WEST Content Experts and Workshop Leaders 

WEST is very fortune to work with great speakers who lead workshops for our community.  If you are interested finding a speaker or coach, please review the details below.


Gwen Acton
Vivo Group

Influence Without Authority
Do you need others to get things done, but they don’t report to you? The truth is that even when you do have “power”, you are often better off using influence first. The most effective individual contributors, managers, and executives use influence skills to achieve results, regardless of their positional power within the organization. Attending this interactive workshop will provide you with key insights into how to get things done whether or not you are in charge. Influence skills can improve your ability to manage “up”, get agreement from peers, and motivate others. It will enable you to work more effectively in project and cross-functional teams, collaborations, and matrixed organizations. 

Learning Objectives
 - Gain insight into why people do (or don’t do) things you want them to do

 - Develop skills to recognize and align with the personal goals and motivations of others
 - Improve capacity to build and strengthen long-term relationships  
 - Increase ability to get things done even without the title or position in a company

Strategic Versus Tactical Thinking Workshop
The terms strategy and tactics are often confused: tactics are the means used to accomplish an objective, while strategy is the overall plan within a broader context. As technical experts, we are often trained and rewarded for getting things done – highly focused on the tactical aspects without having a clear understanding of the overall strategy.  Strategic thinking involves long term planning, determining priorities, and identifying potential risks and opportunities. In addition, strategic thinking becomes increasingly important in the higher levels of an organization. During this workshop participants learn how to increase their value to an organization by focusing their efforts on long-term impact activities, in addition to short-range implementation. This interactive workshop enables participants to learn the theory and fundamentals of strategic thinking, and gain tools and practice to implement these skills in your current position.

More About Gwen
Gwen Acton, PhD, is an expert on strategic leadership at the intersection of science and business. She is CEO of Vivo Group, a firm that improves the leadership skills of technical experts so they can be more productive and innovative in industry. Prior to this, she served as Director of Scientific Development at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, where she ran the operations of the Functional Genomics Program, a $40 million, 50-person academic-industry collaborative research program.  Dr. Acton has a doctorate in biology from M.I.T., and served as a faculty member at Harvard University in the department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. She is the author of the book "The Bluffer’s Guide to Genetics," a humorous guide to DNA published by Oval Books, and the former president of Women Entrepreneurs in Science & Technology (WEST). Dr. Acton is a popular speaker, workshop presenter, and facilitator.

More About Vivo Group
Vivo Group specializes in working with scientists and engineers to develop their leadership and ‘soft’ people skills. Services include seminars, workshops, facilitation, and executive coaching. Popular program topics include: Influence Without Authority; Transition from Technical Expert to Leader/Manager; ‘Herding Cats’: Managing Scientists and Engineers; Negotiation Tactics for Scientists; Presentation & Communication Skills for the Business of Science.


Rita Balian Allen
Rita B. Allen Associates

Emotional Intelligence as a Leadership Predictor
We are all familiar with IQ but what about the role of EQ, Emotional Intelligence, as a measure of potential leadership success and ultimately organizational performance? Emotional Intelligence requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of the brain – it represents the path between feeling and reason. There are 4 skills that together make up Emotional Intelligence; self awareness, self management, social awareness and relationship management. Studies have found EQ is a required competency for effective leaders, EQ is the #1 predictor of professional success & personal excellence, and  EQ affects organizational profitability and performance. This interactive session led by Rita Balian Allen will provide an overview of EQ and the role it can play in building a powerful leadership team and improving operational efficiency. It will include introduction of the brain science behind the theory of emotional intelligence, tips and strategies for developing required competencies, and the importance of building the business case for growing emotionally intelligent leaders. 

Team Leadership - Developing, Mentoring and Coaching Your Team
Leadership skills and competencies are required of most professionals at all levels in today's competitive marketplace. The ability to bring out talent in others and unleash their utmost potential is what great leaders do. The focus of this discussion will include practices, principles and behaviors that result in effective team leadership creating an environment of trust and ultimately collaboration. This will be an interactive dialogue where participants will be introduced to methodologies that are valuable aspects of team leadership including developmental coaching, mentoring and action planning. 

Accelerate Your Career through Personal Branding and Marketing Yourself Workshop
When we use the term “marketing”, most people think of products, services and commodities.  How about ourselves – marketing our talents, accomplishments and value – inside our organizations and outside within our profession, industry and community.  Are you or your staff members comfortable talking about yourselves in this way?  More importantly, are you prepared to talk about yourselves in this way – packaging your talents and accomplishments – showcasing them, leveraging them and presenting your value internally within your organization and externally within your chosen fields & communities?  Identifying, creating and articulating one's “personal brand" empowers us to 'own our career' and seize opportunities we aspire to achieve. Personal branding and the ability to market ourselves is an essential ingredient for successful career management.  Learn how to create a framework to embrace and develop this core competency.

About Rita Balian Allen
Rita Balian Allen is the president of Rita B. Allen Associates, a career management firm specializing in executive coaching, leadership development, management training and career development. She is a lecturer at Boston-area universities, a sought-after speaker and presenter, the author of numerous articles, blogs and the book, "Personal Branding and Marketing Yourself: The Three P's Marketing Technique as a Guide to Career Empowerment". Rita was voted one of the top ten executive coaches by the Boston Women's Business Journal.  She brings many years of human resources experience to her practice and has worked with leaders across all industries and professions.  Previously, she held roles as Vice President of Marketing and Search Services with Gatti & Associates, and human resource positions with C.R. Bard, Inc., BTU International, and Unitrode Corporation.  She holds an MS in Leadership and a BS in Business Administration from Northeastern University and is certified in several assessments tools.   Rita currently serves on the board of directors of More Than Words and is a former board member of The Boston Club and the Association of Career Professionals International - New England.   She is also an active member of other professional associations and organizations.  

More About Rita B. Allen Associates
Rita B. Allen Associates offers expertise in developing and implementing effective career and talent management strategies that assist individuals, teams and organizations maximize their potential and create strategies for growth, development and success. Rita B. Allen Associates takes a results-oriented approach in offering customized talent management coaching, training and consulting services to individuals and organizations including executive coaching, career coaching, team coaching, Human Resources coaching, leadership development, management training, career development and Human Resources consulting.  Located in Waltham, MA, Rita B. Allen Associates, works with clients across all industries on a national level.


Kathy Ball-Toncic
The 262 Group

Personality Styles and Communication Using DiSC Workshop
This workshop focuses on developing greater self-awareness and stronger people skills. This DiSC workshop begins with a short but powerful assessment based on the DiSC Dimensions of Behavior Model, which groups behavioral responses into four clusters. This self-scoring behavioral learning instrument is a proven road map to interpersonal communications and teamwork. Then Kathy Ball-Toncic, CPCC will provide a background on different DiSC facets and help you self-assess your own profile. The workshop uses content and interactive exercises to help participants understand difference and how best to leverage their own style when dealing with others who may have a different profile to their own. There will be lots of practical and actionable strategies for communicating, influencing, and collaborating more effectively.

More About Kathy
Kathy Ball-Toncic is a corporate and leadership coach, specializing in women’s leadership development. In 2006, she founded the two.six.two group, a leadership coaching and consulting firm. Kathy leverages her own experience in the corporate world to motivate and inspire other leaders. She has collaborated with CEO’s, managers, directors, and individual contributors, both men and women, from many diverse companies including corporations such as Omgeo (a Thomson Financial/DTCC company), NYFIX, Novartis, Raytheon, ING, and Babson University. Kathy is the former director and current faculty member of the Graduate Program in Executive Coaching at Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in Boston (www.mspp.edu).  Kathy is an adjunct faculty member at the Swiss School of Management in Rome where she teaches leadership to MBA students from around the world.

More About The 262 Group 
The 262 Group is a dynamic and inspirational coaching and consulting company specializing in leadership development. We work with organizations and individuals to create a more open, integrated and courageous workplace through inspiring individuals to reach their full potential. We combine first-hand executive-level corporate experience with coaching and training expertise to create positive outcomes for individuals, teams, and organizations.


 Katie Donovan
 Equal Pay Negotiations LLC

Negotiating Pay & Benefits: A Script Workshop
Ann T. finally got an offer from her dream company and did not want to jeopardize it yet she knew she needed to play the entire hiring game and negotiate her pay. She was happy she did. With the knowledge she gained from my coaching she negotiated a salary package 15% higher than the initial offer. People who negotiate pay can earn an extra million dollars in their career. Women are hearing this message and know they should negotiate. Women are hearing about all the tactics and strategies they should use when negotiating. Women are not hearing the answers to a very common concern. What do I say? This presentation answers that concern with scripts for the most common of situations in the manner of negotiation most comfortable and successful for women, the collaborative approach. Learn what to say to: start the negotiation, promote accomplishments without bragging, and if the manager says no. Throughout the session, you will gain some insights into what management is thinking during the process.

More About Katie
Katie Donovan is a salary negotiation consultant, equal pay advocate, and keynote speaker.  Ms. Donovan’s speaks on equal pay issues and salary negotiations at such venues as Harvard Business School, National Association of Women MBAs Conference, Association of American University Women, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Mom Corps, Holy Cross Women in Business Conference, and 85 Broads.  She is frequently quoted by media writing about career management, salary negotiation, and pay equal pay issues including NPR, Cosmopolitan, Forbes, The Huffington Post, US News & World Report, Woman’s Day, Salary.com, and The Glass Hammer.  It's common for women who take who courses or consult with her to negotiate at least 10% more from the initial offer or their current pay.

More About Equal Pay Negotiations LLC
She launched Equal Pay Negotiations LLC to help eliminate the gender pay gap by teaching women salary and employment package negotiation skills. The company’s offerings include online courses, mobile apps, workshops, and personal consulting. 


Claudette Rowley

Thriving During Change 
“Change-artists” are savvy professionals who harness change in order to position and accelerate their careers. This workshop is designed for professionals who want to thrive during organizational transitions, while staying aligned with their values, goals and vision. Rather than being buffeted by the winds of change, learn how to stay centered and steer your own course. During this interactive presentation, Claudette Rowley, a seasoned Executive Coach and Change Management Consultant, will lead you through her 8 step “Thrive During Change” process. 

You’ll learn:
  - Two essential skills for remaining centered and focused

  - Strategies, tools and techniques for thriving that you can easily incorporate
  - The unique roles that culture and mindset play in your ability to thrive during change

More About Claudette
Claudette Rowley, Cultural Brilliance CEO, is a culture design consultant with 20 years of experience in organizational development. With her 5-Step Cultural Brilliance methodology, she helps executive leaders retain and increase the value of their business as they merge, transform and scale. Claudette is an experienced strategist with a knack for building collaborative executive leadership teams to boost business performance and increase employee engagement. For the last fifteen years, Claudette has consulted, trained and coached executive leaders and management teams at Fortune 1000 companies, small businesses and start-ups around how to create a workplace culture that delivers effective business results. She is the author of Embrace Your Brilliance: How to align yourself with your unique potential and lives in the Boston area with her husband and three teenagers. Claudette holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan, a certification from the Coaches Training Institute, and the Professional Certified Coach credential through the International Coach Federation. She has completed additional training in organizational development, conflict resolution, mediation, the Predictable Success business life cycle model, and relationship systems coaching.

More About Cultural Brilliance, Inc.
Cultural Brilliance, Inc. is a consulting company dedicated to helping organizations increase the value of their business by designing and  integrating authentic, respectful cultures. 


Carol Salloway, Executive Coach and Founder
Performa Consulting Group

Driving Your Career Forward – Mentors, Sponsors, Coaches Workshop
(co-led with Ellen Keiley of EMK Consulting Group)
The work rules have changed.  It is no longer how quickly you can move up the ladder or that by doing good work, you will be noticed and promoted.  It is all about building up your portfolio of valuable experiences and assignments that accelerate your learning, your performance, your network and your future opportunities.  And you need others to support you in your career – “a board of advisors” who provide advice, access to assignments, feedback, and accountability support. In this inspiring session, workshop presenters, Ellen Keiley & Carol Salloway, cover the new realities and the actions you can take to increase your value and career potential.  

More about Carol Salloway
Carol Salloway is an Executive Coach and Leadership Development Consultant. With nearly 20 years of experience, Carol has deeply honed her coaching expertise.   She has coached over 100 leaders – smart, high performing individuals who are interested in continuing their leadership growth.   Her credentials include an MBA with a concentration in Organizational Behavior as well as being certified as a professional coach.   Her toolbox is very rich with certifications in the best-in-class leadership assessment instruments and approaches including several leadership 360 tools, various individual and team Emotional Intelligence instruments and personality instruments. Carol’s earlier career includes serving as the leader of the organizational effectiveness consulting practice at a Boston-area management consultancy. With her extensive management consultant experience, she brings a deep understanding of organizational and business dynamics to her coaching work.  Carol serves as a Supervisor Coach for the Executive Coaching Graduate Program at William James College.  She also coaches in the executive education programs at Harvard Business School.

More about Performa Consulting Group
Performa Consulting Group helps leaders build their leadership confidence, competence and effectiveness. We bring expert coaching and training skills designed to drive extraordinary personal and organizational results.  Our leadership development services are focused on the following 3 areas:  Leadership Coaching, Leadership Assessment, and Leadership/Management Development training.


Mari Anne Snow
SophiaThink Consulting

Integrating Offline and Online Tactics to Build a Powerful, Strategic Network Workshop
Digital networking has reached critical mass and the proliferation of mobile devices is only fueling the trend. Networking as we know it is changing radically as just-in-time access (to data, people, resources, information) becomes critical to maintaining career relevance. Going to “offline” networking events is a start, but it’s not going to get you where you need to be long-term. Having a cohesive plan for fortifying your face-to-face efforts with digital touch points gives you an edge over others who do not. Join us for an interactive session where we will help you identify the key elements you need to creating the network that supports your professional ambitions today and in the future.

More About Mari Anne
Mari Anne Snow is an organizational development and change management professional with over 20 years experience utilizing technology to support non-disruptive change.  She is CEO of SophiaThink, a management consulting firm that helps clients develop high performing virtual teams using new technologies.  Before SophiaThink, Mari Anne held senior positions as a business technologist and organizational development professional at the State Street Corporation.  Mari Anne is an Adjunct Professor at Bentley University; on the Board of Directors of WEST, a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of women in science and technology; and a contributor to Data Guidance, an international privacy publication.  She is also the resident social media guru for Patricia Raskin’s radio show – Positive Business on Rhode Island’s WPRV AM790.

More About SophiaThink and Sophaya
SophiaThink  is a digital strategy firm specializing in consolidated strategies for clients using digital tools for business or to support virtual teams. As experienced digital practitioners, we keep current with the shifting business and regulatory landscape to help our clients utilize the most up-to-date tools for their business advantage. In addition, we deliver executive briefings and user workshops. We are dynamic speakers available for conferences, key notes and on site-workshops. Sophaya is a cloud-based suite of products that enables companies to select, develop & manage remote workers. By 2015 its estimated 1.3B people worldwide will work remotely. Sophaya provides business solutions that address the new work realities by providing a comprehensive system to manage key employment processes, target candidate selection, provide interactive/engaging professional skill develop & team building that results in top performing remote workers. We believe professionals with the right skills can deliver exceptional value while they work. anywhere.


Iris Stammberger
Learning Management Institute

Making Work Visible: How to Turn Great Strategy into Great Performance
Improve your team's and organizational capabilities to deliver on targets by increasing transparency, accountability and commitment to change! At the “Making Work Visible” seminar, you will learn proven workable tools to give visibility to processes and interdependencies, the knowledge to adjust them to serve your teams' unique needs, and a step-by-step research-based strategy execution methodology. This is a highly interactive experience focused on helping organizations deliver on targets by tailoring their own set of proven visual artifacts. Using examples from different industries (healthcare, manufacturing, military operations, business decision-making, etc.) you will learn about the principles that make them effective. Then you will discuss how to tailor some of these visual artifacts to your unique needs. You will leave with action items that will improve your organization.

Making work visible through the use of visual aids has demonstrated to help improve organizational performance and support the implementation of new initiatives. Well designed business performance dashboards, checklists, tasks boards, decision-logs, and other visual aids or artifacts, suggest what to do, increase the likelihood of insights, and minimize the possibility of faulty decision- making. They are precise and prescriptive because they organize information, communication, thinking and action. They minimize the impact of faulty memory, unread emails, misunderstood conversations, cluttered memos, personal quirks, parallel agendas, and attention overload. When integrated as part of a comprehensive methodology for decision-making in complex work, they help increase efficiency, effectiveness, and adaptability. They are a powerful tool for strategy execution that executive teams can use and then scale to the rest of the organization.

The Elephant and the Stapler: Developing a Common Language of Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Timeliness Workshop
Do you feel that sometimes your organization mirrors the old tale about the blind men and the elephant? The tale says that when the blind men were asked to describe the elephant, they could not produce a unified picture of the elephant because they were describing its different parts. In today’s organizational environments, this tale is used to illustrate how people have to ‘collaborate’, ‘communicate’, ‘align perspectives', etc. Yet, these valuable concepts are vague and non-prescriptive, i.e. they do not tell you how to change behaviors in a concrete way so that day-to-day decisions capture and act on the whole picture of the elephant. The result is that you end up with a stapled version of a complex situation and difficult interpersonal dynamics. In this workshop, you will learn how to escape the blind men conundrum by helping your team 'see' situations in all their complexity. You will learn: 1. how to capture the various perspectives as a unified view, and 2. how to develop and track appropriate metrics of performance. This interactive workshop offers practical application of tools created to support decision-making in complex work. 

More About Iris
Iris Stammberger, Ph.D. is a business performance improvement consultant who has worked internationally with IT, energy, biotech, pharmaceutical, energy and higher education organizations. She is the founder and CEO of the Learning Management Institute, a consulting firm supporting business performance improvement in organizations through the use of TALBOK™, a framework and methodology for effective decision-making in organizations. Prior to this, she held the Project Management Professional Certification (PMP) and worked internationally in strategy execution and project management as the CEO of a boutique management and engineering consulting firm in Latin America. She holds a Ph.D. from Tufts University (Cognitive Studies) and an MSEE from Universidad Central de Venezuela. 

More About Learning Management Institute (LMI)
LMI specializes in working with C-level teams to help them better execute strategy. LMI helps leaders customize a unique and scalable decision-making methodology so they can effectively navigate the demands of growth, change, alignment, and new metrics. Services include problem-solving seminars, workshops, facilitation, and other interventions for increased effectiveness, efficiency, and timeliness. Some of our performance improvement workshops are: Organizing for Disruptive Change, Visual Management, and Key Performance Indicators that Work. 


Sue Williamson
3D Leadership Group

Successful Communication – Building skill in handling challenging conversations
Do you notice a sense of discomfort or even dread when you know you have a difficult conversation that needs to happen? Do you leave these conversations feeling less than resolved or understood, or question whether anything will change as a result? The research is clear, leaders skilled in conflict management, and handling challenging conversations are more effective and successful. In this workshop you will bring your own challenging conversation and work with it using a model, specific steps, and practice in effectively preparing for and engaging in your conversation. We will talk about the ladder of inference and the power of assumptions and then use a 5 step process to prepare for any challenging conversation.

More about Sue Williamson
Sue is a leadership coach and co-founder of 3D Leadership Group. As a coach, Sue brings her experience as an entrepreneur, a member of senior leadership teams, and a consultant and couples this with her passion for the human element in organizations to support the learning and growth of leaders. She also loves facilitating our leadership workshops with a co-hort learning group. Sue has coached over 100 mid to senior level leaders in a broad range of industries and is also a coach in Executive Education Programs for Harvard, Babson and Bentley University. Sue holds an MBA from Babson’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business and a BA in Psychology from Wheaton College. She completed her professional coaching certifications with Coach Training International and Team Coaching International and is a PCC certified coach through the International Coach Federation. She is certified to use a variety of 360 and assessment instruments including the Hogan, MBTI Step II, EQi-2 and the DiSC as well as 360-degree feedback tools including VOICES, The CCL suite of 360’s, The Leadership Versatility Index, The Emotional and Social Competence Inventory, Team EI Survey, and the Team Coaching Diagnostic.

More about 3D Leadership Group
3D Leadership Group is a boutique global coaching firm based in Boston, MA with a team of certified professional coaches, each with unique business backgrounds, and many with international business experience. Since 2007, we have partnered with hundreds of leaders in more than 10 industries to hone their leadership capabilities. We have a reputation for delivering a high touch, high impact experience whether it’s one of our leadership workshops, individual coaching, a global 360 feedback program, or team coaching.