Dr. Mark Rittenberg
Founder / Chief Creative Officer
For over twenty years, Dr. Mark Rittenberg has helped organizations create communities of excellence among their people and empowered individuals to become true leaders with the ability to actualize a vision -- all through the power of communication. Dr. Rittenberg believes that important personal, social, and business problems can be effectively addressed using the Active Communicating methodology he developed -- which draws upon the actor's discipline of engaging, creative and effective communication.
Dr. Rittenberg's experience extends around the globe, across cultures and across industries. In Israel in the 1970's and 1980's, he was able to use theatrical activities to build cultural bridges and develop mutual respect among the Israeli and Palestinian students in his workshops. In South Africa, he served as Professor of Education specializing in teacher training workshops in arts based education as an interventionist working with at-risk youths in disadvantaged situations. Based upon this work, Dr. Rittenberg was awarded the J. William Fulbright Senior Scholar Award and traveled to post-apartheid South Africa in an attempt to rebuild the self esteem and confidence that had been shattered in Black communities during years of segregation. In 1999, he was asked to return to Israel and apply his cultural conflict resolution experience in Middle East peace initiatives with the Young Leaders Network. Dr. Rittenberg served as both a mediator and communication specialist for the UNESCO Middle East Peace Process forum. He worked with leaders from Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Egypt on peaceful solutions to the Middle East conflict. Rittenberg led a special interest group symposium on arts- based programs for disadvantaged youth for use in community centers in the four countries.
Dr. Rittenberg is on the business and leadership communications faculty at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business where he was awarded the The Earl F. Cheit Award For Excellence In Teaching . Additionally he currently teaches expressive communication and presentation in Executive Education Programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of San Francisco, the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, and the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Rittenberg holds a Doctorate in International and Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco. He also holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Education from San Francisco State and a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California at Berkeley where he double majored in Education and Social Welfare.
Doy Charnsupharindr, MBA
Doy is an executive coach and an instructor of MBA-level courses on developing leadership, communication, and coaching skills. He has taught at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, UC Davis’ Graduate School of Management, and Berkeley Executive Education. He is also guest lecturer at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership (Germany), Nanyang Business School (Singapore) and the Thailand Management Association (Thailand). As an instructor and consultant, Doy draws upon his prior professional experiences in management, customer service, business strategy, operations, and product management for the financial services and high technology industry.
Today, he is the CEO of the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute. He continues to coach and lead workshops for some of the largest corporations, as well as non-profit and governmental organizations worldwide. The clients he has worked with include Adobe, Caterpillar, Cisco, Facebook, Genentech, McKinsey, Moody’s, Novartis, Pixar, and Salesforce.
Doy has an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas Business School (2011) and a BA in Economics from Stanford University (2000). He’s a former musical director of Stanford’s Mixed Company a cappella and a winner of the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA). His love for the performing arts extended to other stages as an actor—from Shakespeare to Broadway musicals—and a dancer with Bay Area’s dance companies. Today, Doy utilizes his extensive experiences in the performing arts to enable others to develop their communication skills and leadership presence. Doy’s goal as a coach and instructor is to be the catalyst for others to become authentic leaders, change agents, and inspirational communicators.
Susan Houlihan, MBA
Susan Houlihan is a communications consultant, executive coach, and electrical engineer who leverages her 15+ years working in engineering and operations in the high-tech sector in Silicon Valley to bring a perspective firmly rooted in business applications to her consulting and coaching work.
Susan teaches at business schools including: Lecturer for leadership, coaching and communications in the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business EWMBA/EMBA programs, Instructor at the UC Berkeley School of Data Science, UC Berkeley Coleman Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership, UC Berkeley Center for Executive Education and serves on the Faculty of the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute.
She has been a Guest Lecturer at the School of Creative Leadership in Berlin, and Guest Faculty at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. She also heads up the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute strategic operations.
Susan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from University College of Cork in Ireland, an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and is a certified Executive Coach from the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute.
In addition to one-on-one executive coaching, Susan facilitates leadership, communications and coaching workshops as well as communications coaching of presentation skills, working with clients on the material (e.g. Powerpoint) and the delivery (content, verbal and non-verbal).
A native of Ireland now based in the US, Susan is an experienced cross-cultural communicator, who has worked extensively with individuals and Fortune 500 companies in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Clients include Salesforce.com, Adobe, Facebook, Biorad, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital of Oakland, Cisco Systems, Qualcomm, Peterson CAT, Financial Women of San Francisco, IEEE, UCSF, UC Hastings, Genentech, Novartis, Cypress Semiconductor, McKinsey (Dubai), Fattals (Lebanon), Odgers Bernstein (Russia), Siam Cement (Thailand), and The Berlin School (Germany).
Susan is excited to work with people to uncover their passions, explore their values, move past their obstacles, and build a fulfilling personal and professional life.
Jenny Herbert Creek, MBA
CFO / CTO
Jenny Herbert Creek holds an MBA with honors from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and is an honors graduate of Stanford University, where she earned the Dean's Award for Academic Accomplishment.
For more than 10 years, Jenny has taught leadership communication, technical communication, and financial modeling at institutions that include the Haas School of Business, Berkeley Center for Executive Education, Stanford University, UCLA Anderson School of Business, the Olin School of Business and numerous corporations and start-ups.
Her academic research has been published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology and has been presented at the American Education Research Association and the National Science Teachers Association. Jenny was a nationally competitive debater in college and cares deeply about helping students develop confidence, critical thinking, argumentation and technical presentation skills.
Ingrid Gavshon, MBA
Partner, International Development & Strategic Alliance
Ingrid Gavshon serves as a lecturer at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, and at UC Berkeley Executive Education's popular course High Impact Leadership. She is a partner at the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute in charge of International Projects and serves as executive coach and senior training consultant.
Ingrid is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has made several documentary films about Nelson Mandela. Ingrid draws on her filmmaking skills integrated with the executive coaching process that helps leaders discover their authentic selves and helps them actualize their vision, dreams and aspirations.
Ingrid facilitates programs at a number of international companies, in the USA, South Africa, Asia and the Middle East. These include Mubadala UAE, Eastwater Group Thailand, Adobe Systems, Salesforce.com San Francisco, Cisco Systems, Bio-Rad Laboratories, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Oakland and the Peterson /CAT Corporation. She specializes in leading Brand Ambassador programs, which are large-scale culture change projects that empower all employees as they learn to live the company’s values, culture and vision.
Jennifer Caleshu, MBA
VP of Marketing & Operations
Jennifer Caleshu is a lecturer, facilitator and certified executive coach for programs in leadership, communications, design thinking and innovation. Her coaching work is informed by more than 15 years of leadership in the cultural sector with functional expertise in strategy, marketing and communications, including most recently as Director of Earned Revenue for a museum.
She is a member of the professional faculty at the University of California’s Haas School of Business where she teaches in MBA and undergraduate programs as a Lecturer for the core design thinking course Problem Finding / Problem Solving, and Building Trust-Based Relationships, Team Coach for applied innovation consulting course, and Assistant Lecturer for leadership and communications courses. She has also facilitated both leadership and innovation programs through the UC Berkeley Executive Education, including KAUST Saudi Leadership Program, High-Impact Leadership, Leading Strategic Growth, Leading and Managing Globally, Accelerating Change Readiness & Agility and Leading Innovative Change.
She is a facilitator and executive coach for the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute, where she facilitates leadership, communications and coaching programs with diverse clients in the US, Thailand and in Singapore. As an executive coach, her clients have included individual contributors, managers, directors and vice presidents seeking to empower themselves and their teams through one-on-one coaching for leaders. She also serves as the Director of Marketing for Berkeley ECI.
Jennifer also coaches individuals on creating and delivering effective presentations, including supporting verbal and non-verbal communication skills, overcoming stage fright, designing impactful PowerPoint presentations, preparing for Q&As and more. Additionally, she has developed and led design thinking workshops for clients including GitHub, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and Rotary International.
Jennifer earned an MBA with honors from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, where she received the “Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor” award. She also holds a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University with a focus on Issues of Adolescence. She is a certified Executive Coach from the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute.
Mehmet Sevinç, MBA
Director of Business Development
Mehmet Sevinc is a communications consultant, assistant lecturer and an executive coach with a consulting background in business intelligence.
He is currently a key player of a team at University of California, Berkeley, where he and his team are moving UC Berkeley staff toward data based decision making.
Mehmet’s business intelligence consulting background enabled him to work in various different industries such as energy, financial services, non-profit, higher education, biotech, pharmaceutical, technology, Internet Security and social networking. He is a certified Oracle Hyperion Developer. He managed local and offshore teams and worked in three different continents: Asia, Europe and North America.
After participating in a two day workshop with Dr. Mark Rittenberg and his team in August 2013, which included sharing leadership stories, dreams and aspirations with his colleagues, Mehmet became a big fan of Mark’s teaching methods and joined Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute in November 2014. He has been working an assistant lecturer at University of California, Berkeley with Dr. Rittenberg. He has also taught at University of California, Davis and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Mehmet holds an MBA from San Francisco State University and a BA in Business Administration from Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey.
Mehmet won two national sailing championships in his homeland Turkey. He was the captain of the Turkish National Sailing Team between 2001 and 2004. In 2016, he completed Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco. In 2017, he finished Santa Rosa Half Ironman Triathlon and became an Ironman.
Amelia Kusar, MBA
Associate Director of Marketing & Operations
Amelia Rose Kusar graduated with her MBA from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business in 2018, where she served as Commencement Speaker and Student Association Co-President, and now serves as an Assistant Lecturer. Prior to joining Berkeley ECI, she worked in the performing arts for over 12 years, with such organizations as Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, 92nd Street Y, and Seattle Symphony, and with artists such as Pinchas Zukerman, Emerson String Quartet, András Schiff, Anne-Sophie Mutter, and many others. Amelia spent seven years at the San Francisco Symphony, most recently as Associate Director of Marketing. She has extensive experience in public relations, marketing, audience development, operations, and culture management.
Amelia grew up in Skokie, Illinois, and received her Bachelor of Music Degree from New York University, where she studied Clarinet and Bass Clarinet. Some of her passions include animals, working with people with disabilities, exploring museums, and constantly challenging herself to learn something new. She is honored to be part of the Berkeley ECI team and contribute to the life-changing work that they do with leaders of all ages and backgrounds.
Arina Isaacson, MA
For the past 25 years Arina Isaacson has brought her expertise to the field of executive coaching and inspirational leadership communication. She has consulted internationally with senior management teams across the globe. Her experience includes working with corporate, educational and government organizations. Her specializations are: executive coaching, building leadership presence, communication skills and storytelling for leadership. Arina has been a senior consultant with Corporate Scenes, Inc. and Mark Rittenberg Enterprises over 20 years.
Arina has provided executive coaching and leadership communication programs for corporations including, AT&T, Gap, Adobe, Hotwire, Cisco, Cypress Corp., Lucent Technologies, Mede Analytics, Genentech, Inc., St. Supery Vineyards & Winery, Pandora, Mozilla.org, Panasonic, Planned Parenthood, Rock Health, Women Leading Technology, Learning as Leadership, Khan Academy, North Bay Coaches Assoc., California Hospital Association, Kaiser Permanente, Nortel Networks, Atic Abu Dhabi, Avis South Africa, Quaker Chemical Corporation, Thailand Management Association, Shanghai China, SIS Conference Consulting (Shanghai) Co., Ltd, Fattal Company Beirut Lebanon, East Water, Thailand, Societe Generale Paris and San Francisco, Deloitte & Touch, Amgen Pharmaceuticals, Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and Berkeley Lawrence National Laboratory.
She is on the professional faculty at UC Berkeley/Haas School of Business and is a senior faculty member at Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute (BECI).
Arina creates interactive environments where she challenges participants to identify and transform their communication weaknesses into strengths. She has taught at Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, Olin School of Business at Washington University,UC Davis Graduate School of Management and HKUST/ Hong Kong Business School.
Arina is the principal of Arina inc, an executive coaching and consulting practice that specializes in developing authentic presence and creativity through communication, storytelling and speaking coaching. Through Arina inc, she coaches Hipower, a select group of women corporate leaders, from Silicon Valley, focused on accelerating leadership roles to wide-ranging significance.
She received her MA degree in Education, Linguistics and Communication from New York University. Arina is an internationally recognized, and award winning, improvisational actress; master puppeteer and storyteller; a painter, a vision board collage artist, sculptor and creativity coach. She founded and was the longtime artistic director of the San Francisco School of Improvisational Theater.
Lucy Kaplan, MA
Lucy Kaplan is an executive coach whose dynamic blend of humor, compassion, honesty and rigor is balanced by an astute comprehension of the pragmatics of corporate life. Her understanding of the people side of corporate culture and business has deepened over the 22 years during which she has consulted, designed and delivered workshops in leadership presence, team building, management skills and conflict resolution.She believes that self-reflection is the key to a meaningful and successful life. To this end, her coaching sessions with executives are on-going awareness lessons. Lucy coaches her clients to be intentional in their choices and courageous in trying out new behaviors to meet their immediate and long-term goals - skills that increase their effectiveness as leaders.She has coached in venues ranging from corporate boardrooms, to prison lock-ups to educational institutions throughout the US. Her client list includes Barclays Global Investors, Cisco, The Gap, MIT, Deloitte, Sandia National Laboratories, The Chicago Tribune and the California Department of Corrections.
Lucy is a longtime meditation practitioner, who has brought this practice into her coaching sessions. She holds a degree in philosophy from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She has also had a successful career as a painter, a competitive marathon runner and is currently studying chess. She has two daughters and two cool grandsons.
Reba Rose, MA
Reba Rose is a Senior Consultant with over 20 years of international experience in leadership development. She has coached senior level professionals at top-flight business schools such as Haas, Olin and Kellogg, and is a faculty member of the Executive Coaching Institute at UC Berkeley’s Center for Executive Education. Reba specializes in building courage, clarity and confidence to positively impact others to move from a place of power.
In addition to her work with BECI, Reba owns and operates Stand Tall Leadership to provide consulting and training to build transformational leadership skills within organizations. As a dynamic trainer, Reba challenges leaders to strengthen their authentic presence, deepen trusted advisor skills, and build pro-active teams. She has worked with corporations such as Capital One, Société Generale, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey and Merrill Lynch. She also works with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula as the Director of Program Strategy to develop effective programs that support young people in bringing their dreams into reality.
Reba is known for an intuitive and passionate “hands-on” style. She utilizes inclusive processes to create learning experiences that are powerful and transformative. She trained and performed for over 12 years as a theater artist. Holding a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology, a Teaching Certificate in Social Science, a Special Education Certificate, and Black Belts in both Kajukenbo, and Chi Gung, Reba pulls from a diverse range of tools. She is most proud, however, of being the mother of two independent and creative children.
Alison Meyer, MBA
Alison Bloomfield Meyer’s mission is to increase people’s impact and engagement, for greater profitability, satisfaction and fun.
She is a communications consultant, learning designer and executive coach with a background in high tech, a former career in consulting, and a professional training in the theater. Since 2009, Alison has worked with the BECI team as a facilitator and program manager for workshops in leadership development, employee engagement, change management and coaching. She’s traveled to Dubai, Thailand, Singapore and all around the US helping clients transform their leadership impact through experiential learning.
Her education includes a Bachelors’ in Art History from UC Berkeley and an MBA from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, where she is an Assistant Lecturer for MBA leadership communications courses and an instructor at the UC Berkeley Center for Executive Education. Her coaching certification comes BECI in association with the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, where she attended the ECI and Advanced ECI. Additionally, she holds a Certificate in Designing Learning from the Association for Talent Development, and a Certificate in Theater from the American Conservatory Theatre.
Alison is also an award-winning singer/actor who has performed in the US and Europe and trained intensively in voice, speech, movement, character study, text analysis, writing and directing. A native of San Francisco, she enjoys learning what makes people tick, and speaks enough French and German to get into trouble.
Maya Pandya, MBA
Maya Pandya is a Development and Test manager for IBM. She is a high-energy leader with nearly 15 years of experience developing and supporting Enterprise systems. She loves to solve big problems and learn new technologies. She has served in various roles in the Tech industry including partner management, customer support, and product development.
As an Assistant Lecturer at the UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business and a certified Executive Coach, her focus is to help people find their authentic selves and improve their interpersonal communications. She has taught workshops to MBA students and corporate executives around the world. She is an active volunteer as a youth mentor, tutor, and community organizer. She is a founder of FremontSIP, a parents group committed to enhancing Fremont public school’s Spanish Dual Immersion program - partnering with parents, district staff, and the school board to effect change. She received her MBA from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from UC Davis. Most important of all, she is mother to an awesome 9 year old girl who inspires and challenges her daily.
Amita Sophonthiratana, MBA
Amita Sophonthiratana is an executive coach and communications professional specializing in branding, particularly in the apparel and consumer goods industries.
Amita graduated from the Executive Coaching Institute in 2013. Through the Executive Coaching Institute program Amita discovered that coaching is a gift and has committed herself to give that same gift to others who seek to better themselves with commitments. She recognizes the impact of coaching techniques to access untapped potential, and that there is much more to life once an individual's full potential is being unleashed.
She received her MBA from the McCombs School of Business in Austin, Texas in 1999. She received her BA with honors from the school of Communication Arts at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand where she studied Mass Communications.
Amita has extensive experience working within the Apparel and FMCG businesses prior to joining BP Castrol in 2013. She has worked with VF Corporation in New York and Atlanta for four years and in the Foods and Ice Cream brands at Unilever for eight years, of which she has led the brand building for Knorr and Wall’s locally and for Cornetto’s brand development regionally.
Thomas Fitzpatrick, MBA
Consultant, Educator & Executive Coach
Thomas is a leadership development educator and executive coach. Over the past nine years, he has taught at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute, UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, the Berlin School of Creative Leadership in Germany, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. In addition, he has facilitated workshops and coached employees in a one-on-one setting for a number of organizations including: Salesforce.com, Adobe, Peterson CAT, Novartis, McKinsey & Co. (Dubai).
The paramount question Thomas enjoys pursuing with his students is this: How can I develop my communications skills to more powerfully connect with the people in my life? To develop these skills, Thomas identifies each student’s unique strengths as well as their unique areas for growth. He then works with them to bring about that growth through experience so that key lessons are not just understood but, moving forward, students have tangible life experiences from which they can draw. Developing each student’s unique abilities in this way cultivates the authentic leader within.
As an executive coach, Thomas works with clients, acting as a thought catalyst, to help them explore their aspirations and plot paths to reaching them. Often obstacles obstruct these paths and it can seem daunting to move forward. We may need to determine how we can unlock potential or how to surmount uncertainties and fears. Thomas works with clients to help them think through, identify, and overcome these obstacles. Using a non-directive approach, Thomas helps clients look at challenges with new perspective so that they can arrive at solutions that fit their unique situations. He prioritizes experience over theory and is a firm believer in the benefits of a “growth mindset”.
Thomas has over 15 years experience in the technology sector. He has held positions in Operations, Business Development, Product Management, and Strategic Partnerships and he has led multicultural, globally-distributed teams. He has roots in education, having taught high school Latin and Ancient Greek for four years prior to his business career. He holds a Masters in Business Administration and a Certificate in Executive Coaching from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Classics and Philosophy from College of the Holy Cross.