Everyone has a story. These are ours.
“I created a job for myself, which turned into a business, which has grown into an enterprise, all around the one thing I know I’m here to do - empower people to know better, be better and do better. Facilitating transformation. I don’t know how to do anything else.”
Founder + Chief Culture Officer
Jane Southren is the fearless leader, Founder and Chief Culture Officer, to name just a few of the hats she wears in the enterprise that proudly bears her name.
Drawing on her extensive experience as a successful practicing litigator, and then in-house business development director for a major law firm, Jane is a powerhouse mentor and advisor to her clients, helping them develop the relationships, form the habits and build the profiles they need to attract the work they want and build businesses and careers they love.
Jane’s lifelong interest in neuroscience and human connection has led her to study the ways in which people interact and engage with one another, and her findings form the basis of all of the company’s programs.
Jane empowers and inspires her clients and audiences, whether in a one-on-one coaching engagement, a group program or from the stage.
Jane and her team lead individuals and groups to cultivate insights, develop strategies, implement behavioural changes and build the habits they need to build sustainable, independent practices that they love - practices that are aligned with their values and their personal and professional aspirations.
Jane is a lifelong learner, world-traveler and super-connector. She has a ‘shiny things’ syndrome, an actual Superpower, is no stranger to curse words and always, always has enough room at her table for anyone who wants to join the party.
“The thing I love most to do is create processes - and that’s a word I used to hate! But as soon as I realized how impactful processes can be in elevating businesses, I was hooked. I’m not interested in doing things the way they’ve always been done; I’m interested in finding new and better ways.”
Teresa is Co-Founder and COO at Southren Group. She is the air-traffic controller of the enterprise, responsible for everything that happens behind the scenes, and between the lines. Teresa supports the team and our clients at every stage of engagement, from the accreditation of programs, managing of vendor and partner relationships, implementation of new technology and systems, execution of contracts and reporting, through managing accounting and back-office processes.
Process is Teresa’s passion, and throughout her 25-year career in law firms she honed and perfected her craft and brings all of that rich learning to Southren Group, and to our clients and partners. She is deeply committed to excellence, loves a check-mark in a box more than just about anything, and keeps the ship running at full efficiency at all times.
Teresa also runs our Operations Management Program, giving small- to mid-sized law firms the support they need, when and how they need it. She knows the operational challenges that firms face, and applies her depth and breadth of expertise to helping our clients navigate them, closing the operations deficiency gap. With a focus on project management, human resources and facilities management and vendor selection, she helps our clients - and us! - cultivate efficient, effective, thriving professional services environments.
Teresa is a mom of three (four if you include her beloved fur-baby), a sailing wife, an avid world traveller, active volunteer and curious learner who is always starting a new project or taking on a new challenge. She’s a real estate investor, a hostess extraordinaire and the calm in every storm.
When she’s not running the show, you’ll find her curling, cottaging, hosting, sipping, eating, laughing, playing and enjoying life to its absolute fullest.
“Even if I didn't have to work another day, I'd do exactly what I’m doing here, now. Collaborating with this team and working with our clients allows me to do all of my favourite things, every day.”
Coach/Director, Strategy + Growth
Kelly Margani is the Director, Strategy + Growth at Southren Group, responsible for the direction of the business and brand. She is a key contributor to the firm’s program and service offerings, and a Brain-Based Coach, certified by the Neuroleadership Institute.
Working with lawyers and other professionals, Kelly helps clients create a path to their success through group coaching, training sessions and workshops, and she is a regular speaker at conferences and events specifically in the areas of business strategy/strategic planning, business development and design thinking. Kelly also provides one-on-one coaching to many of our clients, working with them to reach higher levels of success and wellbeing.
Kelly is a keen listener, clarifier and communicator, and prides herself on her ability to hear what people are really saying - beyond the words they're using to say it. She nurtures the 'big ideas' that help usher clients to the next stage of their success - whatever that looks like for them. She is committed to exceptional results and brings a passion for process and a commitment to excellence to every aspect of the business that she touches.
Kelly is a lifelong entrepreneur, and has worked in and for businesses of all sizes across many business sectors, from tech to banking, design and branding. As such she is accustomed to wearing all the hats, all at once. With a background in strategic communications, creative solutions, brand development, account management and client service, she is a decisive communicator, design thinker, and a skilled problem-solver who strives to first understand the unique needs of her audience in order to deliver the best outcome possible.
Kelly is a curious thinker, doer, dreamer, writer, coach, trainer, designer, collaborator, consultant and strategist.
When she’s not slaying dragons or colouring outside the lines at work, Kelly loves to explore the world, eat all the food, drink all the wine, and do all the things that make life more beautiful.
“The thing that most of our clients would be surprised to know about me, given my passion for and background in research, is that I often make decisions - big, life-changing decisions - based on gut feel and instinct.”
Director, Training + Development
Christine Shimoda is the Director, Training + Development at Southren Group, and is responsible for overseeing the creation of coaching and training programs that support our clients through their development journey. She is passionate about identifying opportunities, addressing challenges and assisting our clients in making strategic choices that move them forward toward their goals.
Christine is a process junkie and lifelong learner who brings to her role a commitment to developing and offering the very best tools, methodologies and resources available to accompany and support the programs she creates. In addition to their creation, Christine also facilitates many of the company’s group training sessions and workshops, and our clients benefit from her measured approach to thinking through and solving problems.
A skilled researcher and facilitator by training, Christine has devoted much of her career to all aspects of the research spectrum — as a consumer, provider and consultant — interpreting and applying insights to the decision making process. Her unique perspective allows her to really dig into how insights, and the information garnered from them, facilitate behaviour change.
Though trained and skilled at using research, facts and data in decision making, Christine is also an intuitive thinker who is able to get herself and others out of the way to reach the place of authenticity, value and gut-feel when it matters most.
When she’s not creating ground-breaking programs, Christine can most often be found playing, watching or cheerleading some kind of sporting event. She is a longtime ultimate frisbee player, a hockey/baseball/ultimate mom, and is looking forward to her pickleball years.
“It's all about the big ideas and audacious goals that our clients have. Walking alongside them, co-creating their visions, goals and aspirations, gives back to me as much as it does to our clients.”
Coach + Facilitator
Kim Neeson is a Coach + Facilitator with Southren Group, working with our team in support of our core programs and services and helping to usher our clients to their success.
Kim is an award-winning entrepreneur and business leader, having formed and grown her company in the legal services space, Neesons, from a one-woman business to a multi-million dollar company over the course of two-plus decades. In 2019, Kim's business was acquired by Veritext Litigation Solutions, the largest court reporting company in the world. After the sale, Kim led the growth of the business in Canada as Regional Vice President before retiring from her role with a total of 11 offices under the Veritext Canada umbrella.
Kim received her training in coaching from Erickson International and achieved her certified ACC status from the International Coaching Federation in October of 2021, adding coaching to her already robust skillset.
As a business leader and coach/consultant, Kim now puts her knowledge, business acumen and lived life experience to work for her clients. She now prides herself on walking alongside leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs who are looking to re-energize, rebalance, re-engage or change their work/life realities.
Kim’s clients include lawyers, law firms, entrepreneurs, managers, executives and other professionals.
"I'm a bit like a dog with a bone when it comes to new learning and figuring things out. This is a wonderful group of passionate women and I feel honoured to work with the Southren team."
Marketing + Communications Manager
Stephanie is a seasoned marketing and communications professional with over 25 years of progressive experience. She is thrilled to bring her skills and capabilities to the role of Marketing + Communications Manager at Southren Group.
With a deep passion for helping others discover their brand’s creative voice, Stephanie seeks to understand their vision and identity, and then crafts compelling meaningful messages and content with the goal of elevating brand awareness and uniqueness.
Stephanie has always thrived in entrepreneurial and dynamic environments, showcasing a distinctive ability to pivot and accelerate to meet the immediate needs of her team and the business. This adaptability is a core strength, evidenced by exceptional proficiency in navigating the ever-evolving marketing and communications landscape.
When not researching something online in her quest for continuous learning, Stephanie can be found spending time in the 1000 Islands with family and friends and is often immersed in a home improvement or building project, continuously adding DIY skills to her resume.
“I’m coaching to help people find the best way to flourish in their career and their life."
Coach + Facilitator
Alisse is a lawyer and an entrepreneur with a graduate degree in the neurosciences. She worked for many years as a litigator in private practice, where she was lead counsel on trials, and subsequently shifted into in-house roles as corporate counsel drafting and negotiating various agreements. She also founded a company in the real estate industry.
Alisse added coaching to her repertoire of services because she is passionate about helping others achieve their goals. She loves using the listening and strategic questioning skills she developed as a lawyer in combination with her knowledge and love of brain-based science to facilitate this process. She received her coaching training through the Neuroleadership Institute in New York.
A native of Montreal, she is happy to coach in both English and French.
When she is not working, Alisse can be found playing tennis, reading books and enjoying the company of friends and family. She also loves traveling and exploring other cultures when her schedule permits.
"I love that every day at Southren Group is a little different and that I'm constantly learning. What could be better?"
Rebecca Marquez is a vibrant source behind the scenes at Southren Group in her role as company Administrator. Rebecca’s role involves connecting with clients and weaving these relationships smoothly into the coaching journey. She is always up for taking on a new task!
What does Rebecca love about her job? The ever-present challenge! Every day brings a new twist, a fresh puzzle to solve, and she wouldn't have it any other way. In her words, "What could be better?!" Beyond the thrill of personal development, Rebecca finds joy in working with a team that's in a perpetual state of growth and vulnerability – a true testament to her passion for progress.
With an educational background in the humanities and culture, Rebecca wields a master's degree focused on the art of storytelling for building connections, both personal and professional. Her work is informed by her educational background, working with different perspectives, and understanding the context that shapes these perspectives.
Rebecca's superpower? Listening. Taking the time to sit with what someone is saying and allowing that to guide the conversation. It is a useful tool for defusing situations and forming connections with people.
Walking and painting are Rebecca’s therapy, a chance to change the pace, reflect and shift her perspective. Fun fact: Rebecca loves doing something that she once teased her mom about – Birdwatching! Now she loves to spot and identify birds wherever her adventures take her.