company through years of steady growth and expansion.
Prior to immigrating to Canada in 1996, Elizabeth worked at CIBC in Trinidad for 15 years. There, she held several positions, including senior accountant, manager of foreign exchange and teller supervisor. Outside of Habanero, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her two daughters and is actively involved in church community activities as one of the directors and group coordinator for the Richmond Catholic Alpha.
Junior Product Support Specialist Gabor Jozsa works with our GO Intranet clients to help them understand and get the most from their sites. Gabor takes immense pride in providing meaningful, approachable answers to complex questions. He enjoys synthesizing disparate information, needs and challenges into new and creative solutions.
Prior to joining Habanero, Gabor worked as a team lead at a satellite telecommunications company where he provided service and support for a variety of remote and challenging environments. He has worked in support roles in telecommunication, banking, post-secondary education and government for more than two decades. Gabor studied cultural anthropology, which brought together his interests in people, places and culture, at the University of Calgary and York University. In his free time, Gabor finds joy in video games, music, boardgames and improv podcasts.
GO Product Designer Hanah designs engaging and human-centered product experiences grounded in empathetic research. She works closely with the rest of the GO team to understand user needs and translate them into intuitive and visually appealing designs that deliver a delightful user experience.
Hanah graduated from the School of Interactive Arts and Technology program with a concentration in design from Simon Fraser University and completed three co-op work terms at Habanero prior to joining the team full-time. Outside of work, she enjoys discovering new foodie places, watching the latest films out in the theatre and keeping up with pop culture news.
Project Manager Heather Doyle brings strong project management and business analysis skills to her work at Habanero. Specializing in SharePoint and custom web development projects, she combines big-picture strategic thinking skills with a keen attention to detail. Heather has a lengthy history of managing complex and large-scale projects while respecting budgets, timelines and scopes.
Prior to working at Habanero, Heather worked as a consultant for ten years, including four years at KPMG Consulting and PwC. Heather has a bachelor of science in food science, technology and biology, from Oxford Brookes University and a masters of business administration in information technology from the University of British Columbia. Outside of work, Heather can be found cycling, keeping up on the reading for her book club and volunteering on the PAC at her children’s school.
Front-End Developer Jake Kim is passionate about organizing and arranging layouts for developing intuitive user experiences. He especially focuses on using best practices and implementing appropriate software design patterns to ensure development is consistent and easy to maintain.
Director, Employee Experience, James Sloane’s primary role at Habanero is to look after the quality of our own employee experience. We bring life to work for our clients and James works every day to make sure we are doing the same for every Hab that works at Habanero. He’s also a member of both the OPS (operations, people and systems) and strategy teams at Habanero. James believes meaningful workplace experiences happen when we design the conditions for each of us to continuously grow and do purposeful work while feeling safe and confident being ourselves.
As well as filling his role as Director of Employee Experience, James is a senior experience consultant. In this role he works with clients and Habanero teams to create impactful change by designing exceptional employee and customer experiences. He especially loves strategy work and making sense of the fuzzy front-end of complex problems for our clients. James holds a certificate in servant leadership from Cornell University, a master of environmental design from the University of Calgary, and a bachelor of design from the University of Alberta. Outside of work, James values his time with family and friends, coaching youth soccer, hanging out at the ski hill, and taking in live music whenever he can.
Product Designer Jamie Anderson designs accessible, intuitive and enjoyable product experiences that help organizations reach their goals. Jamie excels at both uncovering problems and delivering solutions. She is passionate about connecting with others through meaningful collaboration and relationship building.
Prior to joining Habanero, Jamie was a product designer at Paper, an online tutoring service that provides academic support to students across North America. She has also worked as a product designer at Benevity, improving the way employees donate, volunteer and do good in their lives. Jamie earned her bachelor of communication in information design, where she first discovered her interest in human-centred design methodologies. When Jamie is not working, she enjoys attending live music events, watching films and spending time outdoors. She also volunteers as a career mentor with Chic Geek, a local non-profit that empowers women in technology.
Jasjit graduated from the National Institute of Technology Trichy with a bachelor of technology and a specialization in computer science and engineering. Prior to joining Habanero, Jasjit built front-end applications for drug discovery and bioinformatics. Outside of work, Jasjit enjoys woodworking, videography and playing acoustic guitar.
Digital Workplace Consultant Jonathan Plumbley helps organizations empower their people through digital workplace strategy and tools. With a background in Microsoft SharePoint and the Power Platform, as well as a passion for automagical design, Jonathan seeks to bridge the gap between the human experience and technology. He is a certified business analysis and change management practitioner.
Prior to joining Habanero, Jonathan worked with a non-profit national organization that operates research and training programs in industrial and social innovation fields. As an operations analyst, he created solutions to automate complex business processes and scale delivery. He also provided training and support to operational teams, worked with business units to define requirements for key systems and managed hundreds of contract employees.
On the weekends, Jonathan can be found jogging along the beach while listening to podcasts on the latest awesome new technology!
Senior UX Researcher Kenan Jallad creates holistic, measurable and human-centred experience design strategies to support user and organizational outcomes. He leverages qualitative research methodologies to generate a contextual understanding of the desired outcomes before crafting quantitative performance metrics that promote and track their progress and achievement. This engaging and co-creative process is rooted in his motto: “do research with, not for.”
Before joining Habanero, Kenan designed user experiences at Clearly and Best Buy Canada and taught experience design. He has been a lead UX researcher at Zehner, an LA-based design agency, and Medchart, a Toronto-based health tech start-up. He has a bachelor's degree in philosophy from UBC and trained in web development and design at BCIT. Kenan is a proud new dad, habitual walker, passionate writer and an admirer of nature and the great outdoors.
Director of Operations Kiran Aujla is focused on operational excellence in how the company operates and delivers value to both clients and Habanero. She is responsible for overseeing Habanero’s delivery and resource management functions to ensure team members are performing at the highest levels within a culture of continuous improvement. Kiran’s responsibilities include establishing and reporting on measures of success for all projects while seeing through the day-to-day activities, at both a strategic and operational level, to ensure Habanero will live up to its long-term vision.
Kiran has a diverse background of business and technical experience gained through delivering and consulting on projects within the IT and utilities industries with a focus on data warehousing, intranets, websites and project management. Prior to joining Habanero in 2006, Kiran acquired close to 10 years of industry experience working with BC Hydro, Westech and Accenture Business Services for Utilities in roles that included business analyst, system developer, project manager and information delivery lead. When not working, Kiran enjoys a variety of activities including running, hiking and yoga. She is an avid reader with a passion for learning and cherishes quality time spent with family and friends.
Creative Director Kurtis Beard is passionate about developing digital strategy that is anchored in human-centered design methods. With 15 years of experience at Habanero, he brings expertise in coaching, facilitation, design and communication and collaborates with organizations to home in on the right problems to solve. He ensures the solutions we build foster collaboration, communication and engagement by putting people at the center of the process.
Before coming to Habanero, Kurtis was a freelance visual designer with experience in branding, logo design and graphic design. He is a graduate of the School of Interaction Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University. Kurtis is also an alumni chair organizer for the Vancouver User Experience Group and enjoys keeping up to date with the latest trends in user experience and interaction design. Outside of work, Kurtis enjoys all kinds of new music, travelling and expanding his interest in cinema.
Chief Architect Larry Lau is responsible for the design and development of technical solution architectures that meet the needs of clients and drive overall business value. While providing technical solution architectural leadership to members of cross-functional teams, he works collaboratively in an Agile hybrid environment with a focus on continuous improvement.
Prior to working at Habanero, Larry worked as a software engineer at Meridian Systems, a system analyst at Telus Mobility, and a senior software developer at Interlogic Engineering. When not at work, Larry enjoys snowboarding on the local mountains and exploring hiking trails with his dog.
Experience Designer Laura Nugent is a skilled researcher and facilitator who creates exceptional employee experiences using a human-centered and design thinking approach. Laura brings curiosity and empathy to her work, which enables her to explore, understand and translate human behaviours into actionable insights to co-create change, drive innovation and encourage creative thinking.
Prior to joining Habanero, Laura worked as a design researcher for Ireland’s leading utility, The Electricity Supply Board. She was heavily involved in new product development, customer experience, technology adoption, service design, new market exploration and innovation culture within the company. Laura holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology and sociology and a master's degree in design innovation from Maynooth University in her home country of Ireland. When not working, she enjoys taking road trips and exploring new places. She also values spending quality time with friends and catching up with family back in Ireland.
Project Manager Lori Sokoluk works with Habanero project teams and clients to deliver solutions that exceed each stakeholder’s expectations. She motivates team members by making sure they have the tools and information necessary to excel. Using her communication and delivery skills, Lori expertly manages risk to ensure the success of every engagement. Lori uses various approaches such Agile, waterfall and hybrid iterative methods to craft a plan that best suits each project.
Before coming to Habanero, Lori worked as a project manager for Morgan Stanley and Central 1 Credit Union. She brings an extensive understanding of software development processes gained through her experience with requirements analysis, development, quality assurance and client engagement that enable her to contribute to project teams beyond a traditional project management role. Outside of work, Lori is a professional painter and fine art educator.
Digital Workplace Consultant Madelin Entz helps enterprise organizations create exceptional employee experiences with Microsoft 365 and our GO Intranet through discovery and planning, data analysis, ethnographic research and design.
Prior to joining Habanero, Madelin worked with Borden Ladner Gervais to transform their enterprise resource planning (ERP) strategy and align system processes with business requirements. She also worked as lead data conversion analyst on an ERP implementation project for an aerospace, aviation and defense contractor. Madelin holds a first class honours bachelor of science in mathematics from the University of Calgary with a minor in philosophy. In her spare time, you can find Madelin adventuring on foot or two wheels in the mountains, or on a paddleboard. In 2020, she completed an impressive multi-day trip solo paddling every body of water on the Icefields Parkway from Lake Lousie to Maligne Lake.
Practice Lead, Culture and Transformation, Mallory helps enterprise organizations discover and design great workplace experiences. Leading with curiosity and empathy, Mallory works with our clients to shape and deliver compelling changes to organizational culture, purpose, values and vision, customer and employee experiences and the digital landscape. With over two decades of human-centred research and design, she coaches clients, advises organizational leaders and collaborates with teams to help them identify, prioritize and activate measurable change and build team capacity.
Mallory is an experienced leader both inside Habanero and in the community. She acts as a career coach and mentor to her colleagues and guides Habanero’s culture and transformation offering. Mallory represents Habanero by hosting conferences, delivering presentations and workshops, and sharing insights in webinars on the intersection of employee and customer experience, culture and technology. Outside of work, she looks for any opportunity to be active outside, especially in, on or near water. Building on her personal value of community, she recently served as chair of the board for the Vancouver Mural Festival, was co-founder and judge of the Vancouver User Experience Awards and co-founder the Vancouver User Experience Group (VanUE).
Font-End Solution Architect Mark Bice is responsible for the solution architecture of Habanero’s GO Intranet product, as well as supporting client delivery. Mark has both a design and programming background, as well as experience in all stages of application development, from planning to testing. As a result, Mark provides a valuable bridge between the design and development components of Habanero projects.
Before Habanero, Mark was a software engineer at ResponseTek, where he worked on customer experience management web applications that allowed clients to collect and analyze valuable data and spot consumer trends. Mark has a computing science degree with a business administration minor from Simon Fraser University.
User Experience Designer Mark Perez takes an empathetic approach to designing and delivering elevated digital products. He combines strategic research with creative thinking to develop modern solutions that enable organizations to achieve their goals.
Building on his prior experience in publishing, Mark continues to be passionate about learning from diverse perspectives and rooting his work in unique narratives. Outside of Habanero, you can find Mark making lo-fi beats to study to, thrifting for another oversized jacket, or packing his bags for his next road trip.
Director, Information Technology, Marty van den Bosch is responsible for managing, maintaining and evolving Habanero’s technologies. A multi-tasker known for his exceptional priority management skills, Marty handles Habanero’s internal IT process, planning, management and direction among other accountabilities, including mentoring his colleagues on the IT team. With a focus on internal systems and IT direction, Marty strives to keep our company on the leading edge of Microsoft technologies.
Marty has been working in the IT industry for more than 30 years. Prior to joining Habanero, he was a systems engineer. Outside of work, he spends most of his time gardening, working on his side business adventures and enjoying time with his wife and son. He also enjoys multi-day hikes in local mountains and, when possible, exploring future retirement locations along the Caribbean coastline.
Senior Solution Developer Michael Armstrong is responsible for developing elegant and user-friendly solutions. He leverages his expertise in front-end and back-end development to craft intranets, websites and business applications that drive toward outcomes and satisfy all stakeholders. Michael primarily focuses on the SharePoint and Sitecore platforms and his skills include a variety of technologies and languages. He is adept at solving complex problems and enjoys applying his development experience in both technical and non-technical ways.
Before coming to Habanero, Michael worked as an application developer at Lucidia Ltd. He graduated as a computer programmer analyst from Sault College and received a SSMARt Innovation Award for Student/Graduate of the Year from the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre. Outside of work, Michael enjoys hockey, snowboarding, travel, fishing, golfing and experimenting with new technology.
Digital Workplace Consultant Mike Dumka has been helping organizations transform their intranet and collaboration experiences since 2008. Mike is passionate about helping design frictionless solutions that are easy for end users to fall in love with. His thought leadership helps organizations stay on top of the evolving Microsoft 365 landscape. His technical understanding of Microsoft 365 complements his experience driving adoption and helping people change their information management practices.
Prior to joining Habanero, Mike worked for Blueshift Innovations and Great-West Life. He is a Human Factors International Certified Usability Analyst. Outside of work, Mike is an absolute hockey fanatic who loves coaching his kids and is thankful every day for the Jets returning to Winnipeg!
Solution Architect Mike Jensen is responsible for architecting business solutions and leading development teams. Mike has extensive experience in a wide range of Microsoft technologies and has expertise in application integration and business process management. Known for his problem solving and leadership abilities, Mike applies his technical skills across a wide range of business domains.
Prior to joining Habanero, Mike gained development and analysis experience as senior systems developer with Accenture Business Services and as an independent consultant working for clients including Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He holds a bachelor of science with a major in applied mathematics from Simon Fraser University. When he is not researching new technologies, you can find Mike in the gym or on the golf course, baseball field or basketball court.
Senior Digital Workplace Consultant Natalie Veldhoen, helps to uncover the current state and plan the future direction of intranets, records and knowledge management solutions for Habanero clients. She helps organizations understand the value a well-designed and implemented information solution can bring to their business and guides design requirements. Natalie also ensures Habanero solutions bring value in terms of process improvement, adherence to corporate document control requirements and user adoption.
Natalie has experience designing and implementing information and knowledge management systems across a number of industries. She started her career as a math and science teacher, where she honed her facilitation and coaching skills, then found her place in library and information system design, leading projects with K-12 education, health care and a Calgary-based energy company. Natalie has bachelor’s degrees in astrophysics and education and a master’s of science degree in instructional media design. When not at work, she can be found working in her vegetable garden, completing home improvement projects or spending time outside with her family.
Experience Design Consultant Nicole Caruana works with clients to design inclusive experiences that enable employees and organizations to reach their highest potential. Curious and empathetic, Nicole blends scientific research-based insights with practical, innovative solutions. She believes that experiential learning is the best way to continually test, learn and refine ideas that lead to the most creative and effective solutions.
Nicole holds an honours bachelor of arts in psychology and business and a master’s in industrial-organizational psychology, completing a thesis on authentic leadership. She has worked on organizational development and change management projects in both large organizations, such as CI Investments and UBC Sauder School of Business, and in start-ups. Outside of work, Nicole loves trying new food, learning new activities or travelling to new places.
Junior Product Support Specialist Nicole Watson brings her love of learning, client service and problem solving to all her service desk interactions. She enjoys learning about new technology and ensuring that clients are supported and cared for throughout their service experience.
Prior to working at Habanero, Nicole worked as an application support specialist for multiple cruise ships at Oracle Hospitality Cruise. She has also studied new media design and web development at BCIT. She enjoys hiking, travelling and learning new hobbies.
Director, Marketing and Business Development Pilar Galiana leads Habanero’s marketing and sales efforts. Pilar is passionate about sharing Habanero's vision of helping people and organizations thrive with the world and has extensive expertise and experience with content marketing. She is a strong team leader and an Integral Professional Coach™ who empowers people to be the best versions of themselves.
Prior to joining Habanero, Pilar worked as a digital marketing consultant and project manager on projects for the Ontario Ministry of Health, Kaplan University, Exchange Solutions and Seaport Hotel Boston and coached entrepreneurs to use content marketing to grow their businesses online. She also worked client side, leading the development and content teams for the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts website. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations from the University of Toronto and a post-graduate degree in corporate communications from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology.
When she isn’t working, she is likely enjoying food, thinking about food, reading about food or exploring Toronto’s food scene.
Quality Assurance Specialist Rachna supports Content Engagement Analytics (CEA), a product that provides actionable insights to employee communications professionals in organizations that use Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online. She brings great attention to detail, a dedication to quality and empathy for the end-user experience to all her work.
Prior to joining Habanero, Rachna worked as a lead analyst for Wipro. She has 15 years’ experience in quality assurance and holds a bachelor of technology in computer engineering and a master of business administration in business analytics. Outside of work, Rachna loves listening to music, travelling and spending time with her husband and son.
Rodel holds a bachelor's degree in computer engineering and has a couple of Microsoft certifications. His background includes more than 10 years of experience in software, web and portal development, analysis, configuration, and support. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family, travelling, biking and swimming; by himself, he loves playing guitar, watching TV and playing video games.
GO Product Manager Ryan Bender helps organizations define and deliver the digital workplace environments their employees need to be collaborative and productive at work. Specializing in the Microsoft 365 technology space, Ryan leads teams toward the successful application and adoption of technologies like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online to meet their ECM, collaboration and intranet needs.
Joining Habanero in 2010, Ryan spent his first 8 years as a senior front-end developer before transitioning into his current role. He has worked with a wide range of server and client-side technologies, giving him a deep understanding of how developer and IT processes and technologies work. After graduating from the Applied Multimedia Training Centre in 1997, Ryan started his career as a graphic designer then spent 12 years working as a web application and multimedia developer on various platforms, including SharePoint, Sitecore, .NET, J2EE, WebSphere and Coldfusion. Outside of work, Ryan enjoys photography, astronomy, camping, fishing and carpentry.
Sandra Braun is part of the content team at Habanero, collaborating with project teams and clients to plan and create clear, findable and usable content for employee portals and websites.
Before coming to Habanero, Sandra worked as a content strategist and writer on internet and intranet projects for Deloitte Canada, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and CBC/Radio-Canada. As a freelance writer and editor, she has produced branding, marketing and communications products for major retailers, custom publishers and non-profit organizations. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Carleton University, a certificate in business analysis from UBC Sauder and user experience (UX) certification from the Nielsen Norman Group. Outside of work, she likes to make food, clothes and art.
Quality Assurance Specialist Sanjana Singh takes a practical and analytical outlook to working with Microsoft 365, SharePoint and GO Intranet. She identifies and documents functional defects in the requirements and reports bugs to the software development team, tracking them through each solution release.
Sanjana started her career working as a business development executive with the Government of India, where she provided content management solutions to health and education sectors, municipal corporations, the ministry of defense and the Indian armed forces. After coming to Canada, she worked as a business development associate with an organization that provides virtual mental health services nationally. Most recently, she has worked as a quality assurance analyst, testing frontend UI. Sanjana holds a bachelor of engineering in IT and a post-graduate diploma in strategic relationship marketing management. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, camping and sketching.
Marketing Coordinator Sarah Hagarty supports the execution of Habanero’s marketing initiatives through website content, event planning, social media, email communications and various other marketing efforts. As a big ‘people person,’ conversing and collaborating with others is what energizes Sarah the most, making her so passionate about marketing and communications.
Sarah is a graduate of Ted Rogers School of Management, having attained her Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Marketing Management and minor in Human Resources Management from Toronto Metropolitan University. She gained vast marketing, branding, sales, and analytics experience throughout her four co-op work terms (two of which were with Habanero) and most recently worked as a Brand Coordinator with Rogers Communications. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys going to concerts, working out, making jewelry, and exploring local restaurants.
Helm Product Manager Simona McKee drives the direction and implementation of Habanero’s intranet analytics tool. Through collaborating and understanding client needs, she builds out a clear vision, strategy, and a product roadmap to tackle tough business problems. Simona brings over 20 years of experience working in technology, communications and project management.
Before transitioning to her current role as product manager of Habanero’s Helm Insights app, Simona spent four years as a senior project manager and then as an Agile coach. Previously, she worked as a client-facing project manager in various industries involving technology, which gave her a deep understanding of developer and IT processes and technologies. Simona obtained her PMP in 2014 and her CSM in 2019. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, travelling and spending time with her family.
Project Coordinator Starski works with Habanero’s project team to help deliver projects smoothly and successfully. His ability to pivot, solve complex problems and manage teams ensures that projects are delivered to meet stakeholder expectations. Starski believes that building trust with clients and team members is the key to successfully delivering projects. Prior to joining Habanero, Starski worked as a project manager for building and interior design projects, where he managed large-scale, cross-functional vendors, scopes of work and timelines to ensure projects met expectations. In his spare time, Starski enjoys spending time in the kitchen, watching trashy TV and working out.
Quality Assurance Specialist Stephen Brown’s primary objective is to help Habanero ensure the release of quality solutions. You can typically find him searching for and establishing clarity within requirements and testing the implemented functionality. Effective communication with developers and requirements owners – most of which takes place within DevOps – is a critical part of his day.
In the spring of 2000, Stephen completed the software systems development course at British Columbia Institute of Technology and immediately began working for Top Producer Systems in the role of quality assurance tester, and subsequently, as a test lead. This ultimately led to over 20 years of quality assurance experience dedicated to testing both desktop and cloud-hosted solutions. Through his time in the IT industry, Stephen has performed everything from network administration to project management. Outside of work, Stephen enjoys time with his wife and daughter, perpetually renovating his home, local travel, gardening, and generally tinkering around the house.
Co-founder and President Steven Fitzgerald thinks about the world of work a lot. He has spent his life examining what motivates us as human beings and how thriving organizations build successful teams.
Executive peers call Steven a thought partner. Whether challenging the status quo or providing a dose of inspiration, he’s the one in the room who helps move things along when everyone else is stuck. In the sometimes abstract world of people and culture, he brings a breadth of coaching and consulting skill to help teams cut to the chase and move to something clear and actionable.
And while he’s often invited into the executive boardroom or asked to be the voice of the future of work, his most remarkable and proud workplace achievement has been a home called Habanero – his springboard for helping people and organizations thrive.
Systems Administrator Terry Chow maintains and evolves all aspects of Habanero’s internal information technology systems to provide a seamless experience for the Habanero team. This ranges from endpoint support to maintaining network, system and application security and compliance (and everything in between). He enjoys leveraging and exploring new technologies to help others thrive. As the first point of contact for the Habanero team for day-to-day IT needs, Terry values building relationships and loves working with people as much as technology.
Prior to joining Habanero, Terry worked as the systems administrator at New Legacy Industrial in Los Angeles for three years and as an IT solution consultant at The Answer Company for five years. Terry holds a bachelor of arts in interaction art and design from Simon Fraser University. In his spare time, he enjoys hanging out with his dog, playing basketball and catching up on the latest tech news.
Employee Experience Specialist Tomi Adeleye-Olusae believes that creating space for personal and professional growth benefits both individuals and the collective. She brings an empathetic, flexible approach to support people in way that allows them to thrive at work.
Tomi graduated with a degree in labour studies and management from the University of Manitoba. She has held people-focused roles in diverse industries, including non-profit, accounting and consulting. She believes in purposefully creating spaces that promote equity and belonging. When not at work, Tomi loves to travel, spend time with her family and friends and veg out to some reality TV.
Lead Experience Designer Toni Albert started her career with Habanero in 2012 as a project manager. She has led and been a part of a wide variety of engagements, including designing and activating organizational change, supporting leaders and their teams through culture-focused engagements, and managing multi-year, large-scale technology and design projects.
The diversity of Toni’s experience comes from a natural curiosity, care, and a desire to evolve and improve the modern working experience for all employees. Toni’s focus has always been on building trusting client and team relationships by providing safe environments to share experiences, making sense of complex and nuanced situations, and drawing people together to co-create solutions. When away from work, Toni can be found painting or spending her time with her family in the Okanagan.
Project Manager Ty Addison supports the continuous evolution of Habanero’s delivery and product development functions. Ty oversees the delivery of successful projects by aligning team members with project objectives and applying his project and account management experience. He is passionate about managing the budgeting, scheduling, and coordination of medium- to large-scale projects.
Before joining Habanero, Ty developed online training initiatives and implemented learning management systems on various platforms. He also spent several years in the airline and elevator construction industries, ensuring projects were completed on time and within budget. Ty received his business administration diploma from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and is currently working towards his project management professional (PMP) designation and scrum master certification (CSM). Outside of work, Ty enjoys spending time with his family, playing hockey and video games, and exploring Calgary’s music scene.
Employee Portals Practice Lead Will Hardy is a SharePoint platform expert and senior consultant for many of Habanero’s employee portal engagements. He works with stakeholders to connect organizational objectives to maximize the capabilities of each platform. Based on his experience working with a wide range of clients and technical solutions, Will is able to recommend ways to realize goals and achieve outcomes. Will has the ability to translate strategic requirements and ideas into a clearly articulated, tactical vision for the end-state solution. He is a regular presenter on the organizational benefits of on-premises and cloud-based SharePoint technology.
Since coming to Habanero, Will has contributed to some of Habanero’s key projects and helped shape the company’s SharePoint domain expertise. Previously, he worked for Burntsand as a business analyst and information architect concentrating on employee and customer portals. Will has a bachelor of commerce degree with a specialization in entrepreneurship and small business management from the University of Victoria. Outside of work, he can be found racing his sailboat in coastal BC waters or mountain biking on the North Shore mountains.
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