To read 400-word biographies of our coaches based throughout Europe, click on a country below:
NANCY GLYNN coaches executives and teams as they increase their effectiveness in the global business arena. She draws on her experience as a senior executive, her broad experience in Europe, and her enduring belief in the transformative power of self-knowledge.
An Irish national, Nancy gained an MBA degree from United Business Institutes in Brussels. She holds Business Coaching accreditation from Meyler Campbell and is an authorized user of the Coaching Across Cultures framework. In master classes with Harvard Professor Carol Kauffman, Nancy has studied the application of positive psychology in coaching. She is accredited in the M.B.T.I. Steps I and II, and is authorized to use Team Diagnostic Assessment. Recently, Nancy qualified to teach mindfulness at the Center for Mindfulness (University of Massachusetts). She has lived and worked in Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, the U.K., and the U.S., and she’s worked in Finland.
Nancy served in global businesses for nearly 20 years, much of that time as a senior, board-level executive in marketing and communications, reporting to the CEO. Her responsibilities included global repositioning and rebranding; preparation for public listing of a 150-year old family company; communications supporting mergers, divestitures, and acquisitions; post-merger integration of identities and brands; financial communications; and crisis communications. In addition, Nancy was involved in the design and implementation of learning and performance development programs, including 360° feedback processes.
During her years in management, Nancy experienced multiple variations and degrees of cross-cultural transformation. Among these were the integration of major cross-border acquisitions, the restructuring of corporate portfolios, and the evolution of business models and processes brought about by crises and challenges. She gained her managerial experience with IMS HEALTH, Ahlstrom Fiber Solutions, Agfa HealthCare, Dow Corning, and Burson-Marsteller.
As an executive coach, Nancy helps her coachees achieve tangible outcomes. She regularly studies neuroscience as it applies to leadership because she’s found that her coachees benefit from this knowledge, which provides them with keys to how they and others function, and builds resilience leading to desired behavioral changes. Nancy is one of the few coaches in Europe qualified in this area. She says that it is “game-changing knowledge.”
Nancy works with leaders, including women leaders, as they navigate their way from a strategy to implementation by bridging the gap between knowing-what-to-do and getting-it-done. Her experience has shown that a key success factor in business coaching is to link objectives with personal and business contexts. Nancy’s coaching clients have included AstraZeneca, Roche, Daimler, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Johnson & Johnson, S.W.I.F.T., PricewaterhouseCoopers, Dow Corning, and White&Case.
Nancy recently relocated from Stuttgart to London. She enjoys gardening, hiking, books, and films.
JOY FERGUSON enables senior leaders and executive teams to excel through coaching and facilitation, bringing about transformation in individual and collective leadership thinking, behavior, and performance. She leverages her business acumen to yield a distinctly human approach in her services.
Joy holds an MA in psychodynamic counselling from the University of Reading, an advanced certificate in coaching supervision from the Bath Consultancy; she also has completed an 18-month coach/facilitator program at the University of Surrey. An accredited APECS executive and team coach, she’s qualified to use the JCA Emotional Intelligence Tool and the Pearson-Marr Personal Branding Tool; she’s also an NLP Master Practitioner. Finally, she also has training in, and decades of experience as, a career counsellor in the greater London area.
Joy’s corporate career began at British Telecom, where during 14 years she served in management roles including finance, procurement, and HR, ending her tenure as an internal consultant who regularly coached regional leaders and managing directors. She then moved to Dun & Bradstreet where, as a senior learning consultant, she introduced innovative approaches to raising performance. At both firms, Joy played key roles in re-engineering and change management initiatives, gaining a nuanced grasp of the complex imperatives facing global business leaders. All that experience now gives Joy quick credibility with senior executives.
As an independent professional since the late 1990s, Joy has worked with leaders and their teams within global companies throughout Europe. Clients have included British Telecom, GlaxoSmithKline, Dun & Bradstreet, KPMG, Atkins, Oracle, Shell, Johnson & Johnson, Barclays, Barclaycard, Prudential, DSGi, Tesco, Harley-Davidson, Transport for London, Blackwell, Molnlycke Healthcare, Nielsen, The Science & Technology Research Council, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Joy’s facilitation and coaching engagements are for leaders determined to increase their influence with stakeholders, gain clarity around their brand or career, move into more strategic roles, handle change and conflict more deftly, enhance their resilience, or who are technical experts needing to master team leadership and relational skills. She uses her facilitation skills in a wide variety of team settings to increase the effectiveness of participants’ collective contribution to their firm. Participants say they appreciate her approachability and the relevance and durability of the positive impact she’s helped them make.
Based in her native U.K. near London, Joy has a busy family life. She is active socially, has close community ties, plays tennis, and volunteers weekly at a homeless charity advice service.
SANDRA HENSON has a passion for enabling leaders and teams to discover more about who they are, to disrupt habitual but unconscious ways of working and relating to the world, and to accelerate the achievement of their aims and ambitions. She integrates advances in the field of human development into all her work as a coach of individuals and facilitator/coach of teams.
Sandra earned a first class bachelor’s degree from Bath University, receiving the Robert Bollam Prize for best in year. She holds Master Certified Coach accreditation from the International Coach Federation, and has qualified as a Systemic Coach and Facilitator, a Systemic Team Coaching Coach, and Master Certified Developmental Coach and Consultant. In addition, she has gained a master’s degree in coaching and mentoring. She’s also qualified to administer a range of assessments including Strengths Profiles, Myers Briggs, and Hogan. Finally, she has advanced to Level B with the British Psychological Society.
Sandra’s corporate career spanned 17 years. After several years with Zeneca, where she became regional manager for the Far East, she moved to Hydron. There she became head of sales and marketing, belonged to a core team developing and driving a new business strategy, and held P&L responsibility for the worldwide contact lens business. Following Hydron’s acquisition, Sandra became director of strategic marketing for Biocompatibles Hydron, developing both the core strategy for the combined product range and the future business direction to achieve sales targets. Her central roles in the acquisition process required her to support global teams and to deal extensively with integration challenges and “people factors.”
As an independent professional since 2000, Sandra has co-led several leadership development programs as well as worked with intact teams to explore their purpose, strategy, and objectives; ways of working together; and ways of relating to the stakeholder environment. She also has facilitated many events relating to aspects of organizational development.
As a senior executive coach, Sandra focuses on growing each coachee’s capacity for leadership, ability to scale leadership in others, and skill in navigating situations characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Her coaching also has supported coachees through professional transitions and encounters with unfamiliar national cultures. Clients have included Microsoft, HPE, Silicon Valley Bank, Abbott, GSK, Takeda, Compass Group, Dell, Centrica, Johnson & Johnson, and Chanel.
Sandra lives in the U.K. with her family. She has travelled extensively, climbing some of the highest active volcanoes in the world.
TOM HOOGEWERF is a U.K.-based international management consultant with experience working in more than thirty countries and doing business with clients from at least sixty countries. He is fluent in French and speaks some German.
Tom’s bachelors degree in English and American literature is from the University of Sussex. In 1997, he graduated from the Institute of Personnel and Development (IPD), the U.K. lead body in human resources management. He is also internationally accredited as a change consultant and management development adviser.
Starting his career as a teacher and educational journalist in the U.K., Tom moved to the United States in 1980 and devoted two years to lecturing in the American Culture and Language Program at California State University in Los Angeles. Subsequently, he was employed for five years by two international telecom organisations, Inmarsat (London) and Eutelsat (Paris). As internal communications manager for these firms, Tom supervised the transnational teams that provided conference and documentation services to over sixty member states. He also managed intergovernmental meetings for up to thirty representatives from North America, Europe and Asia, and served as secretary to the main board as well as to various committees.
In 1993 Tom left Eutelsat and moved into management consultancy, working on change and people development projects for U.K. clients such as London Transport, Europcar, and Lombard NatWest Financial Services. In 1994, he provided training and consultancy to the National Bank of Slovakia as part of the U.K. government’s “Know-How Fund” development program. Beginning in 1995, Tom worked closely with government-sponsored Training & Enterprise Councils, helping them implement the national “Investors in People” quality standard.
Since 1996, Tom professional focus has been as an organizational development and cross-cultural consultant for global 1000 companies operating in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Recently he has been directing cross-cultural programs for companies in the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Among his recent clients are McKinsey, Bank of America, GlaxoSmithKline, BP, Microsoft, Facebook, Nokia, and Mercedes-Benz. In April 2000, Tom founded his own consultancy, which specializes in cross-cultural consultancy and cross-border management solutions, including for mergers & acquisitions.
Tom lives in London, where he enjoys theatre and night life. He likes running and swimming, and plays five-a-side football weekly. Passionate about writing, he’s just finished his first novel. He’s also interested in travel, film, and history.
PETRA RAMSDEN is a cross-cultural trainer, consultant, and coach whose diverse experience working, living, and raising children in unfamiliar cultures has prepared her unusually well to support others who are beginning their own new global journey.
A native of Germany, Petra holds a degree in business economics from a university in Frankfurt. Her business career, which has spanned several nations, includes managerial positions in tax/audit, banking, pharma, and human resources. She is fluent in German and English, and has some proficiency in French, Polish, and Arabic.
Petra has two daughters, now holders of degrees from British universities, who travel on German passports but have never lived in Germany. Petra and her husband have raised them from infancy in Cairo, Warsaw, and London. The daughters are fine examples of “Third-Culture Kids” and their parents are example-setters as international parents.
As an independent consultant, Petra delivers a wide range of services that address topics such as intercultural communication, multicultural team leadership, cultural fit for businesses, global mindset, and adaptation for business families who have recently expatriated or returned home. She specializes in programs for the spouses/partners and children of business assignees abroad. For GROVEWELL, Petra delivers special coaching workshops for children between ages 6 and 18 who have accompanied their globally mobile parents to live in Great Britain, and who are or soon will be attending school outside of their native country.
MARIE-PASCALE MARTORELL is an experienced business facilitator and leadership coach with a special interest in supporting executives through stressful periods of transition and change. She helps them learn to use such periods as opportunities for breakthroughs toward gains in interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and leadership performance.
A native of France, Marie-Pascale graduated from the Western Catholic University of Angers in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in English and linguistics. In 1985 she completed a master’s in business management at École Supérieure des Sciences Commerciales d’Angers; at that time she also was studying economics in the University of Vienna. Her coaching certification was gained from the International Coaching Institute in Geneva, and she’s completed training in Gestalt therapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Today, she is a coach supervisor and lead-trainer for advanced workshops certified by the International Coaching Federation. Having lived in England, Austria, Mexico, and the U.S., Marie-Pascale works professionally in English and French, and converses in German and Spanish.
Marie-Pascale’s consulting expertise is built on a foundation of financial and management experience, gained through corporate responsibilities that involved business affairs in Africa as well as in Europe. Her employers included Cacao Barry in the food industry, SG2 Gestion in the computer industry, and Allia in the sanitary-ware industry. As a financial controller during periods of large corporate reorganizations, Marie-Pascale held core positions that required collaborating with senior executives on budget planning and margin analysis.
A move to London in 1996 enabled Marie-Pascale to become an independent consultant specializing in sales and marketing. Gradually, she took on more leadership coaching and team effectiveness facilitation. Today, she’s able to draw on her rich experience with cross-project team managers as well as with leaders and HR staff who are facing challenges such as preventing workplace stress or fostering collective intelligence. Among her clients have been L’Oréal, Société Générale, Johnson & Johnson, AXA, Danone, ENGIE, Louis Vuitton, Barclays Capital, Motorola, Crédit Lyonnais, Pfizer, American Express, and Beiersdorf.
In 2016, Marie-Pascale’s French-language book was published; it is entitled Coacher Grace aux Neurosciences (“Coaching Thanks to Neuroscience”). Published in 2017 was Transformer l’entreprise (“Transforming Organizations”), which she co-authored with three colleagues.
Having lived and worked in five different nations, Marie-Pascale has first hand experience of transition and change. She currently lives in Paris with her Spanish-born husband, Rafael, an investment banker; they have four children. She is a trekker and a marathon-finisher.
NANCY BRAGARD, an American who has made her home in France for over 20 years, coaches and trains the globally mobile workforce and facilitates change in organizations with post-merger & acquisition challenges.
Nancy grew up in Rhode Island in an internationally-minded family that regularly hosted foreign students. She spent a year in Germany at age 14, learning the benefits and tough realities of living abroad. Following her university studies, she taught high school English in Togo for a year. After settling in France, Nancy began her career as resident director of a study-abroad program for American students. Over the years, graduate studies and summer workshops in intercultural communications and the MBTI led her to a freelance career in corporate consulting, coaching and training.
Committed to promoting high performance environment in the multicultural workplace, Nancy provides coaching and leads seminars in a variety of corporate contexts. She prepares French assignees for expatriation assignments and coaches incoming executives to facilitate professional transition and social integration. For example, among her recent assignments, Nancy coached an American executive new to Décathlon (a major French sports retailer and designer); the executive’s mandate was exposure to the French market and assimilation into the home office corporate culture, with the ultimate objective being his leadership of Décathlon USA. Another recent assignment was for Hill Rom (a products and service provider for the healthcare community); following her coaching of an American posted as site manager of the French subsidiary, Nancy was brought back to train senior and middle management in order to enhance local understanding of key drivers within the American corporate context – accountability, ownership, empowerment, risk-taking, and others.
In the context of mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures, Nancy focuses on building teams, developing strategies to capitalize on cultural diversity, and defining tools to optimize communication and motivation in the workplace. In addition to Décathlon and Hill Rom, her corporate clients have included Aventis Pasteur, General Electic, Glaxo Smith Kline, Crown, Thalès, Thyssen Krupp, and Delphi.
Truly astride two cultures and a flawless speaker of Parisian French, Nancy returns to the U.S. regularly to participate in intercultural workshops. She has three bilingual-bicultural children who loyally spend their summers in Nancy’s native New England. The oldest child is now pursuing her bachelors degree at Boston University.
EDITH CORON is a global leadership coach and intercultural communication specialist. She brings broad international experience to her coaching practice, which she anchors in her respect for the challenges that executives face. She is committed to each of her coachees for the achievement of their goals, the enhancement of their performance, and the optimal use of their growth opportunities.
Edith holds a masters degree in literature from the University of Dijon, where she also studied enology. At the University of Columbia (Missouri), she received training in broadcast journalism. She completed her coach training from Coach U, and she is certified to deliver the Cultural Orientations Indicator, the Polaris Global 360, the REN Coaching Model (which adapts coaching to Chinese values), and a variety of other tools. She has completed the Global Executive Coaching course at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication.
A global nomad by choice, Edith has both lived and worked in China, the U.K., the U.S., Israel, France, Russia, and in several nations of Latin America and Africa. She works professionally in French, Spanish, and English, and she also speaks Russian and some Mandarin.
During Edith’s first career, which lasted 20 years, she was an international journalist and author who acquired an insider’s knowledge of the media. A correspondent who roamed four continents, Edith observed and explained unfamiliar cultures to North Americans and Europeans. As editorial manager of a European web site, she managed an international team and adapted content to audiences in six countries.
Until recently, Edith was based in Beijing. Now she’s back in France, providing not only executive coaching but also global leadership competency development, intercultural awareness training, multicultural teambuilding, and globalization consulting; in addition, she supervises and mentors other coaches, and is a faculty member of several executive coaching programs. Her clients include Alcatel, Procter & Gamble, Schneider Electric, Saint Gobain, PWC, Aventis, Michelin, Accor, Wolseley, Danone, Decathlon, Société Générale, Novozymes, Degussa, Novartis, Areva, Airbus, Spansion, Auchan, Oshkosh, Tyco, Siemens, and Johnson & Johnson.
Edith is a member of the International Coach Federation, and a founding member of the Asia-Pacific Alliance of Coaches. Her coauthored book, Les nouveaux éclaireurs de la Chine: Hybridité culturelle et globalization [The New Scouts of China: Cultural Hybridity and Globalization], was published in Paris during 2015.
With her English husband, Edith enjoys singing baroque music in choirs. They also share with their two teen-age sons a passion for world travelling and scuba diving.
VANESSA KATTE is passionate about the holistic development of individuals, professionals, and global business leaders during phases of change and transition in each one’s life. She works from the premise that, if you want to change your behavior, you first need to change something inside.
A native of Germany, Vanessa holds degrees in business studies from the University of Glamorgan (Wales), and in business administration from the University of Applied Sciences (Germany). She has several coaching certifications, including from Henley Business School, the Behavioural Coaching Institute, and Erickson Coaching International. She has also gained certifications as an NLP Master Practitioner and an MBTI Practitioner. She is fluent in German and English.
Vanessa began her corporate career in communications and public relations at Publicis Networks, then joined Robert Bosch, where she contributed to several departments including product marketing and key account management. Later, at the Robert Bosch Holding Company in Shanghai, she was appointed a “change agent” and supported the implementation of a policy deployment program across local operations.
In 2003, Vanessa relocated to Singapore where, at Antony Consulting (a change management consultancy that she co-owned), she designed and implemented change roadmaps for use in several Southeast Asian nations. These comprised a mix of strategic, leadership development, and human resource interventions, including culture-shaping programs. During this period she ventured into leadership coaching, working with the executives of MNCs, government bodies such as the Civil Service College, educational organizations such as the Institute for Adult Learning, and partner firms such as Coach in a Box. Her services included both workplace coaching programs and one-on-one coaching. Vanessa’s clients included Pratt & Whitney Canada, Hamilton Sundstrand, Phillips, TNT Express, Bosch Packaging Technology, tesa tape, New Zealand Milk, and Tabung Amanah Pekerja (which manages Brunei’s pension fund).
In 2011, Vanessa returned to Germany as a senior consultant with a leadership training and development company, the Munich Leadership Group. Under its aegis, she facilitated trainings for DAX 50 firms that focused on performance and change management, leadership development, and consulting skills.
Now as an independent professional, Vanessa accepts assignments to coach business leaders, and to conduct consulting and training programs in the areas of leadership, communication, and health. She also works professionally with the Munich-based Inner Mission organization, which accompanies teenage refugees in Germany.
Based in Munich, Vanessa loves to spend time in nature, attend films and art exhibitions, read, and experiment with energy healing practices.
LYDIA SIMON is an executive coach, facilitator, and consultant who works with managers individually and with teams and across all managerial levels. She enables her coachees and participants to efficiently manage changes and transitions by keeping a clear focus on both business success and personal values. Her strength is evident in engagements with a cross-cultural or cross-functional focus, consistent with her decades of professional experience.
Born in Germany, Lydia earned a Ph.D. in chemistry during 1993 from Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf. During her studies she also lived in London and the United States. In 1998, she gained an MBA degree from Bradford Management Center in the U.K. She acquired her certification as a professional coach from I-Coach Academy, and she’s also certified as a brain-based coach by the Neuro-Leadership Institute. She facilitates and coaches equally well in German and English.
Lydia started her career in R&D, working for Boehringer Ingelheim and Agfa-Gevaert AG. After gaining her MBA, she focused on production and technology at Bayer AG, assessing innovation projects to prepare for major strategic investment decisions. She then moved into operational management, and worked for more than six years as plant manager and quality manager in production, first in Belgium and later in China.
After joining Bayer in China, Lydia participated in the start-up of a worldclass production plant for engineering plastics, successfully managing a team of Chinese talents to optimize processes and interfaces within the plant. Later she created a customer service center for plastics, linking and training the teams of production, marketing, and sales. During her final four years in China, she moved into product development. Within a short time she built a highly effective Chinese innovation team that became the Asian hub of the global innovation network for Bayer MaterialScience.
Having returned to her native Germany in 2015, Lydia is available for coaching and other consulting engagements throughout Europe. Her clients have been senior and executive managers of large global corporations such as General Motors, AstraZeneca, and Johnson &Johnson. Some of her services address the business interface between Chinese and Western cultures.
Lydia is married and the mother of a son who enhances the joy and balance in her life. She is devoted to sports, especially running and yoga, and she provides mentoring for professional women. Her hedonistic passions are chocolates and baked goods.
ANNE DAMOISEAUX coaches senior managers and executive leadership teams in major international corporations with a particular focus on diversity leadership and management. She is passionate about accompanying people in organizations towards sustainable performance and deployment of their human richness. As a French citizen from a Belgian background, and with experience in more than 30 nations, Anne works in English and French, and is conversant in German, Spanish, Dutch, and Mandarin.
Anne attained an MBA from Rheims Management School and in Mandarin Chinese from the Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Paris and in Taipei. She is a certified coach from CTI UK and a team coach from Team Coaching International. She holds certifications in MBTI, DISC, Hogan, the Cultural Orientation Framework, and the Intercultural Readiness Check. Anne has completed a professional training in Non-Violent Communication (NVC) offered by Marshall Rosenberg.
From 1984 to 2002, Anne gained experience in the fast moving consumer goods industry as an international marketing and sales executive. She served during four years as a market development manager for China and Taiwan, then during 14 years for all European countries, in which case she was responsible for developing sales and profits, including in newly opened Eastern European markets. She has held titles such as marketing coordination manager, strategic marketing manager, and marketing and sales director for companies such as Seita, Douwe Egberts–Sara Lee and Imperial Tobacco Group.
As an independent coach, Anne specializes in corporate leader coaching and global team facilitation engagements in which the multiple perspectives of human diversity are leveraged to improve performance, bottom-line results, and personal fulfillment. She draws on her long experience as a global marketing leader to help those in similar roles to confront complex, culturally nuanced challenges, and to connect with a sense of power, responsibility, choice, and meaning. The outcomes are that practical solutions are envisioned and constructively enacted, leading to sustainable organizational successes.
Anne’s clients have included international corporations such as Airbus Industries, EADS Group, Abbott, American Management Association, Areva, Belgacom, Bel Group, Eurocontrol, La Française des Jeux, NXP, Philips, Tyco, Solvay Group and public organizations such as the European Institutions and the World Food Program.
Anne loves discovering people from different backgrounds. She supports the development of girls and women through associations such as SEWA and Kings Trust College in India, promotes coaching as Board member of ICF Belgium, and enjoys friends and life in Brussels.
THEA BOMBEEK is passionate about enabling leaders and teams to perform at the highest level of which they are capable, thereby promoting the attainment of team and organizational goals. She works professionally in Dutch, German, French, and English.
A native of the Flanders region of Belgium, Thea holds a masters in art history from the University of Ghent, and a masters in HR management from Antwerp Management School. She is recognized by the International Coach Federation as a Master Certified Coach (MCC), and by Alan Seale’s organization as a Certified Transformational Presence Coach. Thea has competed several other extensive coach-training programs including Contextual Coaching from Leren over Leven. Additionally, she is qualified in the use of both the MBTI and Management Drives.
Thea’s corporate career began at Brussels-based Kredietbank (now KBC), where she eventually rose to fill management roles in marketing, business-to-business communications, and human resources. After a sabbatical leave to earn her second masters degree, she joined KMPG to become a specialist in learning and development. She developed and facilitated training programs on leadership development, team coaching, effective collaboration, and communication with impact. During her 20 years of corporate experience, she gained a nuanced view of the complex challenges facing global businesses.
Thea became an independent coach and facilitator in 2004. She works with executives and high potentials, focusing on authentic leadership, communication skills, personal and corporate values, organizational culture, motivating and influencing, and women in leadership. Among the more creative workshops that Thea has designed and facilitates are Loyalties @ Work (which relates how one functions at work with his or her family of origin), and Team Building Through the Metaphor of the Circus. Thea’s client list includes, among others, Baxter, Johnson & Johnson, Becton Dickinson, Décathlon, Oxylane, Alpro, Ontex, KBC, Daimler, D’Ieteren, BNP Paribas Fortis, Acerta, Mediamarkt, Eandis, Volvo, Port of Brussels, Allnex, De Lijn, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Thea is a visiting lecturer for future coaches at the Sociale Hogeschool Ghent, and at Leren over Leven. She also leads coaching supervision groups for HR managers and other leaders who want to improve their skills. Among the topics she emphasizes in these roles are leadership, communication, and the impact of culture within organizations and across national boundaries.
Thea likes reading and classical music, especially opera. She lives with her husband, Dirk, near Antwerp. Together they enjoy travelling to meet people from different cultures and discovering nature by walking around.
MICHAEL PANTLIN, one of only five GROVEWELL Senior Associates worldwide, is an executive coach who enjoys helping leaders to conquer the challenges of change. He has a particular interest in strategic change in global organizations where multiple cultures need to be bridged. He provides services with equal effectiveness in Dutch/Flemish as well as in English.
Michael was born and bred in England before studying and living in the Netherlands. He holds a master of science in industrial engineering from the University of Eindhoven. Later, he completed a management course at the American Management Association in Chicago. More recently, after he’d become interested in executive coaching, Michael completed three courses: one in management and executive coaching at the School for Coaching; one in cross-cultural coaching with Rosinski & Company; and one that led to certification in the “Intercultural Readiness Check” instrument by Intercultural Business Improvement.
It was at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines that Michael spent his business career. He worked in many areas including operations, marketing, and information technology. He led numerous international partnership projects, which enabled him to develop a collaborative leadership style. Michael was lastly director of corporate strategy, in which capacity he was closely involved with KLM’s merger with Air France and the subsequent post-merger integration. Together with French colleagues, he enjoyed facilitating culture-bridging and joint leadership development. Given his extensive management experience, he can easily relate to business dilemmas that clients may be wrestling with.
Michael’s international working experience has given him in useful insights into the challenges of working in global organizations and with virtual teams. As an executive coach, he has had ten years of experience with senior managers in a wide range of Netherlands-based corporations: Delta Lloyd, United Services Group, Rabobank, Shell, NetApp, Achmea, and SITA. In some of these engagements, he expertly made use of 360° feedback. Michael’s coaching clients describe his style using terms such as engaged, result-driven, pragmatic, culturally sensitive, bridge-builder, conceptually analytic, and reliable.
Michael is particularly interested in coaching managers in global corporations in which cross-cultural teamwork is critical for long-term success. Recently he expanded his portfolio to include coaching leaders in transition, in which cases he applies Elsner’s “eight tensions.”
Michael and his Dutch wife live in The Netherlands where they enjoy urban and outdoor activities; favorites are gardening, sailing, and cycling. They love visiting their children and grandchildren. Michael has a personal interest in the effects of climate change and resource conservation.
ESTHER KNECHT values personal growth and human diversity. Curious, energetic, and empathetic, she considers herself a transformational activist. Her passion is working with and inspiring people.
Esther received a bachelors in business administration and economics as well as an executive masters in human resources in her native Switzerland. She gained a second masters in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University, New York. She has also learned about people and their cultures by living in Canada, Italy, France, Guatemala, and the United States. She is fluent in German, English, and French, and conversational in Spanish and Italian.
For many years Esther worked in human resources. She led the HR department of the Rieter Group, a leading Swiss-based international organization in the automotive and textile industries. As an HR generalist, she focused on the global component of her role, implementing international training and development programs, leading benchmarking projects, and redesigning and administering an innovative expatriate policy.
As an HR business partner group leader for Credit Suisse, Esther coached and counseled senior managers in the private banking sector in the domestic and international markets. Part of her role was to help manage various restructuring projects. She acted as an internal advisor for outplacement as well as retention and talent development, for which she planned, implemented, and co-facilitated leadership development programs. Credit Suisse’s succession planning process included the MBTI, 360° feedback, and an assessment center.
As the director of human resources International for Winterthur Insurance (now AXA-Winterthur), Esther implemented the new HR strategy. She used the opportunity – in Switzerland, the U.S., Asia, and Europe – to apply her expertise to talent management, HR transformation, expatriation, consulting, coaching, and executive training facilitation. Together with her worldwide team, Esther conducted due diligence projects and linked HR with the organization’s strategic business plan.
More recently as an independent consultant, Esther turned her skills to diversity issues, leading workshops about conflict resolution, intercultural communication, and global team collaboration. She also facilitates workshops on innovation throughout Europe and North America. To deepen participants’ learning, she offers follow-up coaching to address individual issues. Her coaching focus is on executive and leadership coaching for individual growth and for support in times of change. Her goal is helping people develop their unique talents and accessing personal resources to meet specific challenges.
In her spare time Esther likes to dance, ski, and hike in the Swiss mountains. She loves to spend time with her family and good friends.
WAHID SHARAF is comprehensively familiar with both Western Europe and Egypt. His decades of experience in global marketing gives him the insight needed to ensure sustained success within culturally diverse contexts. For Wahid, intercultural training and coaching is more than a career choice; it’s a calling.
Born in Europe to a Swiss mother and Egyptian father, Wahid was brought up within the contexts of Egyptian, French, and German cultures. He holds a bachelor of business administration degree from Babson College in the U.S. He is certified as an Evidence-Based Coach by Fielding Graduate University, and accredited at the ACC level by the International Coaching Federation. Wahid holds eight other qualifications from organizations in Europe and the U.S. Among them are Intercultural Coach & Trainer; Cross-Cultural Communications; Conflict Management & Mediation; Immunity-to-Change Facilitator; Transforming Business, Society & Self; and MBTI Steps I & II. He is a fluent speaker of Arabic, German, French, and English.
Wahid has over four decades of experience working as a manager or consultant with large global companies, most with bases or significant activity in the Middle East. As a marketing executive in several high-profile Swiss corporations, Wahid led business negotiations with companies in the Middle East and Far East as well as the rest of Europe. He personally oversaw the creation of multinational partnerships and fostered new sales and marketing opportunities. His diverse industry experiences – across banking, agro-chemical, pharmaceutical, aviation, and engineering – have made him a versatile and resourceful advisor to his clients. [At Wahid’s request, GROVEWELL is not naming any companies with which he has been associated.]
As a consultant and coach to executive teams in global corporations, Wahid developed solutions that promoted effective cross-cultural interaction between his clients and their culturally diverse markets. Leveraging cultural differences, his clients have become able to maximize success in a wide variety of complex circumstances. Building bridges between European, Middle Eastern, and Asian markets became second nature for him.
Wahid has fused his broad industry and cultural knowledge with a 30-year martial arts journey to form a uniquely embodied and integrated approach to cross-cultural competence coaching. Incorporating the philosophies and techniques of Aikido and other martial arts into each day has shaped his outlook, his thought process, and his deliveries to clients and coachees.
FRANCESCO PIMPINELLI is an experienced executive coach who supports business leaders as they more effectively attain their personal and organizational goals. His approach to coaching – both one-to-one and in a team setting – integrates his strong competence in the area of personal development with his quarter century of international management and corporate consulting experience. He coaches equally fluently in English and Italian.
Francesco received a masters degree in computer science from the University of Milan in 1985. His professional preparation for coaching includes a high performance coaching certification from Performance Unlimited and an executive coaching course at the Wharton School. He holds certifications in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, including as a Professional Certified Counselor in Systemic NLP with Centre Culturel Européen Jean Monnet. He is an expert in Systemic Coaching, a methodology that applies an ecological approach (personal, relational, and organizational). Finally, he is accredited as a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation.
Francesco has a broad business background, developed as he worked for major international organizations including Olivetti, where he served as the key expert in educational technology; Gemini Consulting, where he worked as a management consultant; Oracle, where he was a sales director; and at the European Union, which he served as a consultant. He also worked briefly as a manager for a venture capital fund sponsored by Unicredit Group. In 2002, Francesco dedicated himself full-time to executive coaching and leadership development, working all across Europe as well as in his native Italy.
Francesco’s areas of strength include leadership, teamwork, strategy and sales, work-life integration, relationship management, emotional intelligence, cross-cultural competencies, communication and influencing, cultural and organizational change, and the first 100 days of role transitions. He often incorporates 360º feedback into his coaching as well as personality and cultural assessments for individuals and teams. As one of Francesco’s coachees remarked, “Francesco’s combination of business management know-how and expertise in personal growth produces a balanced and respectful approach that enabled me to make the next step” (to president of a global industrial company).
When Francesco is not busy with work he enjoys cooking for his friends, traveling, reading, or riding his bicycle. He loves to relax in the countryside of the pre-Alps close to Lago Maggiore, enjoying quietness and nature. Another of his interests is learning about human cultures, spirituality, and personal development. Francesco has created an impressive CD collection with music gathered from all over the world.
LIDIJA DROBEŽ is a facilitator, organizational consultant, and leadership coach for clients throughout Europe. Thanks to a career that has spanned numerous highly diverse markets, she is able to leverage her cross-cultural sensitivity and organizational experience in support of companies, teams, and individuals as they address global leadership and unit-performance challenges.
Lidija received her first degree in sociology from Ljubljana University. She completed an Executive MBA at the IEDC/Bled School of Management, and a four-year postgraduate program in integrative psychotherapy at IPSA Institute in Slovenia. Lidija’s coaching accreditation is from Ashridge Business School. In addition, she is certified as a management developer by the European Foundation for Management Development.
Lidija’s career spans more than a quarter century of professional service within a variety of cultural and business/industrial contexts. She has lived as well as worked in Europe and the Middle East; her longest international assignments were in Germany, Egypt, and Greece. She is completely fluent in English, German, and Croatian/Serbian as well as her native Slovenian.
After beginning her career as a media researcher, Lidija joined an airline company and worked in a variety of capacities in Slovenia and abroad. After completing her MBA, she spent seven years as a senior HR advisor with the largest financial institution in Southeast Europe, where her responsibilities included management development, talent management, and corporate culture change.
In 2004 Lidija began her career as an independent facilitator, leadership coach, and organizational consultant. Since then, her clients have included major global firms such as AT Kearney, AVL, Deloitte, Deutsche Telecom, Novartis, Renault, Johnson & Johnson, and Peugeot Citroën as well as leading companies based in Southeast Europe such as Akrapovic, Gorenje, MOL, Nexe Group, and NIL.
Along with providing coaching and consulting services, Lidija has led numerous workshops and leadership development seminars. As a facilitator, she often works with executive teams on business and leadership topics. Lidija is able to generate positive workshop dynamics as well as constructive discussions focused on strategies for effective goal attainment. As a trainer and leadership developer, she provides rich mix of conceptual inputs, experiential learning opportunities, and thoughtful debriefs, all of which contribute to transformational professional development as well as higher performing teams and team leaders.
MICHALE SILLER is an experienced executive/leadership coach, facilitator, trainer, and speaker. He supports executives and project managers during times of change and uncertainty, enabling them to gain clarity for making great decisions, to lead teams towards more trust and cooperation, and to influence organizational culture positively and lastingly.
A native of northern Italy, Michael graduated in performing arts from the Conservatory of Vienna in 2002. In 2013, he graduated from the Passion for Coaching Institute (Berlin) as a certified Systemic/Integral Business Coach. From the Hofstede Center (Helsinki) soon thereafter, he gained certifications as a Practitioner of Intercultural Management and as a Practitioner of Organizational Culture and Change. He retains an association with Hofstede Insights as a coach, trainer, facilitator, and consultant. The International Coaching Federation certified Michael as an Associate Certified Coach in 2014, and a Professional Certified Coach in 2017. Michael works professionally in Italian, German, and English.
During the first decade of his professional life, Michael was an actor, singer, and dancer. Among other venues, he appeared in Austria at the Vienna Volksopera and Bregenz Summerfestival; in Germany at Magdeburg and Festival Baden Baden; in Italy at Teatro Olimpico and Festival Giffoni; in Oman at the Royal Opera House Muscat; and in the U.S. at the Players Theatre and the Washington Opera.
In 2012 Michael decided to change professions and become a leadership and executive coach, trainer, facilitator, and speaker. In these capacities he works with executives, managers, and business owners to increase their performance and to lead teams with greater impact. He facilitates workshops with executive teams to help them improve performance and align strategy with organizational culture. His coaching and training/facilitation expertise encompasses transformational leadership, communication skills, leadership development, intercultural competence, negotiation skills, presentation skills, nonverbal communication, conflict management, decision-making, group dynamics, systemic thinking, and the assessment and change of organizational culture. His clients have included Bayer, Novartis, Goodmills, Siemens, and the European Aviation Safety Agency.
Michael also serves as Regional Director for Business Network International (BNI-Vienna), leading 20+ team leaders and managing 400+ members across 15 networking groups. For international companies, he regularly delivers keynote addresses on leadership, intercultural challenges, and organizational culture.
Michael is married and a proud father of two wonderful boys who fill his life with joy and laughter. He is passionate about meditation and yoga, and he still sings whenever he can. Michael loves to travel and spend time in nature.