Where a growing circle of business leaders comes to share, learn, and inspire organizations to put people first

Whirling Chief


Asli Aker

Asli Aker is a Global Leadership & Organizational Development Expert and a Certified Professional Coach based in Seattle, WA.

Asli has deep experience in transformation work, talent management and strategy execution in both start-up and corporate environments. Her specialty has been helping organizations scale as well as supporting strategy changes and growth. She focuses on orchestration of different styles, approaches and perspectives to encourage innovation & competitive edge.

Prior to starting her own company in 2013, Asli worked for Microsoft in a variety of global roles: Leadership and Organization Director for the Chief Strategy & Research Officer, Talent Management Director for Worldwide Services, People & Organization Capability Consultant for Bill Gates Groups, Succession Planning Consultant for the Global Sales & Marketing group and HR Leader for Microsoft Turkey. Her work with the business was varied and included strategy alignment, organizational design, leadership team effectiveness, strategic talent management and executive coaching. Before Microsoft, Asli worked as the Operations Director for C1ME, a US start-up in Dubai. Other positions she has held are Managing Consultant for Nicholson International - an international UK based people consulting firm and HR Consultant for Boyner – leading retail holding group of companies in Turkey.

Asli holds a BSc. in Public Administration & Political Science and a M.A. in Human Resources. She is also certified in various assessment tools such as Hogan, Energy Leadership Index, Strengths Finder, Emotional Intelligence and Total SDI.

Ben Bratt

Ben Bratt is passionate about engaging teams, coaching leaders, and transforming people-related systems. Throughout his 20+ years in Fortune 500 telecom, IT, and automotive companies, Ben gained global experience and broad leadership expertise. Most recently, he was VP of Talent and Organization Capability at T-Mobile US, responsible for Talent Acquisition, Leadership and Organization Development, and Workforce Strategy and Insights. Previously he was with Sun Microsystems, Volkswagen of America, Ford Motor Company, and start-up company Model E.

In his current role as the Principal and Founder of The Team Effectiveness Project, Ben aims to unlock the true power of teams. His Team Elements™ approach helps teams and leaders clarify and de-mystify their team experience, take ownership for their current situation and path forward, and ensure that every voice is included in the process. Ben earned BA and MA degrees in Political Science (Calvin College and Tulane University, respectively) and a MA in Counseling from Michigan State University.

Bruno Lecoq

Bruno Lecoq is Black Belt Six Sigma and PMP trained. As adaQuest Vice President of Operations, he oversees delivery of all client services. Bruno came to adaQuest from Microsoft where, for 17 years, he worked with MS-DOS, Windows, Exchange, Office, Hardware, and Microsoft Supply Chain. He began as a Localization Project Manager, and moved up through the ranks of the organization to eventually become the Director of Business Processes within the Microsoft Human Resource Operations Excellence group. In that role, Bruno elevated Microsoft’s HR Planning Process from a level 0 to a level 3 on the Gartner Portfolio Maturity Model.

Carol Bubar

Carol Bubar is a world-recognized Strategy Expert and a Principal Consultant to SESIL PIR Consulting GmbH. After discovering a passion for process improvements and driving efficiencies, she focused her career around business process excellence. She began in manufacturing engineering at both Hewlett Packard and Boeing, and then moved to Microsoft. In 20+ years at Microsoft, Carol has held many senior positions including Chief of Staff and Senior Director of Operational Excellence. Carol’s implementation experience spans manufacturing, customer experience, HR, product development, and supply chain, with expertise in process framework, project management offices, and global initiative management. She is PMP certified.

Debra Clawar

Debra Clawar is the Managing Partner of Thrive Consulting Group GmbH based in Basel, Switzerland. Thrive focuses on gender equity solutions consulting, high performance teamwork and executive coaching. Debra has a deep professional and academic background in clinical social work, leadership and organizational development, combined with talent management and diversity and inclusion in Fortune 100 global companies. Debra holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from Yeshiva University, a Certificate in Human Resources from the Cornell University Industrial and Labor Relations School and is also a member of the Harvard Women’s Leadership Board.

Friederike Sommer

After a 20-year career in the healthcare industry, Friederike Sommer is now a consultant, focusing on coaching and mentoring, leadership training and development, and strategic project management and communications. She also provides moderation and facilitation for business events around the world. She began her career in India, as a faculty manager and coach for the world’s largest growth center dedicated to human relations and individual transformation. This led her to build up a training center in Italy, before acting as a consultant on inter-cultural communication between Germany and India. Ms. Sommer has a passion for customer satisfaction, and a knack for anticipating clients’ needs to fulfil their expectations. She lives in Zürich, and in her free time she likes to travel back to India, motorbike in the Himalayas, and practice meditation.

James Doty

James R. Doty, MD, is a clinical professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University of which His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the founding benefactor. He works with scientists from a number of disciplines examining the neural bases for compassion and altruism.
Dr. Doty attended U.C. Irvine as an undergraduate, received his medical degree from Tulane University and completed neurosurgery residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dr. Doty served 9 years on active duty in the U.S Army attaining the rank of major. He completed fellowships in pediatric neurosurgery and electroneurophysiology.

He is an inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He holds multiple patents and is the former CEO of Accuray (ARAY:NASDAQ). Dr. Doty has given support to a number of charitable organizations supporting peace initiatives and providing healthcare throughout the world. Additionally, he has supported research, provided scholarships and endowed chairs at multiple universities.

He is a consultant to medical device companies and is an operating partner and advisor to venture capital firms. Dr. Doty serves on the Board of a number of non-profits and is the vice-chair of the Charter for Compassion International and the former chair of the Dalai Lama Foundation. He is on the Senior Advisory Board of the Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Dr. Doty serves on the Board of Governors of Tulane University School of Medicine and the President’s Council at Tulane University.

He is the New York Times bestselling author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discovery the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart now translated into 31 languages. Dr. Doty is also the senior editor of the recently released Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science.

Lora Poepping

Lora Poepping is the Founder and President of Plum Coaching & Consulting (www.plumseattle.com), a firm that delivers job search coaching, resume services, LinkedIn profiles and HR small business consulting to a vast array of clients throughout the world. Lora began her corporate career with Deloitte's San Francisco practice and in 1994, joined Microsoft in Redmond Washington. During her tenure with Microsoft, Lora was in the Staffing, On-boarding and Diversity functions. In 2011, Lora launched Plum with a focus on delivering effective job search strategies that garnered results for clients in a variety of industries and at all career levels. Since launching, Plum has grown to include 8 highly experienced consultants, resume writers and coaches. Lora and her husband live in Seattle, Washington and Lora is the proud mother of two daughters who are now launching their own careers. 

Monica Worline

Monica Worline, Ph.D., is an organizational psychologist and founder and CEO of EnlivenWork, an innovation organization that teaches businesses and others how to tap into courageous thinking, compassionate leadership, and the curiosity to bring their best work to life. Monica is an award-winning teacher and an interdisciplinary scholar who has served on the faculty of Goizueta Business School at Emory University and on the faculties of the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California Irvine and the UC Irvine School of Social Ecology. Monica’s writing has been featured in publications such as the Harvard Business Review, the Chicago Tribune, and BizEd Magazine and her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly and Organization Science. She authored the book Awakening Compassion at Work and is a founding member of the CompassionLab, the world’s leading research collaboratory focused on compassion at work. Monica completed her doctoral work in organizational psychology at the University of Michigan and is a member of the Positive Organizational Scholarship community housed in the Ross School of Business. She earned her B.A. with distinction and honors at Stanford University, where her emphasis on humanities continues to provide a strong foundation for her unique blend of critical thinking and creativity.

Simon Marshall

"I am an optimist that sees possibility everywhere: I believe that every person is capable of leading meaningful, fulfilling and extraordinary lives. When we tap into this huge potential in people, magic happens. And when we extend this across organisations, we can create healthy, resilient cultures and unprecedented performance – and by connecting everyone together on this journey we can change the world of work."

Over the past 25 years, and across 35 countries on five continents, Simon Marshall has been dedicated to working with leaders who are committed to create the extraordinary, by unleashing the full potential of their people. He has designed and led over 50 world scale programs that have shifted the context and performance of major companies in many industries.

Simon is the author of Why-Based Organizational Development and WhyNot’s Leadership Curriculum, and has extensive experience in leadership development, cultural and organizational change, and executive coaching. His passion is most expressed by working closely with teams to design and create exciting futures for their organizations.

Sinan Canan

Co-Founder of Acik Beyin Education and Consultancy firm, Sinan Canan is continuing his academic career in the Department of Psychology at Uskudar University in Istanbul as a neuroscientist. He is actively offering conferences, talks and education classes on neuroscience topics like Mind and Brain, Chaos Theory, Learning, Forms in Nature. He is the author of books "Things NoBody Ever Knows", "My Ever Evolving Brain", "Things to Forget“ and “Secrets of the Brain“.

He believes that “ Life is too long to be occupied by a single interest; human beings are too complex to be fulfilled by a single interest“ and continues to dedicate his time accordingly.

You can learn more about him at www.acikbeyin.com

Tyler Parris

Tyler Parris is a Hudson-certified executive and career coach, former corporate chief of staff, and author of Chief of Staff: The Strategic Partner Who Will Revolutionize Your Organization. His career has spanned operations management at Intellectual Ventures, program management at Advaiya, Inc., technical editing at Microsoft, and computer networking in the United States Marine Corps. He has managed teams of up to 40 people, managed budgets as large as $5 million (with additional oversight of $25 million), and earned awards for leadership and excellence in nearly every endeavor.

After facilitating well-run operations in increasingly complex environments, he earned the thought partnership and counsel of senior leaders on issues affecting their organizations. As chief of staff at the pioneering invention company, Intellectual Ventures, Tyler served as thought partner, program manager, and communication manager for the President and Executive Leadership Team in setting the agenda for the company and achieving annual financial and operating goals.

While much of Tyler’s time is spent helping organizations successfully use the chief of staff role, his broader focus is creating coaching interactions with senior leaders that create capacity, raise awareness, and change behaviors.

Vendula Pavlikova

Vendula is the founder of Authentic Achievers. She brings together her 12 years’ professional experience in the corporate world across a wide range of industries and her passion for Emotional Intelligence and Positive Psychology. She works with leaders and teams around the world helping them use emotional intelligence to get better results. Her mission is to guide people to live a fulfilling life and to teach them how to take care of their emotional well-being. She lives with her family in the beautiful cross-border region in Switzerland.

Xenia Duffy Obel

After more than a decade in leading HRM, Communication and Marketing roles within large global organizations, among them GE, Siemens Wind Power and Züblin/STRABAG, Xenia Duffy Obel decided to leave corporate life. Ever since then, she has aimed to make a difference in how we think about work, organizations and doing business. As a coach and facilitator of great leadership, she aims to unleash the potential of human beings and set them free to live happy and engaged lives in competitive and sustainable organizations.

Today, Xenia works at Aarhus University as a consultant and mentor for young startups. She is the founder of SustainablePeople, an organization aimed to support leaders in building trust and understanding people. Xenia is an award-winning leader and facilitator and holds an Executive CBL degree from Henley Business School.