Dave Cooper was born and raised in Manheim, PA. In 1987 he earned a BS (emphasis in Molecular Biology) and entered the military that same year specifically to become a US Navy SEAL. During his 25-year career, Dave spent nearly nineteen of those at the prestigious Naval Special Warfare Development Group, conducting combat operations throughout Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Dave’s early operational history includes deployments in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. In 1993, he was selected for the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. From 1994 to 2012, he completed dozens of deployments, both in and out of major theaters of war, to include
such places as Haiti, Bosnia, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Iraq. He has led extensively in combat at all levels and has executed missions spanning the full gamut of Naval Special Warfare capabilities.
From September 2009 to September 2011, Dave served as the Command Master Chief (the senior SEAL Operator and principal advisor to the Commanding Officer) of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. During his tenure, the Naval Special Warfare Development Group successfully executed some of the most significant Special Operations missions in the history of the U.S. Military. In a role that took him from the battlefield one minute to the interagency boardroom the next, Dave’s influence, interpersonal skills and leadership were instrumental to the unparalleled success of this elite unit.
For his distinguished service, Dave was awarded numerous unit and personal awards, to include a Silver Star, 6 Bronze Stars with “V” devices, 2 Distinguished Meritorious Service Medal, 2 Meritorious Service Medals, 4 Presidential Unit Citations and numerous other joint and individual awards. But as he proudly notes: Every medal we wear on our chests belongs in no small part to our teammates, because it’s from our teammates—and for them—that we draw our measure of courage.
Dave is the founder of Verge, a boutique coaching and consulting company whose mission blends the profound experiences and lessons learned from the special operations arena with such diverse disciplines as complexity science and psychology to form a unique brand of organizational health consulting and coaching. Dave earned his master’s degree at the University of Oxford and HEC (Paris). He is featured in the best-selling book The Culture Code along with some of the most innovative business leaders and researchers in the U.S and has consulted on organizational health initiatives with Fortune 100 and 500 clients, from major oil and gas companies to nimble startups and tech firms. He is married to the inimitable Ms. Sonia Cooper, the Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer of Sentara Princess Anne Hospital. The couple has 3 boys, ages 15, 12, and 8.
Joanne Derr is an executive coach, facilitator, and an expert in leadership transitions. She has 25 years of executive experience advising science and technology leaders as well as leaders of large public and global technology companies, healthcare institutions, and public sector organizations. Joanne consults with high potential leaders and their teams, bringing a rich combination of strategic agility, content expertise, and outcome orientation to her clients. Her direct and collaborative style supports her clients in creating noticeable and lasting change and success.
Prior to managing her own business, Joanne was a Human Resources executive, leading multifunctional and diverse organizations and leadership development at Care.com, Neighborhood Health Plan, and UMass Medical School. Managing global teams, Joanne headed leadership development at Nortel Networks/Bay Networks where she was a key leader of merger and acquisition teams. Joanne started her HR career at Digital Equipment Corporation and earned her master’s in counseling from Boston University.
Joanne is an active member of The Boston Club where she co-chairs the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, a long-time personal commitment and core piece of her HR work. She moderates a weekly group for Senior Human Resources leaders in transition, is a board member of Torchlight Care, and is a founding member of the Westford Committee for Non-Violence. An Institute of Coaching Fellow and a certified professional coach, Joanne is skilled in numerous assessment tools and 360’s with a particular focus on assessing and building executive presence.
Kara Hayward is a member of the team at Incandescent, where she helps leaders chart a path for the change they want to see in their organizations. Kara has spent the last decade in a range of strategy roles and loves rolling up her sleeves as a co-creator alongside her clients. Her clients have spanned startup ventures, large corporates, nonprofits, and philanthropies. Her work has helped clients make choices about how to meet the challenge and opportunity of the external environment, and enabled them to expand and strengthen their capabilities to deliver on strategy.
Prior to Incandescent, Kara was a leader at Next Street, a mission-driven strategy and financial planning consulting firm, where much of her work focused on advancing equitable economic development strategies with multi-stakeholder groups in places ranging from Brooklyn, Albuquerque, San Francisco, and Chicago. Her early career was defined by her time at Bonafide Health, where she helped the company stand up their D2C platform and launch their initial line of women's health products.
Kara graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in Economics, and spent a year at the London School of Economics studying how people, culture, and cities shape one another. She spends much of her free time wandering the endless worlds within New York City, but loves exploring other cities and countries, hiking, and eating street food.
Megan Helzner is a Manager at CFAR. She serves organizations across CFAR’s family enterprise and owner-led business, healthcare, higher education, and non-profit practices. She brings more than 10 years of industry experience in operations, management, development, and consulting to her work addressing challenges in strategy, governance and leadership, change, and organizational design.
Her approach to consulting combines deep curiosity with a problem-solving orientation, and a desire to foster thoughtful and authentic partnerships with clients. Knowing that one size does not fit all, Megan brings passion and rigor to understanding the contexts and systems in which her clients live and work. In addition, Megan draws connections across industries in order to create value and practical, actionable solutions to her clients’ challenges.
A committed member of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania community, Megan volunteers her time on the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s Board Finance Committee and as a member of its Emerging Leaders Circle. She is also a member of the Board of the University of Pennsylvania’s Association of Alumnae, and is a Leadership Philadelphia alumna. Megan has lectured at Ursinus College and presented at the Smithsonian Affiliations national conference.
Megan holds a BA in International Relations with minors in Economics and Spanish from Ursinus College, an MPA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, and certificates from Bryn Mawr College’s Non-Profit Executive Leadership Institute, and the Museum Leadership Institute at Claremont Graduate University.
Paula Kliger is the Founder, CEO and President of Psychological Assets, PC and Kliger Consulting Group, LLC. She is a psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist, Board-Certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Over 30 plus years, locally, nationally, and abroad, she has developed an innovative and diverse clinical and consultation professional practice. She specializes in complex clinical cases and consultations that are humanistic and psychoanalytic in orientation. She works with individuals, families and groups; with leaders in organizations and their communities; with people in high stress occupations, and those facing severe adversity, critical incidents and the impact of trauma, especially from abuse or harassment or ethnic and race-based histories. She has been the principal consultant to family businesses, non-profits, and Fortune 500 companies, with a focus on organizational culture change, transformational growth and healing for long-term sustainability. Her organizational and clinical trainings and consultations have taken her around the United States and as far away as Mainland China and St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia.
Paula Kliger completed psychoanalytic training at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute of the American Psychoanalytic Association. She earned a master’s degree in psychology and PhD in Clinical Psychology with a minor in Statistical Measurement and Design from Wayne State University and she received her undergraduate degree with Honors in psychology from City College, City University of New York. Dr. Kliger is fully licensed in the States of Michigan, Ohio, and New York.
Paula Kliger is Associate Faculty of Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute, and teaches Advanced Ethics to psychoanalytic training candidates; she is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry Residency Program, at Wayne State University, School of Medicine, and is Adjunct Assistant Professor, Clinical and Organizational Consultation Supervisor at University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), PhD Clinical Psychology Program, Department of Psychology. At UDM, she developed undergraduate and graduate courses in statistical measurement and design and first-in-kind graduate courses in diversity, inclusion, and identity formation, that addressed intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics, cultural and socially embedded human complexity.
She is a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations (ISPSO), American Psychological Association (APA), Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute and Society (MPI & MPS), Ohio Psychological Association (OPA) and Black Psychoanalysts Speak (BPS).
Resolving trauma, its strife and suffering, as well as interpersonal conflict, within oneself and to build a bridge to others, serves as the cornerstone of Paula Kliger’s writing, and most recently in her book, “Power your Heart…You power your Mind: Self-Study then Build A Bridge to Someone.” Dr. Kliger creates non-traditional “holding” spaces for exploring our human commonalities, our differences, and our complexities. Utilizing her artwork, she evocates human connection and self-reflection in individuals and groups. Her illustrations and poetic words in “Power your Heart…” create a pathway for individualized exploration. She encourages people to delve into a dynamic “self-study” process to ignite curiosity and to realize a “shift of mind” that inspires transformative growth and the social capacity for deeper engagement, humility, and flexibility. Self–study is intentionally adopted for all facets of her work with the goal of introducing user-friendly ways to get people more acquainted and to practice valuing the diversity of human life.
Amelia La Spada is the Managing Director of a boutique learning consultancy, antepodes.org.
As a behavioural coach she works with executives, groups, teams and organizations. Exploring the above and below the surface, supporting people to understand what interferes with their achievement in work and life. Leaving clients more confident about their insights and capabilities and clearer about how to manage their work roles and relationships. Leaning on Systems Psychodynamics, through dialogue and experiential exercises, she reviews the dynamics between the Person, Role and the Organization. In her work with teams she helps members to face into difficult conversations and to surface dynamics and existing scripts, which keep teams stuck, inhibit richer collaboration and constructive exchange.
Her clients work in multinationals, are small/medium enterprises, family businesses, not for profits and public sector organizations – each with their own specific challenges and perspectives.
Amelia is furthermore a specialist in designing and implementing tailored learning and development for executives. In the past 14 years she has worked at and with IMD Business School in Lausanne on open, as well as partnership (custom) programs, as a learning manager and executive coach.
Born in Wuppertal, Germany she has lived, studied and worked in the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Japan, the US and Switzerland and speaks English, French and German.
After her studies in international relations, politics, history and languages, Amelia has spent over 17 years in the field of education. She has worked across cultures, with young people at the outset of their careers, as well as with senior executives, at the height of their profession. She holds an Executive Masters in Consulting and Coaching for Change (EMCCC) from INSEAD Business School as well as certificates from Tavistock Consulting in Executive Coaching and Group Dynamics. Amelia is a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) of the International Society for Psychological Study of Organizations (ISPSO) and the Social Psychology Network (SPN). In her free time, she enjoys hiking in her adopted home in Switzerland
Crystal Proenza is a strategic consultant and culture expert. She is known for her ability to empower leaders and drive performance, especially in times of change or challenge. Having spent over a decade on leadership teams, Crystal is a seasoned veteran in creating, evaluating and executing strategy. From startups, to expanding international organizations, her background includes two successful acquisitions, including leadership through transitions to integrate these companies.
She is an experienced operator that is able to bring focus in times of change and challenge, and lead with culture that forges partnerships with leaders across an organization. Her work on executive teams has helped leaders to achieve exponential growth, create and scale culture, and successfully navigate dynamic business challenges. She believes leaders dedicated to learning and growth themselves breed organizations with high levels of engagement and productivity.
Crystal specializes in creating conditions for people to do their best work. She uses this passion to advise leaders as they drive performance for themselves and their teams. Her direct experience as a leader include taking fast growing, real estate technology company Honest Buildings full cycle, from Series A to acquisition, scaled that team 5X over two years with a 90% retention of high performing employees and 100% year-over-year revenue growth, doubled revenues over a five-year period for a 20+ year-old services firm through a recession, led of communication through Colliers International’s IPO and fostered team integrations for two successful acquisitions with above-average retention rates and employee engagement scores.
Blair Slaughter’s goal as the founder of Delve Consulting is to enable leaders and organizations to thrive when they encounter new opportunities and challenges. Executive coaching, organizational effectiveness, talent management, change management, leadership development, and fractional HR support are the tools Delve’s cadre of consultants brings to clients.
As an executive coach, Blair focuses on adaptability, working with leaders to quickly size up and address increasingly complex situations. As a consultant, she helps organizations optimize their opportunities, building new cultures, structures, capabilities, and teams, whether they are large entities pivoting or start-ups scaling.
Blair draws from 25 years of experience as an organizational and people leader. She has held executive-level roles in organization development, talent management, learning and development, human resources, and change management. She has managed large groups whose products and services have had enterprise impact. But she never forgets her early experiences in a start-up and the challenges they face. Her industry experience includes health care, global financial services, technology, manufacturing, oil and gas, industry associations, and not-for-profits. Blair was adjunct faculty at Harvard Business School (2008 and 2009) teaching Persuasive Business Communication.
Her dual educational background augments her professional experience. Her degrees in business (BS in Finance and MBA) and organizational development (MA and PhD), allow her to test research-based insights against her business expertise to create proven and practical solutions.
In her non-profit work, Blair is passionate about developing economic independence. She was Board Chair of Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore and is now First Vice President of the Board of Humanim, a 500+ person organization that serves those with significant employment barriers. Blair is a graduate of Leadership Maryland, which unites 50 leaders annually across the state to make Maryland the best place to work and live.
In her spare time, Blair enjoys traveling, cooking and scuba diving with her husband, Dave, and their daughters, Natalie and Cecilia.
Nadine Tchelebi is a Senior Consultant in the field of Organizational Development at In Stability GmbH & Co. KG, Hanover, Germany, where she enjoys designing and leading change projects such as consulting to strategic and cultural development and has gained experiences in individual executive coaching and team coaching. She also conducts regular advanced group dynamics courses based on the Tavistock method of group relations.
Nadine holds a Ph.D. in psychoanalytic and systems-psychodynamic approaches to intergroup dynamics in organizations, has led international research projects in this field and has also published her work. She has gained an Executive Coaching qualification with which she has coached and supervised individual Executives and executive teams on a freelance basis internationally.
Before embarking on her consulting career, Nadine was a Senior Lecturer in Organization Studies at the Bristol Business School where she led the M.Sc. Programme “Leadership and Management” as well as the personal and professional development strands of the executive MBA. Alongside her academic career, she has designed, led and held diverse roles in more than ten international group dynamics trainings such as the Leicester Group Relations Conference. She has worked with Tavistock Consulting in the field of Consulting and Leading in Organizations and has been a Visiting Lecturer at INSEAD’s Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change. Nadine is the Editor of the international academic journal Organizational and Social Dynamics and member of ISPSO (International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations), OPUS (Organization for Promoting Understanding of Society), PCCA (Partners in Confronting Collective Atrocities) and DGGO (German Society for Group and Organizational Dynamics).
Nadine has Arabic roots, speaks German, English and Spanish fluently, is a passionate rower and loves doing her pottery.
Alexei Volokhov is an organizational consultant, executive and team coach in private practice.
He is a former 3M EMEA Change and Integration Manager.
Alexei joined 3M Company in 2007 as Learning and Development Manager and in that role, he was responsible for leadership development in Central and East Europe and worked as a coach on global leadership development programs in US.
In 2014 he was promoted to 3M Global Academy of Innovative Development as 3M EMEA Learning and Coaching Development Manager. In 3M Global Coaching Team he was leading team coaching projects and worked with clients from Europe, Middle East, Africa and US.
Prior to coaching, Alexei had 22 years of extensive business experience as a manager responsible, at various times, for marketing, key account sales, customer service standards, training and development in leading Russian and multinational companies including Coca-Cola HBC Eurasia, Bristol and Pepsi International Bottlers. For his outstanding achievements in 2004 Alexei was awarded Person of the Year Prize in Rolf, leading national automotive business.