Our People


russel - web

Russel Horwitz, Principal

Russel is one of Kwela’s two founders and his expertise includes leadership development, team development, executive coaching, and training on a wide variety of topics. He has worked extensively as a leadership consultant / trainer since 2004 across a wide variety of sectors, including government, publicly-held, private and non-profit.  Russel’s experience also includes 14 years in the high technology/engineering sector, where he held management roles in product development, marketing, customer service and training. When not working, he can usually be found outside hiking, biking, kayak fishing and growing vegetables.  He also has a keen interest in playing Brazilian music.

Russel holds a Masters degree in Engineering from the University of Cape Town, South Africa – contact Russel

Nic Tsangarakis, Principal

Nic’s extensive human resources expertise includes strategic planning, design and delivery of leadership and management development programs, design and implementation of performance management systems, implementing self-directed teams, and facilitating team building sessions. Nic also has experience in operations management and has implemented total quality management systems and business process re-engineering.  Outside of Kwela, Nic loves playing competitive squash, gardening and lives with Sharon and Toffee the dog.

Nic has an honours degree in Industrial Psychology, and a Masters degree in Operations Management from the University of Cape Town, South Africa – contact Nic

 glen - web

Glen Sollors, Partner

Glen is based on Vancouver Island and has over 20 years experience in driving results by working with leaders in developing strategic business opportunities, managing associated change and enabling team success through role modeling, training, coaching and problem solving. His big picture and authentic approach helps leaders uncover possibilities within themselves and others so that they can create powerful teams that trust, perform and act with integrity.  Glen has a range of expertise in self-awareness, change management, business development, strategy design, accountability based leadership and skills training, and is a passionate and engaging facilitator.

Outside of work, Glen loves all things “adventure”, travel, self-awareness and relaxing in the beauty of mother nature on foot or with a paddle. Glen holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a minor in International Business from Ryerson University and is a Certified Adult Educator and Landmark Graduate – contact Glen

Helen Schneiderman, Partner

Helen has over 20 years’ experience as an Organizational Development and Human Resources professional, working as both a consultant and within industry. Helen’s expertise includes training and facilitation, people and leadership development, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, performance management, competency development, career development, recognition and onboarding. Helen has provided consulting services for a broad range of sectors, including public services, high-tech, financial services, post-secondary education and retail.

Prior to joining Kwela, Helen worked for a large charity, leading the learning and development function for the organization. Helen also spent time volunteering internationally, supporting non-profit organizations to build their human resources capacity.

Outside of Kwela, you can find Helen performing stand-up comedy at one of the lower mainland’s comedy clubs. Drawing from her varied life experiences and trips around the globe, Helen is not afraid to share the good, the bad and the ugly, to make people laugh!

Helen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and English, she is a Certified Compensation Professional, and is certified in Mental Health First Aid – contact Helen

Laura Villacrusis, Partner

Laura has over 25 years of experience working with organizations to support individual and organizational performance.  She has partnered with leaders at all levels to design and facilitate processes in the areas of organization development (OD), leadership development, change and transition, executive coaching, succession planning, talent management, employee engagement, strategic planning, and diversity & inclusion. Her passion is in helping organizations create leadership development and OD strategies and facilitating learning sessions for leaders.  She has worked in various industries including entertainment, health care, technology, finance, utilities, mining, and manufacturing.

Laura has a Master of Science in Organization Development (Pepperdine University, California), a Bachelor of Science in Economics (University of the Philippines), is a Certified Organizational Coach (University of British Columbia), and is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the ICF.

Outside of work, you will find Laura out on the north shore with friends, family, and their dog Peanut.  She loves organizing social events, music, movie nights, books, staying active, and being outdoors with loved ones – contact Laura

Will Ferry, Associate

Will has over 14 years of experience in industry, having moved deftly from technical engineering roles to managing large teams in leadership roles. He excels in the areas of coaching and training, and his background in aerospace and robotics lends to his proven problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Will created and taught a graduate course at McGill University as an adjunct professor; this solidified his love for teaching and leadership development. He expertly helps leaders to foster collaboration and optimize performance, while driving results with practical solutions and top-notch communication skills.

Will has a bachelor’s degree in applied science from Queen’s University, a master’s from the University of Windsor and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. He is a licensed professional engineer with the Engineers and Geoscientists of BC.

Will is a native Vancouverite having grown up in the Deep Cove area, where he now lives with his two children. In his free time, you can find Will on the squash courts, lifting weights and coaching soccer. He is also a car nut whose most recent project was an engine swap for a Toyota MR2.

Farhan Virji, Associate

Farhan has over 20 years’ experience working in Tech in roles ranging from building software to building and leading teams.  As a software developer turned Customer Success / Experience Executive, he has the unique ability to blend technical understanding, customer experience and business process management.  Farhan has helped build and rebuild the Customer Success teams and programs at several tech startups in Vancouver, which required a lot of operational changes, people leadership, business development and change management.  He is passionate about solving complex problems and doing so by applying the principles of continuous improvement, as well as instituting a data-driven culture.

Over the years, Farhan has held various leadership positions, both in his professional career and in several volunteer / community capacities.  Farhan has a Master of Business Administration, his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, and a Bachelor of Technology.

In his spare time, Farhan loves being outdoors enjoying the nature that British Columbia offers, playing sports, and as a father of two, Farhan’s passion is understanding human behavior, the decisions we make, and how communication plays a pivotal role in developing and nurturing relationships (including his children!).


Sharon Habib, Associate

Sharon is an experienced communication and brand strategy consultant, as well as an instructor. She has strong experience in communicating technical and complex information to non-technical audiences as well as strategic business content such as proposals, business cases and communication / brand / website strategies. Her communication expertise has focused on both internal and external audiences.

Alison King, Associate

Alison (she/her) brings over 20 years experience in people & culture working in a range of industries including education, utility, government, entertainment, software, professional services and non-profit — throughout Canada, the US, UK & Australia. This experience includes day-to-day people operations, people & team leadership, organizational development, process improvement, change management and strategic planning.  She has 10+ years of experience focused on people and team development, leadership & learning. Alison is known for empathy, authenticity, inspiration, collaboration & commitment.  She is passionate about increasing equity through systemic change, creating open spaces to connect, learn, build community and in uncovering the potential of others.

Outside of work, Alison enjoys trying to create pottery pieces, spending time with her family (and new puppy) and is always finding something new to learn. Alison has a Bachelor of Commerce (UBC), a continuing studies certificate in Community Capacity Building (SFU) and is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) and an ICF Associated Certified Coach (ACC).

dene - web

Dene Rossouw, Associate

Dene Rossouw specializes in improving leadership and employee engagement through effective communication and sensemaking. As an innovative communicator, Dene coaches leaders on how to have more relevant conversations in the workplace and how to use personal power to inspire action and develop strategic partnerships. Dene has 18 years of facilitation and consulting experience in the field of communications. He is the VP for the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, a certified executive Coach through Royal Roads University, and a certified emotional intelligence facilitator using the BarOn Emotional Intelligence Quotient Inventory – EQ-i™. He has the Associate Certificate in Workplace Conflict from the Justice Institute of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Theology from the University of South Africa.

Liz- web

Liz Zed, Operations / Client Services

Liz has been with Kwela since its inception. Utilizing her strong background in business administration, she helped set up company operations and is now responsible for all operational and administrative aspects of the business. Before Kwela, most of Liz’s career was spent running Sales Operations functions in Vancouver’s high tech industry, along with gaining valuable experience in the not-for-profit world at a major metropolitan art museum.

Outside of Kwela, Liz enjoys time with friends and family, movie nights and dabbling in the creative – she sings in community choirs, makes artistic clothing and loves all things design – contact Liz

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Stacey50-41-731x1024.jpeg

Stacey Lyle, Program Management

Stacey brings to Kwela a wide skill set, including an extensive background in event and project management, and business communications. Much of Stacey’s career has been spent in the private sector, most recently in the consumer goods industry. Outside of Kwela, Stacey loves to exploit her culinary skills, spoiling husband Brad, family and friends with sumptuous meals regularly.  Her creativity extends to interior decorating with a special focus on holiday décor.

Since joining Kwela in 2010, Stacey has become highly skilled at the various tasks required to simultaneously manage a wide variety of client projects – contact Stacey