Koreen Mak, M.A., B.Ed., HRAC, CPHR
Founder & CEO, Peppermint Technologies Inc.
Koreen has a formal university education with a B.A. and a B.Ed. and has been a life-long learner. After spending time at home with her children when they were small, she went back to school and received an Advanced Certificate in Human Resources from SIAST. She spent almost 10 of the last 13 years managing a learning and development department in a complex organization. During this time, she returned to school and received a Masters in Leadership Degree, where she completed her thesis on creating leadership development programming and examining the best conditions to enable learning.
In her capacity as a Learning and Development Manager, Koreen managed the all the training and organizational development activities for a credit union that grew from 200 to 900 employees through a series of mergers. The type of training needed at any given time varied considerably: technical training for an organization with many different types of positions, merger related training (she managed through 3 large mergers and several smaller ones), and soft skill/leadership development training. She grew her department from 2 employees to 8 by the time she left the organization and lead the development of in-person training as well as developing a complex e-learning environment. Through her career, Koreen has developed organizational learning strategies, created training material through a variety of channels, and has trained subject matter experts to become instructional designers. She’s also implemented and converted many different learning management software systems. Because of this vast experience, Koreen has a strong theoretical knowledge of learning balanced with a practical experience of managing training in an organization that had complex learning needs with a highly geographically dispersed workforce. This background has expertly prepared her to understand the pain points and organizational needs for a better method of training. More important, she understands the issues from the perspective of an administrator, an author, an expert in learning practices, a user, and a manager. All these stakeholders have shared but also differing views and needs in regard to training.
In total, Koreen spent 14 years working for the credit union. During that time, she not only gained skill in her positions, but she gained an appreciation for the credit union’s role as an economic engine for the communities they served. Working for an organization that had a greater purpose than just making a profit for shareholders was a source of pride. Being able to volunteer during work time, donating funds to causes she cared about, and feeling like she was contributing to making her community a better place were things she wanted to continue once she left the credit union system. Creating Peppermint Technologies as a social purpose organization was very important. She has also continued her volunteerism and is an in-school mentor with Big Brothers and Sisters, currently in her 5th year mentoring and developing a strong relationship with an elementary school-aged girl.
Over the past 3 years, Koreen has been working as a training consultant with her own business, Conscious Choice Personal & Professional Development, which is a finalist for a 2020 SABEX award. She’s been able to share her passion for leadership development (both formal and informal leadership) with employees in many organizations. Time and again in her facilitation both as an internal consultant and an external one, employees relate how well the learnings helped them at work but also in their life beyond work. Understanding that many organizations didn’t have easy access to this type of training also influenced her desire to bring a platform that was both affordable and offered quality education. In addition, through her work with clients, she’s discovered her own frustrations with the retention and application of learning were part of a much larger problem, leading her to develop MYNTIX™, her micro-learning platform.
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Saskatoon, SK. Canada