Meet Our Members

Each month we profile a SAC member in our monthly newsletter.
Here are the members we’ve featured so far.

Members: Want to be featured? Complete your profile now.


Aviv Ben Yosef

Meet Aviv Ben Yosef

Contact Aviv.

I’m a tech executive consultant and coach on a mission to create world-class engineering teams that rapidly move the needle. Among the results clients report are: a culture of excellence, R&D operating as an innovation center (and not a cost center), and a strong bond between engineering and the rest of the business.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
Breaking the silos starts at the top. I start by making my client, the tech executive, a real executive first. They usually have the tech part down already.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
Don’t let yourself off the hook by thinking that it should take years to become proficient at certain things. The motto of my army unit was “Everything is possible.” That applies to consulting as well.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
Other than the great community, I love getting regular exposure to successful thought leaders and their expert opinions about improving my own business. I’m certain there’s no other place that collects such a fount of consulting knowledge and variety


Hugh Blane

Meet Hugh Blane

Contact Hugh.

Hugh Blane doesn’t claim to know everything about your business. He does claim however to know more than anyone about converting human potential into accelerated business results – that’s why his clients call him the Talent Alchemist. His consulting firm, Claris Consulting, is retained by clients such as Microsoft, Sony Pictures, Stanford University, Providence Health Systems, Nordstrom and Pepperdine University.

Hugh is the author of 7 Principles of Transformational Leadership: create a mindset of passion, innovation and growth and his work with executives and entrepreneurs centers on converting human potential into accelerated results.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
One of the things that differentiate me is that I am a six-time serial entrepreneur. I invested in, have been a partner in, or have purchased six different businesses. I bring operational expertise and a hands-on, roll up your sleeves entrepreneurial mindset to my work. That means my work is not theoretical or intellectual. It’s rooted in the practical and real-world of growing and operating a business.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
That one is easy for me. I wish I had learned not to be afraid of failure as much as I have been. In my entrepreneurism, even though I was a risk-taker in setting up and running a business, I still had a fear of failure. I didn’t take as many risks as I wish I could have or should have. This has cost me millions of dollars and has led me to live with too much fear and anxiety.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
I enjoy the learning labs as well as the camaraderie and collaboration with my fellow members. As a SIG member, we cross-pollinate ideas, share stories of success and failure, and learn from one another in an accelerated manner. Quite frankly, I can’t imagine a higher return on investment than being a member of SAC.


Gail Bower

Meet Gail Bower

Contact Gail.

Gail Bower is the founder and president of Bower & Co. Consulting LLC, a revenue strategy firm that works with mission- or purpose-driven organizations to uncover and develop reliable sources of revenue that also drive their social or environmental missions. Gail is the author of the guidebook How to Jump-start Your Sponsorship Strategy in Tough Times.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I work at the intersection of nonprofit and for profit collaboration, helping organizations put more money in their missions and more mission in their money. Trained as a futurist, I study where society is headed, what trends are on the horizon, and how these trends impact my clients’ businesses. My approach allows clients to leverage opportunities that strengthen capacity and grow their businesses and reputations.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
I wish I could have encouraged my younger self to trust that more opportunity and satisfaction in life will come from following my curiosity, passions, and creativity.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
Unlike many professional organizations, SAC is dedicated to providing tremendous value to its members, and therefore has attracted excellent practitioners and interesting people who enrich my life.


Gwen Bridge

Meet Gwen Bridge

Contact Gwen.

A member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta, Canada, Gwen works to develop and improve organization structures and strategies within indigenous groups to better position them to maximize opportunities with partners and governments. She also works with corporate and government clients in developing productive and respectful relationships with indigenous peoples. Her work improves the relationships between indigenous peoples and their corporate and government partners, leading towards mutual economic and societal improvement.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
As an indigenous woman, I deeply understand the objectives of my work to empower indigenous peoples and their partners. My Master of Science degree provides me the grounding in western science that enables productive conversations, which can draw upon both science and indigenous ways of knowing. My work is about creating parity between the laws of colonial governments and the original laws of the land.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
When I started my business a decade ago, I knew nothing about business development. I think that I would have told my younger self to learn and apply much more business development and marketing. I have always been good at speaking my mind. However , I would remind my younger self when talking to buyers, to remember that the buyer is my equal. It’s my ideas which establish that equality, so speak them more freely, don’t get nervous, and seek them out more often.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
SAC has provided so much encouragement and support in my business development, both practically and mindset-wise. The webinars are really great and interesting. The wonderful engaged membership is really what we as solo consultants need to provide motivation and support for growing our businesses.


Mark Cioni

Meet Mark Cioni

Contact Mark.

Mark’s company, MV Cioni Associates, helps clients to optimize business decisions, operations and performance.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
A broad and deep base of experience that includes business process design and optimization, technical expertise, business benefits realization, and organizational change leadership.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
The perceived value of an intervention is more important than its meritocratic aspects…Logic versus emotion.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
Diversity of thought and perspective, development offerings, and camaraderie combined with willingness to help members.


Karen Eber Davis

Meet Karen Eber Davis

Contact Karen.

Karen Eber Davis helps nonprofit leaders motivated by a vision to build exceptional nonprofits. People hire Karen to increase their revenues and supporters by up to 300 percent. They gain leadership, board, and fundraising strategies and tactics that improve their organization’s forever. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let’s Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
Most nonprofits struggle to obtain adequate revenue. I developed a process that generates the resources nonprofits need so they can focus on their missions.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
Lots of money exists for the work I do. Everyone has needs—even the best organizations. People like and want to hire me. (With thanks to Andrew Hollo, who shared this thinking at the 2019 SAC meeting.)

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
The chance to meet and work with people who inspire me to be my best.


Liz de Clifford

Meet Liz de Clifford

Contact Liz.

Liz de Clifford has more than 20 years of experience collaborating with business leaders who need to improve their presence, connect with audiences, and achieve results. She has worked with executives at companies such as Google, coached start-ups seeking to secure funding, and executives who need to make an important speech at a conference, seminar, or corporate retreat. Born in England with work experience in Australia and South Africa, Liz also serves clients who seek to reach an international audience.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
My life has been an adventure–focused on life-long learning and exploring the globe while working a wide variety of jobs, taking on consulting and training roles, and starting different businesses. I’ve developed a unique skill in reinvention. Early on, I started speaking and co-chaired the Professional Speaker Academy at the National Speakers Association (NSA) and so combined reinvention with speaking to form my current practice.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
The value of sales and marketing for global businesses, and how humor can turn around almost any situation.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
The global network of consultants is extraordinary, and SAC facilitates the collaboration, sharing of knowledge, and discussions of future trends across the globe.


Mark Donovan

Meet Mark Donovan

Contact Mark.

Dublin, Ireland-based Mark Donovan is the founder of Mark Donovan & Associates Limited, a consultancy that helps leaders keep their word and do what they say they’ll do. In 2003, he left the corporate world to open his own consultancy practice. His clients include leaders and teams from Baxter Healthcare, Cadburys, Chill Insurance, Dublin City Council, Largo Foods (Tayto), Top Oil, and Virgin Media. While some SAC members are expanding their practice to be more global in nature, Mark tells us his goal is to build a thriving practice without ever leaving the city of Dublin.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I hold my clients accountable for what they have agreed to do. I follow up with them relentlessly until they do what they said they would do. One client’s testimonial about me was, “Mark is a force of nature who directs and drives people to action.”

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
To focus on giving clients value and not time. When I started out, I was concerned that I was not giving my clients ‘enough of my time,’ it took me a while and some coaching from Alan Weiss to realize that it is all about the ‘value we give.’

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
It is a fantastic opportunity to get top class webinars, newsletters and conferences for a very small fee. The two-day SAC event in New York in 2018 was a huge developmental experience for me with the top class speakers on show.


Martyn Drake

Meet Martyn Drake

Contact Martyn.

Martyn Drake is the founder of Binley Drake Consulting, the boutique management consultancy he set up in 2009 to help ambitious business leaders dramatically improve the performance of their organisations. Since then, he has advised commercial organisations ranging from small family businesses right up to some of the world’s most iconic brands.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I think it’s my sense of humour, although my clients aren’t as convinced. They think it’s because I understand them, their situation, and their goals better than anyone, and they trust me to help them get there. But it’s actually my sense of humour, and one day they’ll finally realise that.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
This is a relationship business, so you have to be considerate towards people, especially when you’re making them uncomfortable by challenging their thinking and their preconceptions. I’m quite analytical, quite incisive, and at times, quite blind to other people’s feelings, which means I’ve always had a rare and exceptional gift for pissing people off in the most remarkable and unexpected ways. And while that’s not always a bad thing, experience (and marriage) has taught me that it’s actually quite useful to be able to turn it off at times.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
Meeting up with others who are leading in their fields, sharing practices and learning from each other. In solo consulting, it’s incredibly valuable to have a network that you can turn to for inspiration, advice, or just for an objective, unvarnished opinion on your own situation. That situation might be that you’re way up the wrong creek without a paddle, and at SAC, you’ll find colleagues who know enough from their own experiences to see it and to say it, but they will also be the first to lend you an oar or give you a tow, to help you get moving in the right direction.


Colleen Francis

Meet Colleen Francis

Contact Colleen.

Colleen is driven by a passion for sales—and results. She works with business and sales leaders to synergize the sales DNA of the organization to seize market opportunities. Whether designing strategy to target a new market or working with a team to improve its productivity, Colleen’s results have attracted clients such as Merck, Abbott, Merrill Lynch, Royal Bank, Dow, Adecco, Trend Micro, NCR, Chevron, and hundreds of other global organizations.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
As a sales expert, I’m sales process- and methodology-agnostic. My job is to help customers succeed using the best approach for their market and their customers, which starts with an understanding of how the buyer wants to buy ,as opposed to most consultants that start with how the company wants to sell. When we turn “selling” on its head this way, we are able to reduce friction in the buying process, close more deals at a higher profit, and keep more customers retained in the long term.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
Everything! Joking aside, I wish I had reached out for help and for a mentor earlier in my career. I spent too much time trying to “figure it out on my own,” resulting in a lot of trial and error. The coaching guidance from Alan and mentorship from others in this community resulted in me achieving in one year what had previously taken me seven. Ask for help!

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
Learning from others. The power of mentorship and community is invaluable. If you are willing to listen openly to others, and to implement and measure results objectively, your business will grow more easily, quickly, and profitably.


Diane Garcia

Meet Diane Garcia

Contact Diane.

Diane Garcia, president of Lorraine Consulting Inc., is an expert in supply chain management and helping clients develop their unique, complex supply chain and operational processes.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I am an enthusiastic agent of change. When working with clients, I offer a fresh, contagious perspective on improvement opportunities. I get there by increasing collaboration and interest across organizations.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
Your reputation is the most valuable thing you possess. There’s no better marketing strategy than being known for great work.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
SAC provides me with a wonderful community of dedicated professionals with which to engage, and a collection of webinars to improve my consulting practice. In addition, I genuinely value being a member of the SAC Supply Chain SIG, which includes a brilliant group of Supply Chain & Manufacturing thought leaders. I consider them a tribe of mentors.


Pam Harper

Meet Pam Harper

Contact Pam.

Pam Harper is Founding Partner and CEO of Business Advancement Inc. (BAI), a strategic growth advisory firm based in Glen Rock, NJ. She is a global expert known for helping visionary CEOs, boards, and senior executives cut to the heart of complex strategy and organizational dynamics issues to dramatically increase top and bottom line growth.

She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Preventing Strategic Gridlock®, and has been quoted or featured in media including Investors Business Daily, CEO.com, and Entrepreneur. Pam is also the founding chair of SAC’s Committee for the Annual Corrie Shanahan Memorial Advancing Consulting Awards, and she led the panel discussion of awards winners at last year’s annual meeting.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I’ve gained a unique perspective about accelerating momentum, based upon 20+ years of consulting and advising CEOs and top leadership teams of successful companies of all sizes. While these are across a wide variety of industries, they all face gut wrenching upheaval and growth. What I’ve learned enables me to guide clients so they can look at both challenges and opportunities in new and unexpected ways. This dramatically expands their options for navigating twists and turns, so they can continue to achieve successful outcomes

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
Just as it’s important for a client to be willing to discover and question their assumptions about the challenges and opportunities they face, it’s equally as important for consultants to be willing to discover and question their own assumptions about the client’s situation. There’s always more to the story. Expect to be surprised and to adjust the engagement in real time as necessary

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
To stay ahead of the curve, independent consultants must develop relationships and learn from peers from around the world. This includes not only those who are successful today, but those who demonstrate the innovation and leadership that will advance the field of consulting for the future. SAC enables me to meet people who exemplify these values at the highest level of excellence.


Meet Rachel Healy

Contact Rachel.

Rachel Healy learned the power of multimedia storytelling while working as a writer and journalist. She is the cofounder of Open Eye Creative, a video production company that helps socially and environmentally responsible organizations share amazing stories, build thriving communities, and achieve remarkable goals.

“Listening is at the core of what I do, and I’ve spent 15+ years honing my skills. As a filmmaker, writer, and former journalist, I’ve conducted countless interviews with business and academic leaders. As co-founder of Open Eye Creative, a B Corp-certified video agency, I listen deeply to clients to understand – and align with – their vision and goals.”

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
Many video agencies focus on production – writing, shooting, and editing videos for their clients. We do all of that, but our focus is really on strategy. We help clients determine what videos they should be creating to reach the right audiences and make the right impact.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
Perfection is the enemy of progress. Taking action is where it’s at. I don’t need to know everything in order to add value.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
I love learning from fellow members and getting a diversity of perspectives in the nonprofit SIG group. Hearing about others’ work and experiences has been invaluable for me.


Jo-Anne Hill

Meet Jo-Anne Hill

Contact Jo-Anne.

Jo-Anne Hill splits her time between Toronto, Canada and the San Francisco Bay Area. She has 25+ years in senior leadership positions at service-centric organizations, such as Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton and Mandarin-Oriental. Her company, JH Hospitality Consulting, leads global hospitality clients to improve market share and profitability.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
My consulting practice dramatically improves revenue in creative ways at hotels around the world. While other hotel consultants focus solely on increasing revenue, my expertise includes solving for the people component: getting behind barriers to getting things done, motivating and developing teams, improving leadership, and transforming organizational culture.

For those SAC members who have hotel clients or customer service projects, I would be happy to share insights and ideas.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
Spend your business expense dollars wisely.

There are a lot of opportunities to increase your consultant credentials and purchase additional business tools. By all means do some of it, but the most valuable activity you can do, especially when starting out, is to identify your ideal buyer and connect with them on a regular basis, including newsletter touch points and, most importantly, picking up the phone for a call.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
I’ve been a member of SAC for a year and a half. Linda and Lisa are doing an amazing job. The most value component of membership is the regular webinars, which are now ‘sacred spaces’ in my calendar when they take place. I often listen to them again a second time!


Andrew Hollo

Meet Andrew Hollo

Contact Andrew.

Over 20 years, Andrew has worked on hundreds of transformative strategic projects which rely on his stand-out skills of (a) gaining consensus where diverse views exist, and (b) synthesising complex material into clear strategies, plans and frameworks.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
What differentiates me is what my clients tell me: “Working with you, Andrew, we truly own our strategy”. Many consultants do things ‘for’ their clients (focusing on deliverables); I do things ‘with’ my clients (focusing on outcomes).

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
I wish the 30-year-old Andrew knew that no business is as well run as it appears from the outside.
I wish the 40-year-old Andrew knew that leaders all secondguess themselves, and even experience ‘imposter syndrome.’
I wish the 50-year-old Andrew knew that focusing on a specific target (e.g., a revenue target, or a customer number) creates distraction at best, crippling anxiety at worst, whereas focusing on broad intentions (i.e., making the biggest impact to your customers) is powerful and enabling.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
SAC is about collegiality — providing a natural peer support system for people, like me, who don’t have owners, boards, bosses, or staff. It enables me to learn from others—and to teach others who are newer on the journey, which are the same thing, ultimately.


Steven Hunt

Meet Steven Hunt

Contact Steven.

Steven Hunt works with business leaders in global companies to give them the courage, the confidence, and the power of clarity they need to lead change. The results are: innovative ways to build a highperformance culture, the ability to get things done globally at speed, and fantastic business growth. Steven is an expert trusted advisor, coach, and consultant to management groups around the world. His sector experience includes Manufacturing, Automotive, IT & Technology, Pharma, Financial Services and Energy.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
My clients say empathy – the speed at which I connect with managers across global business units – and get them to their goal. I call it tough love.

As consultants, most of us find it easy to get on well with clients. But only a few consultants do that and truly adapt their process to local conditions. For me it’s easy. I have a big international family – in the USA, China, the Middle East, and Europe. I’ve also lived in Spain, Germany, and the UK. So adapting processes with empathy is second nature to me.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
Do it. Don’t over-analyse. Get out there, make mistakes, learn, and get better. When I was younger, I over-thought everything. Luckily, I had a fantastic Gestalt coach who showed me the value of presence – being in the moment and taking decisions now. That’s exactly what successful leaders in every generation do superbly well.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
Access to expert solo consultants and, secondly, the openness with which people share their expertise.


Joanne Irving

Meet Joanne Irving

Contact Joanne.

Located in the Washington, DC area, Dr. Joanne Irving helps senior executives improve business outcomes and their quality of life by bringing out the best in themselves and the people around them. As a psychologist, she’s worked with influential leaders from a wide variety of organizations, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the White House. Her corporate clients have included executives from AARP, Atlantic Health Systems, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Pfizer, and Sutter Health.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I help my clients achieve results by discovering and utilizing their previously untapped inner resources, and by navigating around the inner obstacles that get in the way of them achieving their goals.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
That marketing is as essential as learning professional skills.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
The opportunity to interact with other professionals who are at the top of their game, and to continue to learn from them informally and more formally through the webinars.


Diana Jones

Meet Diana Jones

Contact Diana.

Diana Jones helps leaders and organizations shift their behaviors to dramatically expand their influence, impact, and results. For more than three decades, she has coached senior leaders and their teams in federal agencies, and NGOs. She is the author of Leadership Material: How personal experience shapes executive presence. Her work is quoted in Forbes, the Huffington Post and CEO magazine, and she is a recent inductee of Alan Weiss’ Million
Dollar Consultants Hall of Fame.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I bring leaders a depth of understanding of relationships, how groups work, and behavior change. Many leaders waste hundreds of hours worrying about why their leadership team or executives are behaving in unproductive ways. I help them focus on what they want to do about it.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
There are three inter-related parts to any successful business. The first is your clinical or professional expertise, the second is your business operating model, and the third is to have an allied network of relationships which provide opportunities for ongoing learning. My younger self only focused on the first one. Now, as well as developing my professional and clinical expertise, I have access to leading-edge business methodologies and strong networks of relationships with both my professional peers and my consulting peers locally and internationally. What I learn in those forums helps me add greater value to my clients.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
The wide network of consulting peers, forums to explore ideas, and a place to learn new business methodologies make SAC an exciting and high-value group to be part of. With SAC, I participate in global live and online workshops and conferences led by international specialists. I have hundreds of colleagues I can call on, or who call on me at any time for assistance, expertise, and collegiality.


John Kenney

Meet John Kenney

Contact John.

John Kenney has over 45 years’ experience in the roofing industry. John started his career by working as a roofing apprentice at a family business in the Northeast. He also managed many successful projects in the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania markets before continuing his accomplishments in Florida.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
We are roofers helping other roofers build their business. We are experts in the Roofing and Construction industry with over 45 years of experience in the field. We have developed technology, consulting, and business process solutions to help business owners launch, upgrade, and expand their operations.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
I have learned a lot I would like to tell my younger self, but Michael Jordan sums it up best when he says, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
The community of consultants from around the world coming together in fellowship and learning from each other. The wealth of knowledge among the membership is priceless.


Meet Art Koch

Contact Art.

Arthur Koch is a Principal Consultant with Arthur Koch Management Consulting, LLC. Art has 20+ years’ results-oriented business transformation leadership with particular emphasis on profit creation through improvements to inventory velocity, customer service, and factory management. He has experience in the U.S., Asia, South America, Mexico, Europe and Canada. Art has consulted with executive and leadership teams in a wide array of product manufacturing companies that includes consumer products, tier 1 automotive suppliers, aerospace/defense, electronics, and electrical mechanical, as well as wholesale and distribution.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
The ability to solve the unsolvable. The ability to “connect the dots” from shop floor materials
controls to customer demand planning and discover the root cause driving the problems

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
To stay connected to university professors and past colleagues.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
The depth and breadth of knowledge of everyone. And how everyone is willing to help each other.
In every meeting and discussion, I learn so much from my peers.


Simma Lieberman

Meet Simma Lieberman

Contact Simma.

Simma Lieberman helps leaders build inclusive cultures that last, from Start-up to Scale. For over 25 years, she has been working with a diversity of clients that include Fortune 500 organizations, government agencies, non-profits, small and medium size businesses and start-ups. She is known for her ability to engage people at every organizational level in building an environment where everyone loves to do their best work.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I have been in my field before most people even knew what it was. I have a depth of knowledge and life experiences that most people in my field don’t have and I’m always identifying what will come next.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
Give myself permission to take risks and move through fear. Recognize that I have been in the vanguard in my field.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
The educational and advancement opportunities provided by the webinars and the willingness of other members to share challenges and best practices.


Hamish Mackenzie

Meet Hamish Mackenzie

Contact Hamish.

Hamish Mackenzie helps technology businesses and their senior executives position themselves for dramatic growth. Over the years, he has worked with some of the biggest names in technology and biotech, including Oracle, HP, Microsoft and Merck, as well as a wide range of midsized businesses and startups across Europe, North America, and Asia. He is the author of the weekly Thursday ThoughtShake newsletter and has recently launched a new podcast, “Growth Position with Hamish Mackenzie,” which can be found on all good podcast platforms, and a few terrible ones.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I’m pretty sure I’m the only bi-lingual, British-born positioning expert living and working in Germany – certainly the only one with twenty years of experience consulting successfully with clients on three continents. That, combined with my ability to rapidly analyze large volumes of information, extract vital insights, and use these to improve my client’s condition is extremely powerful.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
That everybody is, to a greater or lesser extent, winging it. And I do mean everybody.

That for every plausible and attractive tip or strategy you discover, there will be someone else offering an equally plausible and attractive alternative that tells you to do the exact opposite. The only thing that matters is finding out what works for you and running with it.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
The volume, variety, and quality of the webcasts. Also, the live SAC events, wherever they are held. I doubt there is any consulting community in the world delivering anything that even comes close.


John Martinka

Meet John Martinka

Contact John.

Located in the Seattle, WA area, John Martinka is known as The Escape Artist® because of his work in helping executives and small businesses escape their current situations, so they can either buy or sell businesses as effectively as possible. He isthe author of three books, If They Can Sell Pet Rocks Why Can’t You Sell Your Business (For What You Want)?, Buying a Business That Makes You Rich, and Company Growth by Acquisition Makes Dollars & Sense. He is a Board Certified SAC member.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I am one of the only people in the buy-sell industry who works with both buyers and sellers. Doing this gives me better insights on what each side usually desires. It also helps when talking to business owners, as I can tell them what will make their business more attractive to a buyer. This is all based on experience, not just the stuff you find in books and manuals.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
First, you have to be yourself. You can’t try to emulate someone else, especially if they have a different style than you. I learned this the hard way after trying to emulate my friend who got me into this business.

Second, it’s all about people and relationships. It took a while once I was on my own, I got it, and Alan Weiss super-reinforced it. I tell business buyers and sellers they must build a relationship because, “Nobody will buy from or sell to someone they don’t like.” And it’s so very true because it my world a business transition is like finding a good home for a puppy.

Third, from Alan, be aggressive, shameless, faster, and edgy. For a nice guy like me the edgy part took some time to develop!

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
The general insights and the annual meeting, which I make whenever I can. I’m in a completely different day-to-day world than most members of SAC, and yet I find it beneficial to see, hear, and learn the things most find applicable to the corporate world. It’s good to get perspectives from smart people in different niches.


Christian Milaster

Meet Christian Milaster

Contact Christian.

Christian is an accomplished speaker, educator, mentor, and communicator with 19 years of healthcare industry experience at the Mayo Clinic in remote home health monitoring, mobile health, medical technology solutions, and healthcare delivery quality improvement projects. He has 15 years of software development experience at IBM Global Services and as a consultant.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
First is my passion for enabling the delivery of extraordinary care. Nothing excites and satisfies me more than to empower physicians, nurses, and other clinicians to serve their patients in the best way possible. I’m proud knowing that my designs and my advice ultimately will give patients better care.

Secondly, I bring a unique blend of experiences, expertise, and personality to the field of health care delivery improvement. I’m a German engineer, worked for 12 years at the Mayo Clinic and am driven by the relentless pursuit of creating the most value with the least amount of effort. To that effect, I’ve collected and successively amalgamated numerous proven techniques from multiple disciplines–project management, requirements engineering, systems engineering, organizational change management, human factors, design thinking, continuous improvement, etc.

Thirdly, I work every day on becoming the best version of myself–improving what can be improved, delegating what I’m not good at and, with increasing confidence, lean into my strength and distinct greatness: the same unique greatness that by the way everyone possesses if they just could see and admit it.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
That success is simply doing every hour of every day the things you enjoy doing. Which stipulates that first you must know yourself to understand what brings you true joy, and then have the audacity to consciously design your life around that.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
First, the caliber of the people. Everyone is genuinely nice, very experienced in their field of expertise, and, ultimately, a successful consultant. Secondly, the relatedness–hearing that others are struggling with the same challenges as I do as confirmation that I’m not weird–well, at least not weirder than the other SAC members 🙂 The feeling that even as a solo consultant you’re not alone. The inspiration and stimulation I get from the engaging presentations by members or guests. And finally the international connections. We’re living in a diverse, multicultural, interconnected world and that is reflected in SAC.


Gene Moran

Meet Gene Moran

Contact Gene.

Gene Moran is founder and President of Capitol Integration. Gene helps companies of all sizes achieve dramatic outcomes in Washington, DC. Focusing on federal funding and policy support for defense and security companies, Gene guides clients through the complex process of gaining, protecting and increasing federal funding at the strategic level. His results are measured in the billions of dollars. Gene wrote the book on the federal process, Pitching the Big Top: How to Master the 3-Ring Circus of Federal Sales.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
My differentiators are breadth of experience, approachability, and value. The US government customer can be challenging, primarily because the customer isn’t one person. Instead, the government customer is a constellation of decision makers, each with different decision-making authorities that come into focus at specific points in time. That multi-year process spanning agency and customer decision making is intimidating for the uninitiated. There is a cottage industry of DC “helpers” who each specialize in parts of the process. I’m a generalist working across the entire the 3-Ring Circus of Federal Sales: industry, agency, and Congress. My value for clients is my ability to radically simplify the process and guide them to the right doors at the right time. We aren’t in it for the quick win. Together, we bring good government solutions forward that solve needs for the government while allowing the client to make a fair profit.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
We are all involved in sales of one form or another. Sales is something to embrace. It’s part science and part art. It took me a while to recognize and then fully embrace this concept. I now view it as sport. I get invigorated when I’m interacting with a prospect. The classic “being in the moment” takes some practice, but I’ve learned that when you practice, being in the moment makes the real sales engagement more fun.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
100%, it’s the people. Being able to surround myself with peers who share a common mindset for growth and improvement is invaluable. I have connected with many fellow SAC members, both individually and in small groups. I also try to use the professional services of fellow SAC members. When there’s a fit, I don’t hesitate. SAC members are proven in their fields, motivated to provide good service, and are very disciplined about delivering to their word. Those are people I want to work with and surround myself with.


Becky Morgan

Meet Becky Morgan

Contact Becky.

Becky Morgan is known as the expert in manufacturing operations strategy. She has worked alongside manufacturing executives for nearly 30 years, and she spent the prior fourteen years working in the industry. She is the author of two books, Start Smart, Finish Strong: Forging Your Path to Operational Excellence and Long-Term Success in the Manufacturing World and Strategic Profits and has been quoted in hundreds of business and industry journals on manufacturing operations topics.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
The diversity of my background. My degrees are in economics, while most others in this field are engineers. I was an operations executive in food and aerospace, and I’ve consulted with CEOs, owners, and executives in over 10 different manufacturing industry classifications.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
The importance of relationships. When employed on the client side, I focused on internal relationships instead of getting to know my peers in other companies

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
Relationships, education, and fresh thinking.


David Ogilvie

Meet David Ogilvie

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David lives in Queensland, Australia and is Asia Pacific’s leading independent expert in ERP. He involves himself in the entire lifecycle from system selection to implementation. Most importantly, he helps his clients extract value from these systems to build profitable companies and maximize their ERP investments.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family and worked with my family in the business. I was working behind the counter from the age of 7. As a family, we experienced the very highs of success and the very lows of challenges brought about by forces over which you have no control.

At the age of 35, when we made the decision to sell the family business I faced by a crossroad in my life. I went into business with a guy I knew from university. While that business venture did not last long, I learned a lot from it. Nothing teaches you what a client needs or wants more than having been in their exact situation with your own money at risk.

In my space, I am unique in that I have been there done that with my own money. This gives me a unique perspective and the ability to be empathic with executives. The result is that I deliver in different ways than my competitors and thereby gain better results.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
That I am in the marketing business and the importance of brand and gravity. Also, that my business partner didn’t know anything about consulting, which meant I had to unlearn everything I ever picked up from him

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
The community. SAC consists of some of THE most intelligent, caring, and supportive people I have ever come across. There is not one person in SAC that I wish I had not met.


Eric Roark

Meet Eric Roark

Contact Eric.

Eric is the founder and CEO of a Consulting and Executive Search firm that turns Accounting and Finance into a Profit Center. He is an expert in Business Acquisitions, Business Exit Strategies, Change Management, Finance, Manufacturing and Recruitment.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
What differentiates me from others in my field is that our firm is purpose-driven and we live by our core values of commitment to excellence, doing it the right way, genuinely caring, winning together, being authentic, grateful and humble and having GRIT.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
I would tell my younger self to be successful by focusing on giving and serving others. Let God handle the rest.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
I am still a new member. I think what I will find most valuable is learning from others on how to market my services, as well as collaborating on best practices.


Amy Lee Segami

Meet Amy Lee Segami

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Amy is a global business consultant and trusted advisor, an engineer turned artist, entrepreneur and international marketing executive featured on BBC, NPR, Huffington Post, and in Chicago Crain’s Business and TED Blog. A keynote speaker and seminar leader to the diverse international audience, she has presented in 14 countries on four continents and has received numerous awards and recognition for her innovative applications of art and science.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
With my engineering education, artist creation, and work experience, I perceive, think, and act with the mindset of complexity and flow of the world. In addition, I bring the perspectives of various cultures along with the skills for design thinking.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know?
Learn the critical skills of working with a group collaboratively. No one taught me that.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
SAC is a community of world-class consultants with valuable collective knowledge. From the annual meeting to the webinars and conferences, SAC encourages and engages members with the flow of information exchange.


Sten Vesterli

Meet Sten Vesterli

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Sten Vesterli helps IT organizations succeed by focusing on business value.  For more than two decades, he has advised companies like Novo Nordisk, Maersk Lines, Novartis, SimCorp, Oracle, Nordea, and Swisscom on using the right technology and using the technology right.

He has won multiple speaking awards for his hilarious talk Everything That’s Wrong with IT, writes the popular Technology That Fits newsletter and has just started the weekly podcast and newsletter Beneficial Intelligence providing pragmatic advice for CIOs and other IT leaders.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I never charge by the hour. For some reason, customers in IT have blindly accepted an inverted billing model where the longer it takes for the consultant to solve the problem, the more money the consultant makes. By discussing the business value of my help, I am helping IT leaders change their mindset towards a focus on business value, so even if we don’t end up working together, they have still benefited from discussing a project with me.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know
Learn as much as possible about the organizations you work with. I’ve worked as a consultant for more than 20 years across many industries, and initially, I just focused on the specific assignment. Over time, I’ve learned to appreciate that every organization is eager to teach you about their business. The more you know, the better you can help your customer, and over the years I’ve learned about clinical trials, university admission, water quality, container transport, and much more.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
Access to smart people from a variety of fields. I like widening my horizon by reading the articles my colleagues share about challenges and solutions in areas I have not yet been exposed to, and I love the live events where you can get to talk to people from all over the world with very different experiences and viewpoints.


Oriol Lopez Villena

Meet Oriol Lopez Villena

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Oriol lives in Barcelona, Spain. He is a trusted advisor to business owners, helping them grow their businesses and thrive by providing a clear strategy definition and a total orientation to action and continuous improvement. He is the author of several books, including The Proactive Entrepreneur, Path to Profit, A Firm with Strategy, and Creating a Successful Company (not yet available in English).

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I believe that a business that thrives is a business where profit grows, cash flow, talents leads, and time frees. I work with business owners who want to think and act with a clear strategy in mind, to improve their results, increase the value for their stakeholders, and enhance their leadership. I’m focused on strategy, performance, and management, in order to achieve dramatic results faster

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know
It’s about value and results—not methodology. I’ve asked too many times about the HOW, instead of thinking more about the WHY should I be doing this and the WHAT I should be doing. Also, the slower you build a relationship, the fast you gain business. In the beginning, I rushed for business, losing time and efforts chasing false opportunities, instead o building and nurturing relationships with buyers.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
Being part of a community in constant evolution, that puts relationships in front of every aspect and involves people to make it grow and thrive in an organic way.


Cheryl Williams

Meet Cheryl Williams

Contact Cheryl.

Cheryl is the CEO of Maryland-based Hudgins Williams Associates LLC, which provides expert marketing communications consulting, as well as career and executive coaching. Cheryl has over 20 years’ professional experience on six continents, with nonprofits ranging in size from $6 to $900 million in annual budgets. She also led visibility and reputation building for Proctor & Gamble’s $30 billion beauty division.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
My diversity of professional roles as executive staff and board officer for public and private organizations uniquely provides me with direct hands-on experience. This informs my work as a leadership development coach to professionals in government, nonprofit, and corporate arenas. As a trusted advisor, I ask powerful questions to help executives quickly identify and articulate their goals and guide them to achieving peak professional performance. These experiences also ensure that I can bring critical external perspective to an organization’s marketing communications, strategic planning, Corporate Social Responsibility, and philanthropic initiatives.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know
The importance of empathy in your every interaction. Businesses are made up of people, and understanding what motivates your supervisors, colleagues, and direct reports will help you be a better leader, employee, and colleague.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
I found SAC through Alan Weiss. The regular access SAC offers to one of the world’s leading consultants in intimate settings remains invaluable to me. Since then, I’ve also come to appreciate the community of professionals and other professional development opportunities offered by SAC. And I greatly appreciate the passion and commitment of its leaders, Lisa and Linda!


Nicole Wilson

Meet Nicole Wilson

Contact Nicole.

Nicole is the expert in changing companywide behaviors to generate exceptional results. She has spent more than 20 years working as a sales effectiveness and behavioral change specialist across Multinationals, with SMEs and individuals, and in a diverse range of industries. Nicole works with clients who are serious about increasing their sales results, want their people to behave differently, and want to Do Better, Be Better, and Be MORE. Creating and improving the value proposition of her client is always the goal and outcome, and most often leads to more highly valued outcomes beyond the client’s initial expectations.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I am an avid learner, love technical models, and theory. However I’ve come through he battle grounds and done the front line through to senior leadership roles across a range of industries. What does this mean for my clients? I can speak the language they need to hear and give them the message in a way that allows them to absorb, learn, change, and grow. The result: I make my clients a LOT of money. I improve their value proposition, mitigate risks in their business, and make them more profitable. While having fun!

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know
Trust yourself and your knowledge. You are enough, you have enough, and the only reason you are here helping this client is because you have value to give. So get on with it. Stop thinking someone else is better or MORE than you. Stop comparing yourself to others. You are unique. What you bring to the table is valuable and adds tremendous value for your clients and their businesses.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
Belonging to SAC means being a part of a group of credible, committed professionals who face the same challenges, are equally passionate about what they do, and also want to continuously learn. I also value and am grateful for the persistence and focus on innovation that Linda and Lisa put into ensuring the group evolves and continues to serve the people who participate.


Stephen Wise

Meet Stephen Wise

Contact Stephen.

Stephen is the President of Integration Professionals, a firm based in Toronto, Canada that helps clients dramatically improve traction on complex initiatives. For over twenty-five years, top international organizations have requested his help to implement their strategy. Stephen delivers value via advisory and consulting work, mergers & acquisitions coordination, and overall project leadership.

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
I started out in the corporate world in marketing and strategy before making a right turn into project management. I quickly recognized that a firm that invests in project management is really making an investment in competitive advantage: they launch products faster, engage their teams more effectively, increase agility at the enterprise level, etc. When I was introduced to Alan Weiss, I took a new right turn. Alan showed me that even if the work I do is transformational, if I am not talking to the President/CEO then my value will dissipate.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know
Just like there is often a gap between what clients want and what they need, there is also often a gap between how you think you provide value and where you actually do. To grow your business, the clearer you are on the high value work you do, the easier it will be to attract that sort of business.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
I love working my craft for the benefit of clients. I also appreciate the finer things that life can allow us to enjoy. By surrounding myself with other successful solo practitioners on similar pathways, I learn by following the tracks of the best and I also can give back to others what I have learned from the community. I know of no other professional association or institution that will help me to leverage my love of my craft and love of the finer things in such a powerful way.


Mark Wolf

Meet Mark Wolf

Contact Mark.

Mark Wolf is a sustainability consultant and executive coach who works with leaders to integrate sustainability into business strategy, operations, and culture. He has been published in the Journal of Sustainable Banking and Finance and has moderated numerous professional panels on sustainability topics (e.g., low-carbon economy, energy efficiency, climate tech, circular economy).

What is the one thing that most differentiates you from others in your field?
Throughout my career, both as a consultant and in Fortune 500 company roles, I have always focused on changing the conversation to drive successful business results. While the technical aspects remain complex, the harder part of this work is supporting clients in the formulation and articulation of their business strategy. A lot of my work focuses on amplifying personal influence as a key driver of change that creates impactful results.

What is something you’ve learned about business that you would have liked your younger self to know
What I’ve come to appreciate is that the key to consulting is solving business problems or pain points. The technical expertise required gets defined once you have helped clients clearly articulate their need and defined measurable outcomes.

My younger self was more invested in the tools, less so the outcomes. Now, I understand that the client’s results rely on my ability to draw on a variety of methodologies.

What do you find most valuable about SAC?
For me, the most valuable part is to be a member of a community of consultants creating client results, and sharing their expertise around running a consulting business.

I really appreciate the opportunity to participate in PR releases, attend live meetings (prepandemic of course), and access discounts that are relevant to my business. And the Wine Down/Wake Up calls are highly connective and enjoyable, I always learn something new.