Amy Davies


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 First30.  First30’s employee onboarding and outplacement solutions have been designed to offer engaging, educational, and motivational user-first experiences. 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 Grainger launching First30 in 2019.



I have a fundamental
belief that people deserve to work in great companies, with great people, and under great leadership. From an employee’s first experience (onboarding) to their last (outplacement), everything we do leaves a lasting impression. At First30, we help to positively influence those impressions. I draw upon my twenty years of experience in HR – ranging from a global Fortune 500 to a mid-size private shipping firm – to help guide First30 clients and create robust, meaningful offerings. 



Himesh Ghai

Senior Advisor


A lawyer, business executive and board director, Himesh takes tremendous pride in serving organizations to help them manage change, grow, and become more profitable. His career includes working with established and growing global companies through periods of transformation, most recently MacDonald, Dettwiler & Associates Inc. (MDA) and Grainger. He also supports the start-up tech industries, serving as a senior advisor to a number of high-potential businesses. Himesh is known for transforming the outcomes for organizations.

brent jensen

operations director

Brent’s career history includes senior finance and operations roles at top-tier organizations including Rogers Telecommunications and Pearson Publishing. He has a talent for bringing people and information together to enhance day-to-day businesses operations and improve client services. He also works with the Awesome Music Project (AMP) to support their efforts in raising mental health awareness and promoting music therapy.


Senior Advisor


Andrea Johnson is a career coach, HR practitioner, and image consultant. Andrea specializes in coaching professionals on personal brands, career transitions, and the importance of self-care as a foundation for success.

Passionate about human-centric HR practices, Andrea continues to play an active role as an HR Leader in Toronto’s technology space.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (double major in Communications and Sociology), a postgraduate certificate in Human Resources Management, and a certificate in Image Consulting.

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!

First30 Experts

John Belton

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!

Kamara Toffolo (2)



Kamara helps established professionals dare to work differently and land great-fitting gigs. Kamara has been a featured writer and expert in many publications including Forbes, Business Insider, Inc., and The Muse, and was published in the best-selling book YouMap: Find Yourself. Blaze Your Path. Show the World! She was also named by Jobscan as the #1 Job Search Expert to follow on LinkedIn for 2019. She is an Erickson Certified Professional Coach, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Entrepreneurial Management. 


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.