Our Team


LAURA K. DORSEY-ELSON, Ph.D., President/CEO, Senior Consultant

Laura, ECG’s co-founder, directs U.S. operations. She advises organizations in team building, group processes, interpersonal communications, and leadership. She excels in tackling real problems – interpersonal conflict, difficult conversations, supervisor relations, leadership development, ineffective listening, poor delegation, role clarity, and ineffective communication – that lead to outstanding performance. She’s well published in academic journals and book chapters in the areas of her specialization. Her empowerment coaching style has led organizational members and employees to have greater clarity of their work roles and form meaningful collaborative working relationships.

Before launching ECG, Laura served as Director of Training and Consultation of the former James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland. She developed a satisfied client base that included corporate, not-for-profit, and educational organizations. Her expertise in aligning logistics to strategy enabled Laura to serve as liaison between the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a leading Washington-based government prime contractor. Recently, she consulted to a not-for-profits organization in Australia, as well as medical industry executives in Peru.

Laura believes that personal and institutional transformation is achieved when broad participation is sought and authentic discourse support the mission. She is quick to sense what is missing, who owns the problem, and then ensures that humor is possible. She is a Howard University graduate in inter-cultural and organizational communication. A former a Senior Fellow at the James McGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland, Laura is an Associate Professor of Strategic Communication at Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland.

OMOWALE ELSON, Ph.D., Vice President, Senior Consultant

Co-founding ECG in 2003, Omowale serves as VP for Business Development. He led the company’s first international consultancy with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and developed eight training modules for gender equity in the telecommunication industry. Since then he has delivered leadership training in Barbados for managers from the insurance industry and the private sector, for HR managers in Trinidad, and organizational leaders in Peru. He believes that a clear vision inspires passion and creativity, and that vision should be a shared one.

He heads the ECG international operations, which includes a Barbados office. He develops training and capacity building approaches that are culturally-responsive to Caribbean development needs for global competition. He designs organizational strategic communication plans and training initiatives to support the culture shifts and bold objectives. He helps organizational leaders and their staff to utilize social networks for change management and stakeholder engagement.

Omowale served as lead organizational development consultant to Montgomery County-wide diversity and human resource initiative in the early 1990s, in the Department of Transportation, Montgomery County, Maryland, where he assisted senior management with culture change. He was praised for his ability to work sensitively with all members of staff and bringing about meaningful results. He served in a similar capacity at the University of Maryland in the Center for Leadership and Organizational Change from 2006-2009.

A graduate of Howard University’s organizational communication program, he was a Senior Fellow in the former James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at University of Maryland, Adjunct Associate Professor of Management and Organizational Studies at the University of Maryland University College, and Adjunct Lecturer in Communication at the Trinity Washington University. His extended bio is available here.

DIANE FORBES BERTHOUD, Ph.D. Senior Associate, Consultant

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Diane has over 15 years of professional experience and research in gender relations, conflict resolution, and organizational communication. She encourages clients to work through fears and resistances that often accompany the transformation process.

Her intervention strategies have led to greater improvements in the Montgomery County government system, where she consulted and coached senior managers in improving organizational effectiveness and diversity management. She served as an executive coach for the former Rawlings Center for Public Leadership where she coached elected state officials, public leaders, and entrepreneurs in leadership development, communication, and improved management. Similarly, she served as an ombudsperson/consultant at the U.S. Capitol where she was known for her innovative communication strategies that greatly improved interpersonal relationships.

Diane uses an open systems approach and psychodynamic theories in her organizational consulting. This enables her clients to think more creatively about the systemic rise in complexity and volatility in a rapidly changing global marketplace.

Diane served as Chair of the Department of Communications at Trinity University, Washington D.C., as well as an adjunct professor in the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. She was a member of the Washington Baltimore Center for the Study of Group Relations and was a Senior Fellow at the James McGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland. She holds a B.A. in Communication Arts from Barry University, and both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Howard University, with a specialization in Organizational Communication and Social Psychology. She lives in San Diego, California.

PETER SHAPIRO, BA., ABD., Senior Consultant

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Peter has accumulated over 25 years of public service as an elected official, community organizer, fundraiser, and organizational consultant and leverages that experience to undertake this new role in a very powerful way. His expertise in institutional transformation has assisted many public officials in government, the private and non-profit sectors, to be competent in integrating their passions and visions with theoretical understandings of what it means to lead in the public’s eye.  This is the core competency with which he strengthens the ECG’s team in the areas of organizational design, leadership and institutional transformation.  

Peter was the founding Director of the Rawlings Center for Public Leadership at the University of Maryland’s Academy of Leadership, which trained dozens of elected officials, non-profit and business leaders in the State of Maryland.  A Senior Fellow at the National Labor College, Peter is also a leadership coach and consultant at IMD (Lausanne, Switzerland) and INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France) business schools.  He is a former member of the board of the US-based A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems (AKRI) and former President of the Washington-Baltimore Center for the Study of Group Relations.

FAN ZHANG, MBA, Senior Associate, International Market Development

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Fan is a leading consultant in marketing and new business development for both national and international markets. With 20 years of experience in this field, Fan has worked in international market development, applying a strong expertise in long-term strategic planning. Prior to joining ECG, Fan was a senior consultant for Canada Export Center, where she led corporate business development and new client systems. She was involved in exploring joint venture opportunities with both industrial and consumer products. She managed a diverse project portfolio, including market analysis studies, managed care systems, product feasibility profiles, and customer satisfaction measurement.

In her most recent postings, Fan functioned as Director of International Marketing & Sales, Manager of Business Development, and Trade Sales Manager for trade companies in Asia.

Fan holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing & International business from Trinity Washington University. She is fluent in several Asian languages, and able to conduct business in Japanese and Chinese. She is an active member of the Women’s International Association of America.

MICHAEL SPEER, Ph.D., Senior Associate, Consultant

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Michael’s passion is organizational effectiveness and leadership achieved through personal and organizational change.  His approach is based on group dynamics.  He aims to help people and organizations understand the dynamics that affect their person, team, or organization so they can be more effective in reaching their goals.  He is a strong advocate of experiential (as contrasted with “telling”) learning, since research definitively shows that experiential work is most likely to lead to actual learning and change.

Michael offers expertise in leadership and life coaching, group dynamics, team building and organizational and leadership effectiveness. He works with a variety of organizations and individuals, primarily in the government and non-profit sectors, consulting on matters ranging from productivity improvement based on understanding group dynamics, to strategic planning. He is a subject-matter expert (SME) in interpersonal communications and is certified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator.

Until 2003, he served as Director of Learning Management and Consulting for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), responsible for development and delivery of training to some 3000 GAO staff. He has developed and delivered communications training for the last 20 years in a variety of venues. A member of the Washington-Baltimore Center for the Study of Group Relations, he served as its president from 2001-2004. He has consulted to numerous group relations conferences whose object and focus is to study leadership and authority.

Michael is a lecturer at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, where he teaches courses in leadership and group dynamics in the Executive Masters Program.  He was a Senior Fellow at the Burns Academy of Leadership.  His degrees are from the University of the South and Ohio State University.  He lives in Washington, DC.

LILLIAN ROSE, B.SC., Senior Associate, Administrative & IT Systems

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Lillian works with clients to achieve the greatest level of satisfaction and excellence possible.  She’s satisfied when our clients achieve their goals, as she plays an integrative role in all of ECG’s projects.  She brings over 21 years of experience in administration, project management, managing training and banking, and more recently in computer software applications.  During her expansive stint in banking, she was a valuable team member in many pioneering industry efforts, including the introduction of Electronic Data Capture (EDC) for Credit Card Acquiring transactions in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Islands and the introduction of local Credit and Debit Cards to those markets.

Since July 2011, Lillian has functioned as ECG’s Director of Administration, providing executive business support services to our US-based operations and three additional international consultants, in the successful submission and completion of a Communication Strategy and Action Plan commissioned by the OECS Secretariat.

Lillian has provided consultancy to the Barbados National Initiative for Service Excellence (NISE) in the capacity of Project Coordinator for their successful Customer Service “Christmas Smiley” Campaign of 2007, and she maintained an on-going consultancy with that organization. Lillian specializes in designing and implementing Customer Management Databases.  She has written industry-specific procedural manuals and has trained extensively in the related fields.  Her attention to detail is evident in her document preparation and enhancement, preparing visually appealing proposals and manuals.

Lillian Rose provided expertise to the Barbados Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) in its Business Development programs from 2010 to 2013 and expanded into the area of software application training in 2012 with that organization.  She holds a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science and Management from the University of the West Indies.

CHERYLANN CHARLES-WILLIAMSON, Ph.D., Senior Associate, Consultant

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Cherylann is known for bringing her highly effective organizational skills and strategies to project management and diversity initiatives. Her keen ability to facilitate change processes enables her to coach senior executives and board members, resulting in a greater clarity of vision, risk, opportunities, threats, and transformation in faith-based organizations, and Federal and State Government agencies.

She helps leaders translate “fuzzy” ideas they may have and emphatically listens to their wishes, anxieties, and dreams, working them into strategic goals and operational plans. This effective listening competence was honed after 12 years as a successful Speech and Language Pathologist, working with clients at various health care agencies, clinical venues and educational settings.

Before joining ECG, Cherylann successfully assisted on a variety of projects in the Federal Government, the Air Force, not-for-profit organizations, and corporations, as a senior consultant with a major contractor. She served as internal consultant with Montgomery County Government, MD, United States.

Cherylann holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Communication from Howard University, a Master of Arts in Communication Disorders from Hampton University, Virginia and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Language Pathology from Pace University. She completed a Masters Certificate in Business and Leadership Development at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, United States.

MARK BRIMHALL-VARGAS , PH.D., MPP, Associate, Consultant

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Mark brings over 20 years of expertise in diversity management, policy development in human relations, and facilitating inter-group dialogues.  He has a knack for coaxing out difficult issues without making people feel unsafe and defensive.  He consults with clients in higher education, not-for-profits and public institutions. He uses inter-group dialogue as an effective tool for achieving greater cross-cultural understanding, collaboration and appreciating diversity as a business objective.  His signature inter-group dialogues have been for men/women, LGBT/Heterosexual, Latina(o), interfaith, religion/spirituality, African-American/Latina(o) bilingual, and Latina(o)/White persons.

Mark served as Assistant Director of the Office of Human Relations Programs (OHRP) at the University of Maryland in College Park where he obtained a doctorate in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Policy and Leadership.

Prior to joining ECG, Mark was the Ford Foundation Diversity Project Coordinator. He managed the functions of the Diversity Web, the Diversity Newsroom, and the creation of Diversity Blueprint: A Planning Manual for Colleges and Universities.

He holds a Masters degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pomona College.  Mark hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Tyrome Smith, MA, Associate, Consultant

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Tyrome is known for his high-impact, energetic and innovative approaches as a negotiator, facilitator, trainer and organization development consultant, a positive derivative from his other calling, that of being an athletic coach. He’s brokered and facilitated successful working relationships between community organizations and nationally recognized experts in the business and management fields. He’s worked largely in evaluating and improving operational and infrastructure systems in response to the changing healthcare environment.

His skill as a process consultant was honed while consulting group relations conferences sponsored by the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems. Tyrome’s experiences offer him special insight into how covert and unconscious processes can derail leadership and undermine authority.

Prior to joining ECG, Ty served as a Vice-President for Professional Development at HBO and a Technical Assistance Manager with a leading organization development firm. He has served on consulting and training teams working with the USAID, World Bank, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, and the International Monetary Fund. Ty co-delivered a course in Zimbabwe that helped research scientists work in team collaboration, forming inter-organizational partnerships throughout Africa.

Ty holds a Masters degree from Howard University in Intercultural Communication and a graduate certificate in Executive Leadership Development from the Anderson School of Management, University of California.

DAVID HARRINGTON, MA, Associate, Consultant

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David Harrington brings a wealth of experience to ECG in the areas of organizational management, motivational leadership, community and public leadership, and leadership training. Executive leadership is where he serves and develops others entering into high office.

In November 2002, David engineered his election as council member of the Prince George’s County Council, following behind a successful tenure as mayor of Bladensburg, Maryland. As Mayor, David, joined by the towns of Colmar Manor and Cottage City, forged a dynamic economic partnership called the “Port Towns.” The Governor, County Executive and the White House recognized this economic initiative as one of the finest examples of revitalizing an older community.

He served as director of educational services at the Close Up Foundation; national chair of the African American Educators Special Interest Group of the National Council for the Social Studies; a faculty member at Harvard’s summer institute for Writing, Reading and Civic Education; and a senior fellow and faculty member at the University of Maryland James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership.

It is from these experiences that David knows how to bring out the best in leaders and followers who are our clients. He keeps it real, while offering creative paths to achieving organizational goals and transforming them into distinct competitive advantage.

David has a bachelor’s degree from Howard University, has completed master’s work at Miami University of Ohio, both in political science, and has received credits in civic education from Harvard University.

Sun Wei, Ph.D., Associate, Consultant

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Dr. Sun received her Ph.D. in Communication and Culture from Howard University in 2002. Her area of specialization is intercultural communication.  Dr. Sun’s research on crisis communication, health communication, media and culture, conflict management in global settings and ethnic relations have appeared as book chapters and articles in academic journals.  She has been invited by several Chinese universities and organizations to lecture on American culture and industry, intercultural communication and crisis management.  

Dr. Sun has taught Organizational and Intercultural Communication, Corporate Telecommunication, Introduction to Mass Communications, Advertising and Sales Management, Interpersonal Communication and Public Speaking courses to undergraduate and graduate students at universities in the United States.  She is the vice president of Heilongjiang Overseas Chinese Association, correspondent of the Coordination Council of Chinese-American Associations.


Natalie Turner

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Natalie Turner is results oriented Organizational Effectiveness Consultant with 20 years experience in Organizational Development, Training, and Facilitation. Before joining the ECG team, Natalie was a Leadership & Training Consultant at the AARP Experience Corp. She specializes in diversity and inclusion, performance management, and coaching. Natalie approaches her work from a holistic and whole systems perspective. Her rigorous and interactive practice and feedback supports leaders and teams in discovering their strengths, realigning their energy and integrating new behavior into more effective and fulfilled performance. Through their work with Natalie, leaders increase their ability to fully engage employees and move forward to accomplish their mission. She holds a Masters from Antioch University in Human Services Administration and recent certification in Organization Development from Georgetown University, and Ontological Coaching Certification from the Newfield Network.
 
Her other specialties include: Inclusion & Cultural Competency; Emotional Intelligence; 360 Coaching; Leadership Development & Training; Meeting Planning and Facilitation; Organization Development Interventions including: team start-up; norms development, trust in teams, teams in trouble; addressing employee opinion survey results.

Natalie’s work with clients helps them to achieve extraordinary business and personal results aligned to core values and beliefs.