DENISE PIRROTTI HUMMEL, J.D. is the CEO and Principal Advisor of Universal Consensus. As a well-respected cultural strategist and published author, she develops and executes strategies, processes, and training to help clients to succeed in cultural transformation and integration projects. Hummel has been appointed to The U.S. State Department Worldwide Speaker and Specialist Program, a program that allows American experts to engage with foreign audiences globally. Hummel was chosen due to the BMIA model she developed where pain-points of an organization are evaluated through a series of six comprehensive lenses and used to improve operating performance worldwide across all cultures.
Hummel has consulted at the Pentagon, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, where she conducted a presentation entitled, “Beyond Multi-Lingual: The Future of DoD” during the Obama Administration. She is also the developer and instructor for a series of global training courses that the University of San Diego (USD) offers as a Certification in Cross Cultural Competence & Global Emergence Strategy.
Hummel is described by clients and colleagues as a compassionate, but driven “can do” connector of people and ideas. In addition to her responsibilities at Universal Consensus, Hummel is Executive Director of Global Peace Solutions, a non-profit organization; an editorial contributor for Oracle’s Profit Magazine; a global speaker on cross-cultural business for Vistage International; is Chair of the International Law Committee of the San Diego Bar Association; is a certified mediator for the Superior Court of San Diego; is a Member of the Advocacy Committee of the World Trade Center San Diego and the Advisory Board of the Citizen Diplomacy Counsel of San Diego; and a Board Member of the United Nations Association of San Diego and the Chief Learning Officer Magazine Business Intelligence Board.
Ms. Pirrotti Hummel is an Ivy League graduate, with a Bachelor in Psychology from Columbia University (emphasis on organizational development) and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Washington College of Law, American University. She began her career as an international attorney litigating, negotiating and arbitrating high-profile disputes. Domestically, she tried and won the first class action under the Americans with Disabilities Act, obtaining Emergency 9-11 services for over 200,000 hearing impaired New York City residents. That same year she was named one of the Top 20 Young Attorneys in the US by the American Bar Association. Throughout her career, Hummel has devoted decades to international concerns and to the promotion of peace on an individual and global level. She helped champion the movement known as Peace Through Tourism, mentoring and promoting the concept of global citizenry. Ms. Pirrotti Hummel was a keynote speaker at the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism Global Summit in Pattaya, Thailand, where she shared the podium with dignitaries from all over the world. Recently, Ms. Hummel was an honored invitee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of China’s Central Government. Her cultural solutions consulting and training programs have taken her to almost every continent. She speaks English and Italian fluently and French and Spanish, conversationally.
ANDREAS FRIED is Vice President of Product Development and Senior Advisor. Andreas holds a M.Sc. in International Business and Economics and has studied at Södertörn University, Warsaw School of Economics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and University of California, San Diego. Andreas is President of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce, Southern California, and he has previously held positions as Business Process Management Manager and Global Supply Chain Manager at various European mobile phone operators. Prior to joining Universal Consensus Andreas worked as an International Trade Specialist at the World Trade Center in San Diego. Mr. Fried was a speaker on the topic of global business at the Annual Gateway California Conference in 2011, a panelist on global business trends at Deloitte University in Dallas at the 2012 Annual Global Employer Services Conference, and speaker at American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA) 2012 Annual National Conference. Andreas speaks Swedish, English, and Norwegian, and is conversational in German and Danish.
JOHN DUNHAM is Vice President of Sales and Operations at Universal Consensus. John oversees the operational aspects of the company. He also manages the sales process enabling the smooth running of the organization. Building on more than 25 years of experience, Mr. Dunham has consulted with clients who needed to enable business agility through improved operational function. He specializes in product development, professional services and sales development, and has a strong background in technology enablement. Prior to Universal Consensus, Mr. Dunham spent 12 years in various leadership roles in information technology resale, 12 years in high tech manufacturing services, and 4 years in high tech distribution. He has put these skills to use working for both startups and large organizations. Mr. Dunham makes sure that Universal Consensus clients get world-class support and guidance during both the decision and implementation stage of a project.
ADITYA REDDY CHINNAREDDY is Vice President of Marketing, Operations Executive and Senior Advisor. Aditya develops and manages the marketing and branding programs. Aditya assists with sales opportunities and associated scoping exercises. He also directs and leads the UC associate program. Aditya is a native of Hyderabad, India, and has a background as Marketing Executive, Operations Manager, and Business Analyst in India. His experience is mainly from natural resource and mining industry. Aditya has a B.Sc. in Engineering and Computer Science from CMR Institute of Technology as well as an MBA from Rady School of Management at University of California, San Diego. Aditya is a business professional who has a keen interest in international business. His goal is to help improve investment in India by finding new markets for novel technologies that are being developed in the US and elsewhere in the world. The advantage of an MBA from a premiere US institution and experience with business in India positions Aditya to have deep insights into global business. Aditya is fluent in English, Hindi, and Telugu.
MEGHANN BOYD is our Strategic Business Manager, U.S.A. Meghann manages and executes the sales cycles from prospecting and scoping to sales conversions and establishing business connections. Meghann has seven years of experience consulting and developing relationships within the financial services industry. She holds both a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from University of Florida and a MBA from San Diego State University. While pursuing her MBA, she studied abroad at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou China focusing on Chinese business practices. Meghann was a speaker at the 2012 American Society for Women in Accounting (ASWA) Annual Conference. Meghann is committed to supporting our clients and bringing cross-border business success to global businesses.
JENNIFER SAALFELD is Strategic Business Manager, Canada. Jennifer is responsible for prospecting for new clients establishing connections and converting sales in Canada. For the past 18 years Jennifer has worked in the software industry in a variety of capacities. Jennifer is a top-performing professional with proven track record of success of developing and maintaining strong business relationships with a diverse set of international organizations. For the past 8 years Jennifer and her husband have been hosting foreign exchange students helping them improve their English skills while learning about Canadian culture. Jennifer studied her Bachelor of Education at Okanagan University and is a certified Special Needs worker. Jennifer is passionate about helping others and volunteers her time in her local community and is dedicated to help persons with disabilities.
RICHARD HEAPS is the General Council of Universal Consensus. Mr. Heaps is responsible for deal-structuring and strategic business growth. He represents domestic and international technology companies and growth business in areas from business and tax planning, corporate formation, financing, litigation management and compliance. His practice emphasizes international transactions, software licensing, development and transfer agreements, strategic relationships, general business transactions, mergers and acquisitions, finance, business and commercial transactions. In addition to his private practice, Mr. Heaps has held in-house positions with a number of public technology companies including the positions of Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel. He has been a founder and officer of various privately held companies, several of which he participated in taking public. Mr. Heaps graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in Mathematics & Economics. He holds an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was designated an Arjay Miller Scholar which is awarded to those graduating in the top of their class. He also holds a degree of Juris Doctor from Stanford University’s School of law, where he was the Topics Editor of the Stanford Journal of International Studies.
JEANNE STRAYER is Director of Curriculum Development & Instructional Design. Jeanne Strayer holds an M.A. in Educational Technology from San Diego State University, a BA in Linguistics from University of California at Santa Cruz, and a Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) Certification from ISPI (International Society for Performance Improvement). Jeanne has worked in the training field for over 20 years helping organizations improve their performance. She has been the Director of Training and Performance Design of several companies (Century 21 International, Help-U-Sell Real Estate). Her clients have included companies in sales, biotech, manufacturing, service, software, and financial industries. She’s created both instructor-led and web-based training, as well as coaching guides, job aids, and other tools to improve employee job performance.
FUNCTIONAL PRACTICE LEADS
JEREMY SCOTT BOCCABELLO is Practice Lead, Global Risk & Resilience. Formerly of Booz Allen & Hamilton, Mr. Boccabello leads our growth into the Risk Management and Insurance sectors as well as applying highly effective methodologies to minimize downside and maximize opportunities in international business transactions. He has 19 years of experience leading both startup and Top 5 consulting firm environments. His areas of expertise are resilience risk management, intangibles risks, intellectual property, investment and startup development, market penetration and execution strategies, globalization, and management of complex businesses in difficult international markets where he has developed global experience and contacts. He has local experience in the United Kingdom, Mexico, The Netherlands, Germany, North Africa and the Russian Federation. He has served as a senior advisor to the US House of Representatives and to leaders in several US federal departments and agencies including defense, intelligence, and civil service. His private sector clients have included senior leaders across multiple industries and continents. Mr. Boccabello holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Clemson University, and a Master’s of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University, having engaged in extensive graduate research on historical intercultural communication working in six languages.
GRETCHEN SEVERSON is our Director of Government & Military Relations. She spearheads Universal Consensus work in Washington, D.C. and also works with our military industry clients. Gretchen went through extensive DOD training that focused on US Military Doctrine and Culture, and counterinsurgency warfare tactics and implementation. After training, she spent time embedded with the US Marine Corps in Helmand province Afghanistan. There she conducted social science research of the local culture, which provided socio-cultural insight to senior military leadership on tactical, operational, and strategic levels, improving their understanding and interactions with the local Afghan population. She also provided intercultural communication training to the Marines. In addition to her civil-military background she has experience in governance and economic development. In Iraq and Cyprus she was a team member on USAID capacity development training projects – working directly with the civil servants from each respective nation’s government. Her experience extends to other countries such as Israel, Jordan, Egypt, the UAE, Oman, and Turkey. She has also travelled extensively through India, Latin America, and Western Europe. Gretchen has an M.S. in organizational management and a B.A. in culture and development. She holds an active US Government Secret Security Clearance.
ROBERT GREENE is Practice Lead, Financial Sector. In this role, Mr. Greene works with multi-national Financial Institutions to help them better appreciate where cultural differences can impact cross-border negotiations and global finance. Mr. Greene relies on his 15 year background in international trade and performance improvement to advise our clients on how to truly understand the intent of words not spoken. From Wall Street to Canary Wharf to Beijing Financial Street, Mr. Greene provides insight and expertise to the world’s most renowned banks. A frequent commentator on NAFTA policy, Mr. Greene chaired a series of meetings in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara to facilitate cross-border North American trade between the US, Canada, and Mexico. Mr. Greene is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, with an emphasis on politics and organizational leadership.
WARREN D. HEAPS is Practice Lead, Emerging Markets. Warren leads business development efforts focused on developing countries, including all of the countries of Africa. Warren was the Director, International Compensation for the Colgate-Palmolive Company, where he had oversight for global mobility and compensation in Colgate’s operating divisions outside the United States. During his tenure, key initiatives in the areas of business simplification, automation, tax planning, compensation design, and global equity planning were successfully undertaken, resulting in significant savings and improved customer service. Earlier in his career, Warren was instrumental in designing many of the initial policies that helped Colgate to staff Central European operations immediately following the fall of the Soviet Union. Warren D. Heaps has a B.A. degree in Mathematics from Lehman College, and holds both SPHR and CEBS certification. He is the former chairman of the National Foreign Trade Council Expatriate Management Committee, and past president of the Latin America Compensation & Benefits Forum.
JIM HOFFMAN is Practice Lead, Global Expansion. Jim helps organizations emerge in foreign target markets by helping address complexities of optimizing abroad. Jim is an international development specialist with 20 plus years of experience from salesman through CEO. His core interest in international and cross-cultural business specializing in Asia and the Middle East. Jim is active in adaptive methods for confronting new challenges of intellectual property management and alliance building for global competitiveness. His specialties include International business development, intellectual property, cross cultural management, adaptive leadership, channels and alliances and mergers and acquisition.
ROSEMARY COATES is Practice Lead, Supply Chain at Universal Consensus. Ms. Coates a China sourcing and manufacturing expert and an Amazon.com Top Selling author. During her 25-year career in consulting and in industry, she was a Managing Director at SAP, Supply Chain Practice Leader at KPMG Peat Marwick and Answerthink Consulting, and Regional Manager at Hewlett-Packard. She has worked with over 80 clients, worldwide on global supply chain strategies and tactics. She is also a Licensed US Customs Broker and often assists with import/export projects. Her book, 42 Rules for Sourcing and Manufacturing in China has brought acclaimed success. Ms. Coates earned an MBA from University of San Diego and a BS in Business from Arizona State University.
DAVID JIANG, PhD is Practice lead, Biotechnology Sector. David works with with our Biotech and Pharma clients, helping them with global growth strategies, product planning and strategic marketing to name a few. Davis is a strategic planning and business development professional with broad industry expertise in pharmaceutical, diagnostics, and life sciences research tool companies. He has extensive experience in assessing customer needs and technology trends at the global level. David is also skilled in developing growth strategies and acquisition plans to address changing markets.He has developed China entry strategies and led executive level partnership discussions in China. He is Fluent in Mandarin.
REGIONAL PRACTICE LEADS
YU-FANG CHANG is Director, Asia Pacific Practice. She coordinates the Asia-Pac team at Universal Consensus managing business relationships and ensuring clients get world class services. She worked as a sales representative for Asia and as marketing project specialist in Taiwan. Yu-Fang also worked as a research associate for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China. She has had experiences with various cultures during her employment in Taiwan and in the United States. Her goal is to help clients of Universal Consensus quickly realize the business challenges of working in China and Taiwan. Yu-Fang is from Taiwan and holds a B.B.A. in International Business from Soochow University in Taipei as well as an MBA from Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego. Yu-Fang speaks English and Mandarin.
JANTIMA DANFORD is Practice Lead, Thailand. In this role she works with projects and clients in Thailand. Ms. Danford plans, programs, budgets and directs the acquisition of conventions and exhibitions. These events involve millions of dollars, thousands of people, and state-of-the-art technical equipment in coordination with both civilian and government agencies. She has ten years experience working in the United States as a Sales and Marketing Manager, Project Manager, Office Manager, Casino Marketing Specialist, Executive Secretary, and Marketing Coordinator. She is actively engaged in the Thai community and has received Congressional Recognition for this work; she’s the former editor of Thai News of Las Vegas and Thai Community Leader, Asian Pacific American Coalition San Diego (APAC). Jantima holds a B.B.A. from Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok, Thailand.
MAYA HU-CHAN is Practice Lead, China. Maya one of the world’s premier China experts. She co-authored an Amazon bestseller, “Global Leadership: The Next Generation” with Marshall Goldsmith and was rated “Top 100 Thought Leaders” by Leadership Excellence Magazine and rated “Top Leadership Guru from Asia” by Leadership Guru International. Maya specializes in global leadership, executive coaching and cross-cultural business skills. Maya has trained and coached thousands of leaders in Global Fortune 500 companies throughout North America, Asia, Europe, South America, and Australia, with clients including Disney, AT&T, Microsoft, Pfizer, Siemens, and Toyota. Born and raised in Taiwan, Maya received her B.A. in Journalism and Business from National Chengchi University in Taiwan, and Master’s degree from Annenberg School of Communications, University of Pennsylvania.
UNWHA CHOI is the Practice Lead, Korea. Ms. Choi is one of Korea’s leading cross-cultural consultants. She has more than twenty-two years of experience in training, marketing, new business development, supplier management, and general corporate and consultancy management in the manufacturing and service industry. She has a proven track record of effectively managing and organizing with expert skills and ability, focusing on strategic planning and business development in both Korean and international markets by exercising and engaging in hands-on experiences. Unwha Choi has strong managerial and communication skills and abilities in coordinating projects and achieving results efficiently and effectively. She is particularly strong in learning and adapting to the international atmosphere, both in language and culture. Unwha is highly confident and comfortable working with international people and developing business for immediate and long-term goals and objectives for her clients. She deployed the successful launch of AIG International Services in Korea by employing her personal strengths and bilingual and bi-cultural capabilities. She has also worked with Samsung, Schneider Electric, LG Electronics, Bayer, GM, BAE Systems, Dow Chemicals, Boeing, BP, Volvo, Scania, Daewoo, Assa Abloy, Conoco Phillips, and Citibank, among others. Unwha has an MBA from Pepperdine University, Graziadio Business School, and a Bachelor’s Degree in social science from Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. She graduated from TASIS England, Thorpe, United Kingdom with honors. Unwha Choi speaks Korean and English.
JIRO TONY FUJITA is the Practice lead for Japan. Tony is a leading cross-cultural expert on Japan. Originally from Yokohama, Japan, Tony graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in business. He is the Principal consultant at J.A Fujita Consulting, specializing in market research, due diligence and product discovery to assist business tie-up between U.S and Japanese companies. Tony has previously worked with the city of Yokohama, city of Nagoya and JETRO (independent Japanese government agency) helping U.S businesses invest in Japan. He recently facilitated a seminar in San Diego for City of Yokohama where the mayor of Yokohama attended. Tony also has experience in advising major Japanese Pharma, ICT companies, and other technology companies introduce products and services to and from US and Japan.
GUNJAN BAGLA is Universal Consensus Practice Lead, India. Mr. Bagla is one of the world’s leading experts on doing business in India. He is the author of the acclaimed book “Doing Business in 21st Century India: How to Profit Today from tomorrow’s most exciting Market” published in 2008 by Warner/Hachette Books and was the technical editor on John Wiley’s “Doing Business in India for Dummies” (2007). He has created the executive seminar “Business with India” for Caltech and has also taught executives at Thunderbird School of Global Management. Mr. Bagla has been interviewed on Fox Business Television, BBC World News, BBC Television’s The Hub with Nik Gowing and National Public Radio’s To The Point with Warren Olney. He’s been quoted in newspapers such as New York Times, Business Week, and Financial Times for his expertise on India. His articles have appeared in Harvard Business Review, Business Week, and many other publications. Gunjan Bagla is a mechanical engineering graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology. Gunjan completed his MBA at Southern Illinois University.
ZUNAIRA MUNIR, Ph.D is Practice Lead for Pakistan. Zunaira is a world-leading Blue Ocean Strategist. She has worked with numerous major companies worldwide in their pursuit to ‘make competition irrelevant’ and create Blue Oceans of highly profitable growth. Key recent clients include HP, Coca Cola, T-Mobile, Deloitte, Honeywell International, and China Mobile. She is an Affiliate Member of the Global Blue Ocean Strategy Network and has worked directly under Professors Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne as a Visiting Researcher at INSEAD, France. Having lived, educated and worked in Asia, USA and Europe, Dr. Zunaira Munir has truly global credentials. With a PhD in Innovation Management from Wuhan University of Technology in China, an MBA and Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Sciences, she offers an interesting blend of multi-disciplinary knowledge and expertise. Her multi-lingual command on English, Urdu, Hindi and Mandarin as well as her diverse experience in global business environments gives her a clear edge in effectively catering for her global clientele. As an educator, she has over 6 years of experience teaching graduate and undergraduate courses at various universities. As an executive, she played a major contribution in taking Clary Business Machines to the ranks of the fastest growing privately held companies in the nation. As a researcher her work has been published in China Business Review, International Review of Business and research, the PDMA Research Forum and others. Her book “Key Concepts in Innovation” was published by Palgrave McMillan. Dr. Munir is a dynamic trainer and presenter and is extremely good at giving the audience concrete ideas that can be translated into practical steps for breaking out of competition and making it ‘irrelevant’. Dr. Zunaira Munir speaks English, Urdu, Hindi and Mandarin.
Prof. PETER KELLY, PhD, DRK, JP is Practice Lead, Australia. Peter is an accomplished senior manager with a wealth of international experience, focused primarily in South East Asia and Australia. The majority of his adult life has been spent in the region and his commercial activities have been targeted at ensuring his clients receive maximum value from his endeavors. Peter has operated a successful management consultancy in Australia and occupied board positions on both public and private companies, with operating revenues exceeding $4 billion p.a. in one instance. He has been a consultant to a wide range of clients, including companies that wish to commence commercial operations in South East Asia, particularly the People’s Republic of China. Peter is an accomplished Chinese linguist, having graduated from the RAAF School of Languages in 1979. Peter began his tertiary studies in Arts (Asian studies), business and science (computing) after graduating from the RAAF School of Languages. In 1996 he completed both a graduate diploma in Strategic Marketing from the International Marketing Institute, as well as working towards his Master’s in business from Charles Sturt University. Peter’s academic achievements culminated in an honorary PhD in international business in 2007. Along the way, Peter has accumulated an impressive array of contacts, from heads of state to senior government officials. He holds a hereditary title from the Sultan of Sulu, is a member of the Norman Academy and an honorary life member of the European Bioethics Centre in Rome. Peter has also received awards from several governments for his military service and other work in the international arena. He is a frequent visitor to China and he speaks Chinese, plus basic Tagalog, Malay, Indonesian and Russian.
KEITH WARBURTON is the Director, Europe Practice. Although Keith is currently based in London, he has spent most of his career working in management consultancy and training and has worked extensively overseas including periods in Scandinavia, France, Germany, the Middle East and the Far East. In each of the countries he was based in, Keith was involved in developing and delivering a wide range of consultancy & training to the local management population. In addition, as MD of the local subsidiary in whichever country he was stationed, he had direct profit and loss responsibility. This combination of great international experience, a proven track record as a trainer and presenter and hands-on line senior management responsibilities give him the ideal background for working in the fields of culture and culture change. Keith has been working with major global corporations on their cross-border issues for about fifteen years and is a regular contributor on both their internal and external training programes. In addition, Keith is an internationally recognized key-note speaker on this subject and is recognized for his practical, commercial approach to the topic.
MIGUEL DUARTE FERREIRA is Practice Lead, Iberia. Miguel is an international consultant and competitive intelligence expert based in Portugal that consults in Southern Europe. Miguel’s language skills (Portuguese, English, Spanish, French and Italian) allow him to be involved in projects with a wide geographical span. Miguel Duarte Ferreira founded the first company specializing in competitive intelligence in Portugal. He is currently an invited professor at the Technical University of Lisbon, where he is also responsible for the coordination of the competitive intelligence course in the MBA, Master of Sciences and post graduation course of “Systems and Technologies of Information for Organizations,” and he is also responsible for the coordination of the competitive intelligence course within the post graduate course of “Foresight, Innovation and Strategy.” Miguel is a regularly invited speaker at national and international CI seminars and conferences. He is a member of SCIP – Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals and a certified trainer for the Center for Leadership in Studies in Portugal. He is also the co-author of the first book published in Portugal by Portuguese authors in Competitive Intelligence – “Competitive Intelligence – Concepts, Practices and Advantages”. Miguel has an undergraduate degree in Economics and a post-graduation degree in Marketing Management. Miguel Duarte Ferreira speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish, French and Italian.
VICTORIA SPASHCHENKO is Practice lead, Ukraine. Victoria is a business trainer and consultant located in the Ukraine, who delivers programs related to communications, management, organizational improvement and development in the Ukraine and Russia. Victoria has worked extensively in both the private and public sector, particularly in the areas of international trade, public education, international development, media, legal services, and chemical industries. Victoria has extensive experience in the management of people, business processes and business communications. Her clients include Internews Kazakhstan, the British government (cross-border cooperation for international development), New Channel (the third biggest TV channel in Ukraine), “Magister & Partners” law firm in Kyiv and Moscow, Technocristal, Ecormin Planeta, PricewaterhouseCoopers, IBR, StarTelecom, and First International Mortgage Bank. Victoria has a Global Executive MBA from IBR Institute of International Relations (Germany). Her Master’s Thesis was in Change Management. Victoria Spashchenko speaks English, Ukrainian and Russian.
DEMETRIOS ‘JIM’ VANDEKAS is Universal Consensus Practice Lead for Greece. Jim is a new-market penetration specialist; adept at discovering, planning and executing local, regional and international sales, business and channel development. His primary goals are to bring life to his client’s vision for their products, services, global presence and ultimately to increase revenues and profits. He has fifteen years of solution and technical sales/marketing, people, project & financial management experience and vast experience in strategic and executable business planning — from market and competitive discovery analysis to business and product launch and beyond. He attended York University, Schulich School of Business, concentrating in business development and Seneca College, concentrating in investigative and behavioral sciences. Demetrios Vandekas speaks English and Greek.
JOSEPH M. BORREMANS is Universal Consensus Practice Lead for Benelux and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Joseph is currently a senior consultant for national infrastructure projects. Enthusiastically embracing robust challenges that improve quality of life is undoubtedly the recurring theme of his remarkable professional and personal endeavors. Currently located in the Netherlands, Joseph is, of course, ideally situated to consult on business and cultural issues related to that part of the world, but he is also deeply connected to the Congo. Joseph M. Borremans began his international career as a technology attaché in the DR Congo. He went on to work for Motorola as their Latin America Sales & Marketing Manager after completing his business administration and economics studies while concurrently working as a medical cardiology research engineer. In 2001, he became the director of international business for the American Heart Association, where he promoted educational programs in 30 languages and launched their first international department, building it into a major division in less than two years. In 2004, he returned to the DR Congo to spearhead United Nations ground operations as the project manager for a Lockheed Martin subsidiary, where he turned around the contract on the verge of cancellation, oversaw five airports and started a project management office (PMO). In 2006, he was retained for a two-year assignment by the Dutch Railroad to secure international projects and position them for global expansion. Joseph’s entrepreneurial experience building mobile telecommunications businesses and managing their acquisition by Nextel (now Sprint) has helped him to know when to take calculated risks in pursuit of objectives. Although Joe specializes in the Benelux and DR Congo, he has extensive experience in France, Switzerland and Francophone Africa. He also has extensive experience with the United Nations, World Bank and Asian Development Bank in financing projects and contract management. Joseph M. Borremans speaks Dutch, French and English.
KATRINA BURRUS, Ph.D, MCC is Practice Lead, Switzerland. Katrina coaches international executives in all areas of business, including telecom, banking, food, perfumes, non-profits and the pharmaceutical industry. Her coaching career has taken her to Europe, Asia and the United States. Dr. Burrus is recognized for her distinctive capabilities with executives and teams from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, drawing from business experience in over 30 countries. She founded MKB Conseil & Coaching in 1994 and is affiliated with a network of international experts and academic practitioners. Dr. Katrina Burrus specializes in coaching global nomadic leaders, high potential, and abrasive senior managers. She was the first Master Certified Coach in Switzerland from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and is the founder, and former President, of ICF Switzerland. She is also a former board member of ICF Switzerland and was part of the ICF credentialing team. Dr. Burrus holds a Master degree in International Management and in Human Development and in Coaching, as well as a Ph.D. in Organizational Development. Katrina has co-authored several books, had numerous articles published and is a speaker at various international forums and conferences. Katrina Burrus speaks English, French and Spanish.
FAUSTO PIERANTONI is Practice Lead, Italy. Fausto Pierantoni began his career at OptoElectronic as an Electrical Engineer. His fondness for challenge led to 18 years in Technical/Marketing roles in the world of Automatic Identification in the USA, Germany and Italy. In 1999 Fausto directed the opening of the Italian subsidiary of Metrologic Instruments, an American Electronic manufacturer. A superb problem-solver, Fausto helped Metrologic Italy to develop a VARs, resellers and inside sales network. In his present position as division manager at Leuze Electronic Italy (Milan), Fausto is responsible for all Technical-Marketing activities that fall under the LOGISTIC Business Unit. He manages a wide numbers of sales projects from a tech/marketing point of view as well as his team and all internal communications between Italy and HQ in Germany. He also consults globally on marketing and technological issues in Italy and abroad. Fausto Pierantoni speaks Italian and English and is conversational in French and German.
TONY MCKEON, BCC is Director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Practice. In this capacity, he is integrally involved in the identification and development of Universal Consensus business opportunities throughout the MENA region. Tony has worked in both government and private business sectors in the Middle East for more than twenty years. He lived in Saudi Arabia while with the Saudi Arabian Royal Commission. Leveraging an in-depth understanding and appreciation of Arab culture, customs, and business practices, Tony has developed and implemented turnkey corporate leadership and workforce development programs in the region that dramatically improved the business performance of multi-national companies. Tony works closely with the Universal Consensus executive team to enhance and expedite customized program and professional service offerings. Tony’s program content has been embedded in corporate HRIS, performance management and appraisal systems. Client companies include: M&M Mars, UCLA, Securitas Security Services (Swedish), Riyad Bank (Saudi Arabian), Toshiba America Medical Systems (Japanese), Saint Gobain (French), STI Medical (Hawaii), St. Josephs Health Systems, Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defense and Aviation, and Wolfgang Puck Worldwide. Tony holds a BS degree from Northeastern University in Boston.
WAGNER RIBEIRO is our Practice Lead for Latin America. Mr. Ribeiro has more than 15 years’ work experience in pharmaceutical industry In Brazil working in executive sales and marketing positions for companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Abbott, Akzo-Nobel, and as a General Manager for a Pharmaceutical Distribution Company where he built a strong relationship with the most important scientific academic centers in Brazil. Recently Mr. Ribeiro was part of Strivectin International Team where he was responsible to start all their operation in Latin America, taking the company to Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama. Mr. Ribeiro has significant experience within operations and supply chain management and he has helped many American start-ups become successful in Latin America. Mr. Ribeiro has extensive experience in management and negotiation in different cultural environments. Mr. Ribeiro holds an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird, School of Global Management. Wagner Ribeiro speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and conversant in French.
TOMAS SIBAJA is Practice Lead for Mexico. Tomas is an international contractor with more than fifteen years of experience in promotion, international sales, foreign investment and off-shore marketing strategies in cross-border regions where comparative and competitive advantages existed. Multicultural executive with first-hand professional experience living in Asia, North America, the Middle East, Europe and Mexico. Tomas Sibaja is currently a PhD Candidate from L’école internationale d’administration (ISM) in Paris, France. He holds a MBA from the University of Redlands and earned a Diploma in economic and political studies by the Cambridge University in England. He also has post-graduated Diplomas in related business administration topics in Temple University of Tokyo, Japan; St. John’s University in New York and the Korean Trade Advanced Studies (Kotra) in Seoul South Korea. Career diplomat, businessman and humanitarian advocate, Mr. Sibaja has learned over the years in four continents, to perform in different cross-cultural environments with a result-oriented performance at all times. This included a two-year assignment as Sr. Business Manager in Iraq – since 2004-2006 – in the US reconstruction efforts of hospitals, schools, and water/sewer and electricity projects. Mr. Sibaja is a frequent speaker in national and international forums on a wide array of topics related to foreign investment, international trade and US-Mexico cross-border issues. Tomas Sibaja speaks English, French, Mandarin-Chinese and Spanish.
DENNIS T. FERGUSON is Universal Consensus Practice Lead for Ecuador. Dennis has over 30 years of Human Resource management experience and a strong record of achievement and success in diversified international business settings. As Business Human Resource Manager for Agilent Technologies Inc., Dennis provided internal consulting/coaching to management teams and client groups of three international business units with combined revenue of $240 million. Dennis effectively led organizational change of one of the largest acquisitions into Agilent and drove internal due diligence and implementation of the Global Integration of the Stratagene companies into Agilent Technologies. As Corporate Senior Director of Human Resources for Stratagene, a $100 million company, Dennis provided HR leadership in the movement of the company from private ownership, to public company and finally to the acquisition of the company by Agilent Technologies Inc. Dennis lived and worked in Ecuador, Latin America for four years, as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer. As a Management Consultant Dennis initially worked as part of a team that delivered direct business technical assistance to a 500 member association of small industries and focused Ecuadorian government attention on the development of the small business sector. As a Program Manager Dennis successfully managed the construction of over 15 schools in the Amazon, Andes, and Galapagos Islands and provided oversight to other development projects. Dennis has a Bachelor of Science – Business Administration, California State University, Los Angeles and a Certificate in Human Resources Management, University of California, San Diego. Dennis speaks Spanish and English.
SIMONE T. COSTA ERIKSSON is Practice Lead, Brazil. Simone is an intercultural coach & trainer and a psychologist (member of the British Psychological Society) based in Brazil. Eriksson holds seminars and workshops for HR professionals and for international schools. She has worked on projects for international Brazilian companies in the area of international HR development. Simone’s interest in the long-term impact of expatriation on the executive performance and on family relations started with her own experience of living 13 years abroad (USA, Sweden, Poland, and Italy). Simone T. Costa Eriksson is the co-author of an acclaimed children’s book, in which she explores the difference between adults’ & children’s perception of ‘moving abroad.’ Eriksson’s international education includes an MBA from Lund University, Sweden, a psychology degree from The Open University in Milan, Italy and an international certification in coaching from Integrated Coaching Institute (ICI), Brazil. Her previous professional business experience in international recruitment, headhunting, and customer service was later combined with her passion for human international development. Simone T. Costa Eriksson speaks Portuguese, English and Italian.
ELISA MELO DA SILVA is Latin America Practice, Training & Instructional Design Specialist. Elisa has a Master of Arts in Psychological Assessment from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil as well as a BA in Psychology. She has many years’ experience working with business-related psychological assessment, organizational and clinical phycology, business training, instructional design, and group facilitation. Elisa has also been an Assistant Professor at the University of Guaramirim, developing their personal assessment tools related to Personnel Management and Corporate Human Resources. Elisa has a coaching certification from the Brazilian Institute of Coaching and she has studied business management at UCSD. She has lived and studied in Canada and speaks Portuguese and English.