ACHIEVE started as a division of the Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute (CTRI) in 2008. But the story of ACHIEVE actually begins when CTRI was founded by Randy Grieser and Heidi Grieser in 2007.
This is our story.
Fall 2006 – An Idea
After moving from Morden, MB to Kaslo, BC, while Randy was working as a Counsellor with the Kaslo Community Society, he began envisioning turning material he produced during his Social Work graduate degree into a workshop. He believed in the value of this material and wanted to see it doing good, instead of collecting dust on a shelf.
Nov. 2006 – First Effort
Under the name, “Randy Grieser, Training and Consulting”, 3000 flyers are sent out to various schools and social services agencies. These flyers promote two workshops that Randy developed: Crisis Response Planning and Suicide Intervention Skills. Although they’ve undergone many revisions since then, we still teach versions of these two workshops.
Jan. 2007 – First On-site Training Client
Our first organizational client signs a contract for two days of training.
Feb. 2007 – Big Decisions
While running the organization out of our small Kaslo home, the phone keeps ringing, and work keeps coming in. A decision is made that Randy needs to quit his “real” job. Sensing that the opportunity for growth is bigger than Randy, our name is changed to Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute (CTRI).
Plans are made to offer our first public workshops later in the spring. The decision is also made to move back to Manitoba to be closer to a major airport. Randy’s sister, Shari Ladd, starts work with CTRI in the area of website development and marketing. She still works with us in this role today.
March 2007 – The Move & First Hires
We move back to Morden, MB and set up a small office in our house – first in the second-floor bedroom, and then in the basement. Heidi is answering phones and processing registrations, while also caring for our two young children – both under 6. We determine that it’s time to hire our first full time employee. We also hire our first three trainers, two of whom are still training with us today: Kimberly Enns and Paul Carrick.
Ages 3 and 5
April 2007 – Public Workshops
We offer our first public workshop of the spring in Winnipeg, and hold additional workshops in Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, and Edmonton a month later. In the year ahead we expand to all major Canadian cities, including smaller cities like Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and Thunder Bay.
Fall 2007 – New Material
In what becomes a cornerstone in the growth of CTRI, and with the help of our new trainers, we develop several new workshops. Every year, we add at least one new workshop to our selection of trainings.
December 2007 – Another Move
We move again, this time to Winnipeg, MB. Our office is on the third floor.
January 2008 – Another Idea
While on vacation in Key West, Randy and Heidi have the idea of creating a division that would be more focused on leadership development and conflict resolution. The idea for ACHIEVE Training Centre (in 2016 the name is changed to ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership and Workplace Performance), is set in motion. It should be noted that many innovative ideas for CTRI have come while on vacation.
May 2008 – International
We do work for the first time internationally. While not core to our vision, we do work with international clients from time to time.
August 2008 – More Changes
We move again – this time to our first “real” office building, a converted house at 154 Sherbrook Street. In addition to Randy and Heidi, we now have 3 full-time employees. ACHIEVE is now operational.
2009-2016 – Growth & Key Personnel
After moving into our first office building, we continue to build a team that will help us in our long-term vision. While she started as a trainer, Vicki Enns began her role as Clinical Director in 2010. Having Worked as a trainer since 2008, Eric Stutzman joined us as the full-time Managing Director of ACHIEVE in 2013. Our Director of Training for CTRI, Nathan Gerbrandt, joined us in 2015.
Long-term employees Shari Ladd, Cindy Rublee, Delayne Hogan, and Joyce Vincent have been instrumental to creating continuity in our workforce and stability of our office environment. Our training and development specialists during this time, Wendy Loewen, John Koop Harder, and Mike Labun, play an invaluable role in helping us create and maintain exceptional training material.
Throughout this time, we add various new resources including webinars and video training formats. We start to do more work in the USA, and we move to a larger building just down the street at 62 Sherbrook St.
During this time our values, mission, and vision are crystalized, and truly become a beacon for how and what we do.
January 2017– First Book
September 2017 – Family Tradition
We start printing our own training manuals (over 25,000 a year) on-site. Randy and Heidi’s children, Ben and Ana, begin working at ACHIEVE in our new print shop.
April 2018 – Another Move
After out growing our space, we move from a 2400 square foot building to a 4200 square foot office. We now have plenty of space, and still have room to grow.
2020 – Big Changes
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we moved all of our in-person workshops to a live virtual format.
In May, we dropped “& Workplace Performance” from our company name; we’re now ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership.
Over the summer, Randy Grieser’s title changed to Founder & Chief Vision Officer; Eric Stutzman became the CEO; Wendy Loewen, who joined our staff in 2019, became Managing Director for ACHIEVE; and Vicki Enns joined our staff as Clinical Director for CTRI.
ACHIEVE Publishing released its fourth book.
We now offer 100+ different workshops to over 25,000 people each year. We have a staff of 20 employees and 100 contract trainers.
We are as committed as ever to providing quality and accessible professional development training that inspires learning and improves lives.