We are agile and relational people who know how to get the job done. Founded in 2005, we are a boutique firm of consultants, trainers, facilitators, coaches, and other intellectual stalwarts who understand the strategic needs of your organization. Our team is global and based in major business centers such as San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Amsterdam, and Nairobi, but also regional U.S. hubs such as Milwaukee, Boise, and Charlotte.
We are here to appeal to the brightest minds in the business and social landscape who want to spark smart and equitable change. As a result, we have attracted a cross-disciplinary group of practitioners from around the world who are dedicated to leadership, growth, and human transformation. We employ a gestalt methodology to any work we do.
But enough about us. We want to talk about YOU. Feel free to read further about our people and our services.
And then…let’s get to work…
We are consummate professionals who provide the highest quality of service to our clients. Period.
We nurture relationships and pride ourselves on being a relational business partner, not a transactional firm.
We bring fun and adventure to any work we do.
We support the full liberation of people worldwide.
We unleash innovation, design, and creativity to meet the unique needs and sensibilities of our partners and clients.
And now…we’d like to introduce you to our community of thought leaders and cultural creatives who can help you sustain growth within your organization.
Rev. Dr. Nick van Santen
J. Liz Saunders
David W. Schwarz
Click on a photo or scroll down to view individual bios.
Meet Hayden, a Strategic Consultant with Pneumos. Hayden specializes in diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting, with a focus on the LGBTQ+ community. He works with organizations to create cultures where all folks feel empowered to bring their fully authentic self to their position.
Hayden has a B.A. in Psychology, a B.A. in Sociology, and an M.S. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington, where he is currently completing his Ph.D. in Business Administration in Management.
Hayden has worked in learning and development, social activism, and served in the Army as a helicopter crew chief. He has worked as a diversity consultant and trainer for academic institutions, technology companies, and financial investment firms.
When not working, you can find Hayden spending time with his wife, Abbey, working their way through every taco and margarita spot in Texas, hiking with their two Great Pyrenees rescues (Poppy and Brooks), or sweating out the daily stress with his CrossFit community. Upon completing his Ph.D., he is incredibly excited to relocate to his wife’s homeland in the Northeast, buy his first real coat, and experience something they call “snow”.
Meet Kwesi, a Strategic Consultant with Pneumos and the founder and director of Culture Beyond Borders (CBB), LLC. Kwesi conducts research, facilitates intercultural experiences, and builds bridges across cultural gaps.
Using his sociological background, experiences as a member of the modern African Diaspora, and intercultural competency training, Kwesi promotes experiential learning with impactful and inclusive travel to the African continent. As a consultant, he conducts in-depth organizational assessments and conducts workshops/training that help to create more inclusive and equitable workplaces and improve overall performance.
Kwesi completed his PhD in Sociology with a focus in Sociology of Organizations and Sociology of Culture, served 2 years as the program coordinator for the Society of Intercultural Education Training and Research (SIETAR) USA and has co-lead multiple global storytelling virtual events with representation from over 15 countries. Kwesi was also part of the presidential hosting team when the President of Ghana visited Atlanta Georgia to speak to Black Legislators during their annual conference.
When Kwesi is not working, you can find him showing off his salsa dancing skills, travelling and promoting Ghana, diaspora, and the African continent.
Meet Dana, a Senior Consultant with Pneumos. Dana is a coach, Senior Birkman Method consultant, and organizational development practitioner with over 20 years’ experience helping leaders and organizations gain new perspectives and make real, lasting change using a people-centric approach.
Dana is a culture strategist and Systems thinker who loves to dive into messy, complex organizational challenges. Accomplishments include, helping a large apparel distribution company establish a Diversity and Inclusion program, partnering with a global logistics organization to successfully combine two teams with very different cultures into one cohesive team and Dana working with a Sr. VP, Sale and Marketing in manufacturing on a three-year Organizational Alignment project that addressed significant business threats and opportunities.
Dana holds a Master’s degree in Whole Systems Design-Organization Systems Renewal from Antioch University Seattle and a Bachelor of Science in Food Science from Washington State University.
In her spare time Dana enjoys designing and building homes with her husband Stu, gardening, boating, hiking, and getting creative in the kitchen. She also loves dogs and has a Belgian Shepherd named Merlin.
Meet Ellen, a Consultant with Pneumos and has a psychotherapy and consultancy practice focused on antiracism and racial trauma healing. Ellen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and mediator specializing in collaborating with individuals and groups in catalyzing their efforts toward equity, bringing attention to the analysis of power as a core element of interpersonal and organizational change.
She loves to help people feel, believing wholeheartedly the wisdom of our emotional life has a transformative place in DEIB and justice work alongside what we do and how we think. Her consultancy is informed by twenty-five years of experience in community mental health, inspired by a lineage of movement work and impacted by an intentional personal journey in understanding her relationship to power and privilege.
Ellen is known for her skillful and creative facilitation. Her trauma informed and relational approach contributes to prioritizing the integration of restorative practices. She is also known for her artivist leadership painting murals and teaching political poster making. Her community artist spirit lives on in facilitating arts-based practices.
In her down time, Ellen is a dedicated martial artist and self-defense instructor, finds joy in painting, is an organizer with SURJ Bay Area, regenerates at the ocean’s edge and deeply values her time with chosen and given family.
Meet Jillian, a Senior Consultant with Pneumos. Jillian specializes in equity, diversity and inclusion, organizational development, and talent management. Jillian partners with organizations to make authentic, long-term change.
Jillian earned her undergraduate degree in Multicultural Studies, with an emphasis on Conflict and Cooperation, at The George Washington University. She is also a graduate of the American University Master of Science in Organization Development. In addition, Jillian is a certified integrative wellness and life coach, a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory, and a co-creator and organizational development consultant at b*free. Jillian is proudly the Founder and Principal of Jillian Hubbard Consulting.
While Jillian’s “bread and butter” is spent creating spaces in which people can show up as their authentic selves and feel valued for their presence, she spends her free time sewing clothes and is working to become a certified dog-trainer.
Meet Felicia, an experienced and skilled executive coach, speaker and trainer, as well as a Senior Consultant at Pneumos. Felicia is an award-winning and proven Diversity & Inclusion coach, facilitator and workshop designer. Recognized as a strategic motivator and consultant, her emotional intelligence-based coaching and training programs drive change, solve problems, and achieve results.
In her ten years working with Fortune 500 executives, business leaders and entrepreneurs, Felicia has taught her clients how to utilize emotional intelligence and effective communication skills to lead with competence and impact, while strategically navigating challenges and changes that are a part of an increasingly diverse and global workforce.
A Miami native now residing in New York, Felicia holds an M.Ed in Adult & Organizational Learning from Northeastern University, with a concentration in Distance Learning. She also holds a B.A. is in Sociology from New York University, as well as several coaching certifications.
Felicia comes from a huge family – she has 68 first cousins. If it were possible, she would be travelling the world wearing red or driving a red sports car. Felicia always brings a positive presence and thrives in collaborative environments.
Meet Steve, a Strategic Consultant with Pneumos. Steve is a leadership coach and DEIB consultant that helps leaders and organizations create cultures of inclusion and diverse representation. Steve works with clients from all backgrounds and experiences. He specializes in coaching today’s professionals in becoming inclusive leaders. He loves to coach LGBTQ+ leaders and those with the dream of starting families.
In his years working with Fortune 500 leaders in biotech, pharmaceutical and technology companies, Steve has taught his colleagues and leaders the importance of creating cultures that allow every employee to have a voice and use their voice to create greater impact. In addition, Steve has worked to create representation, equity, and inclusion for under-represented communities including the BIPOC community, LGBTQ+ people, and Women leaders.
Steve loves gardening and spending time in the outdoors and can be found hiking, running, or walking whenever he has free time. He is the proud parent of two amazing human beings – Matthew (5) and Kaitlyn (9).
Rev. Dr. Nick van Santen
Meet Nick, a Senior Consultant at Pneumos. Nick is an experiential learning expert and educator specializing in dismantling White Supremacy, addressing toxic masculinity, and promoting anti-racism in peoples’ professional and personal lives. Nick has over 15 years of leadership development, mentorship, and coaching within higher education and non-profit settings. Nick cultivates new norms for leaders that focus on tangible ways for them to develop more empathy, compassion, and growth through connection and belonging. Nick uses his passion and zeal to “activate” others so they too can tap into the passion and zeal within themselves to live a more integrated life as they find meaningful work.
Nick has a B.A. from the College of Idaho, a M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary, and an Ed.D. from Saint Mary’s College of California. Nick provides DEIB consulting and co-develops white supremacy, restorative Justice, and anti-racist trainings for business leaders and spiritual practitioners.
When Nick is not spending his time engaging leaders, creating community, and coaching clients, he enjoys riding his bike in the mountains and watching NBA basketball.
Meet Olivia, the Operations Director at Pneumos LLC and the owner of The Virtual Alternative PTBO. She specializes in process optimization, efficiency and telling people what to do.
Olivia earned her general B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University, completed her Professional Organization degree at the QC Design School, and is an active member of the Project Management Institute.
When Olivia is not developing, implementing or improving processes, she can be found hanging out with her pet bunny Snickers, playing competitive pool, or binge-watching reality tv shows.
J. Liz Saunders
Meet Liz, the Administrative Coordinator for Pneumos. She is a Certified Virtual Assistant and has extensive experience working with multiple clients. She has a B.A. from the University of Toronto and studied fundraising management at Ryerson University while running a church. She has experience in legal services, construction, insurance, real estate and facilities management before becoming an entrepreneur. Liz builds her relationships on trust, quality and a commitment to outstanding results.
With over 30 years of experience, J. Liz Saunders provides exceptional office and administrative support to the Pneumos CVO and its clients. More importantly, she manages her work creatively. Her “can-do”, “can-solve”, “can-find” attitude allows her to meet clients’ needs in the most effective way possible, every time.
Something that’s a long forgotten fact about Liz is that she was the first female rugby referee in Canada and approximately thirteenth in the world, and was active until right up to the last season before the birth of her twins. Another fact that can’t be ignored is that she has the craziest collection of elephants you’ve ever seen.
Jewell A. Davis
Meet Jewell, the Finance Director for Pneumos. Jewell holds a degree in Business Administration with expertise in the field of healthcare administration. Having worked at the Medical College of Wisconsin (“MCW”) for over 30+ years, Jewell has experience in Finance, Human Resources, and Payroll Administration. She is known for her critical thinking, coaching, and listening skills, skills which she honed after working with difficult faculty and employees. During her tenure at MCW, she served as a member of the Dean’s Executive Committee for Diversity. At the time of her retirement, Jewell was the Program Analyst for the Departments of Anesthesiology and Orthopedic Surgery.
Jewell also owns a tax and bookkeeping business, which is a family-owned company with her brother who is a retired Senior Executive for the IRS for 34 plus years.
Jewell is a fan of old movies especially “Perry Mason” and “Murder She Wrote,” even though she has seen every episode countless times. However, her greatest passion is cooking. She loves creating new dishes and uses her family and friends as “tasters.” Her dishes are “food for the soul”.
Meet Devin, a Strategic Consultant at Pneumos who specializes in facilitating dialogue and is a formally trained restorative justice practitioner who has been honing his skill in youth development for the past 5 years.
As a Bay Area transplant, Devin is a New Leaders Council Fellowship alumni and currently serves on the executive board on the Silicon Valley Chapter. He has also completed a fellowship with the Akili Family Camp hosted Flourish Agenda, which focuses on healing-centered engagement of youth who have experienced trauma. Devin is also an Americorps alumnus and a veteran of the United States Air Force.
Devin found a love for the outdoors through the Boy Scouts of America and attained the rank of Eagle. He is also a trained musician and poet and is currently working on his first published collection.
David W. Schwarz
Meet David, a Senior Consultant with Pneumos and the Director of Pneumos Africa. David is a Human Resources business leader with over 25 years of management experience in enabling and advancing organizational effectiveness through human development and change management. He has a proven ability to successfully employ robust programs that attract and retain talent. He assists multinationals, multilateral and international NGOs to develop and execute innovative and cost-effective human capital strategies that exceed corporate objectives.
David graduated from the University of Minnesota with an M.A. in Human Resources and Public Affairs and B.A. in International Relations and African Studies.
When David isn’t working he likes to play soccer, play guitar and sing to his heart’s content.
Meet Judith, a Senior Consultant with Pneumos. Judith is an international Gestalt consultant and practitioner with over 25 years of experience in organizational change. Judith facilitates organizations through interventions that focus on collaborative strategic planning, conflict management, leadership development, group dynamics and an organization’s social justice journey, specifically inclusion.
Judith holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from American University with a M.S. in organization development. She is a dean and faculty member for the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science OD certificate program, and faculty member for the International Gestalt Organization and Leadership Development program where she is also a graduate.
Raised in Motown (Detroit, USA), music has had a significant impact on her life—that, and sports. She now lives in Washington D.C. where the intersection of politics, social justice and leadership has captured her attention immensely.
When not developing recipes for a cookbook or focusing on her writing, Judith is trying to improve her golf game which she believes is a great equalizer. A trip to New York City and Broadway is always on her joy continuum.