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Our Team
Team Member       Strategic Partners

Stephen Xavier Stephen Xavier

Stephen Xavier, the founder of the Cornerstone Executive Development Group, Inc.., an Organizational and Executive Development consulting firm, has been teaching and leading personal and corporate development work both in the US and around the world since 1987.

His expertise lies in the areas of Leadership Skills Development, Executive Coaching & Mentoring, Communications Training and Group Facilitation.

The eclectic nature of his skills and experience are incorporated into our programs to allow the rich diversity of every organization to emerge. He is a highly trained and skilled intuitive and couples that skill with his ability to successfully facilitate people through change processes, both personally and professionally.

He couples this background with extensive cross-cultural experience, having lived and worked in Japan several years. While in Japan, Stephen worked with executives from organizations such as Motorola, Kenwood and Sony to improve their leadership skills and abilities. His US client list includes Amgen, BMW, Disney, Northrop Grumman, TRW, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Xircom, to name just a few.

To date, more than 4,000 people have attended his programs and coaching/ mentoring sessions. Previously, Stephen worked in the Corporate Media department of Textron, Inc., a Fortune 500 Corporation, developing all aspects of speaker support services for the Corporate Senior Management Team.

He is a graduate of Lesley College in Cambridge, MA and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from that institution.

Currently, Stephen serves as Cornerstone's Senior Consultant and President.


Mindie Pruss, M.Ed. Mindie Pruss

Mindie Pruss is a versatile Organizational Development professional with demonstrated success in executive coaching, leadership development, performance consulting, team interventions, and designing and conducting innovative training programs. She is consistently applauded by clients for passion, professionalism and knowledge that works in the real world. Mindie is known for transforming corporate cultures into ones where creativity, heart, and commitment are highly valued.

Her leadership development expertise includes more than ten years of experience working with senior management teams to build leadership bench strength. One of her recent accomplishments was introducing and implementing an organization-wide multi-rater assessment and feedback process. This included delivering individual feedback to executives, designing customized development plans, and providing extensive coaching.

Prior to entering the consulting field, Mindie spent fifteen years as an in-house training and development director, in a variety of service industries. As the primary culture change agent, she pioneered initiatives to develop extraordinary leaders and further the organizations' strategic goals. She directed the training function and consulted to line and staff executives in strategic planning, team building, customer service, and conflict resolution.

She has a M.Ed. in Psycho-educational Processes from Temple University and a B.S. in Mental Health Technology from Hahnemann University.


Lou Bergholz Lou Bergholz

Lou brings to his consulting work a rare blend of design expertise, professional consulting presence and truly engaging and exciting facilitation. Lou's passion for learning stems from years of work on the front lines of education and organizational development. For the past four years Lou has been intensely involved in corporate consulting and university-age teambuilding, in the greater Boston area. Prior to working in Boston, Lou worked for 2 years in Israel, coordinating a leadership and service organization with a framework similar to the Peace Corps. Lou has worked in the classroom as well as in non-traditional educational settings, with populations ranging from executives from major corporations to young adults with life threatening illnesses. Along the way Lou has developed a skill-set based on hands-on experience and at the same time grounded in essential principles of learning, human development and organizational behavior.

What truly distinguishes Lou from other consultants in his field is his unwavering ability to place the client's true needs at the center of his program design. Lou is committed to creating learning environments that are dynamic, vibrant and results-focused.

He has created and facilitated powerful team start-up programs for several MBA programs in Massachusetts including MIT Sloan School, Northeastern University, Bentley College and Clark University. And he has played a critical role in ongoing team development for organizations such as Bayer, Thomson Financial, Boston Children's Hospital, Intel, Wellington Management, Pfizer and Genzyme.


Mary Boren Mary Boren

Mary has worked in the leadership and organizational development field for fourteen years. Her clients have included Fortune 500 companies in Europe as well as North and South America. These companies include widely diverging fields such as chemicals, microelectronics, financial services, insurance, and pharmaceuticals. Currently she is the Principal Consultant for Mary Boren & Associates.

Mary worked for four years internally with Glaxo WeIncome, a world leader in pharmaceuticals. There, she served as Director of Organization Effectiveness (HR) for Research Worldwide and as the Leadership Consultant in Worldwide Human Resources. Her work included consulting with the global R&D; executive teams, aligning HR strategy with the Business strategy and, most recently, providing coaching to the top 115 global leaders of Glaxo.

Previously, Mary owned a consulting practice and collaborated with other consultants and training organizations with an emphasis on team development, negotiations, sales training, and executive coaching.

Mary's strengths as a consultant come from her integrated understanding of business issues and her unusual perceptiveness and ability to provide challenging feedback. Additionally, her relentless commitment to the growth of individuals and the effectiveness of the organizational system, plus her ability to mold turnaround teams and leaders in transition, make Mary a valuable and dynamic resource for any organization.

Mary has a Bachelor's degree in Education and Masters in Psychology from the University of Nebraska.


Stew Fisher

Stew Fisher retired from the Navy in 1998 after 31 years of service spanning the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm.

During his long military career, he attended the prestigious Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C., and later served in the Secretary of the Navy's Total Quality Leadership Office. He has authored and taught many of the Navy's quality and leadership courses and served as a Strategic Planning Instructor/Facilitator as well.

Stew led a helicopter combat search and rescue squadron in Desert Storm and later commanded 2000 men and women at the Naval Air Station Pt. Mugu, California. He has received numerous awards throughout his career including the Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and Legion of Merit.

His ability to lead has been clearly demonstrated through his vast experience in times of both combat and peace. The result is the rich experience he brings to professional development arenas and his ability to span both generations and cultures - as a veteran and a civilian - and dramatically impact those who experience his work.

In his civilian career, Stew has extensive experience in Quality Systems and has served as an ISO 9000 auditor. Additionally, he has developed and delivered a wide range of professional development programs of his own design to managers and leaders in a wide range of organizations - public and private -- focusing on leadership, team skills, program management, and quality. Stew's unique program "The Lighthouse: Advanced Leadership Seminar" has become a fast favorite among those who have attended it.

He has also served as keynote speaker for numerous events and ceremonies in both the public and private sector. Stew is a Certified FAA Flight Instructor in both helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft.

Stew is a cum laude graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis.


Inga Estes Inga Estes

Inga Estes is an Executive Coach to organizational leaders. The earliest part of her career entailed extensive success as an entrepreneur, developing and managing businesses for 30 years. Her specialty, business turn-arounds, took her through a number of successful ventures leading to her desire to work with other Executives offering guidance and navigating them through turbulent and changing times.

Inga has consistently been a leading-edge contributor to a variety of businesses. She was the first woman professional in DRG Financial Corporation, a Washington, DC, commercial mortgage banking company serving clients throughout the US. She served as CEO of International Helicopters, leading and implementing its turnaround with 800% growth over a nine-year period. She later became the COO of Mahogany Management Company, doubling the size of the company in the first year and COO of Contract Software Services, creating metrics and directing the sales efforts, tripling the client base in the first two years of business.

She is a master coach with several thousand hours experience. Inga also possesses demonstrated experience in training design. This experience, combined with her in-depth practical knowledge of corporate finance, project management, business growth and organizational development, brings innovative and compelling thinking to business leaders, their teams and their organizations. Among them, The City of Burbank, Capital One Finance, Long Beach City College, JPL Labs, a myriad small businesses and entrepreneurs-becoming-CEOs.

Inga currently serves as president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Professional Coaches and Mentors Association and is on the board and a founding member of the Westside Economic Collaborative.


Rod Menzies Rod Menzies

Rod's approach to integrative business processes has contributed to the successful implementation of a wide variety of professional initiatives. A skilled interpreter of organizational dynamics, an expert in managerial approaches and an inspiring leadership communication coach and with over 25 years of experience, Rod provides valuable support for business leaders facing rapid change.

Through his comprehensive approach to leadership communication, executives who work with Rod gain confidence and authority, becoming better managers and more effective leaders who are capable of inspiring others on the team. Enhanced skill in leadership communication leads to greater personal and professional satisfaction and new levels of productivity and success. Rod helps professionals lead intelligently by sharpening their listening focus in order to build greater rapport, improving their framing skills in order to reach more desirable outcomes, and strengthening their problem solving in order to continuously evolve and refine their management approaches.

Rod also helps business leaders create more effective presentations - everything from elevator speeches, to marketing and sales pitches, to keynote addresses. Drawing on his extensive background in the entertainment industry as an actor, director and writer Rod improves his client's presentations by helping them clarifiy their vision, shape their narrative, script more impactful messages, and deliver truly outstanding performances. Rod has worked with many business leaders including senior executives at Disney, Southern California Edison, Bharti Telecom (India) and Alliance Capital.


Jim Peal Ph.D. Jim Peal

Powerful, a natural master communicator, dynamic, multi-talented, fun and inspiring are just a few of the words that people use to describe Jim Peal. Recognized internationally for his ability to inspire and motivate people, Jim continually leads people to higher levels of capability.

Jim's mastery brings businesses and people to a higher level of competence, confidence and productivity. His corporate consulting focuses on optimizing corporate cultures to promote excellence. His leading edge executive coaching provides a unique synthesis that taps inner strengths and external resources resulting in higher performance and personal satisfaction. Jim has the unique ability to "read" complex situations, design, initiate and complete the appropriate interventions.

Jim's rich background includes advanced studies in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). He is one of the few NLP Master Practitioners certified as an Elite Master Trainer of NLP. His postgraduate work at Baylor Medical School and his doctoral degree from the Union Institute clearly demonstrate his ongoing commitment to education, creativity and excellence.

Jim has been on the leading edge in creating and implementing programs in diversity. He served as the founding Chairman of the Diversity Committee at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and has served as a Commissioner on the Affirmative Action Commission for Santa Barbara County. In addition to being an international diversity lecturer and a trainer of diversity trainers, he has worked with several major corporations in the U.S. to raise awareness and facilitate the implementation of diversity initiatives.

People are immediately engaged. Not only is he powerful role model for on-target communication, he infuses his authentic humor into his courses to create the optimum environment for learning and achievement. No matter what course Jim leads, participants learn on multiple levels and leave empowered with a set of skills and understanding of how to apply them.

Jim has been instrumental in empowering business to make quantum increases in their productivity. He expresses the depth of his understanding of human beings and systems in an elegant practical speaking and teaching style that enlightens and promotes long lasting changes.


Rick Smith Rick C. Smith

With over 30 years in Senior Human Resources leadership, Rick has an extremely broad based capability to effectively meld all the critical organizational components together to improve an organization's overall teamwork and performance.

Broadly experienced in International as well as domestic Human Resources, he is experienced in leading cross cultural teams and training organizational leadership in matrix management and in developing effective cross cultural communications.

From developing screening and staffing programs for all levels of talent, to developing talent through long term learning cultures, to coaching, and to developing and executing change management processes, he has a keen sense and capability to effectively partner with organizational leadership to assist them to maximize and fully utilize the human capital of their organization.

Rick was part of a small start-up team for Texas Instruments first new facility in Austin, Texas. As Human Resources Director for them, the company ultimately grew to become a fully integrated manufacturing organization of over 4,000 employees. He next moved to Motorola and again became part of the start-up team for the Austin, Texas operations. As Vice President of Human Resources for this widely integrated world-wide organization comprised of development to manufacturing and distribution, the operations ultimately grew to become a multi-site organization of over 8,000 employees.

Subsequent assignments included Regional Vice President of Human Resources for Japan and Managing Director of the Nippon Motorola Board in Japan, Regional Vice President and Semiconductor Sector Director of Human Resources for the Americas, Chairman of Corporate Worldwide Labor Council for the Motorola Corporation, and Semiconductor Sector Vice President and Director of Worldwide Human Resources Strategic Programs.

Rick is a Distinguished Military Graduate of Texas A&M; University and a Viet Nam veteran. He is currently active in strategic Human Resources consulting with numerous organizations and businesses, public and private, and leads an active Executive and Professional search practice.


Stacey LeBreton Stacey LeBreton

Stacey specializes in designing and implementing business solutions and providing leadership development to increase business bottom line profitability. She has facilitated a wide range of training programs that have impacted thousands of individuals during her 18 years of training and development experience.

Stacey's unique background includes implementation of strategic business objectives. She has directed the start-up and development of a training department within a multi-million dollar manufacturing company, implemented lean manufacturing skills, facilitated executive leadership development and strategic planning programs, implemented database conversions, and led the project management of national defense programs. She continues to facilitate training sessions in a variety of industries and at all levels of the organization. Her facilitation experience ranges from training front-line production employees to top executives. Her training expertise has resulted in improved communications, problem solving, improved decision-making, goal setting, planning, leadership, team effectiveness and increased corporate and business net profits.

Stacey's style is flexible and her clients find her approachability and broad range of knowledge as her finest aspects. Her facilitation techniques are used to help participants discover essential objectives of the course rather than being given the solutions. She varies her teaching and facilitating techniques based upon her audience which leave her participants excited and motivated.

Stacey has worked with numerous companies in both the Los Angeles area and throughout the US. Some of Stacey's past clients include Unisys, US Air Force, Los Angeles Unified School District, 21st Century Insurance, Contel Government Systems, Westlake Village Chamber of Commerce, Moorpark Community College, City of Thousand Oaks, Camarillo Health Care District, Chatsworth Products, Inc., Jensen Manufacturing, Industrial Tectonic Bearings, Data Micro Imaging, Diamond Perforated, and Industrial Tools Incorporated.

Currently, Stacey is teaching a course "Project Risk Management" for UCLA. In addition, she is a sought-after conference speaker as well as a frequent keynote speaker as well. Among her numerous accolades, Stacey was recently honored to present a program on employee motivation at the National Association of Employee Owners annual conference in Washington D.C.

Stacey possesses an MBA in Organizational Behavior from California Lutheran University. Her undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Information Systems Analysis and Design from San Diego State University.


Joann Parks Joann Parks

Joann is a business coach, trainer and consultant with eighteen years of experience in Fortune 500 companies. As the manager of Sales, Customer and Technical Training & Development.for the Xerox Corporation, she managed 150 people in developing training for worldwide product launches. In this and other Xerox positions in Marketing Communications and Quality, she successfully built, coached and managed teams through both successes and difficult transitions. She currently coaches managers in how to balance flexibility and control as they manage the professionals in their department and, in how to understand and respond to the complexities of interdepartmental and vertical communication.

Joann's clients have included Toyota Motor Sales, Hitachi Software, Celestica, Transamerica, and Computer Associates. Areas of focus are management and leadership skills, building visibility and support for ideas, presentation skills, correlating personal and professional values, advanced personal development work, and portfolio building.

Joann uses a systems point of view to help clients navigate the organizational environment to the maximum benefit of the company (results/productivity) and themselves (personal satisfaction). This includes identifying their own and others' self-interests, understanding the underlying normative structures and dynamics of the organization, and determining their own and others' character strengths and types.

Joann attended the College of William and Mary and George Washington University and has a Bachelor's degree in English and Anthropology.


Dave Willis Dave Willis

Dave Willis is an author, international consultant, executive coach and motivational speaker who helps clients and their teams to work as functional teams.

Through his writing, coaching, and leadership seminars, he helps individuals, organizational leaders and work teams reach their full potential. With a personal mission to nurture individuals and to build the teams that will support change management practices that lead to synergy, vision management and the realization of meaningful goals.

Dave has worked in the field of human development all of his adult life: as a clinical and organizational psychologist, HRD director, process improvement manager, counselor, operations manager, executive coach, executive team consultant, master trainer, self-development writer, and motivational speaker.

He holds a post-graduate level degree in Organizational Psychology and a Master's degree in Human Relations and Community Affairs. Helping people manage change for over 25 years, he has coached senior executives, facilitated executive work team development and presented motivational speeches to hundreds of groups across the U.S.A., Europe and Asia.

Corporations worked with include Motorola, IBM, TI, McDonnell Douglas (NASA), General Binding Corporation, Eastern Data Graphics, Verascape, Warpspeed, Broadcast.Com, Dell Computers, Interland, Correctional Solutions, Inc., Lemko, MediaWorks Technology, Provizio, Getty Images and Memec Semiconductors.

He serves on the Board of Directors for The Volunteer Center NW Surburban Chicago. He has been a Corporate Liaison to the F.B.I. Chicago Office and remains a citizen liaison. State Governments worked with include Virginia, Rhode Island, Illinois, Texas, Michigan and Alaska as well as over one hundred universities worldwide.


Strategic Partners

Devon Scheef
The Learning Caf�
4840 Coyote Wells Circle
Westlake Village, CA 91362
(805) 494-0124

Devon Scheef is President of Scheef Org. Development & Training Inc. and Co-Founder of The Learning Caf�.

Areas of Practice

Devon collaborates with clients to:

  • Create leadership development and succession planning initiatives
  • Build work teams with high relationship-high performance capacity
  • Structure offsite meetings that accomplish business results
  • Make peace with multiple workplace generations
  • Use knowledge transfer to continue organizational legacy
  • Craft mentoring initiatives that get results

Solution Formats

Solutions include consulting, facilitation, small and large scale community building/team building, learning events and keynote speaking.

Conference Speaking & Presentations

Devon is a frequent and popular speaker at conferences. Her energizing, interactive and thought provoking presentations consistently receive high ratings from conference participants. A sample includes:

  • The Conference Board 2004 - Capturing Critical Knowledge from a Shifting Workforce
  • Training 2004 Featured Session - Generations at Work: How to Motivate and Lead the Four Workplace Generations
  • ASTD California Conference 2004 - What Every T&D; Professional Needs to Know About Generational Issues
  • 2003 Santa Barbara Society of Human Resource Managers - Leading the Generations
  • 2003 National Personnel and Industrial Relations Conference - Talking 'bout Them Generations: How to Close the Growing Workplace Generation Gap
  • 2002 University of California, Santa Barbara - Generational Issues in Academia


She is the co-author of Mentoring: A How-To Guide published by the American Society for Training & Development. She is the author of The Personal Learning Model, a unique approach to bolstering on-the-job learning capacity.

Her leadership development work has been showcased in Borrowing From the Best: Best Practices Resource Guide for Training and Continuous Learning. Devon's work has been published in the National Business Employment Weekly and Training & Development Journal. Her training and development work has been cited by the Marketing Educators' Association, and has been noted in American Banker, Bank Marketing, Customer Service Management, Fast Company, The Human Resource Planning Journal, PIHRA Scope, Training & Development Journal, and a college textbook, Communication for Management (6th edition).

Devon is the co-author of the thought leadership chapter on generational issues in the newly published and highly acclaimed Human Resources in the 21st Century. The book showcases the work of fifty academics and practitioners, included for their insight and ideas on how human resources is redefining itself in the new century.

Partial Client List

A partial list of past and current clients includes: Arrow Electronics, Bausch & Lomb, Disney Consumer Products, Eastman Kodak, Experian Information Solutions, Freddie Mac, GE Capital Card Services, Intel, Knight-Ridder, Kraft Foods, MFS Investments, PacifiCare, Southern California Edison, TRW Inc., TRW Automotive, Tapetex International and Xerox Corp.


Devon holds an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California, and undergraduate degrees in psychology and business. She is qualified in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and a wide variety of testing and assessment tools, including 360 degree feedback.

Devon and her husband, Gary, live in Westlake Village, California. When not on an airplane or in front of her computer, she can be found with her nose in a book!


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