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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Janine Allen, EdD
Janine Allen, EdD
Dr. Janine Allen, EdD, is a CQ Consultant and Master Facilitator with extensive experience developing diverse work teams across the globe. Included in her experience is over 20 years in higher education leading multicultural teams and developing transnational partnerships in Indonesia, Peru, South Africa, China, 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 facilitation and executive coaching 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!
Fenny Ang, PhD
Fenny Ang, PhD
Fenny is a Professional Certified Coach (PCCTM) with more than 20 years of management consulting and HR practitioner experiences in both the corporate and NGO sectors across Asia Pacific. As an executive coach and leadership trainer, Fenny works with senior executives to develop their personal and team leadership capabilities. She has expertise in helping leaders to successfully transition into senior leadership roles, build productive teams or navigate through challenging organization transitions (e.g.: M&A, restructuring and layoffs). Her recent projects focus on upskilling managers in leading and managing transformational change in their teams, and helping executives navigate successfully in cross-cultural terrains. She especially loves working with millennial leaders to increase their confidence in shaping their workforce, and understand their place in the world, beyond just their workspace.
Fenny obtained her PhD in International Business Management from the University of South Australia and received her M.A. in Educational Leadership (specializing in HR Development) from Western Michigan University. She has published articles in People & Strategy, Journal of Global Mobility, and Coaching World. Fenny is fluent in English and proficient in Mandarin, Bahasa Melayu, and Cantonese.
Prudence originates from the Metro Detroit area, but has spent the last 14 years residing in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from Lake Superior State University (class of 2013) and a Master’s in Business Administration in Human Resource Management from AIU (class of 2014). Prudence has 7+ years experience in the non-profit housing realm, including grant based programs, public housing, emergency shelter/housing, and social service programs. Over the past three years, Prudence has been active within her community holding positions on several boards for: veterans, youth, minority populations, disabilities, and housing services. She is a member of The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
In her free time, Prudence enjoys attending concerts, exploring fun places with her niece, and spending time with her two fur babies, a tuxedo cat named Esther and an English Labrador Retriever named Pearl.
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.
CJ is an officer with 10+ years of military service in the United States Army. His experience includes leadership positions in multicultural organizations with over 100 employees and annual budgets in excess of $5 million. The majority of his time in the military has been in domain of learning and education, including a tour in the academic sector as an Assistant Professor of Military Science at the University of Utah.
One of his chief accomplishments involved organizing a collaborative effort with academic and commercial partners in developing a premiere language and cultural training program for service members preparing for overseas assignments. This program culminated in the creation of the Polyglot Games, a multifaceted exercise for evaluating language and cultural proficiency. It was during this time that CJ discovered CQ and began collaborating with the Cultural Intelligence Center to integrate CQ into his training program. Since then, he has utilized CQ in developing and sustaining high-performing teams in subsequent assignments.
His academic credentials include an MBA, a B.A. in Communications. He is Gold Level certified in the Kirkpatrick Training Evaluation method and is a graduate of the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies Red Team Leader course. Aside from his military service, CJ and his wife, Elizabeth, work as small business consultants specializing in organizational psychology and culture, strategic planning, and operational design. The two reside in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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.
Buhle Dlamini is a CQ Associate Facilitator 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.
Born and raised in the UK, Emily spent a few years studying and working in Spain before returning to England where she worked, primarily in hospitality and events management. Most recently she has been a teacher and administrator. Passionate about languages, she speaks fluent Spanish and is learning French and British Sign Language. Emily has a rescue dog who is her pride and joy. In her free time she loves cycling, swimming and getting messy in her craft room.
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 Business Development Consultant. 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.
Joel Francis has 22 years of experience as a Law Enforcement professional. After 20 years of service with the New York Police Department, he served as the Chief of Education and Training for the Baltimore Police Department. He then served as an Assistant Director for Public Safety at Monroe College and Columbia University, respectively. Prior to joining the Cultural Intelligence team, Joel Francis was an Associate Facilitator/National Director for the Verbal Judo Institute, where he presented their tactical communications program to Health and Hospitals Associations, Law Enforcement Agencies, Educational Institutions, Social Services Agencies and other government and private institutions throughout North America.
Joel received his MS in Management from Johns Hopkins University, with an emphasis on Executive Leadership, and has found that his background, education, growth, and experiences in both the public and private sector have enabled him to relate to almost any industry and management level.
Jessica Franz, MSN, MA, RN
Jessica Franz, MSN, MA, RN
Jessica Franz, MSN, MA, RN, is a healthcare professional with extensive experience in social services, nursing, quality, faith based, and higher education contexts. She worked with at risk youth from 2003-2008 as a social worker, then adults with disabilities until she graduated with her RN in 2013. During her medical career Jessica spent two years working in labor and delivery then four years in cardiac telemetry before moving to Resource Nursing, where she worked on every unit of the hospital, including ER and ICU. Additionally, she spent two years working as a PRN Nursing Supervisor and became a main preceptor for new nurses, as well as a charge nurse, while providing frequent support and education to staff.
In 2020 Jessica accepted a contract role as Continuing Nursing Education Program Coordinator for The Nursing Connection, a CNE provider approved by the State of Kansas. In this role she is responsible for reviewing all program offerings for compliance with State of Kansas regulations. In 2021, she moved to the Quality Department as the Sepsis Coordinator and Perinatal Liaison. In this role, she works with pharmacy and nursing units on medication events, focuses on Patient Safety Indicators and the prevention of them, and helps use data to drive change and performance improvement. Jessica frequently presents to large groups of directors and executives as well as providing support and education to nurses and physicians.
Jessica’s passion for equity pushes her to work hard at driving change and performance improvement. She is married with three daughters; having children has allowed her to see the world through a whole new perspective related to equity.
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.
Samara Hakim, JD
Samara Hakim, JD
Samara Hakim, JD, is the Founder of CulturGrit, LLC. She is an international culture and inclusion thought leader, data strategist, speaker, writer, coach, and facilitator. For over a decade, Samara has equipped leaders with the cultural intelligence to work with those who are different, by mitigating bias and integrating culture into business practices and metrics. She has extensive experience in communication, conflict transformation, diversity, equity, inclusion, implicit bias mitigation, and culture transformation. Samara is a dynamic speaker who engages people to think beyond their comfort zone and to work across differences. She draws on a range of experiences including her work across cultures, acculturation in the U.S., her legal career, and her personal background. Samara grew up in Lebanon. She has traveled extensively and is fluent in French, Arabic, and English, and conversational in Spanish. Samara loves chocolate, biking, and dancing. She currently resides in San Diego, CA.
Shayna began her career at CQC in September of 2020 as a Virtual Events and Resource Coordinator. This role provided a strong foundation for her to step into an Account Manager position in March of 2022. Shayna’s passion for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion 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, creating an implicit bias awareness resource and campaign for Central Michigan University, and working on a local documentary film crew as a Production Coordinator. She is currently studying Business Administration, and has plans to continue her higher education journey in Social Innovation and Public Administration. Shayna is also an avid reader, a poet, and a writer. She is very dedicated to community engagement, and she works with several community leaders in Grand Rapids, Michigan on various creative projects and local initiatives. Shayna sees herself as a bridge-builder that aims to improve community through intergroup dialogue and considers herself to be lifelong learner.
Yun Hee Jang
Yun Hee Jang
Yun Hee Jang has been appointed as Vice President Operations 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.
Lyla is our Master Facilitator, 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.
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.
Luisa La Via
Luisa La Via
Luisa La Via is a Leadership Coach with an international background with more than 20 years of experience traveling the world and coordinating international teams in multicultural environments. Luisa grew up learning from the diversity of the people she met which allowed her to open her mind and see things from different perspectives.
Luisa has covered different positions in the Corporate HR Department in the Luxury field (Bulgari and LVMH) from Recruiting, Training & Development to Organization and Internal Communication. Recently, she added Corporate Social Responsibility to her curriculum.
Her certification in Cultural Intelligence (CQ) has only reinforced the multicultural approach which characterizes her professional expertise. Luisa is now contributing to the development of professionals and organizations both through individual and team coaching and managerial courses with the use of HR development tools such as the CQ assessment and feedback report, Assessment Center, workplace climate surveys, and personal motivation indicators.
As the Graphic Designer, Emily supports Lead Designer Tina with design, development, and upkeep of CQC’s program materials and marketing collateral, as well as the ‘look and feel’ of the company brand as a whole.
With her B.F.A in Studio Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design, Emily brings a wide range of creative skills to the CQC team. She was raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, but has lived in Michigan since she began studying at Grand Valley State University in 2016. Before working at CQC, Emily was a freelance graphic designer working with a variety of clients and companies.
In her spare time, Emily loves to make art any way she can, including sewing and crocheting as well as painting. She also loves spending time with her friends at the beach, at home, or out and about in Grand Rapids.
David Livermore, PhD
David Livermore, PhD
David Livermore, PhD co-founded the Cultural Intelligence Center with Linn Van Dyne and served as the President for the first eleven years. He continues to serve as a strategic advisor and board member. Dave has written over a dozen 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.
Bria Marcelo, M.A., is a social justice educator and student affairs professional who focuses on educational opportunities, collaboration, and strategic engagement to create change. In her higher education career, Bria has held numerous roles centered on identity, equity, inclusion, diversity, and intercultural communication.
Currently, she serves as the Director of Diversity Resources and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Iowa. Her unit helps drive the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts to shift campus culture to more inclusive, welcomes diversity, breaks down barriers to increase dialogue across difference, and is affirming and respectful of all identities. The primary methods employed include educational opportunities, consultation and coaching, events, resource development, and strategic planning support and engagement. Bria is a certified facilitator in Cultural Intelligence, Restorative Justice, and the National Coalition Building Institute. Bria completed her Master of Arts in Student Affairs Administration at Michigan State University and her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Social and Economic Justice at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Christine Martey-Ochola is our Lead Consultant focusing on our education partners. She focuses on consulting with partners, developing new business, and providing key critical trainings to high level stakeholders.
Christine Martey-Ochola has had over 20 years of experience in the higher education sector as both a research professor and strategic management consultant. Prior to joining the Cultural Intelligence Center, she worked as a management consultant with colleges and universities focusing on faculty training, new program development, strategic planning, program assessments, and organizational change management. Christine is passionate about organizational sustainability and inter-cultural structure and engagement, where she complements her academic profession with organizational management to improve workplace culture.
Christine has a doctorate in Chemistry from Lehigh University, Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from East Stroudsburg University, and a diploma in Food Science and Technology from Technical University of Kenya. She speaks English in addition to several Kenyan languages.
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.
Kelli Maxwell graduated college in winter of 2001; after a few years of substitute teaching and coaching, she accepted a position as an Account Manager for Technicolor managing the domestic and international distribution of 35mm film for DreamWorks and Lions Gate Films. After realizing the film industry was not for her, Kelli returned to college to complete her initial undergraduate studies and pursue a nursing degree. Upon obtaining her RN, she took a substantial pay cut to become a nurse and feels it was the best decision she’s ever made!
Kelli grew up on a cattle farm in northwest Ohio, USA, where she cherished every second of growing up in a small community and being a part of the 4-H community. Her experiences taught her the meaning of hard work, how important it is to always help others, to overcome challenges in harsh conditions, and how to find solutions to whatever comes her way.
Many of the skills Kelli learned growing up acted as a springboard for her entry into the medical field, and her eventual role as an ER/Trauma RN in the inner city at a Level 1 Trauma Center.
David Przybylo is a Senior Software Engineer from Farmington Hills, Michigan.
David began his professional career at digital advertising agencies developing websites and campaigns for major consumer brands. He then spent seven years building applications for a Fortune 10 health insurance company where he discovered his passion for web accessibility. David also participated in two internal hackathons and was an active member of the corporate volunteer team.
David is dedicated to improving the web every day by focusing on high-quality user experiences. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar, woodworking, and all things retro video games.
Marsha Ramroop FRSA FIEDP
Marsha Ramroop FRSA FIEDP
Marsha Ramroop trained and was certified in the CQ framework in 2018 with Dr. David Livermore. She has been delivering CQ in a strategic organizational context ever since, as well as delivering assessments and workshops.
Whilst Director of Inclusion for the Royal Institute of British Architects, Marsha’s CQ-based effective inclusive change work gained global recognition with an International Federation of Training and Development Organizations award.
Marsha can be seen as a panelist and presenter on multiple CQ Center webinars, and she continues to provide reflection and leadership on the application of cultural intelligence alongside our team, as well as being one of our Associate Facilitators.
Graham Rutherford is the Digital Marketing Coordinator and is responsible for performing the needed day-to-day marketing updates related to the execution of the Cultural Intelligence marketing plan. Additionally, he provides support in copywriting, graphic design, social media posting, website chat monitoring, email marketing, and website updates.
With a B.A. in Video Production from Michigan State University and an M.A. in Media Design from Emerson College, Graham brings a variety of design talents to CQC. He’s lived in both Michigan and Massachusetts and has experience working in a variety of different production fields (live events, freelance, studio).
In his spare time, Graham enjoys running, gaming, spending time with friends, and going to shows.
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.
Rita Savoia, CNP, RYT, MIR, B.Com (Hons), was born in Italy and grew up in Toronto. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from York University, and a Master of Industrial Relations from Queen’s University in Canada.
Rita has 16 years of progressive Human Resources, Personal Development & Career Coaching, Training and Management Consulting experience. In 2012, she embarked on a 7-year entrepreneurial journey, and founded an HR & Talent Management consultancy based in Dubai servicing corporate and individual clients across various industries in the Middle East. She has been a facilitator of Cultural Intelligence since 2015 and completed Unconscious Bias certification with the Cultural Intelligence Center in 2020. She is a heart-centered facilitator and holistic wellness practitioner passionate about corporate wellness and mental health advocacy.
Lynn Schmidt, PhD
Lynn Schmidt, PhD
Dr. Lynn Schmidt received her RN degree from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, a BSN and MSN from Ball State University, and a PhD from Indiana University. Following her initial clinical career in Medical/Surgical, and later in Outpatient Surgery, Otorhinolaryngology, and School Nursing, Dr. Schmidt has been a nurse educator for the past fifteen years, teaching didactic courses in the area of nursing research, nursing theory, and diversity in healthcare to pre-licensure and graduate students.
Her dissertation focused on an evaluation of the impact of an intercultural learning experience on the development of transcultural self-efficacy of senior level baccalaureate of science nursing students. She is certified as a nurse educator, as well as a facilitator of Cultural Intelligence and Unconscious Bias with the Cultural Intelligence Center.
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.
Robin Shabazz, Principal and Founder of the Eastledge Group, LLC, is a business and human capital consultant with expertise in guiding organizations in developing internal capabilities to become more efficient working in diverse environments. She also uses the Cultural Intelligence model to assist leaders in transforming their cultural awareness into appropriate action.
Robin is a licensed attorney and a trained civil mediator in the State of Ohio, whose career has spanned over 30 years with proven results in cultural transformation, diversity and inclusion, human resource management, and employee relations. As a certified Unconscious Bias, Racial Justice, and Cultural Intelligence professional, Robin capitalizes on her diverse background to deliver simple yet practical tactics, to help organizations understand their “cultural lens” and build the knowledge, strategies, and action plans that enable them to manage and relate to people of all backgrounds and thus foster a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace for employees, customers, and other stakeholders.
Prior to forming The Eastledge Group, Robin held several leadership roles within global retail companies. She served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Signet Jewelers, Inc. where she was responsible for developing and executing the human capital strategy. While at Luxottica Retail, she built a nationally recognized Human Capital analytics infrastructure, which linked employee behaviors and traits to business outcomes.
Her work was published in Talent Management Magazine and the book Calculating Success: How the New Workplace Analytics Will Revitalize Your Organization. Robin was recognized as a “2nd Act Honoree” in 2019 by the Cincinnati Business Courier in recognition of the success of her start-up, The Eastledge Group. She was also awarded the 2020 Volunteer Leadership Award by the Ohio Society for Human Resource Management Council in recognition of her dedication to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and a Juris Doctor.
Cheri was born and raised in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula, where she currently still resides. She has almost 20 years of experience in various positions and coordination roles. Her most recent experience comes from her work in the nonprofit field, where she assisted veterans. She holds an Associate Degree from Lake Superior State University.
In her free time, she loves to relax on the water with her husband Scott and their family.
Karyn Stano is our Sales Director and leads the sales team & business development efforts of the company. Karyn has over 20 years of “hands-on” experience in direct Sales, Marketing and Management. Her approach with the sales team is as a coach and mentor. As a consultant, Karyn knows the cornerstone success lies in building strong client relationships, the development and successful implementation of programs and having a solid reputation of following up and following through. Karyn is a strategist by nature and is focused on listening, asking good questions, and helping clients reach the right buying solution.
Max Steininger is an experienced project management and training professional with a decade of experience in program management and implementation. Most recently, Max has worked in healthcare technology implementation, where he trained providers in the use of new software, including electronic health records and speech to text solutions. Prior to that, he served as a legislative patient advocate, helping patients to speak to their elected officials about the importance of medical research funding.
Max lives just outside Boston, MA with his wife and two cats and enjoys distance running and spending time in the garden.
Sudhama Swamy is an accomplished International Healthcare Business Development consultant. He has the unique distinction of leading the international BD strategy for 2 of largest healthcare groups in the world, and one of the most niche healthcare practices in the US. His strength lies in defining and implementing market penetration strategies which has enabled him deliver robust growth and measurable success through multiple assignments internationally. His work diversity is unique to none other, which inimitably enables him to carve out the best of blended strategies for creating new revenue streams from international regions. As VP – International Marketing for Apollo Hospitals, www.apollohospitals.com (one of the largest hospital groups in the world), he was responsible for creating strategic partnerships from Africa & Europe. Leading the International BD for the largest Italian Hospital group GruppoSanDonato, he established several business alliances reflecting in the growth of their international business. After the above tenures, Swamy focused on promoting a niche New Jersey based peripheral nerve reconstructive surgery practice. www.advancedreconstruction.com Some of the procedures of this practice are not offered anywhere else in the world.
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 since 2005. She lived, worked and studied in 8 countries. Since 2017, Ling Ling facilitated Cultural Intelligence workshops and programs in Singapore and Malaysia. She 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.
Linn Van Dyne, PhD
Linn Van Dyne, PhD
Linn Van Dyne, Ph.D. oversees ongoing research on cultural intelligence and is responsible for developing the long-term strategy for the CQ Center. Linn is also responsible for providing strategic DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) expertise and guidance for our clients, partners, and 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 and Marketing and Secretary. 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.