Lorne Daniel – Founder
Lorne Daniel is an urban ideas enthusiast, an experienced communications professional, and a community engagement advocate. With writing and communications consulting awards in hand, he became involved in urban planning initiatives to help make cities better places. His work as a lead consultant on a variety of projects has since won awards from the International Downtown Association and Canadian Institute of Planners. Combining the ability to see multiple perspectives and to integrate diverse interests, he is committed to helping move urban development towards more sustainable, more livable communities. He lives in Victoria, BC, Canada, where he has led a number of urban innovation projects and founded Greater Victoria Placemaking Network. Lorne holds a Masters degree in Communication Studies (Calgary) and is a member of the International Association for Public Participation.
Steve Woolrich – Principal
For more than 25 years Steve Woolrich has established a reputation for excellence in policing, corrections and corporate security and is the principal of Rethink Urban Inc. He is an expert in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and trained in SafeGrowth®. Steve has a keen interest in social issues and community development throughout Canada and abroad. He supports Restorative Approaches, Trauma-Informed Practice (TIP) and is a trained Peace Circle Facilitator. Steve is a collaborator and is drawn to organizations and leaders that are actively engaged in their communities. He is passionate about creating safe and healthy communities and neighbourhoods. Steve is a director with the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network, striving to help create safe and compassionate streets. He specializes in developing positive strategies for Gang Reduction and Graffiti Abatement and has made a personal commitment to creating engaging urban spaces by initiating Street Piano initiatives that continue to inspire other cities to ‘pick up the tune.’ Steve is an avid supporter of Arts and Culture and often uses his passion for creativity to enhance community projects such as Art Alley.
Brian Einarson – Partner Consultant
Brian recently hit the reset button and left a great gig in the City of Red Deer Social Planning department to move out to beautiful Vancouver Island. A University of Manitoba graduate, Brian went on to a 20 year career with the RCMP. It was during that time he became one of the first certified CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) practitioners. Following his retirement from the RCMP, Brian went on to work in education, health and community development. Brian draws on his experiences from busy city policing to remote isolated communities to inspire his passion for positive social change. Whether it was having an important meeting in a back alley or building an aquaponics garden in his office, Brian strives to move the social needle using the collective wisdom of community, and the power of fun.
Shawna Regier – Partner Consultant
Shawna is a certified Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) practitioner and is also trained in SafeGrowth®. She coordinates all Alberta-based projects for Rethink Urban Inc. She is originally from Calgary and now lives in Lacombe, Alberta. Shawna has a background in collective impact and security management, and has a keen interest in arts and culture. Through the use of CPTED methodologies and working towards a unanimous and proactive approach, Shawna strives to create safe communities and neighbourhoods. She is a community builder at heart and understands the importance of collaboration and cooperation in every project she undertakes.
Anna Brassard – Partner Consultant
Anna is a full-member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and Registered Professional Planner with the Alberta Professional Planning Institute. She has 14 years experience in the fields of strategic planning, SafeGrowth®, crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED), facilitation, facility planning, master planning and comprehensive community planning with First Nation communities. She spent 5 years as an Adjunct Assistant professor with the Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary supervising Master’s level theses and teaching graduate level students courses in facilitation and building safe communities. This included developing a new joint initiative – “People and Place” – between the faculties of Social Work and Environmental Design. She has conducted workshops across North America on SafeGrowth® to police, design professionals and community members.
Shannon Littke – Partner Consultant
Red Deer, AB
People, cultures and the arts; these are what inspire Shannon and contribute to her unique skills, strengths, creativity and passions. With over 10 years experience working with vulnerable individuals across Alberta, she is able to actively apply her education, volunteer and life experience to focus on solution finding and creative out-of-the-box processes to achieve results. With a foundation grounded in fine arts and psychology/counselling, she has found a natural calling to the creative therapies including arts therapy and expressive therapy. Her diverse experience in not-for-profits has given her a perspective of the conflicting and intertwining systems within community and our larger society that impact people’s lives in a variety of positive and negative ways. Shannon is excited to begin new projects in place making, urban planning and finding creative solutions to address cultural and societal challenges in urban and rural areas.
Brekke Beyer – Urban Research Strategist
A city is made by its people: it’s where we share our lives with others, yet choosing one place to lay down stakes can be interpreted as near-radical. Brekke understands this emotional conundrum, having recently transitioned from an 18-year career in Canada’s Navy that saw five urban centres as home (and several foreign ports as ‘local’). An engineer by training and trade and economic philosopher at heart, her approach to urban inquiry incorporates integrated systems and platform-style analysis. Her broad experience in technical resource management, Masters in Global Change, Professional Certification and nearly-completed Masters of Business Administration in Community Economic Development and Leadership, all rounded out with a yoga teaching certificate make it her instinct to consider a story from every angle she can find. She’s currently finishing her second masters with active research into Victoria’s commercial property leadership space and parameters that impact social inclusion and shared value creation.
Dr Wendy Sarkissian – Partner Consultant
Wendy is a planner, advocate and author, widely regarded as one of Australia’s most experienced social planners, facilitators and trainers. She is an expert in housing, community engagement, social planning and professional ethics. She seeks spirited ways to nurture an empowered and engaged citizenry. She has co-authored three community engagement books: Kitchen Table Sustainability (2009). SpeakOut (2009) and Creative Community Planning (2010). Wendy holds a doctorate in environmental ethics (Murdoch University) and a Masters of Town Planning (Adelaide University). She is a Life Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia. Wendy designs and manages complex community engagement processes in high-profile developments, as well as in small rural communities. Wendy is Adjunct Associate Professor at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute and Adjunct Professor in the School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. She now resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Heather Gardiner – Partner Consultant
Heather brings 22 years of experience to the team in numerous leadership roles, including CEO, Executive Resource Development Advisor, Executive Advisor to the Board, Revenue Development Advisor, Vice President Sales and Marketing, and Business Development coach. Having experienced several boom and bust economies during her career, Heather has the experience and acumen to cut through the slack to ensure that all efforts are directed to the highest possible return on investment, despite what is happening in the markets.
Heather’s preference is to work at the strategic level, however, having led many organizations she is also adept at managing projects to ensure they meet the bottom line goals, be they financial, HR or market share. Within the social profit world, Heather is a one of a handful of CEOs to have helmed several United Ways in Canada, in most cases leading the team to increase revenue by double digits year after year. Heather thrives in environments where she can weave her business knowledge with her passion for building strong and resilient communities.
A bit of a sailing buff, Heather loves to get out on the waters in the summer, and recently returned from a sail up to Haida Gwaii. When landlocked, she expresses herself through yoga and by volunteering in her community, and is looking forward to becoming a pet parent again in the not too distant future.
Adina Israel – Spatial Planner
Adina is an urban and regional planner focused on the confluence of the built and natural environments. Adina has worked in the areas of land use, environmental, social, transport and spatial planning fields in Canada and abroad and across the public, private and non-profit sectors. Amongst others, her professional passions include spatial analysis translated into beautiful and engaging maps, co-design involving communities and multidisciplinary approaches , and placemaking focused on fostering inclusive and fun urban spaces.
Adina holds a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning from Ryerson University, a Master in Environmental Management from the University of Cape Town and is a registered professional planner with the South African Council for Planners. Apart from pondering urban spaces, Adina loves wilderness and cultural exploration.
Shannon Kernaghan – Researcher / Writer
Word wizard Shannon Kernaghan would probably want to edit that description of herself. But it’s true: she does wonders with information, ideas – and words. Shannon has been our principal researcher / writer since 2000, during which time she has created clear and creative content in the form of web content, news releases, annual reports, newsletters, advertising and more. Our clients in many industries, private and public sector, unanimously say that Shannon is a delight to work with.
Dianna Bennett – Partner Consultant
Red Deer, AB
With 25 years of experience with several non-profit organizations, Dianna is community driven. She received her Social Work education from Red Deer College and Brescia University and has since been trained in Restorative Practices. Circle process is one of Dianna’s passions; as a Circle Facilitator, she assists in building communities by creating safe spaces for participants to express themselves, and participate in restorative process to resolve conflict and repair harm. Dianna is constantly pushing the envelope, using the latest proactive and collaborative approaches to community building and public engagement.
Cindy Hunt – Partner Consultant
Red Deer, AB
Cindy comes to us with an education in Criminal Justice and Corrections. She has spent the past years working and volunteering in non-profit organizations, such as The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre, Central Alberta Crime Stoppers, United Way of Central Alberta, and is currently an active advocate for the Red Deer Victim Services Unit. Cindy is certified in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, Graffiti Abatement, Crime Free Multi-Housing, Individual Crisis Intervention and Peer Support, Group Crisis Training and most recently Suicide Prevention. Cindy strives to make the community a safer place, advocates for victims of crime and engages residents in creating safe communities and neighbourhoods.
Tanya Gadsby – Graphic Recording Specialist
Tanya is a graphic recorder and visual specialist based in Victoria, BC. Graphic recording is the creation of hand illustrated “infographics” on large sheets of paper – this is done live during meetings, conferences, and events. Tanya synthesizes conversations into concise images and text that keeps the audience engaged and inspires new ideas. She has collaborated with governments, corporations, community groups, and small businesses. She also specializes in illustrated videos and small-scale infographics. Her Bachelor of Fine Arts and background in community engagement contribute greatly to her work. Visit Tanya’s website at Drawing Out Ideas.
In addition to our Lead Team, we work with a diverse group of colleagues – urban planners, architects, landscape architects, engineers, security professionals and social planners. We bring the right blend of people and skills for each unique project.
Plus, of course, we rely on the insights of Our Urban Explorers: people like Ben Ziegler, Yuri Artibise and guest bloggers.