Chris has been a professional for over a decade. He’s twice been a lawyer: at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, in New York City, representing very large banks; and at Pape Salter Teillet LLP, in Toronto, representing Aboriginal governments across Canada. (There’s a surprising amount of overlap between those jobs—just ask!)
Chris is the founder and principal of TellPeople, a vehicle for teaching storytelling and communication to professionals. He produces the Roar Festival, a music festival fundraiser for Camp Ooch (a camp for kids with cancer), and AMAZING NEW STUFF (a monthly showcase of Toronto’s best writing and music). He’s an investor in Artery.is (think AirBNB for house concerts), and a popular storytellerand comedian on stages around Toronto.
Chris’s writing has appeared in publications in Canada and the USA and he formerly edited part of Canada’s leading legal encyclopedia. He can tell you what it’s like to ride a toboggan down a volcano, how cold it gets at night in the Syrian desert, and what it smells like in Britain’s oldest library. He’s a mentor to students at Massey College, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and Ryerson University.
Chris holds degrees from the University of Oxford (history), University of Toronto (law), and Acadia University (business). He is also a graduate of The Second City program in standup comedy.
Sandro Pehar, Audiovisual
Sandro is responsible for TellPeople’s visual engagement, including photography, video production, cinematography, and sound design.
Gonzalo Riva, Interaction Design
Gonzalo is deeply invested in entrepreneurship, systems thinking, and user experience. He works on interaction design.
Julia Allen, Presentation Design
Julia previously worked at a large advertising agency where she made brand presentations for the CFL, Toronto Public Library, etc. She works on visual interactions.
Marilyn Maxim, Operations
Marilyn has been involved in marketing and operations at some of Canada’s leading design retailers and festivals. She organizes our people and activities.
Sydney Allen-Ash, Inclusion Design
Sydney works on cultural research and social media strategy. She is the co-chair of VICE Canada’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Sydney designs inclusive processes and interactions—because everyone has great ideas.
Bess de Boer, Advisory Board
Bess has been a top-flight litigator, film producer, art producer, and creative partner. She is a divining rod for the human spirit. Bess sits on TellPeople’s Advisory Board.
Aaron J. Wendland, Advisory Board
Aaron is a philosophy professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia. He holds a DPhil in Philosophy from the University of Oxford; MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics; MA in Philosophy from the University of Toronto; and a BA in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Windsor.
Aaron works on the philosophy of language and art, mostly. He sits on TellPeople’s Advisory Board.