Our Associates

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  Terry Windrem

Terry joined The Protectors Group in 1984. He is a successful licensed practitioner who specializes in planning for independent and family business owners. He has gained the respect of other professionals such as lawyers and accountants by working as a team player to provide advice on financial issues, business succession, estate planning, wealth creation and retirement planning.

Terry received the National Quality Award for the Canadian Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors for 21 consecutive years. Terry has been the recipient of the Peterborough Readers Choice Award for Financial Planning and The Protectors Group was named the Favourite Investment Company of 2003. He is also an invited member of CALU (The Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting), which is restricted to individuals who meet high professional standards. He is a founding member of the Kawartha Rotary Club. He is active in community fundraising and supportive of the Trent Valley Literacy Association, Camp Kawartha and Lakefield College School, where he also serves as a trustee. Terry joins Rudy Massimo & Associates as a planned giving specialist.


  Sharon Wood

Sharon Wood holds the distinction of being the first North American woman to summit Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world.  Much in demand as a public speaker, she now travels internationally sharing her experiences and approach to leadership and adventure.

Born in Halifax, Sharon grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia and moved to the Canadian Rockies at seventeen. She soon signed up for a rock climbing course, and at the age of eighteen began her career as a climbing instructor. Sharon earned her Climbing Guide status and worked six months of each year as a helicopter ski guide. For the remaining six months the mountaineer engaged in her passion - climbing the highest mountains she could find.

On May 20, 1986 Sharon reached the summit of Mount Everest.  "It was the accumulated investment of epics and failures that I celebrated, cherished and drew from that got us down that night," reflects Sharon. For this achievement and many others, she received the inaugural Tenzing Norgay Award as "Professional Mountaineer of the Year" from the American Alpine Club and the Explorers’ Club of New York. Recognition of her achievements also includes an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Calgary and a Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada.

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  Jim Blake, BA, B.Ed

Jim works with a wide range of organizations and businesses – from grass roots to corporate, rural to urban, local to international – as a facilitator and organizational consultant. His work includes strategic plans, feasibility studies, business plans, training, event planning and proposal writing. Recent clients have included organizations such as The Land Between, ArtsCan Circle, Radcliffe Centre for Public Policy at Harvard, Haliburton Highlands Health Services, Camp Couchiching, Canadian Association for Community Living, Rails End Gallery, Eastern Ontario Community Futures Network, Ottawa Storytellers, Haliburton School of The Arts, and the Girl Guides of Canada – Ontario Council.

In addition to his consulting practice, Jim taught from 1997-2007 as a part-time faculty member at Fleming College, offering courses in Community Development, Marketing and Business, and teaching in the Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism Management Post-Graduate Program. In 2007, he was awarded the Fleming College Fellowship in Applied Education.

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  Kat Smithhammer

Kat Smithhammer is an educator, facilitator, leadership coach, systems thinker & consultant, whose passion is to help clients recognize patterns and build personal capacities to deal with an ever evolving world. She believes that self-knowledge is fundamental to learning, which allows individuals to examine their behaviours and make conscious choices.

Kat has been teaching and building highly effective teams for 15 years. Her clients include NASA astronauts and Shuttle Crews, Wharton and Kellogg MBA students, Google Directors, Timbuk2, Four Seasons, the Denver Museum of Natural History, Beta Theta Pi, and Land Managers.

Kat also brings a wealth of outdoor leadership experience having led successful remote expeditions for the National Outdoor Leadership School. Highlight: 2nd ascent of Mt. Burney, Chilean Patagonia (On the thirtieth anniversary of Eric Shipton’s 1st ascent). Utilising creative curriculum design and the integration of diverse teaching strategies Kat provides her clients with unique learning opportunities. She has a reputation for building strong relationships with her clients, which often result in fostering lifelong relationships and partnerships achieving common goals.

Over the years Kat has co-led a number of wilderness expeditions and leadership workshops with Rudy Massimo.


  Ken Victor

Ken brings over thirty years of experince in leadership development, executive coaching and strategic planning. Ken has spent the past twenty years working with people in organizations. His initial work in developing human potential began in the late 70’s working for Outward Bound. Years later he moved up to Canada from the States to direct Outward Bound’s Professional Development Program in Canada. After leaving Outward Bound he founded The Edgework Leadership Group in 1995.

Ken’s involvement with coaching initially grew out of his work in developing high performing teams, coaching team leaders to sustain their team’s effectiveness. His work has focused on leadership development, including the design and implementation of in-house leadership development practices for large corporations.

His coaching practice has involved working with clients who are facing career derailment situations, using 360° feedback in the formation of personal development plans, and supporting high potentials to take the next step in their organizations. Educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Syracuse University, Ken has taught at the corporate universities of Motorola and 3Com Universities as well as the McGill Executive Institute, and authored papers and presented several times at conferences of the international Organization Development Network. When not involved with organizations, Ken lives with his wife, and three children in the Gatineau Hills of West Quebec.

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