Team

Amy Davies

Founder & CEO

I love seeing people succeed and am passionate about developing programs for professionals that enable them to thrive in their careers.  It’s the reason I wrote A Spark in the Dark: Illuminating Your Path to a Brilliant Career in a Reorg World and Founded First 30.  I’ve designed First 30 to be an engaging, educational and motivational user-first outplacement experience. Over the course of my career I’ve worked at top- tier companies in the UK and North America including Unilever, Rogers, Wrigley/Mars and Acklands-Grainger launching First 30 Inc. in 2019.

Jeff Waldman

Senior Advisor

Jeff Waldman is a senior HR leader and technology evangelist. Deeply engaged and connected within the HR technology space, Jeff’s influence has fueled the growth of many innovative HR start-ups including First 30, VanHack, Vacation Fund, SmartRefer and Diversity Factor. He is also the Founder of SocialHRCamp, I Belong and the inaugural organizer at DisruptHR Toronto.

An avid snowboarder, Jeff’s passion in life and in business routinely takes him off-piste. He believes the uncharted track can be the best place to find great talent and tech!

First 30 Experts

John Belton

Practice Leader Industrial Relations, Bombardier Aerospace

People are an organization’s most important asset. Businesses thrive when people are at their best. Expert negotiation and mediation approaches can save businesses from costly shutdowns and litigation. I’ve guided numerous private and public enterprises through complex negations, successfully resolving hundreds of disputes. I counsel businesses so they can avoid dispute altogether.

As a recognized leader in the field of human resources and industrial relations I’m a frequent participant and panelist on boards dealing with conflict issues associated with workplace dispute management.  I’ve worked with some of North America’s most esteemed organizations including Nestle, The University of Toronto and most recently Bombardier Aerospace. 

Richard Gawlas

Founder, Landing

Richard is a speaker, entrepreneur and marketer with over 10 years of experience and through Landing, he teaches organizations the soft skills needed to succeed at work and beyond.

His in-depth workshops teach teams how to manage stress and burnout, build mental resiliency, create powerful professional networks and more. 

Richard has been a featured speaker at Staples #SpotlightStudio, WoodGreen Community Services and at York University.

Leslie Hughes

CEO, PUNCH!media

Leslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Specialist, a LinkedIn Profile Writer and the Principal of PUNCH!media.

Leslie has been in the digital landscape for over 20 years and founded her digital agency PUNCH!media in 2009. She has worked with companies such as Investment Planning Counsel, TVO, The Children’s Wish Foundation, and Guardian Life Insurance Company of America to help them optimize their professional presence and convert clients.

Leslie has been called a “Social Media Guru” by CBC Radio, and has also been a guest on CTV’s “The Social” talking about “How to Manage your Digital Identity”.

She is the author of “CREATE. CONNECT. CONVERT”, which is designed to help you own your value and build a powerful professional (without feeling like you’re bragging).

Dr. Merry C. Lin

Supervising Psychologist, Dr Lin & Associates

Dr. Merry C. Lin is an author and psychologist with over 25 years clinical experience. She is the Executive Director of Dr. Lin & Associates, where she leads a team of leadership and life coaches and HR Management consultants. She is also the Supervising Psychologist at LifeCare Centres, where she oversees a team of psychotherapists providing full-service care for individuals, couples and families. She additionally consults with corporations and not-for-profit organizations, providing expertise in a wide variety of areas, including mental health, stress management, trauma, abuse recovery, leadership and team development. She has made regular TV appearances and her teaching videos are available on RightNow Media.

Angela Payne

Co-founder, leedhr

Angela is an expert at creating and maintaining a thriving workplace. As co-founder of LeedHR she works with clients to develop and deliver programs to help leaders succeed and grow. In her most recent corporate role as Monster Canada’s General Manager, Angela was instrumental in transforming business processes and culture by providing continuous inspirational leadership grounded in sound financial acumen. Her management approach had a profound impact on the bottom line. Angela’s positive impact on the business was leveraged across continents. She is a recognized coach and mentor to many women in leadership positions. Previously as Country Manager at Lee Hecht Harrison, she lead a successful merger and business integration between both LHH and Knightsbridge resulting in the largest career transition and management business in Canada.

Cheryl Roberts

Regional Manager, McDougall Insurance Brokers Ltd, Cheryl Roberts Life & Living Benefits

Cheryl holds an Honours Bachelor Degree in Management and Economics, and is a member of the Whitby Chamber of Commerce and active community member in the Brooklin, Whitby, Oshawa and Ajax areas.

Cheryl is an experienced National Director, Division Leader, People, Business & Project Manager, Coach, Trainer, Entrepreneur & Process Improvement professional dedicated to building business growth models, identifying needs to improve employee capability & drive excellent client experience results.

As a mom of two amazing children and wife Cheryl dedicates her culinary talents to her HomeMade Healthy recipes keeping her family a life priority and enjoys spreading the word about her creations to all!

Omari Whyte

Wealth Advisor, Family First Advisors, IPC Securities Corp.

After graduating from McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business, I spent over 18 years coaching Financial Advisors and helping them better serve their clients. This experience provided me with a unique perspective on the evolving financial industry in Canada.

I have transitioned into the role of Wealth Advisor because as a husband and a father, family means everything to me. Family First partners with clients through of all of life’s milestones to ensure thoughtful estate and tax planning, investment and risk management. I want to help other families create their strong financial futures.