Who we are
We’re a non-profit organization that works to advance career services and the capacity of the profession to respond with empathy and skill to our clients and stakeholders in an ever-changing work environment. We’re a nationally and internationally recognized leader in the field of career development.
Founded by Stu Conger in 1980, we’ve established a legacy of industry-leading work. We focus on applied research, policy consultation, training, resource development and service capacity building.
Our Team is Critical to our Success
The staff of CCDF are nationally and internationally recognized for their career development expertise and leadership. Staff specializations include education, social services, mental health, psychology, social sciences, diversity and inclusion, quantitative and qualitative research methods and labour market analysis.
As Executive Director of the Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF), Sareena provides strategic leadership in Canada and internationally in areas of research and development, policy and capacity building. Sareena has facilitated International Symposia on Career Development and Public Policy, contributed to the development of policy frameworks for the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training and the Council of Ministers of Education Canada and has served in an expert advisory role for the Forum of Labour Market Ministers’ Labour Market Information Council and RBC. In addition to her role with CCDF, Sareena is founding Executive Officer of the Canadian Council for Career Development (3CD) and was awarded the International Gold Medal for Leadership in Career Development in 2014.
Executive Director Emeritus
Lynne Bezanson is now Executive Director Emerita of CCDF, having been Executive Director and then Co-Executive Director with Sareena Hopkins. Within Canada, her contributions are in research, policy development, professional training and advocacy for career development programs and services across the lifespan. Internationally, she is a founding member of the International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy and has been a key organizer of, to date, nine International Symposia on Career Development and Public Policy. She is the proud recipient of the Public Service Award of Excellence and the Stu Conger Gold Medal and Diamond Pin for Leadership in Career Development. She is now working on “third age career development” which may mean she will never really retire!
Donnalee has led a wide range of national, provincial/territorial career and labour force development initiatives. She has represented Canada at the EU, edited an award winning career magazine for youth and has facilitated the development and implementation of several policy, service and organizational change frameworks for territorial, inter-provincial and Pan-national bodies. She is a respected researcher who has authored many leading edge reports featured in the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, the Financial Post, CBC radio and a CBC documentary on Generation Y. She is passionate about the career development field and works to bring its potential to the labour market and workforce development goals of individuals, communities, governments and organizations.
Donnalee lives in Ottawa with her spouse, son and yellow Labrador, Reggie, who is a self-taught operator of the DVD player.
Project and Research Support
Experienced project and research support with high attention to detail and a graphic design expert.
I have been a member of the CCDF for almost a decade. I manage all of the organization’s finances as well as our financial partnerships with government. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of the CCDF team.
Suzanne Klinga has been a career development practitioner for more than 30 years. She is a master trainer with expertise in research, program design and essential skills profiling. She has developed and delivered training programs for Indigenous Career Development Practitioners thorough out Canada.
Dr. Roberta Neault,CCDF Project Director and President of Life Strategies Ltd is co-developer of the Career Engagement model and is a keynote speaker, counsellor, coach, consultant, educator, facilitator, and author. Recipient of awards for career development leadership, include the Stu Conger Gold Medal and Diamond Pin and the Etta St. John Wileman award, Roberta’s travel to 70+ countries has inspired her work in international/global careers, work-life sustainability, and workplace diversity.
Kathy McDonald has worked in key educational leadership roles at the school, school board, and ministry levels. She has a record of accomplishments in the research, design, development, and implementation of provincial, regional, and pan-Canadian curriculum, programs, frameworks, strategies, and policies.
Annika Laale, Project Director with CCDF, Organizational Development consultant and Master trained facilitator in Change Management. She has worked with leaders at the organization, provincial and national levels. As a consultant and facilitator, Annika’s work is characterized by high integrity and a dedication for providing exceptional client service paralleled with the attainment of project and program results. She combines facilitation, coaching and strategic systems thinking with the proven ability to lead program designs and implement strategic and tactical plans that achieve business objectives.
Lisa Semchuk has a passion for writing and finding answers to questions. Her work with CCDF focuses on research and communications for the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Essential Skills Inventory Project (FIMESIP). Lisa’s curiosity about people, their stories, and experiences began with her studies in Anthropology at the bachelor and graduate level, which she has since applied to the field of Career Development.
Rebecca McCarthy’s work at CCDF centres upon the values of openness and authenticity; that career development is for everyone, and access to quality training and information should be a priority. She works with the VOCO Training Centre developing and implementing online training courses for Career Development Professionals. Her previous projects include supporting the production of the Road to Employment docuseries and working as an independent tutor for international students navigating career and school pathways in North America.
The Associates of CCDF have worked with us on a consulting basis for many years and have supported us in extending CCDF’s mandate and presence in Canada and internationally. CCDF Associates have been doing leading edge work in the field of career development.
Céline has been involved in several initiatives with CCDF such as the National Symposium on Career Development, Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development, the International Symposium on Career Development and Public Policy, and the delivery of training for trainer sessions for the Future to Discover research project in partnership with the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation. An adult educator by training, she has been the lead and master trainer of CCDF’s Career Development Practitioner Program in Nunavut, the Cree Nation, Newfoundland, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and the Katavik Region. She has also participated in a variety of consulting projects for employment service development in Russia, Malaysia and Jordan.
Dr. Amundson is a Full Professor in Counselling Psychology / Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, Canada. He has given numerous workshops and seminars and also has been a keynote speaker at many national and international conferences. In his writings, Dr. Amundson emphasizes the importance of creativity, imagination, cultural awareness, positive affirmation, and action as career development strategies. In his work he utilizes hope-filled metaphors, stories, and a series of active engagement strategies. His publications include over 100 journal articles; training DVDs; eight books, and several career workbooks (much of this material has been translated into different languages). Dr. Amundson has been widely recognized by many professional associations and has also been awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Umea, in Sweden.
Dr. Pickerall is Vice-President of Life Strategies Ltd. and recipient of the 2014 Stu Conger Award for Leadership in Career Development and Career Counselling and the 2006 Human Resources Association Award of Excellence. She has authored/co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles, books, training guides, curricula, and research reports. She was instrumental in establishing the Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF)-Canada credential and helped the National Employment Counseling Association (NECA) to develop and launch a GCDF-US training program online. Her work focuses on career development within organizations, helping employers understand the ROI gained in supporting employees’ career development goals. Her doctoral work examined the links between career development and employee engagement. Her dissertation focused on the career engagement of Canadian Career Development Practitioners and was the inaugural study on the career engagement model that she co-developed. She has designed and supported many organizational career development initiatives, including the launch of a comprehensive onsite career centre for a nuclear power plant – the first program of its kind in the United States.
Dave Redekopp is President of the Life-Role Development Group Ltd., a career development, leadership & productivity consultancy. He is known for his passion for career development, ability to develop career development models/frameworks, teaching/speaking effectiveness and penchant for connecting all things to career development. Dave is partially responsible for projects/concepts such as “The High Five,” “Blueprint for Life/Work Designs,” “Passion-Based Hiring” and the “NOW, NEXT, FUTURE” approach to career development.
Tina Sirois-LeBlanc works as a counsellor and a career development consultant in a range of settings: post-secondary institutions, governments and independently in her own practice. Tina also trains Career Development Practitioners throughout Canada in CCDF’s competency-based certified CDP program. She promotes the value and recognition of the field of career development through her leadership work on the New Brunswick Career Development Action Group, and the Association francophone des conseillers et conseillères en orientation du Nouveau-Brunswick.
Tom has worked as a consultant in the public and not-for-profit sectors for over 20 years. He has also held senior level positions in the Ontario government (Premier’s Office, Cabinet Office, Ministry of Housing), has worked on numerous international development projects in close to 20 different countries, and has taught public policy, program evaluation, international development and community economic development courses at York and Ryerson universities. Tom is often called upon to provide labour market-based presentations to policy-making bodies and to present or keynote at conferences here in Canada and around the world on labour market issues.
The Board of CCDF is a volunteer body, comprised of leaders in the career development field and individuals with specialized expertise from across Canada.
Robert J Despins
Rob Despins graduated from the University of Manitoba, holds a Bachelor of Education degree, and a Certified Human Resource Practitioner Designation (CHRP). He was granted the Human Resource Practitioner of the Year Award from the Canadian Human Resource Management Association in 1992. Rob has 10 years of experience as an educator in public education and 30 years of experience in various roles in the aerospace industry. He is currently a Program Manager with StandardAero Ltd, based in Winnipeg Canada.
Barbara MacCallum is the Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She has over 40 years of experience in administration, business development, computer software development, and career development. She is also the Past President of the Canadian Career Development Foundation.
Beverlie is the Associate Vice President, Business Development and Strategic Initiatives at the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology. She has close to 30 years’ experience in business, career and workforce development, and strategic human resource planning and development. Her experience includes working in the private and the non-profit sector designing, developing and implementing programs and strategies for developing Manitoba’s workforce. She has served on numerous regional, provincial and national committees, boards and councils.