by Justin Sharon | Apr 15, 2021 | Businesses, Students, Young ProfessionalsFrom Band-Aid to Buckingham Palace, a glance at recent headlines shows what a hot topic diversity and intercultural literacy has become. But amid all the bandwagon-jumpers, one organization existed long before the trend. The Emotional Intelligence and Diversity...
Mr. Pompadur joins Divon Academy's Executive Advisory Board after a prolific and distinguished 60 year career as an executive within the media industry. He entered the field in 1960 when he joined American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. (ABC, Inc) and went on to become president of Ziff Corporation and later, Chairman and CEO of RP Companies’ various partnerships operating 12 television stations, 25 radio stations and numerous cable television systems. Pompadur went on to become EVP of News Corporation and then Chairman of News Corp Europe, where he negotiated the merger of Stream and Telepiu to create Sky Italia, now one of the world’s most successful Pay-TV businesses.
Other notable executive positions included becoming the senior advisor to Oliver Wyman, and Global Vice Chairman of Media and Entertainment for Macquarie Capital.
Marty Pompadur is currently a board member of four public companies: Nexstar Media Group, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Golden Falcon Acquisition Corporation, and Troika Media Group. Previously, he held board positions with Imax Corporation, ABC. Inc, BSkyB, Sky Italia, Premier World, Fox Kids Europe, Metromedia International and Elong.
Karen F. Salama
Chief Operating Officer
Karen is an accomplished builder and strategist with a passion for education and innovation. Having held top-tier leadership positions at ZEITGUIDE, a research advisory firm and brain trust providing C-Suite executives and leaders with customized educational and thought-leadership programs to co-founding High-Potential Ventures, producer of BRAND U Events, a talent accelerator that cultivated and empowered high-potential F500 executives to becoming next generation thought-leaders, innovators and intrapreneurs, Karen’s passion for developing tomorrow’s thought leaders has increased exponentially throughout the course of her career.
Throughout her professional life, Karen has enjoyed the privilege of working with many notable organizations including: National Geographic, Council on Foreign Relations, J.Walter Thompson Advertising, Ruder Finn and Weber Shandwick Public Relations, BET.com, Richard Attias & Associates Events, Christies Auction House and Wine Spectator Magazine.
Currently, Karen is a contributing partner to Beasley-McCusker Communications and a contributing editor for Gentry Magazine. She splits her time between New York City and Silicon Valley.
Chief Business Development Officer & VP Trainin
Jofi Baldrich is a highly respected executive coach, instructor and business leader who has spent over a decade working with CEO’s and C-suites executives through YPO; a global leadership community of chief executives with members in more than 130 countries.
During his tenure at YPO, Jofi has helped countless business leaders navigate the complexities of their personal and professional lives and bring out their best selves, in order to maximize their leadership and company’s growth and development.
Jofi is excited to bring his know how and expertise to help the next generation of young professionals develop the soft skills and strategies needed to thrive in today’s workforce.
Previously Jofi served for 10 years as President of Baldrich & Associates, Inc. the largest private managing general agency in Puerto Rico focused on the banking and auto industry.
Jofi has been married for 27 years to his wife Greta and they live in San Juan, Puerto Rico. They have three amazing children: 22-year-old twin girls María Teresa and Ana Paulina and their 17-year-old son José. He likes to spend his free time with his family, and whenever he can, he loves to travel.
Stephanie is a passionate communicator with a background in performance, art and philosophy. Her experience includes roles within art sales, property management, young adult life-skills project coordination, and virtual administration, including research and outreach for entrepreneurs, business owners and podcasters.
She has a keen interest in high quality service, innovation and companies that prioritise the enhancement of lives. She believes in the power of critical thinking, emotional literacy, teamwork and lifelong learning. Stephanie currently lives in the UK.
CHO (Chief Happiness Officer)
Amstel has spent the past 8 years bringing smiles to the faces of everyone he meets. Wherever he goes, kids and adults alike stop to marvel at our fluffy boy! Often thought to be either an “Ewok” or real-life stuffed animal, Amstel will always greet you with a happy wag of his curly tail.
Nicknamed Smiling Dutchmen, Keeshonds are a breed that originate from Holland, radiate a permanent joyfully grin, and are by nature gentle and very vocal. Thanks to his strong communication skills, Amstel participates in company Zooms with the goal of spreading warmth and happiness to his colleagues.
When Amstel is not sleeping, eating treats (often!) or going for walks, he is dedicated to driving a positive mindset and EQ while creating an atmosphere of happiness and calm at the Divon Academy.
Founder, E! Entertainment Television | President/CEO, Metan Global Entertainment Group
An entertainment industry veteran with close to 50 years professional experience in cable television, live events and new media, Larry Namer is a founding partner of Metan Global Entertainment Group (MGEG), a venture created to develop and distribute entertainment content and media specifically for Chinese speaking audiences in China and abroad. In 2018, the company launched the MGEG Film Fund I and serves as managing partner. He is also the executive producer on the recently announced feature film “EMPRESS," a new travel series for the China audience titled "Explore The World," and an executive producer of the new crime series "Nova Vita." He is a co-founder of the recently launched lifestyle platform https://www.beautykween.com/.
Mr. Namer is the co-founder of E! Entertainment Television, a company now valued at over four billion USD, and the creator of several successful companies in the United States and overseas. Among those companies are Comspan Communications that pioneered Western forms of entertainment in the former Soviet Union and Steeplechase Media that served as the primary consultant to Microsoft’s MiTV for developing interactive TV applications.
Early on, he was named the youngest general manager of a major cable system at Valley Cable TV (VCTV) in Los Angeles. His vision and direction garnered VCTV several Emmy and Cable ACE award nominations, as well as recognition by Forbes magazine as the national model for local cable television programming. In 1989, he was awarded the prestigious President’s Award from the National Cable Television Association. He was honored with the “Outstanding Contribution to Asian Television Award” at the 19th Asian Television Awards in Singapore, and received the International Media Legacy Award at the 2017 Elite Awards Foundation Gala. He was the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 2018 Hollywood Tribute Awards and the 2019 Hollywood China Night, presented by the American-Chinese CEO Society, both in celebration of the Academy Awards®. In July 2019, he was awarded The Tribeca Disruptor Award at the Novus Summit, held at the United Nations.
President of ABK Associates Former VP, Ryerson University
Adam is President of ABK Associates, Inc. consulting to the not-for-profit industry on strategic planning, marketing and communications, board and staff and organizational development and resource development. Prior to this he was Vice President, Advancement of Ryerson University where he led the rebranding of the University into one of the top universities in Canada. He is a respected leader and strategist who has led nonprofit organizations in Israel, South Africa, the UK, the United States and Canada. Under his leadership these organizations raised over $4 billion.
Managing Partner, seriesOne
VP of Finance and Administration, New Haven Mortgage Income Fund
Born in Toronto and raised in New Delhi, India. Arjun completed his undergraduate degree at Carleton University in Prelaw and Economics and went on to achieve his CA designation. He has held leadership roles multiple organizations during his time at Carleton University such as the Indian Students Association and Kappa Sigma Fraternity. In addition to his CA he also holds an Exempt Market Dealer License and a Mortgage Agent license. He has experience volunteering in Toronto as well as internationally in India and Peru – and has sat on the board of other Not for Profits Organizations. Along with his current position of VP Finance and Mortgage Administration, Arjun also does work with Gulf Stream Day Care which is the basis for his passion in childhood development and education.
CMF, M.Ed., CCP
We all know it's about outcomes. Brandon is a master of transformation, facilitating the gap between uncertainty and results while engaging both new and experienced leaders to move organizations into action. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Finance, a master’s degree in Human Resource Development, is a certified coach, one of only 40 Certified Master Facilitators in the world. He has been training and facilitating since 1999 with organizations spanning the spectrum from small non-profits to Fortune 50 companies. His confident, easy, and fun style puts participants at ease while maintaining focus for both strong personalities and reluctant participants alike. In short, Brandon delivers a program with experience, energy, and a style that brings the content to life!
Kathleen Fyfe is passionate about assisting individuals and organizations to grow and develop, creating positive impact personally and for the greater community at large. Drawing from decades of experience as a respected facilitator, instructor, and coach, she customizes her work with each client to serve their needs. Having spent more than a decade as Program Director of Leadership and Management programs with a Countywide Chamber of Commerce in Upstate New York, she now works with companies and individuals throughout the United States through Fyfe Consulting. An acknowledged impact sector, or nonprofit expert, she also works with governmental, public, and private companies. A Culture Sleuth, Change Strategist, and Community Builder, certified DiSC facilitator and trainer, and certified Culture Talk Specialist, she helps to create strategy, improve communication, and build teams. She focuses on her work and life in general through her personal and company motto, “What Else is Possible?”
Barry Kaplan inspires leaders and their teams to declare what they want and coaches them to access their power to make it happen. Barry’s coaching wisdom comes from his experience leading teams in the tourism industry ranging from COO of a 200-store chain with over 2,000 employees; division president and board member of a public company in dining, entertainment and travel; and cofounder and senior executive of a twenty-one-company roll up in leisure travel. He has coached hundreds of executives and works extensively with leadership teams and YPO Forums. Barry is the co-author of The Power of Vulnerability: How to Create a Team of Leaders by Shifting Inward.
US Representative, Career Management
Melanie Novis has spent decades earning the nickname the ‘speech whisperer’ as President of Corporate Speech Consultants. Her sophisticated teaching techniques have transformed podium-shy clients into motivated, confident and articulate speakers, who can not only advance their business goals but also master high-impact communications.
Melanie works with national and international clients from newly promoted executives to seasoned multinational chief executives. While each client is unique, they all seek to improve their public speaking and presentation skills, develop their communication capabilities and enhance their leadership presence. With Melanie’s help, they accomplish just that – and in the process achieve a new level of success.
Melanie is the author of Canadian Public Speaking and a recipient of the University of Toronto's Excellence in Teaching Award. She holds a Licentiate from Trinity College of London and graduated from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, with a HPTD, specializing in speech.
Sarah Lang is a professional certified coach (PCC, CPCC) and a public speaking and leadership instructor. She facilitates workshops and training around the world, supporting business leaders, entrepreneurs and creatives to grow their presence, confidence and poise.
Sarah's approach combines technical skill-building with mindset coaching, helping clients go from nervous and apprehensive to skilled and confident public speakers, ready to take on greater speaking roles and seize new professional opportunities.
Sarah teaches leadership and communication skills at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and works with the Information and Communications Technology Council as an employment-readiness coach. She also coaches at Rotman Commerce, helping students develop and deliver business pitches. Sarah certified as a coach with CTI, known as the ‘Harvard’ of coaches training, and received her PCC accreditation through the International Coaches Federation. She obtained her M.A. from the Munk Centre for Global Affairs, at the University of Toronto.
Adam Lazarus is an internationally acclaimed instructor and corporate speech consultant who is widely known for his ability to motivate and support his clients, hone their communication skills, and promote the confidence they need to bring their messages to life.
Adam is driven by a creative spark. He works with the world’s leading visionary thinkers and artists in board rooms, on film sets, and on stages across the globe to help them reach the next level in their leadership roles. As an award-winning theatre practitioner, he brings the art of stagecraft into the boardroom. This helps his clients tap into their authentic voice and captivate audiences with newfound confidence.
In addition to his consulting work, Adam teaches at the University of Toronto and at the National Theatre School of Canada. He holds an honours degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and University of Leeds in England and a certificate of Education from L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris, France.
Creative Thinking & Collaboration Skills
Gary Wexler is a professor of Team Creativity, Advertising, and Nonprofit Marketing at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Annenberg School of Communication, the world’s Number One ranked Communication School. Gary also teaches Team Creativity to visiting Chinese business leaders at California State Long Beach’s International Training Center. Gary came to teaching having been award winning copywriter and creative director creating campaigns for clients ranging from Apple to Coca Cola. He also has enjoyed a career in Nonprofit Marketing, Communication and Creative Team training worldwide with clients ranging from the foundations of Steven Spielberg to the Ford Foundation to United Ways and the Lambi Fund of Haiti. Gary is a consultant, an author, a speaker, a yogi and a grandfather.
Lee Gardenswartz, Ph.D
Diversity & Inclusion
Anita Rowe, Ph.D
Diversity & Inclusion
Jorge Cherbosque, Ph.D
Diversity & Inclusion
Confidence Building, Focus & Motivation
DA Master Instructor
An accomplished real estate developer and businesswoman with a passion for education, Mana manages the coordination of events and programs for Divon Academy. Having lived through a revolution and 8 years of war before immigrating to Canada where she started her own business as a single mother, Mana is passionate about helping others achieve their potential.
MD, Professor and Author, Harvard Medical School
Sanjiv Chopra is a distinguished professor of medicine and former Faculty Dean for Continuing Medical Education at Harvard Medical School. He is the recipient of numerous teaching awards and is a best-selling author and highly acclaimed motivational speaker. More about Dr. Chopra at www.SanjivChopra.com
Award Winning Business Executive
Kathy is an award winning businesswoman, author of "Feet to the Fire", and founder and CEO of Qualis International, a California-based sales and distribution company. She has served as a director on many boards, including Vans Inc., The World Business Academy, Chapman University, The Gorbachov State of the World Forum, and the Woman's Leadership Board at Harvards JFK School. She lives in Newport Coast, California.
Amb. Haile Menkerios
Former U.N. Undersecretary-General
Haile is the former U.N. Undersecretary-General and head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (2013-2018). A highly respected diplomat, Haile was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for his role in helping broker peace between Sudan and South Sudan as the latter earned its independence. Previously, Haile served as Eritreas first ambassador to Ethiopia and permanent representative to the U.N. His is a graduate of Brandeis and Harvard Universities.
Founder of Rosenzweig & Company
Jay Rosenzweig, founder of Rosenzweig & Company, is an internationally renowned social impact entrepreneur, investor, humanitarian, trained lawyer, and leadership strategist. He consults to public and private companies, including large global corporations; emerging growth to mid-sized businesses; professional services firms; and private equity and venture capital firms. Immersed in global human rights causes, advocating against racism, antisemitism and all forms of hate, Jay has been internationally recognized for the Annual Rosenzweig Report on equality which has received endorsements and contributions from influencers including Justin Trudeau, Alyssa Milano, Sheryl Sandberg, Deepak Chopra and Andrew Yang. Jay has been featured in several publications, including The New York Times, Forbes, The Guardian, Business Insider, BNN Bloomberg, Cheddar, The Times of Israel, Globe & Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Huffington Post, and Thrive Global. Jay earned three degrees at McGill University and completed the Harvard Law School Negotiation Program, taught by expert negotiator Roger Fisher, author of Getting To Yes.
MD, MBA, Physician and Entrepreneur
Michael is a physician and an entrepreneur, experienced in building world-class healthcare companies and organizations with a strong social purpose. He endeavours to combine his knowledge of healthcare with his business acumen to create healthcare companies that benefit all stakeholders. More on Dr. Michael Varenbut at www.michaelvarenbut.ca
School Board Chair
Former Marketing Executive with the Financial Times
Helen Pink draws on 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, where educating, guiding and inspiring people to achieve their greatest potential was just one focus. In addition, working in the b2b market, Helen used her commercial skills to launch a new online-based offering across Asia for the Financial Times, while applying persuasion and collaboration to achieve the number one position against the more well-established competitor offerings.
After 5 years in Asia, Helen returned to Europe to manage a commercial team selling an offering for a partner of the FT. She then decided to take some time to focus on her family, which gave her the opportunity to get involved in education. Since 2006, Helen has been fully involved in her children’s schools, including being head of the Parents’ Organisation of an International, accredited British School for 3 years. This role enabled Helen to get to know the bones of the school, understanding its objectives and challenges. She helped the staff reexamine how the school was communicating its key competencies and achievements, not only the academic ones but also the soft skills that are becoming more important in today’s world.
Educated in the United Kingdom, Helen is British, but has lived in the Netherlands, the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore which gives her an international perspective and understanding of the differing needs of individuals in a global business world.
President of Active Learning Sciences,
Chief Academic Officer of Foundry College
Stephen M. Kosslyn is President of Active Learning Sciences, Inc., and is Chief Academic Officer of Foundry College. He previously was the Founding Dean and Chief Academic Officer of the Minerva Schools at the KGI. Before that, he was the director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Prior to that, he spent three decades at Harvard University, where he was chair of the Department of Psychology, Dean of Social Science, and Lindsley Professor of Psychology. Kosslyn received a B.A. from UCLA and a Ph.D. from Stanford University, both in psychology. His research has focused primarily on the nature of visual cognition, visual communication, and the science of learning; he has published 14 books and over 350 papers on these topics. He has received numerous honors, including the National Academy of Sciences Initiatives in Research Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three honorary Doctorates and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Michael J. Gelb
Creative Thinking & Innovation Expert
The world’s leading authority on the application of genius thinking to personal and organizational development, Michael J. Gelb is a pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, executive coaching and innovative leadership. His clients include DuPont, Emerson, Genentech, Merck, Microsoft, Nike and YPO. In 2003 Michael received a Batten Fellowship in Innovation from The University of Virginia and co-directed the acclaimed Leading Innovation Seminar at the Darden Graduate School of Business for more than 10 years. In 2020 he became a Senior Fellow at the Center for Humanistic Management and a member of the Leading People and Organizations Advisory Board at Fordham’s Gabelli School. Michael teaches Innovation Leadership for the Gabelli Masters of Science in Management and EMBA programs.
Michael is the author of 17 books including How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci, Discover Your Genius, Innovate Like Edison, and The Art of Connection: 7 Relationship Building Skills Every Leader Needs Now. Michael’s books have been translated into 25 languages and have sold more than one million copies.
Michael is also a gifted teacher of the Alexander Technique, a 5th degree black belt in aikido and is a professional juggler who has performed with the Rolling Stones.
Leonard Haynes, Ph.D.
Former Education Advisor to the White House & University President
A former senior director with the Department of Education, and former executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as an HBCU president, Dr. Haynes brings a combination of policy and practical experience that will strengthen Strategic Education’s support of HBCUs and the students they serve. Widely recognized for his work in education, he has also counseled numerous organizations, such as the Ford Foundation and the Merck Corporation. He earned his BA from Southern University, an MS from Carnegie Mellon University, his PhD from Ohio State University. He is also the recipient of 14 honorary degrees, the 2018 White House Initiative on HBCUs Distinguished Service Award now known as the Leonard L. Haynes III Distinguished Service Award, and the Servant Leader Award from the United Methodist Church for his work on behalf of HBCUs.
Dr. Terence Underwood
Diversity, Inclusion & Equality
Dr. Underwood is the Founder of The National Association of Minority Speakers (NAMS). He is a growth-minded, inclusive thinker with more than 20 years’ experience optimizing learning outcomes with deep expertise in inclusion, leadership development, and anger management. His expertise in organizational development spans across global industries including non-profits, technology, financial services, and higher education.
Divon Academy works in partnership with NAMS and its instructors to provide companies with the highest quality Diversity Equity and Inclusion programs. Dr. Terrence Underwood’s availability and pricing is by-request only given the high demand.
DA Master Instructor
Educational and Career Consultant with leadership and management experience in community colleges. Experience in mentoring college and career students, and professionals in finding paths to successful life experiences. MS in Counseling. BS in Psychology from Occidental College. Currently connecting with non-profits and educational grantees to secure journeys for student success.
LaNae S. Croxton
DA Master Instructor
LaNae S. Croxton believes that the alignment between organizational strategy and employee engagement helps organizations to retain talent and maximize results.
LaNae is a human resources executive with 30+ years of experience in delivering leadership, professional development, and coaching solutions. She enjoys working with businesses that are experiencing organizational change. An avid reader from childhood with a lifelong desire to learn and to teach, LaNae holds two masters’ degrees, including an MA in American literature and an Executive MBA in Finance.
Using the power of storytelling, LaNae is a skilled facilitator and trained coach who employs 360-degree feedback tools to assist others to be their “best” selves. She believes that feedback is a gift that “if received in that framework” can assist individuals to maximize their potential and achieve their goals, both personally and professionally. An advocate of mentoring, LaNae works with minority college students and shares tools and techniques that equip them to succeed in today’s changing workplace.
DA Master Instructor
Chris Asper is a leadership coach with over 14 years of experience in Human Resources. He specializes in creating inclusive workplaces and developing first-time managers & leaders. He has an MBA from the Ivey Business School and has worked in Organizational Development, where he oversaw leadership development, employee engagement, and diversity & inclusion initiatives for an international non-profit.
In order to help companies’ become more inclusive, Chris created "Disrupting Your Unconscious Bias." This workshop provides participants with the tools they need to identify and address personal biases at work.
DA Master Instructor
I am driven to help people improve their holistic well-being, through better connections. Most of my days are on running two start-ups; Brave Penguin, a community activation agency that designs and facilitates space for belonging. The other Wondr; an app which improves human connectivity whether it is with strangers, friends, or family. I also work with YPO as a Certified Forum Facilitator, training high performance individuals on how to grow within a community.
My background in hospitality management at the Ecole Hotelier de Lausanne forged a high standard for serving people, and my sales & marketing experience allowed me to turn my words into stories. Through my impactful initiatives I was invited to become a One Young World ambassador, where I get to discover and learn from grass-root projects changing the world.
Office Manager & Exec Assistant
Anza is a creative designer and marketer with a background in product management and education, coupled with an undergraduate in business administration. Her experience includes brand management for a pharmaceutical organization and more recently, working as an educationist with young adults from underserved backgrounds.
In her free time, she likes to create digital art and is currently pursuing a postgraduate in Digital Media Marketing with the aim of combining both her experience and passion to create a larger, long lasting impact.