Hi! I’m Karen Chovan and I am a problem solver.

It is the one thing that has remained consistent throughout my career - the bigger the problem, the more appealing, and throw an environmental challenge on top of that? Heaven.

But when it comes to big problems, a one-person show is never the answer - which leads to my second passion:

Bringing diverse minds together to figure these things out!

From problem identification, all the way through to change implementation, I can help you out.

Over the past 20 years, I have worked in industry, helping operations avoid spending millions of dollars, while reducing risks to the environment, and increasing regulatory and community trust in their organizations.

Through my experiences in geological engineering, field construction, project management, and organizational change, I have realized that my greatest successes have tied to my ability to see the big picture, to spot risks and barriers, to help others see these things too, to identify potential alternatives and improvement opportunities, and most importantly, in bringing together the right mix of people to help understand and work through various problems.

Trusted and recommended as a manager who can and has delivered results, with "a tenacity to overcome obstacles and facilitate finding the right solutions," I would hope you would view me as a go-to person to help solve your complex challenges and achieve transformational change.

But it goes beyond that, because I have a passion for promoting positive change in mining, and I’m not afraid to raise my voice, be a little controversial, and poke people or organizations into taking action. Do you want to challenge industry on something that needs addressing? Reach out and maybe we can work together on that!

Here are some of the blogs and articles I have authored, the presentations and webinars I have delivered, past corporate experiences (below), and the testimonials I have received from past managers and external clients.

I've been been featured on A Girls Guide to PM, as well as Training Magazine, and Spark CafePMI's resource platform, Lean Construction Institute Canada, and Shift2Lean Inc.

Karen and I worked on 2 multibillion dollar company-critical projects necessary for keeping our doors open.

1. Our first project was at Syncrude Canada (http://www.syncrude.ca/our-company/overview/ ) a joint venture which includes 25% ownership by Imperial Oil (ExxonMobil controlled affiliate). Karen defined the trusted strategic plan, helping us secure our budget with Senior Management. With 270,000 barrels/day of oil on the line, failure would have cost us billions. She got her hands dirty to go into the field and execute on the plan until we succeeded!

2. In our second project, we supported the largest mining operation of Cameco worth $400 Million dollars annually. Karen and I secured regulatory agencies trust and approval for licensing needed to safely continue our operations.

Karen’s greatest strengths were in her ability to leave no stone unturned to show due diligence for trusted research. Karen’s genuine care for the environment shows at every level!

She is passionate, and has an incredible ability to logically put together the trusted plan for Senior Management to easily approve projects. Extremely organized, I can always trust her management of a project.
— Director, Operations

Programs & Organizational Change

For a number of years, I have focused on sustainability and organizational change, transitioning an international company into a state of proactive environmental risk management and performance improvements. Some of my primary projects and activities involved with the sustainability initiative are listed here.



My career has taken me through various roles within the extractives industry, with a heavy focus on managing and executing projects involving the characterization and mitigation of environmental risks and opportunities. For more information, please see this list of projects as examples. 

I worked with Karen for 2-3 years on the Environmental Stewardship Committee of the Canada Mining Innovation Council. As the past Chair of the initiative, I remain impressed by Karen’s dedication to our team, both as a team member and a team leader. Her contributions to the group are well planned and well thought out and she contributes to the team by inspiring others with the depth of her understanding and willingness to support our objectives. Karen’s contributions to the team are part of the reason we are successful and I welcome her contributions and counsel. She is a true leader on our team.
— Dr. Mark Thorpe, Chair, Environmental Stewardship Initiative, Canada Mining Innovation Council

General Experience

With 20 years in mining, I have been exposed to a very diverse range of experiences. I have been involved with reviewing and improving operational functions, practices, and addressing environmental issues for small and large projects, including proposals of new mine developments. The breadth of environmental and organizational change issues are common to those that might be found in many other industrial and commercial sectors. Below is a list of the ways this diverse experience may be related to other applications:

Integrating the needs of a multitude of distinct services, disciplines, and levels within the organization.

Engaging local communities and other external stakeholders, incorporating obligations, and addressing concerns within programs and projects.

Bringing together diverse groups, each with its own distinct challenges, priorities, and economics, to focus and align on shifting organizational goals and solving unique problems. Working with: 

  • Integrated and/or parallel business units,

  • Remote and/or geographically dispersed operations, 

  • Operations in differing regulatory and reporting jurisdictions.

Karen has a lot of passion for her work and can always be relied upon to deliver high quality results in a timely fashion.
— Director, Projects