To read 400-word biographies of our associates based throughout Europe, click on a country below:
UNITED KINGDOM*JOY FERGUSON enables senior leaders and executive teams to excel through coaching and facilitation, bringing about transformation in individual and collective leadership thinking, behavior, and performance. She leverages her business acumen to yield a distinctly human approach in her services.
Joy holds an MA in psychodynamic counselling from the University of Reading, an advanced certificate in coaching supervision from the Bath Consultancy; she also has completed an 18-month coach/facilitator program at the University of Surrey. An accredited APECS executive and team coach, she’s qualified to use the JCA Emotional Intelligence Tool and the Pearson-Marr Personal Branding Tool; she’s also an NLP Master Practitioner. Finally, she supervises the work of other coaches, and she’s a visiting faculty member at Henley Business School.
Joy’s corporate career began at British Telecom, where during 14 years she served in management roles including finance, procurement, and HR, ending her tenure as an internal consultant who regularly coached regional leaders and managing directors. She then moved to Dun & Bradstreet where, as a senior learning consultant, she introduced innovative approaches to raising performance. At both firms, Joy played key roles in re-engineering and change management initiatives, gaining a nuanced grasp of the complex imperatives facing global business leaders. All that experience now gives Joy quick credibility with senior executives.
As an independent professional since the late 1990s, Joy has worked with leaders and their teams within global companies throughout Europe. Clients have included British Telecom, GlaxoSmithKline, Dun & Bradstreet, KPMG, Atkins, Oracle, Shell, Johnson & Johnson, Barclays, Barclaycard, Prudential, DSGi, Tesco, Harley-Davidson, Transport for London, Blackwell, Molnlycke Healthcare, Nielsen, The Science & Technology Research Council, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Joy’s facilitation and coaching engagements are for leaders determined to increase their influence with stakeholders, gain clarity around their brand or career, move into more strategic roles, handle change and conflict more deftly, enhance their resilience, or who are technical experts needing to master team leadership and relational skills. She uses her facilitation skills in a wide variety of team settings to increase the effectiveness of participants’ collective contribution to their firm. Participants say they appreciate her approachability and the relevance and durability of the positive impact she’s helped them make.
Based in her native U.K. near London, Joy has a busy family life. She is active socially, has close community ties, plays tennis, and volunteers weekly at a homeless charity advice service.
*SANDRA HENSON has a passion for enabling leaders and teams to discover more about who they are, to disrupt habitual but unconscious ways of working and relating to the world, and to accelerate the achievement of their aims and ambitions. She integrates advances in the field of human development into all her work as a coach of individuals and facilitator/coach of teams.
Sandra earned a first class bachelor’s degree from Bath University, receiving the Robert Bollam Prize for best in year. She holds Master Certified Coach accreditation from the International Coach Federation, and has qualified as a Systemic Coach and Facilitator, a Systemic Team Coaching Coach, and Master Certified Developmental Coach and Consultant. In addition, she has gained a master’s degree in coaching and mentoring. She’s also qualified to administer a range of assessments including Strengths Profiles, Myers Briggs, and Hogan. Finally, she has advanced to Level B with the British Psychological Society.
Sandra's corporate career spanned 17 years. After several years with Zeneca, where she became regional manager for the Far East, she moved to Hydron. There she became head of sales and marketing, belonged to a core team developing and driving a new business strategy, and held P&L responsibility for the worldwide contact lens business. Following Hydron’s acquisition, Sandra became director of strategic marketing for Biocompatibles Hydron, developing both the core strategy for the combined product range and the future business direction to achieve sales targets. Her central roles in the acquisition process required her to support global teams and to deal extensively with integration challenges and “people factors.”
As an independent professional since 2000, Sandra has co-led several leadership development programs as well as worked with intact teams to explore their purpose, strategy, and objectives; ways of working together; and ways of relating to the stakeholder environment. She also has facilitated many events relating to aspects of organizational development.
As a senior executive coach, Sandra’s work focuses on growing each coachee’s capacity for leadership, ability to scale leadership in others, and skill in navigating situations characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Her coaching also has supported coachees through professional transitions and encounters with unfamiliar national cultures. Clients have included Microsoft, HPE, Silicon Valley Bank, Abbott, GSK, Takeda, Compass Group, Dell, and Centrica.
Sandra lives in the U.K. with her family. She has travelled extensively, climbing some of the highest active volcanoes in the world.
*TOM HOOGEWERF is a U.K.-based international management consultant with experience working in more than thirty countries and doing business with clients from at least sixty countries. He is fluent in French and speaks some German.
Tom’s bachelors degree in English and American literature is from the University of Sussex. In 1997, he graduated from the Institute of Personnel and Development (IPD), the U.K. lead body in human resources management. He is also internationally accredited as a change consultant and management development adviser.
Starting his career as a teacher and educational journalist in the U.K., Tom moved to the United States in 1980 and devoted two years to lecturing in the American Culture and Language Program at California State University in Los Angeles. Subsequently, he was employed for five years by two international telecom organisations, Inmarsat (London) and Eutelsat (Paris). As internal communications manager for these firms, Tom supervised the transnational teams that provided conference and documentation services to over sixty member states. He also managed intergovernmental meetings for up to thirty representatives from North America, Europe and Asia, and served as secretary to the main board as well as to various committees.
In 1993 Tom left Eutelsat and moved into management consultancy, working on change and people development projects for U.K. clients such as London Transport, Europcar, and Lombard NatWest Financial Services. In 1994, he provided training and consultancy to the National Bank of Slovakia as part of the U.K. government’s “Know-How Fund” development program. Beginning in 1995, Tom worked closely with government-sponsored Training & Enterprise Councils, helping them implement the national “Investors in People” quality standard.
Since 1996, Tom professional focus has been as an organizational development and cross-cultural consultant for global 1000 companies operating in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Recently he has been directing cross-cultural programs for companies in the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Among his recent clients are McKinsey, Bank of America, GlaxoSmithKline, BP, Microsoft, Facebook, Nokia, and Mercedes-Benz. In April 2000, Tom founded his own consultancy, which specializes in cross-cultural consultancy and cross-border management solutions, including for mergers & acquisitions.
Tom lives in London, where he enjoys theatre and night life. He likes running and swimming, and plays five-a-side football weekly. Passionate about writing, he’s just finished his first novel. He’s also interested in travel, film, and history.
PETRA RAMSDEN is a cross-cultural trainer, consultant, and coach whose diverse experience working, living, and raising children in unfamiliar cultures has prepared her unusually well to support others who are beginning their own new global journey.
A native of Germany, Petra holds a degree in business economics from a university in Frankfurt. Her business career, which has spanned several nations, includes managerial positions in tax/audit, banking, pharma, and human resources. She is fluent in German and English, and has some proficiency in French, Polish, and Arabic.
Petra has two daughters, now holders of degrees from British universities, who travel on German passports but have never lived in Germany. Petra and her husband have raised them from infancy in Cairo, Warsaw, and London. The daughters are fine examples of “Third-Culture Kids” and their parents are example-setters as international parents.
As an independent consultant, Petra delivers a wide range of services that address topics such as intercultural communication, multicultural team leadership, cultural fit for businesses, global mindset, and adaptation for business families who have recently expatriated or returned home. She specializes in programs for the spouses/partners and children of business assignees abroad. For GROVEWELL, Petra delivers special coaching workshops for children between ages 6 and 18 who have accompanied their globally mobile parents to live in Great Britain, and who are or soon will be attending school outside of their native country.
Petra and her husband, who hails from New Zealand, live near London. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, garden design, and sailing dinghies and yachts.
*MARIE-PASCALE MARTORELL is an experienced business facilitator and leadership coach with a special interest in supporting executives through stressful periods of transition and change. She helps them learn to use such periods as opportunities for breakthroughs toward gains in interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and leadership performance.
A native of France, Marie-Pascale graduated from the Western Catholic University of Angers in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in English and linguistics. In 1985 she completed a master’s in business management at École Supérieure des Sciences Commerciales d’Angers; at that time she also was studying economics in the University of Vienna. Her coaching certification was gained from the International Coaching Institute in Geneva, and she’s completed training in Gestalt therapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Today, she is a coach supervisor and lead-trainer for advanced workshops certified by the International Coaching Federation. Having lived in England, Austria, Mexico, and the U.S., Marie-Pascale works professionally in English and French, and converses in German and Spanish.
Marie-Pascale’s consulting expertise is built on a foundation of financial and management experience, gained through corporate responsibilities that involved business affairs in Africa as well as in Europe. Her employers included Cacao Barry in the food industry, SG2 Gestion in the computer industry, and Allia in the sanitary-ware industry. As a financial controller during periods of large corporate reorganizations, Marie-Pascale held core positions that required collaborating with senior executives on budget planning and margin analysis.
A move to London in 1996 enabled Marie-Pascale to become an independent consultant specializing in sales and marketing. Gradually, she took on more leadership coaching and team effectiveness facilitation. Today, she’s able to draw on her rich experience with cross-project team managers as well as with leaders and HR staff who are facing challenges such as preventing workplace stress or fostering collective intelligence. Among her clients have been L'Oréal, Société Générale, Johnson & Johnson, AXA, Danone, ENGIE, Louis Vuitton, Barclays Capital, Motorola, Crédit Lyonnais, Pfizer, American Express, and Beiersdorf.
In 2016, Marie-Pascale's French-language book was published; it is entitled Coacher Grace aux Neurosciences ("Coaching Thanks to Neuroscience"). Published in 2017 was Transformer l’entreprise ("Transforming Organizations"), which she co-authored with three colleagues.
Having lived and worked in five different nations, Marie-Pascale has first hand experience of transition and change. She currently lives in Paris with her Spanish-born husband, Rafael, an investment banker; they have four children. She is a trekker and a marathon-finisher.
*MAUREEN RABOTIN brings a deep interest in cultural and emotional intelligence to her practice as an executive coach, facilitator, and intercultural management consultant. She accompanies her clients as they navigate the complex cross-currents of globalization. Her professional passion is to build bridges across cultural, linguistic, generational, and gender divides within the corporate world. Maureen works with total fluency in French and English.
Having completed a degree at Northeastern University in radiology technology, Maureen’s first career was training medical personnel to operate the newly invented CT scanners. She was hired by Elscint, an Israeli-American medical diagnostics firm, and sent to Paris to deliver three weeks of training. She remained there and became the firm’s European product leader. Following Elscint’s merger with GE Healthcare, Maureen joined a French electronics company and spent four years negotiating and managing supplier contracts in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and South Korea. In these ways, she gained experience in globally aligning a marketing strategy, motivating cross-cultural teams, and growing sales across nations, cultures, and mindsets.
In 1996, Maureen left the corporate world to pursue studies in the U.S. and Switzerland organized by the Intercultural Communication Institute. During the mid-2000s, she completed her studies in coaching, including cross-cultural coaching, at Mozaik International and Advantara Global Executive Learning and Coach Training Institute. Among Maureen’s certifications are Leadership Architect Series and Voices 360 (Korn-Ferry), Hogan Assessments, International Profiler, and Gallup StrengthsFinder. Currently, she is completing a certification in David Kantor’s “Making Change Happen.”
During recent years, Maureen has been delivering leadership coaching and facilitation for corporate leaders as they navigate through M&A integrations, change management initiatives, and a variety of intercultural challenges. Her client list includes, among others, Johnson & Johnson, LVMH, Chanel, Bristol Myers Squibb, Sanofi-Aventis, BNP Paribas, Orange, and Peugeot-Citroën.
An invited speaker throughout Europe on topics such as mindset transformation, Maureen is the author of Culture Savvy: Working and Collaborating Across the Globe, published by ATD [link], and of articles in journals such as T&D, Choice, and Mobility, Inc. She serves on the boards of several professional organizations that address concerns such as women’s leadership, intercultural learning, and executive coaching.
Maureen has a base in Florida as well as in Paris, from which she works extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Her spouse is French and they have two grown children. In her free time, Maureen can be found enjoying a round of golf.
*NANCY BRAGARD, an American who has made her home in France for over 20 years, coaches and trains the globally mobile workforce and facilitates change in organizations with post-merger & acquisition challenges.
Nancy grew up in Rhode Island in an internationally-minded family that regularly hosted foreign students. She spent a year in Germany at age 14, learning the benefits and tough realities of living abroad. Following her university studies, she taught high school English in Togo for a year. After settling in France, Nancy began her career as resident director of a study-abroad program for American students. Over the years, graduate studies and summer workshops in intercultural communications and the MBTI led her to a freelance career in corporate consulting, coaching and training.
Committed to promoting high performance environment in the multicultural workplace, Nancy provides coaching and leads seminars in a variety of corporate contexts. She prepares French assignees for expatriation assignments and coaches incoming executives to facilitate professional transition and social integration. For example, among her recent assignments, Nancy coached an American executive new to Décathlon (a major French sports retailer and designer); the executive’s mandate was exposure to the French market and assimilation into the home office corporate culture, with the ultimate objective being his leadership of Décathlon USA. Another recent assignment was for Hill Rom (a products and service provider for the healthcare community); following her coaching of an American posted as site manager of the French subsidiary, Nancy was brought back to train senior and middle management in order to enhance local understanding of key drivers within the American corporate context – accountability, ownership, empowerment, risk-taking, and others.
In the context of mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures, Nancy focuses on building teams, developing strategies to capitalize on cultural diversity, and defining tools to optimize communication and motivation in the workplace. In addition to Décathlon and Hill Rom, her corporate clients have included Aventis Pasteur, General Electic, Glaxo Smith Kline, Crown, Thalès, Thyssen Krupp, and Delphi.
Truly astride two cultures and a flawless speaker of Parisian French, Nancy returns to the U.S. regularly to participate in intercultural workshops. She has three bilingual-bicultural children who loyally spend their summers in Nancy's native New England. The oldest child is now pursuing her bachelors degree at Boston University.
*BERNARD H. SARFATI has a passion for personal and professional development that led him to create and apply a new concept: Architect of Education. An Architect of Education contributes more to an individual’s development than an ordinary coach, trainer, or counselor; he designs and constructs an entire educational environment in order to better enable executives and other business leaders to find and follow their unique developmental path.
Bernard holds a masters degree in computer science from Paris University of Technology, and another in IT management, from Paris-Dauphine University. He has completed advanced courses at both IMD in Lausanne and INSEAD in Fontainebleau. His training in human development, individual coaching, and team coaching occurred at IFOD in Paris. He also holds a range of other certifications. He is fluent in French and English, and speaks Italian conversationally.
Prior to becoming a full-time executive coach, Bernard worked for major global corporations such as Control Data, Xerox, Sun Microsystems, Cisco, and Hyperion. After serving as a computer engineer, he worked as a sales manager and finally as director of human resources for EMEA. During these two decades, Bernard gained experience with senior leaders and local employees in an intensely multinational environment.
Bernard founded his own consulting business in 2004. His principal contributions occur in three directions: As a change manager, he enables senior leaders to succeed by understanding employees’ resistance to change and responding to those fears in appropriately. As a people developer, Bernard applies a variety of training and development programs to help people grow as individuals, managers, and leaders. And as an executive coach, he works with leaders to “manage their loneliness,” develop professional strategies, and upgrade their performance. Among his clients have been Thales, Total, Check Point Software AG, Juniper Networks, Siemens, and Nokia Siemens Networks; at Renault, he contributed to a major change management project.
Bernard also contributes his business expertise as a teacher, working with advanced students in Rouen at the University of Rouen and the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce et de Management, and in Paris at the Institut Supérieur de la Communication and the Ecole Supérieure de Gestion.
Bernard is a fan of scuba diving, which he instructs, and golf. He reports that these sports often provide good examples for his use during coaching. He lives with his wife and three children in Paris, which they all believe to be one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
*EDITH CORON is a global leadership coach and intercultural communication specialist. She brings broad international experience to her coaching practice, which she anchors in her respect for the challenges that executives face. She is committed to each of her coachees for the achievement of their goals, the enhancement of their performance, and the optimal use of their growth opportunities.
Edith holds a masters degree in literature from the University of Dijon, where she also studied enology. At the University of Columbia (Missouri), she received training in broadcast journalism. She completed her coach training from Coach U, and she is certified to deliver the Cultural Orientations Indicator, the Polaris Global 360, the REN Coaching Model (which adapts coaching to Chinese values), and a variety of other tools. She has completed the Global Executive Coaching course at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication.
A global nomad by choice, Edith has lived and worked in China, the U.K., the U.S., Israel, France, Russia, and in several nations of Latin America and Africa. She works professionally in French, Spanish, and English, and she also speaks Russian and some Mandarin.
During Edith's first career, which lasted 20 years, she was an international journalist and author who acquired an insider's knowledge of the media. A correspondent who roamed four continents, Edith observed and explained unfamiliar cultures to North Americans and Europeans. As editorial manager of a European web site, she managed an international team and adapted content to audiences in six countries.
Until recently, Edith was based in Beijing. Now she's back in France, providing not only executive coaching but also global leadership competency development, intercultural awareness training, multicultural teambuilding, and globalization consulting; in addition, she supervises and mentors other coaches, and is a faculty member of several executive coaching programs. Her clients include Alcatel, Procter & Gamble, Schneider Electric, Saint Gobain, PWC, Aventis, Michelin, Accor, Wolseley, Danone, Decathlon, Société Générale, Novozymes, Degussa, Novartis, Areva, Airbus, Spansion, Auchan, Oshkosh, Tyco, and Siemens.
Edith is a member of the International Coach Federation, and a founding member of the Asia-Pacific Alliance of Coaches. Her coauthored book, Les nouveaux éclaireurs de la Chine: Hybridité culturelle et globalization [The New Scouts of China: Cultural Hybridity and Globalization], was published in Paris during 2015.
With her English husband, Edith enjoys singing baroque music in choirs. They also share with their two teen-age sons a passion for world travelling and scuba diving.
*PHILIPPE GEFFROY has been an executive and team coach for over 15 years. He specializes in leadership, new managerial behaviors, change management, career change, interpersonal communication, and public speaking skills. His coachees improve their abilities to fit into their business environment with impact and innovativeness, and they increase their self-esteem and confidence.
Born in France, Philippe graduated in psychology from the University of Rennes in 1976. Attracted by an artistic life, Philippe left his native Brittany with the dream of becoming a jazz and rock musician. After several tough years he faced reality and joined the French postal administration, where he gained skills as a manager of financial services and back-office operations. One of his projects was the closure of a Parisian site together with staff redeployment to 20 provincial towns. At that time, Philippe was in charge of an internal training pool of ten change management consultants.
After almost 15 years as a civil servant, Philippe became an independent consultant in 1996, delivering services in French. He started as a trainer in management and communication and soon was offering his coaching skills to corporate clients. Philippe developed his talents for large-group facilitation through improvisation theatre and work as a clown. As a coach, he learned to help coachees remove mental and emotional limits, reveal hidden potentials, and manage stress.
Philippe has upgraded his personal and professional capabilities through training in a systemic approach with Alan Cardon. He is a certified Gestalt consultant in organizations as well as a certified Gestalt therapist. More recently, he has become a practitioner of the Neuro Cognitive and Behavioral Approach, and was certified in 2015 as a coach supervisor by the Coaching Supervision Academy. He also is a certified member of the French Society of Coaching, responsible for the Southwest chapter. Philippe’s clients have included both public and private companies such as Bouygues Telecom, Unilog, Engie, Société Générale, EDF, Sanofi, Wincor Nixdorf, Cegos, Axa, La Banque Postale, Crédit Agricole, Rohm and Haas, Vinci, and BNP Paribas Personal Finance.
After 30 years of Parisian life, Philippe recently moved to the countryside with his wife, who is a therapist and personal development trainer. They have three grown children. He enjoys gardening and nature, practices meditation, and writes poems and haiku. Philippe also is the author of a French-language book about people’s relationship with money, entitled Twelve Principles to Make Money Work for You.
*LYDIA SIMON is an executive coach, facilitator, and consultant who works with managers individually and with teams and across all managerial levels. She enables her coachees and participants to efficiently manage changes and transitions by keeping a clear focus on both business success and personal values. Her strength is evident in engagements with a cross-cultural or cross-functional focus, consistent with her decades of professional experience.
Born in Germany, Lydia earned a Ph.D. in chemistry during 1993 from Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf. During her studies she also lived in London and the United States. In 1998, she gained an MBA degree from Bradford Management Center in the U.K. She acquired her certification as a professional coach from I-Coach Academy, and she’s also certified as a brain-based coach by the Neuro-Leadership Institute. She facilitates and coaches equally well in German and English.
Lydia started her career in R&D, working for Boehringer Ingelheim and Agfa-Gevaert AG. After gaining her MBA, she focused on production and technology at Bayer AG, assessing innovation projects to prepare for major strategic investment decisions. She then moved into operational management, and worked for more than six years as plant manager and quality manager in production, first in Belgium and later in China.
After joining Bayer in China, Lydia participated in the start-up of a worldclass production plant for engineering plastics, successfully managing a team of Chinese talents to optimize processes and interfaces within the plant. Later she created a customer service center for plastics, linking and training the teams of production, marketing, and sales. During her final four years in China, she moved into product development. Within a short time she built a highly effective Chinese innovation team that became the Asian hub of the global innovation network for Bayer MaterialScience. In 2015, Lydia returned to her native Germany in the role of global sustainability manager for Bayer/Covestro.
Although employed full time, Lydia is widely available for coaching and training/facilitation engagements in Europe. Her clients are senior and executive managers of large global corporations such as General Motors, AstraZeneca, and Johnson &Johnson. Some of her services address the business interface between Chinese and Western cultures.
Lydia is married and the mother of a son who enhances the joy and balance in her life. She is devoted to sports, especially running and yoga, and she provides mentoring for professional women. Her hedonistic passions are chocolates and baked goods.
A German native, Svenja graduated from the University of Applied Sciences (Hamburg) in nutritional and economic sciences. Her initial professional trainings were in systemic family therapy and systemic coaching & supervision. From the University of Middlesex (London) she gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Development (Coaching). From the World Wide Association of Business Coaches (WABC), she graduated as a Chartered Business Coach. Svenja is one of only two Certified Master Coaches in Germany, as recognized by the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC).
Svenja’s international experience includes living and working in South Africa for six years, and working in Brazil, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, and Switzerland. She is fluent in English and German, and also has facility in French.
During her marketing career in the consumer goods industry with Kellogg and Coca-Cola, Svenja’s responsibilities included regional strategy development, brand performance metrics, leadership of cross-functional projects, brand innovation and renovation, and communication and channel programs within both Central Europe and the German-speaking regions. During these years she often became immersed in projects requiring cross-cultural collaboration and alignment. Among these were the forming of global brand and project teams, and the re-engineering and restructuring necessitated by changes in the retail landscape.
As an independent consultant and coach since 2009, Svenja works with leaders and executive teams operating within a fast-changing, competitive environment. She supports each coachee to develop his or her competencies to effectively handle broader responsibilities, higher task-complexities, increased performance expectations, and the need to lead within the organization’s strategic context. One of Svenja's special interests is the set of challenges and opportunities faced by women leaders. Her clients have included Bayer, BHP Billiton, Bilfinger, Coca-Cola, Cummins, Daimler, Danone, MAN, Merck, Netcare, Nike, Roche, Sasol, and Vodafone.
Svenja contributes to improving the quality of the coaching profession through her active membership on EMCC’s European Individual Accreditation Work Group as well as two WABC groups: the Ethics and Integrity Committee and the International Professional Standards Task Force. She contributed in the recent past by co-designing 360DeepDive®, a leadership competency assessment tool.
Svenja and her husband live in Munich, where they enjoy the opera and hiking in the nearby Alps. She experiments with urban gardening and is passionate about interior design. Svenja loves to travel and relax at the movies.
*URSULA WINTER is passionate about people development through team facilitation, one-on-one coaching, and skills training. Her focus is the development of authentic, results-oriented, holistic leadership. She often coaches people from cultural backgrounds different from her own and enjoys integrating their perspectives into larger business contexts.
Born in the south of Germany, Ursula studied languages and gained a degree in human resources from the Munich Chamber of Commerce. She also gained certifications as a trainer, a Systemic Business Coach, and an MBTI consultant. Ursula is an accredited member of Deutsche Verband für Coaching und Training (DVCT), the largest coach and trainer association in Germany. Finally, she’s been trained in “structural constellations of organizations” by Prof. Matthias Varga von Kibéd and Insa Sparrer. Ursula is fluent in German, English, French, and Italian, and has a good working knowledge of Spanish.
Ursula has a quarter century of professional experience in leadership roles within global corporations. At Fujisawa, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, she joined the HR team and helped set up that function. Later she joined the Walt Disney Company, becoming one of Disney Channel’s first team members. Her most recent responsibility at Disney was heading the Learning & Development function for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. During her Disney years, she also became involved in, and sometimes led, regional and global projects such as the roll-out of a global performance and talent management process, and the establishment of the Disney University Brand across the European region.
Drawing on her experience-honed insight into how major corporations get things done, Ursula became an independent consultant in 2009, focusing ever since on developing global leaders by means of coaching, team facilitation, and other competency-building programs. She’s especially comfortable playing the role of catalyst within a multinational environment in which new structures and challenges call for fresh solutions. As a catalyst, Ursula enables her individual and team-member participants to imagine, crystalize, and implement creative solutions using their own (sometimes hidden) resources; she also gives workshop participants new impulses for living their leadership roles more robustly. She’s careful to maintain focus on her client’s business strategy as well as the pre-determined objectives of her intervention. Ursula’s clients have included Airbus, Allianz, Amadeus, BNP, EADS, Paul Hartmann AG, and Mövenpick, among others.
Ursula lives near Munich. She loves hiking in the mountains, whether found nearby in Bavaria or at distant destinations.
*VANESSA KATTE is passionate about the holistic development of individuals, professionals, and global business leaders during phases of change and transition in each one’s life. She works from the premise that, if you want to change your behavior, you first need to change something inside.
A native of Germany, Vanessa holds degrees in business studies from the University of Glamorgan (Wales), and in business administration from the University of Applied Sciences (Germany). She has several coaching certifications, including from Henley Business School, the Behavioural Coaching Institute, and Erickson Coaching International. She has also gained certifications as an NLP Master Practitioner and an MBTI Practitioner. She is fluent in German and English.
Vanessa began her corporate career in communications and public relations at Publicis Networks, then joined Robert Bosch, where she contributed to several departments including product marketing and key account management. Later, at the Robert Bosch Holding Company in Shanghai, she was appointed a “change agent” and supported the implementation of a policy deployment program across local operations.
In 2003, Vanessa relocated to Singapore where, at Antony Consulting (a change management consultancy that she co-owned), she designed and implemented change roadmaps for use in several Southeast Asian nations. These comprised a mix of strategic, leadership development, and human resource interventions, including culture-shaping programs. During this period she ventured into leadership coaching, working with the executives of MNCs, government bodies such as the Civil Service College, educational organizations such as the Institute for Adult Learning, and partner firms such as Coach in a Box. Her services included both workplace coaching programs and one-on-one coaching. Vanessa’s clients included Pratt & Whitney Canada, Hamilton Sundstrand, Phillips, TNT Express, Bosch Packaging Technology, tesa tape, New Zealand Milk, and Tabung Amanah Pekerja (which manages Brunei’s pension fund).
In 2011, Vanessa returned to Germany as a senior consultant with a leadership training and development company, the Munich Leadership Group. Under its aegis, she facilitated trainings for DAX 50 firms that focused on performance and change management, leadership development, and consulting skills.
Now as an independent professional, Vanessa accepts assignments to coach business leaders, and to conduct consulting and training programs in the areas of leadership, communication, and health. She also works professionally with the Munich-based Inner Mission organization, which accompanies teenage refugees in Germany.
Based in Munich, Vanessa loves to spend time in nature, attend films and art exhibitions, read, and experiment with energy healing practices.
*IRIS KUHNERT delivers coaching and facilitation that enables each participant to develop beyond his or her previously perceived boundaries. Iris’s services are enthusiastic, action-focused, and directly supportive of leaders who are determined to achieve durable change.
Iris holds master’s degrees in international management and Japanese, and in organizational development and education. During those studies she lived in Japan. Later, when she undertook her preparation as a professional coach, she lived in the U.K. and the U.S. Iris is a professional certified coach recognized by the International Coach Federation, and she’s qualified to administer and interpret several feedback instruments. Iris works professionally in English, German, and Japanese.
Iris began her professional career in sales and marketing, serving as executive manager for Japan-based Noevir Ltd. She worked across cultures and functions to align processes with colleagues in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. This period as a corporate leader gave her profound insights about the challenges of working in international teams.
An independent professional since 1995, Iris initially prospered by delivering strategic sales consulting to Europe-based companies seeking to expand their reach across Asia. Her first decade was marked by her spending 70% of her time in China, Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia – which greatly enriches the team effectiveness workshops she has been facilitating in the U.S. and Europe for Daimler, BASF, Merck, and other clients. After 2004, Iris focused on leadership development. Since then she has coached leaders from mid- to C-level employed by companies in the chemical, pharmaceutical, automotive, financial, and information technology sectors throughout EMEA, Asia, Mexico, and the United States.
Iris has strong facilitation skills and, as a Master Trainer for Situational Leadership, she works with leaders and their teams across the globe. Iris also has extensive experience in providing web-based trainings on topics such as “Succeeding in a Matrix,” “Innovative Leadership,” and “Cooperation across Functions and Cultures.”
Iris authored “Corporate Strategies in Japan: What Is the New Role of Corporate Human Relations?” in the edited volume Corporate Culture in China and Japan (2010). She’s also the author of Business with the Japanese, a German-language book published during 2004. At the 2015 World Coaching Conference in Mumbai, Iris received the Best in Class Coaching Leadership Award after she presented her latest research topic, concerning how organizational culture impacts the effectiveness of coaching.
Iris lives near Munich with her family. She enjoys outdoor activities, especially horseback riding, and she loves to cook.
*THEA BOMBEEK is passionate about enabling leaders and teams to perform at the highest level of which they are capable, thereby promoting the attainment of team and organizational goals. She works professionally in Dutch, German, French, and English.
A native of the Flanders region of Belgium, Thea holds a masters in art history from the University of Ghent, and a masters in HR management from Antwerp Management School. She is recognized by the International Coach Federation as a Master Certified Coach (MCC), and by Alan Seale’s organization as a Certified Transformational Presence Coach. Thea has competed several other extensive coach-training programs including Contextual Coaching from Leren over Leven. Additionally, she is qualified in the use of both the MBTI and Management Drives.
Thea’s corporate career began at Brussels-based Kredietbank (now KBC), where she eventually rose to fill management roles in marketing, business-to-business communications, and human resources. After a sabbatical leave to earn her second masters degree, she joined KMPG to become a specialist in learning and development. She developed and facilitated training programs on leadership development, team coaching, effective collaboration, and communication with impact. During her 20 years of corporate experience, she gained a nuanced view of the complex challenges facing global businesses.
Thea became an independent coach and facilitator in 2004. She works with executives and high potentials, focusing on authentic leadership, communication skills, personal and corporate values, organizational culture, motivating and influencing, and women in leadership. Among the more creative workshops that Thea has designed and facilitates are Loyalties @ Work (which relates how one functions at work with his or her family of origin), and Team Building Through the Metaphor of the Circus. Thea’s client list includes, among others, Baxter, Johnson & Johnson, Becton Dickinson, Décathlon, Oxylane, Alpro, Ontex, KBC, Daimler, D’Ieteren, BNP Paribas Fortis, Acerta, Mediamarkt, Eandis, Volvo, Port of Brussels, Allnex, De Lijn, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Thea is a visiting lecturer for future coaches at the Sociale Hogeschool Ghent, and at Leren over Leven. She also leads coaching supervision groups for HR managers and other leaders who want to improve their skills. Among the topics she emphasizes in these roles are leadership, communication, and the impact of culture within organizations and across national boundaries.
Thea likes reading and classical music, especially opera. She lives with her husband, Dirk, near Antwerp. Together they enjoy travelling to meet people from different cultures and discovering nature by walking around.
*ANNE DAMOISEAUX coaches senior managers and executive leadership teams in major international corporations with a particular focus on diversity leadership and management. She is passionate about accompanying people in organizations towards sustainable performance and deployment of their human richness. As a French citizen from a Belgian background, and with experience in more than 30 nations, Anne works in English and French, and is conversant in German, Spanish, Dutch, and Mandarin.
Anne attained an MBA from Rheims Management School and in Mandarin Chinese from the Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Paris and in Taipei. She is a certified coach from CTI UK and a team coach from Team Coaching International. She holds certifications in MBTI, DISC, Hogan, the Cultural Orientation Framework, and the Intercultural Readiness Check. Anne has completed a professional training in Non-Violent Communication (NVC) offered by Marshall Rosenberg.
From 1984 to 2002, Anne gained experience in the fast moving consumer goods industry as an international marketing and sales executive. She served during four years as a market development manager for China and Taiwan, then during 14 years for all European countries, in which case she was responsible for developing sales and profits, including in newly opened Eastern European markets. She has held titles such as marketing coordination manager, strategic marketing manager, and marketing and sales director for companies such as Seita, Douwe Egberts–Sara Lee and Imperial Tobacco Group.
As an independent coach, Anne specializes in corporate leader coaching and global team facilitation engagements in which the multiple perspectives of human diversity are leveraged to improve performance, bottom-line results, and personal fulfillment. She draws on her long experience as a global marketing leader to help those in similar roles to confront complex, culturally nuanced challenges, and to connect with a sense of power, responsibility, choice, and meaning. The outcomes are that practical solutions are envisioned and constructively enacted, leading to sustainable organizational successes.
Anne’s clients have included international corporations such as Airbus Industries, EADS Group, Abbott, American Management Association, Areva, Belgacom, Bel Group, Eurocontrol, La Française des Jeux, NXP, Philips, Tyco, Solvay Group and public organizations such as the European Institutions and the World Food Program.
Anne loves discovering people from different backgrounds. She supports the development of girls and women through associations such as SEWA and Kings Trust College in India, promotes coaching as Board member of ICF Belgium, and enjoys friends and life in Brussels.
*MICHAEL PANTLIN, one of only four GROVEWELL Senior Associates worldwide, is an executive coach who enjoys helping leaders to conquer the challenges of change. He has a particular interest in strategic change in global organizations where multiple cultures need to be bridged. He provides services with equal effectiveness in Dutch/Flemish as well as in English.
Michael was born and bred in England before studying and living in the Netherlands. He holds a master of science in industrial engineering from the University of Eindhoven. Later, he completed a management course at the American Management Association in Chicago. More recently, after he’d become interested in executive coaching, Michael completed three courses: one in management and executive coaching at the School for Coaching; one in cross-cultural coaching with Rosinski & Company; and one that led to certification in the “Intercultural Readiness Check” instrument by Intercultural Business Improvement.
It was at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines that Michael spent his business career. He worked in many areas including operations, marketing, and information technology. He led numerous international partnership projects, which enabled him to develop a collaborative leadership style. Michael was lastly director of corporate strategy, in which capacity he was closely involved with KLM’s merger with Air France and the subsequent post-merger integration. Together with French colleagues, he enjoyed facilitating culture-bridging and joint leadership development. Given his extensive management experience, he can easily relate to business dilemmas that clients may be wrestling with.
Michael’s international working experience has given him in useful insights into the challenges of working in global organizations and with virtual teams. As an executive coach, he has had ten years of experience with senior managers in a wide range of Netherlands-based corporations: Delta Lloyd, United Services Group, Rabobank, Shell, NetApp, Achmea, and SITA. In some of these engagements, he expertly made use of 360° feedback. Michael’s coaching clients describe his style using terms such as engaged, result-driven, pragmatic, culturally sensitive, bridge-builder, conceptually analytic, and reliable.
Michael is particularly interested in coaching managers in global corporations in which cross-cultural teamwork is critical for long-term success. Recently he expanded his portfolio to include coaching leaders in transition, in which cases he applies Elsner’s “eight tensions.”
Michael and his Dutch wife live in The Netherlands where they enjoy the both urban and outdoor activities; favorites are gardening, sailing, and cycling. They love visiting their children and grandchildren, who live nearby. Michael has a personal interest in the effects of climate change and resource conservation.
*ESTHER KNECHT values personal growth and human diversity. Curious, energetic, and empathetic, she considers herself a transformational activist. Her passion is working with and inspiring people.
Esther received a bachelors in business administration and economics as well as an executive masters in human resources in her native Switzerland. She gained a second masters in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University, New York. She has also learned about people and their cultures by living in Canada, Italy, France, Guatemala, and the United States. She is fluent in German, English, and French, and conversational in Spanish and Italian.
For many years Esther worked in human resources. She led the HR department of the Rieter Group, a leading Swiss-based international organization in the automotive and textile industries. As an HR generalist, she focused on the global component of her role, implementing international training and development programs, leading benchmarking projects, and redesigning and administering an innovative expatriate policy.
As an HR business partner group leader for Credit Suisse, Esther coached and counseled senior managers in the private banking sector in the domestic and international markets. Part of her role was to help manage various restructuring projects. She acted as an internal advisor for outplacement as well as retention and talent development, for which she planned, implemented, and co-facilitated leadership development programs. Credit Suisse’s succession planning process included the MBTI, 360° feedback, and an assessment center.
As the director of human resources International for Winterthur Insurance (now AXA-Winterthur), Esther implemented the new HR strategy. She used the opportunity – in Switzerland, the U.S., Asia, and Europe – to apply her expertise to talent management, HR transformation, expatriation, consulting, coaching, and executive training facilitation. Together with her worldwide team, Esther conducted due diligence projects and linked HR with the organization’s strategic business plan.
More recently as an independent consultant, Esther turned her skills to diversity issues, leading workshops about conflict resolution, intercultural communication, and global team collaboration. She also facilitates workshops on innovation throughout Europe and North America. To deepen participants’ learning, she offers follow-up coaching to address individual issues. Her coaching focus is on executive and leadership coaching for individual growth and for support in times of change. Her goal is helping people develop their unique talents and accessing personal resources to meet specific challenges.
In her spare time Esther likes to dance, ski, and hike in the Swiss mountains. She loves to spend time with her family and good friends.
*DOROTHEA HEGNER is an executive coach as well as an intercultural leadership consultant and trainer who dedicates herself to helping leaders of organizations to maximize their professional potential while also leading balanced and fulfilling personal lives.
Born and raised in Germany, Dorothea first discovered cultural differences when she moved at the age of 18 to Switzerland for her university studies. She completed a masters degree in German literature and business administration from the University of Zürich. She also holds an Executive Leadership Coach certificate from Corporate Coach Academy (Malaysia), a masters degree in executive coaching from ZfU International Business School (Switzerland), and an NLP Practitioner certificate. Dorothea is fluent in German and English; she can converse in French – and soon in Spanish, too.
Dorothea began her carreer as a public relations consultant, in which role she was mainly responsible for the largest Swiss insurance company, SUVA. After she followed her husband to Japan, she served as a consultant for the American Society in Tokyo. After returning to Europe, she focused her services on counseling and carreer guidance, especially for expatriate spouses and people of middle age. During 2006, Dorothea’s family relocated again, this time to Kuala Lumpur, where she held the position of director of sales and marketing for a firm in the food industry. She discovered her passion for coaching, worked to become accredited by the International Coach Federation, and became an independent coach in 2008.
Dorothea coaches business leaders in areas such as leadership development, performance improvement, and cultural bridge-building. As an intercultural facilitator and trainer, she primarily prepares individuals or families for overseas assignments. She also delivers intercultural awareness training and workshops for global virtual teams, often using assessments such as the Intercultural Readiness Check and the Overseas Assignment Inventory.
Dorothea’s coaching and training is typically provided for business owners, directors, and senior managers. Her clients range across sectors from humanitarian organisations (the Red Cross) to insurance and finance (RBS, Coutts, UBS, Prudential, AXA), to highly technical companies (Infineon, Daimler, Bosch, Hilti), and to pharmaceutical firms (Bayer, Roche, Novartis, MSD, BASF).
Five years ago Dorothea relocated back to Switzerland, where she is passionate about hiking and skiing. She recently discovered the meditative benefits of sailing in the Mediterranean. She is the mother of two boys and two girls, all in their early twenties. Spending time with family, close friends, and her dog, Vanilla, is treasured by her.
*FRANCESCO PIMPINELLI is an experienced executive coach who supports business leaders as they more effectively attain their personal and organizational goals. His approach to coaching – both one-to-one and in a team setting – integrates his strong competence in the area of personal development with his 20+ years of international management and corporate consulting experience. He coaches equally fluently in English and Italian.
Francesco received a masters degree in computer science from the University of Milan in 1985. His professional preparation for coaching includes a high performance coaching certification from Performance Unlimited and an executive coaching course at the Wharton School; he also holds certifications in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (in which he is both a master and a trainer) and counseling. He is certified to apply the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Cultural Orientation Indicator. Finally, Francesco is an expert in Systemic Coaching, a methodology that applies an ecological approach as leaders improve their management of personal, relational, and organizational issues.
Francesco has a broad business background, developed as he worked for major international organizations including Olivetti, where he served as the key expert in educational technology; Gemini Consulting, where he worked as a management consultant; Oracle, where he was a sales director; and at the European Union, which he served as a consultant. He also worked briefly as a manager for a venture capital fund sponsored by Unicredit Group. In 2002, Francesco dedicated himself full-time to executive coaching and leadership development, working all across Europe as well as in his native Italy.
Francesco’s areas of strength include leadership, teamwork, relationship management, cross-cultural competencies, emotional intelligence, work-life integration, and career transition. He often incorporates 360º feedback into his coaching as well as personality and cultural assessments for individuals and teams. As one of his coachees remarked, “Francesco has excellent business management know-how and a lot of expertise in personal growth. The combination of these two qualities produces a very balanced and respectful approach that enabled me to make the next step” (to president of a global industrial company).
When Francesco is not busy with work he enjoys cooking for his friends, traveling, reading, or riding his bicycle. He loves to relax in the countryside of the pre-Alps close to Lago Maggiore, enjoying quietness and nature. Another of his interests is learning about human cultures, spirituality, and personal development. Francesco has created an impressive CD collection with music gathered from all over the world.
*LIDIJA DROBEŽ is a facilitator, organizational consultant, and leadership coach for clients throughout Europe. Thanks to a career that has spanned numerous highly diverse markets, she is able to leverage her cross-cultural sensitivity and organizational experience in support of companies, teams, and individuals as they address global leadership and unit-performance challenges.
Lidija received her first degree in sociology from Ljubljana University. She completed an Executive MBA at the IEDC/Bled School of Management, and a four-year postgraduate program in integrative psychotherapy at IPSA Institute in Slovenia. Lidija’s coaching accreditation is from Ashridge Business School. In addition, she is certified as a management developer by the European Foundation for Management Development.
Lidija’s career spans more than a quarter century of professional service within a variety of cultural and business/industrial contexts. She has lived as well as worked in Europe and the Middle East; her longest international assignments were in Germany, Egypt, and Greece. She is completely fluent in English, German, and Croatian/Serbian as well as her native Slovenian.
After beginning her career as a media researcher, Lidija joined an airline company and worked in a variety of capacities in Slovenia and abroad. After completing her MBA, she spent seven years as a senior HR advisor with the largest financial institution in Southeast Europe, where her responsibilities included management development, talent management, and corporate culture change.
In 2004 Lidija began her career as an independent facilitator, leadership coach, and organizational consultant. Since then, her clients have included major global firms such as AT Kearney, AVL, Deloitte, Deutsche Telecom, Novartis, Renault, Johnson & Johnson, and Peugeot Citroën as well as leading companies based in Southeast Europe such as Akrapovic, Gorenje, MOL, Nexe Group, and NIL.
Along with providing coaching and consulting services, Lidija has led numerous workshops and leadership development seminars. As a facilitator, she often works with executive teams on business and leadership topics. Lidija is able to generate positive workshop dynamics as well as constructive discussions focused on strategies for effective goal attainment. As a trainer and leadership developer, she provides rich mix of conceptual inputs, experiential learning opportunities, and thoughtful debriefs, all of which contribute to transformational professional development as well as higher performing teams and team leaders.
A resident of Ljubljana, Lidija enjoys being a member of a multicultural family. When she needs to refill her energy, she goes to sea. She is passionate about discovering new horizons.
JÉRÔME DUMETZ is a specialist of cross-cultural management. He has extensive experience as a facilitator of cross-cultural workshops and seminars focused on Eastern European management practices, and he combines his consulting and training activities with academic research regarding Eastern Europe.
A native of Paris, Jérôme holds diplomas in business from universities in France, the Netherlands and Russia; currently he is completing a Ph.D. at Plekhanov University in Moscow. He is certified as an intercultural facilitator by Dwellworks, Berlitz, and Brookfield Global Relocation Services. Fluent in French and English, he also has a strong working knowledge of Russian.
Jérôme’s first professional positions were at junior levels with businesses in San Francisco, Saint Petersburg, and Paris. More senior positions followed in Montréal, then Moscow. In 2002, he became the international programs coordinator at the graduate school of Plekhanov Academy of Economics. Since 2009, he has held the same position at Unicorn College in Prague.
Jérôme began working as an independent cross-cultural management consultant during 2002. In that capacity, he has managed numerous team performance trainings throughout Eastern Europe for global corporations such as Microsoft, Enel, Total, SuperJet International, Leroy-Merlin, Unicorn Systems, Auchan, or Ozon. In addition, Jérôme has been delivering cross-cultural managerial coaching for leaders at J.P. Morgan, PepsiCo, Danone, Alcoa, Servier, British Petroleum, and others. His unique blend of academic and business knowledge result in his being consulted by international organizations such as the United Nations and the Swiss Olympic Team. Jérôme also is an invited conference speaker at events organized by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and various Chambers of Commerce.
Jérôme contributes to cross-cultural management research that explores modern Eastern European business management. His articles have appeared in academic publications as well as periodicals. He is also the editor and co-author of a several books, most notably his 2012 Cross-Cultural Management Textbook [link], in which he contributes insights together with leading specialists such as Edward Schein, Fons Trompenaars, Meredith Belbin, and Stephen Covey.
Currently, Jérôme’s professional activities combine the facilitation of cross-cultural management team seminars with teaching at Plekhanov Academy and St. Petersburg State University (Russia), École Supérieure de Commerce (France), FH Steyr (Austria), VŠE and Unicorn College (Czech Republic), Manchester Metropolitan University (U.K.), Christ University (India), Rajamangala University of Technology (Thailand), and FH Würzburg (Germany).
Married and the father of two daughters, Jérôme divides his time between Prague and Moscow, and he’s often in his native Paris as well.
*MICHALE SILLER is an experienced executive/leadership coach, facilitator, trainer, and speaker. He supports executives and project managers during times of change and uncertainty, enabling them to gain clarity for making great decisions, to lead teams towards more trust and cooperation, and to influence organizational culture positively and lastingly.
A native of northern Italy, Michael graduated in performing arts from the Conservatory of Vienna in 2002. In 2013, he graduated from the Passion for Coaching Institute (Berlin) as a certified Systemic/Integral Business Coach. From the Hofstede Center (Helsinki) soon thereafter, he gained certifications as a Practitioner of Intercultural Management and as a Practitioner of Organizational Culture and Change. He retains an association with Hofstede Insights as a coach, trainer, facilitator, and consultant. The International Coaching Federation certified Michael as an Associate Certified Coach in 2014, and a Professional Certified Coach in 2017. Michael works professionally in Italian, German, and English.
During the first decade of his professional life, Michael was an actor, singer, and dancer. Among other venues, he appeared in Austria at the Vienna Volksopera and Bregenz Summerfestival; in Germany at Magdeburg and Festival Baden Baden; in Italy at Teatro Olimpico and Festival Giffoni; in Oman at the Royal Opera House Muscat; and in the U.S. at the Players Theatre and the Washington Opera.
In 2012 Michael decided to change professions and become a leadership and executive coach, trainer, facilitator, and speaker. In these capacities he works with executives, managers, and business owners to increase their performance and to lead teams with greater impact. He facilitates workshops with executive teams to help them improve performance and align strategy with organizational culture. His coaching and training/facilitation expertise encompasses transformational leadership, communication skills, leadership development, intercultural competence, negotiation skills, presentation skills, nonverbal communication, conflict management, decision-making, group dynamics, systemic thinking, and the assessment and change of organizational culture. His clients have included Bayer, Novartis, Goodmills, Siemens, and the European Aviation Safety Agency.
Michael also serves as Regional Director for Business Network International (BNI-Vienna), leading 20+ team leaders and managing 400+ members across 15 networking groups. For international companies, he regularly delivers keynote addresses on leadership, intercultural challenges, and organizational culture.
Michael is married and a proud father of two wonderful boys who fill his life with joy and laughter. He is passionate about meditation and yoga, and he still sings whenever he can. Michael loves to travel and spend time in nature.
FERHAN ALESI began her international journey at age 16; so far, she’s travelled to 45 nations and lived in ten. In her native Turkey and throughout Europe, she delivers expatriate training and coaching as well as programs on a variety of business topics such as teambuilding, management development, global diversity, and leadership across cultures. Working professionally in Turkish, German, and English, Ferhan enables global assignees to lead more fulfilling and productive lives in their host communities.
A native of the western region of Turkey, Ferhan studied hotel management at a college near Montreaux in Switzerland. She has attended the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) five times; among the courses she’s completed are Executive Coaching in Intercultural Perspective and George Renwick’s advanced Coaching for Global Managers. She was awarded two SIIC certificates, including Intercultural Practitioner.
Ferhan’s professional career found her engaged with three international companies. Early on, she was with the Hilton Hotel chain in Europe, which brought her into contact every day with people from multiple backgrounds. She also worked for several years at Ciba-Geigy, the Swiss chemical company. Later, she served with a Swiss not-for-profit that promoted tooth health; there she served as international coordinator, responsible for operations in ten nations including Argentina, Korea, and Japan as well as others in Europe, and travelling to them all.
In year 2000, Ferhan founded her own consultancy, which designs and facilitates programs for global corporations in Europe, the U.S., and the Middle East. Among her clients have been BP, Coca-Cola, L’Oréal, Avon, Colgate Palmolive, Dexia, Proctor & Gamble, IKEA, Novo Nordisk, Vodafone, Novartis, Bayer, Daimler Chrysler, Sanofi Aventis, and Metro Group. She has worked with business people from 54 nations, and is prepared to support expatriates whose host countries are (or soon will be) Turkey, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Dubai, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan.
Ferhan is a regular contributer to newspapers and magazines. She’s often interviewed on TV business news because Turkish journalists are curious about her work as an interculturalist. She has long been active in the European Society for Intercultural Education, Training, And Research.
For Ferhan, discovering other cultures is a passion. She photographs people and landscapes around the world during her travels. She volunteers some of her private time to teach English to students. Her husband is Italian, so even at home she’s communicating interculturally! Their teenaged son, Fabio-Can, is the joy of Ferhan’s life.
*ALLA KUZNETSOVA is a Russian-born U.S. citizen who brings a well-honed cross-cultural perspective to her work as an executive coach, consultant, and business educator. She has extensive living and working experience in both Russia and the United States.
Alla holds two master’s degrees from Columbia University, one in public administration from the School of International and Public Affairs, and one in organizational psychology and leadership from Teachers College. She also holds a master’s degree in foreign language teaching from the Moscow University of Linguistics. In 2005, Alla completed professional coach training at Erickson College International (Canada) and a course in global executive coaching at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (Oregon). She is proficient in applying 360° assessments as well as MBTI, Firo-B, and DISC/Insights to her coaching.
Alla’s early work experience in Russia involved coordinating numerous projects within the framework of a U.S.-Russian collaboration in cardiology. She was actively involved in the organization of international conferences and symposia, and managed exchange programs sponsored by the National Institute of Health (U.S.) and the National Cardiology Research Center (Russia). Between 1997 and 2002, Alla served as administrative director of Columbia University’s Genome Center, where she led a professionally and ethnically diverse team that was building a high-performance organization. She also coached the senior faculty on leadership issues and cross-cultural competencies, and mediated intra-staff conflicts.
Subsequently, Alla returned to Moscow and co-founded a business consultancy there. She and her associates consult with global companies on issues of human resource development and training program design. Alla herself is an executive coach for senior leaders and managers of international and Russian companies. Her consultancy’s clients include Bacardi, Baker Hughes, Bayer, Caterpillar, Clarins, Condé Nast, Danone, ExxonMobile, Home Credit Bank, Johnson & Johnson, L'Oréal, Microsoft, Novartis, Philip Morris, PwC, Sandoz, Société Générale, and Sony Pictures/Music.
Alla is a member of the International Coach Federation, and is known in the global coaching community for her pioneering efforts in making executive coaching a success in Russia. In 2010 an independent survey selected Alla as one of the best ten coaches practicing in Russia. She regularly travels to the U.S. to participate in professional events dedicated to development of human potential in organizations.
Alla has a bilingual-bicultural daughter who graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2014 and now works at Scholastic in New York. Alla occasionally guides private tours through historic sites in her native Moscow.
JÉRÔME DUMETZ is thoroughly familiar with Russia, has lived there and still maintains a residence there, is on the faculties of Russian business schools, and has a strong working knowledge of Russian. His primary residence, however, is in the Czech Republic. For a full biography of Jérôme, please click here.
CSABA CSÁSZÁR is an organization development practitioner and coach with over two decades of experience facilitating organizational transformation as well as global team and leader development. He supports leaders from all over the world as they learn to work effectively within the business and social culture of Hungary.
Csaba graduated with a master’s degree in economics from Corvinus University in Budapest (then called Carl Marx University). He also holds a post-graduate diploma in organization development and supervision/coaching from the International Business School in Budapest. In order to learn more about individual and team development in multicultural business settings, he completed the Organization & Systems Development program by the Gestalt Center in Cleveland, then a similar program offered by the Gestalt International Study Center on Cape Cod, which further developed his coaching approach. He works professionally in Hungarian and English.
After completing his master’s degree, Csaba remained at Corvinus University as an assistant professor in the Department of Management and Organizational Behavior. To attain hands-on experience, he also began accepting consulting engagements supporting both traditional Hungarian companies as they adapted to the burgeoning market economy, and Western companies as they established their local operations or absorbed the Hungarian firms they had acquired.
In 1995, while still active in his university role, Csaba joined with Dutch and Hungarian friends and colleagues to found a consulting firm. It wasn’t long before he switched careers entirely. He now serves as partner of the consultancy. Csaba’s own consulting clients have included Teva, Lego, Pfizer, Autoliv, BAT, Pepsi, ING Bank, Edenred, AXA, and others. Many of his assignments have been related to leadership development, strategy deployment, development of organizational culture, and effectiveness increases for leadership teams. These projects gave often involved intercultural management teams in which a CEO from abroad was leading mostly Hungarian managers.
Csaba has long playing an active role in the Hungarian Organizational Development Society by organizing conferences and serving on the board. He also is an active member of the Hungarian Gestalt Association. Finally, he regularly presents at professional conferences and seminars.
Csaba has been married to Kinga for 20 years. They have two young daughters, Tünde and Frida, and a little son, Vilmos. Csaba enjoys travelling with his family to experience other peoples and cultures. At home, he likes to read history books, work in the family garden, or explore the world through the lens of his camera.
CARMEN-AIDA HUŢU is a management education and development professional. Born and based in Romania, she works nationally and internationally in both the corporate and academic environments.
After graduating with a master's degree in mechanical engineering, Carmen worked as an operations, design, and research engineer with several Romanian companies and research institutes, focusing on new technologies and socio-technical systems. In 1990 she began her academic career in the Department of Management at "Gh. Asachi" Technical University in Iasi, Romania. A Fulbright grant enabled her to obtain a masters degree in organization development from Loyola University in Chicago. She then went on to attain a Ph.D. at “Gh. Asachi” with a dissertation on the relationships between corporate culture and technology transfer.
Carmen is now an associate professor at "Gh. Asachi" Technical University, carrying out research on corporate culture, cultural diversity, intercultural communication, and leadership from the personal and organizational performance perspectives. She is also a visiting professor of management and a range of other specialties at the Canadian MBA program in Bucharest as well as four other MBA Programs around Romania. Carmen is extensively published, including Culture, Change, and Competition, winner of the 2003 Best Book Award from the General Association of Romanian Economists. Three of her numerous published articles are listed in the Global Leadership section of GROVEWELL's Professional Knowledge Center.
In the course of her work, Carmen has obtained and carried out grants for programs and projects focusing on HR training for technological-innovative business structures, organizational culture and E.U. integration, European dimensions of quality assurance, and several others. Her international project experience also includes, among more than a dozen others, two international joint-venture simulations, one focused on global technology management and the other focused on organizational effectiveness (both of these in conjunction with Cooper Union of New York).
Carmen has regularly consulted with a score of Romanian companies (private and undergoing privatization) and also provides her expertise to businesses throughout Europe. Her consulting, training, and institution-building contributions have focused internationally on the development of enterprises, quality and excellence in business and in education, and cross-cultural and minority issues in business. Carmen is vice-president of the Romanian Association for Sustainable Development and Performance.
Carmen loves classical music, opera, and eastern philosophies. Her son, Andrei, is the logistics director for a construction company and a student of economics. They both enjoy hiking and touring abroad.