Greater Orlando Organization Development Network

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Our 2021 Leadership Team

Meet the team that makes it “all GOOD”!  If you are interested in volunteering your time with this high-performing team that follows solid OD practices and leads our organization from “GOOD” to great, please send us an email using our contact form.

Executive Board

Krystena Sterling, President

Krystena Sterling is an Executive Coach and Industrial-Organizational Psychologist specializing in emotions and customer experience in the workplace. She has been working in the hospitality industry for over 30 years in various disciplines, including operations, learning and development, and project management. She has lead teams from 5-500 employees at companies such as House of Blues, Walt Disney World, and Disney Cruise Line during her career. Currently, Krystena is the President of Sterling Coaching and Consulting Group. She holds a master's degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and is completing her Ph.D. She is a Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) from ATD. Her passion is engaging individuals and teams by leverage their emotions to create the best experiences possible. 

Anita Gabbard, Program VP

Anita Gabbard is the Manager of Operations in the Division of Digital Learning at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Her current responsibilities include strategic initiatives, Human Resources Administration, Business Operations & Administration, and the building manager of the Digital Learning Center. She holds a BA in Human Resources Development from Indiana State University and an MA in Leadership Development from St-Marys-of-the-Woods College.  She earned her Graduate Certificate in Event Management (UCF) and is currently pursing a second certificate in Corporate Communication from UCF. 

Renée DeRouin-Jessen, Membership VP

Renée DeRouin-Jessen is an HR leader directing leadership, talent, learning, and organizational development solutions. She has 12+ years of internal consulting experience for both corporate teams and field employees in organizations ranging from 10K to 400K+, including Marriott International, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, and Hilton. Renée holds a PhD in Industrial & Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Her passion lies in creating impactful organizational solutions aligned to business strategy and objectives.

Linked In:

Margo Hamel, Treasurer

Margo is Principal at Empower Coaching and Consulting LLC specializing in personal, professional and executive coaching and performance consulting. She spent her last 30 years at SunTrust Bank in Private Wealth Management and SunTrust University specializing in leadership development and coaching, advisor development, instructional design, sales and sales management consulting, performance management, and client loyalty programs. Margo holds an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology and is a Registered Corporate Coach through the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches. 

Vanessa Gomez, Secretary

Vanessa is an Instructional Design & Learning Partner at New Season, a healthcare agency devoted to helping people recovering from substance use disorders. In her role, she is responsible for the development and employee training programs across all levels of the organization. She is a certified virtual training facilitator and holds an EdM degree in Learning and Instruction from University at Buffalo. Linked In Profile:

Communication Team

Social Media - Zeynep Portway

Newsletter - Shelly Bes

Carol Emmett, Website Administration

Appointed Directors

Karen Agrait,  Community Programs & Events Co-Director

Karen Agrait, an Organizational / Learning and Development Leader and Consultant, has two decades of experience in helping individuals grow and companies thrive. With a focus on improving organizational health, Karen combines her expertise in Instructional Design, Facilitation, Leadership and Behavioral assessments to rapidly develop solutions to meet the needs of identified performance gaps with individuals and organizations as a whole. Organizational culture and cultivating safe and productive learning environments is a passion for Karen. Through formalized training and just in time coaching, she has been successful in cutting turnover in half and rapidly improving accountability across multiple disciplines. Karen holds a Masters Degree in Instructional design and is Certified Training Director, Franklin Covey Instructor and Virtual Facilitator.

Clayton Alves,  Community Programs & Events Co-Director & Mentoring Chair

Clayton is a Senior Change Manager at Adventist Health Systems. He has a BA from Vanderbilt and  Masters from Carnegie Mellon.

Donna Hogan, Conference Director

Donna is an Organization Effectiveness Sr. Specialist with Lockheed Martin. With over 30 years of experience in Human Resources, she has expertise in Learning and Development, HR Business Partner, EEO/AAP and Compensation and Performance Management.  Donna is a certified coach and Prosci Change Management certified and is currently focused on transforming how learning and development is delivered in line with workforce of the future principles. This includes building self directed learners using a social collaboration group built on SAP JAM platform.

Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel, Communications Director

Xaulanda is currently the Senior Consultant for Urbander, specializing in Strategic Marketing, Business Development, and Diversity & Inclusion. With a BA in Business Administration and MBA in Healthcare Administration, she is currently pursuing a PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology.

Stephanie Kresl, Hospitality Director

Stephanie Kresl is a Talent acquisition and talent development professional with 20+ years of sales, management, and business development experience through various roles as an Talent Acquisition Specialist, Instructional Designer, Manager of Learning and Development, Organizational Training Manager, Community Education and Training Coordinator, Human Resources Director, Executive Recruiter, and Business Development Manager.

Advisory & At Large Board

Kristin Chase

Kristin is the Senior Director of the Organizational Development (OD) department for Universal Parks & Resorts. She has contributed to Universal for 17 years through consulting and leading employee feedback surveys, performance and talent management, executive development and assessment, mentoring, competency model development, employee research, facilitation, and team effectiveness. She is a 2003 graduate of the UCF Masters' program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. 


Mark Griffiths  (Also leads Technology CoP)

Mark is the client partner for Newleaf Training and Development in Florida and Georgia.  He is responsible for business development and setting the strategic direction across the Florida and Georgia.  

Jerry Salsburg

Jerry Salsburg is a seasoned Performance Consultant,  Leadership Development Specialist, and Executive Coach.  He has a passion for accelerating leaders’ success and building organizational capabilities.

Communities of Practice Leaders

Don Knagge, Coaching Group Chair

Don is an Executive Coach with 7th Evolution Coaching & Consulting.  He combines his training and love of coaching executives, entrepreneurs, and teams with his three decades of business experience as a corporate executive and entrepreneur in a variety of industries to be a catalyst for transformation in business and in life.   

Deborah Novak, Internal Consulting Co-Chair

Deborah Novak, MBA has helped leaders build high-performing sustainable teams for 15 years. She brings depth and breadth of change management strategies, executive coaching and leadership development design and delivery to being the Internal Consulting Co-Chair. She is certified in PROSCI change management, LMAP 360 Senior Executive Assessments and is a certified Marcus Buckingham Standout 2.0 Coach. As part of Florida Hospital, she presented nationally on Team Engagement as a Driver for Patient Experience, Employee Engagement, Retention and Promotion. She thinks strategically and builds strong collaborative client partnerships while delivering tactically. She is currently acting as an Interim Leader at DSN Consulting while she is looking for her next full-time internal opportunity. 

Richard Ray, Internal Consulting Co-Chair

Richard has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry with a focus on Talent for the last 10 years. He currently Training Manager for Seaworld Orlando and  holds two Masters degrees, one in Organization Development and Leadership and the other in Post Secondary and Adult Education. He likes to to network with individuals who have a passion in talent management and unlocking the potential in everyone.

Anisa Ali, Book Club

Anisa Ali is currently a Senior Manager in Organization Development.   She has been with Universal Orlando Resort for 15 years, and started with the company as an intern.  Anisa obtained her undergraduate Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and her Master’s of Science degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida.    She has spent her career in HR, and has been an Organization Development professional for 13 years.  Her organizational development role frequently involves project architecture/management, data analysis, consulting/writing on feedback surveys, succession planning, focus groups, research, analytics, employee engagement, 360 Feedback, leadership competencies and performance management.

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