Our Team

Derrick LeBlanc - Manager, Office & Finance

Derrick LeBlanc joined GPI in September 2000. As GPI's Manager, Office & Finance, Derrick is responsible for the accounting, record-keeping and financial management of not only GPI's operations but also GPI's clients' accounts. Derrick's responsibilities include preparing and processing invoices, credit card transactions, payroll, government remittances, verifying, recording and processing Accounts Payables, doing monthly bank reconciliations, monitoring E-commerce transactions, maintaining all accounting records up to date, producing financial statements and reports.In addition, Derrick ensures that the equipment, facilities and materials are taken care of to provide a fully-supportive working environment to the GPI team.

Daria Cohen - Event Coordinator

Daria Cohen has been an Event Coordinator since the summer of 2017, when she began managing many aspects of the planning process including exhibits, speaker and abstract management, logistics, food and beverage, audio-visual services, and various other tasks. She also manages the GPI website. She joined the Golden Planners Team in September of 2016 as an Event Assistant – Event, Membership and Registration Administration.

Daria comes to us from the non-profit sector where she worked for over eight years including as National Trust for Canada’s Communications and New Media Coordinator and Marketing and Event Coordinator with the Ottawa-Carleton Ultimate Association. She also runs a charity ultimate frisbee tournament every year in June which raises money for Ovarian Cancer Canada and Camp Oochigeas. Daria earned her Joint Honours Bachelor of Arts, Communications and History from the University of Waterloo. She also has an Accelerated Post-Graduate Diploma – Journalism from Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning and a Meetings and Conventions Management Diploma from Algonquin College. She is bilingual.

Outside of the office, Daria spends most of her time drinking coffee and hanging out with her husband and young daughter and son.

Maria Librado - Registration Administrator

Maria Librado joined Golden Planners in September of 2018 as the Registration Administrator. In this role she coordinates the programming of on-line registration processes, receiving, verifying and processing registrations and payments, preparing registration reports, tracking attendance, verifying rooming lists, preparing name badges, Participants' Lists and all other registration preparations and on-site registration services. In addition, she provides membership services for our Association Management clients.

Maria’s interest for the event industry comes from the challenge of bringing an idea to life. She relishes the service aspect, of going above and beyond to meet clients requests. Her experience working in the hospitality industry for a hotel, event rental house and event décor have furthered her passion.

Maria is a University of Ottawa Graduate. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Second Language Teaching.  She is fluently trilingual (English, French and Spanish).


Phil Ecclestone - President

Phil Ecclestone is a seasoned event management professional with over 35 years of experience helping organizations achieve their communications and business objectives through events. Phil has helped create events from multi-day nationally televised conventions with thousands of participants to small consultations with a few dozen people. His creative side comes out not only in the visuals of stage design but also in the development of unique solutions to client challenges.

At the beginning of his career, mentors advised him to always think about "what the front page of the Globe and Mail would look like the day following an event", advice he has taken to heart and permeates his project management approach. This attention to outcomes has been a hallmark of his work with Golden Planners Inc. and is reflected in the firms' reputation for excellence in event production.

His knowledge of managing events from concept to completion is also evidenced by clients' involvement of Phil in the development of new projects including the Issues of Substance Conferences and the National Conference on Ending Homelessness. He is author of the BOMA Canada BOMEX® Conference and Tradeshow Planning Manual. He acts as the company spokesperson and routinely responds to media inquiries seeking expert comment.

Following a career in the public service, including a stint as the Director of Tour for the Minister of Constitutional Affairs during the Charlottetown Round and subsequent national Referendum, Phil began working with GPI in 1993. In 1999 he was appointed the firm's first Vice-President. In 2013 he succeeded Hélène Lamadeleine as the President of GPI and now leads the GPI team in the planning and execution of events for clients across Canada.

Phil has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health and was the Chair of the Ottawa Community of the Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners. He also served a two-year term as Vice-President, Partnerships of CanSPEP. Phil's passions outside of the office include curling in the winter and golf in the summer.