Previous and Current work has included:

    Consulting Projects

    • Developing a launch strategy for an innovative fresh food courier pack for a UK packaging company
    • Developing a market entry strategy for an innovative brain aneurism clamp invented by a medical student at Imperial College London
    • Helping a UK community (FE) college develop strategic partnerships with its local business constituency via an in-depth research study
    • Designing a US market entry strategy, focused on partnering options, for an Electronic Patient Record System with radiological images as its focus
    • Collaborating with a US-based brokerage to develop European market entry strategies for US-based healthcare SME’s
    • Assessing Sales and Marketing competencies via a rigorous assessment tool, with follow-up coaching (in association with Innovara Inc.)
    • Conducting in-depth customer interviews to determine needs/wants and competitive insights (in association with Innovara Inc.)
    • Building a global branding strategy for a super-premium antiaging skincare range, including conducting a comprehensive brand audit, brand Fact Book and branding/identity guidelines 

    Training Projects

    Our main training programs are the short-course sales, marketing and executive training programs developed by Innovara Inc. (  Innovara has been recognized as a top marketing training partner in the healthcare sector by Best Practices, LLC.  Specific programs led by Portage include:

    • Sales and Marketing short-course programs at a foundation, advanced and supervisory level
    • Senior management Strategic Planning and Decision-making
    • Presentation Skills (small group or 1:1)

    Other training projects include:

    • Supporting new business start-ups with a coaching focus on developing effective business plans through the Ontario Self-employment Benefit (OSEB) Program in Barrie and Vaughan, Ontario
    • Customizing programs such as an organizational wellness (1-day) program developed for a regional social service agency
    • And, working with the Toronto Hostels Training Centre to offer 2-hour lifeskill/employment readiness courses for the homeless and marginalized in the GTA


    Rusian_DorfmanRuslan Dorfman, CSO and CTO at GeneYouIn “Gary is a phenomenal business coach. Gary is very open and generously shares his expertise and pharmaceutical sales, team management, goal setting and helps us to finesse business strategy for our venture. Gary helps us to understand market challenges, analyze product-market fit, helped us to develop marketing and strategies. Gary’s engaging and focused approach to team building facilitates shared goal setting. His advice and contribution is instrumental in our efforts to bring new products and services to Canadian, and eventually international marketplace. Gary, we are looking forward to continue working with you!”
    Hesham Allam,
    April 27, 2016, Hesham was a client of Gary’s
    “Gary has got a great passion for training & developing others. I attended 2 training conducted by him & each time I find his passion to train & develop others increase. He deals with different cultures in a smooth way. He encourages different opinions. He has a huge pharmaceutical experience, in different positions (sales, marketing, ….) which he is able to deliver in his training. I wish him more & more success in his training fields that he deserves.”
    Phil Caranci, P.ENG, PMP,
    “Gary was my business coach and mentor in the first year of my start-up company. I attended Gary’s entrepreneurial courses at BERN through the Self Employment Assistance program. I found Gary’s mentorship instrumental in starting my company. He is very effective in his ability to pass his experience and knowledge to his students. To this day I still apply many of Gary’s teachings in business and in life. In my desire to learn as much as I could from Gary, he went beyond his course material and met with me one on one on a weekly basis. This demonstrates his passion to share in the success of his students.

 Gary’s experience in the industry and entrepreneurial knowledgeable was evident throughout our sessions as he taught me what it takes to start and more importantly sustain a business. His guidance laid the foundation of what my company is today and I am pleased to say after four years in the Consulting business, we are strong and growing. Thank you, Gary!”
    Janet Blaha, PCC,
    Certified Career & Life Transition Coach at Commit2Change Inc., Empowerment Expert, Positively impacting people
    “Gary is the very definition of an entrepreneur. I know very few people with his drive, zest for success and comprehensive knowledge of starting up a business, instilling a climate of innovation and moderate risk-taking. As a strategic marketing coach at Seneca’s Entrepreneurial (SEB) program, his insight and leadership are instrumental to his success. His clear and concise workshops are not only informative of today’s trends of small businesses, but his approach helps new entrepreneurs create a solid roadmap to success. I much enjoyed and valued our 1:1 coaching sessions as they were focused and goal oriented with structured timelines that helped me and my business leap to a higher level. Gary is an excellent listener and communicator. He is warm and professional and always brings his is skills and experiences to the table. If you are presented the opportunity to work with Gary, take advantage of it!”
    Jim Koufis,
    Founder/CEO of JGK Integrated Solutions Inc. Specializing in integrating live events with brand and interactive media.
    “I worked with Gary while at the Business Enterprise Resource Network and we collaborated on several marketing-oriented workshops and events for our start-up clients. For example, we secured external business community support for the first-ever ‘Business Excellence’ awards and dramatically increased external participation and funding for our annual small business conference. I found Gary to be an enthusiastic advocate for our small business clients and constantly seeking creative solutions to take our program to ‘the next level’. Subsequently, I have been invited to Gary’s Entrepreneurship classes at Georgian College and Lakehead University and I have witnessed first-hand his efforts to bring the ‘real world’ into the classroom. It’s been my pleasure to be part of this process!”
    Allen WC Lloyd,
    Tax Advisor with Lloyds Management Services
    “Gary made several valuable recommendations to the content of my presentation to several new businesses in their start mode. As a result, my presentations were more relevant to the individual businesses. Gary reviewed the timing, the order, the length and content. Gary then provided me with his recommendations and the reasoning behind each recommendation. Gary also considered the individual feedback forms collected after each of my presentations and provided me with a summary of the comments, with suggestions. Gary provided me with a candid opportunity to improve my overall presentations, which increased the likelihood that the new businesses were better edified as to their rights and responsibilities with regards to their Federal and Provincial tax obligations. I would consider it a privilege to work with Gary on future projects and or joint ventures. “
    Amr Elfass CPLP, MBA,
    Facilitator at Association for Talent Development (ATD)
    May 29, 2012, Amr Elfass worked with Gary but at different companies
    “I knew Gary as a colleague in Innovara, we first met in Vermont in 2011 and you can easily pick up with him as he is very humble, down to the earth person, I got the chance to hire his service as trainer in the middle east for many clients and i have to say that the feedback was stunning and people really liked him as he transform his deep knowledge in a culturally fit technique. He amazingly get the know how to tailor his message whether to first line or senior managers. He is a real plus to me in person and to my business in the MENA and to our Innovara in Canada.”
    Sonia Weller,
    Senior Manager at Unicity Franchise Owner, November 27, 2010, Sonia was a client of Gary’s 
    “Gary is a fantastic teacher and mentor. Through the BERN SEA programme, he taught Entrepreneurs (or those who thought they were) what to look out for when beginning a business, how to determine if you really had a viable idea and how to take that business idea and turn it to a reality. While doing this, he mentored in a realistic, encouraging way. He always has great ideas and is willing to listen and work with creative ways to get new businesses noticed.

He truly practices what he preaches. 

I would recommend Gary as a great coach and teacher. “
    Lauren Pibworth,
    Brand/Marketing Strategist and Chief Fun Officer, Pibworth – marketing agency for speakers
    January 29, 2010, Lauren worked with Gary but at different companies
    “Gary led the program I attended at the Business Enterprise Resource Network. I found his style friendly, as well as motivating, challenging, and completely no-nonsense. Exactly what I needed to help guide me to the strategic plan that helped shaped my business. Thank you Gary, for your part in helping me build the business of my dreams.”
    Debbie Ouellet,
    RFP and Proposal Consultant, Marketing Copy Writer and Web Content Writer at EchelonOne Consulting. Published Author.
    “In the early days, when I decided to launch EchelonOne Consulting, Gary provided invaluable feedback and guidance about how to focus and market my business idea. Gary is both approachable and knowledgeable in his field. I would not hesitate to recommend Gary to any business owner who is looking to launch a new business or improve an existing one.”
    David (Däv) Dickenson,
    Business Consultant | QlikView Qlik Sense Data Visualization Consultant / Architect
    “Gary Lyon was my facilitator when I was in the SEA program at BERN. He is personable and approachable which allowed him to capture my attention by delivering comprehensive content in an enjoyable and interactive environment. Drawing from real world practical experience, Gary showed how using a balanced blend of left and right brained approach would help refine my business concept with pertinent information, which would further define my business idea, goals and objectives to support my Business plan. He provided specific help in the areas of strategic business planning; financial planning for forecasting and cash flow projection; developing methodical market research to define customer needs and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of competition; Marketing and Promotion and suggested ways to expand my personal network by developing my networking skills. I greatly value Gary’s advice and suggestions and will definitely refer Gary to individuals, businesses or organizations seeking solid counsel, guidance or direction with their business.”
    Barbara Stuhlemmer,
    Busines Growth Strategist – Professional Speaker – Business Development Initiator
    “Gary was a member of my Advisory Board for the years 2007 and 2008 at a time when I was exploring strategic options for the business. I found his collaborative approach meshed well with the other board members. His input was helpful in identifying specific customer targets and the marketing strategies that could be most effective with these targets. He made an important contribution to my team and to the business.”
    Peter Gatis,
    IT Account Manager at Ryder Logistics,November 17, 2009, Gary worked with Peter in the same group 
    “Gary has a gift for communicating the realities of business management with the humor and insight that only comes with depth of corporate experience. As a mentor he will tackle straight-on the issues that can take a business down. Gary has the perspective of working through hundreds of business plans, coaching businesses large and small, he knows the risks and what it takes to put together a marketable enterprise. In my own case, he inspired me to depart from my original product-based business plan to enlarge on my experience in project management and corporate infrastructure as a subcontractor – with remarkable success in a very difficult economy.”
    Rob Newman, CPA, CMA, MBA,
    President, Newman Accounting Professional Corporation 
    “As a program consultant for the SEA program, Gary successfully guided me along the path of self-employment. During the intense 2 month classroom sessions he provided direction and instruction, in the following 10 months he provided encouragement and support to our cohort. Without SEA and Gary I would not be where I am today.”

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    7-2368 Queen Street East,
    Toronto, ON
    M4E 1H4