Project Management Instructor Bios
Biyi Adeniran | Saad Ahmed | Roti Akinsanmi | Debasis Bhaumik | Mervyn Brice | Valerie Carson | Vincent Chiew | Candice Davis | John Estey | Blanka Evanson | Gary Gillan | Rob Johnson | John Lethaby | Matt Luik | Michelle den Ouden | Emil Tarka
Clifton Thornton | Sarah vanGilst | Kelly Yagelniski
Biyi Adeniran PMP, B.Eng, CISA, CISM, CGEIT
Biyi has been involved in project management for over 16 years with experience spanning engineering, IT and finance projects across oil and gas, health services and aviation industries. Biyi enjoys taking on challenging roles and assisting organizations optimize their business processes.
Biyi has been involved in curriculum development for MRU’s Applied Project Management Extension Certificate, and currently teaches the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam Prep and Training course and the Project Management Extension Certificate courses.
Biyi has a Bachelor of Engineering (with Honours) in Electrical Engineering.
Saad Ahmed brings over 17 years experience in municipal government and has many years of project management experience. Currently, Saad is Program Manager at the City of Calgary implementing business technology programs and projects. Saad holds a Bachelor of Computer Science majoring in Information Systems and has been Project Management Professional (PMP) and active member of PMI since 2006. He also provides Project Management Methodology training at the City of Calgary and at S.A.I.T in the School of Construction.
Saad has numerous training in project management principles and he has been mentoring, training, supporting delivery managers, project managers and business analysts in using PM tools and Methodologies. Saad strongly promote a culture of disciplined project management process to delivery groups.
Roti is an enterprising professional with two decades of successful business and technology experience. He brings real-world experience to the classroom to create a unique learning opportunity for his students.
His portfolio includes Cenovus Energy, Optimal Payments (formerly Neteller), Shaw Communications and The City of Calgary.
As co-founder of mobileXcetera, a pioneer in mobile technology, he led multiple engagements for international brands like Coca-Cola, Unilever, Chevron, Ladybird, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, MTN Communications, Globacom and Airtel.
Roti is a certified PMI Project Management Professional, with BS in Computer Science and MBA from Cornell University and Queen’s University.
Debasis Bhaumik MBA, MSc, PMP, CRISC
Debasis has more than 15 years of experience in the IT industry. He has held senior leadership roles in the areas of business, delivery and sales for large consulting projects. He has worked in the USA, Canada and Asia Pacific, among other locations.
Debasis has post-graduate and professional-level teaching experience in software engineering, financial management, marketing, BPR, ERP and technical subjects such as project management and CMM. He has been a visiting faculty member with several management institutes internationally.
Debasis has an MBA with specialization in Finance and is a Master of Science in Physics. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) and is certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC).
In his current capacity he is the Director, Consulting with CGI. He is a key member of the regional management team at CGI, actively contributing to their strategic business direction for the energy sector.
Debasis likes to motivate individuals and mentor teams to bring out star performers.
Valerie Carson BSc, PMP
Valerie started her career in information technology in Winnipeg. Her move to Calgary in 1994 marked the beginning of her work in project management. She has her bachelor’s degree in computer science and been providing project management consulting services for twenty years, most recently with KPMG, where she is a Senior Manager in the IT Advisory Practice.
Valerie achieved her PMP® designation in 2004 and credits that process with a renewed interest in her chosen profession and a dedication to continuous improvement in the tools and techniques she uses to practise it. It launched her association with Mount Royal University as an instructor in the Project Management Professional PMP® Certification Exam Preparation Workshop. Valerie has a particular interest in project management office models and processes and a strong belief in effective risk management as a cornerstone of successful project delivery.
Vincent Chiew M.Sc., MACM, SMIEEE, FFCP, ITIL, CISSP, CSSLP, I.S.P., ITCP, PMP, P.Eng.
Vincent has over 15 years of experience in managing projects, programs and portfolios. He enjoys providing project management presentations as well as setting up project management offices and improving their quality, capability and maturity.
Vincent has been teaching at Mount Royal University since 2008. He volunteers on Mount Royal's Project Management Advisory Committees for the Project Management, Business Analysis and Business Process Management certificates. He helped to review the Project Management courses and seminars to ensure compliance to PMI® standard.
Vincent currently serves as the Alberta president of Canada’s Association of IT Professionals. He is a past Vice President of Professional Development with PMI® Southern Alberta Chapter and Past Chair of APEGGA Calgary Branch Executive Committee.
Vincent received his formal education at the University of Calgary in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Software Engineering.
Candice L. Davis
Candice Davis is passionate about project management. She has held various project management leadership roles in the legal and oil and gas industry. Over the last 10 years Candice has created and led three Project Management Offices that have supported the development and delivery of over $1.5 billion in capital projects.
Candice has instructed at a number of universities. She currently teaches at Mount Royal University and chairs the Project Management Advisory Committee. As well, Candice led the curriculum development of the Applied Project Management and Project Management in Construction certificates at MRU.
She completed her Bachelor of Management at the University of Lethbridge and is a graduate of Stanford University in Strategic Decision Analysis and Risk Management. Candice holds her Project Management Professional designation as well as a Change Management Certification. She is also a graduate of the Canadian Board Diversity Council Get on Board program.
Candice has received a Distinguished Teaching Award from Mount Royal University and was an Award Finalist, Distinguished Individual Excellence in Project Management with the Project Management Institute Southern Alberta Chapter. She was named a Top 100 Protégée in the Women’s Top 100 Most Powerful Mentoring Program by the Women’s Executive Network in 2012.
Blanka Evanson has consistently been commended for her strong leadership and communication skills as a project and program manager. She is known for her willingness to take on and successfully deliver complex projects involving significant technical risks and cross-cultural challenges.
A PMP®-certified Project Manager since 2005, a significant portion of Blanka’s project experience comes from ten years leading manufacturing operations and outsource projects and programs spanning North America, Europe, and Asia for a global telecommunications company. There, she also formalized project management processes for a divisional Project Management Office, alongside of establishing critical cross-cultural relationships throughout the organization’s supply chain. Her participation in the executive leadership training program with that organization led her towards management consulting, where her project and business experience now spans government, non-profit sector, and most recently, solar energy. Blanka has also worked extensively in special event management, as well as communications and media relations. Blanka served a three-year term as Communications Director of a national sport organization.
Blanka has been teaching and providing curriculum development services to the MRU Project Management program since 2006. Additionally, Blanka has delivered PMP exam prep courses for PMI-SAC. She teaches most classroom and on-line courses at MRU, and also marks final assessment papers. Her greatest enjoyment comes from interacting with the students, who bring a wide range of field experience and perspectives, from an ever-changing industry.
Hailing from the east coast, John graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. He also earned a Master of Business Administration (Marketing) degree and a certificate in Construction Administration, both from the University of Calgary. John holds the designation of Gold Seal Certified Project Manager from the Canadian Construction Association.
A professional engineer and PMP®, John has 25 years of progressive experience in the civil engineering and heavy construction industry, focusing primarily on the delivery of transportation and utilities projects. He has worked as a construction contractor and engineering consultant for public and private sector clients. He is experienced in construction planning and scheduling, contract administration, cost estimating, change management, constructability, risk assessment and project quality management.
Presently, John is the Director of Transportation Engineering at CIMA+. In his spare time, he teaches karate and is an active hockey dad.
Gary Gillan BSc (Hons), MPhil, PMP
Gary has been involved in project management for over 19 years and currently works as an independent consulting project manager within the construction industry. He has been an instructor at MRU since 2008.
Gary finished his bachelor’s degree in Construction Management with first-class honours, winning top student and best dissertation awards from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland. Gary’s master's degree, also in Construction Management, formed part of an important health and safety study into safe working at height on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive in the UK (the equivalent of OH&S), which is published on HSE’s website. It was during his master's degree that Gary discovered his passion for education.
Gary has been involved in curriculum development for MRU’s Applied Project Management Extension Certificate, the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam Prep and Training Course and the Project Management in Construction Extension Certificate. He also teaches for MRU’s Corporate Training department.
Gary also works with the Project Management Institute Southern Alberta Chapter (PMI®-SAC), having written their PMP®/CAPM® Exam Preparation Workshop Course, and was elected as Vice President for Professional Development; a role which he will serve from January 2014 - December 2015.
Apart from spending time with his son, Leo, Gary’s main interest is supporting football (soccer); his favourite team being Glasgow Rangers Football Club. He is currently President of the Rangers Supporters Club of Calgary (RSCC), and President of the North American Rangers Supporters Association (NARSA).
Rob Johnson B.Comm., PMP
Rob Johnson has been working as a project manager for 13 years, starting at Critical Mass delivering world-class websites and business value for Mercedes-Benz, Hyatt and Dell. He has continued working as a project management consultant for clients focusing on pushing teams to deliver results.
Rob considers the re-launch of the Calgary Flames' new website as one of his most notable achievements. The template design and key features were subsequently used by the NHL for all 30 teams.
Rob received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary in 1999 and earned his PMP® designation in 2003. He teaches project management at Mount Royal University where he has developed his presentation and facilitation skills. When Rob is not working or teaching, he enjoys an active lifestyle outside, skiing in the winter and enjoying a nice patio in the summer.
John Lethaby P.Eng., M. Eng., PMP
John Lethaby is an information technology / geomatics professional with more than 20 years of experience in the information technology (IT) and geomatics engineering disciplines. He has worked in the public and private sectors both within Canada and in several countries overseas. He has served in project, development and operational capacities in a variety of roles.
His strengths include project management, analytical, interpersonal, communication, facilitation, presentation, organizational, supervisory and technical skills. John has been developing and facilitating project management and information systems workshops in adult education programs since 1995.
John has a Master of Engineering in Geomatics as well as the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional designation. John has taught Project Management courses at Mount Royal University since 2001.
Matt Luik M.Eng, P.Eng, PMP, LEED AP ND
Matt holds a Master's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nottingham (UK) and an MBA (Finance) from Queen’s University. Matt earned his PMP in 2011 and has been teaching Project Management at MRU since 2012. Currently Matt works as an Engineering Manager at WSP but still acts as a Project Manager for some large scale construction projects.
With five years of project management experience and over 20 years HR experience, Michelle is eager to share her learnings with others. As a project manager and HR professional, she has played an instrumental role in ensuring the project success of a variety of HR system implementations and upgrades, as well as managing various annual HR processes.
Beginning her career in Saskatchewan, Michelle made her way west to Alberta in 2003. Her broad-based industry experience includes oil and gas, oilfield services, non-profit, financial and government. Her experience includes managing nationwide and international projects.
Michelle strives to be a trusted partner. She brings a wealth of knowledge and a solid set of tools to projects in order to ensure they are completed on time, on budget and to the highest quality standard.
Earning her Project Management Certificate from Mount Royal University in 2005, she went on to achieve the PMP designation in 2013. A lifelong learner, she continues to grow her project knowledge through her work, her network, and education.
When she isn’t working, Michelle enjoys spending time with family and friends. She volunteers for her children’s various sport related activities. If there is time left, she likes to read, hike and travel.
Emil Tarka MA, PMP
Emil Tarka is the founder and owner of Tarka Consulting Inc. He has close to ten years of industry experience as a practicing manager and instructor. As an instructor Emil has trained thousands of industry professionals and aspiring project managers. Emil is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) and has developed, adapted and applied project management techniques within a wide variety of industries including oil and gas, education, and health care.
Emil is a project management instructor at Mount Royal University, University of Calgary and Red Deer College as well as the Project Management Institute (PMI®-SAC).
He has as strong track record in providing project management consulting services to a wide variety of corporate clients including Parkland Fuel Corporation, Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society, ATCO Gas, Enbridge, LG Chemical, TESCO Engineering, Laricina Energy, Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC), Blackjack Investments and Alberta Health Services just to name a few.
Emil holds an undergraduate degree in International Studies and earned his graduate degree in European Studies. He currently develops and carries out customized workshops and seminars to corporate clients and existing PMP® holders.
Clifton Thornton PMP, P.Eng.
Clifton Thornton is an accomplished project manager with over 15 years' working experience managing projects for the airline, air transport and travel-related industries. He has also managed large and complex IT projects in oil and gas, telecommunications, construction and finance.
Clifton has a passion for project management and loves helping others develop and grow in the profession. His consulting practice, emTpm Consulting, empowers and transforms project managers to perform better in their roles. He has taught in all the PMI® Project Management Knowledge Areas in Mount Royal University's Project Management Extension Certificate. He facilitates PMP® and CAPM® workshops and has facilitated professional development seminars for the PMI® community in Southern Alberta.
Clifton holds a Bachelor of Engineering (with Honors) in Electrical and Electronics. He is a Registered Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) with APEGGA and is a PMP® (Project Management Professional) .
Clifton is currently serving on the PMI®-SAC Board as Vice-President, managing the Professional Development portfolio. He serves on Mount Royal's Project Management Extension Certificate Advisory Committee.
Sarah vanGilst PMP
Sarah moved back to Calgary after working in Holland, England and Scotland in the IT and transportation industries. She has been working in the construction industry since 2005, primarily in civil construction. Sarah is currently working as a Senior Project Coordinator with Ledcor Construction.
Sarah graduated from the Mount Royal Project Management in Construction program and received her PMP designation in 2013. Since 2012 she has been a member of MRU's Project Management in Construction Advisory Committee.
In her free time Sarah serves as Chair of the Springbank Airshow. She has been a volunteer with Calgary Stampede since 2001.
Kelly graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Regina in 1991 and began his career at SaskTel as a Project Manager in Financial Systems. After spending 10 years at SaskTel and SaskTel International, Kelly moved to Calgary in 2001.
Kelly has been managing projects and programs for the last 24 years and has worked in a number of industries including telecommunications, information technology, software development, supply chain management and, most recently, electric power systems. Kelly’s work experience has included working on International infrastructure projects, through which he had the privilege of living and working in Asia and Africa.
Kelly is currently working at the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). As a Director in Transmission, Kelly is responsible for the current build of the two High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power transmission facilities and manages the Transmission Program Management Office (PMO). Kelly has been a member of PMI since 2004 and has been an instructor at Mount Royal University since 2005. Kelly recently became certified in Prosci’s Change Management Program.