Women Who Lead
Lesley Southwick-Trask is the President of Southwick-Trask Holdings Inc. – Her consulting practice specializes in strategic re-positioning and new social architectures. She is the architect and implementer of thousands of change interventions in 500+ large-scale organizations, communities and agencies. The group includes GeGe Productions – a documentary film enterprise specializing in media that evolve minds, beliefs and actions associated with social change. She is partnered in this endeavor with Geof Richards, the Gemini awarded cameraman and producer for his work on CTV News and W-5. Their most recent documentary entitled “Fighting for a Good Death” was produced for the Division of Geriatric Medicine -Dalhousie University.
Lesley is the master developer, strategist, and facilitator of the state-of-the-art transformation processes and tools used in all of her enterprises. The group is aligned by its universal vision of sustained breakthroughs and transformational developments in individuals, their teams, their organizations and communities in relationship with the unpredictable and ever-changing environment in which they operate.
Lesley has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada in the categories of Entrepreneur and Trailblazer (lifetime recognition). These awards followed her recognition as one the Top 50 CEO’s in Atlantic Canada, and one of the Top 100 Women Business Owners in Canada, Her work in shifting societal norms has also been noted through her recognition as one of the Top 25 Faces in Halifax and one of the Fourteen Thinkers to watch for by Progress Magazine.
She is at heart a cultural anthropologist who has blended the social and physical sciences in her work associated with human and organizational evolution. She masterfully weaves modern western business acumen with ancient transformational wisdom. CEO’s and their leadership teams engage Lesley when either their present or their future appears challenging (daunting) and complex - whether this is due to the requirement for double-digit growth or a strategic turnaround in mandate, profitability or productivity. Her leading-edge research into new societal and organizational constructs continues to pave fresh pathways for her clients, as does her ongoing work with stakeholder and public engagement.
The latest member to the group of companies is the Beautiful Boot Project located in Valenca Portugal. The Quinta Estrada Romana (farm on the Roman Way) is a 200-year-old renovated stone farmhouse, housing 18 beds and a restaurant on a 9-acre organic farm. This campus is located along side the Portuguese Camino de Santiago, the historic pilgrims’ path of self-discovery. The Beautiful Boot project is a live experiment in sustainable living in which the latest research in innovation, creativity and human performance are blended with the ancient wisdom of land use and community living. Its mandate is to produce real time ecological practices for our changing world.
As the European campus for Southwick-Trask Holdings, the Beautiful Boot project sponsors innovation projects and leadership journeys for all seekers of new ways of living and working. (Lesley discovered the farm on her 880km Camino walk, with her partner, Geof Richards, in September 2010.) Operating in their second season, the Quinta Estrada Romana” was identified as the “best Albergue” on the Portuguese Camino. (2014). As a strategic anthropologist Lesley has just completed her first sabbatical researching the defining cultural characteristics of the Portuguese Camino.
As a writer, Lesley started her professional writing with Turning It Around: How Ten Canadian Organizations Changed Their Fortune, a book she co-authored with Eva Innes for the Financial Post,published by Random House. This publication was recognized as one of the top five business books of 1989. Her articles have been published in the Globe & Mail and the National Post. The media is no stranger to Lesley who has appeared on many of Canada's leading airwaves, Her other publications include Leadership Guru’s Speak Out and Road Map to Success co-created with Deepak Chopra and Ken Blanchard. Her latest project is the production of “The Decision Tool” – a state of the art process for making decisions in the context of the rapidly changing world.