The Cultural Intelligence Center is a growing, innovative training and consulting company that is changing the way individuals and organizations are approaching diversity and global engagement.
Who We Are
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 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.
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Dr. Janine Allen, EdD, is a CQ Consultant and Associate Facilitator with extensive experience developing diverse work teams across the globe. She is currently in the process of becoming a Master Facilitator for CQC. Included in her experience is over 20 years in higher education as an administrator leading teacher preparation programs and developing transnational partnerships in Indonesia, Peru, South Africa, Australia, Israel, South Korea and New Zealand. Raised in New Mexico in a multiethnic family and amongst multiple indigenous tribal groups has given Janine a passion for cultural engagement and equity. Always a learner and a connector, Janine’s relational approach is a key element in her engaging facilitation as she consults with executive leaders, managers, and with practitioners.
On a personal note, Janine is an urban gardener and enjoys observing the green world around her despite her location of place!
Anindita Banerjee, PhD
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.
Sara Beaty is our Quality Assurance Analyst. She is the primary subject matter expert of our CQ Learning Portal. She is responsible for coordinating and managing the quality of our technology projects and deliverables, including administration, testing, and analytics of our company’s digital assets.
Sara graduated from Baker College with a Bachelor’s in Accounting. Sara volunteers with an animal rescue group (Shelter to Home) and likes to play video games and go camping in her free time.
As our Director, Public Programs and Partners, Jennifer Benbow plans and markets our US and global public events, including CQ workshops, CQ certifications, and Unconscious Bias programs, and assists our Certified Facilitator partners with their CQ needs. She has over 20 years of experience in corporate, non-profit, and government communications, and event management in the United States and Australia.
Before joining the Cultural Intelligence Center, Jennifer worked for the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., where she helped promote UK Government policies through her relationships with state government officials, universities, and businesses. Jennifer graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Political Science and completed her MA in Communications at RMIT University in Australia.
In her free time, Jennifer enjoys hiking and other outdoor activities with her husband and two children.
Laurent oversees Talent Acquisition & Development at the Cultural Intelligence Center. He has over 30 years of experience in human capital development, strategy, and leadership. He was previously the Vice President of Talent Management at Steelcase.
Laurent is of French descent and was born in Germany. He has several years of experience doing business in various cultures and countries, including working and living abroad.
Laurent is passionate about culture transformation, diversity, and inclusion. Laurent earned his MBA at ESCP Business School in Paris. He is also certified in FLOW coaching and the Advanced Human Resource Executive Program at Michigan’s Ross School of Business. From Bob Dylan to Joy Division, Laurent loves rock music and crime novels.
Chris Bobcean is our Director of Marketing. His responsibilities include providing marketing support and direction to all areas of our business. Chris brings over 22 years of digital, project management, eLearning, and marketing experience to CQC. Chris has experience working with small to large companies and has worked on both client and agency side.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time on the lake with his family and attending their extracurricular activities (mainly hockey practices and games).
Lucy Butters is a specialist in Cultural Intelligence and founded Elembee ltd in 2010 to support international ambition and inclusion, working primarily with universities in the UK. She is a Master Trainer with the Cultural Intelligence Center and Above Difference, a UK strategic partner of CQC that works to improve inclusive leadership across the public sector. Recent work includes training and coaching for leaders of companies participating in the Scottish Government’s international Scale-Up program. Previously she worked for the British Council in international cultural relations roles linked with developing and implementing strategy to support the international ambitions of universities in Scotland.
On a personal level, Lucy is the mother of triplet boys who are a constant reminder of the need to adjust her thinking, actions, and expectations.
Susan Chen, EdD is responsible for the digital learning in the company. Her experience in both traditional teaching and E-Learning across higher education, manufacturing 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.
Bithi Devi is our HR Administrator and is responsible for coordinating all aspects of Human Resources for the Cultural Intelligence Center.
Living in Qatar, a tiny peninsula in the Middle East, for over 25 years, Bithi was exposed to a diverse culture growing up. She has worked and collaborated with people from at least 30 nationalities in her lifetime. She has over five years of experience as a Human Resources Generalist in the Outsourcing industry serving renowned Qatari organizations across several sectors like Banking, Telecommunication, Public works, Medical, and many others.
She has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Affairs from Qatar University and is currently pursuing her Masters in Human Resource Administration at Central Michigan University.
Bithi is a creative soul who loves creating and exploring different forms of art during her spare time. Apart from being a Human resource professional, she is also a part-time henna artist and polymer clay jewelry designer/ creator. She is also passionate about discovering new food and travel places with her husband.
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.
Keri Dutkiewicz, PhD
Keri Dutkiewicz, PhD
Keri Dutkiewicz, PhD, is a CQ Senior Consultant and Master Facilitator 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.
Ellen Dyla is our Account Manager. She is responsible for client support and relations, as well as company marketing and communication initiatives. Before CQC, Ellen held Business Development and Account Management roles for startups and IT companies. She’s passionate about helping her clients while also growing productive and effective teams internally.
Ellen graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Economics and a Specialization Chinese and Asian Studies. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her daughter, stay active, enjoy the outdoors, and cook.
Kristin Ekkens is a Consultant with the CQ Center. She brings extensive CQ expertise to the table, both as our former Director of Corporate Partnerships, as well as previously overseeing 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.
Brandon Gamble is our IT and Software Development Manager. He is in charge of leading the maintenance and development of our learning portal, website, and our internal IT infrastructure.
Brandon has a degree in graphic design, applied science, and two in computer information systems. His early career was focused on developing E-Learning courses for Raytheon Professional Services and AT&T, then he fell in love with web development and programming, both professionally and as a hobby. After making the transition into management, Brandon found he had a knack for servant-leadership: fulfilling his role as manager by empowering and enabling his teams to do their best work.
In his free time, Brandon enjoys playing board games, video games, and Dungeons and Dragons with his wife and kids, and putting up with his two dogs.
Becky Greer is our bookkeeper. She supports our Operations Specialist with keeping monthly financial records up to date, maintaining office supplies and inventory, and assisting with other data entry and analysis. Becky has an Associates of Business Administration from Wayne County Community College and is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting at Wayne State University. Becky is an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America and enjoys camping, music, and spending time with her four children, family and friends.
Shayna is one of our Virtual Events and Resource Coordinators. In this role, she assists facilitators with virtual events, and she also coordinates and maintains our client-facing materials.
She has developed a passion for diversity, which has allowed her to pursue many enriching experiences. Some of these include: membership in a multicultural and historically Latinx sorority, facilitating inter-group social justice dialogues, and creating an implicit bias awareness resource and campaign for Central Michigan University.
Shayna is an avid reader, a poet, and she considers herself a lifelong learner.
Yun Hee Jang
Yun Hee Jang
Yun Hee Jang has been appointed as Financial Director at the Cultural Intelligence Center and will be working out of the Southfield office.
Yun Hee has over 25 years of experience in Accounting and Operations. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Yun Hee moved to Ohio when she was 10 years old and went on to study Accounting at the University of Cincinnati. Yun Hee and her family have lived in Cincinnati, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and abroad for several years in Malaysia & Singapore. Yun Hee loves sports, especially college football, basketball, and Cincinnati Reds.
Andrej Juriga is the managing director of the training company Cultural Bridge in Slovakia. As a Certified Facilitator of EQ and CQ, Andrej delivers workshops and coaching to large corporations, medium-sized businesses, and start-ups across a variety of countries and industries. He has a background in corporate sales and HR at a national and global level. Andrej has lived in five different countries across Europe and Africa.
As Lead Designer, Tina Kessel is responsible for the design, development, and upkeep of CQC’s program materials to support our workshops, certifications, and other events, as well as marketing collateral. She also oversees the ‘look and feel’ of the company brand as a whole. Her keen eye for design and attention to detail allows us to provide quality products used in all of our global trainings and cohesive 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.
Sabrina Renee Kinckle
Sabrina Renee Kinckle
Sabrina is a consultant with the CQ Center and teaches the CQ Sales workshop. She has over 20 years of business development strategy and leadership experience, both as our former Executive Vice President of North America, as well as previously overseeing the P&L and sales strategy of a multinational large business unit within a large business intelligence firm. Sabrina has several years of experience doing business in a variety of cultures and countries, including working and living abroad. She is trilingual and has executed business in every region of the world.
Mike Knox is responsible for legal, finance, and operations and leads some of our sales and marketing efforts. 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.
David Livermore, PhD
David Livermore, PhD
David Livermore, PhD leads the Cultural Intelligence Center and works with our team and partners around the world. Dave has written twelve 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 adult daughters. They love traveling together (fortunately!) and sampling the local delicacies, wherever they go. For a full bio, visit Dave’s website.
Kelsey is our Education Account Manager. In this role, her focus is on managing and growing existing education partnerships in North America. She is responsible for developing current relationships by matching and aligning client’s needs with appropriate solutions and demonstrating how our research-based products and services can resolve their needs. 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. In her free time, she loves reading, watching movies and spending time outdoors.
As Event Coordinator, Shayla’s focus is providing a positive client experience throughout the event process – from pre-event coordination to post-event analysis. Her time spent tutoring English as a Second Language sparked her passion for learning about and spreading the knowledge of diversity and inclusion. Shayla enjoys exploring outdoors, connecting with new people, and spending quality time with loved ones outside of work.
Tina is our Lead Consultant, Trainer, and subject matter expert in the corporate sector. With over two decades of leadership and team development experience, she has an extensive production track record in video games and software development. Extended periods in senior leadership roles while living as an expat in Romania, Sweden, and the UK provided unique cultural insights and experience in enhancing effectiveness as a global leader, facilitator, and coach.
Tina is passionate about sharing the significant benefits of applying the CQ framework to accelerate innovation, excellence, and productivity within organizations. She is also passionate about helping individuals and leaders build more inclusive and collaborative workplaces.
Mei supports the Cultural Intelligence Center by working with facilitators to ensure virtual events run smoothly and coordinating client-facing materials.
Born and raised in China to American parents, Mei has a life-long passion for helping people understand and communicate better across cultural boundaries. In her free time, she enjoys cross-stitching, playing music with her father, and playing tabletop games with her husband and friends.
Kate Meredith is the Sales Operations Manager for the Cultural Intelligence Center. Her responsibilities include overseeing our sales processes, managing KPI’s and sales reporting. She enjoys creating systemic solutions to improve our sales operations and team collaboration. In addition, Kate serves as the company liaison with special partners and international subsidiaries.
Kate has a BSW and MBA and enjoys applying these different perspectives to her work. She also has a TESOL Certificate from Taylor University. Kate enjoys backpacking, time with friends and family, traveling, and climbing.
Angelica is the Administrative Assistant, Global Diversity Practice. In this role, she assists in business administration and works closely with our VP, Global Diversity Practice, Dr. Sandra Upton.
Angelica has studied and lived abroad in addition to being an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher while residing in China. She’s fluent in Spanish and feeds her desire for knowledge by actively interacting and learning about different cultures. In her spare time, she loves to travel, bike ride, and explore new restaurants with family and friends.
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.
Sophie is our Client Relationship Specialist. In this role, she is responsible for customer support and client relations. In addition to this, Sophie supports marketing department initiatives and projects. Her goal is to make internal and external communication more personal and effective.
Tasha is the Administrative Coordinator for the Cultural Intelligence Center. She helps coordinate the day-to-day administrative needs of the Cultural Intelligence Center, including project fulfillment, executive support, and team support.
Tasha graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Grand Valley State University. Her education helped her develop a strong passion for understanding culture and the differences between groups. In her free time, she likes to travel, try new foods, and go to the theater.
Eric Schoonover is Senior Client Consultant for the Cultural Intelligence Center, specializing in helping teams and organizations be as successful as they want to be. Eric works with clients to determine their specific needs, then recommends & implements effective programs which enable them to thrive.
Bringing years of business development, consulting & training experience, Eric is devoted to getting the best out of every interaction that comes his way.
Based in Nashville, TN, Eric lives with his wife, Julie, their Yellow Lab, Angel, and receives occasional visits from their college-attending son, Myles. Outside of work, Eric enjoys fitness, good food, and good friends.
As Project Resource Manager Ash is responsible for managing the day-to-day project and event support needs of the Cultural Intelligence Center. In this role they serve and support a variety of functions including, but not limited to: managing admin team, administration of associate facilitator logistics and process, event scheduling, assignment of support personnel, process improvement, inventory management, and overseeing distribution of physical materials/logistics.
They have over 8 years in operational support and management roles with a focus on quality control, creative problem solving, process improvement, and people managing.
Ash is a non-binary professional, passionate advocate of intersectional equity and inclusion work, and identifies as life-long learner. In their spare time they enjoy spending quality time with family and friends, adventure motorcycling, camping, cooking, gaming, and trying new foods.
Amy Swenson, MS, serves as a Client Consultant Cultural Intelligence Center. She is a former mentee of executive and leadership development guru (inventor of the executive 360, Return on Character, Moral Intelligence) Dr. Fred Kiel. Amy Swenson has extensive experience building executive and culture organization development strategy with Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 clients. Swenson partners with CQC clients to capture latent organizational value through a focus on increasing Cultural Intelligence.
Amy is an international keynote speaker; her audiences range from Fortune 250 executives to HR Councils. Some of her recent keynote speaking experiences include Caux Roundtable San Francisco (2020), HCI Learning & Leadership Development Conference (2018), Watermark Leadership Conference (2018), HR Symposium (2018), Harvard Partners Meeting (2017), Ethics & Compliance Institute Fellows Group (2017), Ethics & Compliance Annual Conference (2017) and more.
Ling Ling Tai
Ling Ling Tai
Throughout her learning and development profession, Ling Ling has designed, facilitated, and delivered various corporate programs in 21 countries across four continents in technology, travel, and humanitarianism. She lived, worked, and studied in 7 countries. Since 2017, Ling Ling has facilitated Cultural Intelligence workshops and programs in Singapore and Malaysia.
Ling Ling has a background in Electronics and Psychology and is now pursuing an MPsy in Intercultural Relations to become a Cultural Psychologist. Also, she is a member of the British Psychology Society (BPS) and the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP). She regularly practices Vipassana meditation and Ashtanga yoga.
Ben Terova is a software engineer from Brighton, Michigan. Growing up with a passion for understanding the ins-and-outs of all things technological, he has been helping clients with their hardware and software needs since he was a teenager. He now works on our specialized CQC learning software, as well as our digital presence around the globe.
Dr. Sandra Upton is Vice President, Global Diversity Practices with the Cultural Intelligence Center, and is responsible for providing leadership and expertise on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) matters for CQC clients across the globe. She has over twenty-five years of experience training and consulting with businesses, educational institutions, governmental agencies, and non-profits around the globe. She has led CQC’s response to the growing demand from global companies such as Amway, Starbucks, Steelcase, Hallmark, Fiat-Chrysler, Perrigo, Cintas and institutions and schools like Harvard University, London School of Economics, University of Michigan, Queensland University, Stanford University, Cornell University, Boston Public Schools, Dallas ISD, that are committed to integrating CQ into their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
Sandra is also the subject matter expert for the Center’s work in unconscious bias and has led the Center’s unconscious bias certification programs across the globe. She is a frequent speaker and consults with numerous businesses and institutions on how to effectively integrate CQ and unconscious bias assessments and training into business and educational settings. She travels frequently and has consulted with organizations and facilitated trainings in places such as Brazil, China, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Israel, Singapore, South Africa, and several countries throughout Europe.
She and her husband Robert, are the proud (and excited empty-nesters) of two amazing college-aged children, Alexis and Devin.
Linn Van Dyne, PhD
Linn Van Dyne, PhD
Linn Van Dyne, PhD oversees ongoing research on cultural intelligence and works with Dave in developing the long-term strategy for the CQ Center. Linn is one of the pioneering researchers on cultural intelligence and worked together with Soon Ang PhD to validate the CQ Scale. She retired as Full Professor at Michigan State University where she taught and conducted research for 26 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.
Viviane Vicente is a global professional with a legal background and over 20 years of experience in both government and corporate settings. Prior to joining the Cultural Intelligence Center, she operated her own consultancy, specialized in educating business people, military personnel, nonprofit staff, and other professionals on how to communicate, present, and successfully lead in domestic and international environments. She is passionate about organizational behavior topics and has spoken on matters of Business Etiquette and Cross-cultural Management at various events around the world.
Viviane possesses a Law degree and an MBA from Brazilian universities, a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) in National Security and U.S. Foreign Relations Law from The George Washington University Law School, and a Certificate degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from Georgetown University. She is a speaker of English, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
Ritika Wadhwa is our Director of UK Operations. She will be responsible for leading the Cultural Intelligence Centre’s work in the UK and beyond. Ritika brings over two decades of extensive experience in client retention, marketing, business development, and project management. Experience she has gained by working with senior stakeholders across continents, the corporate and Government sector.
Born and brought up in India, Ritika has the unique experience of living, studying, and working in senior roles in several multicultural countries. She is passionate about Cultural Intelligence and is a Diversity & Inclusion champion. Ritika has a degree in Economics and an MBA. She is fluent in Hindi, Punjabi, English, and spoken Greek.
Keyla Waslawski is our Vice President, Sales & Marketing. She oversees all of our sales and marketing processes and projects. Keyla also leads our business development, communications, client relations, and technology initiatives. Keyla graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and earned her M.B.A., Financial Accounting at Wayne State University in Detroit. She enjoys applying her analytical skills and eye for numbers to support and lead the Sales & Marketing team 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.