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

  • Katrina Johnson, Ph.D.

    Principal

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    Katrina Johnson, Ph.D.

    Principal

    I have a passion for people puzzles. Yes, they can be real head-scratchers – unless you have good data to solve them.
    More About Katrina

  • Kimberly Kroll, Psy.D.

    Principal

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    Kimberly Kroll, Psy.D.

    Principal

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

  • 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

  • Mary Beth Hardy, Psy.D.

    Senior Consultant

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    Mary Beth Hardy, Psy.D.

    Senior Consultant

    The fact I have had a diverse career is something that I think adds value – broadening both my insights and guidance.
    More About Mary

  • Howard Marcus, Ph.D.

    Senior Consultant

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    Howard Marcus, Ph.D.

    Senior Consultant

    Early in my career, a supervisor said I would be more successful if I were less nice to people, less collaborative, and more selfish.
    More About Howard

  • 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 Coordinator

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    Rebecca Hart

    Project Coordinator

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

  • 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

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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 (described by a CEO as ‘The Matt Richburg meat grinder’).

    Not to worry, he is quite nice about it (along with the other things he does, from merger integration 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 at it. The kind of “good” that builds relationships. “I have worked with one client since 1999. For five years, I have advised another who has added over $1 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

    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 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, executive coaching, 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 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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    I have a passion for people puzzles. Yes, they can be real head-scratchers – unless you have good data to solve them.

    Katrina Johnson, Ph.D.

    Principal, Atlanta, Georgia

    Is strategic decision-making an art or a science? Both, of course, but few people “get that” more than Katrina. A self-professed “science nerd, with an insane curiosity, and a love of mastering new things,” Katrina has transitioned from a remarkable career in academia to an equally difference-making one in business.

    To say she brings an “interesting” background to the table would be understatement-of-the-year material. A quick glance at the highlights of her career (see below) begins to tell the story. From professor in a “Top 25” medical school to senior executive coach with some of the most challenging cases to sought-after organizational consultant, Katrina consistently leads with impact. We’ll just sum it up this way: If she can assess a heart patient in a high-stress, time-sensitive, life-or-death environment, she can certainly be counted on to incisively assess a candidate for the C-suite.

    Oh, and let’s not forget college football. In particular, Florida State football. Katrina is crazy about it. (Only ask if you’re prepared for a dissertation.)

    Career Headlines

    Faculty, Emory Executive Education program

    Executive Coach and Consultant, Goizueta Business School, Emory University

    Psychologist, Emory Transplant Center

    Educator of the Year, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University

    Diverse client portfolio including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Siemens USA, Havertys Furniture, Lancope/Cisco, and Columbia Property Trust.

    Education Highlights

    B.S., Psychology, Florida State University

    Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Emory University

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

    Kimberly Kroll, Psy.D.

    Principal, 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.”

    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

    Department of Veteran Affairs

    Social Security Administration

    Member of Vistage International (the world’s leading executive mentoring organization.

    Education Highlights

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

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

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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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    The fact I have had a diverse career is something that I think adds value – broadening both my insights and guidance.

    Mary Beth Hardy, Psy.D.

    Senior Consultant, Boston, Massachusetts

    In reality, “diverse” only hints at Mary Beth’s trajectory. Her “been there, done that” experience is amazingly deep and wide. She knows the feel of many shoes.

    From back office to leading a trading organization managing a $2.2 billion client portfolio, Mary Beth literally grew up on Wall Street. “Yes, I was a commodities trader – a typical one – before I became a psychologist. I stand as evidence that people can change!”

    She has managed and grown talent from inside a major corporation. She has stepped in from the outside to guide CEO succession (and win over an initially skeptical board of directors). We can go on (and on), but the point is Mary Beth knows the inspiration and passion required for leadership because she has shown she possesses both, time and again.

    Continuing on the diversity theme, consider these final facts. Mary Beth is a devoted yoga practitioner who does a mean headstand. She writes fiction. She has jumped out of a plane. Let’s just say, taking on a challenge comes naturally to this “market maker.”

    Career Headlines

    Senior Director of Talent Management, Vistaprint

    Senior Vice President of Leadership Development, Bank of America

    Principal, RHR International, LLP

    Fifteen years in financial services, including seven years as Senior Vice President and Co-Director of trading for John W. Henry and Company (reporting directly to the Chairman and founder).

    Licensed Psychologist

    Education Highlights

    Psy.D., Nova Southeastern University

    B.B.A., Finance, Pace University

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    Early in my career, a supervisor said I would be more successful if I were less nice to people, less collaborative, and more selfish.

    Howard Marcus, Ph.D.

    Senior Consultant, New York, New York

    No. I did not take his advice. A decision that has defined my career helping leaders and companies meet the challenges and opportunities of transition and change.

    Don’t be fooled by the nice guy persona – Howard also has an exceptionally keen eye for identifying and grooming top talent. For over 30 years, Howard has worked in senior executive roles across a variety of industries – identifying, developing, and coaching a new generation of leaders for several iconic global companies. He even had the pleasure of a two-year expatriate assignment in Paris, leading international HR planning and development.
    “Business environments are becoming more and more challenging today. You have to get the leadership part right. I thoroughly enjoy building productive relationships and working hard to meet a client’s business objectives – from developing individual executives to realizing an entire organization’s growth aspirations.”

    Speaking of enjoying, you might want to get in line for one of Howard’s home-cooked meals. “I like to experiment, to recreate dishes. It’s totally relaxing. Sharing great food with family and friends is one of the joys of life. ”

    Career Headlines

    The McGraw-Hill Companies, VP Management & Organizational Development

    Golden Books Family Entertainment; KPMG Peat Marwick, LLP; The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation; Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceutical Corporation – Senior HR and Talent Management Leadership Roles

    Benchmark School, Head of Psychological Services
    (Currently Trustee Emeritus, Board of Directors)

    Licensed Psychologist

    Education Highlights

    Ph.D., Education (Professional Psychology), University of Pennsylvania

    M.S., Psychological Services, University of Pennsylvania

    B.A. Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

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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 Coordinator, 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

  • 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