Our Leadership Development Team
Susan MacKenty Brady
Executive Vice President of Commercial Strategy
Susan MacKenty Brady is the Executive Vice President of Commercial Strategy at Linkage. Susan is responsible for overseeing the team that ensures clients as well as the broader marketplace knows how Linkage can help solve their most pressing leadership problems.
Susan is an expert speaker, coach, and facilitator, and has extensive experience in building executives and leaders across all levels. She is well known for her success designing and implementing targeted leadership initiatives focused on advancing women leaders. Susan led Linkage’s research around what women can do differently to help their own journey of advancement, culminating in the research brief and corresponding video 7 Leadership Hurdles Women Face in the Workplace.
Prior to joining Linkage, she became a sought-after professional development coach for male and female executives alike, thanks to her pragmatic and direct manner. Her coaching philosophy rests on the premise that behavior change comes from understanding the specific behaviors that may be preventing leaders from operating at their highest level of performance and then focusing on these behaviors in a deep and practical way. She also served as the CEO of the Relational Life Institute, an educational services organization, and held leadership positions with two spin-offs of the Harvard Negotiation Project.
Susan earned her BA while on a theater scholarship at Marietta College and holds a master’s in educational leadership and applied behavioral sciences from Ohio University. Susan is also a contributing author of the book Enlightened Power: How Women Are Transforming the Path to Leadership. She published The 30-Second Guide to Coaching Your Inner Critic and co-authored "Coaching Your Inner Critic" on Forbes.com.
Her latest book: Mastering Your Inner Critic and 7 Other High Hurdles to Advancement: How the Best Women Leaders Practice Self-Awareness to Change What Really Matters is due out fall, 2018.
Senior Vice President of Research and Development
Mark Hannum is Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Linkage. He partners with clients to create better business results that incorporate both organizational justice and effectiveness. An organization development consultant by training, Mark’s focus has been on understanding and improving executive processes and decision making. Through his work with executive teams, leadership teams, and shared services organizations, his clients have credited him with helping them manage through difficult risks, improve business operations, lead and coach through acquisitions and integrations, and take advantage of growth opportunities.
Mark specializes in using the tools and methods of systems dynamics. He spent his early career working as a group problem-solving facilitator and systems-thinking trainer before moving on to leading organization change efforts and ultimately, acquisitions and integrations. He has been both an internal and external consultant, has held senior-level training positions, and has headed up a shared services human resources operation.
While at Hanover Insurance, Mark was engaged with the Center for Organizational Learning at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He is currently ABD at Boston University in organization development and is writing a book with a colleague on the foundational processes of executive teams.
Mark earned a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from Bucknell University and an MA in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma before completing the doctoral program ABD.
Senior Vice President of Consulting
Jillian Ihsanullah, PhD, is Senior Vice President of Consulting at Linkage. She specializes in working with organizations to build values, people systems, and leadership experiences that accelerate the development and commitment of women, while enlarging talent pipelines.
Jillian has designed and facilitated a wide range of leadership development programs, including classroom experiences, action-learning teams, executive coaching, and executive retreats. Most recently, she integrated her passion for leadership with her expertise in measurement as the architect of Linkage’s Return on Leadership Development system, a unique offering designed to measure the bottom-line impact of leadership development efforts. Her clients include Aldo Shoes, American Airlines, GE Capital, General Motors, John Deere, Lockheed Martin, Mattel, McDonald’s Corporation, Morgan Stanley, Toyota, and The United Nations, to name a few.
Prior to joining Linkage, Jillian earned recognition for excellence in teaching undergraduate psychology courses at Purdue University. She previously worked at the Indianapolis think tank, Hudson Institute; cofounded Thought Labs, a social media consulting company; and ran Decisions That Matter, her own executive consulting and coaching business.
She holds a BA in psychology from Connecticut College and an MS and PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from Purdue University, where her research focused on measurement, decision making, and leadership styles.
President & Principal Consultant, Linkage Western Europe
Pieter Allers is based in Brussels and is President and Principal Consultant of Linkage Western Europe. He brings to Linkage over 20 years of experience in the human capital industry. He has been responsible for designing, managing and implementing solutions in areas of management and leadership development, change management, assessments and coaching, and organization development for corporate and nonprofit clients throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Before joining Linkage, Pieter held commercial, consulting, and general management positions with one of Europe’s largest providers of executive development. He has traveled and worked extensively across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Pieter received his Masters in Business Management from the University of Ottawa and the Institute of Higher European Studies in The Hague. He further completed the Organisation Development Certificate Program with the NTL Institute.
A Dutch national, Pieter is fluent in English, French, German and Dutch.
Didem Acikalin Alpan
President, Linkage Turkey
Didem Acikalin, MBA, is President of Linkage Turkey. Based in Istanbul, she develops and delivers a variety of leadership development programs, coaching programs, and human resources and organization development consulting services. Her work has benefited some of Turkey’s best-known global and multinational organizations, and she has helped more than 300 professionals achieve growth and change through her executive coaching.
Prior to joining Linkage, Didem was founder and CEO of Sahneler Training and Organization Development Consultancy, which provided training programs on a variety of team, personal, and organization development topics.
She holds an MS in psychology from Bosphorus University and an executive MBA from Istanbul Bilgi University in association with Manchester Business School. An Industrial/Organizational Psychologist and licensed therapist, she conducts therapy sessions with families, couples, and groups.
Devon Brown, PhD, is a Principal Consultant at Linkage. He has more than 25 years of experience in coaching; designing, and facilitating leadership development programs; and consulting around strategy and organizational design. Devon’s passion lies in developing individual leaders and working with teams and organizations to solve complex problems.
Devon’s success as a coach and an organization development consultant lies in his ability to listen to the client and ask critical questions. He approaches his work, supporting teams and organizations’ efforts to achieve bottom-line results, from a systems perspective. When Devon works with teams or entire organizations, he begins by looking at how organizational systems interact and influence each other, and how these systems create and contribute to specific issues and strengths of the organization. This approach allows Devon to better understand complex organizational issues, as well as better able to discern root causes of organizational challenges and to develop planned, long-term strategies for those challenges.
Devon has worked in a wide variety of industries, with extensive focus in health care, financial services, energy, and agriculture.
Prior to joining Linkage, Devon was the VP of Leadership Development for eight years at FCC Services—a consulting firm focusing on providing leadership development, talent selection, risk management, insurance management, and claims administration services to a variety of clients in the agricultural sector. In this role, Devon was responsible for managing the leadership development practice area, including executive coaching and leadership development program design, and consulting with clients on strategy development and implementation, organizational design, and strategic talent management.
Devon worked as a faculty member, conducted research, and taught communication and leadership development courses at the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business; the University of Waikato, New Zealand; and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Devon was also the President and Founder of a training and development firm, Bridging the Gap Consulting.
Devon holds a PhD and an MA in Organizational Communication from the University of Colorado and a BA in Conflict Studies from Earlham College. Devon lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife, Amanda, and their two children. When not working, Devon can be found with his family travelling, and often in the mountains, skiing, hiking, climbing, and mountain biking, and at the ocean learning to surf.
Briana Goldman is a Senior Consultant at Linkage. She is passionate about driving a collaborative approach to consulting, working with her clients to co-create shared understanding and generate solutions in Organization Development. She is a key innovator, contributor, and strategist to Linkage’s change management and advancing women and inclusion practices.
Briana is a skilled consultant, facilitator, and coach. She is particularly proud of her work partnering with the Institute of International Education, where she has been central to redesigning the organization to build on its exceptional client service and program management to increase reliability, consulting capability and reach. She created an innovative design for Avanade’s Leadership Program for Women to drive culture change at all levels of the organization. In addition, Briana is leading the development of Linkage’s work on sponsorship; she believes that the greatest opportunity organizations have to promote women and minorities is through an organization-wide commitment to driving executive sponsorship.
Prior to joining Linkage, Briana pursued a mission-driven career path in the world of Jewish non-profits. She led a team of warm-hearted development professionals as the Associate Director of Advancement at Brandeis Hillel Day School. In her role as a Leadership Development Associate at the Jewish Community Federation in San Francisco, she partnered with the board to support an organization restructure and evolve leadership development efforts.
Briana has a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Counseling from Golden Gate University, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from California State University, Chico. When you meet Briana, ask her what she’s reading at the moment, or where she took her last hike.
Bernardus Holtrop is a Principal Consultant at Linkage. He is an expert group facilitator and executive coach who works with organizations both large and small, including many Fortune 100 companies. Bernardus designs and steers leadership development journeys that improve work relationships, cultivate organizational transformation, and deliver bottom-line results. Within his leadership work, he is passionate about two areas: emotional intelligence, working with leaders to deeply connect to themselves and others, and team effectiveness, fostering trust and (re)building relationships to create results. A global citizen with residences in the Netherlands and the United States, he translates leadership across cultures effortlessly.
Prior to joining Linkage, Bernardus was a strategy and organizational consultant and learning program manager at McKinsey & Company. He developed and ran a program that helped define ideal client service and teamwork, and then devised solutions that helped achieve goals in this focus area. He also managed and redesigned a program implemented to help senior partners become trusted counselors to their clients, as well as inspiring leaders to their teams. Bernardus was also the Chief Learning Officer at Mobius Executive Leadership, a US-based consultancy that is a spin-off of the Harvard Negotiation Project.
Bernardus earned an MS in electrical engineering from the University of Twente and an MBA in general management from the Rotterdam School of Management. He is also a certified transformational coach who helps individuals create breakthroughs in their professional and personal lives.
Dr. Lizzette Lima is a Principal Consultant at Linkage. She is a seasoned talent management professional and executive coach with over 20 years of experience implementing enterprise-wide talent management solutions, including designing and facilitating leadership development and succession planning programs, implementing assessment platforms to inform selection and development decisions, and coaching and developing leaders to drive organizational impact and growth. She views herself as a true thought partner and utilizes a goal-oriented, participative approach to help her clients take action toward the realization of their vision and goals.
Lizzette works with clients and organizations who seek true business partners to help solve their talent challenges, achieve their long-term strategic objectives, and deliver measurable business results through focused talent interventions. She is an experienced executive coach, helping leaders achieve performance targets, deliver on strategic objectives, and optimize their impact on the bottom line for their respective organizations. Areas of expertise include, job analysis and competency modeling, selection/pre-employment assessment development, validation, and implementation, executive coaching, leadership development, and program evaluation.
Prior to her role at Linkage, she was a Managing Consultant in Talent Management for four years with Right Management, a global talent management consulting firm specializing in leadership development, assessment, executive coaching and career development. While in this role, she was responsible for designing and implementing leadership development, succession planning, and high-potential programs, coaching and providing developmental support to over 100 leaders, and measuring and demonstrating program impact.
Lizzette spent two years with PDRI, a consulting firm, where she consulted with federal agencies to implement enterprise-wide competency and leadership assessment programs. She also spent seven years with Development Dimensions International, a global talent management consulting firm, where she managed large-scale talent management program implementations and assessed and coached more than 200 leaders.
Lizzette holds a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in industrial/organizational psychology. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Lizzette has worked with a variety of clients, such as: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, RAND, So Cal Edison, Adobe, Honeywell, Exelon, Smith-Barney, American Express, Celgard, , Bow Valley College, Actelion, Gate Gourmet, Signature Flight Support, Allianz, CapGemini, IBM, Avon, British Petroleum, Blue Cross Blue Shield, CSX, Lockheed Martin, Marriott, Pepsi Bottling Group, ThedaCare Health, Splunk, Suncor, PDC Energy, McDermott, Munich Re, and Sanofi-Aventis.
President, Linkage Germany
Ömer Tigrel is an MBA Civil Engineer and President of Linkage Germany. He currently resides in Frankfurt, Germany. Tigrel began his career at Dresdner Bank AG in Germany and has over 30 years of experience reorganizing and restructuring corporations in several different sectors including: finance, banking, management consultancy and marketing and sales.
Prior to joining Linkage, Tigrel ran his own marketing consultancy firm in Germany. He also served as the CEO of AY GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of E-Plus Telecommunications Germany (now o2). Tigrel was the Vice President responsible for corporate marketing and loans for Yapi Kredi Bank (a joint venture between Koç Group and UniCredit Group) and was the country manager of Deniz Bank Wien AG (SyberBank) in Germany. Most recently, Tigrel was CEO at Lemon Time Media GmbH, a marketing and media consultancy company based in Frankfurt.
Tigrel coaches employees and colleagues on the importance of teamwork for working effectively in order to run a successful business. He has extensive experience in training staff in the areas of project development, behavior in corporate business, MIS, corporate loans, marketing and customer relationships. His former clients and network are based mainly in Germany, Austria, Turkey and the UK.
His experience in various sectors as a business manager and team leader, paired with his background in consulting, makes Tigrel an exceptional candidate to demonstrate leadership skills and complement the business results of Linkage Germany.
Tigrel is an art lover, professional photographer and painter. Currently, he and his wife run an art gallery in Oberursel, near Frankfurt.
Dr. David Vaughn is a Principal Consultant at Linkage. His recent work has focused on helping clients navigate matrix management, deploy a coaching culture, build an internal consulting discipline, and develop senior leadership teams. David has in-depth experience facilitating these initiatives in the healthcare, insurance, financial services, consumer products, and light manufacturing sectors.
David uses his extensive coaching experience to help all of his clients, including C-level executives, bring out the best in themselves regardless of the context or business climate. He brings experience from prior general management positions and an acute organizational development mindset to his client engagements.
Prior to joining Linkage, David worked for Anheuser-Busch. As a Regional Director, he was responsible for the Wholesale Operations in seven Midwest and Southern markets. He was also a Director of Business Development and Division Vice President for the Anheuser-Busch subsidiary, Campbell Taggart. Both roles helped prepare him for his assignment to lead their internal consulting efforts, where he focused on business management consulting, operations analysis, sales service strategy development, route distribution planning, computer-based routing, information systems consulting, and hands-on leadership coaching at all levels of independent distributorships, from small to large.
David has also worked as an independent consultant on large-scale global organizational interventions in Asia, Africa, and South America. His work included developing and coaching the executive directors and their leadership teams and boards in how to effectively take on the identity of the organization and manage it as a single-minded group in the deployment of policy, strategy, and solutions to emerging opportunities.
David earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Missouri University, an MA in Human Resource Management from Washington University in St. Louis, an MBA from McNeese State University, and a PhD in Public Policy and Administration from St. Louis University. He also received a Certificate in Theology from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.
Madelyn Yucht is a Principal Consultant at Linkage. Madelyn is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, consultant, and academic with over 20 years of experience working with leaders and leadership teams to improve performance and achieve strategic objectives, domestically and internationally, in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
Madelyn is a master executive coach and facilitator whose experience working with teams has helped organizations overcome silos, build bridges, and create a vision. She helps senior executive teams assess how they interact with one another and how they interact with the larger organization to optimize performance and produce better business results. She also works with cascading operations teams and global teams to ensure that they are aligned and able to support one another.
Madelyn’s work encompasses the full spectrum of industries with particular focus in energy, healthcare, technology, transportation, and consumer organizations. She helps her clients achieve company-wide culture change by leveraging critical business functions, such as customer satisfaction and safety, among others.
Madelyn earned a BA from The College of New Jersey and an MS from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government with joint studies at the Harvard Business School. Upon completion of her degree, she remained at Harvard Business School to manage a research project analyzing the performance of over 10,000 companies worldwide to identify the key determining factors to be a world-class performer in the 21st century global economy. She also studied International Relations at Coventry University in England.