Meet Our Team
CEO of Workplace Success Group LLC
Karen S. Hinds is known as the Emerging Leader Expert. Karen is the Founder and CEO of Workplace Success Group, an international firm that has been referred to as a training ground for future business leaders. The company’s signature program Leadership Ready™ helps high-potential, emerging leaders to work more effectively with others, handle increasing levels of responsibilities, and take charge of their leadership growth.
From humble beginnings as a Mexican immigrant who started out as a sweatshop worker in Los Angeles, Maria has developed a reputation as a Bridge Builder and Catalyst of positive change, connecting with audiences from across the U.S., Mexico, London, and Eastern Europe.
Maria is the bestselling author of Bridge Builders: How Superb Communicators Get What They Want, which was recently listed in Inc. Magazine’s list “60 Great Business and Leadership Books All Written By Women.”
Maria’s authenticity and humor bring to life practical takeaways that are grounded in solid research in communication, neuroscience, storytelling, creativity, and human connection.
Barbara was Vice President at Office Depot, a national office supply company, for 7 years. While there she held several key Vice President roles: Sales & Services, North American Retail Stores, Human Resources North American Retail Stores and Organizational Development, which also included stores leadership development and product knowledge.
Before joining Office Depot in 2006, Barbara spent 10 years at her own company, Callan Consulting. She developed, built and sustained a thriving national organizational effectiveness consulting practice: repeat business and referrals drove 80% of business. Clients included: Aetna, AutoZone, Inc., BJ’s Wholesale Club, Citizen’s Bank, Hewlett Packard, iParty, Inc., Microsoft, Office Depot, Star Markets Company, Tractor Supply Company, World Kitchen, Inc., and Ultimate Software, Inc.
Prior to founding Callan Consulting, Barbara spent 8 years at Marshalls (then a $2 billion retailer), where she was responsible for providing organizational development consulting to all lines of business, creating the Store Systems training function and a management development function. She holds a B.S. from St. Joseph’s College and an M.S. from Indiana State University and a Certificate of Organizational Development from Lesley College.
David K. Fortt
David has a proven track record of over 15 years in the financial sector where he worked with Fortune 500 companies in improving their profits and performance. In addition to working one-on-one, David conducts seminars and workshops on a variety of issues related to enhancing productivity and communication in the workplace.
He is an expert communicator and facilitator who holds the following professional certifications: Behavioral Communications (DISC) Values, Attitudes and Motivators(PIAV), Attributes and Competencies(PTSI), Trimetrix (Benchmarking for job creation, selection and performance and Emotional Intelligence).
With a Master of Science in Instructional Design & Technology, Sheila has consulted with Fortune 500 leaders for over 20 years in the use of innovative, technology-based solutions for talent development, multi-generational, global governance and digital knowledge management. Her clients include Comcast, United Technologies Corporation, Michelin, Pratt & Whitney, NBCU, Fidelity Investments, Honeywell, Royal Caribbean, UTAS, Sprint, AT&T, Catholic Hospital Association, Press Ganey, Medical University of South Carolina, CVS Health and more. She has managed both client and vendor-based sales and delivery teams in designing and building a broad portfolio of learning solutions including: blended learning programs, multi-channel e-learning curricula, supply chain universities, template-based mobile learning, software and role-based simulations, and social game-based learning.
Ms. Sylvestre has an excellent grasp of data management in the L&D landscape, enterprise wide technologies, SaaS LMS and CRM systems, APIs, the mobile platform and off-line utility, learning portals and content authoring tools. She has extensive experience with the ADDIE Process, ROI Training Analysis and Evaluation Metrics. Sheila has served as a keynote speaker at major private sector events for learning and development initiatives in Telecommunications, Healthcare, Customer Service, Sales, and Communications Skills. Finally, Sheila served four years in the higher education sector as On-Line Faculty for Public Speaking.
Yvette Furlonge is a results-oriented professional with extensive experience in the financial services industry. With demonstrated results in internship program management, sourcing and recruiting, training and professional development, Yvette makes a difference by applying her professional experience to benefit volunteer organizations and takes pride in her mission to improve the lives of the youth in underserved communities.
Yvette joined BNY Mellon in 1979 and served in various operational and managerial positions before becoming a Senior HR Specialist. Until 2008, Yvette managed the Global Internship Program for college and high school interns across BNY Mellon’s locations. By helping to place candidates in some of the most demanding areas of financial services such as accounting, finance and investment management, Yvette helped to create career opportunities for many candidates through diverse Community Outreach programs and local/national Recruiting Events.
Yvette’s passion for service and dedication to the youth led her to be active in local, national, and global communities by serving on the boards of the National Academy Foundation/Academy of Finance High School, INROADS Parent Support Group, and Ray of Hope Foundation (Trinidad). Yvette also serves on WDGA’s International Advisory Board (Kenya) and has volunteered with WDGA since 2006, currently serving as WDGA-USA’s Board Chair (Pittsburgh).
Originally from the island of Trinidad and Tobago, Yvette lives in Foxboro, MA, with her husband and enjoys the frequent visits of their six grandchildren, which always presents an opportunity for fun and learning in both directions.
With more than 30 years of experience in corporate affairs, communications and philanthropy, Cecilia’s mission is to help individuals and organizations transform to win through work, play, and community.
Most recently, Ms. Carter was Vice President of HR Communications for PepsiCo where she led communications and PR for human resources and diversity. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Ms. Carter led the community, diversity and government relations teams as Vice President /Global Head of Diversity for Starbucks Corporation and General Manager of the Starbucks Foundation. She launched an innovative sustainable profit-sharing program called Community Stores, which holistically aligned branding and business growth with social impact and served as company spokesperson. Additionally, Ms. Carter developed Starbuck’s diversity change management strategy.
Ms. Carter was also head of community affairs at UBS, where she led the company’s philanthropic and community outreach. Ms. Carter also served as Senior Vice President of Communications for GE Small Business Solutions. During her 12-year tenure with GE, she managed and counseled on corporate campaigns, marketing, and internal communications and also served on GE’s Corporate Marketing Council. She is a certified iPEC ELI-MP coach. Cecilia now resides in New Rochelle, NY, with her husband and children.
Carolyn joined the WSG team in 2011 as the executive assistant. In this role, she supports the management of the company in all aspects and is focused on ensuring each and every client has a positive experience. After growing up in Michigan and attending Bryant University, Carolyn settled in Connecticut to raise her family while managing her own medical transcription business. Then, with the onset of electronic medical records, she started her virtual assistant business and connected with Karen. She thoroughly enjoys working with Karen as some moments are pure craziness and laughter.