All About Linda

"When I was a kid, my grandmother said that I could talk a signpost out of the ground. I took that as a compliment and decided to make it my life's work."

You can get the regular boring details on my bio page, but since you're here to meet me, I'd like to start with some personal history...

I'm originally from the southern US – born in southern Illinois, and grew up in Kentucky and Tennessee – basketball country. That's where I developed my love of storytelling and my good manners.

I was privileged to have known three of my great grandparents and to have had a close relationship with three of my grandparents. They were coal miners, farmers and entrepreneurs. My mom and dad are two of the most change-adaptive people I know, and they are both still an inspiration to me. They, too, were entrepreneurs, so it's no wonder that all of us kids run our own businesses. These are the people who taught me about change, courage and the importance of being connected. Putting that learning into practice can be tough.

My first job was a clerk in a women's clothing store. My mom was the manager, she always had been, but all of a sudden I was getting paid to do what she told me to do.  It was here that I started learning about customer service, selling, buying and wrapping presents. I still love making bows.

I have advanced degrees in Psychology, Sociology, Education and Counselling. I've taught in grade school, high school and university. The eighth grade was the most challenging, but you know that if you have kids. After graduate school, I moved to Nebraska and worked in a community-based service system for people who were mentally and physically challenged. It was a life-altering experience. I learned a lot about discrimination, fear, hope and changing the world – and we can change the world. I developed a lot of services and programs, but the one I am most proud of was our first foster home program. Connecting kids and families is a gift of a lifetime.

I came to Toronto in 1974 on a three-month work permit. I've been in Canada ever since. That's when I started developing and delivering leadership training programs. I had found my niche. I fell into the consulting, training and keynoting business with the help of my great mentor and friend, Ian Percy. My partner, Jane O'Callaghan, and I launched our Consulting business in 1988.  We started in Vancouver and then moved to Toronto (after accumulating way too many air miles). We moved the business to Victoria in 2007 and are happy to be back on the west coast.

I was adoped by Canada in 2001. I've lived and worked across the country and continue to marvel at it's beauty. I love to hike, bike and walk by the ocean. Change, courage and connectivity contine to be relevant and challenging. And I am continually grateful for all the wonderful people who have helped me along the way.

Thanks for letting me share some of my history. I'd love to be a part of yours.

Linda Tarrant

Linda's Awards and Designations


Certified Speaking Professional (CSP)



First woman inducted into Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame (HoF)

Past President of Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS)

Founder and first Editorial Board Chair of "Speaking of IMPACT: The Voice of Canadian Meetings"