Wilowbrae Academy Team

Our team of professionals is ready to help you build a successful business. Meet the team that makes it all happen

Wayne Cochrane – President & Franchise Development EASTERN CANADA

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Wayne is Owner and President/CEO of Willowbrae Academy. Wayne has had an illustrious career spanning several fields including technology, consulting, training, and education. He is a successful teacher and trainer in several industries and was a senior management consultant for many years with several fortune 500 companies. He has extensive experience with several quality assurance models including; ISO9001, SEI Capability Maturity Model and Total Quality Management. Wayne's background in business development, marketing, training and management, have made him a successful leader and visionary. On top of everything else his commitment to giving back to the community has had him involved with several charities including; Habitat for Humanity (former national board member), Shriners (Master Mason), and senior roles in national/world curling championships. He is also involved in martial arts and is active member of MacKenzie Taekwon-Do. His desire to help working parents find appropriate, quality child care is another step in both his business life and his extensive community involvement.


Sam Kay – Vice President of Franchise Development ONTARIO

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Sam has over two decades of Franchise Sales and operational experience, Sam has developed a sharp eye for what works in the franchise industry. His extensive background in business planning, and his ability to create and implement innovative business strategies has made him a sought after commodity in business. Over the last 20 years Sam was instrumental in building one of Canada’s largest financial franchise. His experience includes working with Financial organizations, Real Estate and Early Childhood brands in Canada. Sam’s personal business motto is “Consistent, Fair and Firm”.


Alex Szinegh – Vice President of Franchise Development USA

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Alex has been associated with the franchise industry for more than 30 years. His extensive background in management operations, franchise sales, real estate development, coaching and training provide a wealth of knowledge to help individuals evaluate new business opportunities. His experience includes working for national retail concepts in health care, real estate, and fast food brands. Over the last 14 years he has been instrumental in helping to build one of the most successful real estate franchise brands in North America. Alex's drive, excitement and long term vision is a welcome addition to the Willowbrae® Family.


Shawn Pattison – Vice President of Franchise Development WESTERN CANADA

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Shawn brings an extensive background in franchising to the company, previously having worked with a number of Canada's premier franchise operations for over 20 years. Shawn started from the ground up and has developed a background in real estate development, franchise sales and training. Shawn has worked in the childcare industry for over five years as well as with a number of quick service national brands. Shawn is a keen businessman and has an extensive knowledge of operations and profitability having owned a number of his own Franchises. He has spent his working life in franchising and is an exciting and well qualified member of the Willowbrae family.


Susan Gaspar – Corporate Director of Franchise Development

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Born in a small town in Ontario and having traveled extensively throughout Canada, the US and Europe, Susan chose Vancouver, BC as her home. Susan graduated from Western University and then she spent many years as an entrepreneur building a successful restaurant business. After selling her businesses, Susan consulted for several start-up companies with a focus on operations, management and marketing. Susan discovered the child care business after the birth of her daughter. She quickly found a role as Franchise Development Director and led the opening of eleven child care centres. Susan joined the Willowbrae Academy team in 2013 and has successfully led the opening of many new franchises. Susan’s expertise in the child care licensing process, construction, project management, start-up, operations and marketing has proved invaluable to the Willowbrae Academy team. Outside business, you can find Susan at her daughter’s soccer games, hosting play dates and enjoying the Vancouver beaches.


Robin Pham – Sales Representative, Ontario

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Robin holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Ryerson University specializing in management and marketing and has more than seventeen years of sales and consulting experience. In addition, Robin has a diverse background in management through his past experience as a Business Development Manager at Hewlett Packard. He is continuing his passion in helping individuals and businesses with his current position in commercial real estate specialized in franchise development. Robin has always focused on honesty and integrity when dealing with his clients and will continue to do so with Willowbrae Academy.

Wayne Cochrane – President & CEO

wayne
Wayne is Owner and President/CEO of Willowbrae Academy. Wayne has had an illustrious career spanning several fields including technology, consulting, training, and education. He is a successful teacher and trainer in several industries and was a senior management consultant for many years with several fortune 500 companies. He has extensive experience with several quality assurance models including; ISO9001, SEI Capability Maturity Model and Total Quality Management. Wayne's background in business development, marketing, training and management, have made him a successful leader and visionary. On top of everything else his commitment to giving back to the community has had him involved with several charities including; Habitat for Humanity (former national board member), Shriners (Master Mason), and senior roles in national/world curling championships. He is also involved in martial arts and is active member of MacKenzie Taekwon-Do. His desire to help working parents find appropriate, quality child care is another step in both his business life and his extensive community involvement.


Jenn Morris – Director of Quality Assurance & Education

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As Director of Quality Assurance & Education Jenn  oversees the development of curriculum and quality at Willowbrae Academy. She ensures compliance with all of Willowbrae's standards of quality assurance and improvement. Over the past decade Jenn has experience as an Early Childhood Educator, Resource Coordinator and Director roles. She is a graduate of Mount Saint Vincent University with a Bachelor of Applied Arts Child and Youth Study program. Jenn joined the Willowbrae team in 2011 and helped to build the foundation for quality education in a safe and nurturing environment. She understands each level of the academy and is collaborating with other Willowbrae Directors, managers, staff and parents to ensure Willowbrae Academy continues to provide the highest quality care possible. When not at work Jenn can be found travelling, hiking, kayaking or playing soccer.


Tracey Dubé – Director of Finance

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Tracey is a standout achiever; every business wants to be well run, operationally and financially, and with Tracey it happens. She hails from our sister province of New Brunswick, and moved to Halifax in 1991, where she further studied and graduated with a certification in both Business Information & Technology and Small Business Management. Excellence and loyalty are the trademarks in her business life and career. Tracey worked for over a decade managing key financial processes for several large companies. Looking for a new horizon and new challenges, in 2009, she accepted the position of Director of Finance with Willowbrae Childcare Academy. At the helm of Willowbrae's finances, she brings balance and leadership to a wide array of financial processes and undertakings. Tracey takes that leadership and caring to causes close to her heart, such as, the Canadian Cancer Society's "Relay for Life" and volunteering at the IWK Health Centre. Willowbrae is proud to have her capability and her concern for everything that touches Willowbrae Academy.


Patti Koncovy – Director of Research and Special Projects

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As Director of Research and Special Projects, Patti performs research on new opportunities and other due diligence activities as well as providing data and input into various special projects. Highlights of her education and career include a BSc in Psychology from Dalhousie University, a BEd in Elementary/Special Education from Acadia University and further education from the University of New Bruswick. She has been teaching for 24 years and is a licensed teacher in several different provinces. Patti has taught in both private and public schools; as well as worked as a teacher in several childcare centers. Her list of accomplishments is amazing; English Second Language (ESL) Teacher, Community College ECE Instructor, Parks & Recreation Special Needs Co-ordinator and many more. Patti's volunteer work includes the Canadian Cancer Society, coaching baseball and soccer and working on numerous Parent/School Committees. Her tremendous scope makes her the perfect fit to lead our quality assurance charge at Willowbrae.


Megan Milner – Manager of Support Services

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Megan grew up in a small town in our neighbouring province, New Brunswick. After high school, she decided to venture to the big city of Calgary where she worked her way up to an Auto Claims Adjuster in the Insurance world. Today, she lives in Halifax and brings with her many years of experience in Real Estate where she was the Receptionist and Administrator responsible for inputting all new listings into the Real Estate system. Once Megan was searching for new challenges in her life, she then accepted the position of Corporate Administrator with Willowbrae Academy Corporate®. Megan's care and commitment towards others is apparent in her efforts every year with the Canadian Cancer Society's "Relay for Life", as well as Prostate Cancer Canada's "Do it for Dad's" walk/run. Along with the fundraising efforts, she volunteers to help raise money for our local Sci-fi convention throughout the year and was even given the opportunity to have a short story published through them in 2013, with all proceeds going to Hal-Con. She is also an active member at MacKenzie Taekwon-Do. With Megan's caring and loyal nature, we are very pleased to have her join our team here at Willowbrae.


Pegah Atbin – Manager of Corporate Administration

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Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Pegah has a passion for helping others in any way she can. Before attending Saint Mary’s University - where she received her Bachelor of Science and Major in Psychology - Pegah took a year to volunteer at an orphanage in Honduras, Central America, where she cared for over 180 children of all ages, and taught English at the public school. After graduating from University, Pegah ventured into the real estate world, and was a licensed Realtor® for over six years, up until accepting her position at Willowbrae Academy Corporate. Pegah epitomizes care, commitment, loyalty, hard-work and creative service in every aspect of her personal and professional life. Outside business, you can find Pegah spending time with her family and friends, enjoying the outdoors, or volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House – a place very dear to her heart.


Hal Johnson & Joanne McLeod – BodyBreak® KID FIT Partners

BodyBreak - Hal & Joanne
On July 13, 1988, Hal & Joanne shot the first episode of BodyBreak and began a journey that would elevate them to one of the most famous fitness couples in Canada. Today the BodyBreak team continues to spread the "Keep Fit and Have Fun" message through various corporate partnerships and speaking appearances. In 2013, Hal & Joanne met CEO Wayne Cochrane and the Willowbrae® journey began. They are excited to be actively working with Willowbrae® developing a fitness program to help kids Keep Fit and Have Fun and also educate parents on the importance of exercise and good health for their children.


Shayne Popwell – Senior Software Engineer (Braeview®)

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Shayne is an experienced IT Professional with over 15 years' experience holding positions from .NET Developer, SQL DBA, Senior Project Manager to Chief Technical Officer. For the past 10 years Shayne has been focused in the automotive DMS, finance, composite reporting, insurance and CRM space. He has significant experience assembling and leading development teams and has successfully delivered several multi-million dollar complex retail automotive finance projects for a variety of international automotive OEMs. He is excited about leading a team of developers and driving the development of our Braeview® software.


Rob Reid – Commercial Building Design Specialist

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Rob has over 28 years of experience in the commercial construction field, specializing in space layouts, planning and overall design concepts. Certified in Building Technology, Rob is a self-motivator and an independent worker with a keen eye for detail. He has always helped children especially as an avid volunteer. For over a decade Rob has been involved in coaching, managing and coordinating children in soccer, hockey and golf. Each new project poses its' own set of challenges but Rob is always ready to meet these head on. He strives to make each project unique, working within the required parameters based on building size, building shape and code requirements. Functionality and ease of use for both children and workers tops the list for each project. Result: a lot of smiling faces at each Willowbrae Academy® location!




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