The Cultural Intelligence Center is a growing, innovative research institute that is changing the way individuals and organizations are approaching diversity and global engagement. Based on nearly two decades of research, our mission is to build bridges and remove barriers for working and relating across cultures. We’re headquartered in East Lansing, Michigan but our team works across the globe.
The work of the Cultural Intelligence Center is supported by dozens of team members and partners around the world including trainers, consultants, researchers, etc. A few key individuals you may interact with as part of our team are listed below.
Lola Audu is a CQ Associate Trainer with over 20 years experience in real estate, community development, and nonprofit work. Originally from West Africa, her international perspective is shaped by the experiences gained from living and working in various settings. Lola is passionate about wisdom – gaining and sharing it. She frames conversations through the lens of story telling to engage her audiences to re-consider familiar topics in new ways. She is a sought after speaker and trainer in the real estate industry, non-profit and business community. Find Lola on LinkedIn.
Anindita Banerjee, PhD
Anindita Banerjee, PhD is our leading consultant and facilitator in South Asia. She works with companies and universities to integrate cultural intelligence through consulting, training and coaching, and instructional design. She holds a Masters degree in Mathematics, an MBA and PhD in cross-cultural management. Anindita lives in India with her husband and two boys and she leads the diversity and inclusion practice at Renaissance Strategic Consultants. She enjoys travelling and immersing herself in different cultures, especially in local cuisines. Find Anindita on LinkedIn.
Sara Beaty is our Operations Specialist. She provides administrative support for the company’s accounting and financials, such as accounts receivable, invoicing, and receiving payments. She also helps to maintain and manage our company portal system. Sara graduated from Baker College with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. She also has been volunteering with an animal rescue group, Shelter to Home, since 2007. In her free time, Sara likes to play video games with friends and go camping during the summer.
Corey Berkimer oversees all of our client services at the Cultural Intelligence Center. With more than 20 years experience in account management and an MBA degree, Corey uses his business savvy and people skills to understand organization’s biggest needs related to cultural intelligence. He loves to talk with organizational leaders and then he works with our team to come up with a culturally intelligent solution to meet those needs. His family is his number one priority and he prides himself for getting by on little sleep.
Susan Chen, EdD
Susan Chen, EdD is responsible for the digital learning in the company. Her experience in both traditional teaching and eLearning across higher education, manufactory industries, and healthcare businesses enables her to design and develop for versatile learners. She earned two degrees in instructional design from Wayne State University, concentrating in interactive technologies. Born in China and later migrated to America, she is very sensitive to cultural factors and their impacts in communication and learning. Outside the office, she loves to spend time traveling, doing photography, reading, and writing. Visit her LinkedIn profile.
Buhle Dlamini is a CQ Associate Trainer and an international speaker and consultant based in Canada and South Africa. He is the founder of Young and Able Pty (Ltd) in South Africa and Mindgro Consulting in Canada. He was also the co-founder of Heartlines Values TV Series project for which he, alongside Garth Japhet (founder) received an award from Arch-Bishop (emeritus) Desmond Tutu. He speaks on Leadership, Strategy and Cultural Intelligence. Find Buhle on LinkedIn.
Keri Dutkiewicz, PhD
Keri Dutkiewicz, PhD, is a CQ Associate Trainer with a unique blend of academic and private sector experience. She has over 20 years teaching and administrative experience in higher education at large research institutions, liberal arts colleges, and career-focused universities. Keri served as senior leader in a highly successful e-learning start up. She has developed and led international programs in China, India, and Mongolia in addition to having lived in Latin America and Europe. Her facilitation style is engaging, substantive, and practical. Keri’s passion for inclusion and equity comes through in ways that inspire and motivate change with her audiences. Find Keri on LinkedIn.
Kristin Ekkens oversees our work with our corporate partners and non-profit organizations to ensure cultural intelligence is an integral part of their vision and strategy. Prior to joining our team, Kristin oversaw the diversity and inclusion efforts at a hospital and healthcare system with over 25,000 employees. Kristin has several years experience living and working in a variety of cultures and has done extensive training with students, working professionals, and leaders. She has a graduate degree in TESOL and is fluent in Spanish. Find Kristin on LinkedIn.
Lisa Giron coordinates all of our training projects and ensures everything happens from A to Z without a glitch. In addition, she provides administrative support to all of our work with educational institutions. Lisa has a degree in Business Administration and has extensive experience in dealing with customers from across different cultures. She’s fluent in Spanish and is working on her MBA. In what little spare time she has left, she loves spending time with her son, traveling, music and cooking.
Tambra Johnson is our Education Partnership Specialist who assists in expanding relationships with existing education partners as well as developing new partnerships within higher education and K-12/secondary education institutions across the globe. Tambra graduated from Ball State University and has extensive experience building partnerships in higher education. She loves spending time with her husband and two young daughters. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, exercising, reading and creating memories for her family through photography.
As the Administrative Assistant to our Director of Corporate Partnerships, Fridah provides administrative and logistical support for all programs, projects, and activities within the corporate segment. She has over 15 years customer service experience in the Insurance and Hospitality industry, and with over 5 years in non-profit leadership, is also very passionate about giving back and helping others. Fridah is a frequent volunteer at the Kids Food Basket, Gilda’s Club, and SowHope. After graduating from Utalii Hospitality College in Nairobi, Kenya, Fridah worked at Walt Disney World and in several Hotels in the UK. She is currently studying Business Administration in Grand Rapids.
As the production designer, Tina Kessel oversees the creation and upkeep of our physical materials as well as company marketing initiatives. Her keen eye for design and attention to detail allow us to provide quality products used in all of our global trainings and communication across all platforms. Tina graduated from Calvin College having studied engineering, and brings a flair for systematic organization and process implementation to the team. Originally from Florida, she’s partial to the sunshine and enjoys camping and traveling with her husband and dog, as well as a good home improvement project.
Mike Knox is responsible for legal, accounting, finance and administrative functions and works with Dave and Linn on business strategy. Mike is a serial entrepreneur who has founded or co-founded six businesses, raised millions of dollars in investment capital, and done business development in North America, Mexico, South America, Asia, Africa and Europe.
Lyla is our Director of Government Programs, having served on active duty 2001-2007 as a Naval Surface Warfare and Intelligence officer. A consultant at the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2008-2013, she trained military, law enforcement, and civilian personnel prior to their South Asia deployments. From 2013-2014, she served as the Cultural Advisor at the NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan. She currently consults for U.S. Special Operations Command and is the President of PROMOTE, a leadership/mentorship nonprofit for women in Special Operations. Lyla holds a Master’s from Georgetown University and enjoys cooking, travel, and spending time with her niece and nephew.
Dave Livermore, PhD
David Livermore, PhD leads the Cultural Intelligence Center and works with our team and partners around the world. Dave has written nine books on cultural intelligence and global leadership and has worked with companies, governments, and non-profits in more than 100 countries. He speaks at several international conferences annually. Dave and his wife have two teenage daughters. They love traveling together (fortunately!) and sampling the local delicacies, wherever they go. For a full bio, visit Dave’s website.
Kelsey is the Administrative Assistant to our Vice President of Education Initiatives. She is responsible for providing administrative and account management support to the day-today operations of the company’s education segment. A graduate from Grand Valley State University, she earned a B.A. in Communications and has a background working with startup companies as well as experience working in the legal world. She is passionate about helping others and is a Patient Visitor at Kindred Hospice where she provides social and emotional support to patients from all walks of life. In her free time, she loves reading, watching movies and spending time outdoors.
Kate Mondal is the Business Administrator for the Cultural Intelligence Center. Kate has the responsibility of providing administrative leadership for the company and organizing our expanding work with staff, partners, and clients around the world. Kate graduated from Taylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, and from Cornerstone University with a Master of Business Administration. She also has a TESOL Certificate from Taylor University. Kate enjoys reading, traveling, and hiking with her dog.
Craig Ostergren shares the responsibility for developing all our online eLearning courses. He takes great pride in making sure these courses are instructionally sound, engaging, and fun! In addition to the course content, Craig also administrates our Learning Management System to ensure the online courses are easy to access and available 24 X 7 for all our customers. When he’s not at work, Craig loves to hang out with his two teenage children. Their adventures have taken them to many remote locations in search of the perfect sunset, campfire, and undiscovered fishing hole.
Gonzalo Ramirez is our Manager of Corporate Partnerships. He works closely with our global team of trainers and consultants, overseeing client and internal projects to ensure we exceed the expectations of our corporate partners. Prior to joining the Cultural Intelligence Center, Gonzalo co-founded a multi-cultural communications consultancy providing organizations with strategic planning, marketing, and advertising services. Gonzalo is also fluent in Spanish, he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, visiting zoos, and learning something new. Find Gonzalo on LinkedIn.
As the Office Assistant, Ash works closely with our team to ensure quality customer materials make it to their destination on time, as well as on a variety of administrative projects. Ash has over 6 years in operational support and management roles which include quality inspection/management, shipping logistics, process improvement/development, and purchasing. Ash is working on their Associates in Business Administration and plans to continue their education at a four-year university after. They are passionate about advocating for and supporting under-represented communities and have been volunteering at the Grand Rapids Pride Center since late 2016. In that time, they have sat on the Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Board and on the Grand Rapids Pride planning committee and assisted in planning multiple events. Ash enjoys spending time with their partner and chosen family, playing RPG’s and tabletop games with friends, reading, weight training, and riding their Honda Rebel when weather permits.
Sandra Upton, DSL
Sandra Upton, DSL leads our work with schools and universities through her role as Vice President of Educational Initiatives. In addition, she’s a regular speaker, trainer, and consultant on cultural intelligence with companies and non-profit organizations. As a former business school dean and organizational consultant, Sandra understands how to effectively integrate CQ with organizations’ D&I initiatives and global leadership programs. She has also facilitated study abroad experiences in places such as China, Europe, Israel, and South Africa. Sandra finds her greatest pleasure in spending time with her husband and two children. She also enjoys travel, reading, watching a good film and long walks. Find Sandra on LinkedIn.
Linn Van Dyne, PhD
Linn Van Dyne, PhD oversees the ongoing research on cultural intelligence and works with Dave in developing the long-term strategy for the Center. Linn is one of the pioneering researchers on cultural intelligence and worked together with colleague Soon Ang to design the CQ Scale. She is a Full Professor at Michigan State University where she has taught and conducted research for 24 years. She has also taught at the University of Minnesota and has served as a Visiting Scholar at Indian School of Business and as Senior Fellow at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Keyla Waslawski is our Director of Operations. She oversees all our operational processes including accounting, the CQC Portal, and the many internal projects going on at any given time. Keyla graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelors degree in mathematics and is currently completing her M.B.A., Financial Accounting at Wayne State University. She enjoys applying her operational skills and eye for numbers to support the back end systems at the Cultural Intelligence Center. Keyla’s hobbies include gardening and home improvement projects, but what she enjoys most is spending time with her husband and two children.