Leadership Development is ultimately about Human Development
Who We Are
Our clients face complex leadership issues. That’s why we’ve assembled a wide-ranging team with extensive senior level experience in leadership consulting, coaching, facilitation, strategy and assessment. Each of our partners has specific niche expertise, allowing us to meet each client’s unique organizational challenges.
We are proud of their impressive backgrounds, exceptional education and the unparalleled contribution they make to Meritage Leadership Development.
What We Stand For
Managing Director Susan Drumm founded Meritage based on the concept that leadership should be a “blend” of authentic relationship-building skills and results-oriented expertise – and those should be “balanced” appropriately to fit the type of leadership required within the organization.
The name Meritage is borrowed from the wine industry, as Meritage is a blend of specific noble Bordeaux grape varieties that are artfully balanced to create a superb vintage.
We’re passionate about helping leaders become nimble and strategic so they can bring out the best in their team members while building an exceptional culture.
Susan Drumm, JD, MCC
CEO & Chief Empowerment Officer, Meritage Leadership
Susan Drumm is a CEO Advisor, Speaker, USA Today Best Selling Author of The Leaders Playlist, and Leadership Coach focused on helping leaders and their teams to develop the capacity and mindsets to lead in today’s disruptive environment. She has personally coached billionaire CEOs, high profile political figures, prominent Fortune 100 executive teams and incredible entrepreneurs that set out to disrupt the marketplace.
Susan draws on many disciplines in her approach. She has graduate degrees from Harvard Law School, Carnegie Mellon University and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Susan obtained the highest level of coaching certification as Master Certified Coach (MCC) through the International Coaching Federation.
Susan also holds certifications in HeartMath™, Integrative Enneagram (Level 2), EQ Learning in Action, Havening Techniques®, The Leadership Circle and is a Certified Forum Facilitator for YPO (Young President’s Organization).
She is the two-time #1 bestselling author of The Leader’s Playlist: unleash the power of music and neuroscience to transform your leadership and your life. In the book, Susan unveils a groundbreaking process that outlines how our childhood wounds show up in our ability to lead others and how music can heal those wounds.
Susan’s YouTube channel and podcast, The Enlightened Executive, is ranked in the top 2% of podcasts globally. In the show, she spotlights ground-breaking techniques and strategies to help executives and entrepreneurs get the edge in personal and leadership effectiveness. Guests include founders of these programs and the executives who have experienced them — and dig into what they are, what they offer, and whether they actually work to help you evolve personally and professionally.
Susan’s clients include C-suite executives from financial services, private equity, tech, healthcare, professional services, media, consumer products, consulting and law. She has worked with organizations such as KPMG, Oracle, Viacom, Microsoft, Conde Nast, L’Oreal, A&E Networks, USS Steel and Cisco.
Prior to founding Meritage Leadership Development, Susan was a Senior Consultant for The Boston Consulting Group, Director of Marketing and Master Black Belt for NBC/GE and Associate Partner at The Trium Group in leadership development consulting.
Susan is a member of EO (Entrepreneur’s Organization), serves clients globally and lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is passionate about travel, hiking, Pilates, healthy living, and her puppy Jasmine, a toy Australian Shepherd.
Meet the Meritage Team
“It is rare to find someone that combines the sensitivity, intelligence, and boldness to propel you beyond what you ideally think you are capable of.
Susan Drumm does that. Her firm is the adviser you want on your side.
Investing to accelerate your leadership is the most powerful step you can take to scale your business.”
— Kaihan Krippendorff, Speaker, Consultant and Author, Outthinker
“Meritage has been an exceptional advisor.
As our group went through a major reorganization, the insights and tools they brought have transformed the way we work, and set us on the path to becoming a high performance organization.”
— Marc Speichert, former Global Chief Marketing Officer at L’Oreal, current Global Partner Lead at Google
“The Meritage team is intuitive and a quick study when it comes to reading a team and their dynamics.
They have helped take a team I inherited that was full of dysfunction and pull them together into cohesive group.
Meritage not only provided me with individual coaching, but combined it with group work that my team found extremely helpful.”
— J. Harper,SVP of Global Clinical Affairs, KCI Inc
Matt Ahrens is an executive coach, business consultant, and psychotherapist based in Menlo Park, CA. He has an MBA in Strategic Supply Chain Management and an MA in Integral Counseling Psychology. He is a Certified Professional CoActive Coach and a Certified Enneagram Professional.
Matt specializes in using the Enneagram to develop his clients’ leadership acumen, working in a wide range of industries and sectors including tech, finance, higher education, industry, nonprofit, and government. Prior to his business-consulting career, he worked for tech companies in Silicon Valley and San Francisco.
Matt is passionate about professional development. Guiding clients to utilize their inner strengths and inner resources to reach their professional and organizational aspirations is what drives him.
Previously, Matt has served as an officer on non-profit boards of directors for the Enneagram Association in the Narrative Tradition and the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center.
Beatrice is a licensed psychotherapist, executive coach, and business consultant based in San Francisco. She has a PhD in communication studies and an MA in clinical psychology.
A student of the Enneagram system of personality since 1990, she is author of the book, The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge.
Beatrice has taught at Northwestern University and was trained in group facilitation at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
She served as President of the International Enneagram Association (IEA) from 2006-2007, and teaches workshops on the Enneagram internationally, focusing on using it as a tool for leadership development and personal transformation.
Angie partners with executive leaders and teams to tackle ever-increasing complexity, ambiguity and organizational change across various leadership levels and industries, specializing in biotech, healthcare, IT, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and R&D. She has helped leaders and teams at organizations such as BioMarin, Genentech/Roche, Google, Spencer Technologies and Stanford University to enhance their individual and collective effectiveness through cutting-edge developmental coaching methods, trusted team assessment models and facilitated group programs.
Angie is certified in the Enneagram iEQ9, Leadership Circle 360, GROVE Team Performance and GROVE Strategic Visioning and is a New Ventures West Certified Coach (PCC) and Aletheia Advanced Coaching Certification Faculty.
Angie takes an agile approach to coaching, setting business-relevant goals, working directly with what gets in the way, making adjustments that open new possibilities, accessing untapped wisdom, creativity, and resourcefulness.
Peter helps leaders discover how to create the outcomes they care about the most. He draws on a unique combination of deep empathy and keen insight developed by an almost stubborn insistence on staying actively involved in seemingly disconnected fields, including the creative arts, business, psychology, leadership, organizational design, and philosophy. Peter majored in music composition at Arizona State University. He is an in-demand trumpet player and recording engineer.
At Adobe Systems, Peter led an Agile transformation that enabled the shift to a subscription business model. He co-developed the Certified Agile Leadership program for the Scrum Alliance. He has trained, coached, and advised dozens of organizations to create outcomes that range from leadership development, to creating vision and strategy, to creating a culture of innovation, to clarifying and validating customer segments and needs, to reinventing business models and products, to creating high performing, Agile teams.
Peter is a Certified Scrum Trainer, a graduate of the ORSC coaching system, a certified Leadership Agility and Leadership Circle coach, a certified Innovation Games practitioner, and the co-founder of the Humanizing Work company. He is an avid reader and idea-combiner. He is a firm believer in the power of range and a growth mindset. He spends his working hours dedicated to nudging the world of work towards a more human-centric, meaningful, and prosperous future. He spends his other waking hours enjoying time with his wife and five kids, running, hiking, playing golf, and making music and visual arts.
Meritage draws on Nicole’s expertise as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach with almost 20 years of experience in Human Resources, Leadership Development, Employee Relations, Performance Management, Recruiting, and Team Building.
She specializes in helping leaders and managers become increasingly successful in their roles by discovering and maximizing their potential. With passion and skill, Nicole guides clients in behavior change by focusing on strengths, unique abilities, vision, developmental needs and then uses clear structures and goals to enhance transformational growth.
Nicole also has extensive experience working as a Director of Human Resources within the financial services industry where she lead and managed individuals and teams in the areas of performance management, conflict resolution, effective communication, team building, leadership development and confidence building, recruiting, and organizational change and development which has lent itself to higher retention, increased morale, and enhanced performance.
Nicole draws on her training from The Coaches Training Institute, and Body-Mind Integration techniques where she received certification from the Nativa Bezzara Institute. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from Florida International University, and a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from Barry University.
Karl’s 25+ year career spans biotechnology, clinical diagnostics, life sciences, healthcare, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, professional services, high-tech, and real estate services industries. Having worked with Merck, Bellcore, AT&T, Lee Hecht Harrison, Cushman & Wakefield, Kaiser Permanente, EMC², Bio-Rad Laboratories, and Genentech/Roche, his coaching ranges from individual contributors to C-suite executives and their teams—coaching in areas including interpersonal effectiveness, strategic thinking, professional growth and development, managerial style, authentic leadership, emotional intelligence, team building, career management, and transitioning to and maximizing the potential for success in new executive roles.
He holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, a MS in Human Resource Management from the Rutgers Graduate School of Management and Labor Relations, and a BA in Psychology, French, and Political Science from Rutgers College. Karl received his executive coaching training through Fielding Graduate University, focusing on the International Coach Federation’s core competencies and an evidence-based approach.
Karl is an accredited Enneagram Teacher and is also certified in the Myers-Briggs Type Instrument (MBTI). He is also the author of The How and Why: Taking Care of Business with the Enneagram and Nina and the Really, Really Tough Decision.
Joan Hibdon is committed to cultivating leadership excellence and creating extraordinary employee experiences resulting in high performance organizations. Aligning business strategies with human performance is the essence of what Joan’s career has been devoted to. Cultivating cultures where people thrive is her passion.
Skillful in working with leaders at all levels, C-Suite through emerging leaders, Joan’s insights heighten executive effectiveness, emotional intelligence, improvement in team dynamics, the ability to navigate through complex situations, accountability, and goal achievement. Her background, experience and expertise with global leadership development, change management, organizational effectiveness, culture development, mergers and acquisitions, human capital strategy, and foundational people experiences ensures confidence and credibility with her clients.
Joan leverages multiple tools, coaching principles, expert facilitation and adult-learning modalities to co-design comprehensive plans focused on ensuring successful results. She has built a solid reputation working with diverse and global industries, Fortune 500 firms, emerging businesses, mid-sized companies and start-ups. Based in Phoenix, Joan serves clients nationally and internationally.
Jo Ilfeld, Ph.D., is an executive leadership coach who works with C-suite leaders, executives and high potential managers to create more impact and influence in their organizations. Jo worked as a management consultant in a boutique marketing wing of PriceWaterhouseCoopers as well as with Fortune 500 clients including Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, Bayer, Monsanto, eBay, Cisco, Intel, Genentech, BioMarin, PayPal, and Kaiser Permanente as well as many small to medium-sized companies and non-profit organizations.
Jo is a verified Integral Coach from New Ventures West, a Certified practitioner in team coaching including PERILL Model, Psychological Safety, the Leadership Circle Collective and the Grove’s Team Performance Model. She is also certified in the Enneagram, DISC, Kolbe, Leadership Circle and 6 Types of Working Genius leadership assessments .
Heidi Kraft is a successful entrepreneur, executive leadership/team coach, accomplished executive and Founder of Kraft Your Success. She thrives working with individuals in our fast-paced, ever-changing and interconnected world, and helps leaders leverage their strengths and shift their mindset to be even more successful as a 21st-century leader. Her deep dive into areas such as emotional intelligence, executive presence, and conversational intelligence (the neuroscience of creating more trust) make her a versatile coach for many types of leaders, and masterful at helping her clients navigate the multi-faceted business realm in a way that leverages their unique style and desired leadership impact.
Heidi holds a BA in Sociology and is a PCC and certified professional coach (CPCC). She’s a graduate of ORSC (Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching) as well as CTI’s Co-active Leadership program. Assessment Certifications include Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ), Hogan, iEQ9, Tilt, Team Coaching International (TCI), PDP Works, Foundations of Generative Leadership, Brain-based Results Coaching, and the Presencing Institute.
With over 20 years of experience in Tech, Entertainment, and New Media, Laurie specializes in executive coaching, leadership training and strategic HR consulting. As the Head of Human Resources and Operations at Participant Media, and one of the company’s first employees, Laurie shaped the company culture and employee development process. Laurie supported Participant’s mission to build a creative and productive work environment that inspired social change while serving as a trusted advisor to the CEO, founder and executive team.
As a prominent fixture in Silicon Beach, Laurie works closely with incubators, accelerators and VCs such as LACI, Techstars, and Upfront Ventures where Laurie is often an advisor and coach for portfolio company CEOs and executive teams. Laurie has coached and created leadership and developmental trainings at such companies as FabFitFun, ATTN, MeUndies, Glo, Strive, Sense360, LACI and Happy Returns. Additional coaching and consulting have included Thrive Market, Beautycounter, Dreamscape Immersive, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The American Society of Cinematographers.
Laurie’s specialties include: executive coaching, strategic HR planning, training and facilitation, program design, performance management, company mission and values, employer branding, culture assessment, communication effectiveness and offsite facilitation. Laurie is also a popular speaker, panelist and moderator who has been quoted in Forbes and featured in several industry related podcasts.
Her experience serving globally across corporate, academic, health care, non-profit and professional services environments has been developed over the past 20+ years. Jen is an ICF-accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and a CoActive Certified Professional Coach (CPCC). She also has expertise in Systemic Team Coaching (AoEC), Organizational and Relationship Systems Coaching (CRR Global) and Agile Coaching (IC-Agile). Jen is a certified practitioner of The Leadership Circle, Be Well Lead Well and Integrative Enneagram, which augment her foundational degrees spanning science, humanities and business.
Jen is a wife and parent of two beautiful children who keep her curious about human development. Jen loves to explore our world, dance, hike and will always have a course or two on the go! The mantra she holds for herself and her clients is: “Be You and Live Fully.”
Clarence is a lifelong adventurer and corporate leadership development pro who helps leaders blaze their own trail – and to have fun while they’re at it. A four-time Mt. Rainier summitteer with a Masters in Human Resource Development from George Washington University and more than a dozen certifications under his belt, Clarence’s skills have been honed by decades of experience working with organizations like Marriott International, MITRE Corp, Kaiser Permanente, and the American Red Cross. He seamlessly blends the perception and wisdom gained in the wild with the lessons learned in academia and corporate practice to move individuals and organizations farther and faster than one-dimensional goal-oriented techniques allow.
Clarence draws on his extensive corporate experience in his work as a coach, with over 20 years managing teams in the hospitality, health care, consulting, and construction industries. He is an ICF Certified coach, and brings an extensive array of assessments, tools and resources to his clients.
When he’s not traveling or planning his next adventure, Clarence lives in the Washington, DC area with his wife and three children.
Tim Peek is an executive coach who uses his three decades of experience in the corporate world to help businesses and individuals make their desired future happen today.
A four-time national Emmy award winner, Peek worked at NBC News for 17 years, holding posts from investigative producer, to principal prime time breaking news producer, to digital video director, and executive producer for transformation. In those roles he worked to incorporate new technologies, workflows and corporate culture to better align the company and its people to the disruptive reality of the 21st century internet environment.
Today, Peek coaches leaders and their teams to reduce drama and increase alignment by building their self-awareness, candor and creativity. He challenges CEOs and their teams to question their beliefs and preconceived ideas about their problems and relationships. Clients learn to master tools like applied EQ, conscious leadership and fearless feedback to up level their relationships at work and home.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in sociology from The Colorado College and a Master’s degree in
journalism from Northwestern University.
Cynthia Ridley is an accomplished executive coach with 25+ years’ experience that combines her background as a board member and former business leader, business strategy consultant and mechanical and software engineer with her passion for leadership and team development. She is a Professional Certified Coach, Certified Professional CoActive Coach and a Certified Enneagram Professional.
Cynthia drives better business results by addressing the foundational and often challenging aspects of being an impactful business leader in fast-paced uncertainty, complexity, and opportunity. The Enneagram is at the core of all she does. She combines her Enneagram expertise with aspects of leadership development, behavioral science, gestalt team development and systems thinking.
As an executive coach, Cynthia works with CXOs, VPs and senior leaders. Her areas of specialization include coaching leaders who are engineers, business consultants, women, ethnically diverse, newly promoted, new to team and scaling their team. She has worked a wide range of industries and sectors including high tech, biomedical, pharma, finance, healthcare, consumer services, consumer packaged goods. Client companies range across Fortune 100, Pre IPO, education and NFP.
Diane brings over 20 years dedicated to professional executive coaching and team development serving top executives, managers, technical professionals and high potential talent from small, private businesses to publicly traded Fortune 1000 companies. She has developed and led high performance teams in sales and for two global executive coaching firms where she designed coaching and team development solutions and provided transformational coaching to hundreds of executives who were navigating change, new roles, building teams and repositioning their careers.
Client feedback consistently shows appreciation for Diane’s approach to development that includes a deep understanding of underlying motivations, a behavior-focused change process and inspiring, compassionate support that gets bottom line results.
A believer in lifelong learning, Diane brings a wealth of knowledge including: 14 years of extensive Enneagram studies, a certificate in the foundations of Neuroleadership from the Neuroleadership Institute, Leadership Maturity Framework Coaching Certification, and Bachelor’s Degrees from Michigan State University in Employment Relations and Psychology.
Patrick Ryan CPCC has specialized in leadership development coaching for over 25 years. He has worked with large, medium and small business as well as with community leaders, guiding leadership towards effective practices that not only generate results but that also take into consideration congruency with corporate and personal values and vision. He believes that it is not only getting results that matter but how we go about it that sets up our leadership impact and legacy.
Patrick was a senior leadership trainer with the Coaches Training Institute, is a former Buddhist monk, is certified in the Leadership Circle, Enneagram in Business, Restorative Justice, Mediation, and Clinical Hypnosis, and he integrates mindfulness development with his coaching approach.
His leadership work has taken him around the world to more than 20 countries coaching corporate executives, monks, nuns and community leaders, prisoners in San Quentin Prison, artists, and entrepreneurs.
Donna Schumell, J.D., PCC is an insightful coach, experienced facilitator and engaging change agent who brings amazing energy and passion to developing personal and professional leadership. She is a Partner with The Disruptive Element, a women-owned leadership performance company that specializes in helping leaders bring out the best in their people.
Donna combines rich leadership experience with a deep listening coaching approach and carries an extensive consulting toolkit to achieve measurable personal and professional outcomes. She believes joining The Disruptive Element team exponentially leverages her ability to influence and impact leaders.
Dina is a seasoned leader and executive coach with over 25 years of experience helping people and teams excel. She leverages real world executive experience, a background in organizational psychology, and deep coaching expertise to support her clients in becoming the best of who they are and what they do.
Dina’s clients include senior leaders and teams at premier brands such as Adobe, Intel, PwC, Gilead, Gap, Goldman Sachs, and Netflix; high-growth tech companies like Dropbox, DocuSign, and Stripe; and PE-backed startups shaping the world. She specializes in helping her clients scale their leadership, teams, and impact in today’s global fast-paced business world.
Working as a peer and strategic partner, Dina helps her clients create adaptive solutions that address
their most pressing challenges, maximize their talents, and capitalize on opportunity. Clients
appreciate her pragmatism, warmth, and ability to help them unlock new ways of thinking and
leading that accelerate their success.
Dina is a regular contributor to HBR, Fast Company, and Forbes and writes about leadership and
strategies for high performance.
Prior to starting her executive coaching practice, Dina served as EVP of a boutique private equity firm and affiliated operating company which grew sales 15x during her tenure. Dina was also a top executive at a digital marketing agency where she scaled and led a 75+ person Account Management and Professional Services organization. Dina started her career as a management consultant for PwC, where she led numerous projects and teams to drive broad strategic change.
Dina holds an MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, as well as an MBA with high distinction from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She is a certified executive and team coach, credentialed by both the ICF (PCC) and EMCC, and is skilled at using various leadership and team assessments.
Originally from the East Coast, Dina now happily calls the Bay Area home. Outside of work, Dina is a competitive equestrian, avid skier and reader, and loves spending time with her family and friends.
Kathleen brings over 25 years of experience working with individuals and organizations to improve performance and fulfillment, creating sustainable change and results.
A popular speaker, author, and facilitator, Kathleen coaches leaders at all levels to understand and improve their personal leadership effectiveness. She uses the Integrative Enneagram assessment with her clients to quickly identify patterns of behavior and key motivational drivers.
She co-authored The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow and has served on the faculty of the Hudson Institute of Coaching since 1999. Kathleen received her Master Certified Coach (MCC) credential from the International Coach Federation in 2005, a Certificate in Coaching Supervision from Ashridge University in 2014, and a Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology in 2015. She holds her B.S. in business and an M.S. in Occupational Education. She lives in Santa Barbara, California with her four-legged “fur son” Mocha.
A seasoned C-Suite Advisor specializing in high-impact Leadership Development, Kathy creates strategic competitive advantage by expanding individual and team leadership capability, coherence, and efficacy.
Meritage leverages her expertise in The Leadership Circle System and 20+ years of experience in helping leaders build awareness, knowledge, and proficiency in critical interaction skills while effectively aligning organizational purpose to leadership direction and enterprise-wide execution to achieve results.
An insightful coach and expert group facilitator, Kathy helps up-level leadership effectiveness, maximize engagement, and drive innovation and productivity in organizations of all kinds, from start-ups to Fortune 100 firms to government, non-profit and educational organizations. She holds multiple certifications in coaching, facilitation, psychometric /behavioral/aptitude assessments, and adult-learning modalities, and recently completed a Master’s program in Consciousness with an emphasis in Transformational Leadership.
Innovation & Strategy Partner
Kaihan is a strategist, best-selling author, and leadership consultant. His singular style of combining thinking outside the box with unique business acumen has led a growing number of corporations and entrepreneurs onto faster tracks in every aspect of their businesses. Kaihan is our partner on innovation strategy consulting, including ideation seminars to produce breakthrough thinking.
Krippendorff is an expert blogger with FastCompany.com, and he has been featured in key business media outlets, including Fox Business, National Public Radio, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Bloomberg Radio, National News Network, and more. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers’ bureau, he discusses business strategy, innovation, and how to “outthink” your competition by thinking outside the box. Kaihan Krippendorff has published his fourth and most comprehensive book, Outthink the Competition.
Krippendorff started his career at McKinsey & Company, a prestigious consulting firm. After four years, he moved to the non-profit sector as the executive director of Take Stock in Children. Soon after, he founded Outthinker, a strategy consulting firm focused on innovation.
Change Management Partner
Monika helps organizations formulate and execute strategies in changing environments.
As a founding partner of Considea Consulting, she works with Meritage Leadership Development on our change management engagements, helping executives and their teams see the role of their own leadership as powerful instruments in executing business strategy. Monika specializes in large-scale culture change and improving the effectiveness of senior leadership teams across multiple industry sectors. Monika’s current and past clients include many global organizations, among them The World Bank, Barclays Global Investors, Cisco Systems, Virgin Atlantic Airways and several Fortune 100 retailers.
Before founding Considea, Monika was leading organizational transformation projects at The Trium Group, a boutique consulting firm. Monika has also served as executive and leadership coach to several C-level executives of Fortune 100 corporations and global multilateral agencies. Before joining Trium, Monika was managing McKinsey & Company’s Nonprofit Practice in London and San Francisco. In this capacity, she served multilateral organizations including UN agencies, private foundations and global NGOs . Earlier in her career Monika spent more than four years working at Intel, leading the design of Intel’s emerging markets strategy and reported directly to the EVP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing. Monika’s international development experience roots from serving as the Deputy Director at an award-winning international social enterprise that focuses on micro-enterprise development in emerging economies.
Monika holds a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in International Marketing, an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and completed The Coaches Training Institute’s Core Coaching Curriculum. She sits on the boards of several nonprofit organizations in California.
Alex as over 20 years’ experience as a trusted advisor of top teams and leaders globally. He has served a range of clients from the small entrepreneurial start-ups in the Silicon Valley to the CEO offices of both Motorola and Ford Motor Company.
Alex’s passion is connecting the science of habit change with leader and team effectiveness; he believes nothing changes until the inner game changes. Central to his approach is the work of ground-breaking Harvard University Professor Bob Kegan, and the phenomenon he describes as the Immunity to Change™. Alex has worked alongside Bob in doing this work in Canada, Europe, and the US. Alex has completed the highest level of Immunity to Change™ Coach Certification.
Alex’s preferred assessment is the Leadership Circle 360 Assessment which measures a leader against the powerful Universal Model. The backbone of the Universal Model is Bob Kegan’s Stage Development Theory. Alex started teaching executive education at University of British Columbia in 1996 in his home town of Vancouver, Canada.
DISC Behavior Analyst Partner
Lori works with senior executives, boards, private equity, and venture capital firms to assess and resolve people issues.
Her expertise cuts across all industries, including such clients as Absolut Spirits Company, Legal Sea Foods, CafeMom, General Atlantic Private Equity, Coty Int’l and Zumba. Lori’s unique background and objective voice have made her the ideal person to advise and develop leaders and address cultural and organizational issues that affect company performance.
Prior to founding Lori Dernavich, LLC in 2002, she spent several years serving as a senior recruiting consultant for Winter Wyman in Boston’s thriving high tech industry, traveled extensively as a corporate leadership coach and trainer for the UNICCO Services Company, and was a psychotherapist. She has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, a BS in Food Chemistry, and is a Certified Behavior Analyst using the DISC and PIAV assessments.
Lori has been featured in Investors’ Business Daily, U.S. News & World Report, Crain’s NY, CFO Magazine, ForbesWoman, SmartMoney, AmEx OPEN Forum, and has appeared as a leadership expert on FOX News.
News & World Report, Crain’s NY, CFO Magazine, ForbesWoman, SmartMoney, AmEx OPEN Forum, and has appeared as a leadership expert on FOX News.
Change Management Partner
Howard is an Associate Partner with Meritage whose expertise is focused on helping leaders steer significant organizational transformation efforts.
Howard works with CEO-level clients and their teams in helping them to execute more effectively—this includes helping them articulate an inspiring vision, align the organization on a clear strategy and execution path, and create effective and sustainable team dynamics. As a partner of Considea, some of his current and past clients include AXA, BlackRock, Cisco, Gap, Genentech, Roche, and The World Bank. He has also delivered this work on multiple continents, including Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.
Previously, Howard worked with CEO-level leadership teams at The Trium Group, a boutique consultancy. Earlier in his career, Howard was a Senior Director at Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, where he led a key part of the organization’s new markets strategy and product development. Before that, Howard worked at Accenture’s Strategy practice in San Francisco, where he advised Fortune 500 clients on strategic issues such as corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, new market entry, marketing, and customer support.
Howard earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He enjoys serving on the non-profit board of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation and working toward becoming a world-class landscape photographer.
Meritage Leadership Project Managers
Chief Operating Officer
Kirk Alexander serves as our Chief Operating Officer at Meritage, where he effectively leads our team to achieve and expand upon the company’s vision and long-term objectives.
With over 20 years of experience in executive leadership roles, Kirk has previously held the position of COO in multiple organizations, successfully guiding teams of up to 300 individuals. His expertise extends across diverse sectors, including medical practices, medical distributors, dental practices, and fractional COO consulting for various industries. Kirk earned his undergraduate degree from The United States Air Force Academy and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of California.
Kirk is renowned for his exceptional leadership abilities, instrumental in propelling companies to rapid growth and success. He places great emphasis on cultivating a positive work environment that empowers individuals to excel and take personal accountability for their contributions.
Cory is responsible for managing coaching programs, offsite planning, logistics and support. Cory brings a high level of professional project management and nearly 30 years business management skills to Meritage. Her expertise is in marketing, communications, copywriting, event planning, fundraising, PR and national product rollouts.
Prior to joining Meritage, Cory worked with small and large businesses as a freelance marketing professional. She managed national new product roll-outs for Unilever, consulted for Sears, was Press Liaison for a U.S. Senator and an Associate Producer at CBS Television. She also managed marketing and fundraising for several non-profit organizations. Prior to that, Cory co-founded Mrs Prindable, Inc., a gourmet confectionary business, which manufactured high-end, gourmet products that sold on QVC as well as in major department stores. She holds a B.A. in Marketing and Communications from Columbia College and studied Journalism at the University of Arizona. She resides in the Phoenix area. She volunteers in her community and enjoys golf, yoga, cycling and travel.
Micayla Delesparra is responsible for managing Meritage Leadership’s marketing and social media platforms.
Micayla started her career in the Advertising industry with Fox Sports as an Account Specialist. After a few years, she went into the broadcast media industry as a Producer and Editor for the Miami HEAT. She has been an integral part of the team, with a demonstrated history of creating high-quality content that engages fans and showcases the excitement of the game. Micayla’s expertise in producing and editing has allowed her to work on a variety of projects for the Miami HEAT, including promotional videos, game highlights, and behind-the-scenes features. Her passion for storytelling and attention to detail has helped her create content that captures the essence of the team and its players.
In addition to her work with the Miami HEAT, Micayla has also been involved in various other freelance projects. With her talent, experience, and creativity, Micayla continues to make a significant impact in the media and marketing industries.
Consulting Project Manager
Deanna Seibold is responsible for managing Mertiage Leadership’s bespoke coaching programs and business development. Deanna has cultivated a deep knowledge of project management best practices and agile innovation in her more than twenty years as a program/project manager and Agile coach.
With time spent in the Fortune 500 corporate world as well as in start-ups, Deanna has a wide breadth of industry experience including technology, finance, marketing, digital advertising, education, and nonprofits.
She holds a master’s degree in teaching from George Fox University, a bachelor’s degree in writing and literature, and numerous certifications in project management and nonprofit program management.
Deanna devotes much of her spare time to volunteering serving on several boards in local government and for nonprofits. Living in Central Oregon, she enjoys an outdoor lifestyle with her husband hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, and camping.
Kelly Lierly is responsible for managing Meritage Leadership’s operations, and handles the behind-the-scenes production editing of Meritage programs prior to launch.Prior to joining Meritage, Kelly had experience as a Behavior Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the clinical, educational, and business sectors. She holds a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University, a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies, and a Post-Baccalaureate Degree in Speech Language Pathology, which has helped her develop strong analytical, communication, and career development skills.With her diverse range of skills and experiences, Kelly is highly skilled in problem-solving, decision-making, and risk management, and is always looking for new ways to improve operations and drive success. Kelly is also a Steel Magnolia Military Spouse stationed overseas with her Active Duty Army husband.
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