Sarah Andreas, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and coach. As the founder of WiseWood LLC, Sarah believes her purpose in life is to teach, research, coach and write about leadership development with a specific focus on helping leaders develop leaders. As a lifelong learner, Sarah is a Kent State University certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, a Project Management professional, a DISC® facilitator and a certified Corporate Coach. She uses these skills to help individuals identify their current state, their future state and to develop a strategy plan to move forward on their leadership development journey. Sarah’s first book, Career Advancement Strategies for Emerging Leaders, written to help young professionals discover simple things that hold them back in their career, was released in 2016. She has worked in the motorcycle industry for more than 12 years. She also served as Special Programs Facilitator for Leadership Tuscarawas. Sarah earned a doctor of philosophy from Johnson University and a master’s degree in business administration from Malone University.
Katherine Burik, SPHR is an expert in human resource planning and coaching leadership teams on how to improve performance and results. She advises companies on leadership development, talent assessment, selection process and strategic planning around personnel issues. Burik’s passion is coaching companies and individuals to create more effective talent and job search plans. She believes people and businesses grow when the right talent is matched with the right opportunity. She created “The Interview Doctor” coaching practice based on her observations from the other side of the hiring desk. Burik is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management, the American Society of Training and Development, the International Coach Federation and the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches. She is certified as a senior human resource professional by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and a registered corporate coach. Burik earned a master’s degree in industrial relations from Loyola University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in history from Northwestern University.
Deborah Easton has been an internationally known communication skills trainer and coach for over 35 years. Through a comedic theatrical approach Deborah not only demonstrates various communication styles, generational mindsets and difficult interactions, but provides practical strategies for achieving fruitful communication with colleagues, customers or direct reports. Her training philosophy emphasizes turning the theory of communication into relevant, usable communication skills. Deborah has extensive experience providing customized training for health care, manufacturing, public utilities, technology, insurance, social services, finance, and telecommunications companies. She has been instrumental in numerous special projects, including facilitating cultural change and conducting a yearly curriculum of courses for several clients. Her clients include: NASA Glenn Research Center, Aultman Hospital, Sherwin Williams, First Energy, Saint Gobain Performance Plastics and FedEx Custom Critical. Deborah earned a master’s degree in rhetoric and communication from Kent State University. In 2012, Deborah received the Distinguished Alumni Award for her contributions to the field of communication from the Kent State University Department of Communication Studies.
Kristy Frieden specializes in customized training, corporate coaching and workplace mediation. Kristy has 20 years of management experience and has successfully worked with all levels of leadership in a variety of organizations and industries including education, healthcare, manufacturing, public safety and technology. She has extensive facilitator training as it relates to selecting, evaluating and developing top performers. Kristy’s passion and dynamic presentation style, coupled with her sense of humor and positive approach, engage and motivate clients to focus on their strengths while achieving success. Kristy earned a Developing Leadership through Emotional Intelligence Certificate from Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management and a Mediation Certificate from the Cleveland Mediation Center. Kristy earned a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from West Virginia University and a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
Loretta Harland, PMP is passionate about being a “change agent.” She draws on her industry experience to provide insightful and interactive project management training and coaching. Loretta spent 20 years with the Little Tikes Company, developing children’s toys and furniture. As Vice President of New Product Development, the company introduced up to one hundred new products a year. Loretta also worked in the aircraft and automotive industries. She credits her team’s project management skills as being the key to success for reaching strategic goals on time and within budget for these companies. Loretta uses her project management skills as a volunteer, leading mission trips and working with organizations that assist the homeless population. She has also lead projects and provided coaching for various non-profit organizations. Loretta is a certified Project Management Professional by the Project Management Institute. Loretta earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from Kent State University and an associate’s degree in mechanical engineering technology from Stark State College.
Diane Helbig is an international business and leadership change agent, author, award-winning speaker and podcast host. As president of Seize This Day, Diane helps businesses and organizations operate more constructively and profitably. She is passionate about guiding business professionals through the challenges of planning and growing a business. From strategic planning to sales training to communication, Diane provides expertise based on over 20 years of business leadership and sales experience. Her no nonsense, straightforward approach cuts through the noise and allows clients and training participants opportunities to realistically and enthusiastically implement the plans they devise. Diane is the author of Lemonade Stand Selling and Expert Insights and the host of “Accelerate Your Business Growth” podcast. She is the founder of the Business Opportunity Network, a business development program where business therapy meets growth. Diane is a member of the National Small Business Association (NSBA) Leadership Council and the Advisory Board for the American Institute of Sales, Marketing and Management. Diane earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from Michigan State University.
Bob Jewell, PMP is a consultant, facilitator, and author whose mission is to inspire a passion for excellence in the areas of project management and leadership. Bob’s 35 years of real-world business experience, combined with his humor and facilitation skills, create a dynamic learning environment. Bob’s expertise and advice have earned him the respect of clients, such as The Cleveland Clinic, Diebold, Federal Express, General Electric, Sherwin-Williams, Timken and Toyota Motor Manufacturing. He is the author of Pursuing Project Excellence: Six Ideas to Improve Your Projects and is certified as a Project Management Professional by the Project Management Institute. Bob earned a bachelor’s degree in welding engineering from The Ohio State University.
Philip Kim, D.Sc. is an educator, speaker and management consultant. His passion is to use his knowledge and expertise to help others achieve their life’s goals. Phil’s latest book, Chase One Rabbit: 10 Habits that Move You from Failure to Success, is dedicated to helping individuals create better lives. He has worked with higher education, financial services, non-profits, healthcare and manufacturing. Raised by first-generation Korean immigrants, Phil worked at all of his parent’s businesses, including 7-Eleven convenience stores, gas stations and restaurants. He understands the value of hard work and education. Phil earned a doctorate degree in information systems and communications and a master’s degree in management information systems from Robert Morris University. Phil earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Hubert J. Littleton (Hugh) is an international corporate leadership facilitator/trainer known as the “Leadership Guru.” Hugh’s passion is meeting people where they are and getting them to where they want to be, through professional development training and learning solutions that brings out their best. His experience includes manufacturing, customer service, service industries, financial organizations, non-profit, government agencies and the healthcare sector. Hugh has provided supervisory, management, C-Suite and leadership skill professional development learning solutions for over 20 years. His areas of expertise include communication, change management, coaching, conflict resolutions, diversity awareness, customer service, team building, customized leadership training and emotional intelligence. Hugh has been instrumental in implementing many continuous improvement initiatives with organizations ranging from fortune 100 to fortune 500; providing extraordinary leadership, life changing training and learning design solutions across the United States and internationally. Hugh is the author of “Legacy Building through Extraordinary Leadership.” He is an award-winning keynote speaker and has been featured in several Northeast Ohio magazines. Hugh is a certified Registered Corporate Business Coach through the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC).
Marvin Montgomery assists organizations in improving productivity. His informative, practical and stimulating programs reflect his basic philosophy that preparation and practice are the keys to success. His compelling message can be applied by employees in any industry that provides a product or service to their customers. Marvin served as director of sales for one of the country’s largest jewelry chain leaders and vice president of The Robinson Group, a consulting and venture capital firm. He is the author of Practice Makes Perfect: The Professional’s Guide to Sales Success. Marvin studied at Baldwin Wallace University and Robert Morris University.
John Novak, CQA works with clients to enhance their continuous improvement efforts and improve business processes. He draws on his experience as an industrial engineer, consultant, software developer and internal auditor. John has worked with healthcare, manufacturing and service industries. Clients include Akron General Medical Center, Aultman Hospital, Elyria Foundry, The M.K. Morse Company, TechniGraphics, University Hospitals and W.W. Grainger. He received his Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt from Kent State University. John earned a master’s degree in finance from Kent State University and a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing technology from Bowling Green State University.
Robert J. (Bob) Pacanovsky is passionate about helping companies and individuals create an impression that LASTS in the minds of clients and to deliver a “Black Tie Experience” every time. As an entrepreneur, Bob helped create over 7,000 meetings, receptions and other events. He observed firsthand the “good enough” attitude in how people act, behave and serve others. Bob now helps companies outclass their competition and elevate their brand and revenue through the use of positive actions, behaviors and communication. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and has presented to numerous companies, colleges, organizations and conferences including: the National American Bus Association Conference, the Northern Ohio Human Resource Conference, and The Ohio Society of CPA Conference. Bob received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from The University of Akron.
Ned Parks is a matter-of-fact business coach and trainer, drawing on his background as a U.S. Army officer/helicopter instructor, business owner and consultant. Combining proven business strategies with humor and creativity, he guides individuals and organizations to business and leadership solutions. Parks is particularly skilled at helping leaders connect with their teams and to combine both personal and organizational objectives. He works with organizations in healthcare, manufacturing and service, as well as nonprofits, including libraries, faith organizations and the United Way. He is certified as a Registered Corporate Coach by the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC). Ned studied business at The University of Akron, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Case Weatherhead School of Management.
Kay Potetz, Ph.D. draws on more than 25 years of management and administrative experience and her ability to mix information and humor to make the learning experience fun and engaging. She is featured as an expert source and news commentator on radio stations across the country (CBS radio affiliates: WBBM-Chicago, WTOP-Washington, D.C., KRLD-Dallas and KDKA-Pittsburgh), as well as national television shows, such as “Wall Street Journal This Morning.” Potetz is the author of Take It Back: The Personal Power You Give Away Each Day and Don’t Ever Let It Go: Hanging on to Your Power in the 21st Century (2017). She holds a certificate in Developing Leadership through Emotional Intelligence from Case Western Reserve University and is a graduate of the Hay Group Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI) accreditation program. Kay earned a doctorate in business management from Baldwin Wallace University and Century University, a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in business from Baldwin Wallace College.
John Potkalitsky retired from Eaton Corporate after 20 years of successful hands-on leadership in Lean transformation activities for manufacturing and office environments at plant sites, both domestic and international. John now works with all levels of leadership in a variety of organizations and industries including manufacturing, healthcare and higher education. John has provided Lean consulting and training for Saint-Cobain, Kennametal, Sherwin-Williams, Akron General, University Hospitals, University of Mount Union and Kent State University. John earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from Kent State University.
Bob Skillman is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt and a Lean Master Sensei. He has trained and certified Black Belts in Six Sigma and Lean methods for over 20 years. Noted for his ability to relate and connect with participants and clients, Bob knows how to inspire people, properly identify projects and create value. He has extensive experience in automotive, aerospace, nuclear and service industries. Bob held quality, Master Black Belt and metallurgical engineering positions with TRW, RB&W, Cleveland Container and SPS Technologies. He received his Lean Master certification from the Shingijutsu Limited Group, founders of the Toyota Production System. Bob is a certified Quality Engineer and Quality Auditor by the Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB). Bob completed graduate studies in mathematical statistics at Cleveland State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from EIB.
Stephen Skillman is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. He facilitates Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Master Black Belt training. Steve is also a business coach for manufacturing, service and healthcare companies on the process of integrating Lean, Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints initiatives, helping them to not only be fit for today, but to be fit for tomorrow. He has worked in the automotive, government ballistics and electrical insulation industries as a production scheduler, purchasing manager, shipping manager and quality and continuous improvement manager. Steve received his Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and Black Belt from Kent State University. Steve earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lake Erie College.
Helen Stevens-Sheats is a retired CEO with more than 25 years of leadership and management experience in the behavioral healthcare field. Helen knows the good, bad and ugly that meetings play in the day to day business of every organization, company and industry. She uses humor and insight to help individuals and groups develop better strategies for why and when to meet, who should attend, developing the agenda and holding participants accountable. Participants in her Leading Effective Meetings session walk away with the “Golden Key” to effective meetings. Helen has facilitated training for all levels of management and staff. Helen earned a master’s degree in management of rehabilitation services from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree in education from Kent State University.
Scott Tackett is a human resource and management specialist with a passion for helping individuals develop their skills and awareness. He brings keen insight into human resource and management issues from his experience with employee/labor relations, recruitment, hiring and retention, all human resource-related policies and procedures for union and non-union environments, and safety and health programs. Scott has developed numerous leadership development programs for supervisors from mid- to upper-level management. Scott holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from Geneva College.