Our People

Meet Our Founders

Our co-founders include the world’s foremost authority on Leader Character research and application, and thought leaders with respect to the practical application of Leader Character.

  • Mary Crossan

    Dr. Mary Crossan, BA, MBA, PhD

    Professor at the Ivey Business School, Western University and Co-Founder of Virtuosity Character

    Dr. Mary Crossan is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Strategic Leadership at the Ivey Business School, Western University. Mary’s passion for the past four decades has been to address the most pressing problems facing individuals and organizations and to uncover the “atomic particles” at their core. Leveraging the incredible synergistic insights arising from research, teaching and application, her ground-breaking research and innovative, yet practical application in education and organizations, provide the unique insights and expertise that underpin the work of Leader Character Associates. She was recognized for her life-time career achievement by the Academy of Management, receiving the 2023 Award for Distinguished Educator.

    She has published over 100 articles, several books and is amongst the most highly cited researchers in her field. Her research on leadership character, organizational learning and strategic renewal, and improvisation is published in the top management journals including the Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Leadership Quarterly and Organization Science. Her article on “Developing Leadership Character in Business Programs” was awarded the Outstanding Article of the Year for 2013 in the Academy of Management Learning and Education. The book “Developing Leadership Character” is a culmination of the team’s research on leader character with the forthcoming book “The Character Compass: Transforming Leadership for the 21st Century” providing practical insight into what it takes to develop leader character and embed it in organizations.

    Apart from her expertise in leader character, her decades of research into strategic renewal, organizational agility and improvisation have proven to be critical in understanding how to embed leader character in organizations. In a joint venture with The Second City, she developed a management video entitled Improvise to Innovate. Her textbook “Strategic Analysis and Action” is widely used in strategy courses. She has been identified as one of the top 40 case-writers in the world with her Starbucks business case selling over 100,000 copies to business schools worldwide. Her research, teaching, and consulting have provided her with exposure to a variety of companies and industries in North America, Europe and Asia.

  • Bill Furlong

    Bill Furlong, B. Comm., MBA, ICD.D

    Executive-in-Residence at the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership at Ivey Business School, MBA, ICD.D

    Bill Furlong has been an Executive-in-Residence at the Ivey Business School since 2013, focusing on Leader Character within the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership. He has co-authored thought-leading essays on Leader Character that have been published by MIT Sloan Management Review, Business Law International and the Global Risk Institute. Bill is also co-author of the forthcoming book “The Character Compass: Transforming Leadership for the 21st Century” which provides practical insight into what it takes to develop leader character and embed it in organizations. Bill has presented Leader Character to numerous organizations, regulators, associations, and conferences reaching audiences around the world. In 2020 Bill founded and with Dr. Mary Crossan co-hosts the podcast “Question of Character”, a podcast dedicated to providing reliable and valuable information and insights regarding Leader Character. In 2023 Bill and Mary founded Leader Character Associates, a boutique consulting company dedicated to the implementation and embedding of Leader Character into organizations.

    Since 2019 Bill has served as a director of the CAA Group of Companies and sits on the boards of their insurance subsidiaries CAA Insurance, Echelon Insurance, and Orion Insurance. He serves as Vice Chair of Echelon Insurance as well as chairing its Governance and Nominating Committee. He is Chair of the Conduct Review Committee for CAA Insurance and Echelon Insurance. He is Chair of the Investment Committee for CAA Club Group and CAA Insurance. He sits on the Audit and Risk Committee for CAA Club Group and each of its operating subsidiaries and is a member of the Governance and Nominating Committee of CAA Club Group and CAA Insurance.

    Since 2022 Bill has been an Adjudicator with the newly formed Capital Markets Tribunal which is assigned the power to conduct hearings and make decisions under Ontario securities law. He was a part-time Member of the Ontario Securities Commission from 2015 to 2019, and for part of that time chaired the Commission’s Audit and Finance Committee.

    From 1994 to 2012 Bill held senior global leadership roles at TD Securities including Global Head of Asset Securitization, Global Head of Middle Office (UK) and Global Head, Trading Business Management. Bill retired from TD Securities in 2012 as Vice Chair. Before that Bill served in leadership roles in Auto Manufacturing and Research and Development companies.

Meet Our Associates

Our Associates have been carefully selected from experienced practitioners who have been pioneers in the application of Leader Character across a wide variety of industries, sectors and subject areas.

  • Alexandra Duval
    Alexandra Duval, MSc

    Industrial and Organizational (I-O) Researcher/Consultant

  • Dr. Ana Ruiz Pardo
    Ana Ruiz Pardo, Ph.D.

    Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Certified Leader Character Practitioner

  • Cassie Ellis
    Cassie Ellis, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor at Western University

  • Christine McLarty Crossman
    Christine McLarty Crossman

    Founder/Principal Consultant, Christine Crossman Consulting and Certified Leader Character Practitioner

  • Corey Crossan
    Corey Crossan, Ph.D.

    Teaching Fellow at the University of Oxford and Co-Founder of Virtuosity Character

  • Fraser Zerebecki
    Fraser Zerebecki MBA., PMP

    Director of Human Resources, Amity Management

  • Jessica Garant
    Jessica Garant, Ph.D.

    Industrial and Organizational (I-O) Researcher/Consultant and Certified Leader Character Practitioner

  • Joy Klammer, PhD

    Leader Character Practitioner, Solution-Focused Coach, Director of Research (Human Resources)

  • Judith Valois
    Judith Valois

    Manager – Centre of Expertise, Leadership Development, Executive Talent ManagementHuman Resources Branch, Canada Border Services Agency

  • Karen Holzer
    Karen Holzer

    Certified Practitioner of Character Based Leadership (CBL), Certified Facilitator, Certified Professional Coach, Recognized Integrity Expert

  • Melanie Bergeron
    Mélanie Bergeron

    Certified Leader Character Practitioner Senior Advisor, Character Leadership development and implementation Canada Revenue Agency

  • Melissa Marcelissen
    Melissa Marcelissen, MBA

    Founder, Vision Leadership Consulting GroupEquity, Diversity & Inclusion Strategist

  • Randa MacNaughton, ACC

    Founder and Consultant of GR Leadership, Coaching and Business Consulting, Certified Practitioner of Character Based Leadership (CBL), Certified Professional Coach

  • Taelor Smith
    Taelor Smith, MA, MHSc

    Policy Analyst / Sr. Leadership Development HR Advisor, MHSc, MA

Start the Conversation

Ready to know more about how Leader Character can help you and your organization achieve and sustain excellence, while at the same time enhancing your collective well-being? Sounds impossible, right? But it’s not – with Leader Character the two go hand-in-hand. We would love to hear from you!