Nick Araco, Jr.
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.
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.
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.
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 Friends, Creating Relational Capital, Business 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.
Joel is a dynamic leader with extensive corporate development experience. As a career investment banker, he has facilitated over $500M in middle market M&A and capital formation transactions in both buy and sell-side capacities.
Joel is currently the Director of Corporate Development Services at AchieveNEXT where he recently chaired and published an M&A Readiness, Special Task Force Report and leads several industry specific CFO strategy groups. As a member of The CFO Alliance, Joel hosts quarterly thought leadership events and regularly advises CFOs on corporate development strategy.
In addition to core expertise in middle market transaction advisory services, Joel has been instrumental in founding, funding and exiting several early stage companies as an angel investor, operating officer and/or board member. Joel is passionate about helping companies grow, and adds significant value in every phase of the business life cycle.
Joel is a graduate of Singularity University’s Executive Program in Exponential Technologies, and holds a Master’s in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He serves on the Board of Education Plus Nicaragua, and enjoys reading, tennis and snowboarding in his free time.
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.
Brian is an accomplished business development executive with more than 15 years of experience working with organizations across the United States, with particular emphasis on those headquartered in the Delaware Valley. Brian is recognized by his clients as someone who understands their business goals and objectives, and who designs solutions to best fit their needs.
At Kelleher Associates, Brian is responsible for representing Kelleher’s suite of career services to both existing and prospective clients. Prior to joining Kelleher, Brian held a variety of sales and account management roles at Iron Mountain where he worked for over a decade. He was consistently a top performer and was recognized as a Chairman’s Club winner. Preceding that, he spent just under two years at Archway Marketing Services assisting enterprise customers with their eCommerce business needs.
Brian graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. He is on the Board of the Spring-Ford basketball alumni group, and is active with several other organizations in the Philadelphia area. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and playing golf. Brian resides in Montgomery County with his family.
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.
Karen is responsible for complete administrative support to all executive coaches, the VP/Administration, and the President of Kelleher Associates and has extensively collaborated with executive clients. With her legal assistant background, computer/software proficiency and comprehensive understanding of job search objectives, she is truly a partner in the coach/client relationship. Karen wordsmiths resumes and cover letters for executive clients, manages client databases, and troubleshoots computer issues.
In addition, Karen conducts monthly LinkedIn training seminars, focused on personal branding and job search, and she coordinates and attends off-site monthly executive networking meeting (ExecuNet).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.