Meet Our COR Family: Dante Curti

Hi! I am Dante! I have been with COR for 7 months and currently am a support for three boys! One of my favorite things about being at COR is being able to witness the boys laugh, smile and interact is something which truly brings me a lot of joy. One of my proudest moments while being a support would be witnessing the boys grow into such amazing humans. Each individual has faced so much adversity and to see them push through it with the help of our team, brings me great pride. They have come such a long way and will only continue to progress. It makes me feel very proud of them.

My advice for anyone that is thinking about becoming a support at COR is to not be afraid to ask questions! Being a support can generate a lot of questions and one thing that I have learned is that every person at COR is here to help, and you are not alone!

Fun facts:

My favorite quote is, “Follow your own path and let the people talk.” -Dante Alighieri

During my free time, I like to play video games, go to the gym, hang out with friends, cook, and take my dog for walks.

Meet Our COR Family: Kassie Robinson

Hey, I’m Kassie! I am currently a Team Leader and have been at COR for almost four years! I pursued a Bachelor of Kinesiology beginning in the fall of 2016. During my time at the University of Regina, I had the opportunity to learn about COR through my disability studies class. I watched a presentation given by Serena, who is supported by COR, and another presentation given by Kasey Mahnic, who is a family support and counsellor for COR. I applied for COR during my undergrad and began my journey in 2018. Coincidentally, I ended up supporting with Serena’s team, and would later accompany her to a similar presentation at the university!

The wonderful part of being a team leader (TL) is the ability to chase my interests in the workplace. I can work on teaching my team more about Gentle Teaching. I can work on building relationships with those on my team, and those we serve. Being a part of COR has really ignited my passion for being a good community member. A strong community with good values has helped some of the people we serve to get to where they are. If I had to nail down my favourite thing to be a part of in COR, it’s furthering the organization’s mission, and nurturing good communities. Honestly, I’m proud to be part of an organization that prioritizes me. I feel like my skills and talents are recognized more frequently by not only the people on my team, but also other team leads, and senior leadership. COR is an easy organization to be proud of in turn – their emphasis on building relationships extends to their employees. I feel like I’ve grown so much, in communication, leadership, kindness, gentleness, humour, and emotional intelligence. We are leading in our sector and forging our own path – something that I think is necessary for a future that is fruitful for everyone.

I always tell new supports to walk in with an open mind. Gentle Teaching is easy to understand, but when it comes down to having to put your feelings and conditioned beliefs aside, it can be really difficult. Support’s who are open-minded and open to feedback and collaboration can really make a difference on a team. Support’s can challenge their own ideas, realize that there are multiple avenues that can achieve the same goals, emphasize, and recognize that people can grow and change, and our approaches should too. We should never settle on something just because this is the way it’s “always been done”.

Fun Facts about me:

I read a lot and I am currently reading books on leadership. Most recently, I read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It has great information on how to prioritize the things that are important. As well, the book Burnout has information on the stress cycle and how to combat it. I find this especially important in this field of work, where our nervous systems can be triggered frequently. Outside of educational books, I enjoy a variety of genres including classics, literature, biographies, and some spiritually related books.

I have a pen pal from Toronto.

I have a collection of books in my home that reaches almost 300!

Meet Our COR Family: Dhwani Purohit

Hi, I am Dhwani! I am a home team leader and have been with COR for over a year now! I have a very interesting story behind how I found out about COR! One day, Michael Lavis came to the retail store where I was working to buy an appliance; we began talking about what I was studying and what I wanted to do in my career. I told him that I wanted to do something in the healthcare field which was when Michael gave me the website to COR and I ended up applying there! I didn’t even know he was the CEO!

There are several moments that I am proud of at COR because of the people and the individuals I support. When I hear stories about COR, I feel really lucky to be a part of it. When I found out that I was going to be promoted to a team leader, I felt really proud to achieve something in a field that I have wanted to be in. Some advice that I have for prospective candidates is—to be kind, building relationships is the main key within the COR community. It really helps reflect your ability to support who we serve and the team too.

Fun facts:

My favorite quote is, “Every day may not be good but there’s something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

I am not an animal lover, but I am a vegetarian! Haha!

My favorite activity in my spare time is spending time with my friends and family. And I love sleeping and watching Netflix. However, when it’s summer in Regina, I love exploring new places.

Gentle Teaching has provided me with a framework to build meaningful connections

Becoming educated in the Gentle Teaching Philosophy has provided me with a framework to build meaningful connections with the individuals I support. Since learning of my tools that the Gentle Teaching Philosophy has awakened me to, I have grown to have a support style that is built upon patience, a healthy dose of humour, and a strong belief in the power that positive human connections can hold in someone’s life. I have developed into a support that seeks understanding beyond the surface of each situation and searches for the opportunities to create further connection with those I support each time spent together.

Gentle Teaching has provided me with the framework to build meaningful connections

Gentle Teaching has given me the knowledge needed to be a positive presence in the lives of others. It has allowed me to create and maintain connections with those I support and helped me to guide my actions with understanding and kindness when faced with difficult situations. I believe the knowledge I have gained from COR in it’s entirety will allow me to continue to grow in my ability to connect with all people, and in turn influence positive change in the disability services sector as a whole.

COR family member


Instead of just being nice, I’m mindful of my 4 Gentle Teaching tools.

My everyday interactions with the people around me are changed for the better because of this new mindset that I have from Gentle Teaching

When I first learned about COR and its culture of gentleness, I thought it was common sense to “be nice,” but after joining COR and taking the many relational workshops that are offered, I found that it is so much more than just “being nice.” Gentle Teaching has taught me to build meaningful relationships with those around me. To support them in their daily lives, learn about what they are working to achieve, offer them help, but also help them help themselves so that they have the tools they need in the future.

Instead of just being nice, I’m mindful of my 4 Gentle Teaching tools. Ensuring that my presence is strong, but welcoming and safe. Ensuring that my gaze is non judgmental, understanding and interested. Using my words to lift others up and ensuring that my tone and expression matches my message. Even though I carry these gentle teaching tools with me everywhere I go, they are not heavy. They do not weigh me down. I am proud to carry these tools to every environment and situation that I encounter. With my family, with my friends, with the individuals I support and with strangers that I meet. My everyday interactions with the people around me are changed for the better because of this new mindset that I have from Gentle Teaching. I am so excited to continue learning and growing from Gentle Teaching.

COR family member


Gentle Teaching has taught me to build meaningful relationships with those around me

Recognized as one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers (2022)

The pandemic and the rise of remote work are turning Saskatchewan’s historical challenges into benefits.

Saskatchewan companies have historically hired at a disadvantage to more populous provinces, but the past years saw so much uncertainty in the global employment market that Saskatchewan seems to be acquiring a more powerful appeal to workers. Global swings in traditional work cultures could benefit its workers as much as its big employers — a trend that can be seen by looking at some of the most popular and successful companies in the country.

Each year, the Canada’s Top 100 Employers competition releases its picks for the best employers in each region of the country, analyzing a wide range of factors to help applicants figure out which companies offer the best work environments. Now, 2022’s Saskatchewan ranking has arrived to highlight those companies that have continued to offer creative, competitive compensation and benefits packages even while dealing with a host of local and global difficulties.

The winners are chosen based on multiple criteria, including compensation and benefits, the work and social atmosphere, the work environment, training and upward mobility and community involvement — all of which were pushed forward by a healthy level of competition between public- and private-sector employers.

Continue reading to learn why COR was selected as one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers…


2022 Winners

Here are the 2022 winners of the Saskatchewan’s Top Employers competition. Click an employer name to read our editors’ full Reasons for Selection:



Canadian HR Reporter, 2022 5-Star Rewards and Recognition Award

This year, COR received the Canadian HR Reporter 5-Star Rewards & Recognition Award for a company sized 100-499 employees!

Click here to visit to learn more

Rewarding dedicated employees

If there was ever a time when employee rewards and recognition (R&R) were needed, it’s during the ongoing pandemic. As many people struggle — whether they are retail or health care front-liners, or parents working from home while taking care of their kids, or single people increasingly isolated from coworkers — feeling valued and appreciated by their employer is much more important.

To that end, several Canadian organizations not only maintained an impressive focus on recognition during the past two years, but upped their offerings to recognize the hard work of staff and boost morale. Canadian HR Reporter spoke with three of the 13 5-Star Rewards and Recognition winners to learn about their unique programs.

Continue reading

COR Receives Canada’s Healthy Workplace 2021 Great Employer Award

COR has once again received Canada’s Healthy Workplace Great Employer Award by Excellence Canada and Canada Life. We are so very proud of our COR family and tremendously grateful to everyone who has supported our effort in building a healthy workplace! Read about the award below:

Excellence Canada announces the 2021 Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month® Great Employers

TORONTO, Dec. 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Excellence Canada is pleased to announce the 2021 Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month® Great Employers. These organizations are being celebrated for their planning and actions to foster physically and psychologically safe and healthy workplaces, striving to continually improve across four main areas of focus, namely:

Physical Health

This element of a healthy workplace refers to how well an organization supports employees to develop and maintain healthy behaviours (exercise, nutrition, sleep, etc.) reduce unhealthy/risky habits and make optimal use of health care opportunities. It also refers to workplace due diligence regarding Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and the management of workplace influences that may contribute to injuries, disabilities and/or fatalities. Facility design, including air quality, noise, lighting, and other physical workplace factors are also important aspects that impact employee physical health and well-being.

Mental Health

This element of a healthy workplace refers to how the organization encourages a supportive workplace culture – the foundation of a healthy workplace. This element speaks to how the culture encourages respect, trust, support, and inclusivity. It refers to communication styles and patterns of relationships and values that influence employee health, safety, and well-being.

Social Health

Social well-being in the workplace reflects employee relationships with coworkers, interactions with management, and a sense of belonging within the organization as a whole. It is a measure of an employee’s interpersonal relationships both inside and outside of work and includes aspects such as connectedness, collaboration, recognition and rewards, engagement, influence, growth and development, and intellectual health.


Being a socially responsible organization empowers employees to leverage corporate resources at their disposal to do good. Formal social responsibility programs boost employee morale and productivity in the workforce. This element of a healthy workplace refers to the interrelationship between the workplace, the community, and employee health, safety and well-being, including the way organizations are involved in the community, support environmental stewardship, economic responsibility, and social justice; and how employees are encouraged to participate, volunteer, and ‘give back’ to the community.

This year’s recipients are, in alphabetical order:

AGS Rehab Solutions Inc. Mississauga ON
CanmetENERGY-Ottawa, Natural Resources Canada Nepean ON
CHEO (Pediatric health care and research centre) Ottawa ON
Connecting Care & Points West Living Edmonton AB
Creative Options Regina Regina SK
Hamilton Health Sciences Hamilton ON
Health Standards Organization (HSO) Ottawa ON
Lethbridge College Lethbridge AB
McMaster University Hamilton ON
Saskatchewan Blue Cross Saskatoon SK
Unbounce Vancouver BC
WorkTango Toronto ON

Find out what it takes to be a Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month® Great Employer

About Excellence Canada
Excellence Canada is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that is committed to advancing organizational excellence across Canada. As a national authority on Organizational Excellence, Healthy Workplace®, and Mental Health at Work® awards, Excellence Canada provides excellence frameworks, standards, and independent verification and certification to organizations of all sizes and in all sectors. It is also the custodian and adjudicator of the Canada Awards for Excellence program.

“Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month” , “Healthy Workplace”, and “Mental Health at Work” are Registered Trademarks of Excellence Canada.

Michael Lavis earns Canada’s Most Admired CEO — Broader Public Sector for 2021

In 2021, COR CEO Michael Lavis earned the title of Canada’s Most Admired CEO in the Broader Public Sector from Waterstone Human Capital.

Learn more about 2021’s winners here.

Michael Lavis

Michael Lavis is the founding CEO of Creative Options Regina (COR) — a for-impact, charitable organization that develops personalized support services for people experiencing disability in Regina, Saskatchewan. Under Michael’s leadership, COR has grown to become one of Saskatchewan’s largest support providers serving both vulnerable youth and adults in-care. Michael is passionately committed to nurturing a culture of gentleness within the workplace, transforming care by focusing on employee experience.

As a purpose-driven leader, Michael embraces a culture of continuous learning, recently completing a MA in Leadership with a specialization is values from Royal Roads University. Additionally, he has a MA in Human Security and Peacebuilding, coupled with a BA in International Relations from the University of Saskatchewan, and has completed a number of leadership certificate programs. Michael has over fifteen years of global experience developing opportunities for marginalized individuals; from South America to Africa, and Southeast Asia to Canada, Michael has worked and researched extensively within various international organizations. Michael is passionately committed to strengthening the disability services sector in Saskatchewan and to forge out new beginnings for the province’s most vulnerable citizens. In addition to his work at COR, Michael serves on the Board of Directors of Service Hospitality, Caledonian Curling Club, and is an advisory committee member of the Conference Board of Canada’s Council on Workplace Health and Wellness. COR has been recognized as one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures – Broader Public Sector (2020), one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers (2018-2021), Canada’s Top 100 Employers (2021), and recipient of Canada’s Healthiest Workplaces Award (2019 & 2020).

Proud to be named among Canada’s Top 100 Employers (2022)

Today, we celebrate our entire COR family!

When we laid the foundation for COR twelve short years ago, we knew we wanted to be different. We embraced the life work of Dr. John McGee and wove his philosophy of Gentle Teaching throughout all aspects of our organization. We partnered with leaders around the world to listen, learn and mould COR into what it is today!

What we didn’t realize at the time was the uniqueness of what we were crafting together! We nurtured a caring community of people by leading with purpose and rallying around a set of shared values. Together, we cultivated an environment where people feel safe and valued, while continuing to rally a growing cadre of people around a common vision: Empowering People, Inspiring Change. 

For us, nurturing a Culture of Gentleness has proven to be the perfect counter story to outdated narratives of support. At COR, we support people not clients; we craft companions not employees; we build homes not houses; we see value and dignify rather than find fault and humiliate; we engage with community rather than watch it pass us by.  And we CARE – for our entire COR family.

Our continued growth (and impact) over the past decade has garnered both provincial and national attention, most notably achieving Saskatchewan’s Top Employer recognition (2018-2021), Canada’s Healthiest Workplace Award (2019-2020), along with Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures Award (2021). And today, we again raise our heads with great pride as we have just been awarded the prestigious CANADA’S TOP 100 EMPLOYERS Award for 2022.

Canada's Top 100 Employers 2022

COR is proud to be named one of Canada’s Top Employers 2022

We are so tremendously grateful to everyone who has supported us and championed our efforts over the past decade – this recognition is because of you! We are so incredibly thankful.

To our COR family: Thank you for making a difference in the lives of those we serve – everyday! We are so proud to have you as part of our family.


With immense gratitude,

Michael and Jim


Click to read full announcement.