is the co-founder and President of Idea Champions, a highly acclaimed management consulting and training company, headquartered in Woodstock, NY. He specializes in helping forward thinking organizations go beyond business as usual, originate breakthrough products and services, and establish dynamic, sustainable cultures of innovation.
Educated at Lafayette College and Brown University, Mitch has worked with a wide variety of Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies who have realized the need to do something different in order to succeed in today's rapidly changing marketplace. These clients include: GE, Merck, AT&T, Allianz, Lucent Technologies, NBC Universal, Goodyear, A&E Television Networks, General Mills, MTV Networks, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and a host of others.
At the heart of his work lies the fundamental belief that a company's most important capital asset is the collective brain power, creativity and commitment of its work force and that this asset can be significantly leveraged when people are provided with the appropriate setting, systems, tools and techniques to think (and act) out of the box.
Mitch has been an adjunct faculty member for several esteemed leadership development programs, including GE's Crotonville Management Development Center, Duke Corporate Education, Fuqua School of Business, University of New Mexico's Anderson School of Management, and Bell Atlantic's Marketing Institute.
In addition to his consulting work, Mitch is also an accomplished keynote speaker and large group workshop facilitator. In 2010, Mitch was acknowledged as one of the "40 Hottest Business Speakers on the Association Circuit" in Association Meetings magazine.
In 2010 and 2011, he was voted as the #1 innovation blogger in the world and
is now a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. His widely read blog, The Heart of Innovation, is a daily destination for a global audience of movers and shakers. Additionally, Mitch is the author of the award-winning book, Awake at the Wheel: Getting Your Great Idea Rolling (in an uphill world) and the innovation-sparking card deck and online app, Free the Genie.
Mitch lives in Woodstock, New York, with his wife, Evelyne, and their two amazing teenagers, Jesse and Mimi.
is the co-founder and Chief Enlightenment Officer of Idea Champions.
For over 17 years, Steven has worked closely with top leadership,
middle management and project teams to dramatically improve their
business results. His multi-dimensional approach to meeting the needs
of his varied clients is a skillful mix of business assessment,
visioning, creative thinking, strategic planning, process redesign and
Balanced Scorecard deployment.
Steven's clients include businesses in high tech, insurance,
manufacturing, healthcare and telecommunications, including AT&T, Met
Life, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Life Care Centers of America,
Olin Corporation, Zurich US Insurance and numerous small and mid-sized
As a business coach, Steven draws upon his diverse background as a
gestalt psychotherapist and consultant to the corporate training,
management, and construction industries. He is co-author of Get Out
Of The Box, a creativity-based strategic planning workbook. He is
also co-author of Scoreboard Pro™, a web-based business performance
Steven resides in Boulder, Colorado and is an active volunteer and a
long-standing advisory board member for the Humane Society of Boulder
Valley. He enjoys white water rafting, kayaking, hiking, scuba
diving, outdoor photography, fine wine, and really good sushi.
is Idea Champions' Director of Training with 20 years experience in the field. Val believes that the most essential qualities an individual needs to exhibit in order to master the Protean landscape of our rapidly-changing business world are courage, the ability to innovate, and curiosity ... which dovetails with becoming a lifelong learner on the job AND in life.
Through the years, Val has worked closely with a wide range of forward-thinking American companies, focusing on innovation and teambuilding. These clients have included: AT&T, GE & GE Capital, Morgan Stanley, Scotia Capital, Ernst & Young, TIAA-CREF, Champion International, Olin Corporation, Price Waterhouse, and Atlanticare as well as a number of non-profit organizations. He has also worked previously with Unison Business Development on organizational development and visioning projects for Zurich Insurance and Life Care Centers of America, a leading provider of nursing home care. He also works as a performer/consultant with Face The Music, an interactive business blues band (his "blues" name is "Professor Voodoo").
Val is, most recently, involved in developing our updated brainstorm training, Conducting Genius, which includes creating the Conducting Genius Toolkit; the training in a deck of cards.
Mr. Vadeboncoeur, who is part MicMac Indian, was born and raised in Rhode Island, and educated at Boston University. His checkered past includes being a radio disc jockey, writer, playwright, theater director, actor and producer of art exhibits. He's also striven mightily after an elusive competency on various musical instruments. His last name is French for "go of a good heart," and his nickname is "Moose." He currently resides in Malden-On-Hudson, NY.
has been an executive advisor and business coach for more than 20 years.
He is currently Idea Champions' Chief Collaboration Officer.
Paul founded The Coaching Exchange, Inc. in 1988 and is the creator of
the RothMethods, a practical system for maximizing people's performance in
the workplace. Paul's primary focus is empowering individuals to bring
out their best and then bring out the best in others. People who enter
into a coaching relationship with him learn how to better navigate their
organization, maximize their performance, and generate team alignment.
"Strong people build strong teams," explains Paul. "And strong teams make
up great organizations. And great organizations make a better world."
Paul has provided coaching, consulting and business advisory services to
thousands of individual professionals, hundreds of small businesses and
project teams within major companies. His skill develeopment modules been
developed and tested in Manufacturing, Hospitality, Commercial Real
Estate, Food Service, Cosmetics, Entertainment, and Government Agencies,
helping people work together in sales, service, and management.
Paul's extensive work in Collaboration and Communication is now part of
the full spectrum of Idea Champions offerings. This adds a new dimension
to bridging the gap between Ideation and Creative Thinking and the
Implementation of tangible Innovation.
Bottom line, Paul's unique methods help people develop skills in four
domains; strategic design, conversations with clients, communication with
a market, and collaboration with a team. Paul's clients have included
Amgen, Schwartzkopf-Dep Corporation, Caltrans, Kyocera America, Merrill
Lynch, the Irvine Company, Fannie Mae and hundreds of smaller companies.
Paul graduated from the California Institute of the Arts and currently
resides in Woodstock, NY.
17 years of corporate consulting and training experience brings a lot of value to the Idea Champions team and includes organizational development, culture change, team building, creative thinking, executive coaching, strategic planning, workshop facilitation, and sales.
Lesley has led a department of 42 within a large healthcare system. She's served as program officer for a national organization, providingstrategic planning services to 175 United States chapters and divisions. She also has served in various capacities with the United Way and other service organizations, raising millions of dollars on their behalf.
She is widely recognized as a gifted public speaker, trainer, and workshop leader and delivers a wide range of programs for Idea Champions, including: teambuilding, leadership, strategic visioning, customer relationship building, brainstorming, and culture change.
Lesley received her A.B. with Distinction from The University of Michigan and her Master's degree in Education from Xavier University. Her doctoral studies focused on leadership styles and ways of galvanizing engagement and renewal across cultures, generations, worldviews and system models.
Lesley enjoys time with family and friends, singing and hiking. Her dinner parties blend fine food and friendships, inspiration and salons. She loves to bake. Ask for her favorite recipes!
Before starting his work in management coaching and development, Scott Cronin spent 15 years on the other side of the fence – as a manager. He has successfully faced a wide variety of business challenges, from being an internal management consultant and trouble-shooter for a fast-growing chain of record stores, to coordinating multinational construction projects.
Scott has incorporated his practical understanding of business in his work with client companies like Viacom, PepsiCo, Taco Bell, Regeneration Technologies, Inc., Nickelodeon, and AT&T. Combining his knowledge of interpersonal skills and team dynamics with his awareness of the day-to-day realities of corporate life, he offers needed understanding and skill development, drawing on real-life business examples that acknowledge the complexities and difficulties of the manager's job.
Over the past few years, Scott has focused specifically on helping managers cope with the increased demands being placed on them: he has worked as a coach and teacher to help executives develop their employees, lead teams, and create a clear vision for their own professional future. Some of his coaching and teaching clients include Cablevision Systems Corp., Coors Brewing Company, Comedy Central, Cole-Haan, and Simon & Schuster.
Clients and participants have praised his energy, humor, and creativity, his insight into their organization, and his ability to help them see and overcome their own blocks to learning. In the words of one client, "Scott teaches without pontificating; he tells the truth. He helps you over the rough spots with humor and honesty."
has spent more than 20 years consulting, coaching and training in the areas of organization and leadership development. He is trained in Gestalt approaches to individual and organizational change.
Barry has extensive experience in both the private and public sector. Most recently, he was the Director of Organization Development (OD) for Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division following a 3-year stint as a Director of Leadership Development in Microsoft's corporate Person and Organizational Capability organization. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was an Organization Development Director for Hewlett Packard's Storage Organization and an Organization Development consultant in the U.S. Federal Government.
Barry has also worked for the Center for Creative Leadership, where his major focus was on providing intensive development and coaching support to executives of Fortune 100 companies. He has advised and coached over 100 managers and executives. He started his career as a Professor of Sociology at Wesleyan University and also worked as a Science Policy Analyst for the U.S. General Accounting Office.
Barry has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan and he has done postgraduate work at Princeton and Stanford Universities.
oversees all aspects of Idea Champions' varied and multi-dimensional
business, as Director of Operations. She has a diverse background
which includes a wealth of experience in corporate environments and
Nancy is responsible for financial accounting, contracts, client
relations, session logistics, marketing, and product sales. Her goal
is to provide Idea Champions customers with the highest level of
Prior to Idea Champions, Ms. Seroka worked with major corporations in
the NY Metro area as a principal in a marketing services agency. She
has also coordinated Public Relations and Fund Raising departments for
educational organizations, and has been involved in the successful
production of hundreds of conferences on cutting edge topics.
Nancy has a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the State
University of New York, and is an avid student of personal growth and
the arts. She is a member of the American Society of Training and
Nancy currently resides in Woodstock, NY.
Prentiss S. Uchida
is Idea Champions' Chief a lot to Learn Officer (CLO) -
a perfect role for someone who has made the long journey from head to
heart. During the past 30 years, as a serial entrepreneur, Prentiss
has held key management positions in both private and public
companies, including founder and CEO of Vector General (a pioneer in
graphics workstations), CEO of the Inner Game (a corporate training
and development company), CEO of Secom General (a NASDAQ
mini-conglomerate of automotive component manufacturers), and CEO of
Kahootz (an enterprise software company). Additionally, Prentiss was
a founder and director of Instar Infomatiqué (a French medical
software company) and managing director of VanderBolt GmbH (a German
technology transfer company).
He was the architect of the first peripheral graphics terminal that
generated real-time, dynamic three-dimensional images used in the
original Star Wars movie and the design of the Boeing 757 and 767. He
has also produced infomercials for direct response TV, developed a
nutritional supplement for cardiovascular health, and has served on
the Board of Directors of the United Way.
Helping organizations create a sustainable "culture of innovation"
(i.e. work for fun and profit) is Prentiss' most recent fascination,
having learned that people are happiest when they are creating,
growing, helping, collaborating, and feeling gratitude for their
lives. Towards that end, Prentiss is engaged these days in the
entrepreneuring of Ingenuity Bank, Idea Champions' next generation idea
Prentiss has BA in mathematics, a black belt in karate, an aircraft
pilot's license, and has crashed and burned as a commodity trader. He
was a skier, is a golfer, and for his 2nd act, is an aspiring
singer/songwriter. He lives in Agoura, California with his wife of 25
years, Patricia, and has 3 grown children.
is a recent addition to the Idea Champions' core team of consultants
in his role as Master Trainer of Idea Champions' new teambuilding
offering, Drumming Up Teamwork. This novel approach to teambuilding
utilizes the primal drumming circle as a way to help groups and teams
(from 10 — 100 people) connect and communicate on a deeper
Nathan has been studying music since his mother enrolled him in the
Julliard School of Music as a six year-old piano prodigy. He later
utilized his piano background to become a blues and jazz trumpeter. A
burning desire to travel took him to various exotic countries where
his interest in world rhythms began to develop. Nathan has since
studied drumming first hand (pun intended) from master drummers in
Africa, Brazil, and most recently, Cuba. In addition to his musical
studies, Nathan holds a Master's Degree in counseling from St. John's
University in NY.
Eight years ago, marrying his musical and communication skills
together, Nathan created his own breakthrough workshop, Rhythm Circle,
which uses hand drumming to help participants get more deeply
connected and "in tune" with each other. Since then, Nathan has
worked with businesses both large and small throughout the United
States. His gentle, positive, and non-threatening approach has been
highly successful in bringing co-workers together to become more
sensitive to each others' needs, strengths,and communication styles.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, and a life-long baseball fanatic, Mr. Brenowitz
still plays fast pitch baseball in over-40 leagues. He has two grown
sons, Lukas and Matthew (both excellent conga drummers) and resides in
Building on 25 years experience in public relations, human resources, and leadership development, Alan is an executive coach and brainstorm facilitator for Idea Champions.
Alan was the former Director of Communications for the Broadway League — the commercial theatre industry's national association and sponsor of the Tony Awards.
He also served as Director of Corporate Training and Development for Scholastic, establishing the company's management training curriculum. As Scholastic's Director of Publicity, Alan led the team that promoted the acclaimed Harry Potter series of books.
As the Vice President of two public relations firms — Serino Coyne and Rogers and Cowan — Alan supervised cultural sponsorship activities. As a Robinson Lehrer Montgomery VP, he led consumer publicity campaigns for United Airlines and AOL.
When Alan is not working with Idea Champions, he is providing executive coaching and brainstorm facilitator services for Acts of Balance — a NYC-based consultancy that works closely with small-business owners, public relations firms, and marketing professionals.
Alan holds a B.A. in English and Theatre from Connecticut College and an MBA from Fordham University's Graduate School of Business
a renaissance man extraordinaire, juggles three balls at Idea Champions.
He is our chief strategic communication consultant, a skilled brainstorm
facilitator, and one of our Bandwidth Leaders for BrainTrust. A life-long learner,
Tim keeps his skills up to date in a wide array of fields, including information
architecture, social psychology, emotional intelligence, contemporary art and
design, and social media. He combines many of his interests in a process he calls
Sales ProptimizingTM. Explains Tim, "Simply put, Sales ProptimizingTM is a process for creating word of mouth. It helps individuals, teams and organizations identify their authentic hooks and memes - their unique, irreducible sales propositions, then teases out simple phrases and images that can communicate their core offerings effortlessly."
Tim's knack for the sticky is evidenced by a string of international song hits. A highly successful recording artist and songwriter, Tim has released five hook-laden albums on David Geffen's Asylum record label and toured throughout the globe. Tim brings to Idea Champions clients the verbal brevity and timing of a master song lyricist, coupled with an uncanny sense of what will stick in the popular memory. "Hit songs are memes," Tim says. "They grab people on multiple levels, and do it with incredible economy and simplicity." Hence Tim's passion and skill for drilling down to the essence of things and transforming that simplicity into actionable ideas that foment trends, create buzz, and make good things unforgettable. Tim holds a BFA from Temple University where he majored in painting and contemporary sculpture. He's a long time resident of Woodstock, NY,
Idea Champions is proud to announce a strategic partnership with Aliza Corrado, the founder and owner of Studio Motif — a full-service graphic design firm.
Aliza and her crew of graphic wizards have been successfully delivering graphic solutions to a wide range of discriminating clients for more than 25 years. and is now working closely with Idea Champions to expand our abilities to help our clients communicate key messages with clarity, elegance, and power.
Growing up outside of New York City, her youth was infused with countless visits to world-class art exhibits, dance, theater, and music performances. After studying dance, piano, and harp, she studied fine art in Spain and began developing her many innate artistic gifts. What followed was a world-class education in the world of graphic design . first assisting an art director in a New York design firm, then moving to the West Coast where she held design positions at Microsoft and Aldus Corporation (aka Adobe Systems) Her specialties include typography, information architecture, and web design.
Aliza is passionate about finding solutions that balance clear messaging with beauty and vibrancy. She is tech-savvy, resourceful, persevering, organized, and thrives on creative collaboration.