President: Lead Strategist
Since 2006 when she established CMR Consulting Inc., Carolyn has continued to demonstrate her strong strategic, analytical and professional abilities. She is a team leader who is energized by collaboration, a creative and innovative problem solver and is dedicated to providing clients with tangible results. Carolyn has successfully counselled clients across various sectors in the areas of strategic planning, corporate governance, communications, issues management and stakeholder and Indigenous engagement.
Drawing on her 30 years of national and international experience in extractive industries including oil, gas and mining, her client base continues to grow to include a broad range of industries, governments, private sector and not-for-profit organizations. Carolyn is passionate about everything she does and is motivated and driven in all areas of her life.
When she is not delivering results to her clients, Carolyn is “living her best life” – through spending time with family, having fun in the outdoors and enjoying good food and wine with friends. She is also volunteers and is a Board Chair for Discovery House – an organization that empowers abused women and children to enable them to live safely in the community.
Carolyn holds a Public Relations and Communications Management Graduate Certificate from Royal Roads University, Geology Certificate from SAIT and has extensive training in Stakeholder Engagement, Crisis Communication, Corporate Social Responsibility, Media, Leadership and Facilitation. She is an active member of the Canadian Public Relations Society and the International Association for Public Participation.
Mel E. Benson
After retiring from an International energy company, where he had a long management career, Mel began consulting for several organizations. Some of his client work includes Exxon, BHP Billiton, AESO, Enbridge and EnCana. Mel sits on several boards, including Director of Suncor Energy and Oilstone Energy, the Calgary Stampede Foundation, etc. and is active member of several charitable organizations. He is also part owner of Tenax Inc. based in Calgary and part owner of Oilstone Energy based in Houston.
Mel is skilled at building and directing strong teams resulting in project success. He provides strategic counsel on project cost, structure, land management, environmental management, socio-economics and overall project management, including civil construction and develops and implements strategies and tactics for low costs and high productivity. He has a strong reputation and history of successful project execution.
Over the course of several years, Mel has acted as an Indigenous and/or Corporate negotiator, mediator and has led issues management and conflict resolution on behalf of Industry and Government with several First Nations including on projects such as the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Project and the Horn River Shale Development, to name a few.
When Mel is not working he’s spending time with his kids at his Bison Ranch, golfing or fishing. Mel has been the recipient of several awards including the Canadian Aboriginal Hall of Fame – 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award for Business and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Business.
Mel is a member of Alberta’s Beaver Lake Cree Nation.
Stakeholder & Indigenous Engagement
Dione is a stakeholder and Indigenous engagement professional who is passionate about creating connections between clients and their stakeholders to develop relationships and advance projects. For almost 20 years she has supported organizations in aligning interests and navigating complex challenges in communities, and brought stakeholder and Indigenous community voices to the table. She draws on her background in communications, stakeholder relations, Indigenous engagement, social risk mitigation and project management to develop strategies that will bring lasting value for all parties.
While much of her career has been spent in oil and gas, Dione has also led engagement teams for the Alberta Energy Regulator, and has supported projects and teams in various other sectors, including renewable and non-renewable energy, pipelines, service companies and engineering and environment. In the past few years, she has had a particular focus on Indigenous Participation Planning and Implementation.
Dione is a native Calgarian who has worked throughout Western Canada and the North. She has served on various industry committees as a communications and engagement advisor, and has designed and delivered engagement and Indigenous awareness training for teams. She is also sought after as a conference speaker and moderator.
Dione has a BA in Communications Studies.
Shaheen L Kassam
Shaheen has over twenty-five years of experience in corporate, not-for-profit and community settings working effectively with individuals at all professional levels and with varied project scope and budgets ranging from $100K to $5B.
She demonstrates strength in strategic/tactical planning, stakeholder engagement, issue management, facilitation, critical thinking and verbal/written communication. Her ability for critical thinking and analysis combined with her collaborative approach has assisted organizations in the development and implementation of creative strategies, tangible tactical plans, innovative problem-solving techniques and process enhancements, resulting in the successful achievement of their goals and programs.
As a stakeholder engagement professional, she tailors and implements engagement/consultation strategies to effectively manage community issues/needs while ensuring alignment with client objectives and regulatory requirements. Her collaborative approach translates into forging and strengthening meaningful relationships with internal and external facing stakeholders, influencers and decision makers, leading to mutually beneficial “win-win” solutions.
Shaheen holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary and a Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA, CMA) designation. She has completed the Leadership Calgary program (Human Venture Institute), taken Managing Projects (Royal Roads University) and has received training in media, protestor management and Aboriginal awareness.
SOCIOECONOMIC & SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Sarah is a bilingual community development specialist with fifteen years of experience in research and project design, socioeconomic assessment and reporting, and community consultation and engagement in more than 15 developed and developing countries. She is driven by her passion to collaborate with local leaders and their communities to build meaningful and lasting partnerships that allow her to better understand and address their needs, and to build strategies that foster mutually beneficial projects, capacity building, and sustainable growth. Sarah has experience working with vulnerable, at- risk, and culturally diverse groups, Indigenous and rural communities, the private sector, governments, NGOs, academia, and international financial institutions in multi stakeholder projects, some carried out in multiple countries.
She has expertise delivering innovative solutions at the local, regional, and national level that foster mutually beneficial relationships and encompass a participative approach. Sarah also is proficient at facilitating, directing and evaluating projects that build and strengthen partnerships, improve efficiency, and strive for sustainable and healthy communities.
When not working, Sarah loves exploring the world and all its cultures, cooking, time with family and friends, Super Jocks, and NFL Sundays. She is Chair of the Board of Directors of The Fig Tree Foundation, a Calgary-based non-profit dedicated to building capacity for communities around the world to catalyze sustainable development and strong communities.
Sarah received her Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Calgary in 2014 and was a Postdoctoral Scholar in Sustainability Studies until 2018. She received her Master of Arts from Queen’s University in 2007, and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Winnipeg in 2004, both in Development Geography.
Marketing & Communications
Leah Murray is a senior marketing and communications strategist who specializes in corporate branding, with more than 20 years’ experience providing innovative and creative solutions to clients in many sectors.
While launching her career in Ottawa, Leah developed marketing and engagement solutions for a broad range of clients, including land developers and banking institutions, and the federal government.
Since relocating to Calgary, Leah has established a reputation for helping clients elevate their brand in their target markets by developing communications strategies that include multi-faceted tactical plans, events and activities, government relations, promotional campaigns, and social media and digital platforms.
When Leah’s not busy working, she is active in the community, supporting animal rescue organizations, the Calgary Food Bank, and is a long-time political junkie. Hanging out with her amazing grandkids is also a favourite way to spend her time.
Adam brings over a decade of senior corporate level experience working with Indigenous businesses. He has a keen understanding of client/contractor relationships and managing annual budgets in excess of $150 M. A compelling communicator, skilled in building trust and establishing long term relationships. He is a respected and influential leader with a unique blend of professional and educational experience in extractive industries.
He brings an expertise to CMR that supports organizations as they steer operations and generate initiatives that drives performance, reduce costs, and streamline processes. Adam has a solid understanding of procurement and associated agreements, including how to build capacity to support mutual interests and gain for both clients and Indigenous communities.
When Adam isn’t working he enjoys spending time in the mountains with his wife and their senior Jack Russell Terrier (Berger). Adam graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Kinetics from St Francis Xavier University and holds several diplomas/certificates from Keyano College where he studied Project Management, Contract Management and Supply Chain Management.
Bill is a professional with more than twenty-five years of experience as an organizational change and development consultant. During his career he has been a leader in the non-profit sector, ran a start-up software company, been an executive with a national consulting firm and a senior manager in government.
Since the 1980s he has served on the Boards of several non-profit organizations and consulted to more than 75 organizations in the sector. Bill works alongside organizations to clarify purpose and direction, develop governance to operate within, and plan and implement the transition. In addition, he has worked in various sectors including; technology, financial services, energy, agriculture, and telecommunications.
He brings to CMR specific deliverables in:
- Designing and leading change
- Business strategy and planning
- Coaching leaders, teams and boards
- Team development and effectiveness
Bill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Calgary and a Graduate Certificate in Knowledge Management from Royal Roads University. He is MBTI certified (the Myers Briggs Type Indicator) and has taken the Transition Management Series from William Bridges.
Research & Data Analyst
Alex Wilkinson brings years of experience as a consultant and researcher working on projects related to environmental liability management and remediation, technical feasibility and socio-economics of energy efficiency technologies, sustainable development, community resilience, climate change, and developing effective responses to social ecological change. Alex has expertise in project research, design and execution, collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative datasets, and report preparation. Alex has worked with the private sector, government, regulatory agencies, and academia.
While working in the private sector as an environmental consultant Alex developed expertise in assessing, monitoring and remediating environmental contamination. Alex’s work with industry required constant consideration of the triple bottom line: technical feasibility, economic viability, and socially acceptable solutions. These projects often involved multiple stakeholders including First Nations, private industry, government and regulatory agencies at provincial and federal levels.
Alex is a competent research analyst that informs and supports the understanding our complex social ecological systems to support effective decision making related to sustainable and resilient food, water, and energy systems, and develop responses to social ecological change.
Alex is currently pursuing a Ph.D. In Environmental Design at the University of Calgary, where he also holds a Research Analyst position in Sustainability Studies. He received his Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Development and his Bachelor of Science in Applied and Environmental Geology from the University of Calgary.
When Alex is not busy working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and new son, running, and watching Premier League soccer.
After a decade of working in the corporate sector in Marketing and Social Media, Holly shifted to a consulting role where she works with organizations to help develop strategy, editorial and content to engage key audiences. She has worked with Lululemon, United Way, Calgary Marathon, International Triathlon Union, City of Penticton, Calgary Sexual Health Centre, Essential Energy Services, Calgary Homeless Foundation, Rugby Canada and Tourism Calgary.
Holly’s work focuses primarily on comprehensive review of current marketing and social media structures to best implement custom solutions for clients that cater to their specific needs. With a keen interest in new media and public relations, Holly works best with multi-disciplinary teams harnessing all aspects of an organization to best create content for target markets.
Her volunteer work has extended through Social Venture Partners, Inn from the Cold, Help Fill a Dream and into the local sporting scene with Joe’s Team Triathlon and Chinook Triathlon.
A proud graduate of the University of Alberta, Holly is also a member of the Golden Key Society, and a proud recipient of the Alexander Rutherford Leadership Scholarship.
When not working, Holly enjoys reading, running and riding bikes with her husband Jon and their dog Pal.
Technology and Media Solutions
Since shifting to contracting in 2015, Spencer has established his reputation for providing an vast array of high quality technology-related products. His achievements include developing custom websites for dozens of companies, designing a wide variety of branding material and documents, constructing a mobile-accessible intranet for a large multi-site company, facilitating successful email marketing campaigns, producing videos for both education and promotional purposes and providing technical support for established businesses.
Spencer maintains a strong focus on collaborating with clients on each project to produce results that best fit the purpose, flow of information and project deadlines. He is constantly learning about new innovative products and software to ensure our clients are provided with the best support available and opportunities for adapting new technology.
The CMR creative team manages a number of high profile, complex projects concurrently, organizing and executing workflow from team planning sessions through to implementation in a variety of media, capitalizing on strengths and competencies of team members and internal and external stakeholders to deliver exceptional products.
Our team lead is a highly motivated versatile research, marketing, communications and design professional with more than 20 years of experience. She is a winner of the coveted International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Gold Quill Award, which recognizes innovation in design and communications and excellence on a global scale.
Our creative team also includes a web designer who has built websites for businesses both large and small, including a corporate intranet with over one thousand users. With a keen visual eye and skills in graphic design our web designer has guided many business owners through the process of transforming intangible ideas into polished websites.
The CMR Creative Team has designed and produced products such as:
- business cards
- annual reports
- brochures and displays
- corporate identity packages
- commemorative and anniversary campaign packages
- local and international event packages
- marketing plans and proposals
- custom promotional gifts including clothing, pins and medallions, plaques, mousepads and cards
- websites and e-mail flyers
- videos, animations and custom photography
- a variety of other custom communications pieces
In every project our creative team undertakes, they are dedicated and committed to the highest level of excellence.