Testimonials

I have had the pleasure of working alongside great professionals. Below are some of the reviews I’ve had from my current and past colleagues:

“Carolyn worked with me for just over two years and I have to admit when she left we have had difficulty hiring a replacement because she had definitely raised the bar high. 

I would describe Carolyn as having just a perfect blend of strategic and implementation skills. Known for her energy, passion and direct communication style I found her to be someone that I could always rely on to get things done on time and on budget. Truly an inspiration to me and the rest of the team by challenging the status quo, adding value along the way with her unique vision, style and focus on the business objective at hand. 

A great person to brainstorm with, I always found Carolyn to be very creative, full of energy, conscientious and loyal. 

It was a bittersweet day when she announced she was leaving to start up her own marketing agency. Sorry to see her go but very happy and excited for her and her new venture. It’s no surprise that her business is doing so well as I’d guess that her clients are having the same great experience that I enjoyed with her.”
- Tony Scala, Vice President Marketing at Drake International on Carolyn Van, Senior Marketing Associate at Drake International

“When we were planning the first LSM in Toronto we were a week or so away from our go/no-go decision. And we had less than one-half of the registrants we needed. We were not optimistic that we would be able to move ahead with the event. 

And then Carolyn joined the team. And wow, what a difference! 

Through her energy, persistence, awesome ideas and wide connections we just rocketed forward. By the cut-off date, we had more attendees than we needed and she had expanded our sponsors to boot. The event was a roaring success and had the largest attendance of any Lean Startup Machine in the world. And I credit a lot of that success to Carolyn. 

Carolyn is thoughtful, empathetic, focused and always knows how to plan and execute the next move. I would love an opportunity to work with Carolyn again … and so should you.”
- Declan Whelan, Agile Coach, LeanIntuit worked directly with Carolyn at Lean Startup Machine

“Carolyn is one of the most dynamic people I have ever met. Her energy is highly addictive and her creativity is aspiring on any given day you meet with her. I have had the pleasure working with Carolyn on her XconnectTO projects as well as with her other co-founding company thirdocean and have enjoyed every minute of it. Carolyn listens, shows empathy, and really tries to help her partners and clients as much as possible achieve their objectives and goals. For that quality, I am extremely grateful.”
- Dustin Starchuk, Director of Client Services & Business Development Manager at Parade! Multimedia Brand Experiences on Carolyn Van, Founder & Partner at XConnect  

“Working with Carolyn provided me with an opportunity to observe someone who is not only dedicated to their business, but who is also dedicated to teaching those she works with and helping them to grow.

Her leadership style gave me the chance to take on many different tasks, and she allowed me the freedom to take my own directions and initiatives when making decisions regarding those tasks. Carolyn’s guidance created an environment that was structured around my growth, both personally and within the organization. When I was in need of assistance, she was more than happy to give me the tools I needed, but was also willing to step back and let me figure out the solution on my own – something I valued greatly, as it showed the faith that she had in my abilities. 

I attribute a large amount of the growth that I have experienced since working with thirdocean to working closely with Carolyn. Her leadership and guidance have taught me valuable lessons, and the overall experience working with her has continually been one that is positive and welcoming.”
- Rachel McConnell, Community Manager at thirdocean and XConnectTO on Carolyn Van, Founder & Managing Partner at thirdocean and XConnectTO

“Simply put, Carolyn is great. While taking part in the Driven Accelerator program during the Fall of 2012, Carolyn delivered very thorough and thought provoking workshops focused on mastering value propositions and communication. The combination of her carefully crafted presentations, extensive experience, and relevant personal advice for each business was compelling enough that it resulted in our start-up company shifting our product direction. We went from developing a product that people “could see” themselves using to developing a product people “will” use and that all stemmed from us making a conscience effort to hone in on the value that we were aiming to deliver to our consumers. This is what Carolyn is able to bring to the table.
- Yohannes Tadesse, Founder of CitySqoop 

“During projects Carolyn struck balance between setting a high bar and being the support needed to reach it. I always felt challenged but never overwhelmed; I experienced tension but never stress; I was pushed but never pushed away; and was held accountable but never left hanging.”
- Sean Power, Community Manager/Producer at XConnectTO on Carolyn Van, Founder & Managing Partner at thirdocean and XConnectTO 

“Though she was an asset to our account services team as a Campus Assistant and Account Supervisor, Carolyn was also very helpful in other areas of the business. In addition to supervising Kognitive Marketing’s first Campus Ambassador Program and writing multiple program reports to our client – Rogers Wireless, she also committed herself to research projects, training programs, copy writing, creating project management templates and business development efforts. 

Carolyn has an eager and “do whatever it takes” attitude, and often was willing to work very long and late hours. She is a determined individual and will succeed at what she is truly passionate about”
-
Josh Singer, President at Kognitive Marketing  on Carolyn Van, Account Supervisor at Kognitive Marketing 

“Carolyn is the ultimate social media SHARK, and should be your #1 go to person on all things social media.

I’ve had the opportunity to work and learn from Carolyn through many different events and workshops. She is a strong leader and not only understands marketing strategy but can also execute seamlessly. With her driven personality and results-oriented attitude she makes a great mentor, who is dedicated to personal development and growth. 

I would definitely recommend reaching out to her for any social media hurdle you encounter and am looking forward to working with her on some exciting new projects!” 
- Lutfiyya Dhalla, Event Coordinator at XConnect and Social Media Community Manager in training at thirdocean 

“Karim, Carolyn, and the entire thirdocean team have helped Palomino with our social PR since 2011 and their services are now an integral part of our marketing efforts. thirdocean has done an excellent job in putting us on the social landscape and continue to impress with fresh ideas and new approaches. I would recommend their services to anyone in need for a fresh angle on their social marketing strategy!”
- Markus Latzel, CEO at Palomino System Innovations Inc.