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Six Sigma Certifications

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+ Training Workshops Held

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Attendees in 30+ Cities

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+ Satisfied Clients

Dr. Ellen Burts-Cooper

Senior Managing Partner and Chief Improvement Officer

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

Dr. Ellen Burts-Cooper is the senior managing partner of Improve Consulting and Training Group, a firm that provides personal and professional development training, coaching and consultation. Improve has been featured in Time Magazine, Black Voices, Smart Business Magazine and Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Dr. Burts-Cooper is on faculty at Case Western Reserve University in the Weatherhead Executive Education Program and The Institute for Management Studies (IMS). She is the author of the books “aMAZEing Organizational Teams: Navigating 7 Critical Attributes for Cohesion, Productivity and Resilience” and “Canine Instinct: A Guide to Survival and Advancement in Corporate America.”  She also created the workshop curricula “Personal Positioning: Building Personal Brand Equity” and “Don’t Just Think Outside the Box, Make the Box Bigger.”

She earned a BS in chemistry from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, AL, her PhD in organic/polymer chemistry from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, her MBA from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Business and her Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification from 3M Company.

You can listen to Ellen on her segment, “Improve Your Day with Dr. Ellen,”  aired on Wavelengths, The Wave 107.3 Community Affairs Show.

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Erica Guevarez

Client and Administrative Services

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

Erica Guevarez is over client and administrative services at Improve Consulting and Training Group. Erica provides back office support and assistance to the team and coordinates activities and events within the facility. Erica has multiple years of experience in customer service and hospitality management. Since joining Improve Consulting, Erica has taken on the Administrative Assistant role for the Women’s Goal Setting and Accountability group, Organized Chaos. Additionally, her prior leadership and management experience working with organizations and teams has made her an integral part of the aMAZEing Team Building Experience through which organizations can learn to become more resilient, cohesive and productive.

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Nicole R. Johnson, MBA

Business Development, and Training Manager

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

Nicole Johnson has over 15 years of human resource experience including recruiting, training, performance management, career development, diversity and inclusion, program development, employee relations, benefits and compensation, payroll, safety, and compliance. Nicole holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Ursuline College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources/Organizational Management from Wilberforce University. She is also an adjunct professor at Ursuline College in the College of Business; and a facilitator and steering committee member of J.O.B.S. Opportunities Breakthrough Services; a faith-based re-entry 10-week employment placement program. In addition to mentoring in the youth program Recherche’, Nicole has been honored in the 2018 class of Who’s Who in Black Cleveland/Akron. Nicole has a passion to serve and uplift others by providing resources and a network to “Improve” one’s way of life.

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Amanda Cook

Assistant Coordinator

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

Amanda Cook is the Assistant Coordinator at Improve Consulting and Training Group. She provides back-office support and assistance to the Improve team and coordinates activities and events within the facility. Amanda has multiple years of experience in customer service, event planning, and administrative duties. She obtained her Associate of Arts degree in General Studies from Florida College and enjoys interacting with individuals from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds. Since becoming a part of the Improve team, Amanda has enjoyed and added to the unique flow of creativity and client engagement in order to enhance the overall Improve experience.

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Thomas W. Fazekas

Quality and Process Improvement

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

Tom is a trainer and consultant dedicated to helping organizations improve their performance through development of their people. He has been privileged to work with organizations that are already leaders in their fields but are committed to continually improve. Tom helps top management establish and deploy their strategies objectives, and he teaches people at all levels of the organization the tools they need to develop and execute tactical plans to achieve the objectives they have been given. His approach emphasizes the clear definition of the processes by which the organization satisfies the needs of the customers and of the business. His insightful questions and deep listening help the organization discover opportunities to measure and improve those processes. His approach emphasizes collaboration and creativity to develop the outstanding leadership and highly responsive teams needed for continuous improvement and sustainable results. As a trainer, Tom emphasizes the practical application of continual improvement tools and techniques. Training participants develop work/life skills for critical assessment, for recognizing root causes of problems, and for streamlining processes to enhanced customer satisfaction. Tom’s prior professional experience includes roles in engineering, quality, and operations management. Since 1986, his consulting practice has focused on developing skills for organizational excellence. Clients include United Airlines, Cox Communications, Cuyahoga Community College, Ohio Saving Bank, St. Ives- USA, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, Pierre’s Ice Cream, Kent State University, and the Cleveland Indians.

Catrina Palmer

Organizational Behavior Research

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

Catrina Palmer is the Organizational Behavior Research Associate at Improve Consulting and Training Group. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Organizational Behavior at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. Her research interests includes diversity, team dynamics and gender identities. Catrina completed both her Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Human Resources Management at Kent State University. Her professional experiences include serving as a Global Human Resource Analyst at Lincoln Electric in Cleveland, Ohio; and Academic Advisor Coordinator at Kent State University, College of Business. A culmination of Catrina’s experiences, including Improve Consulting and Training Group, has led her to develop an interest in team dynamics and behavior.