The Team

Nick Araco AchieveNext
Nick Araco, Jr.
Chairman and CEO, AchieveNEXT

He is considered one of the nation’s most prominent business, career and life ‘Connectors,’ as well as the ‘Voice of the Middle Market CFO.’ Nick has spent over 20 years educating, inspiring and empowering his ever-growing c-suite and professional network. Before launching AchieveNEXT and The CFO Alliance, Nick served in various leadership roles for global accounting, tax, advisory and law firms helping clients work through strategic issues and connecting them to other c-suite executives to accelerate their individual and enterprise performance. Prior to that, Nick established and led a number of specialized human capital management practices. Nick began his career as a practicing attorney.

Nick has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with a concentration in Finance, from Loyola University in Maryland. He earned his law degree from Widener University Delaware Law School and lives outside of Philadelphia with his wife and three children.

Greg Wood
Greg Wood
Chief Strategy Officer, AchieveNEXT

Greg has led organizations through transformation processes, critical business issues, and their implications for human capital during his 15 plus years of experience in human resources, operations, technology tools, communications, and team management.

Greg is a results-driven leader with global experience in developing and managing the strategic direction of various functions for multiple business categories – from start-up to large scale, managing full-cycle projects with a watchful eye on top and bottom line performance.

He previously served as Practice Leader for a national firm’s business and strategy division. Greg provided strategic and operational leadership for the firm’s business consulting solutions offerings, focused on maximizing ROI for each client’s people, processes, and technologies. Greg has a dual BA from Cornell University in Business and Biology and now currently lives outside of Philadelphia with his wife and three children.

Todd White
Todd White
Chief Operating Officer, AchieveNEXT

Todd brings his entrepreneurial spirit to AchieveNEXT as an experienced and efficient finance and operational leader. Having spent 20 years in venture capital and private-equity organizations, Todd has raised more than $300 million in private debt and equity financings, directed numerous merger, acquisition and joint venture activities, and initiated and directed the strategy and business development plans for international business activities while also managing key strategic relationships.

Todd’s operational responsibilities include strategic insight, comprehensive financial analysis and comprehensive operational implementation to drive extensive and sustainable growth across the enterprise.

Todd has a BS in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Economics from the University of Richmond and now lives outside of Philadelphia with his wife and 3 children.

Robyn Pollack
Managing Director

Robyn Forman Pollack, Esq. is a Managing Director at AchieveNEXT. A business strategist with an expertise in diversity and inclusion, Robyn increases top-line, bottom-line and shareholder value by teaching enterprises to leverage their D&I Initiatives for growth and success. Through their specialized diversity and inclusion services and solutions, Robyn and the AchieveNEXT team help forward-focused enterprises measure the impact of their culture on performance and maximize their advantage in the markets they are competing in for talent and customers.  Robyn has been actively involved in diversity issues for twenty years. She has lectured and written extensively on issues of diversity and inclusion, harassment, best practices, communication, team collaboration, networking, negotiation, and effective leadership. Robyn brings years of experience working with enterprises as a restructuring attorney and believes that aligning business and human capital is the catalyst for change.

Ed Wallace
President, AchieveNEXT-Human Capital

Ed is President of AchieveNEXT-Human Capital. He consults with and speaks for corporations and associations across the globe with a client list that is a Who’s Who of Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of Fares to FriendsCreating Relational CapitalBusiness Relationships That Last, and his most recent #1 Bestseller The Relationship Engine. In addition, Ed is currently on the Executive Education faculty of Drexel’s LeBow College of Business and Villanova University’s Human Resources Master’s program.

Eric Herrenkohl
Managing Director, AchieveNEXT Human Capital & Executive Coach, Kelleher

Eric brings 30 years of experience in retained executive search and consulting to his executive coaching work. He has worked with leaders from Aramark, Bank of America, Helzberg Diamonds, Nestle, New Balance, Northwestern Mutual Life, Mass Mutual, and mid-sized businesses across 50 industries.

Eric’s book How to Hire A-Players, published by Wiley, is an Amazon bestseller named one of the top 10 recruiting books of all time by He has been featured in Business Week, Fox News,, the LinkedIn Talent Blog,, NBC News, the Philadelphia Business Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Eric holds a master’s degree from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis and an undergraduate degree in economics and history from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He and his family live in the Philadelphia area.

Makeda Brown
Senior Consultant & Executive Coach

Makeda is a Senior Consultant & Executive Coach with over 20 years of HR experience in the Technology, Food/Hospitality and Pharmaceuticals/Biologics industries.  Makeda drives results through the effective management and delivery of human resource strategies, organization development, change management, talent development and diversity. She dedicates herself to helping individual leaders as well as teams unleash their potential to create value and achieve results within their organizations.  She believes coaching as a powerful partnership that drives professional growth for her clients.

As a former Executive HR leader, Makeda has several years of experience developing and delivering people strategies that maximize business results.  Makeda advised and partnered directly with Senior Executives in R&D, Sales & Marketing, Manufacturing, and Corporate Functions (Finance, IT, Compliance, Strategy, HR, Legal) across global organizations. She also served as the Global Succession Planning leader for a large, multi-national company.  In this role, she facilitated the accelerated development required to ready emerging leaders to assume critical roles and to lead productive teams.

Makeda holds a Master of Science degree in Human Resources Development from Villanova University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the Pennsylvania State University.  She also holds certifications as a Certified Professional Coach (iPEC), Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (iPEC), Talent Optimization Consultant (Predictive Index) and as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SHRM).

Makeda is an active member of several business and people strategy associations including the Philadelphia Society of People and Strategy (PSPS), the Association of Talent Development (ATD) and the International Coach Federation (ICF).  She serves on the talent management and human capital committees of PSPS and Beacon Networking for Life. She is also a Board Member of KenCrest Services, a non-profit services organization.

Mitch Wienick
Mitch Wienick
President, Kelleher Associates

At Kelleher Associates, Mitch is responsible for performance and business coaching of senior executives, corporate officers and board members, as well as counseling of executives in transition.  Mitch’s executive coaching practice centers on executives in the areas of:

  • Board management and relationships
  • Business strategy
  • Onboarding and assimilation
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Organizational structure and dynamics
  • Team building and development

Mitch is the former President/CEO and member of the Board of Directors of CDI Corporation (NYSE:CDI), a multinational provider of customized outsourcing, staffing, and search services based in Philadelphia.

Mitch joined CDI Corporation from his role as President of Ameritech Consumer Services, the largest business unit of telecommunications giant Ameritech Corporation, one of the original “Baby Bells” and now part of AT&T Corporation.  Prior to that, he launched Ameritech’s Small Business Services Division and grew it to $1.7 billion in annual revenues.

Mitch held senior executive positions at Borden Inc., where he was Senior Group Vice President, Dairy Products, a $1.9 billion annual revenue business and Kraft Foods, where he served, successively, as President of the Refrigerated Products Division and President of the Grocery Products Division, its largest two business units, each with annual revenues of more than $2 billion.  Mitch began his business career in Brand Management with Procter & Gamble.

A native of New York City, Mitch has an undergraduate degree in economics from Brooklyn College, part of the City University of New York, and a Masters of Business Administration from New York University.  Mitch has served on the Boards of Directors of Greater Philadelphia First, the World Affairs Council, and Speakeasy Inc., the nation’s largest independent broadband and VoIP service provider before it was successfully sold to Best Buy, Inc.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Cielo, Inc., the leading independent recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) firm and the Atlantic Community Bankers Bank, a Pennsylvania state-chartered Federal Reserve member bank providing financial services to over 300 shareholder community banks.

Candace Cook
Director of Brand Strategy & Marketing Communications

With over sixteen years of on-air media, communications and marketing experience, Candace Cook has a keen understanding of the challenges leaders face and how to solve them. From her experiences as an agency consultant, to her time as CBS News Reporter/ Anchor and NBC10 Traffic Anchor in Philadelphia, to her work in writing television and radio commercials for her clients, Candace brings a proven track record of forming strong relationships based on trust, integrity, credibility and a focus on results. Candace earned her degree in Communications with a Minor in English from Villanova University.

Deanna Tully
Operations Manager, AchieveNEXT

Deanna’s background includes project and program management, event coordination and design, and relationship management. As the Operations Manager for AchieveNEXT, Deanna develops and executes project plans and communications schedules for AchieveNEXT’s offline and online programs, events, executive reports, and client deliverables. She connects the dots between AchieveNEXT’s services and its communities, by fostering relationships through supporting clients, marketing initiatives and event collaboration.

Prior to joining AchieveNEXT, Deanna managed compliance and design efforts for Victory Brewing Company. Most recently, she coordinated executive programs and relationships for CRA, Inc., an executive coaching and strategic communications firm. She brings her passion for creating and facilitating positive experiences for clients of AchieveNext and members of The CFO Alliance.

John White
Director of Business Development, AchieveNEXT

John is a career sales strategist and business development professional who has spent his 25+ year career bringing innovative solutions to clients seeking to reach and exceed their revenue and ROI challenges. John has served clients in numerous industries including private equity, financial services, higher education, pharmaceutical, consumer products and technology. He has worked with several Philadelphia-based organizations in the branding, marketing and digital marketing industries.

John is responsible for initiating client engagements, guiding them through the buying process and ensuring they are aware of the full suite of services available to them by the AchieveNEXT family of companies.

John has a bachelor’s degree in business management from LaSalle University. He lives in Bucks County, Pa with his wife and 2 children.

JIm Miller
Jim Miller
Partner and Executive Coach, Kelleher Associates

Jim’s diverse background spans human resources management, career services, executive coaching, retained executive search, and business management.

At Kelleher Associates, Jim specializes in providing comprehensive assessment and personalized career counseling, leadership consulting, executive coaching, and career development services to the firm’s most senior clients from industries as diverse as pharmaceuticals, financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Before joining Kelleher Associates, Jim was a Principal and Managing Director at Wellington Management Group, a retained executive search firm, and Vice President and Director of Professional Services at Lee Hecht Harrison, a global career management services company. Earlier, Jim was a Principal and Senior Consultant with Kelleher Associates, the leading career consulting firm in the Philadelphia area.

Jim has a corporate background of 20 years’ experience in operations and senior human resources management positions with CIGNA Corporation and CoreStates Banks (now Wells Fargo). His areas of expertise include executive search; talent identification, acquisition and development; career transition and outplacement; strategic workforce planning and management; employee relations, AA/EEO and diversity management; mergers, acquisitions and divestitures; and assimilation coaching and workforce integration.

Jim is a member of the Philadelphia Society of People & Strategy (PSPS), and serves on the Membership Committee.

Jim holds a B.S. in Business Management, Economics, and Accounting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is certified in Strategic Leadership Development™ from the Management Research Group® and is also a Certified Resilience Coach.

Marci Wilf
Marcia Wilf
Partner and Executive Coach, Kelleher Associates

Marci is Senior Partner with Kelleher Associates where she is responsible for counseling clients in transition, executive coaching and business development. Throughout her career, Marci has successfully utilized her consensus building leadership style, and her exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, to counsel and coach clients and employees through numerous complex business transactions and other challenging transitions.

Marci’s career as a commercial real estate and corporate attorney has enabled her to effectively work with her coaching clients from the legal industry to meet the challenges typically confronted by attorneys at all levels of practice and in a wide variety of arenas. Marci has practiced at both large and small law firms, notably with Blank Rome LLP. She has also served as in-house counsel, including acting as Senior Counsel with Kravco-Simon Company, a national retail development and management company, General Counsel and Director of Human Resources with America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, a large national retail chain, and as Executive Vice President and General Counsel with Trinity Capital Advisors, LLC,  a small real estate brokerage and development company.

In 1999, Marci transitioned from attorney to business leader, becoming Vice President of Corporate Administration and Vice President of Human Resources for Advanta Corp., a publicly traded Philadelphia-based financial services company.  Marci’s rich background in business enables her to bring a wealth of practical experience to her coaching practice with business leaders at Kelleher Associates.

Marci earned her B.A. and B.S. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from the Temple University School of Law. She has completed coursework at the College of Executive Coaching, an International Coaching Federation credentialed coaching training program for professionals with graduate degrees, and is a Certified Myers Briggs practitioner, a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst (CPBA), a Certified Professional Values Analyst (CPVA), and a Certified Resilience Coach.

Marci is a member of the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Philadelphia Bar Associations, Philadelphia Society of People & Strategy (PSPS) and Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group (GPSEG).  She also serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Congregation Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley, PA and will become President in July, 2015.

Dailey Tipton
Master Facilitator

Dailey is a sales facilitator and coach specializing in training, negotiation and effective sales execution for the past 25 years.  He has aligned with AchieveNext to provide expert coaching as part of the advisory team.  Throughout his career he has demonstrated a strong acumen for generating revenue growth and creation of new business opportunities.  He spent many years in senior leadership positions in sustainability and energy management and is recognized for his ability to build businesses by taking new products to market that define innovations and applications that impact the bottom line. Dailey has developed energy, compliance, sustainability and technology programs for Fortune 500 companies, where his endeavors have driven value to the corporation. Main career focus has been to drive sales for the success of the customer and has been recognized as “top” sales person in many organizations.  Dailey launched his sales training when he realized the value of incorporating actual fundamental training in day to day activities with his sales team(s).  These practices soon developed in to complete training program. Through his further exploration of the power of relationships and communication, he met Ed Wallace, beginning a relationship that has flourished and developed his affiliation with the AcheiveNext organization.

Dailey has worked for CPower as a General Manager, SAP as the leader for Energy Management and Sustainable Applications Center of Excellence, and DATUM as part of the management team. Dailey created, launched and managed a highly successful SAP practice for ERM. He also served in several other leading positions with TechniData, Enviance, Threshold Sports, Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, FirstCarbon Solutions and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.  He started his career as a Naval Flight Officer and is a Veteran of Foreign War with multiple recognitions including two Navy Achievement Medals. Dailey holds two degrees in Engineering:  MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University.

Marc Jablon
Master Facilitator

Marc Jablon has been a facilitator and coach specializing in negotiation and effective communication training for nearly ten years. He began his career early as an actor, writer and teacher. As a performer, he guest-starred on several network television programs, including  ER (1994), NCIS and Community (2009); and on stage at several regional theaters around the country.  He stumbled upon a need to communicate collaboratively and noted gaps in business where leaders had trouble working together to build long term relationships and providing win-win outcomes.  As such, he transitioned as a business professional to an industry where he could make a difference in connecting leaders and front-line professionals through everyday discussion and negotiation.  Marc launched his training career at Karrass Effective negotiating. Through his further exploration of the power of relationships and communication, he met Ed Wallace, beginning a relationship that has flourished over the last 3 years.

He has since served as Senior Facilitator for Relational Capital, helping leaders and front-line staff in the sales, procurement, and operation departments to increase their bottom line and strengthen business partnerships – both internally and externally – by setting the culture for strategic relationshi-building.

Marc has worked with dozens of industries to deliver training to both intimate groups and large groups of 75-100 participants. Clients such as BMW, Mazda, Google, United Airlines and Dropbox have all praised Marc’s dynamic delivery style and breadth of knowledge in delivering first-rate training and coaching. He holds a B.A from Indiana University and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Washington.

Eric Lynn
Operating Partner

As a former owner operator in the Electrical and Industrial wholesale space with two startups and two successful exits and as a current operating partner with twenty years of executive leadership in the industrial distributing and manufacturing space, Eric Lynn possesses expert negotiation, communications, presentation and coaching credentials that our clients have come to rely upon to help them to produce strong P&L results.

Eric is an “Out-of-box” thinker, visionary planner and decisive leader with demonstrated ability to evaluate, communicate and implement initiatives benefiting the shareholders and the operating organization. Given his experience in building operations from the ground up and restructuring existing businesses, Eric is widely respected for his broad range of industry knowledge, collaborative management style, and tenacious commitment to achieving both personal and corporate objectives.

With extensive Board of Director experience in industrial capital equipment, self-storage, wastewater manufacturing, electronic manufacturing services, commercial building construction, bio fuel system manufacturing b-to-b advertising companies, PVC manufacturing, electrical distribution, turf and agriculture irrigation, industrial distribution, and engineering software enterprises, Eric has counseled enterprises and executives with sourcing, financing and closing acquisitions, developing and enhancing individual and enterprise reporting structures resulting in improved performance in the areas of market opportunities and financial performance. Eric has recruited new CEO talent resulting in significant growth in revenue and equity performance of key operating companies (37% CAGR of equity), has consistently increased individual and portfolio performance through focused practices of team building, communication of expectations, establishment of measurable metrics and executive oversight.

Eric has extensive experience developing and implementing management training programs that strengthen an individual and enterprise’s value via stronger management teams cohesively focused on key operating and financial performance metrics. Eric has a Bachelor of Science, Management Science, from State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo New York.

Debra Ventura
Executive Coach

With over 30 years of experience as a successful commercial business leader and professional Executive Coach, Debra Ventura has a strong ability to interface at all levels to encourage accountability and achieve effective outcomes and desired results both professionally and personally.

Debra partners with her clients to close the gap between where they are and where they want to be. She has coaching clients across the country from CEOs to college students. She has supported her clients to achieve their professional goals and personal dreams.

Before beginning her executive coaching practice, Debra worked in the pharmaceutical sector as a dynamic commercial strategist and authentic leader through a broad range of commercial functions. As a result, she has a keen understanding of the challenges leaders face and how to solve them.

Through director-level positions with a Fortune 100 biopharmaceutical company, Debra brings to her engagements a strong understanding of the sales, marketing and commercial operations functions, drawing in-depth experience in sales, marketing and sales training senior leadership roles.

She was selected to drive highly visible initiatives to improve sales force efficiency and effectiveness and act as a liaison with Commercial Strategy and Operations leadership, to ensure cross-commercial alignment and execution. As Secretariat, she partnered with cross-functional VP-level leadership teams to create organizational policy and drive scorecard business objectives.

Through this broad base of experience and responsibility, Debra has developed as a demonstrated leader and collaborative problem solver. She brings a proven track record of partnering with clients to develop practical, action-based solutions to complex business and personal challenges, forming strong relationships based on trust, integrity, credibility and a focus on results.

Debra earned a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Widener University, and Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Computer Systems Management from Drexel University.

May Van
May Van
Partner, Kelleher Associates

At Kelleher Associates, May specializes in counseling clients who are in transition, seeking a career change and looking to strengthen their leadership capabilities.

May has a diverse background in accounting and finance management, operations management, business management and leadership development. May’s strong interpersonal skills, exceptional leadership, and collaborative style have enabled her to lead employees through several challenging and unique business transitions. These skills and experiences are the building blocks which allow her to successfully counsel clients as they pursue their professional goals.

May served as a Controller for several divisions of Johnson Matthey. She was a Vice President of Finance and Administration of CTDI.  May spent the last 15 years of her corporate career at Hewlett-Packard and its spin-off, Agilent Technologies. She held several executive level positions there, including Divisional Controller, Plant Manager, Director of Order Fulfillment, Vice President of Internal Audit, and Vice President and General Manager of the Service and Consumable Business which continues to be one of Agilent’s highest growth contributors.

Having resided in the PA suburbs for over 30 years, May has deep ties to and great fondness for the area. She is passionate about giving back to the community. She volunteers at and serves on the board of several non-profit organizations. As an immigrant, May is proud that she is able to successfully adopt the best of Eastern and Western cultures and has helped others navigate the differences.

May holds a BBA in Accounting from Texas Tech University and an MBA from West Chester University where she was also an Adjunct Professor. She is a graduate of Coach University, an organization accredited by the International Coaching Federation.

Dick Hartzel
Dick Hartzell
Executive Coach, Kelleher Associates

Dick has an outstanding background, and a wealth of experience and accomplishments, in both corporate human resources management and career transition consulting.

Prior to joining Kelleher Associates in 1999, Dick had already enjoyed seven years of career transition consulting experience and success with Millard Consulting Services (a Philadelphia regional boutique) and Manchester (a national firm, subsequently acquired by Right Associates), with emphasis on mid to senior level executives. He has worked successfully with candidates from a wide variety of organizations in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

In his earlier career, Dick held Human Resource Director responsibilities for various major divisions of Sunoco Incorporated, as well as managing their Corporate Human Resource Group. His expertise spans recruitment, career development, performance management, succession planning, rewards systems, employee relations and organizational change.

He has been a Director of ASPA and SHRM chapters, as well as the Industrial Relations Association of Philadelphia and Board member and Vice President of Family and Community Services of Delaware County and the Advisory Board for the Crozer Regional Cancer Center. Dick completed his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania.

Joey Nguyen
Data Analyst

Joey Nguyen is an International Business Major at Temple University. At AchieveNEXT, Joey assists with Business Intelligence strategies and execution; drawing conclusions from raw data, telling a story using data and analysis, relating that story to the business as a whole. He also supports the Management Team as Partner Liaison, acting as a resource for our Partners in terms of better ways to engage and interact with our Communities; engaging Partners using data intelligence.

Grant Wallace
Inside Sales Associate Co-Op

Grant Wallace is a graduate student pursuing his M.S. in Sport Business at Neumann University. With a background in sales and marketing in the Philadelphia sports industry, Grant is excited to help create the inside sales program for AchieveNEXT, while gaining critical skills centered around the sales process.