Our Team

Mercedes Martin

CEO /FOUNDER

With over two decades of experience with Business Strategy, Diversity and Inclusion, Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, and Organizational Change Management, Mercedes Martin brings a radically different approach to her work. As a Business and Leadership Development Consultant, she sheds new light on the topics of business transformation, inclusion, and innovation.

Mercedes believes that adopting the latest organizational development model, theory, or buzz word, will not lead to effective organizational change.  She navigates uncharted waters by first examining the human need to be seen, heard, and connected, and builds from this premise.

Her unique approach weaves together the current political, social and economic contexts as the relate to current complex business dilemmas.  Whether it’s through delving into Samba as a way of analyzing Brazilian business culture or teaching storytelling techniques to foster connection and empathy, she effectively engages leaders and teams in way that has a lasting impact.

Mercedes skillfully guides organizations and leaders through change efforts by focusing on authenticity, emotional agility, purpose, and strategy alignment. As a strong advocate of these ‘soft skills,’ she delivers hard results.

Before launching her independent consultancy, Mercedes worked at Ernst & Young (EY) for 10 years as a Talent Development and Organizational Change Consultant and as an Executive Coach. Prior to her tenure at EY, she was Executive Vice President of  Business Transformation and Innovation at Ashton212, a consultancy that specializes in business transformation and innovation. She also was the co-founder and CEO of In Partnership Consulting, a consultancy that specializes in business strategy, leadership development, and global diversity. In this role, she worked with senior executives at small and mid-sized businesses in the Americas, West Africa, and Europe.

A pioneer of global leadership and diversity, Mercedes has devised training programs for several Fortune 50 companies, including PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Shell Oil, and Kellogg’s.  In these engagements, she developed and designed ‘learning labs’ that catapulted participants into taking purposeful action.

Early in her career, Mercedes served in the United States Air Force, initially as a Critical Care & Trauma Nurse and later as a Staff Development Officer. Her passion for coaching and training stems from this experience.

Mercedes holds a Bachelor of Science in Transcultural Nursing from the University of Miami and a Master of Science in Leadership Development from the University of San Francisco. Her work has taken her to various places across the globe including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, England, Mexico, Nigeria and Spain, and the United States.

Associations and Accreditation

  • Member, Cambridge University Sustainable Leadership Network
  • Advisory Board, How Women Lead, How Women Give
  • Certificate, Diversity Facilitation – Roosevelt Thomas
  • Certificate, 360° Assessment Coaching—the Center for Creative Leadership
  • Executive Coaching Certification–Results Coaching Systems
  • Executive Committee, Association of Executive Coaches
  • Board Member, The Sphinx Organization
  • John Matonne Intelligent Leadership Executive Coach
  • Neuro Leadership Coach
  • Power for Non-Defensive Communication
  • Human Synergistic Cultural Assessment
  • Tracom Leadership Style
  • International Coach Federation (ICF)
  • American Training and Development
  • SIETAR – Society of Intercultural Education Training and Research

Liz Guthridge

Liz Guthridge is a results-oriented, award-winning coach, consultant and trainer. She specializes in helping leaders turn their blue-sky thinking into green-pasture actions.

​In her experience, the road to good intentions can be paved with hell. Her goal is to get you moving without delays, detours or dead ends while enjoying the journey.

Liz’s clients tell her they appreciate her ability to assess new situations quickly and thoroughly, combine strategic thinking with strong problem-solving and get things done well. This includes coaching leaders to communicate more effectively, involving employees, so they build greater understanding and support and making it easier for everyone to take action.

She uses brain-friendly approaches based on neuroscience principles. Liz has also embraced Powernoodle as a convenient tool to use peer-to-peer practices to engage employees in better decision making. In fact, she is a member of the Powernoodle Expert Program.

Before founding Connect in 2004, she was a principal with Mercer Delta in San Francisco, Mercer HR in Los Angeles, and Towers Perrin in Los Angeles, New York, and Detroit. Liz also worked for Hewitt Associates as a consultant. She started her professional communications career with Amoco as a writer and editor in its public and government affairs department.

​Liz has devoted herself to organizational change and communications ever since she realized she wasn’t cut out to be a professional journalist. She cares about improving operations, optimizing performance and achieving results. Her innovations around LEAN COMMUNICATIONS® and the Silent, Sugarcoated Moose® help her and her clients get the outcomes they want and need.

Besides her passion for organizational change and communications, Liz is an education junkie. One of her claims to fame is her educational thrift. Liz has three degrees that she earned for less than $5,000 cash. She was able to fund her higher education through scholarships, work/study, and company tuition reimbursement programs.

Liz’s degrees include a BSJ from Northwestern University, the Medill School; an MBA from the University of Connecticut; and an MA from the University of Southern California, Annenberg School. She has also successfully completed the Results Coaching Program through the NeuroLeadership Group, founded by Dr. David Rock and Dr. BJ Fogg’s Persuasion Boot Camp.

Another claim to fame is Liz breaking the gender barrier in her first job. At the age of 13, she worked as the first female vendor at Tulsa Oiler Baseball Park hawking peanuts, popcorn, and crackerjacks. As one of the youngest workers (nicknamed “Goober Girl”), Liz was privileged to have as a co-worker the legendary Leroy “Satchel” Paige. e.

​​Liz’s training gives her a unique perspective. She is probably the only coach, consultant, and trainer who’s worked with David Nadler, Roger D’Aprix, David Rock and BJ Fogg as well as studied General Henry M. Robert of Robert’s Rules of Order fame.

Lawrence Ellis

Lawrence Ellis brings 25 years experience as an executive and leadership coach. He is passionate about supporting clients to access their full presence, develop their highest visions, navigate challenges skillfully, and produce extraordinary results.

Lawrence has served in several leadership, consulting and coaching roles across sectors. He was a director with one of the oldest change-leadership consulting firms in the US, Interaction Associates; and is a producer of films and global tele-summits on sustainability.

He is on faculty with the prestigious American Leadership Forum – Silicon Valley Chapter Fellowship, teaching mindfulness and transformative leadership to the region’s top leaders, across all sectors.

He lives in Oakland, CA with his partner Mike, a few miles from his teenage niece and nephew whom he co-parented for several years, and to whom he remains umalume okhethekileyo (“super or special uncle”).

Clients that have benefited from Lawrence’s support, across sectors, include AAA, American Hospital Association, American Red Cross, CH2M HILL, Charles Schwab, Conservation Fund, eBay, Kaiser Permanente, National Co+op Grocers, National Geographic, National Patient Safety Foundation, Navajo Nation, Oakland Museum of California, Packard Foundation, PG&E, Princeton University, Sematech, Solar Richmond, Stupski Foundation, VMware, Washington State Hospital Association.

Education & Credentials

BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on the Morehead-Cain Scholarship

MA, Oxford University, on the Rhodes Scholarship

Advanced Interaction Associates coach training

Certified mindfulness meditation teacher

15 years of Somatics training (Somatic Experiencing, Generative Somatics, Co-Counseling)

Stuart McCalla

Stuart McCalla is a leadership coach who works with leaders primarily in Tech, Finance, and Banking who are experiencing rapid growth. As a coach trained in ORSC (organizational, relationship and system coaching), deep process work and Agile, Stuart has the skills to create profound outcomes for leaders who want to stop reacting and instead build lasting change in themselves and their organizations.

​Stuart has worked with clients at Salesforce, Eventbrite, Hyperdrive Agile, StubHub, Lumosity, ADP, Bank of America and others. He has presented at the largest Agile Conference on Integral as it pertains to Organizational Development, as well as Dreamforce in 2017 on Leadership.

Stuart has formal training in professional coaching as well as over 15 years Peer Counseling working with people on Sexism, Racism, and LGBTQ issues. Bringing that work to clients helps create profound, lasting transformational change.

​Stuart lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, daughter and a hyperactive hamster.

Mark Lipton

Mark Lipton is a graduate professor of management at The New School in New York City. For over forty years, he has been an adviser to Fortune 500 corporations, think tanks, philanthropies, not-for-profits, and start-ups.

His most current book, “Mean Men: The perversion of America’s self-made man” was released in September, 2017. It won the 2018 “Best Business Commentary” book award from Axiom and the “Indie Book Award for Social Science.” It was a finalist for the 2018 “George R. Terry Book Award” from the Academy of Management.

Mark’s diverse entrepreneurial client base includes founders of transformative start-ups in technology, manufacturing, media, education, health care, finance, and marketing. His coaching skills and leadership development programs are engaged by C-level executives across all sectors of the economy, and his development of corporate and nonprofit boards allows them to govern more effectively.

He has led eminence and content strategy for Deloitte’s Chief Executive Program since 2015.

His work as a consultant and professor has inspired his writing for such publications as Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Deloitte University Press, and the Journal of Management Consulting, as well as his previous book, “Guiding Growth: How Vision Keeps Companies on Course” (Harvard Business School Press, 2003). Mark has been a frequent and recent commentator on cable networks, national print media, podcasts, syndicated radio, and Facebook live channels (e.g., Salon Talks).

He holds a PhD from the School of Management at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and was an Erik Erikson Visiting Scholar-in-Residence in 2009 at the Austen Riggs Center. He lives in New York City and the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.

Shalae Wynn

Shalae Wynn is a seasoned operations management professional with a background in the health care industry. She is a serial solution finder, strategy curator, and ideation leader with a diverse work background from technical to nontechnical environments.

Through the combination of her pragmatic approach, paired with design thinking, Shalae partners with organizations to implement strategies to achieve optimal operational efficiency. Shalae is passionate about using her lived experiences to be a contributor and change agent within and outside of her community.

Shalae has worked as an Operations Strategist for firms including Paths to Change: Consulting, Coaching, Facilitation, & Training Services, Californians for Safety and Justice, and Courageous Leadership.

Her formal education includes a Master of Science degree in Healthcare Administration from California State University East Bay and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Howard University.

Shalae serves on the Board of Directors for CADAP, Inc., a non-profit organization focused on empowering communities through awareness, education, and specialized services to youth, women with children, and persons transitioning back into society. Additionally, Shalae is a member of the Contra Costa Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she leads the Technology & Publicity committee.

Shalae’s frames her work around the approach that our foundation rests in the belief that organizational growth is sustained by considering where the world and tech tools are going, and not just where they have been.

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