Advisory Consultants

Ellen Grace O'Brian


Ellen Grace O'Brian is a teacher, poet, writer, and the director of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment—a meditation center with headquarters in San Jose, California. Ellen Grace O'Brian teaches nationally and internationally and has received several community service awards, including the 2015 Mahatma Gandhi Award.
Along with her service as a meditation teacher, she is also the Founder and Advisor of Carry the Vision, which evolved from her vision to bring nonviolence education to the community by sharing tools that empower people in all sectors of society to live peaceful, fulfilled lives. She holds a Masters Degree in Education, with an emphasis in Transpersonal Counseling.

Amari Romero-Thomas

Management Consultant, Mosaic Consulting & Coaching

Amari Romero-Thomas is the Principal Consultant and Executive/Soul Coach at Mosaic Consulting and Coaching. The purpose of Mosaic is to assist organizations and individuals “put all the right pieces” together in service to their personal or organizational mission. Amari consults on executive, leadership and organizational development, strategic visioning and planning, and her coaching work specializes in life transitions such as retirement, new role and personal effectiveness.

Prior to creating Mosaic, Amari spent over 20 years in the non-profit and corporate sectors as Consultant, Executive Director, Philanthropy executive and numerous other managerial positions. Most recently as Senior Consultant for La Piana Consulting, Senior Vice President for Community Building and Impact for the United Way of Silicon Valley and Executive Director for Sacred Heart Community Services. She also held consulting positions at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, Drake Beam Morin Consultancy and the Covey Leadership Center.

Amari holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University with a special emphasis in International Relations. She is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum, and a member of the San Jose Downtown Rotary Club. In addition, she is bilingual in Spanish and bicultural having been born in Santiago, Chile.
Amari’s warm and effective style allows her to build rapport easily and quickly with all levels of employees. This is essential in working with groups and on issues of culture and re-alignment. She brings her years of business, consulting and coaching experience to bear on issues in a thoughtful and practical way.

Edward Sandoval

Global Lead - Learning and Performance Solutions, LinkedIn

Edward has nearly 10-years experience working in the high tech sector in the field of human resources, learning and development. Edward currently serves as the Global Lead for the Learning and Performance Solutions group at LinkedIn. Edward’s passion for human achievement began with his study of psychology at Stanford University, as both an undergraduate and graduate student (BA and MA). His career has been focused on impacting people through individual coaching and workshops, as well as developing programs to positively impact human performance at scale. Edward has served on the Board of Directors for Familias Unidas, a non-profit based out of Richmond, and still serves as a Big Brother for Big Brothers / Big Sisters. Edward holds the Associate Certified Coach designation with the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Greg Ranstrom

Principal Consultant, Culture in Action at Outside Insights

Greg Ranstrom, B.S., M.A., provides organizational effectiveness and leadership development services to a private and public sector clientele. Greg believes an organization’s culture determines its ability to deliver value to the market. In 2012 he began delivering the Culture in Action™ process to clarify and bolster positive cultural attributes and align employee actions with core organizational priorities. Recent Culture in Action™ clients include Greendot Bank, Humm Kombucha, and Ruffwear.

In 2004, Greg began a long-term consulting relationship with the American Leadership Forum (ALF) – Silicon Valley. He is Director of ALF’s year-long Fellows program, facilitating the experience of 25-30 cross-sector executives through a 21-day exploration of leadership challenges of the 21st century. Greg has also served as faculty for other ALF chapters.

In 1989, Greg co-founded Outside Insights, LLC and designed and delivered week long leadership and team development workshops for multinational companies, including Exxon Chemical, Motorola, and Nestle, among many others. In this capacity, Greg has worked with senior leaders of almost every nationality, in most industries. Mr. Ranstrom has also traveled extensively to work with clients throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Greg began his career with Princeton University as the Associate Director of Programs for the Princeton Education Center at Blairstown. In this capacity, Greg managed programs for underserved youth and he designed and facilitated team and personal development retreats for Princeton faculty, staff and students.

Jennifer Simmons

Senior Consultant, Center for Excellence in Nonprofits

Jennifer Simmons has over 20 years’ experience in the public, high tech and non-profits sectors. Jennifer currently a Senior Consultant with the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits (CEN) and previously served as their Executive Director. CEN’s goal is to foster highly effective leaders and vibrant nonprofits in Silicon Valley.

Jennifer is a Board Source Certified Governance Trainer and develops and leads most of CEN’s offerings.
Prior to joining CEN, Jennifer worked with Habitat for Humanity Silicon Valley as their Executive Director and in 2012 she led the organization through a strategic merger. Prior to joining Habitat, Jennifer worked at Infineon Technologies and for local County and State elected officials.

Jennifer is a American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow - Class 31, a 2010 graduate of CEN’s Leadership Institute and in 2012, she was named one of the "100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley" by the San Jose Business Journal. Jennifer’s community involvement includes membership in the San Jose Downtown Rotary Club where she is very involved in the Enterprise Leadership Program that trains high school juniors business planning skills. Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Santa Cruz in Political Science.

Jonathan Hicks

Employment Council, Netflix

Jon is employment law counsel for Netflix primarily focused on domestic advice and counsel and litigation.
Prior to joining Netflix, Jon was senior corporate counsel at Cadence Design Systems, Inc., a leading electronic design automation software and engineering company. Jon provided employment advice and counsel and managed litigation.

Before Cadence, Jon practiced at Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel, Inc. in their employment law group. He focused on counseling mid-size and large Silicon Valley companies on employment matters, including trade-secret protection, employee discipline, investigations, employee handbooks and policies, employee agreements, tax matters and advocacy, employment class-actions and general litigation. Jon litigated cases in state and federal courts; as well as before various governmental agencies.

Jon graduated with honors from University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in political science; and the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law.

Marion Rittler

Global Vice President, SAP

Marion has over 20 years’ experience in the high tech business sector. Currently, she is a Global Vice President at SAP and leads the Sales Enablement teams for the Platform Business and the Channel. She focuses on leveraging technology and best practices to create an environment of learning in the sales organization and her teams. In her previous roles at SAP, she has led the Industry Go-To-Market teams as well as Business Development for Partnerships. Prior to SAP, Marion worked at Palm, a Mobile Device Innovator, as a leader in Business Development and Corporate Partnerships. Before Palm, she was an Investment Banker at Broadview focused on M&A in the Supply Chain Sector. Marion has a strong interest in the transformative power of continuous learning for both children and adults. She is actively involved in Boys and Girls Club’s College Bound program, and is a board member of ALF, Silicon Valley and an ALF Fellow Class of XXXI. Marion graduated with honors from UC Berkeley with a degree in Economics. She holds an MBA from INSEAD.

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