Founder & Chief Collaboration Officer
Like many of us, Michael is a lot of things. Entrepreneur, scientist, consultant, coach, facilitator, teacher, author, father and husband, just to name a few. For him, being defined by a single label seems a bit contrived.
His expertise in the art and science of leading collaborations comes from over 30 years working with teams. He has designed over 390 detailed project work plans representing over $60 Million in staff budget, published 33 professional papers and book chapters, and has been appointed to 15 government policy collaboratives.
Prior to SYMBEOSIS, Michael owned and ran a successful environmental consultancy for 18 years and served for 8 years on the management team of a $70 Million regional forestry operation. He also spent 12 years in academia, and taught 8 courses at 3 universities.
How I started coaching...
I started coaching 'professionally' at the age of 14, when I was selected as part of a pilot project to replace the adult teacher in a classroom filled with the 35 students most at risk of dropping out of school. For the entire year, we led the class every day - focused entirely on coaching and supporting kids who were facing homelessness, drug addiction, poverty, sexual / domestic abuse, and a whole host of life struggles that were getting in the way of an education. After the class, my 4 fellow student leaders would meet with the adult supervisor to learn the coaching skills we needed to succeed. I'm proud to say that all 35 students ultimately graduated high school. That opportunity had a massive impact on me, and in 1983, I went on to become one of the very first certified coaches in the country, at the age of 17.