Our Council of Practice
Jeanie Cockell, EdD
Jeanie Cockell, EdD is Co-President of Cockell McArthur-Blair Consulting, is an educational and organizational consultant. She specializes in collaboratively designing strategies to surface the wisdom of individuals and groups for them to build positive futures and respond effectively to change. Charles Miller and Nancy Stetson first introduced her to AI in 2001. After reading many books, especially, Appreciative Inquiry: Change at the Speed of Imagination, she began using AI as an organizational, team, and community development process; an educational approach; a research methodology, and a foundation for living well. Her consulting practice is grounded in her education background including teaching and leadership roles – college Mathematics instructor, Department Chair, Dean. Clients include: Champlain College, George Mason University, Nova Scotia Government, Vancouver School Board, BC Nurses Union, WorkSafeBC and Camosun College. She trains facilitators (AI and others) and has published articles (several for the Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner Journal). She co-authored two books, Appreciative Inquiry in Higher Education: A Transformative Force and Building Resilience with Appreciative Inquiry: A Leadership Journey through Hope, Despair, and Forgiveness. She is based in Victoria, BC, Canada and travels worldwide to facilitate workshops, speak at conferences, and consult for clients. She lives with her life partner (co-author, co-president, co-adventurer), Joan McArthur-Blair and cock-a-poo, Joy. She loves to be outdoors, walk along the ocean, swim, cycle, eat good food, and hang out with friends. For more information: www.cockellmcarthur-blair.com
Favorite AI Principle: Simultaneity - I love the power of inquiry, being curious and the impact of great questions in our worlds.
Joep C de Jong
Joep C de Jong has had a successful career in business, lastly as CEO of consultancy and leadership training organization until 2013. He decided to go for something completely different. At the age of 59, he started to take on singing, dancing (tango), portrait filming classes, a PhD titled In Search of the Soul of the Appreciative Leader. In 1995, Joep was introduced to Appreciative Inquiry (AI) by Jane Magruder Watkins and Barbara Sloan. In 1997, he received a certificate as a participant in the Global Excellence Management (GEM) program from Case Western Reserve University. His clients are from profit, non-profit, and higher education. Clients include: BT (British Telecom), ESA (European Space Agency), UN WFP (World Food Program), the Dutch Min. of Defense, and a range of cities like Amsterdam, Arnhem and Delft (Netherlands). He co-published two books in Dutch on AI and was guest editor together with Dan Saint of the AI Practitioner issues on Leadership (8/2016) and on Peace (2/2018). He also lectures at various universities and coaches individuals. Upon request, he travels the world to share his views on AI and leadership. He lives in the Netherlands with his partner, Hanne on their houseboat ˜Viooltje” and is the proud father of three grown up children and two grandchildren. For more information: https://vimeo.com/user5077072
Favorite AI Principle: The social constructionist principle because it reminds me those situations are always changing or have the ability to change. So whatever we constructed can be deconstructed and as such it holds an enormous potential for positive change.
Mary Jane Dieter
Mary Jane, the founder of Appreciative Pathways, is a facilitator who guides organizations and communities to discover, analyze, and leverage their collective strengths to co-create their desired future. For the past nine years, Mary Jane has used Appreciative Inquiry as the foundation for her facilitation approach because of her belief that the best way to create positive change is to ask questions of the whole system about what works and why. In addition to the face-to-face Facilitating Appreciative Inquiry Training (FAIT) she and Liz Corcoran offer in collaboration with The Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry, Mary Jane also teaches others who are inspired to learn more about Appreciative Inquiry through The Center's 4-week online "Developing an Appreciative Mindset" course and the 12-week online "Foundations of Appreciative Inquiry" course. Mary Jane holds a Certificate in Appreciative Inquiry from the Center and is also a Member of their Council of Practice. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Southern California.
Favorite AI Principle: The Poetic Principle because it provides a growth promoting and positive framework for every life situation. My choice to fully embrace a perspective of "What can I learn here and what’s great about this?" even in challenging times has allowed me to stay mentally and spiritually healthy and bolstered my optimistic nature.
Francios Heon has created a leadership model which is inspired by the Appreciative Inquiry and Experiential Learning theory, called the Yin and Yang Model of Leadership for Individuals and Collectives. In 2014, he co-edited a book of Mary P. Follett’s writings on leadership and democracy, The Essential Mary Parker Follett: Ideas We Need Today. He is working on a second book: The Yin and Yang of Leadership for Individuals and Collectives. In 1991, Francois was introduced to Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and the appreciative dimensions of leadership while working on his doctorate at Case Western Reserve University by David Cooperrider, Ron Fry, and Suresh Srivastva. He works as a consultant designing and conducting leadership programs for leaders and teams in French and in English mostly between North-America and Europe. He does leadership training and coaching for individuals and strategic team building seminars. Clients include: from Canada, CGI, Sofina Foods, Medical faculty of Laval university, Sport Canada, CISSS Alphonse-Desjardins and from Europe, APM, and Kema. For more information: francoisheon.com
Favorite AI Principle: Poetic. The Positive principle because of its amazing generative power of appreciating. My favorite quote: Appreciative knowing is a distinctive experience and cognitive process that simultaneously appreciates, values, and constructs that which has fundamental meaning.
Shelly Masson is the founder of Birch Tree Leadership, LLC and is honored to coach, consult and facilitate AI-based workshops and strategic leadership summits for various clients. Shelly has worked extensively in the fields of healthcare, higher education and manufacturing. She was first introduced to Lindsey Godwin and Appreciative Inquiry in 2011 while working at Keurig Green Mountain where she helped facilitate an organization-wide AI summit. Shelly currently teaches a class on strengths-based assessments as part of the Positive Organization Development Graduate Program with David L. Cooperrider Center for AI at Champlain College. Clients include: University of Vermont Medical Center; Boston Children’s Hospital; Riverstone Resources, LLC; Barry Callebaut; Department of Homeland Security; and Champlain College. Shelly has her MBA from Bryant University, is certified in numerous personality and strengths based assessments and is also a Laughter Yoga instructor. Shelly is based in Vermont and having a blast raising two great kids with a wonderful partner. In her spare time, she enjoys taking nia classes, cooking, reading and making the time to watch the sunset every night. For more information: birchtreeleadership.com
Favorite AI Principle: The Anticipatory Principle - the power of visioning to make the future a reality. If you can vision it, you can speak it and then create it.
Joan McArthur-Blair, EdD
Joan McArthur-Blair, EdD, Co-President, Cockell McArthur-Blair Consulting, is a powerful speaker, writer and facilitator who grounds her work in a deep passion for learning, change, and the possibilities of a positive future. She brings to her consulting work over 25 years in higher education from faculty to president. She is a poet and the author of many articles on Appreciative Inquiry. She co-authored two books, Appreciative Inquiry in Higher Education: A Transformative Force and Building Resilience with Appreciative Inquiry: A Leadership Journey through Hope, Despair, and Forgiveness. In 2001, Joan was introduced to Appreciative Inquiry (AI) through Nancy Stetson and Charles Miller at an International Instructional Skill Workshop Facilitators retreat, and it rapidly became a serious study and core to her work. Her clients are mostly not-for-profit and higher education institutions. She has had the privilege to work around the world with amazing organizations committed to positive change such as Medicine Hat College, Ryerson University, Momentum, McDaniel College, and the Caribbean and Canadian Executive Leadership Institutes. She is also a keynote speaker on leadership, resilience, and women in leadership. Joan resides in Victoria, Canada with her life and work partner Jeanie Cockell. She loves to adventure around the world and is always happiest by the ocean. For more information: cockellmcarthur-blair.com
Favorite AI Principle: Poetic. As a poet, the idea that what we focus on matters, that words matter, that stories matter, deeply moves me and is core to my work. And, I live for a great metaphor.
Molly McGuigan brings more than 20 years of experience designing and facilitating organization development with a focus on strategic planning, employee engagement, whole-system organizational change, and team development. She took her first course on AI with David Cooperrider in 1998 and was later certified at Case Western Reserve University from 2001 to 2009. She has worked with David Cooperrider on client projects in for-profit, non-profit, and schools since 2001. Her talents have been tapped by a variety of organizations including: The Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, Goodyear, Swagelok, Medina City Schools, Westlake City Schools and The Cleveland Convention and Visitors Bureau. Molly is a practitioner, teacher and contributing author on Appreciative Inquiry (AI). She uses the principles of AI in her work with clients and teaches practitioners how to leverage the methodology for a variety of practical applications. She has extensive experience designing and delivering AI summits. She has worked with David Cooperrider on client projects since 2001. Her passion for AI, education and for leading large-scale, complex projects is merging as she serves as project lead for the World Positive Education Accelerator, an AI Summit co-hosted by the Cooperrider Center and the International Positive Education Network to be delivered in June 2018. Molly earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from John Carroll University and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University, both in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, where she resides with her husband, 4-year son and 2 dogs.
Favorite AI Principle: Poetic. I’ve always been drawn to the idea that we can intentionally select the lens through which we view the world. If we change the way we see things, the things we see will change.
Maureen (Mo) McKenna
Maureen (Mo) McKenna founded Return On Energy to help clients discover practical ways to positively energize and engage their staff. She is an innovative and energizing facilitator, organizational coach and speaker. In 1997, she discovered AI through an article on teams by Gervase Bushe and successfully wove AI into the Xerox Canada high performance teaming program. She began teaching AI with Jane Magruder Watkins in 2001. AI is the operating system for her work and her life. Mo has designed and facilitated summits with Aviva Insurance, University Health Network, Community Living BC, Ministry of Health & Long Term Care, City of Grand Prairie, University of Toronto and Upper Canada District School Board. Her passion is to help clients discover how AI can help them to create a healthy and innovative work climate. Mo believes that creating an environment where psychological safety and accountability are present, leads to trust and risk taking. She is well respected by her clients for her ability to challenge their mental models, helping them to successfully reframe from traditional problem solving to focusing on their strengths to create innovative and sustainable solutions. Her current passion is helping clients bring AI into all their conversations and meetings by through appreciative micro practices (AMPs). She is a Certified Management Consultant, a TAOS associate, a graduate of the Adler International Coaching and a certified Aboriginal Circle facilitator. Mo lives in Toronto, Canada. Her passions are travel, mentoring young people and watching sunsets. For more information: returnonenergy.ca
Favorite AI Principle : The Narrative Principle. The power of the story - I have had many transformational shifts in my way of seeing and being through listening to the stories of people with a different perspectives.
Robyn Stratton-Berkessel is known as the Positivity Strategist. Her career began with teaching English as second language (ESL) to adult immigrants in Australia. After completing a Master’s Degree in Organizational Systems, she moved into management consulting with KPMG, working as client-facing training and development consultant. She led her own practice in Melbourne, Australia for 7 years before moving to the USA in 2000 where she was introduced to Appreciative Inquiry (AI) by David Cooperrider and Ron Fry. It’s been her path ever since. Her book, Appreciative Inquiry for Collaborative Solutions: 21 Strength-Based Workshops (2010) was a first with its downloadable ready-made AI-framed workshops on topics of strategic relevance. She’s also creator and host of a podcast show, a TEDx talk, online courses. She’s driven to experiment and find channels to attract global audiences and make AI more accessible. Clients in business sector: technology (Google), finance, (Deutsche Bank and lots of banks in Australia), pharmaceuticals (Pfizer, Abbot, J&J), manufacturing (BAE Systems), and professional services (Accenture, KPMG. In community development, she’s worked with diverse communities in Jersey City, NJ, and Boca Raton, FL, and non-profits to bring voice and collective vision about what matters. In education, she teaches Advanced Applications of AI online in the Positive Organization Development Graduate Program with David L. Cooperrider Center for AI. She is married to Juergen, a truly gifted artist and technologist, who has been her muse to bring AI into the digital world. They live in Bradenton, FL with Neo - their adorable fluffy black cat. For more information: positivitystrategist.org
Favorite AI Principle: The Anticipatory Principle. My entire life, I’ve been attracted to what's possible, pulled by what’s over the horizon, imagining and co-creating fairer, more just and equitable worlds for all.
Dr. Jacqueline (Jackie) Stavros
Dr. Jacqueline Stavros is a professor at Lawrence Technological University (LTU). Her passion is working with others to bring AI into their daily conversations and meetings to create productive and meaningful results. She is recognized for her creation of SOAR, a positive approach to strategic thinking, planning, and leading (www.soar-strategy.com). She works with organizations in leadership development, team-building, and strategic planning. She helps organizations identify and articulate their values, vision, mission, strategy, and strategic initiatives. In 1995, Jackie was introduced to Appreciative Inquiry by David Cooperrider and Ron Fry while working on her doctorate at CASE Weatherhead School of Management. Her dissertation: Capacity Building Using an Appreciative Approach: A Relational Process of Building Your Organization’s Future. She has worked across all sectors: for-profit, non-profit, government, and a wide spectrum of industries. Clients include: Edsel and Eleanor Ford Foundation, Flint Intermediate School District, Jefferson Wells, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Girl Scouts, Orbseal Technologies, Washtenaw Literacy, U.S. Army, automotive suppliers, healthcare centers, and education. She has worked in over 25 countries using AI to affect the lives of thousands of people and their organizations improve capacity to thrive and increase performance. She has written 6 books, 20 books chapters, and over 40 articles. Co-authored books include: Thin Book of SOAR: Building Strengths-based Strategy and Conversations Worth Having: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement. She lives in Brighton, Michigan, with her husband, Paul; their kids, Ally and Adam; and Rex, a lovable dog. For more information: https://www.conversationsworthhaving.today/
Favorite AI Principle: Social Construction: Our words create our worlds … through our words we create our conversations, conversations create our moments and influence the world we live in.
Fran Stoddard is a consultant who has been involved in education, public relations, media production, facilitation, and strategy development for 30 years. In 2014, Fran was introduced to Appreciative Inquiry (AI) by David Cooperrider. In the last six years, she has worked extensively with the Orton Family Foundation and their Community Heart & Soul planning process that strengthens small towns through connecting residents with what matters most them. The model is closely aligned with positive psychology and Appreciative Inquiry theory and practice. With a deep interest in helping organizations move forward, Fran has facilitated many non-profits through strategic planning processes as well as having served on many Boards of Directors including Hunger Free Vermont, the Vermont Journalism Trust, Vermont Int’l Film Foundation, Burlington City Arts, and Vermont Public Radio. Clients also include: Generator Space, Burlington Business Association, South Burlington and the Town of Waterbury, VT. Although facilitation is a passion, the bulk of Fran’s career has been as a producer/director/host of television and radio programs (Vermont PBS, Vermont Public Radio, WVNY, WCAX). Fran served as an adjunct associate professor of media studies and production at Champlain College, where she developed and ran the media communications program for a decade. She frequently serves as moderator/host for community events and panels. Fran holds a Master’s degree in Psychology from Goddard College and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Northwestern University.
Favorite AI Principle: Poetic. The poetic principle aligns beautifully with my deep connection to Jungian psychology that views images, stories, and dreams as alive with meaning that inform us in non-static ways, opening doors to fresh interpretation and positive change.
Pru Sullivan is a founding partner in The Change Factory, a practice designed to ignite organizational and community strengths and passions in achievement of their wildest dreams. Her career inside organizations and outside consulting has allowed her to focus on organizations built on a triple bottom line of people, profit and planet. From a Digital Equipment plant start up in the 80’s to consulting with Ben & Jerry’s, Hubbardton Forge and Honda of North America to leading Continuous Learning and Organizational Development at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters she and the organizations she led have made a positive difference in the world. Pru received her AI certification in 2005 from Case Western and spent the next 12 years leading the integration of AI into the fabric of Green Mountain Coffee Roaters. After joining the Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry as Practitioner In Residence, Pru taught AI Certification Program in partnership with David Cooperrider and Lindsey Godwin and has collaborated on AI projects with ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Hershey Kitchens, Rodale Institute, Building Bright Futures and the upcoming “I am 4 Tampa Movement”.
Enjoying semi-retirement means working on heart and energy igniting projects while having time for her soul mate, grandchildren, kindred spirits and gardens.
Favorite AI Principle: The Constructionist Principle has been her passion this last year—continually reframing outdated deficit words and energizing words that create a world of strength, abundance and joy. Staff/Organization Advances vs. Retreats, SOAR strength based strategic planning vs SWAT. Feedforward vs. Feedback, Design Teams vs. Steering Teams...