Meet Our Team

Ginny Santos

CEO, Neolé

While facilitating in-person and virtual meetings or trainings, whether it’s for 10 to 1000 participants, Ginny brings together people, technology and Creative Problem Solving to make collaboration easy, effective and empowering.

She has a Master’s of Science in Creativity and Change Leadership from the State University of New York and several graduate certificates, including Solution-Focused Coaching (S-F), Nutrition Sciences and Creative Problem Solving (CPS). Her practice also incorporates Design Thinking, Productive Thinking, Emotional Intelligence, Nutrition for Optimal Brain Performance and FourSight. She is also a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University where she teaches creativity and entrepreneurship to MBA students.

Originally from Spain, Ginny is an entrepreneurial mother, a soccer coach, a digital geek and an enthusiastic dancer in her kitchen. At parties and social events, she’s the quiet person in the corner — but when it comes to training and facilitation her passion and engagement is contagious.

Sophia Lowe

Managing Director

Sophia Lowe is a creative, strategic organizer with a passion for taking complex information and systems and creating accessible information, policies and plans. She brings a critical eye, an attention for detail and a commitment to getting things done. She has spent the last 15 years working in various organizations and capacities in the immigration and settlement sector, working to support the social and economic inclusion of refugees and migrants in Canada. She also dedicates her “spare time” to leading private refugee sponsorships and organizing in her community.

Sophia holds two Masters degrees — one from Ryerson University’s Immigration and Settlement Studies and the other from Carleton University’s Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership program. She also holds a BAH from the University of Guelph in International Development, Gender Studies and Sociology.

Sophia lives in Ottawa (Canada) with her sweetie, their two growing t(w)eens, sweet rescue dog and two kitties. Sophia is a late-in-life superhero movie nerd and is the loudest person you could play video games with. She loves to garden, drinks too much coffee and her happy place is sitting by the river at her cabin in the Ottawa Valley.

Laura Bowley

Virtual Facilitator and Trainer

Laura’s mission is to create conversations that transcend differences and spark change. As a facilitator and meeting designer, Laura combines principles of participatory management with the power of technology to create virtual spaces that connect people and promote dialogue. She is an early adopter of Zoom video conferencing, which is her preferred platform for facilitating webinars, meetings, round tables, consultations and training. Laura also facilitates using a number of asynchronous online tools, and she is constantly on the lookout for new technology that will meet our clients’ needs.

Laura’s specialty is integrative thinking: she works with clients, both one-on-one and in groups, to problem-solve, generate big ideas, and act on them. Prior to joining Neolé, she was a location-independent communications consultant, doing the “digital nomad” thing long before it was fashionable! She has a Bachelor of Business Management and is a 2015 Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs. Most recently, Laura has been honing her facilitation skills through courses on Group Facilitation Methods and Transformational Strategies with ICA Associates.

Lina Gómez

Event Manager and Producer

Lina Gómez is a logistics specialist, producer and event manager. She has a driving passion for things that most don’t find sexy like: databases, spreadsheets, making data work for people and keeping teams organized. Lina also enjoys using her creativity to support teams virtual engagement using platforms like gather town.

Lina has planned and managed international events ranging from 20 to 2000+ participants — both in-person as well as virtually. From agenda collaboration, to methodological support and logistics coordination, she is a valuable player for any event project. She has developed multiple systems needed to keep track of thousands of details while not losing sight of the big picture.

Most of her experience is in the not-for-profit sector, she worked at AWID as Forum and Production Manager for over 10 years. The AWID Forum takes place every four years and brings together around 2000 attendees from over 120 countries. It is conducted in at least four languages and it goes on for four full days.

Lina has also worked for various initiatives and development organizations around the world, focusing on virtual events and logistics management. She holds a magna cum laude MBA from Universidad Icesi in her native Colombia as well as an honours degree in International Project Management from Humber College in Toronto, Canada.

Ana Castelan

Virtual Facilitator and Innovation Consultant

Ana is a facilitator and consultant in innovation, leadership and strategy. She is passionate about developing new products/services and programs from scratch by applying creative problem solving and innovation techniques.

She has helped and guided companies to discover innovative ways to solve their business challenges, create new products and identify growth opportunities. With over 10 years of experience in consulting, digital marketing, sales, and business design combined with a Master’s Degree in Creative Studies, Innovation & Change Leadership from the State University of New York, she brings assets in creativity, management, product implementation, customer-facing experimentation, and a strong relationship-building focus to any endeavor.

Ana has been founder and director of business training programs for entrepreneurship based on experiential learning and innovation processes in Austin, TX. She also has been the leader of the core programs of The Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) Conference in Buffalo, NY.

Ana has taught courses in innovation and creative thinking at master level through a distance program in Mexico. Ana is a certified NLP – Neurolinguistic Programming coach and has been a leader and guest speaker in creative thinking and innovation for conferences in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Bri Carter

Animator and Graphic Designer

With an Advanced Diploma in Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects from Loyalist College, Bri is our very talented animator and illustrator. She is easily excitable about all things art, and has always loved the way stories can be told through images and videos, and the joy that stories bring to people. Her goal is to bring that joy to other people with her art.

At Neolé, Bri uses her extensive talents and tech know-how to format and organize data for client reports, design Stormz workshops and provide in-meeting tech support on event days. As our In-house animator and illustrator, Bri produces and edits videos, creates social media assets, and manages our website and social media accounts.

Perry Gasteiger

Executive Assistant/Virtual Office Manager/Tech Host

Perry’s multiple roles at Neolé keeps them busy and on their toes—which is exactly what they love! Perry enjoys having a hand in everything and supporting the whole team. Their favourite part about working at NeOlé is learning about all the wonderful new technologies that are out there to help people connect across the world. With a strong belief in the power of connection and community, Perry loves to support NeOlé’s clients and team in whatever endeavors they undertake. From technical support to admin work, Perry takes pride in a job well done and loves to put all their various skills to use while assisting with the multitude of different projects our team undertakes.

Perry is also a passionate art-lover. For the past two years, they have been doing community arts organization through their project, the Blank Page Initiative. As a poet and aspiring artist themselves, Perry is passionate about bringing together artists of all levels, and connecting them with their community. With a knack for talking to people and a love for all things art and connection, Perry is working with members of their community in Kitchener-Waterloo to develop an interactive creative space for underserved populations.

Tony Esteves

Virtual Facilitator, Event Producer & Coach

International facilitator, virtual event producer and Solution-Focused coach Tony Esteves is passionate about creating human connection. He holds a B.A. in Communication Studies, intentionally meets new people regularly and loves to play and improvise. Adventures in the Rocky Mountains keep Tony energized and grounded from his base in Calgary, Canada.

Having lived, worked or travelled to 40 countries, he has facilitated in-person learning experiences in North America, Europe and South Africa and learned a few languages along the way.

Tony is the creator of the Talk2MorePeople Project which evolved into a year-long journey of human connection. In that year Tony met over 550 strangers and his mental health was transformed for the better. Tony shares those insights with groups who value entertaining learning experiences and conversations through talks and workshops. Meeting a stranger is how he joined the circus and why he has a mirror suit. The Talk2MorePeople book was published in January, 2021 and teaches how to bring new opportunities, experiences and people into your life through face-to-face conversations.

Cara Jordan

Bookkeeper and Chief Financial Officer

As a contract CFO to start-ups, NPO’s and consulting firms, Cara manages all things financial at Neolé. Never one to put all her eggs in one basket, she finds that her intuitive nature, the diversity of her client base and the exposure to a range of perspectives and business interests/concerns gives her an advantage in meeting the needs of her clients.

With a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Victoria and with teaching certificates in Canada and the UK, she continues to be an advocate for Mathematics education reforms as a steering committee member of the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences Education Forum and co-host of their annual Mathematics Education Research Day in January. More recently, she has become the Treasurer of Leading Word.

Backpacking through Central America, working her way across Australia and teaching overseas equipped her with a comprehensive education and a sense of global citizenship which translates to indispensable problem-solving skills and a passion for utilizing Mathematics as the tool for greater understanding of any company’s financial position and prospects.

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Sol Santos-Pyne Chief Innovator and Prototype Evaluator. He is always ready to help design, paint, cut and install. Sol will show you what’s possible and will also try the impossible. He is the bravest monkey of all.

Ayla Larzabal Zavitz Artist-in-Residence and Director of the Safety Patrol. She makes sure that everyone is following the rules and having fun at the same time. She is the time-keeper and turn-taking monitor. She helps paint the wood for the monkey bars and will give you great advice on the best accessories.

Beto Santos-Pyne Video Producer and Editor as well as a Reliable Helper during heavy installations. When he is not building intricate systems in Minecraft he is the top ranking swinger on the monkey bars. 

Mateo Larzabal Zavitz is our Media Relations Expert and Installation Helper. Mateo knows what’s cool and what’s not cool. He helps us maintain a realistic outlook on the world and stay up to date on the latest movies and video games.

Matias Larzabal Designer and Lead Installer. Matias has more than 20 years of experience working in construction, 14 years of experience as a dad, 11 years of experience as an uncle, 10 years as a helpful Canadian neighbour and handy-man, and a lifetime of experience as a monkey. Matias is also an artist with a unique upbringing. You can learn more about him and his art on his gallery.

Ginny Santos Monkey Supervisor, Visionary and Managing Director. Ginny is a nutrition coach and entrepreneur who is always looking for ways of involving children in creative thinking and problem solving. You can learn more about Ginny’s other work on NeOle Coaching.