Melissa brings an abundance mindset to her work, fueled by over 17 years of cross-industry experience focusing on human dynamics, culture, learning and development, recruitment, organizational growth, and resilience coaching.
She is a dialogue master and facilitator who can navigate complex environments while being attuned to healthy change management and forward-thinking solutions.
Having coached countless clients, Melissa’s career is underpinned by a values- and strengths-based leadership approach that is anchored in compassion, collaboration, and curiosity.
Melissa’s curiosity is amplified by her growth mindset, having studied both Sociology and Women’s Studies at the University of Toronto. She is also a certified Adult Learning & Development Practitioner through the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Taq Kaur Bhandal brings over 10 years of academic, research, and practice experience in social justice, public policy, and gender-based health analysis to the firm. She currently lives on Mi’kmaw Treaty Territory in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she spends her weekends going on forest walks with her dog Hopper. Taq’s ancestors are from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan.
Taq specializes in decolonial approaches to recruitment and search, with a particular focus on bringing ancestral worldviews to solve modern-day problems. She has worked across the borders of Canada in post-secondary, non-profit, and health care settings in Vancouver, Toronto, and Halifax. Taq has also taught several courses on mental health, addictions, women’s and trans health, feminism, and anti-racism practice.
In her spare time, Taq runs an Instagram page called @imwithperiods and published a book titled Self-Care Down There with Simon & Schuster in 2020.
Taq has a doctorate from UBC’s Social Justice Institute, an MA in Health, Policy, and Equity from York University, and a BSc Hon in Biology (with a specialization in molecular evolution) from Dalhousie University.
As a mental health advocate and award-winning presenter, Stacy-Ann brings an array of experience to the service and training sections of BIPOC Executive Search. Her award-winning documentary, The Blind Stigma, made Canadian history when it debuted as the first documentary produced in Canada that examined mental health in the Black community. She is listed as one of the 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada, one of the 150 Black Women Making Canada Better and one of the 150 Leading Canadians for Mental Health.
As a highly respected motivational speaker with engagements that include TEDx and Bell Let’s Talk, Stacy-Ann’s work encompasses dismantling how mental health is perceived within the Black diaspora, stimulating dialogue in an effort to fuel resources, and orchestrating safe spaces for black voices to be amplified and helping them reclaim their narratives.
Stacy-Ann enjoys giving back to the community, and is a co-donor of The Buchanan Scholarship—a scholarship awarded to a first-year university student entering a Liberal Arts or Fine Arts program.
Laurie Toulouse is Anishinaabe kwe, a member of Serpent River First Nation. She grew up on the lands of the Kwikwetlem First Nation and Coast Salish Peoples and currently calls T’karonto, Dish with One Spoon treaty territory her home.
Laurie is a mother, partner, teacher/coach/facilitator, and observer/learner. As a lifelong learner, she is committed to a journey of continuous personal growth and expansion. She has had an expansive management career in the retail fashion industry, with a specialty in education and development. Her lived and professional experience inform the way in which she promotes inclusive excellence at the workplace. Embodying the principles of Intentionality and thoughtfulness, she ensures that her teaching and facilitation support leaders and decision makers in shifting environments that favour inclusion and the service of all peoples.
Stephanie La (she/her) is a Toronto-based professional with a specialized background in Retail Operations and Management. With experience working at an international executive search firm, Stephanie brings project management, research, and operations experience to BIPOC Executive Search and plays an integral role in client delivery and operational support. She has served a number of industries while in the executive search business across sectors (private, public, and not-for-profit).
Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a major in Retail Management, from the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, and a Human Resources Management certificate from the Raymond G. Chang School.
Chad Martin Stauber, is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. He has an extensive background in recruitment both at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto (Academic Affairs portfolio), as well as from executive search work in a boutique firm. Chad brings deep experience to project management and is a prolific writer and researcher.
Chad holds a PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations from the University of Toronto, and an MA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
An Intercultural Relations graduate from Ryerson University, Zo is multilingual (Spanish, Greek, English) and has a passion for facilitating constructive client-facing experiences. Zo has invested a considerable amount of their academic, professional, and volunteer experiences conducting market research, providing literacy training, and curating sales and promotional programming for organizations in the non-profit sector, as well as for the education and food and beverage industries. Prior to working for BIPOC Executive Search, Zo’s most fulfilling professional endeavors have consisted of diversity work in the non-profit space, which included establishing inclusive educational environments for youth.
Avery Jackman is Black Queer Professional/ Creative based in the GTA that leads with love and humility because he simply wants to make the world a better place. In 2021, Avery Graduated from McMaster’s Honours Health and Society program where he was an active member and executive of multiple community organizations including the Pride Community Centre and the Black Student Association. His strategy for community and program development centers around creating holistic health-based programming that empowers, supports, and celebrates the multifaceted culture within the Black diaspora. With an emphasis on 2SLGBTQIA+ matters, mental health, decolonization and intersectionality, his professional career has been filled with highlights that reflect this approach. Avery is super excited to be joining the fabulous team at BIPOC executive search and cannot wait to contribute to the amazing the work the team has done and continues to do.
Jessie Skinner is a Toronto based writer with a background in film. His work has included professional writing in publicity, journalism and corporate content. Through this work he has transcribed the words of many artists, newsmakers, community activists and business leaders both local and international. Jessie has also produced dramatic theatrical work and greatly enjoys writing in all forms. Jessie has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from York University.