Edward Wachtman - Founder and Story Maker, StoryTellings™ Consulting
Edward has been intrigued with stories and storytelling ever since he was a very young boy, spending lazy summer evenings on a farmhouse porch listening to his grandfather spin one yarn after another. Stories were an interest he pursued in graduate school, completing a Masters degree in Myth and Religion and then going on to write his doctoral dissertation on story as a research tool.
In his almost 25 years as a management and marketing consultant, Edward has honed this passion for stories: helping organizations tap into the power of stories to motivate and influence employee and customer behavior; designing research studies where stories were the primary vehicle for collecting data; and writing intricate case studies for training and development purposes.
Throughout his consulting career Edward has worked with global organizations such as: Ford, Daimler-Chrysler, General Motors, General Electric, IBM, Intrawest, DHL, British Airways, TD Bank Financial Group, Procter and Gamble…to list but a few. Global profile and size are not prerequisites for Edward’s interest; he has worked with many smaller, but well-niched organizations to help them understand and articulate their stories.
Although an early ‘convert’ to the action-oriented world of business, Edward has stayed close to his original love of stories, myth, and depth psychology. He continues working hard to bridge the sometimes-awkward chasm between academia and commerce. StoryTellings™ is the result of this effort.
When not engaged with StoryTellings™, Edward spends his time roaming the Coast Mountains of British Columbia and sailing its coastal waters. He lives here on a small island with his wife, Sheree Johnson. It is a place where the ancient and the new exist side-by-side, a place rich with myth and story…a place of inspiration.
Sheree Johnson – Founder, Consultant, Business Manager, StoryTellings™ Consulting
Sheree’s story has taken her from her childhood in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to an international speaker, author and consultant. Sheree has 30 years of industry and consulting experience in marketing, sales, finance, strategy development, and planning. She has applied her experience and skills to helping clients with their Customer-Driven Strategy Development and Organizational Alignment.
In addition to founding CompQuest Consulting and StoryTellings™ with her husband, Edward Wachtman, Sheree played a critical role building two successful market research companies. She has worked with clients in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia. Specific engagements have included: defining market scope; positioning and communications strategy; developing business plans for strategy alignment and implementation; evaluating and designing customer satisfaction measurement and customer loyalty programs; defining balanced scorecard measurement systems; designing, developing and delivering custom workshops for change management and leadership development.
Sheree is a nationally recognized speaker on customer-focused business strategies and has been quoted in Business Week and Fortune magazines. She co-authored “Customer Satisfaction Measurement: A Management Information System for Total Quality” in the McGraw-Hill Handbook of Marketing Research. Her published articles include “From Commodity to Value-Add: Reinventing Strategy,” “Customer Intimacy Drives Success,” and “Customer Relationship Management: What to Do Before Going 1-to-1.” For seven years she co-authored a bi-monthly column on customer relationship marketing and management for the AMA’s Marketing Management magazine.
Sheree’s “happy ever after” story ending has her now living back near mountains on Bowen Island, BC. Sheree loves to travel to new places, she is an accomplished chef, and enjoys gardening, hiking, and boating with friends.
April Bosshard - Field Coordinator, Writer
April believes that stories have the power to change hearts and minds. Through stories we find ourselves; we discover meaning; we develop purpose. Every life, every person, tells a story.
Communication, education, and creativity are the prevailing themes in April’s life story. In university, a degree in International Relations was derailed after she signed up for two elective film classes. After working on a few student films, she was accepted into the UBC film program and graduated with a BA in Film & Television. This love of film -- visual storytelling – fueled her passion for writing.
April has worked with producers, editors, and production departments in the film industry. She has facilitated classes and writing groups. In the past she has been involved in adult education and, more recently, the development and implementation of a new elementary education program. A recent convert to the martial arts, April also manages a thriving Taekwondo school within her community.
April balances her time between writing, raising her daughters, and practicing martial arts. She can frequently be found puttering in her garden as she works on story ideas.
Kris Farmer – Transcriptionist, Field Assistant
Kris has an unrelenting curiosity for all things psychosocial. Research is her passion, although her direction and focus are broad. They include skepticism, psychology (social, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, unconscious, and perceptual), philosophy and metaphysical psychology, and computer science and artificial intelligence. Nevertheless, she pays her bills by being a state of the art transcriptionist/note taker. She uses her passions for computer technology to improve the speed and efficiency of her research quality note taking skills, taking full advantage of new digital methods of recording and transmission of information.
Born and raised in the small town of Siloam Springs, in the Arkansas Ozarks, Kris struggled with how to reach her full potential, and realized at an early age that if she wanted to, she would need to do it on her own. From age 13, Kris had a lawn mowing business, and a summer fireworks stand. She worked in her off hours at her parents’ sign shop. At 15, she also began waiting tables. An accomplished saxophonist in her region, she held first chair during the school’s concert seasons, and played lead Alto in a hand selected community jazz band. Winning several medals and awards during high school, Kris received the highest scholarship the University of Arkansas could give a non-music major.
Kris graduated from the University of Arkansas with departmental honors in psychology. Her honors thesis, an empirical research piece, is entitled A Brief History of the Unconscious. Kris attributes her perceptual journey of self-discovery and subjective/objective appreciation of the human mind and condition to her honors thesis advisor and professor, David Westendorf, Ph.D. Dr. Westendorf, now retired, is a highly respected professor of Perceptions and of History and Systems in Psychology. He gave Kris priceless insight into the vast complexities of what goes into the simplest of decision making heuristics, and how the senses control subjective truth. As Kris likes to say, perception is 9/10ths of the law. In this regard, StoryTellings research contains all of the concepts that Kris finds so fascinating: cognition, emotion, perception, subjectivity v. objectivity, beliefs, unconscious drives, social zeitgeists, etc.
Jeananne Laing - Field Coordinator
Jeananne was raised in a small fruit farming community in the Similkameen Valley of British Columbia. Her mother, the local librarian, instilled in her a deep respect for the power of the written word, and of course, story: Early on Jeananne learned that books were not only gateways to other worlds and experiences, but also the key to understanding the vast mysteries of our existence.
Growing up, her life was simple but full. Homegrown food, fresh air, and the freedom to explore the rugged and pristine beauty of the BC interior were defining elements of Jeananne’s childhood. It was in these modest beginnings that she began to develop her lifelong passions for learning and adventure.
Beginning her career in graphic design and a desktop publishing, Jeananne quickly transitioned into the world of information technology; mastering the intricacies of networking, database support, web development, technical writing and project management. Although it was a challenge staying connected to her rural roots, the time spent in the realm of bits and bytes afforded her the means to comfortably raise two children. It also provided the foundation for exploring the next phase of her life: the study and practice of herbal medicine and holistic health.
Jeananne is a trained Clinical Herbalist with a clinical practice in Calgary, Alberta. She is a respected teacher and frequently speaks on various aspects of herbal medicine and healthy living. She is an active member of the Canadian Council of Herbal Associations and is resurrecting the Alberta Association of Herbal Practitioners, and teaches at the Wild Rose College of Natural Healing.
Most recently Jeanne’s love of learning and adventure has brought her to StoryTellings™ where she has the opportunity to explore the deep connections and mythic dimensions that define our human condition.
Jeananne spends her free time doing photography, writing, and enjoying the Alberta countryside. She practices yoga and meditation daily, believing that it is through healing ourselves that we will heal our planet.