Team

We trust these bios will result in two takeaways. First, the peek into our personalities will make you think yes, I would enjoy these people. Second, the snapshot of our skills will make you think yes, I would feel confident with these people.

  • Matt Richburg, Ph.D.

    Managing Partner

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    Matt Richburg, Ph.D.

    Managing Partner

    I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly – each, in its own eye-opening way, providing the shot of reality needed to offer wise counsel.
    More About Matt

  • Gail Wise, Ph.D.

    Partner

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    Gail Wise, Ph.D.

    Partner

    I believe when you take your work very seriously, but not yourself, you lay the foundation for meaningful and constructive relationships.
    More About Gail

  • Kimberly Kroll, Psy.D.

    Partner

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    Kimberly Kroll, Psy.D.

    Partner

    Identifying the right talent is more important than identifying the best talent. Why? The best fit is what produces the best team.
    More About Kimberly

  • Peggy Boyer, Ph.D.

    Principal

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    Peggy Boyer, Ph.D.

    Principal

    Talent decisions are often the most critical, and most difficult decisions leaders make. Advising them to make these decisions with confidence is my honor and privilege.
    More About Peggy

  • Karin Thul

    Principal

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    Karin Thul

    Principal

    I love finding the secret sauce to turn a group of all stars into a high-performing team.
    More About Karin

  • Jeff Ashby, Ph.D.

    Senior Consultant

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    Jeff Ashby, Ph.D.

    Senior Consultant

    A highly functioning team is like a musical masterpiece. Individuals working in perfect harmony inspire greater productivity.
    More About Jeff

  • Kerry Jones

    Business Manager

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    Kerry Jones

    Business Manager

    I log twenty to twenty-five miles a week running. I call it my ‘pavement therapy.’ It keeps me sane. I am not nice without it.
    More About Kerry

  • Rebecca Hart

    Project Manager

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    Rebecca Hart

    Project Manager

    My family has a passion for food, and we were raised knowing that the best conversations happen in the kitchen.
    More About Rebecca

  • Devon Brown

    Project Coordinator

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    Devon Brown

    Project Coordinator

    I was raised in Maine’s smallest town. I’m much more comfortable in the woods than I am in a city.
    More About Devon

  • Lori Quackenbush

    Project Coordinator

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    Lori Quackenbush

    Project Coordinator

    I am a bit of a daredevil. I enjoy thrill rides, whitewater rafting, and have my sights set on skydiving.
    More About Lori

  • Ellen Spear

    Project Coordinator

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    Ellen Spear

    Project Coordinator

    I am told my tact and professionalism are off the chart. I am proud of that impression because, behind the scenes, I am a bit of a hoot.
    More About Ellen

  • Chris Kelly

    Analyst

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    Chris Kelly

    Analyst

    What I love about assessment work is that people are never just one thing. I’m an experienced professional in this space, but I’m also an established New York drag queen. Everyone has a surprise if you dig a little.
    More About Chris

  • Caitlin Walsh

    Production Coordinator

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    Caitlin Walsh

    Production Coordinator

    My laugh reflects a lot of who I am—genuine, enthusiastic, and approachable. It’s great for breaking the ice (and for never getting lost in a crowd).
    More About Caitlin

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    I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly – each, in its own eye-opening way, providing the shot of reality needed to offer wise counsel.

    Matt Richburg, Ph.D.

    Managing Partner, Atlanta, Georgia

    Of course, one tends to see it all when one, like Matt, has conducted 2000+ executive assessments.

    No need to be intimidated, while he’s a bit of an ace, he is quite nice about it (as he is with the other things he does, from organizational assessment to executive coaching to succession planning). What else would you expect from a guy raised in Colorado by hippies who, yes, drove a VW camper? He is also quite good. The kind of “good” that builds relationships. “I have worked with one client since 1999. For ten years, I have advised another who has added over $3 billion in top-line revenue.”

    It is no overstatement to say Matt epitomizes the seasoned pros who are Ampersand. Each with over 10,000 hours of experience in aligning top talent with business strategy. Quick studies who learn new businesses in a snap. Of course, not all are diehard collectors of modern art like Matt. Or hit the slopes (the steeper, the better) as an accomplished and adventuresome skier. But then, unique personalities build strong companies.

    Career Headlines

    Green Peak Partners, Partner

    ghSMART, Principal

    Bank of America, SVP, Leader of Executive Development Programs

    Right Management Consultants, SVP

    Author, Leadership Coaching and chapter author in The Talent Management Handbook

    Alliance Theatre, Board of Directors

    The Carter Center, Board of Councilors

    Education Highlights

    Ph.D., (With Honors) Counseling Psychology, University of Denver

    M.A., Counseling Psychology, University of Denver

    B.A. (Magna cum Laude), Speech Communication, Bethel University

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    I believe when you take your work very seriously, but not yourself, you lay the foundation for meaningful and constructive relationships.

    Gail Wise, Ph.D.

    Partner, Oshkosh, Wisconsin

    “As a relocation aficionado – from a Virginia farm to St. Louis, Louisville, Atlanta, Mexico City, and the ‘frozen tundra’ of Wisconsin — I am adept at reading people and situations. An amiable attitude is a huge asset.”

    “At Ampersand, we’re real people with humility and a sense of humor. That makes us easy to work with. We are also professionals with the experience and expertise to have real impact. Everyone on the Ampersand team prides herself or himself on thinking carefully about what our clients need, and then crafting customized solutions to make sure we deliver. We don’t stop until we get the job done.”

    Gail delivers high-impact solutions, including executive and organizational assessment, coaching, executive team alignment, and leadership development programs. Prior to entering consulting, she sat on the “other side of the desk” in field and headquarters-level operations, HR and training roles. She gives that chapter of her career a great deal of the credit for why she “LOVES her work” at Ampersand: “I have a deep respect for the challenges clients face and the pressure they feel to deliver results. It is incredibly rewarding to make a difference for them.”

    Career Headlines

    enVision Performance Solutions, Principal

    Organizing Development Partners, LLC, Managing Principal

    Right Management Consultants, Senior Vice President

    Irvin & Browning, Owner/Partner

    PepsiCo, Division Training Manager, Region HR Manager

    Education Highlights

    Ph.D., Applied Psychology, University of Georgia

    M.S., Psychology, University of Georgia

    M.B.A., University of Louisville

    B.S., Virginia Tech

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    Identifying the right talent is more important than identifying the best talent. Why? The best fit is what produces the best team.

    Kimberly Kroll, Psy.D.

    Partner, Chicago, Illinois

    Kim has a passion for Formula 1 Racing – one reason she considers teamwork to be the ultimate measure of success.

    “From the owner, to the engineers, to the crew, to the drivers – in no other sport are the roles so deeply specialized, yet so critically dependent on one another. In Formula 1, failing to identify the right talent to build the best team is, literally, a matter of life and death.”

    Her own professional experience tells her that effective teamwork is the ultimate measure of success. “I have had – and continue to have – the privilege of doing deep, purposeful work with people and their professional ‘teams.’ During two decades of leading a fourth-generation international business I learned, first hand, how vital the dependencies are between functions – sales, financing, merchandising, supply chain, logistics, and much more. It is essential to assemble the right mix of people capable of operating as a cohesive team.” She brings a unique understanding of the critical need to not just optimize but operationalize the leadership team to deliver results and maximize value for a business and its investors.

    Kim’s work for Ampersand clients includes executive assessment, organizational change management, and team optimization. Her approach is differentiated by her laser-like focus on asking the tough questions that discover the root cause of any human capital challenge.

    Career Headlines

    LPK International, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

    Social Security Administration

    Vistage International (the world’s leading executive mentoring organization), Member

    Economic Club of Chicago, Member (Reception Committee)

    Education Highlights

    Psy.D., Clinical Psychology, Illinois School of Professional Psychology

    B.S., (Magna cum Laude), Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • img02Peggy Boyer

    Talent decisions are often the most critical, and most difficult decisions leaders make. Advising them to make these decisions with confidence is my honor and privilege.

    Peggy Boyer, Ph.D.

    Principal, Chicago, Illinois

    A former professional ballerina, Peggy brings the fierce commitment and precision necessary to reach the highest levels of dance to her work assessing and developing talent with Ampersand. Her repertoire includes: disentangling complex data into direct, easy-to-process recommendations that move the needle toward strategic goals; coaching management teams and individuals to peak performance; and serving as a trusted thought partner to investors and Boards.

    Insightful and candid, she engages leaders and inspires change through the collaborative experience she provides. As Managing Principal with Leadership Accelerated, she led initiatives in organizational restructuring and post M&A integration, uncovering millions of dollars in savings for one retailer and a significant revenue generation opportunity for a hospitality group. Her results have garnered loyalty across her career, from C-suite leaders who “dislike all consultants” but love her to clients who would follow her anywhere.

    Both professionally and personally, her experience is vast. Drawing on her impressive education, she can provide cogent observations from her dissertation on gender and leadership; drawing on her love of hockey, don’t be surprised if her signature candor shows when she catches someone playing dirty against her beloved Ottawa Senators.

    Career Headlines

    Leadership Accelerated, Managing Principal Consultant
    Linkage, Inc., Managing Principal Consultant
    BPI group, Senior Manager, Organization Transformation & People
    Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions, Senior Consultant
    Vantage Leadership Consulting, Senior Consultant

    Education Highlights

    Ph.D. Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Chicago School of Professional Psychology
    M.S. Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology
    M.S. Clinical Psychology, Benedictine University
    B.A. Psychology, Benedictine University

  • img02Peggy Boyer

    I love finding the secret sauce to turn a group of all stars into a high-performing team.

    Karin Thul

    Principal, Atlanta, Georgia

    A top-shelf assessor and former Chief of Staff for Deloitte – when asked to list her accomplishments for this bio, Karin replied, ‘Ugh. Gross.’ Her reaction to the task perfectly exemplifies her ethos: affable, humble, and witty. Her genuine approach is part and parcel of the mutual respect she emphasizes in each client relationship.

    Karin works across a spectrum of solutions delivering strategic organizational insights while also articulating how a growth strategy or transformation will translate to key members of the management team. This is reflected in a career history that is difficult to boil down to key highlights: building and defining the HR Business Partner team at Magic Leap, leading assessment and development projects for Egon Zehnder, and defining the vision and operating model to drive transformation for Deloitte’s Organization & Talent Business Unit. Her broad experience is reflected in her work with Ampersand in assessment, leadership development, and organization design.

    Yoga is Karin’s thing, and she brings considerable flexibility to her consulting. Expect her to bend over backwards (perhaps literally) to make you comfortable and get to the bottom of your most vexing talent and organizational issues.

    It’s obvious to us that Karin has whipped up her own “secret sauce” for life – a couple of dogs, a couple of kids, an Airstream trailer, and nonstop adventure. We should all be so lucky.

    Career Headlines

    Magic Leap, Senior Director, Human Resources Business Partners
    Egon Zehnder, Assessment & Development Specialist
    Deloitte Consulting, Human Capital, Senior Manager
    Johnson & Johnson, Senior Analyst

    Education Highlights

    MBA, Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management
    B.A., Colgate University (Magna cum Laude), Asian Studies and German

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    A highly functioning team is like a musical masterpiece. Individuals working in perfect harmony inspire greater productivity.

    Jeff Ashby, Ph.D.

    Senior Consultant, Atlanta, Georgia

    Ahh, no surprise about the musical analogy. Jeff describes himself as “a highly enthusiastic, but sadly mediocre, acoustic guitar player.”

    Happily, this self-deprecating professional brings all that enthusiasm – but not a note of the mediocrity – to his work. Jeff, like his Ampersand teammates, possesses the experience, credentials, and passion to add tremendous value to the clients with whom he works.

    To put it plainly, he knows his stuff – and he is well known for knowing it. Media outlets, such as the Associated Press and Scientific American Mind (not to mention organizations as diverse as Exxon Mobil, and Outward Bound), seek his expert input on personality dynamics and leveraging team strengths. He has also authored or co-authored two books and more than 80 scholarly journal articles.

    Jeff has four active kids who enjoy music. Will one of them outshine Dad and become the next Doc Watson? We’re sure he would applaud.

    Career Headlines

    Tenured Professor, Director of the Ph.D. Program in Counseling Psychology, Georgia State University

    Licensed Psychologist

    Senior Organizational Consultant and Executive Coach, United States Olympic Committee, Atlantic Capital Bank, Cox Communications, Axiant, Rayonier

    Team Building Expert, Outward Bound, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Discovery Channel

    Faculty, Army Management Staff College

    Faculty, National Weather Service Executive Leadership Seminar

    Education Highlights

    Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University

    B.A, Psychology and English, The University of Kansas

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    I log twenty to twenty-five miles a week running. I call it my ‘pavement therapy.’ It keeps me sane. I am not nice without it.

    Kerry Jones

    Business Manager, Atlanta, Georgia

    Don’t let Kerry fool you. She is always pleasant – especially to clients. She is also a quick responder to everything associated with Ampersand’s day-to-day operations (and that’s a lot).

    “I believe whole-heartedly that the work we do is incredibly valuable and has tremendous impact on the client organizations we serve. I make every effort to establish open, friendly communication with client contacts; to be respectful of clients’ time; and focus on ensuring that everything about the client experience (from the punctuality of our team to scheduled meetings and calls, to the accuracy of reports, to adhering to established timelines) raises the bar in our market.”
    Kerry is someone who gives a 110%, making her right at home at Ampersand. “If it means we’re working 12-hour days, learning how to condense a Modern Family storyline into a 90-second ‘short,’ or proofreading reports after dinner, our dedication to the client experience overrides the desire to check out at 5:30 if the job is not done.” (The only caveat – she must find time for her run.)

    Career Headlines

    Green Peak Partners, Executive Assistant

    SmartBen, Inc., Project Manager

    Sperduto & Associates, Executive Assistant to the CEO

    Delta Airlines, Inflight Leader

    Education Highlights

    B.S., Business Management, Clayton State University

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    My family has a passion for food, and we were raised knowing that the best conversations happen in the kitchen.

    Rebecca Hart

    Project Manager, Atlanta, Georgia

    Of the many talents Rebecca brings to the table, her “learned from childhood” love of open, genuine communication earns a top spot.

    “My early professional background was in hospitality.” You can tell by her skill set: impeccable attention to detail; exceptional organization; and an impressively agile approach to handling competing priorities, anticipating client needs, and creating memorable interactions.

    It’s right on target to say Rebecca is a strong manager type with a good-natured attitude, a reflection of both her southern upbringing and Ivy League education. She has coordinated the creation of a rooftop helipad for a major city hotel. (Fortunately, she is not afraid of heights.) She has handled logistics for a gala with 750 attendees in New York City. She has trained 300+ tennis tournament directors. All without dropping the ball or losing her cool.

    Perhaps being a foodie does bring balance. Her mother is an incredible cook, her brother is a chef, her sister is a pastry chef, and her husband is a food scientist. No, life is not fair.

    Career Headlines

    Corporate and Foundation Affairs, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration

    Corporate Director of Ancillary Services, Senior Lifestyles Corporation

    Manager of Residential Services, W Atlanta Downtown

    Event Manager, Wolfgang Puck Catering at Georgia Aquarium

    Event Manager, U.S. Tennis Association, Southern Section

    Education Highlights

    Master of Management in Hospitality, Cornell University

    B.A., Mass Communications, University of South Carolina

  • img02Devon Brown

    I was raised in Maine’s smallest town. I’m much more comfortable in the woods than I am in a city.

    Devon Brown

    Project Coordinator, Manchester, New Hampshire

    Devon is the perfect point person to drive large-scale, time-sensitive executive and organizational diligence processes. He is fueled by the challenge and complexity of the work Ampersand does, and his knack for seeing the big picture and getting ahead of anything that might hinder execution is impressive: “I’ve been told by both clients and colleagues that my calm demeanor is reassuring in the face of adversity and that my ability to make the complex, simple is an asset to project teams.”

    Called upon to handle Linkage’s international work as Senior Project Manager, his role was to be the hub of each engagement, connecting executives and consultants around the globe. Devon streamlined complicated logistics and harmonized multiple stakeholder groups through deliberate, proactive communication and an always-sunny disposition. His belief in the expression, “Choose your attitude” is to thank for his positive outlook and cross-functional collaboration: as he so rightly puts it, “Attitude is a language that spans the globe.” As a result, he was quickly elevated further to take on much of the responsibility for strategic account management as Client Engagement Manager.

    His skill as a collaborative partner and team player is a key factor in his continued professional success. Both Ampersand and our clients benefit from the quiet confidence that Devon exudes, as he puts everyone at ease knowing that all of the details are in capable hands – described another way, working with him gives you that serene feeling one gets when wandering through the woods.

    Career Headlines

    Linkage, Client Engagement Manager
    Propel, Account Executive
    Skillsoft, Business Development Consultant

    Education Highlights

    B.A., Business, Saint Anselm College

  • img02Lori

    I am a bit of a daredevil. I enjoy thrill rides, whitewater rafting, and have my sights set on skydiving.

    Lori Quackenbush

    Project Coordinator, Atlanta, Georgia

    What more could we – or you – ask for in a project manager? Someone who is up for the adventure. Someone not thrown by twists and turns.

    Lori not only has the right “can-do” attitude, she also has the right “has-done” background. “I have a wide range of experience providing support in executive coaching, assessment, and leadership development.” Talk about the perfect marriage: A resume totally in sync with the best-practice solutions Ampersand offers.

    Lori is also known for her balancing act (which, in reality, is not an act). She seamlessly juggles the many moving parts for multiple projects, never losing sight of each client’s unique needs. Think of it as the ideal combination of organizational skills and relationship building.

    Ask Lori why a client should choose Ampersand, and she will say, “100 percent, the people.” She should know. She is one of those people.

    Career Headlines

    Right Management (Coaching Practice), Project Coordinator

    Education Highlights

    B.S., Business Administration, University of Alabama

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    I am told my tact and professionalism are off the chart. I am proud of that impression because, behind the scenes, I am a bit of a hoot.

    Ellen Spear

    Project Coordinator, Atlanta, Georgia

    Yes, we enjoy Ellen’s always-good-natured sarcastic commentary. It’s like icing on the cake when combined with her meticulous attention to detail and impeccable communication skills.

    Ampersand depends on Ellen to ensure consistent quality across reports and support materials for executive assessment and leadership development projects. She’s clearly “on board” to do the job. “I am totally in sync with Ampersand’s key personality trait – everything boils down to building trusting relationships. We are diligent about making certain the deep level of care and commitment that goes into our work is unsurpassed.”

    “While I am rather introverted and definitely not someone who likes to be in front of people (the ‘funny me’ happens off stage), I find it invigorating to be part of such a dynamic group of brilliant, dare I say, really cool people. I feel very proud (and lucky) to be associated with every single member of this team.”

    Career Headlines

    Right Management, Project Coordinator

    The Atlanta Consulting Group, Operations/Fulfillment Manager

    Center for Creative Leadership’s Looking Glass Simulation, Onsite Administrator

  • img02Chris Kelly

    What I love about assessment work is that people are never just one thing. I’m an experienced professional in this space, but I’m also an established New York drag queen. Everyone has a surprise if you dig a little.

    Chris Kelly

    Analyst, Brooklyn, New York

    Since landing an entry-level position administering and scoring written tests after college, Chris has spent 15 years building his knowledge of talent assessment at the highest levels.

    However, the backdrop to his progression has followed some unexpected detours. Though trained as a writer, his initial focus was short fiction and playwriting: outside the office, he has worked regularly as a pop culture blogger, produced a sold-out run of one of his one-act plays at the New York International Fringe Festival, and built an unexpected audience with his reviews of professional wrestling.

    “Whether I’m creating a new character, recapping a reality TV star’s latest antics, or reviewing the credentials of a CEO candidate, it always comes down to understanding the person.” He knows the value of recognizing and capitalizing on untapped skills first-hand. His start in the field came about because a discerning management consultant hired him after observing his skills as a barista while in line for her morning coffee; she reasoned that the efficiency with which he managed all the moving parts of a busy coffee shop could easily transfer to a position overseeing multiple concurrent assessments. The example resonates with him to this day, reminding him never to take the data at face value.

    Chris isn’t on Broadway (yet), but he hasn’t lost his theatrical flair. He is exceptional at merging his creative and technical abilities – and in the end, every project is just another chance for him to bring the data to life as a good story.

    Career Headlines

    PDI Ninth House, Ops Team Leader

    Education Highlights

    B.A. (cum laude), English, Macalester College

  • img02Caitlin Walsh

    My laugh reflects a lot of who I am—genuine, enthusiastic, and approachable. It’s great for breaking the ice (and for never getting lost in a crowd).

    Caitlin Walsh

    Production Coordinator, Wilmington, North Carolina

    Cultivating a love for reading and writing at an early age has given Caitlin a strong understanding of the impact of communication. As you would expect, she says it best: “I am deeply connected to the written word, and how something as simple as punctuation or a line break can dictate meaning—and, in turn, alter the lasting impact of a moment.”

    An eye for detail and a passion for creating strong relationships makes Caitlin a natural fit on the Ampersand team. Her background spans from writing blog articles and eBooks as a senior staff writer to coaching and developing a team beneath her as a managing editor. Those experiences are brought to bear for Ampersand in her seamless preparation of client deliverables. Her flexibility and eagerness to grow means that our clients benefit from a constant state of learning: “I am always looking for opportunities to improve, to expand my expertise, to make a project flow smoother, and to make a positive impact on others.”

    Establishing trust and cultivating positive connections (and an abundance of laughs) with clients and colleagues is her superpower—it’s not only what leaves a lasting impression, but what motivates her each and every day.

    Career Headlines

    Managing Editor and Client Success Manager, Zhivago Partners
    Senior Staff Writer, Advisory HQ
    Proofreader, Red Spot Interactive
    SEO Content Writer, DFS Business Solutions
    First Reader, Internship, Leapfrog Press

    Education Highlights

    B.A., English and Minor in Writing, SUNY Fredonia