Learn about our Team

Richard M. Delaney

Richard M. Delaney

President and Principal, Collaborative Decision-Making

Richard’s professional mission is to help people and organizations work effectively. He is driven to uncover conflict, opportunities for growth and inefficiencies, and then to create collaborative spaces where people can work together to solve problems and create excellence. He provides project oversight and technical guidance for all engagement projects and, with almost three decades of engagement experience, is the lead trainer for both International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and D+A engagement capacity-building workshops.

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Richard is a life-long learner and career-long teacher. He is a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) and holds certificates in National Issues Forum Moderation, Post-Disaster Facilitation and Public Participation. He obtained his Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Carleton University, in 1994, and a diploma in Forest Management from Sandford Fleming, in 1976. Richard is a licensed IAP2 trainer since 2007; IAP2 faculty member since 2012; Ontario Hospitals Association Governance Centre for Excellence faculty member since 2011. He also co-led the IAP2 Foundations redevelopment team from 2012 to 2014. He is IAP2’s most prolific trainer, providing more than 60% of all Canadian Foundations training.

What’s your favourite engagement tool and why? I like to work with representative processes – groups of people representing the entire stakeholder community who come together for collaboration. Our world is filled with complexity. Helping people to understand these complexities, and then working together to build the credibility of their brand, and to develop durable solutions, is very rewarding. Regardless of what you call them, task teams, advisory committees, panels and juries are made up of passionate, community-minded people who want the best for their constituents. It is truly inspirational to work with them.

Jessica Delaney

Jessica Delaney

Principal, Strategic Communications and Engagement

Jessica has a strong desire for bringing people together to get things done. Based in the Vancouver office, Jessica works with the team to develop, implement and report on engagement and communications strategies that focus on building common ground. With a background in strategic communications, facilitation and engagement, Jessica is a skilled facilitator and effective communicator who can help lead groups through complex, potentially confrontational processes, all while working to build social capital for ethical, values-based organizations.

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She strongly believes in the power of communities and stakeholders to enhance the decision-making process when there is a transparent and meaningful process for participation. Jessica has a Bachelor of Journalism and Political Science from Carleton University, a Master of Arts from UBC, is a certified professional facilitator through IAF and is a licensed IAP2 trainer.

What’s your favourite engagement tool and why? I love the mix of online and in-person and feel like it’s always about trying to find the right balance. For example, I think a good, old-fashioned workshop is really effective at bringing people together in-person, but then live tweeting the dialogue, or following up with online surveys or discussion boards, can be really effective. My favourite engagement tool is the combination of tools that gets results.

Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller

Director, Engagement and Communications

Jennifer has a keen interest in exploring ways to engage hard-to-reach and marginalized populations. She supports D+A with planning, implementation and reporting on a wide variety of engagement projects. With a background as an award-winning newspaper journalist and editor, Jennifer is also a skilled communicator who is dedicated to providing clear, accessible, neutral information as a foundation for any engagement process.

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She strongly believes in the power of local communities to get involved and help shape the future of their neighbourhoods, cities and beyond. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Journalism and English degree from Carleton University, and a certificate in public participation from IAP2.

What’s your favourite engagement tool and why? I think smartphones can be a powerful way to engage busy people. With a variety of innovative online engagement platforms, you can hear from stakeholders even if they only have five minutes to spare while they’re waiting in line or taking transit.

Jenn Holland

Jenn Holland

Specialist, Communications and Engagement

Jenn is passionate about implementing techniques that encourage a wide diversity of stakeholder groups to participate in decisions that affect them. She thrives on discovering insightful viewpoints through engaging with these often-overlooked audiences. In her role at D+A she supports the design, implementation and evaluation of engagement activities and processes that bring groups together to decide. Jenn comes from a diverse background in community ecosystem management where she engaged project stakeholders to ensure their input was incorporated into project design and implementation.

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Jenn believes that the most valuable – and overlooked – component of engagement is putting results into practice and moving towards better decision making. She has a Diploma in Journalism from Kwantlen University College and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Geography from Simon Fraser University.

What’s your favourite engagement tool and why? My favorite engagement tool is using intercept surveys in fun and informal ways like at a lemonade stand. This way you bring the engagement to the people, often on the very spot that you are looking for input on a decision. Plus, who doesn’t like lemonade?

Emina Dervisevic

Emina Dervisevic

Director, Communications and Engagement

Emina has years of experience with stakeholder engagement, and has throughout her career worked on a wide variety of municipal, health, re-development, and energy projects with different demographics and stakeholder groups. Emina is passionate about building engagement capacity within organizations, so she also volunteers on projects, such as a recent review of French Immersion programming at the North Vancouver School District. Emina’s work with D+A includes support with planning, communications, implementation, and reporting on engagement projects, facilitation, and project management of online engagements. If there is one adage Emina lives by, it’s “engage early, and engage often.”

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Emina has a Bachelor of English Language and Literature and Turkish Studies from the University of Zagreb, and a Master of Arts from the University of British Columbia. Her career background demonstrates an expansive range: she started her career as a translator for the United Nations, she has worked as a researcher of trends in war and conflict at universities, she has also managed resident services at a seniors’ residence, and worked in public relations for a re-development project. Listening to and learning from different stakeholders is the aspect of D+A’s work Emina values the most.

What’s your favourite engagement tool and why? I truly believe in the power of meeting people in person, building connections and relationships, and engaging in person as well. My favourite engagement tool, however, would be any online engagement platform. I love to test what functionalities it has, how it has been put together, and how successful it can be in reaching the groups that we otherwise might never expect to hear from.

Valerie Delaney

Valerie Delaney

Principal, Learning and Development

Valerie is committed to ensuring that D+A training meets or exceeds the expectations of all of our course participants. A professionally trained educator, she promotes the principles of adult learning and the needs of adult learners, and works with our trainers to support their training activities. Valerie is passionate about learning environments where people are motivated, energized and comfortable, so they can engage fully in their own learning and skill-building activities.

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Valerie believes that the learner’s journey is unique for each participant and builds that notion into her training design and development activities. She has Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Education degree from Ottawa University. She is an Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT) and a member in good standing of the Ontario College of Teachers. Valerie also oversees the administration and human resources functions at D+A, which is led by her business and life partner, Richard.

What’s your favourite engagement tool and why? My activities are primarily related to training, and there is an engagement technique that really speaks to me, the trainer, and the importance of creating a positive environment – World Café. This engagement technique, with its café-style set up, is great to use in certain situations. It’s a small-group activity where people can feel comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns. It’s powerful for building rapport and gathering lots of information in a short amount of time.

Brenda Kortekaas

Brenda Kortekaas

Community of Practice Coordinator

Brenda likes to find new ways to be organized and efficient in her work space. She is dedicated to high service standards and attention to detail. She supports the training practice with client liaison, data entry and logistics. An organized and effective administrator, Brenda manages the Delaney and Associates +2000-member Community of Practice and the virtual classrooms.

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She has a diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Humber College and a certificate in public participation from IAP2.

What’s your favourite engagement tool and why? I recognize the value of templates. Templates are an effective technique for my administrative duties to keep me organized – before, during and after each course. Our D+A training team uses many types of templates to collect, record and report data to deliver high-quality and enjoyable courses; of course, we use templates extensively in our P2 work as well.

Matthew Lindsey

Matthew Lindsey

Specialist, Communications and Engagement

Matthew has a background in government communications and project coordination at the federal level across multiple areas. He has experience working in complex environments with diverse stakeholder groups. In 2011, Matthew deployed as a civilian Public Affairs Advisor to the Royal Canadian Navy during an annual Arctic Sovereignty exercise, providing communications advice to commanders aboard ship. He has experience in media relations, project communications, internal communications and communications planning. In addition, he has trained, led, and coached personnel in media relations, internal communications and service delivery environments.

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Matthew is a project-oriented individual, who is passionate about connecting and developing with people in the workplace. He has a Bachelor of Arts, Minor in Organizational Communications, and has completed the IAP2 Foundations program. His combined experience at home and abroad has developed his ability to think globally and adapt quickly in complex scenarios. Matthew has recently returned to Canada and maintains his love of travel and curiosity about the world.

What’s your favourite engagement technique and why? I love facilitating environments where people work and learn from each other collaboratively in a group, and I appreciate that supporting materials can help participants learn, exchange and provide input into a decision. So, naturally, the workshop technique speaks to me the most. It offers the opportunity to conduct small-group discussions, providing a more intimate environment for people to become familiar with issues and share their thoughts. Well-planned workshops also tell everyone what is expected of them and participants are comfortable in an “environment of no surprises”.

Danielle Armengaud

Danielle Armengaud

Specialist, Research and Communications

Danielle has a profound understanding of the importance of using sound research as a tool in successful engagement and communications strategies. A seasoned public opinion and market research specialist, her expertise in design, moderation, analysis, reporting and presentation of surveys, focus groups and executive elite interviews is brought into the mix on many D+A projects. Her expertise is largely focused on clients in the public affairs realm. In particular, she has played key roles in projects conducted on behalf of many federal and provincial government departments and municipalities, as well as NGOs and associations.

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Her goal for every engagement is to take research findings to the “next level,” integrating them successfully and seamlessly into her clients’ decision-making process, communications and strategies, and translating them into actionable insights for any audience, whether high-level executive decision-makers within governments or businesses, or the general public. Danielle holds a Bachelor of Journalism (high honours) from Carleton University and attended the Environmental Journalism Academy, University of Maryland – University College. She is also a member of the Market Research Intelligence Association (MRIA) and has been a speaker at its Ottawa chapter.

What’s your favourite engagement tool and why? My favourite tool is the one that fits the goals and desired outcomes for a client best, while at the same time ensuring that all stakeholders have the opportunity to be engaged in the most meaningful ways possible. Depending on the needs of an organization and the people it wishes to engage, anything from an intimate in-person setting to a large-scale online collaborative community solution may yield the best outcomes. I think that tools should be chosen based on the end-game, and should not be the drivers of the engagement process.

Welcome! This is our dedicated team. Did we say that we would love to work with you? Don’t be shy – get in touch!