Our Principals

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Meet Our Principals

Our principals and extended family of expert strategists, facilitators and researchers are ready to add value to your next planning or facilitation project. We match the person to the project, assuring you of the most productive engagement possible.

Chris Ward

Chris Ward, MBA, CMC

Business Strategist • Facilitator • Brand Advisor • Strategic Coach

For the past 30 years, Chris Ward has been helping business leaders and their teams achieve the future they want to own. A keen observer and lifelong student of business, Chris recognized at an early stage that an organization’s ability to survive and thrive is directly related to its understanding of key stakeholders and what they value. This has resulted in an unwavering focus on uncovering insights that inform the decision-making process, and to creating strategies that engage stakeholders and deliver value.

Chris’s eclectic business background – as a senior executive in both retailing and manufacturing, consultant with a leading firm of management consultants, and entrepreneurial founder of three companies – enables him to guide clients through a rigorous facilitated strategic planning process, while providing perspectives and advice based on deep business experience.

Chris holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. As an Entrepreneur In Residence at the Ivey Business School at Western University, he coaches and mentors students engaged in consulting projects with private and public sector organizations. He is member of the Independent Review Committee for the Bullion Management Group. Previously, he was a chair and member of The Executive Committee, an international network of CEOs focused on improving their leadership abilities and achieving their professional and personal goals as well as a member of the Consumer Affairs & Communications Committee for Tarion, the new home warranty people, and a founding director of the Myoblast for Muscular Dystrophy Foundation.

“Without hesitation, I recommend Strategic Retreats and Chris Ward. With Chris, you will get a smart, experienced, proactive professional who has worked with countless for-profits and not-for-profits alike (both big and small). He is a strong and skillful facilitator with a sound process and the ability to get people singing off the same sheet. If your experience is anything like ours, Chris’s value will far exceed the cost of his services.”

– Malcolm Berry, Vice President, Major Gifts, Sick Kids Foundation

Bob McCulloch

Bob McCulloch, MBA, FCMC, CEC

Bob McCulloch is a strategic advisor and executive coach to senior leaders and their teams. His clients represent companies across a wide array of industries as well as all levels of government and several not-for-profit organizations and associations.

Bob’s primary focus is on the strategic thinking of leaders in the organization, both individually and collectively. He brings the ability to include and bridge diverse personalities, distill and synthesize disparate ideas generated in facilitated sessions, build consensus and commitment around the resulting powerful themes, and coach and guide leadership teams through implementation. The nature of the “business” doesn’t really matter – the strategic concepts are largely the same, and the enterprise’s distinctiveness relates more to the culture of the client organization and its stage of evolutionary. 

Bob holds an MBA from the Ivey Business School and a Certificate in Executive Coaching (CEC) from Royal Roads University. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Management Consultants of Ontario (ICMCO). 

“At the beginning of my working life, I was fortunate to have a career-creating position for four years at IBM Canada:

  • as an adult educator teaching non-technical executives about IT,
  • as a facilitator helping IT and senior executive teams build their technology and corporate plans, and
  • as a student of strategy, introducing a range of strategic models to frame the content of these plans.

Over the next 35 years, I continued to evolve the formula through 100s of client assignments, adding leadership and team coaching along the way.” 

Strategic Retreats facilitated the development of our organization's new three-year strategic plan and we are very excited about the results. We have a clear direction for our organization and a commitment from our executive and staff to move the organization forward in a positive direction. [Strategic Retreats] led us through an engaging process that included a research and input component, a detailed pre-planning briefing note, and a two-day planning session. We have received many positive comments about the entire process, and [Strategic Retreats] left us with an initial 90-day action plan that was very helpful in getting us on track quickly.

Doug Gellatly, Executive Director, OFSAA

Speech bubblesInside Chatter     

Your approach to strategic planning was just what we needed to bring Board members with strongly held views together to prioritize our challenges and agree on key initiatives. Having participated in many facilitated meetings, I really appreciated the way you engaged our members and made the whole process so enjoyable. Your facilitation skills are excellent!

– Marta Sponder, Executive Officer, Ontario, Milton and District Real Estate Association
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