I'm on a mission to engage, educate and enable people working in projects and organizations, so that their individual efforts can make a positive impact.

I aim to give planners, designers, team leads, managers, and project managers, the necessary strategies, techniques and tools, enabling them to make a difference to the outcomes of the projects, developments and change initiatives that they work on.

I really enjoyed the presenter providing real world situations that she learned from and how she utilized peer feed back to adjust her approach. Kudos and credibility. This is a must watch for PM’s in my opinion. Awesome Job!

Great information. It showed the importance of looking at the whole life cycle early in the project by getting all stakeholder requirements. This applies to all industries.

Nicely done! One the of better presenters for PMI!!!
— projectmanagement.com attendees


Over the past decade, I have presented for various groups within the mining and project management sectors, ranging from large audiences at national conferences, to medium-sized groups of university engineering students, to smaller luncheon functions for team learning or professional associations.  I have spoken frequently on mining waste management, sustainability and integration of sustainability into projects and processes, but also on Lean, leading through change, collaboration and engagement.

I focus primarily on the integration of various improvement principles and methods into projects, improving team collaboration, and engaging and empowering personnel to facilitate successful change initiatives.  

Personalized presentations and webinars can be developed based on the theme of the event, the desired message, and the audience to be engaged.  Scroll down for a list of previous speaking engagements, and read previous blog posts on similar topics here.




Recognizing Agents of Change

Lean Construction Institute - Canada Conference: Leaning Forward, Reducing Waste & Working Smarter

Vancouver, BC, April 24-26th, 2018


Strategic Collaboration - Reducing Project & Lifecycle Risks

CIM Convention: Thinking Differently, A Modern Approach to Mining

Vancouver, BC, May 6-9th, 2018


  • Making Your Organization Soar, Training Insights Podcasts

This podcast series, produced by Ottawa-based writer/audio producer Kevin McGowan in partnership with Training magazine, includes one-on-one interviews with fascinating people in the training/learning and development world. The three keys to making your organization soar—not just perform—is good economic returns; environmental performance; and the social aspect, particularly employee engagement and collaboration.

Access podcast here

  • The Necessary Culture for Soaring Performance, rated @ 5.5/7, projectmanagement.com

Leading organizations have been found to demonstrate key characteristics and capabilities. However, their practices are much more holistic than just utilizing a set of tools and analysis methods to monitor performance and correct issues. Lessons are shared from the books High-Velocity Edge, and Drive, to demonstrate what these are, and just why they work. 

Edited slightly & re-recorded, free for anyone, access replay here

WOW - best webinar I have seen in a while!! Employee engagement is at an all-time low in parts of the organization where I work. Think everyone would benefit from seeing this presentation. Very well done!! Good tips on how to drive workforce and operational efficiency and how to better equip your employees for sustained high performance.

Many thanks for the great webinar sharing how programs and projects can clearly gain from a culture shift and full adoption of such strategies which revolve around the philosophy behind PDCA, and relevant Lean-based tools that can be utilized to engage personnel, and facilitate some of the changes required.
— projectmanagement.com attendees
  • Enabling Organizational Improvement Initiatives, rated @ 5.5/7, projectmanagement.com 

Every person, team and discipline in an organization can play a role in the facilitation of initiatives aimed at improving stakeholder support and improvements in environmental performance. These personnel need only the connection and alignment of their own roles to the proposed targets, and the opportunities to present and implement solutions and strategies within their scope. With small contributions from all team players, success can be had through alignment.

Free with PMI membership, access replay here

I really enjoyed the presenter providing real world situations that she learned from and how she utilized peer feed back to adjust her approach. Kudos and credibility. This is a must watch for PM’s in my opinion. Awesome Job!

I’ve attended several webinars but this has been the best I’ve ever attended. I like how the presenter checked in on the audience engagement from time to time with surveys or “yes/no” answers in the comment boxes.

Excellent presentation, change is the key to progress.
— projectmanagement.com attendees
  • Leaning the Project Lifecycle, rated @ 5.5/7, projectmanagement.com

The work of each engineering discipline plays a significant role in enabling risk avoidance and improvement in design, as well as addressing external stakeholder concerns and requirements. However, achieving success in multi-phase, extended duration projects requires distinct collaboration, coordination, and communication elements. The audience was introduced to key strategies and tools to improve the success rates of projects that involve potential environmental and societal impacts, and the approval of multiple stakeholders.

Free with PMI membership, access replay here

Great presentation. Worth watching!

Interesting topic! Clever presentation of Opportunities and Challenges while introducing improvements. Lessons to Learn managing project scope and apply. Thank you!

I enjoyed your presentation and the long term perspective to which you are asking producers and EPCs to consider during mine design and operation.

Thanks a lot! This is an excellent point of view about how to lead a project considering the environment and social aspects.

Informative presentation and speaker with applicability in other sectors.

Thank you Karen for a great presentation. Leaning Project Life cycle seems a very good approach. Many projects fail to deliver benefits specially sustainability related benefits, because they do not take a holistic view and a life cycle approach.

Good practical presentation of applying Lean concepts to managing project scope. Process Flow mapping is an effective visual tool to lay out project features and allows for brain storming exercises to identify project gaps and risks.
— projectmanagement.com attendees

Would you Like to Learn More? Have a Topic Idea?

At the Canadian Mineral Processors regional conference, Karen made a strong case for thinking holistically about the project lifecycle. She clearly and concisely presented the benefits of collaboration to improve project outcomes. The audience was well engaged, posing many questions and comments for her at the conclusion.
— Lorne Schwartz, Conference Coordinator
Our membership liked the presentation and I could tell it provoked thought from those that attended.

Karen spoke very well & knowledgeable on the topic...nice to have the group work.
— PMI North Saskatchewan attendees
Ms. Chovan recently prepared and delivered a terrific presentation about ways to improve performance and approval rates of complex industrial projects to women in the mining and nuclear industries in Saskatoon.

Well organized and a great presenter!
— WIMWiN SK attendees
The overall impacts of projects are not a focus in school, so it was valuable to have a presentation that reminded us to be aware of our actions.

Made me think about sustainability as a whole...applicable to the engineering concepts of any business...very important to our careers!
— University of Saskatchewan students


  • Design to Engage & AlignSpark the Change India Conference 2018
  • Maximizing Value-Add of Mining Developments, CIM Environmental & Social Responsibility Society 2018
  • Using Innovation for More Effective Tailings Management, Canadian Mineral Processors MB/SK Regional Conference 2017
  • The Necessary Culture for Soaring Performance, PMI Global Conference 2017
  • Ask the Expert Series, PMI Global Conference 2017
  • Engaging Your Team Through Change, WIMWiN-SK Mine Your Potential Conference 2017
  • Evaluating the Impact of Technology for Tailings Disposal, Panel Moderator, Mines & Technology Toronto 2017
  • The Necessary Culture for Soaring Performance, PMI North Saskatchewan Chapter 2017
  • How we Kickstarted a Lean Community of Practice, Lean Construction Institute of Canada Conference 2017
  • Extracting Value from Sunk & Presumed Costs, CIM Conference 2017
  • Ask the Expert Series, PMI Global Congress 2016
  • Sustainable Extraction: Environmental Initiatives for Canada’s Resource Industries, Conference Board of Canada
  • Demonstration of a Framework for Mine Closure and Relinquishment, CIM Conference 2016
  • 5 Strategies to Improve Your Project Outcomes, APEGS, Annual General Meeting 2016
  • Leaning the Mining Lifecycle, University of Saskatchewan Civil, Geological & Environment Engineering 2016
  • Leaning into Environmental Assessment Approvals, PMI South Saskatchewan Chapter 2015
  • A Leaner Lifecycle, Canadian Mineral Processors SK/MB Regional Conference 2015
  • Improving Project Outcomes through Sustainability Integration, PMI North Saskatchewan Chapter 2015
  • 5 Strategies to Improve Your Project Outcomes, Women In Mining / Women In Nuclear, SK 2015
  • Integrating Sustainability into Projects Design, University of Saskatchewan Civil, Geological & Environment Engineering 2015, 2014