The people we hire at Pepper Foster Consulting aren't just great consultants, they're also fun to work with, smart, emotionally mature, passionate, collaborative, and humble. They're committed to excellence, to always going above and beyond, and to always making a difference.
Here are profiles of a few of them to give you an idea:
Llyswen is a motivated and energetic consultant who has experience within both commercial and non-profit organizations. Developing strategies for project success, team engagement, and coming up with/implementing new initiatives are some of her areas of interest. Her passion for sustainability, both in an environmental and social perspective,was fortified by her background of serving as an AmeriCorps member in the education field, working in healthcare technology, earning a BS in Environmental science from Oregon State University, and an MBA in Sustainable Business from the University of Oregon. In her free time, you can find Llyswen developing her painting skills, baking new recipes, playing with her cat, and learning how to cook.
Keaton is an experienced business leader with a decade of experience in information technology and project management where he has led teams and PMOs to focus on the big picture, achieve milestones, and deliver business impacting outcomes. His background in utilities and financial services has proven an ability to understand and navigate complex environments, ensuring risks are mitigated, deliverables are met, and PMOs succeed all while doing the toughest thing of all, keeping teams engaged and motivated. When not in the office you'll find Keaton cooking, spending time with his family, or most likely, in his woodshop, designing and building fine furniture and documenting the entire process on his blog and YouTube channel.
Kurt is an energetic and team-oriented senior leader with demonstrated business skills and ability to drive technology and functional based enterprise programs in fast-paced environments with measurable results. He has over 25 years experience as a technology professional- technical program manager consistently leading and delivering on Agile & Waterfall Programs on-scope, on-schedule and on-budget. Kurt consistently builds collaborative teams and relationships across technology, business customer and vendor partner teams. When he's not driving results for clients, Kurt enjoys following his 3 teenage boys' sports with his wife Michelle, snowboarding in the winter, and camping and trail running in the summer. Kurt is also an active volunteer and board member of Portland Community Football Club www.PCFC.co which provides access to high quality coaching and soccer leagues to low-income, immigrant and refugee youth in the Portland metro area.
Bud is an experienced business and technology leader who drives IT modernization efforts through continuously improving the quality of the IT solutions, services and support while always having the end-user, and cost effectiveness in mind. As a former CIO, he draws on his own experience to bring innovation, industry standards and best practices into organizations and develop and empower teams that exceed the needs of the business. Prior to Pepper Foster, he was a Partner and Director for CGI. He oversaw multiple areas that focused on business development and the delivery of projects and services that range from full IT Outsourcing to specialty ERP implementations. Bud is passionate about giving back to the community and has volunteered with Kids Inc, iUrban Teen, SOLVE, SMART, Cycle Oregon and is on the Board of the Society of Information Management’s (SIM) Portland Chapter. In his free time he hangs out with his kids, kickboxes, and rides his road and mountain bikes.
Nate brings a background of building consulting practices whether at Accenture or through his own consulting firm. He’s been successful by bringing the human element to every client engagement, whether in organizational change, strategy development, project management or learning and development. While supporting clients to envision, plan and execute business-critical improvements, he works to coach and guide senior executives through these complex transformations – so that both they and their teams have the skills and mindset needed to make sure the transformations stick. Prior to Pepper Foster, he worked in both consulting and industry roles and was recently a founding partner Pioneer Management Consulting. Nate is passionate about developing the next generation of leaders and curating lasting client relationships. Outside of work, Nate is passionate about volunteering, spending time with his family and the outdoors. You’ll often find him on the water, in the woods or skiing with his family.
Sarah is a collaborative, multi-faceted consultant with proven experience in project management, quality, and process improvement, and integrating organizational change with business strategy and tracking of key performance indicators. With a proven history of achieving and executing on a company's visions and goals, she has experience partnering with Executives and team members of all levels to drive results and facilitate data-driven decision making. Sarah is a lifelong learner who enjoys helping teams analyze issues from all angle and perspectives. Outside of the office, Sarah can be found hiking, camping, or cooking with her family. She is also trying to get her Corgi Lizzo to walk more than a mile and a half before laying down.
Kristin is an engaged consultant who enjoys diving into the details of a project and coming up with the big picture. She commits herself to finding the best possible solution for the client. She has over 10 years of experience delivering results in both the nonprofit and private sector. Her myriad background ranges from launching digital marketing strategy in food retail, to business development at a $1B non-profit financial institution, to project management in the healthcare and medical device industries. Kristin split her childhood in Philadelphia & Nashville, has lived oversees and moved to Portland in 2004. She has an MBA from Portland State University and MS from Oregon Health & Science University. Fun times are spent hiking up mountains, watching MotoGP on Sundays with her kiddos, and reading the NYT Magazine.
Todd is a seasoned consultant and senior leader in Pepper Foster’s Minneapolis - St. Paul office. With 25 years of experience in business architecture, program management, and data/IT delivery, Todd helps clients build business capabilities, rationalize priorities into actionable portfolios, and transform delivery practices. As a trusted advisor to clients in multiple industries, he enjoys coaching leaders and their teams to embrace continuous improvement and achieve quantifiable ROI. Todd lives with his wife and three children in Minneapolis, MN, where they spend time together hiking by the Mississippi River, watching turkeys feed in their backyard, and literally herding their two cats.
Brad is a seasoned IT professional and trusted business partner/advisor with over 20+ years in the professional/management consulting services industry. Prior to Pepper Foster, he held several local/regional/global management level roles at Arthur Andersen, Hitachi Consulting, RGP and a local start-up consulting firm. He is both PMP and ADKAR/Prosci certified with areas of expertise focusing on: developing and driving local/regional/global go to market and sales strategies, Program/Project Management, IT and operational strategy development, software selections, software Implementations, business process optimization and change management. Brad is actively involved with numerous local charities/organizations,while also holding a number of board positions. When not working, Brad enjoys spending time with his family and friends, coaching his kid’s sports, and enjoying wine country and everything Oregon has to offer.
Giovanna is our Recruiter for the Portland practice. She values a people-first approach in her work, and centers building relationships to create a positive candidate experience for those considering a career with the Pepper Foster team! She has a varied background - recruiting for various types of talent in industries including agriculture, the nonprofit sector, and high-tech manufacturing. In her free time you’ll likely find Giovanna outside - whether that be in the mountains for a rainy hike, kayaking, camping, or seeking new places in the PNW to explore.
Galen is an experienced consultant with a breadth of skills: from team development to concrete deliverables. With a background spanning construction and software, he is adept in both Agile and traditional project management delivery. He is invested in a creative, flexible approach that is grounded in data and business realities. Galen is always excited to see details in the context of the big picture and is endlessly curious about the nexus of people, systems, and value. Outside of work he enjoys philosophy, playing in the outdoors, and life’s simple pleasures.
Ariana is a solution-minded Associate that is privileged to have a varied career spanning the education, brewing, nonprofit, software and customer service industries. Originally from Washington, D.C., Ariana completed her undergraduate degree at Colorado College in International Political Economy and earned her Master’s Degree in Interorganizational Psychology and Leadership Management from the University of Memphis. She is focused on advancing purpose through data driven decisions and analysis of both individual and group motivations and heuristics. Ariana grew up in a food-centric family and spends much of her time exploring all the delicious culinary and agricultural offerings of the Pacific Northwest. To enable her food motivated tourism, Ariana loves hiking with her two dogs, Summer and Utah, and her partner, Josh.
Shannon is a consultant focused on collaboration and project management to complete strategic priorities. She known as a partner with a problem-solving approach. Shannon has experience in healthcare, driving successful project completion across the organization by integrating ideas of leaders and SMEs into projects, strategy, and innovation. She conducts thorough proactive review of the complexities of decision-making to help to confirm accurate stakeholder involvement. As a relationship builder, Shannon brings structure, organization to the team to implement projects effectively and successfully. She also is a mentor for Oregon Bioscience Incubator, whose mission is to accelerate bioscience industry growth and job creation for the state of Oregon. In her free time, you can find Shannon in the kitchen, reading a book, or enjoying time with family and friends.
Melanie is our Talent Acquisition Manager and has over 10 years of recruiting experience in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. She is passionate about helping connect amazing talent to professional opportunities and enjoys building meaningful relationships with new people. Melanie is a native of Chicago and spends her free time outdoors with her dog, building jigsaw puzzles, and exploring Portland’s vast restaurant scene.
Emily is a communicative and motivated consultant with experience in marketing, communications, and campaign/content strategy. With her experience in the technology industry, she drives impacting change and success in fast-paced environments. Emily’s ability to pivot from marketing and communications to project management and process improvement demonstrates her adaptability; which allows her to help businesses achieve wide-range success. Her vast experience ranges from developing business campaigns, strategy, global launch plans, internal communications, project management, to founding a field marketing team that generated $2 million in new leads in one year. Emily has a passion for collaborating, constructing, and problem solving by thinking outside of the box to create business innovation and modernization. When she’s not working, Emily plays on an underwater hockey team, teaches swim lessons, and spends time with her rescue bulldog.
Warren is an experienced consultant and business leader, focusing on wholistic solutions to client problems. With a background in food, agriculture and warehousing, Warren has motivated teams to deliver complex projects on time and within budget. Along with being a certified ScrumMaster, Warren is an Adjunct Professor, teaching undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of organizational change, sustainability and social justice. Warren and his wife Kate recently moved to Minneapolis after raising their three adult children in Chicago. Enjoying the outdoors and the seasons is one reason they moved back to the Twin Cities Choral singing, cycling, golf, cooking and gardening are just some of the things that Warren and Kate share together.
Julia is our Recruiter for the Minneapolis practice. She is passionate about making new connections and building relationships, and has worked in talent acquisition in a variety of industries. She is a proud Minnesotan who loves to take advantage of the many outdoor activities available in every season, including cross country skiing, running, biking and soccer. She also enjoys keeping up with the Minneapolis restaurant scene (bakeries in particular), and is a superfan of the Minnesota Orchestra. She's passionate about traveling domestically and internationally, and is always working on planning her next trip.
Meagan is a detail-oriented consultant and seasoned professional in project management. She has a decade of experience in manufacturing, between the water control and semiconductor industries. Meagan has a track record of developing and maintaining customer relationships based on clear communication, understanding of goals, and using a collaborative problem-solving approach. She is especially passionate about environmentally sustainable business practices, having worked in state and national parks as a student. A native Nebraskan, Meagan always wanted to live in the mountains. She received her B.S. in Business from Montana State University and MBA from the University of Montana. She has lived in Oregon since 2015 with her husband, Chris, and their big, friendly cat, Ralphie. She enjoys running, home brewing, attending soccer matches, photography, and various outdoor pursuits including backpacking, snowboarding, and kayaking.
Ali is a collaborative consultant who enjoys immersing herself in an engagement to better understand the full picture of the employees, culture and processes. This allows her to evaluate how to build efficiencies and make recommendations in the client’s best interest. Ali’s experiences in program development, fundraising and trust administration have made her adept at identifying gaps in services and committed to discovering efficiencies to improve the process and quality of her team’s work. A natural relationship builder, Ali’s commitment to genuine connections ensures she can connect with the team she’s engaged with. Ali grew up in rural South Dakota and now lives in its biggest city, Sioux Falls. She has her BA in Psychology and MSW from the University of South Dakota. When not in the office, she enjoys traveling for concerts, being outdoors with her family and baking.
Jerris is a senior leader with 25 years of experience envisioning and driving change within operational and service organizations. With a background focused on leading transformational strategies, he has successfully led organizational change initiatives within technology support and development teams, human resources, and customer experience. A proven leader, he enjoys helping people and teams grow through positive experiences, supportive leadership and challenging goals. Jerris enjoys spending time with his kids and running on local trails.
Matt is an experienced consultant and senior leader in Pepper Foster’s Minneapolis - St. Paul office. With a professional background that includes leadership roles in both Big 4 consulting and industry, Matt brings significant experience in the healthcare, technology, and non-profit industries and in strategic planning, finance, market research, human resources, executive coaching, operations, and project management. In his spare time, Matt loves to garden, hang out with his family, especially on the water, and is an avid runner who will even hit the trails for a morning run at -27 degrees!
Jason is an accomplished business leader with two decades of experience in strategic planning, program management and organizational change leadership. He consistently leads and delivers large scale organizational change initiatives focused on operational and financial improvement. His career highlights include a shared service implementation for the largest health system on the west coast; and the design, development, implementation and ongoing measurement of a successful clinical quality program for the largest radiology practice in the US. He brings deep experience and expertise working with executive leadership and cross-functional teams to develop strategic goals, collaborate on a roadmap for success and align the organization to achieve short and long-term milestones. Jason enjoys audio books, outdoor sports and family movie night.
Heidi is a multifaceted strategic consultant with a demonstrated history of process improvement and project implementation experience. She is naturally inclined to align people, processes, and technology to deliver success; boosting efficiency, optimizing productivity, reducing risks and unlocking capabilities. She possesses the ability to pivot between creative strategy work, refining technical solutions and directing and monitoring project objectives. Her reputation for personal integrity and inquiring leadership style make her a strong business development professional. Heidi is a PNW native and avid supporter of the Portland Thorns and Timbers teams. Outside of the office, you can find her at Providence Park, hiking local trails, traveling the world or enjoying a good book or puzzle at home.
Tom has more than 20 years of experience in consulting and project management, implementing enterprise applications and technology solutions in healthcare, apparel, non-profit, software, and real estate settings. Tom is a certified Project Management Professional and a certified SAFe program consultant. He holds a BS in Finance from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Outside the office, Tom is an avid motorcyclist and is a founder and the programmer for the Portland Motorcycle Film Festival. He is an avocational filmmaker, a movie buff, a novice woodworker, a traveler, a scuba diver, and a lover of video and tabletop games. He lives in Portland with his partner Diane and their German Shepherd Dog Daisy.
Prashanth is a creative and driven consultant with a passion for finding unique solutions to complex problems. He’s an experienced leader that drives progress - from food manufacturing, to sports product development, to ecommerce customization. He has a proven track record of absorbing complexity and discovering new opportunities for his teams. With a background in engineering and innovation, Prashanth is excited to dive into technical conversations while ensuring that all learnings and outcomes are clearly communicable to a broader audience. Originally from Ohio (go Bucks!), Prashanth landed in Portland, Oregon after a few years of living abroad, and spends his free time enjoying the amazing food, beer, and nature that the Pacific Northwest has to offer with his partner, Rachel, and his dog, Remy.
Neal is a Managing Consultant on our Portland team. He helps businesses use the full capacity of their systems and processes. His goal is to enable clients to be effective and efficient with less resources. Neal is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Six Sigma Lean Black Belt Professional (LBBP). He is a change agent that brings measurable improvement in end to end value chain processes. He has increased process performance for companies in the energy, healthcare, financial services, retail, software, semiconductor, transportation, shipping, and manufacturing industries. Outside of work, Neal enjoys playing with the wind, either sailing boats or flying kites. He is also a long distance biker known to take his dog along with a trailer so she has the option of running or resting.
Vanessa Preisler (she/her) is a consultant with experience in business strategy, merchandising and product creation in the consumer products space. Vanessa loves tackling complex problems that require “big picture” strategy and implementation of value-added tactical plans. She enjoys managing projects that unlock new business opportunities through process improvement and teamwork. She has a unique enterprise mindset having worked in different cross-functional roles at best-in-class companies. Vanessa uses a collaborative multi-level leadership approach with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Vanessa holds an MBA from Stanford, dual MA degrees from University of Oregon, and a BA from Brown University. She is also a Prosci Certified Change Practitioner. When not working, Vanessa can be found on the trails around Oregon hiking, climbing, and camping with her family. She especially loves visiting the great grey owls in eastern Oregon during nesting season. In addition to getting outside, Vanessa is a self-described bookworm and always has a stack of books at the ready for those quiet power down moments.
Steve is a Managing Consultant with a broad background in change, project / program management, process engineering, and software selection. Leveraging his 25 years of experience in IT infrastructure and driving change for enterprise projects, his focus is on achieving business outcomes, driving value, and ensuring that employees are prepared for the future state once a project goes live. Known as a strong leader, Steve invests his skills as a Rescue Leader and Board member of Portland Mountain Rescue, leading teams in technical rescues to save lives in the mountains of Oregon and Washington. He is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying mountaineering, backpacking, kayaking, and scuba diving.
Monica is a collaborative and results driven consultant focused on managing high impact, customer centric technology and operation solutions. She has a strong record of providing strategic analytic insights, managing projects, and building relationships with senior level management. She excels in taking on many roles depending on the project and leading impact across various divisions of work. Coming from the banking world, she has experience building relationships with high impact clientele, leading technology change and implementation and providing solutions for operational inefficiencies. When not working Monica is teaching North Indian Classical dance and performing in the professional company. She is also finding adventures around Minnesota and traveling when possible.
Michelle Simone is an accomplished leader, who delivers successful solutions using measurable analytics while aligning with project vision and strategic objectives. She has been a key member of multiple leadership teams in both Fortune 500 and mid sized companies. Led cross-functional initiatives to meet aggressive performance targets, drive innovation while growing the business. She excels in team-orientated leadership roles that require extensive communication and collaboration. Michelle leads by example with a hands on and "get the job done" management style. She spends her weekends either snowboarding in the winter or camping/hiking/outdoor sports with friends & family in the summer.
Damian is the founder and managing partner of Pepper Foster Consulting. Over the last 25 years, Damian has launched, turned around, and led a host of highly successful product and services businesses, and consulted with some of the largest and most influential organizations around the globe. His proudest professional achievement though is leading two different firms (Hitachi Consulting and Slalom Consulting) to be recognized as the best company to work for in Oregon, while simultaneously increasing the revenues and profits of both. It’s a feat he plans to repeat with Pepper Foster Consulting. When Damian isn’t making a difference with Pepper Foster Consulting, you can find him writing fiction (his first novel Tuesday’s Child was published in 2016); watching Project Runway with his amazing and wonderful daughter Avery; cheering on the Portland Timbers at Providence Park (RCTID); or running (very slowly) from Hood to Coast.
Katy is an HR professional with a passion for providing a positive experience and supporting employees in their careers at Pepper Foster. She’s known for being curious, energetic, maintaining authenticity and championing culture. Internally, Katy manages people initiatives and works with team members to ensure all are set up for success. Prior to joining our team, she was with the Portland Trail Blazer's People & Culture team after completing her B.A. in Business Administration and Management at Eastern Washington University. When she’s not connecting with employees, you can find her outside exploring, popping around local neighborhoods and eateries in Portland, or curled up inside with a book or podcast on, usually all with her dog by her side.
Sam is a results-driven associate with a background in project coordination and management. He earned his BA in psychology from the University of Oregon and his MBA with certificates in both global supply chain management and athletics/outdoor industry from Portland State University. Sam has experience working with both for-profit and nonprofit organizations from industries ranging from construction to food and beverage. He places high value on developing a shared understanding with stakeholders and using data to support and drive strategy. When he is not working, Sam loves to get outside where he enjoys backpacking, snowboarding and hiking with his wife and their dogs Ana and Cooper.
Erin is an accomplished business leader with over 15 years experience designing and executing process improvement and change management programs. She has a knack for transforming data into actionable insights and employs a pragmatic approach to tackling challenges of all shapes and sizes. Erin delivers results with confidence and humility, and is adept at developing strong relationships with clients, colleagues, vendors and partners. Outside of the office, you'll find Erin out riding her bike, coaching endurance athletes, or adventuring with her two border collies.
Sharma is an analytical, insightful, and highly disciplined problem solver with a demonstrated ability to identify and secure project resources and provide the quality leadership that invokes committed professional participation on many stakeholder levels. She has spent the last six years as a Project Manager, and she became skilled in determining client needs and how to effectively balance budget and time constraints against those needs. Sharma is a learner at heart and loves to share her knowledge with clients and co-workers alike. Sharma enjoys disconnecting through Yoga and learning how to garden (both indoor and outdoor). Her three pets, two cats and a Corgi, keep her on her toes and busy.
Caitlin is a dynamic associate with experience in the private and nonprofit sectors. She is a self-starter, bringing leadership experience delivering valuable insights via data analytics. Committed to social and environmental sustainability, Caitlin started her career as an AmeriCorps member in the public health sector and has successfully led projects and teams to improve business processes. She earned her BA in international affairs from Northeastern University and her MBA in sustainable business practices from the University of Oregon. Outside of the office, Caitlin can either be found in the kitchen listening to music in pursuit of her next culinary masterpiece or kayaking the local waterways.
Margot is a creative problem-solver with over 7 years of experience consulting for Oregon businesses. She provides clients with honest, detailed strategic planning and project management. Her energy and positivity brings stakeholders together to create lasting solutions. She enjoys working closely with clients to understand their business needs, build a vision, create effective communication plans, and execute to deliver defined results. Margot is a double Duck earning both a BA in economics & MBA from the University of Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering through the OSU Master Gardener Program, exploring PNW waterfalls with her husband, and playing with their five dogs.
Tom is a highly analytical consultant and business/financial analyst who excels at utilizing data to drive businesses forward. A committed project manager and problem-solver who understands how to affect change, Tom has experience tackling challenging business problems, implementing new processes and systems, and creating strategic business plans. He has a penchant for developing tools for evaluating business performance and crafting engaging data visualizations. Tom consistently takes a collaborative approach with partners and his amiable demeanor ensures a positive and fun work environment for his teammates. He graduated with a B.S. in Finance, Accounting, and Technology Management from Indiana University and was selected as one of the youngest leaders for The Walt Disney Company’s Leadership Development Program. Tom is an avid racquetball player, runner, and hiker and enjoys camping with his wife and dog.
Sandra is a bi-lingual (German and English) consultant with experience leading and driving initiatives and events within and for multi-national manufacturing corporations and healthcare non-profits. Sandra has studied and worked in both the US and Germany and is a smart, self-motivated, and passionate professional who makes a difference for her clients. She has a track record of success thanks to a highly organized work approach, great communication, and team spirit. When Sandra isn’t working, she enjoys exploring the world, through travel or a good book; taking care of her furry friends; or cooking to loud music.
Lee is an accomplished technology leader with significant experience in a variety of roles including executive management, program management, project management, application development, and software engineering. With certifications in project management and Lean, and a background that ranges from large to small companies from the Banking to the Music industry he brings a wide variety of experience to consulting. Lee is also well balanced between people and technical skills and adapts quickly. He is a get stuff done kind of consultant. Outside of work you can find him either working on a home project or singing with his barbershop chorus.