Our Staff Team

Gerard Murphy

Founder & CEO

About Gerard

Gerard is a sought-after partner with a remarkable 30-year track record as a facilitator, speaker and emcee. Throughout his career, Gerard has exhibited a profound passion for co-creating impactful conversations that drive individual, team and organizational performance to new heights.

With extensive experience locally, nationally and internationally, Gerard has been instrumental in providing facilitation, training, and consulting services across various sectors including voluntary, public, and private. His expertise lies in designing and delivering learning experiences and group processes that support individuals to thrive in today’s dynamic landscape.

A graduate of Dalhousie University’s School of Health and Human Performance, Gerard is deeply committed to continuous learning and professional development. He holds certifications in public participation, community-based development, leadership development, and primary health care collaboration. Gerard is also recognized as a certified Personality Dimensions® Qualified Facilitator and is an active member of the International Association of Facilitators.

Gerard is not just a dynamic facilitator; he is a catalyst for transformative experiences. His unwavering dedication to engaging others and his unparalleled expertise make him a leader in his field and a trusted partner for organizations seeking to unlock their full potential.

Joss Pirker

Client Experience and Event Specialist

About Joss

Joss, an Ontario native, has a profound passion for fostering connections and bringing people together. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Performing Arts from Brock University 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 global online 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 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 its legacy of enriching personal, team and organizational development.

Nino Kovacevic

Associate Facilitator

About Nino

Nino brings over a decade of experience in public-facing roles at the cross-section of provincial and national not-for-profit sport governance, and organizational and community development. His expertise is in designing, implementing, and evaluating adult learning and organizational development programs at provincial and national scales.

Nino is passionate about all aspects of individual and organizational learning and development. In addition to his formal training as a learning facilitator, evaluator, and master learning facilitator, Nino is finishing the Master of Education in Adult Education and Health program at St. Francis Xavier University. Nino finds joy in practically applying the learned theoretical concepts in coaching and mentoring relationships, whether in a group setting or on a one-to-one basis.

Supporting individuals in developing skills to uncover their self-confidence and find clarity of purpose is the motivating factor behind his involvement in this field. Nino describes himself as “idealistically pragmatic,” believing that our work should be framed by established theoretical concepts in the service of practical impact and tangible skill, process, or program development. Nino is energized and excited by the prospect of building meaningful relationships with individuals working to improve themselves, their space, and the community around them.

Marg McClean

Associate 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.