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Advisory Board

Challenge Factory is at the forefront of workforce trends.

From the beginning, we have maintained an advisory board that guides the strategy and direction of the company, with representation from the public sector, private sector and academia.

Dr. Ellen Auster

Ellen R. Auster is Professor of Strategic Management and the Founding Director of the Schulich Centre for Teaching Excellence at the Schulich School of Business, York University. Prior to joining Schulich, she was on the faculty at the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University and Visiting Faculty at the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire. She earned her B.A. from Colgate University and her PhD from Cornell University.

Ellen has more than 25 years of experience as an academic and consultant in the field of strategic capability development. Working with executives and managers to successfully tackle a wide spectrum of strategic challenges in industries ranging from manufacturing and consumer goods to financial services, she creates a shared leadership, stakeholder-inclusive, value-creating approach that enables the firm to cultivate the short and long-run capabilities needed for continuous evolution and success.

A multiple research and teaching award winner, Ellen was recently honored with the prestigious, global, lifetime achievement Academy of Management Distinguished Educator Award. She has also received research awards from the Academy of Management and Management Science, and she has been selected as a Kellogg/Schulich Executive MBA Professor of the Year twice as well as being honored with the Seymour Schulich Award for Teaching Excellence and the Outstanding Educator of the Year Award at York University.

She has published widely in journals including: The Academy of Management Review, Management Science, Sloan Management Review, Human Resource Management, Research in Organizational Behavior, The Journal of Business Ethics, The Journal of International Management, The International Journal of Strategic Change Management, The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Sociological Inquiry, Advances in Strategic Management, The Journal of World Business, Business in the Contemporary World, Women in Management Review, The Journal of Management Education and Research Policy. Ellen has written two prior books - Strategic Organizational Change (Palgrave MacMillan, 2005) and Excellence in Business Teaching: A Quick Start Guide (McGraw-Hill Ryerson). She has two books in progress – Doing Values Right with R. Edward Freeman, Elis and Signe Olsson Professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, forthcoming by Berrett-Koehler and StragilityTM with Harley Procter Director of Marketing Lisa Hillenbrand.She has been quoted in the business press and appeared on radio and TV including: Business Week, Time, New York Newsday, Economic World, Executive Female, Talk 100 CFRB, WTN, TVO, The Toronto Star, HR Professional Magazine, Newsweek, The Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, Canadian Business, The National Post/Financial Post, Harvard Business Review- and USA Today.



Scott Bissessar

Principal, Straticom

Scott is a global business executive and board member, specialized in alignment, leadership capability and strategy execution; a strong communicator and problem-solver that builds lasting relationships with employers, clients and peers.

His firm, Straticom, works with clients to strategically identify change challenges for individuals, teams and organizations and integrates learning approaches in accordance with best practice and client needs. He has a performance-driven focus that brings out the best in individuals, teams, and businesses. Scott is passionate about and able to create the big picture and lead others to achieve it and he establishes, cultivates, and continuously evolves organizations, people, and processes to ensure organizational competitiveness.



Bob Lank

Bob Lank is a Group Leader with CEO Global Network and has led his Group since spring 2010. CEO Global Network is an Executive Development and Peer Mentorship organization. His past executive experience includes Consumer Goods and Human Capital Consulting as Managing Director of Miller Dallas, Canada’s leading Executive Career Transition company, and Country Manager for Right Management Consultants,

He graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Business Administration and has completed the Executive Marketing Program at Columbia University.

Bob is an active member of the Toronto business community and continues to work with many community organizations, business associations, advisory boards and The Rotman Business School.



Les Rothschild

Entrepreneur and Business Owner

In 2015, Les retired from a company he had owned for 22 years. Prior to owning his own company, Les worked for a well-known retailer in a variety of leadership roles for over 20 years. Known for his vision and practical approach to business growth, Les brings his entrepreneurial experience and guidance to the advisory board. Les is a recognized community builder, active in a variety of local and international non-profit causes and groups. He also happens to be Challenge Factory’s founder, Lisa Taylor’s father.



Jim Stewart

Jim Stewart is the founder of ProfitPATH (  a growth strategy firm. For the past 15 years he has worked with business owners to increase their profits and the value of their companies.  Prior to that, Jim spent 25 years working for corporations in Canada and Internationally. After holding positions as a Marketing and Sales Executive, he became CEO of the Canadian subsidiary of a global corporation.

Jim has served on several Boards, taught Marketing courses and volunteers in programs which help young people develop their businesses skills. He has an MBA from the University of Toronto, and is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC).



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