Take a closer look at Scotwork’s people. Experts, not trainers. Real-world negotiators, not professors. Able to coach and advise young professionals and CEO's alike. From all walks of life, with plenty of battle scars, but united by a love of the rough and tumble of deal-making, and the joy of delivering breakthrough performance in others.
We have coached hundreds of thousands of senior managers in 25 languages in 104 countries. We have grown into the world’s number one independent negotiation consultancy, with offices operating in 38 countries.
Sure, we could whip up a snappy bio about Brian’s experience as an entrepreneur, business owner, and Fortune 500 executive. While we’re at it, we could go on for an afternoon about his 20 years in marketing and advertising, developing brilliant consumer-engagement strategies for the likes of Google, Amazon, Samsung, Virgin Mobile, Microsoft, and Sony. But knowing Brian, he’d rather we not. Instead, he’d likely ask us to focus on something else — namely, other people. It’s Brian’s investment in the power of people, in building winning teams, that’s driven his success at turnarounds, not to mention performance and productivity improvements. 1) Give him a challenge. 2) Have him team-build with some passionate people. 3) Let him lead those people through projects that matter to everyone involved. 4) Stand back and admire the results.
By the way, Brian holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business. He lives in Southern California with his wife and two daughters. When he’s not spending quality time with them, or his teams, you’ll likely find him in his at-home woodshop. If you haven’t laid eyes on his handmade shave kit, complete with a beautifully turned, rosewood-handled badger-hair brush, rosewood shaver, and stand, you really do owe it to yourself.
Senior Vice President
Teaching and coaching are, quite literally, in Sandy’s blood. The son of a high school English teacher, he grew up with a fundamental understanding. “Everyone has a spark. Uncovering that spark takes different approaches, depending on the person,” he says. “Above all, you must be able to let them feel ‘safe’ in that they trust you.” Combining that lesson with a hereditary gift for “reading” people, he’s nothing short of a negotiations natural. “My interest has always been to help adults and children be more than they might be if left to their own devices. In other words, how to get them to maximize their full potential.”
Since joining Scotwork in 2001, he’s become a teacher of a different sort, bringing expert skills training, coaching, and negotiation advice to thousands of professionals. During that time, he’s drawn from a 20-year procurement career and done extensive work with clients in such spaces as advertising, retail, and health & medical. Throughout his commercial journey, he led teams through large, complex indirect services and direct supply-chain contracts. This period was capped by 13 years at Mars, Incorporated, where he co-developed and delivered a training program for their commercial negotiators.
When he’s not in the classroom or at home with his wife on the Delaware shore, Sandy can be found releasing pent-up energy via target practice or skeet shooting. If he’s not on the range, he’s likely out on the back nine. “Once I retire, golf will become my new ‘vocational focus,’” he says. “I find it relaxing in that I have to shut out everything else in my life to concentrate on a sport that requires so much focus. When I hit one great shot, it tends to make up for a lot of the bad ones.”
Senior Vice President
“I live on an island, and I enjoy the island frame of mind when I’m home.” When Rich talks of “the island frame of mind,” he’s referring to life out on Ocracoke, just off the North Carolina coast. His time on Ocracoke, with his wife, consists of going out on his 21-foot Grady-White boat, cruising in the nearby waters or fishing for flounder, bluefin tuna, and Spanish mackerel. Otherwise, he might be found clamming on the beach or relearning how to surf by way of a stand-up paddleboard.
Yes, life out on Ocracoke is very nice. What does that have to do with successful negotiating skills? Everything. Rich brings to Scotwork 40 years of management and negotiation expertise, transforming the negotiation performance of operations, sales, and procurement teams. He has extensive experience in the manufacturing, oil, gas & chemical, pharmaceutical, and medical device sectors, and his services are sought by commercial organizations throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. All of which has led him to one inevitable conclusion: “Helping people feel more confident in their ability to negotiate is everything. It’s the key for them to chart their own course in life.”
When Gaëtan says, “It’s all about not letting our fears get the better of us,” he may be talking about diving into a negotiation. Then again, he may just be describing diving into an ocean swarming with great white sharks — a favorite pastime of his when he’s off the clock. “I’m motivated to understand what’s driving each of us: emotions, fears, desires. I love helping and coaching people and seeing how much they can gain in confidence and the ability to be themselves.”
Rest assured, we’ll get back to the sharks thing in just a sec. In the meantime, we give you some backstory about the man who enjoys their company. A sales and marketing executive, Gaëtan brings to Scotwork 30 years of global experience in negotiation and process improvement, having finessed multimillion-dollar contracts in Japan, China, Thailand, Belgium, Sweden, and Canada. Originally from Montreal, he holds an MBA from the University of Sherbrooke and is currently working on a book about the connection between negotiation and mindfulness. “I believe that if we pay attention to the emotions at any step of negotiation, we can change the outcome,” he says.
And now, back to the sharks. A father of two who resides in Carlsbad, California, Gaëtan took his fascination with Discovery Channel’s Shark Week as a call to action. In 2015, he went cage-diving with great whites in South Africa — around an international Scotwork conference, no less. Next on his bucket list? Diving with them in the wild. “Don’t get me wrong, this could be dangerous,” he warns. “But it’s all about safety, track record, and not getting overwhelmed by emotions. We make bad decisions when we’re emotionally involved.”
Ananda would like to make one point abundantly clear: “Cultural sensitivity is critical in life and business.” And she should know. After all, she was born in Canada but grew up in Guatemala. During her childhood, she spent time in Mexico before going on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature and history from UC San Diego. In her early twenties, she lived in Holland but made sure to carve out plenty of time to travel to 16 countries in the region. “All of that experience gives me a deep sense of empathy, compassion, and tolerance with regards to other cultures, which translates well into what I do,” she says. “I love helping people achieve their goals and look at myself as a cog in a wheel that can help transform and accelerate not only a person’s business skills acumen as it relates to negotiation, but also, hopefully, their perspective on life and how they interact with people from all cultures.”
Prior to coming to Scotwork, Ananda spent 25 years in the healthcare space, putting her sales leadership, team management, and negotiation skills to work in pharmaceuticals (Pfizer), healthcare IT (Eclipsys), supply chain (GHX), and diagnostics (Abbott Laboratories). Even with her wealth of experience, there is something she enjoys more than applying it in a classroom setting — and, yes, it involves enjoying a culture other than her own. While she, her husband, and two daughters live in San Francisco, he’s from New Zealand, where they also have a home, and where you’ll likely find them out on the sea, fishing and free-diving for abalone, scallops, and lobster. “It takes us away from technology and the rapid pace of life,” she says. “Nature gives us a sense of self and peace.”
When Jerry says, “Know your audience,” he’s really means it. The musical theater vet was recruited to college on a dance scholarship. While there, he performed in such iconic ballets as Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. “I was one of the leads in the ‘Arabian Dance’ piece for The Nutcracker my sophomore and senior years,” he recalls. As it turns out, playing many different roles taught him a thing or two about playing to audiences. “I consider it ‘Personality Dynamics 101.’ When negotiating, it’s not so much who you are as it is knowing what personality type is across the table or phone from you and adjusting your style to make the most out of every opportunity.”
Offstage, Jerry boasts more than 25 years as a sales executive, entrepreneur, and business owner. He’s served on the Board of the Northern New Jersey chapter of the American Society for Training and Development. In fact, prior to joining Scotwork, he facilitated training for the entire staff of hiring managers at Merrill Lynch, dramatically increasing their performance around hiring top talent. He also has experience negotiating multimillion-dollar deals and has worked with such clients as JP Morgan, The Ford Motor Company, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Impressive accomplishments, to be sure. More impressive still is why the devoted father of two daughters who now lives in Houston is so invested in personal growth — at the negotiating table and in his city’s streets, where he’s committed to helping the local homeless population through a non-profit called Direct Hope. “The juice!,” he says. “I get to see people’s spirit light up and take flight the instant they learn something that will significantly change things for them, personally and professionally.”
“I’m on a lifelong journey of learning. I learn from every person and every company I encounter — and it takes me and them to the next level of changing the world!” Spend some time around Jill, and you’ll soon discover that her energy is contagious. It’s the engine driving her more than 20 years in negotiation and sales strategies, leadership and cultural transformation. By her estimation, she’s worked with upwards of 15,000 professionals around the globe — at organizations ranging from Microsoft to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, from Tupperware to Disney — transforming lives using a mixture of one part psychology, one part business strategy (a recipe she first developed via her bachelor’s degree in just those disciplines from UCLA).
Jill is a traveler, a seeker. Her journey has taken her from Ohio to Los Angeles, Monterey, San Diego, Seattle, with a dozen stops in between. So, why did she choose Greenville, South Carolina, where she now resides with her husband and son? “I’m an outdoor enthusiast! My husband and I travel the globe looking for hard-climbing road-bike rides and swooping mountain-bike trails with breathtaking vistas.” As it turns out, Greenville is packed with some serious climbs and downhills. Being close to the Blue Ridge Mountains doesn’t hurt. Then again, neither does having a healthy appetite, which brings to mind one of her favorite rides of all: The Bakery Ride along the Greenville Watershed, which features a sticky-buns stop at a well-known bakery along the peak. “How can you go wrong with a ride called The Bakery Ride?,” she asks. “We ride because we love to eat!”
Julie has lived in several countries, from the Middle East to Europe to the U.S. While her exotic travels have the rest of us a little jealous, we also see how they’ve provided her with keen insights into human behavior: “At their core, people are the same no matter where you go. You just have to find their language, and it’s not always what they speak. People are my hobby — understanding what makes them tick, the essence of their culture and how that forms them.”
It should come as little surprise that Julie began her career in the travel industry, managing the sales team for a global travel management firm, where she increased annual revenues from $50 million to $375 million. And when she transitioned into training and consulting, more than 20 years ago, she coached executives and managers from some of the largest firms in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, including Sony, Canon, Sun Microsystems, Disney, and Siemens. If there’s a through line connecting the many far-flung homes and clients dotting her map, it’s this: “Passion. Commitment. I love to see the fruits of my labor.”
At home in Marina del Rey, a scenic seaside slice of L.A., she puts that same passion and commitment into music. Many of her friends are in local bands, and she regularly catches shows around town. But it’s her vinyl collection, which she’s carried with her since age eight, that holds a special place in her heart. “I gave up other stuff,” she says, “but never my vinyl.”
Say you’ve spent the past 35 years building nationally recognized companies in the construction, fashion, health & wellness, and consumer products industries. And by successful, we mean the kind of success that grabs the attention of Inc. magazine, which recognizes you as the “leader of one of the best small businesses in America to work for.” Isn’t your next logical move to ease back, relax, and reflect — to bask a bit in your accomplishments? Not according to John: “I love to travel. I love to stay engaged with business people at the leading edge. I love to make an impact. I have an ability to bring real-world experiences into the conversation in a way that helps people understand complex concepts.” That makes us, and our clients, extremely happy.
While John’s background is impressive — graduate of the OPM program at Harvard Business School, Vermont’s governor’s delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business — he remains a student of the fundamentals. The father of three who lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, with his wife, Sandy, likes nothing more than getting his hands dirty around the house. “Because of my long construction background, I can resurrect a property from the ground up and can fix almost anything,” he says. “I like remodeling and gardening, and whenever I have a few days free or a room that needs upgrading, my wife has a list waiting for me.”
“Go forth and be a force of the awesome.” It’s a command emblazoned on one of Millie’s favorite memes, featuring an image of a boy in a blue T-shirt and red cape, engaged in a Superman-like pose. It’s also a way of life, as she’s ably demonstrated. “I love watching people transform,” she says. “What a gift it is to be building confidence in others.” Millie brings to Scotwork 20 years of marketing and sales experience for such consumer electronic giants as Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, launching the likes of Xbox, Halo 2, and PlayStation 4. (You’re welcome.) During that time, she steered teams both domestically and internationally, negotiating the in-store development, launch, and sell-through of multiple products at Best Buy, Amazon, and more.
Millie holds an MBA from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Sydney, Australia. When she’s not traveling and building confidence in the classroom, she can typically be found traveling and having a blast with her family and friends. “In the past year alone, I’ve been to Mexico, Iceland, Brazil, the Caribbean, Israel, and Canada, not to mention domestic travel,” she says. Otherwise, she’s likely at home on Bainbridge Island, engaged in some serious cooking with her partner. Her made-from-scratch pickles are delicious.
For Randy, the path to negotiation was one of dire necessity. As a realtor in Arizona, a region particularly hard hit by the 2008 housing crisis, he found himself in a position of having to negotiate for clients who were losing their homes to foreclosure. “It was a very challenging and emotional business environment,” he recalls. “Bank negotiators were the people I had to deal with. They had the skills and I did not. I learned in the trenches for the first year, and then I got training to make myself a better negotiator for me and my clients.”
A decade on, Randy estimates he’s taught more than 3,000 professionals to negotiate in complex, often high-stakes situations. His classroom success could be chalked up to 30 years’ experience in business, marketing, and leadership. Then again, this is Randy — a Marine vet, a former Congressional chief of staff, a guy who knows his way around all sorts of trenches. “I’ve always been a creative problem solver,” he says. “My people skills were refined as I had to navigate the deep waters of the political world, as well as dicey office politics, all while maintaining a professional decorum.”
Married nearly 30 years, with three grown kids and two grandkids, Randy lives at Phoenix’s White Tank Mountain foothills, where he took up hobby farming to grow and raise their own food. “Working with the nature of the animal or the earth, we can produce great things. Working against their nature, not so much,” he says, drawing a parallel to working with people in negotiation situations. “Nurturing them according to how they’re wired can produce amazing results. Fighting their nature, not so much.”
Vice President, Sales
According to legendary journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.” According to seasoned business developer and sales leader Michael Roche, Thompson was, well, right. In fact, Michael’s put the adage to work throughout his career consulting for Fortune 500 companies in the creation of proprietary custom content programs. “I enjoy the entire lifecycle of a client project, from seed to implementation,” he says with a gleam in his eye. “I would conduct initial analysis on everything from onboarding and sales to compliance and product knowledge. The goal was to design precisely the right tool for that specific audience.”
How does someone with such a hands-on approach and rigorous eye for detail unwind after developing award-winning programs for DirecTV, UNUM, and CVS, not to mention working in the trenches with the likes of Chick-fil-A, Dominos, and NIKE? Hot yoga, naturally. “To me, it’s the one martial art in which you fight against yourself,” he muses. “It tests your mind and body equally. It will humble you, but also give you hope that you can push beyond your limits.” When not fighting against himself in 100-degree temperatures, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife, Rachael, and their three kids. Together, they just might have found their ideal home in Holladay, Utah. “I’ve always lived on the coasts, but Utah and its outdoor life really spoke to me,” he says. “I love all the adventures I can go on just outside my back door.”
Speaking of adventures just outside his back door, the native Jersey boy has found a home away from home right here at Scotwork. And while he won’t be snowshoeing along our majestic trails, he will be doing what he does best (yes, better than snowshoeing) — bringing his focus and dedication to our clients’ needs.
It takes a healthy skill set to handle all financial matters for Scotwork. Needless to say, Susan has just that skill set — the result of education (a business administration degree with an emphasis in accounting) and extensive real-world experience (including working for the University of Michigan Medical School). Unfortunately, none of those qualifications even suggests her sense of adventure and generosity of spirit. Did we mention that she spent two years as a missionary doing accounting, not to mention teaching physical education and math? “Two weeks after I graduated from college, I boarded a plane to Nairobi, Kenya, to begin a two-year assignment as a missionary,” she says. “The highlight of living there was getting to know the Kenyan people — they stole my heart. Learning their way of life gave me an appreciation for the simplicity of life and how valuable living with less is.”
Susan is a natural athlete. How do we know this? There was that time in Kenya when she went tent-camping in the Masai Mara National Reserve and climbed down Mount Kenya with a blindfold due to snow blindness. Then there was that other time when she was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Adrian College (her sports: track and field hockey). And, come to think of it, she was a runner in the 1984 Olympic Torch Relay back when she was a high school junior.
While knee issues have sidelined her, they can’t keep her spirits down. She and her husband, both musicians, have that much more time to serve their church’s worship team together in Morris Plains, New Jersey.
Technically, Jessica’s title is Marketing Manager, but it could just as well be Natural-Born Communications Queen. “Strong communication skills are the key to success,” she says. “In a digital age when most people hide behind screens, I find it especially rewarding when people are able to come face to face to collaborate and communicate honestly and effectively.” See what we mean? When she joined the Scotwork team in 2013, she brought with her a PR portfolio spanning a spectrum of spaces: learning & development, healthcare, beauty & fashion, tech, consumer products. In the time since, she’s continued to leverage the power of positive media coverage and brand exposure, in addition to steering our digital marketing and event production.
But remember, Jessica’s a natural-born communicator. To find the source of her skills, you’ll have to get past her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Hofstra University and her certification in digital marketing from Rutgers Business School. “My parents played records for me from the moment I left the womb,” she reveals. “When I began speaking, I would sing and annoy my brothers until they couldn’t take it anymore.” By 13, she was taking professional voice lessons. By high school, she was a member of the New Jersey All-State Chorus, ranking third out of thousands of performers. To practice her singing, she taught herself ukulele, which she still plays today. “I do a mean rendition of J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers’ ‘Last Kiss.’ It’s a sad one, but a classic.”
Say hello to Mike, a critical member of our office team at corporate HQ. He arrived at Scotwork just months after taking home a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Cincinnati. If we were to break down Mike’s title and role on an org chart, it would read something like “Program Coordinator responsible for pre- and post-course initiatives, in addition to assisting with day-to-day operations.” Thankfully, life is not an org chart. Here’s what you really need to know about him: “I enjoy challenges, and I’m eager to learn more and try new things. At Scotwork, I’m exposed to all aspects of the business, and that’s helped me grow immensely as a professional.” (Read: Mike does way more for us than his job description suggests.)
If Mike’s the ultimate team player who excels in high-energy environments, it’s because he actually was a team player who excelled in high-energy environments. A four-sport athlete growing up, he narrowed his focus in high school, devoting himself to football and baseball. He brings his sports philosophy to everything he does: “One of the common approaches that I have in sports and work is to never settle and to be all in when working towards achieving a goal.”
With his playing days behind him, you’ll likely find him and his friends in Budd Lake, New Jersey, glued to the games they love. In other words, Yankees, Giants, Nets, and Islanders games. “There’s also a decent chance that I have some money invested in the game,” he adds. “With the amount of sports I watch, you’d think I’d be better at that . . .”