Let’s stop talking about what they “should” or “could” do.
Let’s talk about what “we will do.”
- Be better because we’re human and we’re more powerful than we know
- Be bolder because our problems are bullying us
- Be willing to disagree because that’s how good decisions are made
- Be the most rational person in the room because someone has to be
- Be ready to make choices that aren’t based in fear
- Be more creative because we need new solutions
- Be ready for anything, especially opportunities and challenges
- Be the organization our stakeholders need us to be
Learning Organizations Survive. Those Who Think, Win.
“Through leadership training and professional coaching, We Will helps you analyze and understand the varied challenges you face in business. They help you see the big picture from the point of view of others, so you can manage your role in the outcome, being ready for any situation.”
Marianne Waggoner Day, CBRE President, Retail Services, Ret.
We Will provides new perspectives and tangible tools.
We Will provides new perspectives and tangible tools for organizations whose vision outpaces their ability to execute. Our clients benefit from education, consulting, facilitation, and analytics in modernizing their organizations into the highly effective versions they know they can become. With a focus on co-creation, critical thinking, relationship building, and problem solving, We Will creates measurable advancements in your core initiatives and teams. It’s all based on years of validated research that drives recognizable, evidence-based results.
Here are the professionals that make this happen.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain
Laree was born on February 27th in Fort Collins, Colorado. She’s the granddaughter of a train robber and daughter to a couple of very nice, childlike parents who hated school. Seeing education as a vehicle, she put herself through undergrad at the University of Colorado as The Lady Barber. She slapped a magnetic sign on the side of her roommate’s VW and proceeded to cut hair and beards at male dorms and fraternities. This is where Laree’s hunger and love of entrepreneurship started.
Loving school and forever craving knowledge, Laree ended up with a masters in psychology and cognitive science with a focus on cognitive and perceptual disorders. Then she received a PhD in social science and human behavior with a focus on how people interact with information and with each other.
Laree’s second most important day was November 9th, 2016, the day following the U.S. presidential election. Taking no sides and viewing this seismic shift in human affairs as a fascinated social scientist, Laree felt the world breaking into extreme factions. So, there it was: the clear path and reason for being here. It’s the culmination of many years of working to bring disagreeing and disputing people together to find mutually agreeable solutions, healthy decisions that included everyone’s voice, and actionable plans. To reasonably and effectively interact with information and with each other. To view disagreement as something of value, not something harmful.
Clinging to her belief in the power of people coming together with the right tools, armed with the knowledge of what causes human-made problems and how to avoid or solve them, she adopted this quote:
“The devil whispered in my ear ‘You’re not strong enough to withstand the storm.’ And I whispered in the Devil’s ear, ‘I am the storm!’”
So, she went to work.
Every person and organization will encounter a storm. The question is will they be at its mercy or will they be the storm?
We Will be the storm.
How about you?
Dr. Roger Firestien
Senior Associate and Our Creativity Guru
Dr. Roger Firestien has taught more people to lead the creative process than anyone else in the world.
By applying Roger’s work in creativity:
- Clorox solved a 77-year-old problem in 15 minutes
- General Motors came up with a $1.50 solution that saved $50,000 a week
- Mead Paper developed a world-class line of products and saved $500,000 a year
- Los Angeles Times set their vision for the future
- Western New York developed strategies that were incorporated into a plan that was awarded $1 Billion for economic development
Dr. Firestien is the Senior Faculty member at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State and President of Innovation Resources, Inc.
Roger is the author and co-author of 5 books. His expert views on creativity have been reported in “Fast Company” and “The New York Times.”
When Roger is not traveling, he lives in Buffalo, New York, and regularly works cattle on the SK Hereford Ranch near Medina, New York.
Program Manager with Great Passion and Heart
Nicole Smart is a Program Manager for We Will where her primary focus is overseeing the HealthManagement+ Programs offered alongside the California Primary Care Association (CPCA). HealthManagement+ is an ongoing leadership development program designed for leaders working in the field of community health care. Some of her responsibilities include coordinating with clients, data sense-making, designing and preparing materials, and handling many of the tech needs of the organization.
Prior to working at We Will, Nicole was an English teacher at Rajabhat Rajanagarindra University in Chachoengsao, Thailand. While in Thailand she worked with various elementary schools to host English camps that were fun, engaging, and a great learning experience for children. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Humboldt State University, which included studying in Nepal at a local Tibetan Buddhist monastery. Here she studied the languages and religions of the area while also developing meaningful cross-cultural relationships with the people.
Along with working as We Will’s Program Manager, Nicole is also currently enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching Program. Working at We Will, and studying for her masters, helps fulfill her passion to provide quality education to members of her community.
Program Manager with Great Heart and a Sunshine Smile
Katie McLaughlin believes the most essential part of business is how well you treat people, and she strives to embody this every day. Katie’s role at We Will is Program Manager where she provides noteworthy customer care. Prior to We Will, Katie served in AmeriCorps VISTA at the Poudre Learning Center in Greeley, CO where she met Laree.
Katie holds a degree in Community Health Education from the University of Maine at Farmington. She is passionate about holistic care practices and recently received her yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India. In her leisure time, Katie enjoys cooking, practicing yoga, and exploring the great outdoors. Having spent most of her life in New England, Katie is a recent transplant to Northern California and has been enjoying the sunshine and warmer temperatures!
Seona Gwon PhD
Our Self-care and Mindfulness Guide
Seona works as a teacher, producer, writer, translator, and interpreter in South Korea. She teaches Mindful Self-compassion (MSC) in Korean and English for foreign residents of Korea. Seona is also an instructor at Joongang Sangha University, the primary Buddhist university in Korea for monks and nuns. As a producer, she organized Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s visit to South Korea in 2003.
Seona is involved in the ongoing dialogue between the West and the East regarding methods to relieve suffering in the modern world and is especially interested in the Western secular programs focused on mindfulness and compassion. She often serves as interpreter for these programs in English and served Jon Kabat-Zinn in his first visit to South Korea, in 2012, to introduce Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She has training in the Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) program, developed by Stanford University.
Seona is a practitioner of Korean Zen (Seon) since childhood. In 2018, she received a PhD in Buddhist Studies from Dongguk University in Seoul, South Korea. Her dissertation title is “Modern Compassion Meditation in the West.” Seona lives with her husband, John, in Seoul. Her central path is developing and deepening compassion and then manifesting it in life and action in the larger society.
Our Street Zen Escort
John has been an instructor for more than ten years at the primary university for Korean Buddhist monks, Joongang Sangha University, in Seoul, Korea. He also taught for three years in a special graduate school program for Buddhist nuns at the International School of Buddhist Studies near Seoul. In 2010, John created Street Zen, a practical Zen program for busy lay people that focuses on daily personal experience rather than on ritual, ceremony, or other religious aspects of Zen. John teaches Street Zen in South Korea and California.
John began studying and practicing Zen in 2002, when he was fortunate to meet several interesting monks in the mountains of Korea. Eventually he found a strong affinity with one primary teacher and settled into a Zen way of life as a practitioner. There are two reasons to begin teaching Zen: people ask you to teach or your teacher tells you to teach. In John’s case, both things happened.
John has gone on retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh in Hanoi, Vietnam and likes to spend time in small hermitages in the mountains of Korea. Before becoming a Zen practitioner and teacher, John was the producer at the award-winning theater company, The Show Below, in Sacramento, California. John lives with his wife, Seona Gwon, in Seoul, South Korea. He enjoys traveling and bouldering.
Bree L. Luther, SHRM-SCP
Our “Lead from the Future” Coach
Bree is a seasoned Coach, Executive Business Partner and passionate HR leader who has a long track record of agility and ingenuity in high tech, start-ups, and Fortune 100 organizations as well as other sectors. Adept at drawing out authentic leadership at all levels; her integral approach to coaching leads to increased personal mastery, collaborative environments, systems thinking, improved accountability, and strengthened organizational cultures. Bree breaks traditional coaching barriers utilizing THE METHOD which locates you in what she calls “the daily hurricane,” helping clients create new pathways for success and increased levels of interpersonal and emotional intelligence. Her love for teaching kindles sparks of possibility by celebrating people’s strengths, drawing out their personal wisdom, and focusing on what’s important.
Mark Allen, Ph.D.
Our Most Awarded Educator with the Driest Humor
Dr. Mark Allen is an educator, speaker, consultant, and author who specializes in talent management and corporate universities. He is the author of Aha Moments in Talent Management (published by ASTD Press in 2014) and the co-author and editor of The Next Generation of Corporate Universities, published by Pfeiffer in 2007, and The Corporate University Handbook, published by Amacom Books in 2002. He has also written numerous articles in practitioner and academic publications.
Mark has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, an MBA from Pepperdine University, and a Ph.D. in education from USC. An award-winning professor, Mark teaches courses in leadership, management, creativity, and adult learning at Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and Graduate School of Education and Psychology and has taught business and management courses at a number of institutions.
Galen Ellis, MPH
Our Community Builder and Social Conscience
Galen is a favorite go-to resource for We Will’s stickier undertakings. Her 30 years of work with non-profits, advocacy organizations, public agencies, foundations, and individual social entrepreneurs have imparted a well-seasoned approach to participatory planning, evaluation, and decision-making disciplines. Her primary interest lies in increasing individual and organizational capacity to improve community health and quality of life.
Galen heads Ellis Planning Associates, Inc., a team of planners, evaluators, researchers, statisticians, and educators based in Nevada City, California. It is there on mountain lakes, trails, and especially the Yuba River, that Galen finds natural inspiration for her work. With a home full of teenagers, she is also wholly engaged in helping a new generation include social betterment in their present and future plans.
Elfego Gomez III
Our Just-too-fun Experiential Coach
Elfego, who aspires to someday be known simply by his first name, not unlike Oprah, Rihanna, Sting, or Madonna, is originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico with family roots in Northern New Mexico that go back to the late 1600s. He began his career as a secondary school teacher, administrator, and coach working at college prep schools in Arizona, California, and Colorado.
His passion as an educator has continued and morphed into organizational development consulting with 20+ years of experience. Today, Elfego specializes in the design and facilitation of initiatives to develop the next generation of leaders, supplant team discord with high performance, and synchronize organizational vision and direction. These programs are highly interactive and based upon a broad compendium of approaches including business simulations, action learning projects, and psychometric assessments. In his free time, Elfego runs, skis, cycles, and eats dark chocolate.
Mary Kirlin, DPA
Our Professor with an Eye on Practical Knowledge
Dr. Mary Kirlin is retired associate professor at California State University Sacramento where she taught a variety of courses in the graduate program in public policy and administration. She received her master’s and doctorate from the University of Southern California, then spent 5 years on the faculty at Indiana University before returning to California. At Sacramento State, Mary taught introductory and thesis seminars as well as core courses in the management sequence. Her award-winning teaching stems, in part, from her 15 years as a practitioner. Her students value her ability to link theory and practice in a usable fashion.
Henry Neidermeier, Ph.D.
Our Educator with the Most Varied Experience
Henry has been associated with We Will for over 20 years. As changes in information technology accelerated, he has built business and IT teams, led innovation, and created technology solutions across industries. Transitions, teams, and technology capabilities have been Henry’s focus as he has served in leadership positions in health care, financial services, and education.
Although Henry’s professional focus is organization effectiveness and information technology, he describes himself as a “paint grade carpenter, boat wright, and constant gardener.” That same “hands on” practical approach is ever present in the work he does with organizations. He has published papers and presented on diverse topics including cultures and communication, group dynamics, technology planning, project management, and information security.
A client list we're proud of
We Will has helped many well-known organizations.
- Barrick Gold
- Bell Canada
- British Petroleum
- CB Richard Ellis
- China Education Network
- Deloitte Touche
- Farmer’s Insurance
- Kraft Foods
- Life Tech
- LJ Melody
- Los Alamos Labs
- Pacific Life
- Rio Tinto
- Royal Dutch Shell
- Sandia labs
- Singer Company
- Southern Cal Edison
- Sports Management
- Sun Microsystems
- TD Financial
- US Borax
- American Bar Association
- Asian Business Association
- Blue Shield
- Cal Tech
- California Governor’s Office
- California Institute for Mental Health
- California Latino Caucus Institute
- California Physical Therapist Association
- California Primary Care Association
- California State Association of County Affiliates
- Community Action Partnership
- City of Denver
- City of Los Angeles
- City of New York
- City of Rancho Cordova
- Department of Transportation
- Foundation for Medical Excellence
- Los Angeles City Fire Department
- Los Angeles County
- Los Angeles County Fire Department
- Los Angeles Police Department
- National Association of College and University Business Officers
- National Council of State Legislatures
- Redwood Community Action Agency
- Sierra Health Foundation
State of California
- State of New York
- State Universities of California
- State Universities of New York
- U.S. Military
- University of California System
- University of Georgia
- University of Southern California
- University of Texas System
For a complete client list, please contact us.