Trainer Biographies

We believe that an excellent trainer not only teaches, but also uses the tools in practice.

Iryna Mykolayenko, PMP - Implementation Specialist

Iryna holds a Master’s Degree in law from Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University (Ukraine). She is an active PMP-certified member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), and an Oracle-certified Implementation Specialist (Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management), as well as a Primavera P6 trainer and consultant.


While at university Iryna studied the legal foundations of a civil society, public organizations, government, and businesses. This gave her a solid basis for her career as a project/program manager and a project management consultant in the Western NIS countries and Canada. Throughout her career she has always strived to help organizations and people improve their business processes and manage their project-based initiatives more effectively.     


From 1998-2004 Iryna worked for the international technical assistance program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State. While she was there, she managed projects involving the delivery and distribution of over 200 containers worth over $100 million of assistance from Europe and the U.S. to the West NIS region, assisting more than 1,800 social service organizations. She also organized training sessions for representatives of over 100 organizations in the West NIS region.


During 2005-2011 Iryna managed the development and deployment of the first credit information bureau system for the financial market of Ukraine. As a result, 150 nationwide partners received access to a state of the art credit bureau system. This system enabled the exchange of client data and the effective management of credit risks, and led to asset diversification and the creation of new banking products for the country of over 45 million people.


Since joining Emerald Associates in 2012, Iryna has been conducting open and on-site Primavera software and project management training courses for a wide variety of companies in North America, including companies from the oil and gas, engineering, construction, and health care industries, as well as many other industries. She has also been working as a consultant with several companies on their P6 setup and usage initiatives. The list of her clients includes Powell Canada, Spectra Energy, Shell, Toyo Engineering, IMV Projects, Syncrude, Keyera Energy, FAM Canada, Outland Camps, City of Hope Oncological Center (California), etc.


Her most recent project work includes developing custom UPK content for Primavera P6 users and superusers. She is also busy creating dashboards for the effective evaluation of project performance, trends, issues, tracking and monitoring of KPI’sfor the City of Hope Oncological Center, in California. In terms of training she is developing custom Primavera P6 training courses for several large oil and gas companies such as Devon and Total, developing new training course for lead planners and schedulers, and providing on-site turnaround scheduling assistance to one of Emerald’s largest customers in Fort McMurray.


Iryna loves outdoor activities. When not working, she spends her time with family and friends traveling, camping, canoeing, hiking, and skiing.

Mary Lynn Backstrom, PMP, PMI-SP – Implementation Specialist

Mary Lynn spent many years filling a variety of project controls duties such as planning, scheduling, analyzing, training and continuous improvement in the Aerospace Industry.


Since joining Emerald in 2008, she has been a leader on the Petro Canada project which involved business process redesign; the design of templates as well as customization of Web Updater and Dashboards for use at the Refinery in Edmonton. Mary Lynn has worked an impressive variety of projects with success. She has led sessions for review and troubleshooting of scheduling and reporting at Shell, as well as worked on the Agrium Vault project to produce the Level 3 Owner Schedule with linking to the Master Schedule across numerous disciplines and organizations. Mary Lynn designed and delivered customized training at Vale Inco across their scheduling organization, led the P6 rollout component of the Direct Energy project controls implementation of Contract Management, P6 and Time Control for their Canadian organization, and has also worked at Suncor Firebag as a lead scheduler on three Turnarounds and assisted Alberta EnviroFuels and Imperial (Strathcona) with their turnaround schedules.


Mary Lynn has provided classroom and onsite scheduling and project management process training for the Turnaround group at Syncrude as well as assisting on Syncrude’s Snowy Owl Turnaround.  She has provided on site schedule assistance to Syncrude’s Ursa Major Turnaround Team, and Syncrude’s Project Olympus Turnaround Team.  She has also provided training at Suncor and schedule assistance to BHP Billiton on their Jansen project. She has also worked with URS Flint on their P6 rollout. Mary Lynn is a sought after trainer with Emerald and has trained in all the major cities in Canada. 


Mary Lynn enjoys some very diverse spare time activities.  Along with a variety of outdoor activities she also enjoys making life size lawn ornaments for special holidays such as Christmas.  Mary Lynn is known for participation in the community as well.  You may have seen her walking a fundraiser in Edmonton for the Cancer Society. She has walked 420K in support of Cancer Research and Care in Alberta.  She has participated in the Edmonton Relay for Life - June 2013 and also in the CIBC Run for the Cure in Edmonton in October 2013, 2014 and 2015. 

Masoud Forouzi, BSc , PMP, PMI-SP – Implementation Specialist

Masoud holds an Engineering Degree in Computer Hardware from Tehran University and is currently an active member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) with his completed PMP and scheduling professional certifications (PMI-SP).

Masoud is very interested in Project Management concepts and methodologies which is why he completed his “Applied Project Management” certificate from SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) and is preparing to complete his PMI-RMP and PMI-ACP designations. He has designed and developed various systems such as procurement, chain material controlling and correspondence management for Oil and Gas companies to monitor and trace their projects, especially mega projects.

From 2003 – 2012 Masoud worked as a member of the project management office of well-established international companies in the Oil and Gas industry in his home country. His work included the preparation of procedures, templates and software as well as the application of them in project execution processes across the organization. As a result, Masoud has become an expert in analyzing, designing, developing and deploying automated project management information systems (PMIS) for Oil and Gas EPCM companies.

Masoud moved to Canada in 2012, and worked for Altus Group as a system designer and developer before joining Emerald Associates in 2013. He has been busy conducting open and on-site Primavera software and project management training courses for a wide variety of companies in Canada. He is also currently working with several companies on their P6 setup and usage initiatives, assisting with a wide variety of tasks related to software and methodologies. For example, Masoud is presently working with Consumers Cooperative Refining in Regina on their 2014 turnaround plan, where he is responsible for schedule development, resource levelling and reporting and also he has been in charge of Syncrude turnaround project in Fort McMurray.

Masoud loves travelling and visiting new places around the world to learn about their culture. When not working, he spends his time with family and friends traveling, camping, hiking, and has started learning how to ice skate.

Susan Hopkins - Implementation Specialist

Sue has a B.A. in Management Information Systems and Accounting from the University of Wyoming.  The first ten years of her career were spent with a natural gas pipeline company. She began in accounting and was quickly included on pipeline project teams, which led to her assignment to an implementation team for Oracle Financial software.  In the following years, Sue worked part-time as an office manager and substitute teacher while she raised her children. 


When she re-entered the workforce full-time, she joined the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) where she spent two years helping to build their new Highway Project Delivery team. Sue was a valued member of the team working as the Primavera Systems Administrator where she was responsible for administering Oracle Primavera software for over 200 users and more than 300 projects.  While at WYDOT, she also gained valuable experience managing projects; she coordinated quarterly meetings with each of the five districts and managed the design portion of all WYDOT Roadway Projects. Drawing on her accounting background, Sue designed reports in SAP Business/Web Intelligence software that included both written queries and formatted reports. Sue also created and taught in-house training courses on Primavera P6 and SAP Business /Web Intelligence to WYDOT.


At Emerald Associates, Sue is an Implementation Specialist and has been successful at drawing on her accounting and project management background to consult with our diverse client base. With her friendly demeanor and strong communication skills, she has become a talented Primavera trainer and works very hard to effectively implement Oracle Primavera solutions that cater to each client’s unique organizational needs. 


Sue has been working as a consultant with Tesoro on their P6 database consolidation setup and migration using Emerald’s P6-Loader extensively, making the migration and database cleanup much easier and efficient.  She has also worked with Husky on scheduling, reporting and resource leveling during a recent turnaround, as well as assisting them in using Emerald’s TAPS tool for updating their schedules, EP-datawarehouse to snapshot their data and EP-dashboard for comparing and reporting their data and progress.


Sue enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities including camping, fishing and hunting.  She also spends time volunteering with the Indians Committee for the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo where she is co-chair of the social committee.