Our Team

Graham Donald

Founder & President

Graham Donald is one of North America’s leading experts on attracting, recruiting, and engaging students and graduates.

He founded Brainstorm Strategy Group Inc. in 2003 to focus on improving students’ school-to-work transition by advising and training both the employers that hire students and the educators who support their career development on campus.

His clients have included KPMG, PwC, University of Toronto, Deloitte, GE, McGill University, HSBC, UBC, Rutgers University, Kraft, and many others.

He chairs several conferences annually including the Campus Recruiting Forums in cities across Canada and the USA; the Canadian Career Development Summit; and, the Strategic Enrolment Marketing & Management Forum. He also speaks regularly at conferences across the US and Canada.

Graham Donald is a firm believer in the value of a general arts education and makes use every day of the skills he developed pursuing a double-major in English and Literary Studies. He received both his BA and MBA from the University of Toronto.

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Graham Donald

Founder & President

Graham Donald is one of North America’s leading experts on attracting, recruiting, and engaging students and graduates.

He founded Brainstorm Strategy Group Inc. in 2003 to focus on improving students’ school-to-work transition by advising and training both the employers that hire students and the educators who support their career development on campus.

His clients have included KPMG, PwC, University of Toronto, Deloitte, GE, McGill University, HSBC, UBC, Rutgers University, Kraft, and many others.

He chairs several conferences annually including the Campus Recruiting Forums in cities across Canada and the USA; the Canadian Career Development Summit; and, the Strategic Enrolment Marketing & Management Forum. He also speaks regularly at conferences across the US and Canada.

His earlier career consists of successive roles in which he developed tools, networks, technologies, research reports, training programs, and strategic advisory processes to improve the work of both the employers and career educators.

During his undergrad he started a business that published a career guide for graduating students and he created partnerships to customize it for university career centres. In 1993, he became Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Career Educators & Employers (CACEE), which grew rapidly under his leadership. In 1997, he launched Canada’s first job search website for students, Campus Worklink, which connected employers to a network of more than 80 universities and colleges.

In 2001, Campus Worklink was acquired by Workopolis (Canada’s largest job site at the time), where he joined the management team until starting Brainstorm two years later. Along the way, he and a few partners started Camp Temagami to support the personal development of young people through wilderness canoe tripping experiences.

Almost ten years after starting Brainstorm, in 2012, he took a part-time sabbatical from it to became General Manager of Simply Hired Canada Inc., a Silicon Valley-based job search engine. In 2014, he moved to Day Communications where he helped employers develop their brand and recruitment communications strategies.

In 2016, he returned to Brainstorm full-time to develop new training programs for employers, new development opportunities for educators, and new research projects to help both audiences better understand the next generation.

Graham Donald is a firm believer in the value of a general arts education and makes use every day of the skills he developed pursuing a double-major in English and Literary Studies. He received both his BA and MBA (which has also proven useful) from the University of Toronto.

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Lauren Thiboutot

Communications & Operations Manager

Lauren brings extensive communications experience and knowledge to advance the Brainstorm Strategy Group’s organizational goals. As a Communications professional who has worked in the private, public and non-profit sector, Lauren is a resourceful, detail-oriented contributor and effective relationship builder who excels at executing strategic communications plans and events.

She has worked as a Communications and Event Specialist leading communications initiatives and strategies in organizations such as the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada.

Lauren holds a Communications degree, with a double major in Communications and Sociology, from the University of Toronto; as well as a Digital Communications diploma from Sheridan College.

Lauren enjoys travelling, and everything that goes along with it – experiencing different cultures, trying delicious food, and meeting new people. When at home in Toronto she fills her time with dance, friends and family (dogs included).

Katrina Eva Kozhuro

Client Success & Programs Manager

With a background in digital marketing, Katrina brings a customer-focused approach to her work at Brainstorm and ensures that the company’s marketing efforts are successful through effective advertising, promotions, social media management and sales. Katrina also assists in coordinating Brainstorm’s many conferences and training programs.

Katrina graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor degree in Political Science and a minor in Marketing. Thanks to Ryerson’s innovative and rapidly emerging digital space, Katrina first developed her appreciation to limitless possibilities brought on by the internet and how they can assist in maintaining and further improving any brand’s online presence.

​Katrina’s professional background includes managing a thriving start-up’s marketing and social media campaigns for over three years. She also worked in large-scale conference sales where she gained invaluable communications skills and a growing interest in events management and organization.

In her spare time Katrina loves to attend yoga classes, listen to music and watch political documentaries.

Joanne Hader

Lead Research Consultant

Joanne is the resident Brainstorm number cruncher. She joined the team following a career of more than 25 years as a health and social science researcher, program evaluator, and senior-level manager in Canadian government and non-government organizations (NGOs). She is trained and experienced using both qualitative and quantitative research methods and has taught university classes and presented to academic conferences on research methods. Joanne has authored and co-authored more than 30 research publications using administrative and survey data including an impact evaluation of closing 50 small hospitals is one Canadian province.

Joanne has an MA in Medical Anthropology from the University of Saskatchewan. She is a certified Lean Yellow Belt, a huge fan of Crucial Conversations tools and methods, and a trained facilitator and negotiator. She was using SPSS before her computer had a mouse and the program had a GUI window user interface.

Joanne is respected by colleagues for delivering results and for the positive energy she brings to demystifying data collection, analytics, and statistical concepts. Balancing out her work life, Joanne is a Registered Yoga Teacher, mother of two grown sons, and an avid golfer, traveller and cyclist.

Luke Balbirnie

Design, Web & Brand Consultant

Luke Balbirnie is a web developer and graphic designer from Dublin, Ireland with over 8 years of experience in design, and 5 years of experience managing a successful web and graphic design business.

With a diverse skill-set and an extensive scope of experience, Luke specializes in full-stack web development, graphic design, and brand identity management.

Luke’s true passion lies in creative problem-solving. He began his education in the field of engineering at Trinity College Dublin, and hopes to return to further education and pursue a Master’s Degree in Engineering in the near future.

Luke enjoys travelling, and has spent much of the last 5 years visiting many countries throughout Europe. He currently lives in Alberta, and hopes to spend the next few years seeing more of what this side of the Atlantic has to offer.

Margaret Evans

Human Resources Consultant

Margaret is a bilingual Human Resources Consultant with 15+ years of experience. As a true generalist, she translates industry best practices into customized HR solutions that meet a client’s unique needs. Margaret is an advisor to business owners and managers on strategic and tactical HR matters and is straightforward and down-to-earth in her approach. Through her career, she has added business value in both union and non-union environments in a variety of private and public-sector industries.

In addition to her Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation, Margaret holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Guelph, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Management from Humber College, a Master’s Degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resources from the University of Toronto, and a Certificate in Private Investigation from the Canadian School of Private Investigation and Security Ltd.