Step Training Inc. Team

Gene Di Maria M.A. (Retired Chief)

Senior Instructor (United States) Step Training Inc.

Retired from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Federal Probation and Pretrial Academy in Charleston, South Carolina as Chief of the Safety and Firearms Branch. The Safety and Firearms Branch is responsible for serving approximately 6000 officers.

Throughout the 94 Judicial Districts, I was responsible for developing and delivering 6 national training programs, policy development, equipment, budgeting, curriculum development, and supervising up to 20 staff members. I had the privilege of being part of the original staff who created and opened the Federal Probation and Pretrial Academy (FLETC) in 2005.

Paula Di Noto Ph.D.

Instructor and Content Development – Step Training Inc.

Dr. Paula Di Nota received her Ph.D. in Psychology from York University in 2017, specializing in Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Sciences. Using multiple neuroimaging techniques (MRI, EEG) and behavioral experiments, Paula’s research showed how training and expertise shape brain activity and impact performance. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Paula’s current research focuses on the complex relationships between stress, learning, performance, resilience, and health in the police.

Paula’s passion for teaching goes beyond the lecture hall and takes practical skill learning into the real world. She has trained and evaluated frontline, tactical, and military personnel from across Canada and Europe. Collaborations with expert use-of-force instructors at the Police University College of Finland establish operational definitions and effective educational practices for situational awareness and lethal force decision-making. Paula is also a member of CIPSRT, a national research consortium that aims to support wellness and functioning in police and other public safety personnel.

Amber Griffin MSc

Instructor – Step Training Inc.

Amber has been working in the Training and Education industry for over 20 years. She began as a consultant for the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, developing and reviewing curriculum and licensing examinations for Provincial and National Apprenticeship programs. From there, she became an in-house trainer for the City of Mississauga, Parks Department.

This experience lead her to accept the role of Training Coordinator for the City of Mississauga’s Security Services Unit, where she developed and implemented the training program for Security Operations and Transit Enforcement.  It was through this work that she became interested in training Law Enforcement Professionals, which lead her to become an Instructor for the accredited University of Toronto iPREP program.  Amber is proud to represent Step Training Inc. in delivering Mental Health and Professional De-escalation
training our valued clients.  She truly believes in its practical application and effectiveness, being modern, relevant, and evidence-based.

Sarah Scott (Ph.D. Candidate)

Instructor, Content Development and Design – Step Training Inc.

Having obtained my undergraduate degree in Mental Health Studies and Biology at the University of Toronto (UofT), I have a strong interest in the interaction between physiology and psychology. I have explored research in many capacities, including anatomical biology, behavioral psychology, clinical neuropsychology, decision neuroscience, and trauma psychology.

Currently, I work as an editorial research assistant and laboratory coordinator at the Health, Adaptation, Research on Trauma laboratory, in which I am responsible for designing program materials, contributing to manuscript preparation, designing data visualization graphics, and engaging in critical review and on-going editorial duties on a CIHR funded, multi-site national research protocol on mental health for first responders, as well as other responsibilities. I also serve as an Academic Instructor for the international Performance, Resilience, and Efficiency Program (iPREP).

I am an incoming Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology at UofT, in which my research focus will be stress management and outcomes in traumatized persons.

Bill Shikatani

Certified Use of Force Instructor – Step Training Inc.

Having worked in Policing for over 30 years, I spent the majority of my time in training and tactical units. As a certified negotiator, I have real-world experience in managing a crisis and have applied de-escalation strategies professionally for over three decades. As a certified Ontario Use of Force Instructor, I am qualified to teach defensive tactics, ASP Baton, and handcuff and arrest procedures.

Harold Mah

Physical Skills Instructor – Step Training Inc.

Harold Mah for over 20 years combined has been teaching, coaching, and officiating Muay Thai as well as instructing Krav Maga. He is a Kru Yai in MuayThai and a Black Belt, Level 5 in Krav Maga. Harold is also a Certified Instructor in ASP Tactical Weapons and Blauer Tactical Systems.

Employed by the City of Toronto for over 30 years, now retired, he was the former Event Support Manager and Film Permit Manager. Harold worked on major external events, produced City Events, and was responsible for the issuing of over 3000 film permits annually. Harold was instrumental in developing the first-ever ‘Event Support Team consisting of staff from various City Divisions to meet
the needs local, national, and international event organizers.

Brad Wickman

Media Content Manager – Step Training Inc

Having graduated with my degree from Humber College in Film and Media production, I am currently working on a number of projects that include educational films and content. Specializing in crafting engaging and powerful content that captures the viewer’s eye and holds it. My work balances entertainment for my audience, with delivering the client’s message through subtext and visual techniques.

My experience includes a long list of independent productions with experience working on Canadian network shows, as well as the production of media-centered training videos for the RCMP and Icelandic National Police Service.

Adele Back

Chief Administrator – Step Training Inc.

I am a seasoned administrative professional with over 30 years in the field.  I bring with me extensive experience of all office administrative tasks with expertise in data analysis and report generation on a multitude of database programs and cloud-based systems.

My experience comes from working as a Senior Office Administrator for large corporations and government agencies such as Magna International, Toronto Hydro, and Bell Canada.

Lisa Sandhar

Professional Actor for Reality-Based Training – Step Training Inc.

As a professional actor, I am trained to work off scripts and produce specific outcomes. Having spent years working with medical students, reproducing medical conditions that they are then able to diagnose, I am capable of playing a variety of roles that can be used in the skill application of new skills and decision-making through Reality-based training.