Core Founders

The Positive People has become a beautiful space for thousands of people around the world to share and support each other with positive energy. With the community growing at such a fast pace, it’s become clear that leaders are needed throughout the world to teach and guide army members to lead a positive life.

As the founder, Heidi Allen realized this mission was a huge undertaking and I needed to enlist a core group of outstanding people to accomplish this goal.

Please meet the twenty Creative Core Founders who will help create the Positive People Army Manifesto.  Each founder has been chosen for their knowledge, expertise and dedication to the PPA.

Together we truly will make a difference!

Heidi Allen – Positive People Army Founder

Heidi Allen began her journey as a successful wedding photographer but knew she was supposed to be doing something bigger. Determined to make her mark and make a difference, her next careers—wedding gown store owner, lifestyle editor for a popular wedding magazine, co-host for a morning drive radio show—were the same.

Next television came knocking and for six seasons Heidi hosted and planned lavish and outrageous weddings for a popular wedding show, “Rich Bride, Poor Bride.”  As a Canadian Wedding Expert, Heidi has also appeared on high profile talk shows like “Steven and Chris” and “The Marilyn Denis Show.”

It wasn’t long before Bellmedia took notice and Heidi was offered a producing role on the Marilyn Denis Show. In this role, Heidi has had the opportunity to produce hundreds of fashion makeovers as well as producing high profile celebrities like Harry Connick Jr., Dan Aykroyd, Kim Cattrall and Molly Ringwald.

While working at Marilyn, all of a sudden something changed within her. She realized she was meant to motivate and inspire people on a larger level. The Positive People Army movement began and Heidi’s life has forever been changed.


Creative Core Founders and
Directors of Program Content – EMPPACT

Michell Smith

Michell is a bestselling author, speaker, sales expert and leadership consultant.  At 21 she opened her first business and proceeded to build and run the largest “for-hire” Direct Sales Force in Canadian history, 1000+ sales reps billing over 10 million dollars in annual commissions.

After personally conducting well over 50,000 job placement interviews, coaching thousands of teams, and aiding in opening over 100 companies, she co-authored her first book – The Six Questions, which hit #1 on Amazon the month of its release.

She is the creator of the popular programs Confidence Kickstart™ and Master Your Next Move™, The CEO of She The Mighty™ and has her 4th book Dare to Lead coming out in all major bookstores, Spring 2018.  A captivating motivational speaker, Michell continues to coach individuals and teams to reach their highest potential by harnessing the value of clarity.

More about Michell.  More about She the Mighty.


Victoria Lorient-Faibish 

Victoria is a Registered Psychotherapist, relationship expert, life coach, author, TV host, media personality and keynote speaker. For 20 years she has witnessed the metamorphosis of countless people as they journey toward their “self-culture” and their healthy “relationship-cultures. She has a master’s degree in educational psychology, has studied energy psychology modalities and her influences include Buddhism, Reiki, osteopathy, visualization, meditation, as well as modern and traditional psychotherapy; the basis for her brand of holistic psychotherapy that works with the mind, body and soul to effect monumental change in her clients’ lives.

Her first book, Find Your “Self-Culture”: Moving from Depression and Anxiety to Monumental Self-Acceptance (Massenergy Press) offers a way out of the rabbit hole of depression and anxiety through profound awareness, self-love and acceptance.

Her second book, Connecting: Rewire Your Relationship-Culture (Manor House Publishing) teaches readers how to use brain science to heal multigenerational relationship dysfunction.

For more information on Victoria check out Visualization Works 

Creative Core Founders: 

Andrea Ivanka

An international Speaker and Coach, Andrea comes from a background that has always included educating and empowering aspiring leaders. She is the founder of the worldwide “#GoForIt!” Movement™ energizing a like-minded community of people to step powerfully into their version of their best life. As someone who used to be painfully shy and still a high introvert, Andrea has embraced “Going For It!” as a way of life and helps others to do the same.


She has served over 1000 clients, spoken to over 10,000 people worldwide, been on TV shows, and shared the stage with media tycoons, multi-millionaires and A-list celebrities. The person you see on the big stage is the same humble person you’ll meet at a coffee shop. She stands for authenticity, integrity and fun.

Andrea helps creative female entrepreneurs, innovative business owners and open minded professionals reconnect to their individual passion and purpose.  She especially loves helping female entrepreneurs liberate their authentic voice and embrace speaking as a platform to share their message with the world. Andrea shows her clients how to increase their influence and grow their confidence through winning communication skills that have helped some of them grow their business up to 400% within a few short months. Her client’s favorite phrase is “Work with Andrea before spending any more money on marketing.”

Andrea firmly holds the vision of her clients being powerful, unstoppable and capable of achieving anything they set their minds to. She is committed to their growth and knows that with empowered leadership, the world will change – one person, one company – at a time.

Andrea loves travelling by train, adores Mexican food, and can say “Thank-you” in at least eight different languages. Her guilty pleasure: Korean dramas. Feel free to say hello here on Facebook or Twitter @AndreaIvanka She’d love to hear from you! Learn more about Andrea at Andrea Ivanka


Sothea Yi

Sothea’s strengths lie in Sales & Digital Marketing. He loves coming up with new innovative strategies to help businesses grow and thrives on giving clients a red carpet worthy experience.

Sothea has worked with major companies such as Equifax, BMW Canada, Brookfield and many more. With over 10 years of sales experience, a highlight of his career was generating over $300,000 in sales in just 3 months. As Sothea transitioned into entrepreneurship, he successfully created and implemented marketing strategies to fill live events together with millionaires and multi-millionaires. Working with these individuals, he became fascinated with the idea of bringing high levels of integrity into the world of business.

Sothea believes that: “The greatest advancements in humanity has been accomplished through entrepreneurship. Undertaking what was once thought impossible, now possible, then turning it as the new standard. Constantly improving ourselves; it is a fulfilling life with purpose that transforms and touches every single molecule in the world.”

Sothea understands the importance of strengthening both the mind and the body. That’s why he is committed to creating positive environments that allow people to bypass all the negative messaging that’s a part of our world. He believes that having a positive outlook is what allows people to make a real difference in the world.

During his spare time, he enjoys training at a national level in power-lifting, nerding out in Starcraft 2 and listening to EDM. As Andrea’s partner, more about him can be found at Andrea Ivanka


Christine Turmaine

Christine thrives to live in a World filled with Happy and Confident human beings. Where dark chocolate covered avocados are a breakfast staple and all disagreements are settled with a good game of Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Christine is a Health & Wellness Coach who grew up in beautiful Niagara, but now calls Ottawa home. After having personally experienced how difficult the roller coaster of pursuing a Healthful lifestyle can truly be, she took matters into her own hands, educated herself and now has more than 20 years’ experience in the Health and Fitness Industry helping people reach their own Fitness goals.

As an avid Marathoner and Triathlete, she has a real passion for helping inspire others to dig deep, believe in themselves and achieve their own Fitness goals, no matter where they are starting in their own journey.

In addition to loving people, Christine also has real compassion for animals. She dreams of one day owning a luxurious Dog Resort where giving belly rubs and dog baths take up most of her day.

When she isn’t glued to her computer connecting with Amazing people, she spends her time, running, gardening, reading Personal Development books or can also be found sipping a glass of wine and while whipping up a delicious Vegetarian dish.

Check Christine out on her personal Facebook page Christine Turmaine or on her Fitness Page 



Sheila Simms

Sheila has initiated, led and implemented numerous sustainable, successful (both monetarily and non-monetarily) projects over the past 20+ years for multi-national corporations (Petro-Canada, Tim Hortons), the not-for-profit sector (Canadian Association of Family Enterprise who recently restructured in 2016 to become the Family Enterprise Xchange, Girl Guides of Canada) as well as in a volunteer capacity for the charitable sector (Brāv Online Conflict Management, Healing and Cancer Foundation, Food Banks Canada, Courage to Cope).

In 2016, Sheila founded a boutique relationship and communication management firm, Visual Spatial Creative and in 2017 founded a project management firm, Built By 2 Hearts. Both firms specialize in multi-stakeholder relations, strategic planning and organizational development with a specific focus on initiatives that disrupt how business is trending, breaking down silos and creating a better society for us all to live in.

Sheila’s wealth of experience in marketing & sales, fundraising & philanthropy, training & development and communications along with her passion for positive change, the well-being of individuals and belief that a community flourishes when members contribute by volunteering and giving back make her a great choice for the creative CORE to further the Positive People Army’s vision, mission and impact!

Follow Sheila on LinkedIn at Sheila Simms 


Ashley Woodbine

Ashley grew up on a dairy farm in Peterborough, Ontario.  She is  a wide open spaces, animal loving, small town kind-a-girl.

She met her husband in Peterborough and moved to the GTA when they first got married 11 years ago. When she started her new life, in a new city she surrounded herself with people who are positive, uplifting and helpful. FaceBook wasn’t very popular yet, so she relied on family and friends to point her in the right direction!  Richmond Hill was where she first landed in search of a “career”.

Ashley was fortunate to get a job as a Recruiter for a staffing agency in Downtown Toronto.  Helping people find work for people was very rewarding.  It taught her leadership, compassion and tough love.  Also working with such a diverse amount of people she also learned healthy boundaries and when to listen and when to take action.

After 3.5 years in the corporate world she decided to leave it to follow her own dreams and start her own business. Ashley started her own home cleaning business in South Etobicoke.  She needed to find purpose and continue helping people, so what better way than giving the gift of a clean home for busy people who just don’t have the time.

Six years later, she is enjoying life as small business entrepreneur working side-by-side with her husband.  They are also a part of the Network Marketing Profession to help people realize and live out their dreams.

For Ashley the PPA has been such a “positive” in her life.  She absolutely adores the people she’s met and enjoys the safe place to be herself as well as encouraging others. She’s looking forward to working with Heidi and the other core founders to make this group the most incredible, positive experience possible.  Cheers to the future, to meeting new friends and living a contagious life of positivity, kindness, grace and love!


Vesna Rosales

Vesna’s family moved to Canada from Macedonia when she was eight years old. Vesna has a BA and BED (bachelor of education). She also have a certificate in travel.  She has taught English as a Second language to adults and has taught travel in a private college.

She was working as a home travel agent when she decided to take a leap of faith and bought a spa at fifty-eight. She took a chance and now is loving operating Coco Beauty Bar in Bloor West Village, with her life partner.
She loves building relationships with her clients at the spa and promotes a lot of events at Coco. Whenever she has the opportunity, she works as a background performer and volunteers for the Toronto International Film Festival!  Vesna’s passion and love is helping people in whatever capacity she can. She also has two wonderful kids and an amazing partner.
Check out her amazing spa at Coco Beauty Bar.


Celia Missios

Celia lead a fast paced corporate lifestyle, as a Marketing and Business Developer for a communication company until what should have been a fatal pedestrian-car accident brought her world to a complete halt in 2006. Her life and self pre-accident became ancient history. In a blink of an eye the life she had ordered for herself had been discontinued.

Writing became an outlet for her to deal with all the loss and changes she was facing physically, emotionally and spiritually. In 2010 she started writing the internationally read lifestyle blog High Heeled Life (formerly Falling Off A High Heeled Life) inspiring women worldwide with her journey of survival and determination to turn the stranger in the mirror into someone she recognized and loved.

Celia holds a certificate and diploma in International Trade; has over 15 years of experience in the corporate world including working for industry leading companies in aerospace and health care communications. She is a featured author in Soulful Relationships part of the best-selling series Adventures in Manifesting;  is a Self Care Advocate  inspiring and motivating women through her writing and speaking  to practice self care on the daily and create the life they want to live.

Continuing with her dedication to helping women facing transition in their life; experiencing loss of self; or just wanting more from life but not sure how to get started, Celia launched in 2015. Resilientista  has  evolved into a digital magazine empowering women to take back their power; making time to nurture themselves body, mind, spirit. Her goal is to create a virtual community connecting women who  inspire, motivate, empower and support each other as they go from simply surviving to thriving and living their authentic life.

Celia speaks regularly for Canadian Blood Services Speakers Bureau. As a recipient of over 54 units of blood – Celia knows first-hand the important role of blood donors. When listening to Celia tell her story of surviving what should have been a fatal pedestrian-car accident; family, friends and strangers have been moved to tears, felt the hair on the back of their necks rise and been inspired to live life to the fullest.

As a Peer Mentor with BIST Celia is helping other women navigate the world of living and thriving after brain injury. She’s also a regular contributing-writer to the BIST blog, is a BIST Board Member and sits on the committee for Brain Injury Awareness Month (BIAM).

Visit Celia Website at Celia Maria


Rose Munroe

Rose’s motto is “Everyone has a story. It is how you tell your story that makes a difference”.  Rose has many stories. Not all happy endings, yet she can see the positive and love in every story and use the experience to empower others.

At the age of 8, while her mother was ill, she ventured out.  Hours had passed when she realized that no one was looking for her and she was in fact, alone.  As clear as day, she heard the voice of God say, “I’m preparing you for something big.  Stay strong and faithful.”  It has been God’s steady presence and love for her that has carried her through a lifetime of stories.

Rose moved to Toronto from her hometown of Windsor to start her career and marry her high school sweetheart. Life was finally coming together. She had a wonderful husband, a good job, a beautiful home, an amazing two-year-old son and now a beautiful baby girl.  She had the million dollar family.

Then life abruptly changed.

Twenty-four hours after the birth of her daughter, her baby stopped breathing in her arms and rushed to Sick Kids.  After emergency surgery, she was given a dim prognosis for her future.

Rose desperately prayed for her daughter to pull through.  It was then that she remembered the words she heard from God.  Now was the time to let go of the fear and focus on love!  Rose began giving thanks to God for choosing her to be her baby’s Mom.

It was faith, strength and staying positive that got her through her daughters 12 brain surgeries and many obstacles.  Rose always focused on “love” to overcome the struggles. She knew that love was the energy at the centre of life and the truth beneath our fears.  Today, her daughter has beaten all odds and is starting University.

Rose’s life continued to have its challenges. Her marriage ended, her Mother passed at 53 from cancer, and now her son was battling addiction.  While fighting her depression, she kept her faith and believed that she needed to go through these experiences to help others rise above similar pain.

Rose returned to school to achieve her Coaching Certificate from Adler school Psychology and begin her private practice. Two years ago, Rose found peace from her depression and discovered that she was an artist. Without any prior experience, her work accepted in juried shows and galleries. Rose is also a gifted healer and is a certified Huna Practitioner.

When you are in Rose’s presence, you instantly feel her loving energy. She is living her dream life by coaching, healing, and painting. Her passion and greatest joy are to help others discover their inner light, love themselves unconditionally and live a passionate life.  She has an innate ability to connect with her clients with empathy and teach them how to retell their stories of struggles and see the possibility of love.


Melanie Fry

Melanie is a dynamic business woman with multiple businesses – Business mentor, entrepreneur, and recognized influencer, has launched many educational programs and initiatives to educate collaborate and empower other entrepreneurs, through her training and development, she is dedicated to help businesses thrive and build sustainability. Melanie is also a seasoned Inspirational Speaker and has been on Numerous TV and Radio shows.

Melanie provides a safe environment for individuals to build self-confidence and self-worth which enables them to create a path to follow their dreams. With 19 years in the Mental Health Field as a Child and Youth Counsellor, Social Service Worker working with Youth and Adults ; helping to build a tool box of coping mechanisms providing hope, offering guidance and support  to individuals who are dealing with issues that affect their mental health, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD….Educating people they have a Voice.

She is on a mission to empower and inspire others to live their best life possible, and to make the world a better place.

A Leader with Team Diamond Global Network- Zija International, sharing the Natural Health Revolution in partnership with my mentors Linda and Bob Proctor, Marnie Kay, helping people all over the World- develop multiple sources of income and share their story to inspire others to live their best life! For more info on Melanie and Zija follow link Melanie Fry at Zija


Enjoys a life of adventure, and Bucket List is to Travel the World, Most of all, I LOVE connecting with like-minded people on a mission to do big things, impact the world and leave it a little bit better than we found it

A Proud Single Mom of a Beautiful 22 Year old Daughter- My Parents have been my Rock for Support, Thank God for them everyday

As one of the First Positive People Core Army Founders- I am so honoured and humble to have this incredible journey with – Heidi Allen , she is an Incredible Mentor and together with the Core Founders we are going to change the World.

“When we can come together to collaborate and educate, it is so much more powerful.” Melanie Fry


Adriane Gurtner

Adriane was born in Burlington, Ontario Canada. She is married to the love of her life, Rene Gurtner and they have two beautiful daughters, Kiara and Olivia.  Adriane is a Registered Veterinary Technician and loves working with animals; large and small. Adriane is also a very talented Artist, published Author, Pianist and Teddy Bear creator.

Adriane loves meeting new people from all over the world, travelling and trying new life experiences. She is passionate not only about animal welfare, but mental health and addictions as well. Adriane hopes to make the world a better place by spreading positivity, peace, love and joy and stop the stigma of mental health and help end the suffering.



Mariya Tarasio

Mariya a first-generation Canadian born from a hard-working Italian family that immigrated to Canada in the 1950’s.  Watching her family continue years of hard work has taught Mariya that absolutely anything is possible.  A work and life ethic of “whatever it takes” attitude coupled with the importance of family that has made her the proven success that she has become.

In 2016, Mariya was unable to walk for months, and eventually was advised that back surgery was the only answer after being diagnosed and having to have 5 disks replaced.  Saturating her life with faith, and although frightened with the outcome after this major back surgery, the results were miraculous.  Less than 24 Hours after surgery, having 5 discs replaced, she was determined that she was going to get out of that hospital bed and she did.  Mariya was able to walk and knows that with positive and true heartfelt faith, one can truly heal oneself.

A former Executive Assistant of over 15 years to now Talent Acquisitions Manager of The Micoli Group, a successful Global Recruitment Organization assisting many families from each corner of the Globe not only start their lives in Canada with Visa and Sponsorship processing, along with assisting in ensuring the success of securing jobs for many, Mariya also teaches English to help prepare those coming to Canada obtain their permanent residency in Canada.   When not assisting many families, Mariya Coordinates Fashion Shows for Celebrity Designers, who are known to dress Celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Tyra Banks and Britney Spears on an Enormous Scale.

Mariya is the recipient of the 2017 Brilliant Minded Women Award and also on the Advisory Board for the first ever 2017 Fashion Circuit Series, that will showcase local and upcoming talent.  Fashion Circuit Series will certainly come to a city near you to ensure that the local talent is shown giving opportunities to many across the GTA.   Her experience includes involvement through delegating, and directing charity events and shows in the Greater Toronto Area for guests of up to 2,500+ people.

A proud mother of two exceptional boys, Mariya, is overwhelmed with excitement to be a part of this global movement with the Positive People Army and looks forward to the growth of what will truly be a group that will continue to Shine Brilliance


Kimberley Ross

Kim has had incredible opportunities, as a child performer around Toronto and some other beautiful places in Ontario for the likes of Quincy Jones and Speech from Arrested Development. She has also always gravitated toward helping people in some way or another. Yet, she wasn’t particularly conscious of it until just before she turned 40.

After working in some very challenging work environments, Kim did some real soul searching and came to the conclusion that helping people and striving to have them feel seen, heard, and valued was what made her truly happy! Part of that soul searching came when she realized that she grew up not feeling seen, heard, and valued herself!

Kim had worked and volunteered in the non-profit sector since she was a teenager for organizations such as HOPE Worldwide and March of Dimes, but once she realized what would fulfill her, she dove in full-force!

Kim actively pursued opportunities with renewed vigor with such organizations as Big Brothers Big Sisters of York, The Magna Hoedown, Style For A Cause, Belinda’s Place, Network North Collaborative, and several others. She was even awarded an Outstanding Volunteer Achievement Award from the Government of Canada and was The Hero of the Month in Snapd Newmarket in May 2016.

Something was missing, though. More soul searching ensued and she soon realized that it was that she had a need to personally interact with the people she was serving. Though she found something that has met all of these desires, given me much more time and energy for her family, allows her to help empower men and women and build their confidence. Kim is excited to have found an opportunity to do so on a much larger scale with the Positive People Army! Making a real difference and helping so many people to feel and even realize for themselves that they truly matter, is a gift and she can’t wait to share it!



Jennifer Gallienne

Jennifer is passionate about helping others and has spent the last 15 years dedicated to the world of disabilities. Graduating from George Brown with a degree in printing technology she spent many years in the prepress industry.

After years of industry changes she stepped out of her comfort zone and started Koolway Sports, truly believes she found her purpose helping people with disabilities.

Formed in 2009,  Koolway Sports is an innovative Canadian clothier and manufacturer based in Whitby, Ontario. They offer a line of outerwear consisting of KoolKoats, blankets, blanket back, KoolKapes, KoolBoots and accessories tailored to the needs of users of wheelchairs – with very mainstream styling. Our approach is unique as we customize our product to fit individual client needs from their body frame to their custom wheelchairs. Koolway Sports products are designed to accommodate dressing an individual while seated so clients look great, stay warm, dry and most importantly comfortable.

Jennifer loves spending time with her two girls and loving husband of 32 years. Through her business she has connected with amazing people who have given her the inspiration and strength to continue making a difference in the world.

For more information on Jennifer and her mission check out Koolway Sports. 


Lynda Mack-Carlson

From the time Lynda was a young child in rural Saskatchewan, she was fascinated with looking and feeling good. She’d get into her mom’s make up and coerce her aunties into sharing their special creams – the beginning of a lifelong passion for beauty and wellness.

Lynda has worked in a variety of industries, including fashion, banking, education, training, public relations, direct sales, and even car sales. She started the Prince Albert School of Dance and later owned a Benjamin Moore Paint & Wallpaper store. But she never lost sight of her dream and continued her education in business, aesthetics, and became a Reiki Master. She is a founding member of the Wellness Association in London, Ontario.

Lynda’s goal of owning her own spa came to fruition when she opened Balance Aesthetics & Anti-Aging which is now Dream Spa & Wellness in Stouffville, Ontario. For years, Lynda dreamed about operating a wellness spa where individuals with a variety of modalities would work together to empower women to be beautiful on the outside and healthy on the inside.  She had no idea how this was going to come about, but she never gave up the dream. And that dream became reality when she helped create Your Breast Friends For Health – a group of dynamic health care professionals who advocate a drug-free approach to breast and hormonal health.

Dream Spa & Wellness is my “dream” and I am thrilled to share her experience and knowledge with the Positive People Army.