KGi Associates

The Kiely Group often taps into a broad network of subject matter experts to lead customized client engagements. Ranging from talent management, to creativity, to public administration, to health care–our KGi Associates are well-versed not only in their respective fields, but also in the Kiely Group’s approach to Readiness.

field of aspen trees Banff National Park


Mark Allen, Ph.D.

Dr. Mark Allen is an educator, speaker, consultant, and author who specializes in talent management and corporate universities. He is the author of Aha Moments in Talent Management (to be published by ASTD Press in 2014) and the co-author and editor of The Next Generation of Corporate Universities, published by Pfeiffer in 2007 and The Corporate University Handbook published by Amacom Books in 2002. He has also written numerous articles in practitioner and academic publications.

Mark is a member of the faculty of Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, where he previously served for ten years as Director of Executive Education. He is also a Senior Associate with the Kiely Group, a senior faculty member of the Human Capital Institute, and regularly teaches for Vatel University and the American Management Association.

Mark has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, an MBA from Pepperdine University, and a Ph.D. in Education from USC. An award-winning teacher, Mark teaches courses in Leadership, Management, Creativity, and Adult Learning at Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and Graduate School of Education and Psychology and has taught business and management courses at a number of institutions.

Maarten Asser, Drs, MBA

Maarten Asser is an International Intellectual Property Lawyer turned organizational change, team performance, and leadership development consultant and coach with special focus on the organizational and cultural dilemmas and their reconciliations that entities are frequently entangled in.

Maarten is a strong proponent of collective intelligence and uses action-learning principles in the design and facilitation of his sessions to keep the focus on client’s current and future strategic and operational challenges. His areas of expertise are globalization and integration, leadership and team performance, change, dilemma management, and intercultural competence and cultural intelligence.

Maarten’s engaging and highly interactive facilitation and presentation style, his professional insights, and personal anecdotes have made him a highly regarded learning facilitator on leadership and management topics around the world.

Maarten is co-author of The Global M&A Tango: Cross cultural dimensions of Mergers and Acquisitions (McGraw-Hill, 2011), and 21 Leaders for the 21st Century (McGraw-Hill, 2001) with Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, two professors he spent 12.5 years in their research based consulting firm in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Cambridge, MA.

He teaches at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Columbia Business School, and Duke Corporate Education, and the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India among others.

Galen Ellis, MPH

Galen is a favorite go-to resource for Kiely Group’s stickier undertakings.  Her 30 years of work with non-profits, advocacy organizations, public agencies, foundations, and individual social entrepreneurs has imparted a well-seasoned approach to participatory planning, evaluation, and decision-making disciplines. Her primary interest lies in increasing individual and organizational capacity to improve community health and quality of life. Galen has presented nationally on community building, multi-cultural collaboration, and policy advocacy, and has authored numerous publications which tie health education and planning theory to grounded practice.  Galen has worked in the fields of occupational health, women’s health, and alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention realms

Galen heads Ellis Planning Associates, Inc., a team of planners, evaluators, researchers, statisticians, evaluators and educators based in Nevada City, California.  It is here on mountain lakes, trails and especially the Yuba River, that Galen finds natural inspiration for her work.  With a home full of teenagers, she is also wholly engaged in helping a new generation include social betterment in their present and future plans.

Roger L. Firestien, Ph.D.

Dr. Roger L. Firestien is committed to making creativity simple, making it practical and helping people apply their creativity to produce results. Roger’s keynote presentations and training programs are dynamic, interactive, great fun and provide methods that participants can use immediately to create innovative results.

In 1984, Roger joined the faculty of the International Center for Studies in Creativity at the Buffalo State – State University of New York. He focuses his work on how to be personally creative and how to lead a team to produce creative results. His books, “Leading on the Creative Edge” and his creative thinking fable, “Why Didn’t I Think of That?” are essential reading that leaders regularly order for their teams to kick-start innovation. He is also a co-author of “Creativity Unbound: An introduction to creative process” and Facilitation: A door to creative leadership.”

Roger holds a Ph.D. in Communication and a M.S. in Creativity and Innovation, from the State University of New York. When he’s not traveling, he lives in Buffalo, NY, and regularly drives a tractor, although not too well, on the family farm near Greeley, CO.

Elfego Gomez III

Elfego – who aspires to someday be known simply by his first name, not unlike Oprah, Rihanna, Sting, or Madonna – is originally from Santa Fe New Mexico with family roots in Northern New Mexico that go back to the late 1600s. He began his career as a secondary school teacher, administrator and coach working at college prep schools in Arizona, California and Colorado. He then joined Action Learning Associates doing executive development work and used that experience as a springboard to managing a large training initiative for General Motors Europe in the south of Spain and then returning to the U.S. in the role of National Director of Training and Development for Junior Achievement Worldwide. Since 2001 he has been the principal of Gómez & Associates, partners regularly with the Kiely Group on special projects, as well as an adjunct faculty member with Duke Corporate Education and the Center for Creative Leadership.

This passion as an educator has continued and morphed into organizational development consulting with 20+ years of experience. Today, Elfego specializes in the design and facilitation of initiatives to develop the next generation of leaders, supplant team discord with high performance and synchronize organizational vision and direction. These programs are highly interactive and based upon a broad compendium of approaches including business simulations, action learning projects and psychometric assessments. In his free time Elfego runs, skis, cycles and eats dark chocolate.


Mary Kirlin, DPA

Dr. Mary Kirlin is Associate Professor at California State University Sacramento where she teaches a variety of courses in the graduate program in Public Policy and Administration. She received her Master’s and Doctorate from the University of Southern California, then spent 5 years on the faculty at Indiana University before returning to California. At Sac State, Mary now teaches introductory and thesis seminars as well as core courses in the management sequence. Her award winning teaching stems, in part, from her 15 years as a practitioner. Her students value her ability to link theory and practice in a usable fashion.

Over the course of her career, Mary has built substantial understanding of organizations and how to improve their functionality. She has broad experience with strategic planning and management for both public and non-profit organizations. She is particularly interested in the implementation phase of planning, helping organizations integrate and better understand their efforts to stay focused on the strategic planning goals. As a former member of several of boards, she is well versed in board development and the facilitation of useful decision making.

Traci Manalani, MA

Traci is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) as designated by the International Coach Federation and has over 25 years of organization development experience.  She is adept at designing and implementing comprehensive approaches that lead to sustainable outcomes focused on meeting each organization’s unique needs.  Her expertise includes providing individual and team coaching as well as facilitating transformational programs. Traci’s 1:1 coaching encourages leaders, executives and managers to recognize blind-spots and transform behaviors so they can achieve their full potential and catalyze their organizations to greatness.  Traci’s organization and relationship system coaching (ORSC) approach creates more cohesive teams and strengthens understanding that leads to strategic and sustainable solutions at a leveraged scale.  Traci is a seasoned facilitator and has led programs that combine practical skill-building with mind-set growth, which has led to significant culture change within organizations. Traci boldly steps into challenging situations bolstered by her years of conflict-resolution experience and diplomatic relational skills.

Traci has her Masters in Psychology, Bachelors in Human Resources Management, is certified as a coach through the International Coach Federation and Fielding Graduate University’s Evidence Based Coaching program, is completing a specialized coach certification program with CRR Global focusing on Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching (ORSC), is pursuing her PhD in Organizational Systems, and is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).  She has worked globally with private sector companies, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies.

Traci has lived and worked outside of the U.S. and is conscientious of cultural nuances that allow her to be successful with strategic interventions in diverse situations.

Prior to working as an independent coach and consultant, Traci had experience working for organizations in several leadership roles and managed large groups (including a staff of sixty). Traci also was an individual and family therapist for several years, which led to her founding an Employee Assistance Program on the Island of Kauai in the early 2000s.

Henry Neidermeier, Ph.D.

Henry has been associated with the Kiely Group for over 20 years. As changes in information technology accelerated, he has built business and IT teams, led innovation and created technology solutions across industries. Transitions, teams and technology capabilities have been Henry’s focus as he has served in leadership positions in health care, financial services and education.

Previously, Henry worked for the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, First Interstate Bancorp and the California Community Colleges. He has been an executive and leader in both the public and private sectors with for-profit and non-profit global organizations. He taught coursework at the University of Colorado, University of Southern California, Regis College, and others. His skill, expertise and experience extends from the classroom to the boardroom.

Although Henry’s professional focus is organization effectiveness and information technology, he describes himself as a “paint grade carpenter, boat wright and constant gardener.” That same “hands on” practical approach is ever present in the work he does with organizations. He has published papers and presented on diverse topics including cultures and communication, group dynamics, technology planning, project management, and information security.

Charles “Terry” Terranova, MBA

Terry Terranova has been helping people and organizations change and grow for 20 years.  Combining elements from the fields of change management, adult learning and organization development, Terry has helped change cultures in the transportation, technology, financial services and mining industries.

Often, Terry has been instrumental in “firsts’ for many companies such as bringing change management practices to New York City Transit, helping implement an Organizational Effectiveness practice at Sun Microsystems, and  launching the first-ever development program for 1,800 people managers at Charles Schwab.

Equally comfortable with executives as he is with front-line employees, Terry believes in engaging all levels of the workforce to make a positive difference. Moving into the mining industry in 2011, Terry worked on five continents to lead a global team at Newmont Mining in deploying a behavioral change approach with management and front-line employees. This new approach resulted in a 28% decline in the accident frequency rate and in 9 fewer workers being seriously injured over a 2-year period.

At another point in his career, Terry worked for a small consulting firm that specialized in customized business simulations. There, he was exposed to multiple industries as he traveled the world assessing needs, designing a customized solution and delivering seminars in Europe, Asia and the US.

Now, Terry is bringing his experience to help a variety of companies execute on their strategies and live their values. His method is to design and deliver an integrated suite of workshops that engage leadership, develop coaches for front-line supervisors and involve front-line employees in taking the reins to act in ways that benefit them and the company.

When not working, Terry enjoys reading, cooking, jogging and the company of his family’s personality-enriched standard poodle.

Cesca Wright, MPA

Cesca Wright is a helper.  She loves to assist people within organizations to energetically envision, learn, create, refine, reflect, plan and act to support their mission.   Her areas of experience include:

  • Program development and evaluation;
  • Policy approaches to support active transportation;
  • Collecting and analyzing data through interviews, online surveys, internal procedures, and focus groups;
  • Outcome oriented participatory group processes.

Lacking professional foresight, her early work was guided instead by her inquisitive nature about elemental things.  She studied early childhood development to help make sure kids had a fun and safe place to explore being human.  She’s helped build earth-friendly houses out of hay, mud and poured pumicecrete.  She has organized delegations of community thought-leaders to visit families in war zones and then talk about what they saw and heard.  She trained kids to slow down and discover many options when they are angry. When her children were little, she sat at her kitchen table during their nap time and strung stone and silver beads and sold wearable art in New Mexico galleries.  Finally, a period of single parenthood prompted her curiosity about the concept of career.  She took a job for a statewide consortium of grant-makers who were thinking how to best align public and private resources to support for the good work of being a family.  There, she got the “outcome” bug, which led her to program evaluation and organizational development.  With a Masters in Public Administration from University of Southern California and her varied experience, Cesca quickly gets acquainted with an organization and contributes to their success.