Francine’s Background

Francine Portenier

Francine Portenier


Education- B. A. Sc. in Systems Design Engineering

Francine made an unusual career choice in 1974 – she decided to enter what was then the largely male-dominated world of engineering. She enrolled at the University of Waterloo, in Kitchener-Waterloo in the field of Systems Design Engineering.

The Systems Design Engineering program at Waterloo is unique in Canada in that it offers students the skills to address problems that transcend the traditional boundaries in engineering. Francine learned how to acquire and integrate knowledge across multiple disciplines and has been using this skill to approach all aspects of her life.

The framework we use to do this is systems theory through which we view the world as comprising systems that interact. Examples of the systems we may consider include human physiological and psychological systems, ecological systems, transportation systems, communication systems, energy systems and mechatronic systems. It is through systems thinking, modeling and analysis that we learn to know the world.

University of Waterloo Systems Design Engineering web site.

Francine graduated from the University of Waterloo with a B. A. Sc. in Systems Design Engineering (Honours) in 1978, one of three women who graduated from a class of 45 students.

Recent training

Professional Training in Mindfulness Interventions –

Francine has received her Certificate of Completion in Level I Foundations of Mindfulness Interventions from the Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic in July 2014. This training program provides professionals with a base for developing mindfulness skills and a foundational understanding of Mindfulness Interventions.

This training program included:

  • An 8-week Mindfulness for Health Care Professionals courses offered at the Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic
  • One day Silent Retreat at the Vanier Community Centre
  • Guided self-study of current research and books on the Theory and Philosophy of Mindfulness, and the Fundamentals of Mindfulness Interventions
  • 3 day Heart of Mindfulness Retreat at the Galilee Centre in Arnprior from June 13 – 15th, 2014
  • 3 day Teacher Training Retreat hosted by the Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic at St. Paul University from July 11-13, 2014

Meditation Practice

Francine had been following a self-led meditation practice since August 2012, gradually developing the wish to pursue this in greater depth and formality. She has added to this a complementary and regular yoga practice since March 2013.

Life Coaching

Francine formalized her 14 years of Management Consulting experience in coaching individuals and groups with a course in Life Coaching in the spring of 2013. She is now certified by ExpertRating receiving a Life Coach Certification (Expert Level).

Work experience

Francine worked approximately 17 years in the Canadian Federal Public Service and 14 years in the private sector as an Information Technology management consultant. Since 2009, Francine has been focusing on individual wellness.

Management Consulting Work Experience

From 1995 – 2009, Francine consulted with businesses and Federal Government Departments. First she focused upon the Software Engineering field, helping organizations manage software projects better. Then she advised in business processes, looking to isolate those concepts for improving processes, and apply them to business as a whole. She coached executives on how to manage themselves and project teams. Francine applied the concepts of organizational change management and the disciple of business transformation, together with the philosophies of stakeholder engagement and managing people in groups and individually; to arrive at a blended technique to prepare individuals to adapt to significant changes in their work lives.

Information Technology Project Management

From 1978 -1995, Francine gained experience in procuring, negotiating and managing progressively more complex, and interdisciplinary software engineering projects. Ultimately she became involved in a Business Re-engineering Project that reorganized the Department of National Defence (Materiel Division). This introduced her to the concept and experience of transformational change, leading her to start her own independent consulting company.



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