Consultants | Corporate University & Conference Center | Kent State 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. 

Marianne Canario provides training and consulting in business writing, Spanish, English as a Second Language and accent reduction to local and international companies. She begins by conducting a needs assessment in order to create a targeted, interactive program and tailors the content to the group. Canario’s goal is to ensure the learning is applied by participants once they return to the workplace. She is recognized for her ability to build rapport and create a culture of trust within the classroom. She earned a master’s degree from Baldwin-Wallace University and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from The College of Wooster.

Deborah Easton has been a nationally known Communication Skills Consultant, Trainer and Coach for 32 years. Through a comedic theatrical approach she demonstrates techniques for effective interactions with colleagues, customers, and direct reports, while providing practical strategies for handling difficult interactions. Deborah has provided training for health care, manufacturing, public utilities, technology, insurance, social services, finance, and telecommunications companies. She has been instrumental in numerous special projects, including developing performance evaluation systems, facilitating cultural change, and conducting a yearly curriculum of courses for several clients. Her clients include: NASA Glenn Research Center, Aultman Hospital, Sherwin Williams, The Village Network, Saint Gobain Performance Plastics, and FedEx Custom Critical. Deborah earned a master’s degree in rhetoric and communications studies from Kent State University. She taught communication and managerial skills courses for the Kent State Department of Communication Studies and Graduate School of Management. Deborah received the Distinguished Alumni Award for contributions to the field of communication.

Kristy Frieden is a specialist in executive and team coaching, training and facilitation. Frieden has worked with a variety of organizations and industries including healthcare, higher education, manufacturing and technology. She has extensive facilitator training with GE Healthcare Solutions, as it relates to selecting, developing, coaching and evaluating top performers. Her passion and dynamic presentation style, coupled with her sense of humor and positive approach, engages and motivates clients to focus on their strengths while achieving success. Frieden is an accomplished martial artist, a fifth-degree black belt, and is one of the few female members of the Taekwondo Jidokwan Society in Seoul, South Korea. She obtained the 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. She 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. 

Diane Helbig is an internationally recognized business and leadership development coach, author, speaker and radio show host. As a certified professional coach and president of Seize This Day Coaching, she helps businesses and organizations operate more constructively and profitably. As a speaker and workshop facilitator, she merges energy and enthusiasm with rich content. Her goal is to leave her audience with action steps, as well as the excitement to implement those steps. Helbig brings more than 20 years of small business management and sales to her coaching. She is the author of Lemonade Stand Selling, the host of the Accelerate Your Business Growth radio show and the creator of the Clarity of Course Sales Training Program. Helbig is a solution provider and authorized local expert for Constant Contact. She is a member of the board for the Council of Smaller Enterprises and a member of the Leadership Council for the National Small Business Association. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from Michigan State University.

Bob Jewell is a consultant, facilitator, and author whose mission is to inspire a passion for excellence in the areas of project management and leadership. His 35 years of real-world business experience, combined with his humor and facilitation skills, creates a dynamic learning environment. His expertise and advice has earned him the respect of clients such as Diebold, Timken, General Electric, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Sherwin-Williams, Federal Express and The Cleveland Clinic. 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 electrical 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. His latest book, Chase One Rabbit: 10 Habits that Move You from Failure to Success, is dedicated to helping individuals create better lives. Kim has worked with higher education, financial services, non-profits, healthcare and manufacturing. Raised by first-generation Korean immigrants, he worked at all of his parent’s businesses, including 7-Eleven convenience stores, gas stations and restaurants, Kim understands the value of hard work and education. He holds a doctorate degree in information systems and communications, a master’s degree in management information systems from Robert Morris University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. 

Karen Leonard is a consultant, professional speaker, social media and email marketing trainer, and workshop facilitator specializing in marketing and website topics. Karen is the co-founder and chief marketing officer of Innovative Global Vision, Inc. (IGV), website design and digital marketing agency. With over 18 years' of experience in the marketing and IT field, she has a passion for helping small businesses grow. She works closely with business owners and marketing professionals to increase visibility and profits through their website and build more profound and profitable relationships using social media, email marketing, video, SEO, and reputation management.  Karen earned an associate degree in computer programming from Sheridan College.

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. Montgomery 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. He 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. He has worked with healthcare, manufacturing and service industries, including Akron General Medical Center, Aultman Hospital, Elyria Foundry, The M.K. Morse Company, TechniGraphics, University Hospitals and W.W. Grainger. Novak received his Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt from Kent State University and 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 shares his knowledge as an entrepreneur in the catering and event business with companies and individuals that want to outclass their competition and elevate their brand and revenue. He is passionate about helping companies sharpen and polish their people skills, professional etiquette and customer service skills to be more effective. Pacanovsky helps companies look at how a lack of proper etiquette and technology can affect business. He has conducted training for all types of companies, organizations, associations and civic groups, and has addressed audiences at the National Catersource Conference and the COSE Small Business Convention. Pacanovsky 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. He 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. She holds a certificate in Developing Leadership through Emotional Intelligence from Case Western Reserve University. She is a graduate of the Hay Group Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI) accreditation program. She 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 the Eaton Corporation after successfully deploying Lean in manufacturing and office environments, at both domestic and international plant sites. He was part of a corporate group of experienced Lean practitioners who developed and delivered training on Lean tools deployment and assessment. More recently, he has been providing frontline supervisors and office professionals with essential skills and tools needed to make Lean efforts self-sustaining. All of Potkalitsky’s sessions combine workshop learning with on-the-floor practice and a final report to the plant leadership team. He holds 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 since 1997. Noted for his ability to relate and connect with participants and clients, he knows how to inspire people, properly identify projects and create value. Skillman has extensive experience in automotive, aerospace, nuclear and service industries. He 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. Skillman is a certified Quality Engineer and Quality Auditor by the Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB). He completed graduate studies in mathematical statistics at Cleveland State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from EIB.

Stephen Skillman is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt who enjoys assisting companies improve their bottom line through process improvement techniques. He has a strong knowledge of manufacturing processes and a commitment to quality and continual improvement. Skillman has held positions in the automotive, government ballistics and electrical insulation industries. He received his Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and Black Belt from Kent State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lake Erie College.

Helen Stevens-Sheats is a former CEO with more than 25 years of leadership and management experience in the behavioral healthcare field and has facilitated training for all levels of management and staff. She 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, safety and health programs. Tackett has developed numerous leadership development programs for supervisors from mid- to upper-level management. He holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from Geneva College.

Lisa Waite, M.A. has a passion for learning and development. Successfully transforming participants and organizational culture is her gift. Businesses that reinvest in their talent have happy people and healthy cultures. Waite is a communication specialist whose highly engaged approach supports employee success at every level for lasting change. Her clients include Anheuser Busch, Diebold, FedEx, GOJO, Goodwill, Heinz, Jo-Ann Stores, Professional Football Hall of Fame, Shearer’s Foods, The Timken Company and the U.S. Air Force. She holds master certifier status in advanced organizational communication from Barry-Wehmiller University. Waite earned her master’s degree in communications from The University of Akron.