Experience. Expertise. Energy. Enthusiasm. These are the capabilities and qualities of spirit that our consultants and partners bring to each and every client engagement. Our consultants and partners have an average of more than 15 years of diverse, practical experience across an array of industries. They also possess theoretical expertise, as evidenced by the advanced degrees that they hold in the academic disciplines that matter most in the fields of organizational and leadership development.
Focused and committed to work with you every step of the way, our experts partner with you from project conception to execution to resolution.
Jennifer McCollum is CEO of Linkage, where she oversees the strategic direction and global operations of the Burlington, MA-based company. She has 20 years of experience building and leading businesses in the leadership space, with a focus on leadership development, assessment and analytics. Her area of expertise includes bringing analytic rigor to critical talent decisions by linking leadership behavior to corporate performance outcomes. The products she and her teams build help global organizations across industries make the right bets on their current and future leaders at critical decision points: at time of hire, and when identifying high potentials, developing leaders and planning for succession.
Prior to Linkage, Jennifer spent the last decade growing businesses within Corporate Executive Board (CEB), now Gartner. In her time there, she led product management within the leadership division, driving innovative solutions that helped organizations select, develop and place leaders at all levels. She also ran CEB’s Leadership Academies business, which developed more than 30,000 professionals in 2,100 companies throughout 50 countries and grew revenue at a 97 percent combined annual growth rate across five years.
Previously, Jennifer served as CEO of IntraVision, a leadership consultancy she founded and successfully grew over the course of eight years; while working across industries with public companies, start-ups, associations and non-profits. Her passion is creating vision, executing strategy and managing cohesive teams toward aspirational goals.
Jennifer has a master’s degree in communications from the University of Stirling in Stirling, Scotland and an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University in psychology and communications.
Chief Research Officer
Mark is Chief Research Officer at Linkage. 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 led Linkage’s most significant research effort to date, analyzing over 30 years of leadership data and more than 100,000 leadership assessments, which culminated in Linkage’s Purposeful Leadership® model and approach. The findings formed the foundation for Rethinking Leadership: The Power of Purpose.
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 organizational 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 HR 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. His new book BECOME: The Path to Purposeful Leadership (McGraw Hill) is due out Fall 2019.
Mark’s clients include American Science and Engineering, Banco Popular, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, BTMU, Cisco Corporate University, The College of the Holy Cross, Comcast, Disney University, EMC University, FAA, Farm Credit Corporation of America Corporate University, Intuit, Jeppesen, JM Family Enterprises, Leprino Foods, Macy’s, MetLife, NASA, The National Cancer Institute, ProBuild, Shawmut Design and Construction, United Nations, University of Michigan Health System, University of Notre Dame, Verisign, and Xilinx.
Chief Revenue Officer
Maria Howard is Chief Revenue Officer at Linkage, where she oversees the global business development, marketing and Linkage Network teams. She brings more than 15 years of experience building and leading businesses in the professional services industry with a focus on leadership development, assessment and succession, and talent acquisition.
Maria's area of expertise include aligning business and talent strategies to drive measurable impact against organizational goals, and she has a passion for driving this growth through their most important asset–their people. She has brought to market innovative and integrated solutions, linking the talent lifecycle from hiring, retention, development and promotion resulting in differentiated leaders capable of growth in an ever-changing and disruptive marketplace.
Prior to joining Linkage, Maria spent the last decade growing commercial businesses within Korn Ferry. During her time there, she led several post-acquisition integrations, driving double-digit growth across solution areas. She started a new global function driving capability to deliver the integration of KF Executive Search, Futurestep, and Advisory/Product businesses to the market. She has served as an executive sponsor on marquee accounts across life sciences, consumer, industrial and technology industries and has delivered global programs to clients and internal colleagues across NA, APAC, and EMEA.
Chief Product Officer
Kristen Howe is the Chief Product Officer at Linkage, where she oversees Product Management and Product Development. She has over 20 years of experience building and leading businesses in the leadership and development space, with a focus on leadership development, sales, coaching and facilitation.
Kristen is passionate about building products that foster inclusive behavior, positive corporate performance and business outcomes. She strives to create products that help global organizations develop key segments of their business, in both classroom-based settings and digital platforms. She empowers teams by developing smart and efficient processes designed to utilize the individual skills of every team member, all while optimizing overall performance.
Prior to joining Linkage, Kristen spent the last decade growing businesses within Corporate Executive Board (CEB), now Gartner. During her time there, she led multiple teams across the Talent Solutions business, focusing on conceptualizing, building, selling and delivering talent solutions based on CEB data. She also ran CEB’s Leadership Academies business, which developed more than 30,000 professionals at 2,100 companies throughout 50 countries; Kristen was consistently recognized as one of the top managers and coaches across the entire firm.
Previously, Kristen has served in a variety of roles, including global facilitator, consultant and engineer. Kristen has a Master of Business Administration from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University.
Chief Experience Officer
Jillian Ihsanullah is the Chief Experience Officer at Linkage. She is Linkage’s principal researcher and thought leader on gender and leadership. In addition to her academic background and publications, Jillian boasts over 25 years of experience working with organizations to build values, people systems and leadership experiences that accelerate the development and commitment of women, while enlarging talent pipelines.
An industrial/organizational psychologist, leadership consultant and executive coach with wide-ranging business and consulting experience, Jillian is a trusted advisor of leaders from CEOs and senior vice presidents to middle managers. Her career has focused on organizational transformation through the use of human resources, change management, and decision-making concepts and tools.
Jillian’s skill in facilitation and leadership development was first recognized at Purdue University, where she was identified as a top instructor for excellence in teaching undergraduate psychology courses. She went on to design and facilitate leadership development programs and initiatives for leaders in the business world. Integrating her passion for leadership and expertise in measurement, Jillian developed Linkage’s Return on Leadership Development (ROLD) system to measure the bottom-line impact of leadership development efforts. She also led the team that created Linkage’s Women in Leadership Assessment™ (WILA) and the Advancing Women Organizational Assessment™ (AWOA). Her most recent research, Changing the Game for Women in the Workplace identifies the four dimensions most directly correlated with the advancement and effectiveness of women leaders.
Jillian graduated from Connecticut College with a BA in Psychology. She earned her MS and PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Purdue University, where her research focused on measurement, decision making and gender differences in leadership styles. Her dissertation analyzed the decision making of executive teams.
Jillian’s clients include Aldo Shoes, American Airlines, Boston Edison, CalFarm Insurance, Fidelity Investments, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, FM Global, GE Capital, General Motors, Genpact, The Institute of International Education, Jeppesen, John Deere, Lockheed Martin, LPL Financial, Mattel, McDonald’s Corporation, Meridian Health, Morgan Stanley, Philips Corporation, Principal Financial Group, Scudder Investments, Toyota, Turkcell, and The United Nations.
President, Linkage Asia
Samuel M. Lam is President of Linkage Asia. He is one of Asia’s leading practitioners of leadership development and an executive coach to numerous notable CEOs, top government officials, and Board members in Asia.
Sam has over 20 years of experience in leadership development, organization development consulting, and market leadership. He is known for his highly regarded programs created for both local clients in Singapore as well as global clients. His clients include Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline, Disney, Philips and Deutsche Bank, to name a few.
Prior to joining Linkage Asia, Sam was the Managing Consultant for Towers Perrin Singapore, where he led an office of top HR practitioners in performance leadership, executive compensation, sales incentive design, compensation, benefits, and talent management. Previously, he was Director of the Hay Group where he spent five years leading significant projects in leadership development, organizational improvement, and performance management.
Sam holds a BA from the University of Southern California and has an MA from the National University of Singapore.
Chief Operating Officer
Richard Pumfrey is Chief Operating Officer at Linkage. His varied leadership and executive experience afford him a unique value and position in his consulting and coaching engagements, while he continues to serve as an in-house executive. Rick stepped in and assumed the role of co-President during Linkage’s most recent CEO search. Rick oversees global operations for Linkage, including finance, accounting, human resources, legal, and information technology as well as overall business operations, including client engagement, strategic partnerships, and maintaining relationships with Linkage’s affiliates and partners.
At Linkage, Rick has enhanced the organization’s financial position by structuring term loans, establishing unsecured lines of credit, and presiding over Linkage’s 2008 and most recent private equity transactions. He has also spearheaded the company’s technology and systems upgrades, including front- and back-office integration, and new programs to expand distribution channels, customer service, human resources, and operational capabilities. In his client work, Rick is a leading expert on business process, business process change, productivity, and mergers and acquisitions.
Prior to joining Linkage in 2001, Rick spent 18 years in the energy/utility industry, where he held various executive positions, including the lead role in a multibillion-dollar merger. He was also responsible for driving and leading the development of two successful technology startups and raising in excess of $80 million in venture funding.
Rick holds a BS from Bentley University and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University.
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.
President, Linkage Middle East
Salwa Al-Sharqawi, PhD, MBA, is President of Linkage Middle East. Based in Kuwait, she is also CEO and founder of Optimal Solutions HR & Marketing Consultancy. She is an expert facilitator and trainer in leadership and management programs, time management, and customer service, and also has extensive experience in developing HR systems and strategies as well as in developing, training, and counseling HR teams.
At Linkage, her clients span several countries, including Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, and represent a variety of industries, including finance and banking, telecom, and everything in between.
Prior to joining Linkage, Salwa began her career as an aircraft engineer and then later transitioned into human resources management, leadership development, and training. She has worked with top governmental and private sector organizations in banking, telecommunication, and many other fields.
Salwa holds a BS in engineering technology of aircraft maintenance from Northrop University, a PhD from the School of Business & Banking Studies, University of Wales, and an MBA with an emphasis in marketing and human resources from Brunel University.
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.
Assoc. Vice President, Linkage Network
Shannon Bayer, JD, is the Associate Vice President of the Linkage Network. In this role, she helps organizations to drive business results through improved team effectiveness, effective negotiation, coaching, and innovation.
Shannon specializes in designing, facilitating, and implementing innovation, change leadership, and leadership professional development programs and has led strategic initiatives across a variety of industries, ranging from government to financial services, healthcare, insurance, and consumer products and goods. Notably, she designed and successfully launched Creating an Innovation-Capable Organization in partnership with Linkage partner and innovation expert Stephen Shapiro.
Prior to joining Linkage, Shannon was a Scientific Recruiter for Kforce and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. At Dana-Farber, she coordinated the training and career development of Dana-Farber’s postdoctoral researchers while attending law school at night. She started her own law practice and successfully grew her business using alternative and innovative methods in a challenging economic environment.
Shannon holds a BS in animal science from the University of Vermont and a JD in international law from Suffolk University.
Paula Butte is a Principal Consultant at Linkage. She is an exceptional executive coach and consultant with an impressive record of enabling leaders to focus behavior, solve seemingly intractable challenges and achieve outstanding business results.
Drawing on extensive experience internationally, Paula has worked with board members and leaders at all levels in a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing, finance, oil, pharmaceuticals, engineering and construction with clients located throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Paula has coached graduates of some of the world’s premier executive education programs, including CFOs participating in Stanford University’s advanced programs. She has also collaborated with leaders to address leadership team effectiveness and performance issues, devise and deploy innovative business solutions, and build behavioral science-informed sustainable management systems. Paula is widely recognized for her expertise in developing leader coaching skills and has accredited scores of internal coaches in a wide range of client organizations.
Most recently, Paula has led organizational change management practices as a partner in a prominent consulting firm. In that role, she developed state of the art decision and behavioral sciences-based methodologies for deployment in major economic sectors, working with leaders at prominent brands throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Paula also has deep experience in performance change leadership and operational excellence. In this practice, she helps clients leverage a unique, proprietary applied behavioral and decision science tool set to deliver mindset and behavior change required for sustainable culture transformation, value creation and process adoption/optimization.
In addition to client engagements, Paula led multiple internal initiatives that delivered significant and rapid revenue and profit gains, including establishing centerlines for the company’s performance improvement and change management offers and developing a new line of cloud-based blended learning solutions. Paula’s background also includes managing an industrial chemicals business and the North American sales force for a Fortune 100 chemical company. Paula earned an honors BS in Business Administration and an MBA, Finance from Central Michigan University.
Managing Partner, Chief Marketing Officer & Principal Consultant, Linkage South America
Ruben Gross, MBA, is Managing Partner, Chief Marketing Officer, and Principal Consultant of Linkage South America. A seasoned professional with 30+ years’ experience in the financial and banking industries, he has extensive firsthand experience managing business and leading teams of all sizes both directly and through matrix organizations.
Prior to joining Linkage, Ruben held several strategic positions, including a number of leadership roles at Citibank including Consumer Bank Business Head in Central America, South America Credit Card Head, and Sales & Distribution Head for all Consumer Banking Products, among other relevant positions in the region. While at Citibank, he notably managed American Express’s credit card business, first for Argentina and then later for Latin America.
Ruben holds a degree in economic sciences from Universidad de Buenos Aires and an MBA from the University of Miami, with an international business focus.
Diana María Gruber
Diana María Gruber is a Principal Consultant at Linkage. An engaging, effective and supportive facilitator, coach, trainer and leadership development specialist, she has over 20 years of experience leading groups and individuals through transformational initiatives.
Diana has worked with leaders in dozens of Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions across a variety of sectors including finance, insurance, publishing, medical, tech, biotech, energy, and oil and gas. Her specialty is in helping leaders achieve outstanding personal and organizational results by enabling them to purposefully inspire and engage teams, innovate, take risks and grow as individuals. Diana has additional facilitation expertise in communication, emotional intelligence, change leadership and strategic influence.
She is passionate about leveraging inclusive leadership in the workplace. A native of Puerto Rico, she has had extensive experience working with multicultural audiences. Diana has lived in Mexico, Brazil, Italy, France, Germany and the United States, and frequently delivers leadership programs across Asia, Europe and North America. Diana speaks six languages fluently: Spanish, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and German.
Prior to joining Linkage, Diana built three successful companies, authored five books, and created a series of online learning programs. In addition to consulting with large firms, Diana has worked with start-ups and small local businesses, helping them to expand and strengthen their leadership, visioning, HR, marketing, sales, operations and SEO efforts.
Diana has a B.A. in French, Spanish and Italian (with minors in Portuguese, English and business) from the University of Texas at Austin. She holds multiple industry certifications.
President & CEO, Linkage South America
Silvia Haskler is the President and CEO of Linkage South America. With more than 25 years of experience in corporate training and consulting, she enables individual, team, and organizational growth through strategic leadership, effective negotiations, coaching and mentoring, and conflict management.
Silvia is a recognized writer and communicator with a multidisciplinary background, international experience, and strong language skills. In addition to her work at Linkage, where she supports clients including American Express, Eli Lilly, Exxon, and John Deere, she is also a professor and speaker at seminars and renowned universities, including Universidad de Buenos Aires, Universidad de Tres de Febrero, Hospital Borda, and Centro de Salud Mental No 3.
She holds a degree in psychology from Universidad de Buenos Aires and has completed multiple graduate and postgraduate courses, including a postgraduate program on coaching at the Ontological Design Institute.
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.
Susie Kelleher is a Principal Consultant and Executive Coach at Linkage. Susie has over 25 years of experience with a unique and diverse background. She has been a healthcare provider, a sales consultant, a leader of people and a coach and consultant working globally with organizations, teams, individuals and groups. She brings tremendous passion to the work of collaborating with organizations to achieve their long-term vision. She has a special focus on working with individual leaders and in the areas of diversity and inclusion, purposeful leadership and advancing women leaders. Susie also has expertise in organizational change management and culture transformation. She works to drive organizational change by applying systems thinking and enrolling and training leaders inside the organization, with a focus on overall employee wellness and continuous improvement as the foundation to organizational success
Prior to joining Linkage, Susie worked for Sanofi Pharmaceuticals in a variety of roles across multiple business areas, including Sales Leadership, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching and Change Management. While there she led a behavior change initiative inside the organization, where her work in collaboration with others was considered transformative to the organization. This work included identifying inefficiencies and collaborating with teams to create new and better ways of working. She coached and consulted with multiple teams and leaders at all levels of the organization.
Since joining Linkage, she has worked with multiple global organizations from the C-Suite to the first-line leader. Her work has included individual leadership development, diversity and inclusion, advancing women leaders and organizational change management.
Her years as a physical therapist prior to joining Sanofi taught her the importance of systems thinking in solving complex problems, and that behavior change is the most important lever in reaching goals.
Susie holds a Master of Physical Therapy from the Mayo Clinic and a Bachelor of Science in Economics. She is an International Coach Federation Certified Coach, a Certified Behavior Change Specialist and a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. She holds certifications in Team Coaching, Organization Development, Collaborative Consulting, and PROSCI Change Management.
Examples of Susie’s clients include: Sanofi Pharmaceuticals, Shire, GlaxoSmithKline, Siemens, Lenovo, Procter & Gamble, Philips, Toyota, Oracle, John Deere, BioMarin, 3M, College Possible and Goodwill Easter Seals.
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.
CEO, Linkage India
Romi Malhotra is CEO of Linkage India. With more than 30 years’ experience spanning multiple industries, he specializes in strategy, leadership development, communication, and change; and, has spoken extensively at seminars and forums in India, Australia, Singapore, Japan, the United States, Finland, and the United Kingdom.
Prior to joining Linkage, Romi built his vast experience as a business leader and seasoned executive. He was previously Managing Director and General Manager of Dell International Services India where he was responsible for all aspects of running the company and charting Dell’s progress in implementing its services strategy from India.
Prior to Dell, Romi served as the CEO and Managing Director of Scope International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered Bank, UK. Before then, he was CEO of the GE Capital Integrated Business Solutions, GE Capital’s foray into the KPO business to include analytics, actuarial, e-learning, software development, and legal offshoring.
His broad hands-on experience as a business leader, paired with his consulting and coaching experience, give him deep personal knowledge that enables him to coach and train senior leaders with practical insights that lead to accelerated business results.
Director, Purposeful Leadership Solutions & Executive Director, Linkage's Global Institute for Leadership Development
Rachael Marangu is the Director of Purposeful Leadership Solutions and oversees the creation of Linkage’s Global Institute for Leadership Development®. Working alongside practitioners, faculty, and outside partners to design, develop, and deliver Linkage’s signature leadership event, Rachael strives to inspire leaders to commit to purposeful living, professionally and personally.
Rachael has a significant background in the financial services industry, most recently with Fidelity Investments, where she served as a Director in their enterprise relationship management group and supported the retention and growth of Fidelity’s most strategic institutional clients. She also served on the development committee of Fidelity’s Women’s Networking Group, which served as her gateway into leadership development.
Her career began at Lincoln Financial Group, where through Lincoln’s Professional Development Program she was afforded a rare opportunity to progress through five distinct roles, across four states, in seven years. Lincoln’s leadership development program was the adventure that set the course of her career and inspired her curiosity as to how leaders are molded for maximum success.
Rachael holds a BA in economics from Northwestern University and graduated from the Wharton Program for the Working Professional (WPWP).
Alexander B. Martin
Alexander B. Martin is a Principal Consultant at Linkage. As a master experience-designer, facilitator, consultant and executive coach, he has dedicated his life to provoking people to lead themselves, their teams and their organizations.
Alexander’s signature approach leverages deeply experiential methods to sustain and accelerate a call to leadership that drives business and team performance through human development. His professional life has been dedicated to a single focus: developing and equipping leaders to change the world. Harnessing cutting-edge behavioral science and adult development research, Alexander designs and facilitates experiences that connect individual leadership growth and skill development to the transformation of teams, organizations and industries.
Prior to joining Linkage, Alexander spent a decade as a Senior Faculty member at NOLS. He worked with diverse clients across the globe, both outdoors and in their workplaces to drive organizational change and value creation through leadership, learning and human development.
In his personal life, Alexander is a professional explorer, mountain athlete, and keynote speaker. Between 2009 and 2014, he circumnavigated the planet on a 27,000-mile journey by ski, foot, canoe and bicycle through 24 countries. He is a Fellow of the Explorer's Club and the Royal Geographic Society, and was the 2011 Outside Magazine Adventurer of the Year. Alexander has led teams on five continents. In 2016, he was a TEDx speaker on the topic of “Cultivating a Love of Challenge.”
Alexander holds a master’s degree (Ed.M.) from Harvard University in leadership development & organizational behavior, and a B.A. in history from Bates College.
Managing Director, Linkage Greece
Artemios Miropoulos is Managing Director of Linkage Greece. In this role, he applies his extensive business background to coaching executives at global organizations, including Astir Hotels, Johnson & Johnson, Mercedes Benz, Motorola, Roche, Valencia, and Vodafone, among others.
Prior to joining Linkage, Artemios was Partner at Response International, a human resources consultancy. In this role, he led the business consulting division, HR and training teams, and the company’s European expansion, establishing HR development offices in Romania, Serbia, and Bulgaria.
Prior to Response International, Artemios established local offices for Stanton Chase Executive Search operations, supporting the formation of local teams of consultants and business development. While there, he participated in select assignments including senior leaders’ selection, change culture initiatives, and organization and human resource development.
Artemios holds a BS in mechanical engineering from the Institute of Technology, Athens; a diploma in marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, London; and an MS in HR and performance management from the University of Leicester. He initiated the foundation of the Hellenic Association for Customer Service and also leads AmCham’s Leadership Committee.
Stephen Monk is a Principal Consultant at Linkage. He is dedicated to working with individuals and teams to help them think more expansively, collaborate more effectively, and execute more efficiently to drive superior business results.
Drawing on extensive international experience, Stephen has worked with leaders at all levels in a wide variety of industries including financial/professional services, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, consumer services, hospitality, real estate/property management and manufacturing/technology with clients located throughout North America, Asia, Europe and Australia. Stephen is a skilled consultant, facilitator and coach and focuses on leadership development, collaboration and influence, working in a matrix, and leading and managing change.
Prior to joining Linkage, Stephen was a Senior Consultant at Vantage Partners and worked with organizations to enhance their negotiation proficiency and build collaborative work cultures through joint problem solving. He led one of the firm’s key strategic leadership development initiatives to help a global life sciences organization create a common and shared approach to developing new and experienced leaders during a period of rapid expansion through acquisition.
Stephen earned an MBA degree from Michigan State University and a BS degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology in food, hotel, and travel management.
President, Linkage Korea
Soomo Moon, PhD, MBA, is President of Linkage Korea. He helps clients to cultivate and expand their global awareness via professional development workshops, training programs, and consulting services, with a particular emphasis in transforming organizational culture, organizational communication, leadership development, action learning, performance management, and intercultural communication.
Prior to joining Linkage, Soomo was the HRD/HRM and organization development expert at Samsung, Korea Management Association, and Applied Materials. He has also owned his own leadership development and HR consulting firm and taught leadership development at Yonsei University, Hanyang University, and Kyung Hee University.
Soomo holds a BA and an MBA from Sogang University in Korea and also has an MA and PhD in human and organizational transformation from the California Institute of Integral Studies.
President, Linkage Greece
Dimitris Papanikitopoulos is President of Linkage Greece. He is a seasoned executive coach and consultant with more than 25 years’ experience supporting Greek senior leaders across a variety of business sectors through career planning, leadership development, and behavioral change. He is an experienced speaker, having spoken at and coordinated more than 30 conferences and has, himself, logged more than 1,500 days of training.
At Linkage, Dimitris' clients include Athenian Brewery, Coca-Cola, Energizer, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, Mercedes Benz, Pfizer, Philip Morris, Toyota, and others. He is certified in numerous leadership and team-assessment tools, including Linkage’s Leadership Assessment Instrument™.
In addition to his current role at Linkage, Dimitris has been a member of the Association of Chief Executive Officers (Ε.Α.Σ.Ε.) for the last 10 years and also serves as Secretary General on the Board of Directors of the Greek Institute of Sales (Ι.Π.Ε.), as well as an Honorable Member on the Board of the Greek Institute of Customer Service (Ε.Ι.Ε.Π.).
A graduate of the University of Piraeus, Greece, and the London School of Economics, UK, he is a faculty member and facilitator at Linkage’s Global Institute for Leadership Development® (GILD).
Managing Partner, Linkage Australia
Colin Pitt, MBA, is Managing Partner of Linkage Australia and New Zealand. An experienced strategist, a thought-provoking facilitator, and a seasoned executive coach for leaders and teams, he specializes in leading C-suite and senior managers through leadership strategy and development, change and transition, executive team effectiveness, human resources practice, and process innovation to improve business performance.
With Linkage, Colin's strategic, but pragmatic, approach to leadership reinvention has supported leading global companies, including Australian Hearing, Aviva Group, Brady Corporation, Oz Mineral, and Samsung, to name a few.
Prior to joining Linkage, Colin held numerous senior executive positions, including General Manager of the Corporate Performance Center, Group Executive Human Resource within St. George Bank, and General Manager of Leadership, Learning, and Talent within Westpac Banking Corporation. His past experience spans a variety of industries, including financial services and banking, manufacturing, agribusiness, government, and research management.
Colin holds an MBA from the University of New England and a doctorate of business leadership from Charles Sturt University and the Australian Graduate School of Leadership (AGSL). He holds qualifications in chemistry and industrial administration and, in addition to his work at Linkage, is a Senior Fellow-Doctoral Examiner for AGSL as well as a qualified practitioner in a variety of psychometric instruments and diagnostic assessments.
Director, Advancing Women Leaders & Inclusive Leadership Solutions & Executive Director, Linkage's Women in Leadership Institute
Kerry Brady Seitz is the Director of Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute™, where she oversees the design, development and execution of this global signature program for high-performing women leaders. She brings her passion for cultivating change, driving career growth and empowering women to her role.
Prior to joining Linkage, Kerry founded her own career coaching practice where she focused on partnering with mid- to senior-level executives to clarify and achieve their professional aspirations. During this time, she also developed and facilitated professional development workshops for local audiences on a variety of topics, including interviewing, career development, strategic networking and goal setting. Previously, she was an Adjunct Faculty member at UMass Lowell, where she taught an undergraduate course, Child Maltreatment, to aspiring law enforcement and social work students.
Kerry spent four years leading a Boston-based coalition targeted at addressing the domestic trafficking of children. In this role, Kerry served on a national board, collaborating with programs to establish state and national policies and best practices focused at eradicating child trafficking. Kerry was a research associate on a longitudinal study about family violence at the Wellesley Centers for Women. She also provided counseling services and in-home clinical support to families in crisis in the greater Boston area.
Kerry earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology & Human Development and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Boston College. She also received her Life and Career Coaching certification from the Life Purpose Institute.
Associate Vice President of Client Engagement
Kate Tracy is the Associate Vice President of Client Engagement at Linkage, where she oversees the Operations and the Client Engagement Teams. She has nearly 15 years of experience in learning and development with a focus around operational systems management, program management, client-centered delivery, and facilitation.
Kate’s areas of expertise include building solutions-oriented teams, exceeding targets, and creating efficient approaches to client-centered deliveries. She’s passionate about effective processes and procedures that streamline the path towards learning and optimizing performance.
Prior to joining Linkage, Kate was the Director of Talent Solutions at the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), now Gartner. During her time there, she led Client Engagement and Operations in their delivery of talent solutions.
Previously, Kate has served as a teacher, a graduate school professor, and a senior consultant. Kate has a Master of Education degree from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA and an undergraduate degree in English from the University of New Hampshire.
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.
President, William Bridges Associates
Susan Bridges is President of William Bridges Associates, the renowned provider of transition and change management consulting and training for over thirty years. William Bridges originally developed the ground-breaking, leading-edge, unique Transition Model to help people understand and manage the human impact of change. He published ten books on the subject. Susan was a strategic partner for many years prior to merging her consulting firm with Bridges.
Susan consults with executives who must lead change and transition in their organizations as they implement strategy successfully. She has provided leadership development consulting for more than thirty years to executives, professionals, and entrepreneurs as they manage and cope with significant business, professional and personal transitions resulting from change.
She is experienced in strategic planning, operations, public relations, project design, business development and management of professional services. Her clients have included a broad range of industries in the public, private and non-profit sectors.
Bridges partners with Linkage to deliver the Bridges’ Leading Organizational Transition: Train-the-Trainer Program, a certification program based on Bridges' Three-Phase Transition Model, and related transition management programs.
Susan released the 25th anniversary edition of William Bridges’ best-selling Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change in 2016. An anniversary revision of Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes will be released in late 2019.
Susan holds a BA in Speech and MA in Communications, Neuropsychology, Neurolinguistics from the University of Colorado. As chair of the Institute of Management Consultants she implemented the first nationwide mentoring development program. She currently serves as adviser to the UCSF Neurohospitalist Program.
Author, Innovation Expert, President & CEO, 24/7 Innovation
Stephen Shapiro partners with Linkage to deliver his proven innovation methodology to clients worldwide through hands-on leadership training programs including Creating An Innovation-Capable Organization. He is one of the foremost authorities on innovation culture, collaboration, and open innovation.
In the past 20 years, Stephen has delivered his message to hundreds of thousands of people in 40+ countries, led a 20,000-person process and innovation practice at Accenture, and driven more than 50,000 people around the globe to create high-performing innovation teams via his Personality Poker system.
Stephen is a highly published author with titles including 24/7 Innovation and Little Book of BIG Innovation Ideas. His latest book, Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition, has been featured on ABC News, CBS Interactive’s BNET, Southwest Airline’s Spirit magazine, Investor’s Business Daily, and more. It was also selected as the best innovation and creativity book of 2011 by 800-CEO-READ.
Stephen's work has been featured in Newsweek, Entrepreneur, O, The Oprah Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.