Ginny Santos works exclusively with organizations that truly care about their people and want a healthy workplace culture. That’s why she founded Neolé, a training, facilitation and event production company that specializes in designing and facilitating team development and retreats that make a lasting impact— resulting in increased engagement, productivity and retention, and most importantly, a healthy workplace culture.
Everything she does is influenced by her drive to have a positive impact, and the practical skills and knowledge she developed while completing a Master’s of Science in Creativity and Change Leadership and several graduate certificates in Solution-Focused Coaching, Nutrition Sciences and Productive Thinking. Ginny is also a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University where she teaches creativity and entrepreneurship to executive MBA students.
Originally from Spain, she is an entrepreneurial mother, a digital geek and an enthusiastic dancer in the privacy of her kitchen.
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. Sophia completely pivoted career trajectories and took a leap to join a team of feminist leaders who value creativity, purpose and people. She loves managing an awesome remote team and is passionate about helping everyone set and maintain healthy work-life boundaries and thrive.
Before joining Neole, she worked for 15 years 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. Sophia continues to dedicate 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.
Senior Virtual Event Producer and Facilitator
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.
Expert Coach and Facilitator
Karla Smith is a Personal Transformational Coach, Speaker, Writer, and Self-Love Expert dedicated to showing people how to courageously choose self-love so they can live a life of their own creation.
She has a degree in psychology from York University and has her certification as a life-skills coach from George Brown College. For more than a decade, Karla has impacted hundreds of lives in her private practice, as a facilitator for various in-person and online groups, coaching from the stage, and leading and guest speaking at numerous workshops and retreats.
She believes that we are all capable and equipped to love ourselves deeply and when we make that choice we become better team players, able to build strong connections, communicate effectively and openly, while valuing ourselves and our team members.
Karla is a brilliant problem solver and deep thinker who offers a unique opportunity for groups to elevate personally, as well as, professionally. Her optimistic, uplifting perspective to life propels participants to take the inspired actions they need to deepen team relationships and grow as people.
Senior Project Manager and Event 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.
Project Manager and Event Producer
Teresa’s true passion lies in moving ideas into action through leading projects and events from inception to execution. Through meticulous project planning and implementing creative solutions, Teresa has successfully planned many virtual and in-person conferences, events & gatherings. Teresa is constantly exploring new possibilities to deliver the best outcomes by staying on the cutting-edge of the latest engagement tools, especially when it comes to virtual event producing.
Led by a passion for social justice, Teresa has substantive experience working for non-profit organizations locally and globally in various sectors including community development, mental health and youth homelessness.
Digital Marketing & Virtual Office Coordinator
Crystal Morris is a communications specialist and creative professional who has been building relationships online for over twenty years. She is a lifelong student of empathy and human connection, and emphatically employs digital social platforms to bridge the distance for global networking. Her writing career spans over 20 years; though more recently she has been dedicated to mastering video production. With many projects under her belt (including a music video!) Crystal loves to explore entrepreneurial spirit through branding- and business-themed video content.
A lifelong student of wellness, Crystal has brought health initiatives into every workplace she’s had. She even spent 3 years managing a women’s gym in Regina, Saskatchewan.
When she’s off the clock, they often call her “patas calientes” because she is always on the go! She loves to explore cities by foot, and knows all the best places where you can enjoy a pastry at the end of a long run. She’s easy to spot…just look for the gal trying to squeeze a camera back into her fanny pack.
Designer and Multimedia Specialist
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.
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.
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.