Our Staff Team

Gerard Murphy

Founder & CEO

About GerardGerard has a 30-year track record of excellence as a facilitator, educator, and speaker. His passion is helping people to engage in conversations that are impactful and influence individual, team and organizational performance.

Gerard has worked provincially, nationally and internationally to provide facilitation, training and consulting services to clients within the voluntary, public and private sectors. He has extensive experience working with organizations to design and deliver learning opportunities and group processes.

Gerard is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University. With a commitment to lifelong learning, he has certifications in public participation, community-based development, leadership development and primary health care collaboration. Gerard is a certified Personality Dimensions® Qualified Facilitator and is a member of the International Association of Facilitators.

Joss Pirker

Client Experience Coordinator

About JossJoss is an Ontario native with a profound passion for fostering connections and bringing people together. Upon receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Performing Arts from Brock University back in 2015, she worked extensively in the theater industry contributing in the set design and stage management of multiple stage productions. She also dedicated several years to teaching ESL throughout Europe and on online global platforms, where she fostered effective cross-cultural communication and provided personalized support to individuals navigating their language journeys.

In 2022, Joss relocated to Nova Scotia, where she successfully completed her studies in Event Management at the Nova Scotia Community College. September 2023 marked the beginning of her role as a Client Experience Coordinator at Barefoot Facilitation Inc., a position she enthusiastically embraces. Joss firmly believes that every experience offers an opportunity for learning and personal growth, which is why she is honored to be a part of the Barefoot Team and help continue their legacy of enriching personal, team and workplace development.

Circle of Consultants

Marg McClean

Senior Consultant

About Marg

Joining the team in September 2022, Marg is a seasoned facilitator and demonstrates a solid appreciation for the importance of relationship building. She worked for 17 years within healthcare in Nova Scotia as a member of a People Services, Talent and Organizational Development team. She brings significant experience supporting individuals, teams and leaders to realize and build on their strengths to achieve strong relationships and communication. Marg is an internally certified LEADS facilitator and has led various new initiatives to support leaders and individuals throughout the system.

Leaders and teams have appreciated Marg’s common-sense approach to challenges and have indicated that she’s a gifted facilitator who brings humour into facilitated sessions. She has held a volunteer role as a lay leader (2006) and one of seven (in Canada) “Train the Trainers” for Chronic Disease Self-Management (originally researched and developed in Stanford University).

Marg has a background in not-for-profit, working with multiple organizations as she moved with her military family in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and British Columbia. She is thrilled to be permanently planted in Nova Scotia and looks forward to supporting clients to achieve their goals and objectives.

Karen Furneaux

Associate Consultant

About KarenKaren Furneaux, HLCol, OLY, is a 3-Time Olympian and 2-Time World Champion and winner of 9 medals at the World Championships over her 20-year professional sprint kayaking career. Karen is the founder of I Promise Performance, Inc. Through her business, she speaks with audiences about the connection between health, mindset and performance. Karen is a published author, her book, “Strong Beauty: Power Up the Champion Within” encourages youth to set goals and gives tools and best practices to achieve their dreams. Karen does broadcast work with CBC as an analyst and has been part of the Olympic broadcast teams in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 in 2021.

Her formal training includes a Masters of Science Degree from Dalhousie University in Kinesiology, with specialization in Sport Psychology.  Karen is a 2016 inductee to the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame and has been named as one of the top 15 most successful athletes in Nova Scotia sport history. Karen is most passionate about engaging and empowering youth, donating her time with Kids Help Phone as a Crisis Responder and the Canadian Armed Forces as an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel. Karen lives in Halifax and currently works at YWCA in the role of LEAD Program Coordinator, Gender Equity Sport and Inclusion and at Banook Canoe Club as the Assistant Coach.

Rachel Sumner

Associate Consultant

About RachelJoining the team September 2020, Rachel is passionate about connecting learners with innovative experiences that build both professional and human skills and has spoken and published internationally on these topics. As an internationally oriented consultant, she is able to demonstrate a 20+ year track record of enabling private, public and non-profit organizations to achieve their learning and development goals through the design and implementation of innovative projects and initiatives in digital and experiential learning.

Possessing a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on Curriculum, Training and the Future of Work, Rachel is a qualified teacher and has served as a faculty member and administrator in K-12, post secondary education and corporate learning and development settings. Nominated three times for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award, she is also a volunteer mentor for Lean in Canada and is certified by the UK’s Institute of Leadership and Management as an Executive Coach and Mentor. Currently pursuing her doctoral studies in Higher Education, Rachel is undertaking a comparative study of experiential learning design in North America, Europe and Asia with a particular interest in education technology.

Strategic Partners

Stephanie Heath

Research Power Inc.