Full Team Bios
Stacey A. Gordon, MBA — Chief Executive Officer
Stacey A. Gordon is CEO of Rework Work which provides a 360-degree view to reimagining work. As a diversity consultant with recruiting expertise, she is at the helm of an organization focused on reworking how companies work. That includes how they recruit, hire and engage women and professionals of color. Frustrated with hearing that companies don’t have the resources or are unable to identify skilled diverse professionals, Stacey combined her diversity & inclusion knowledge with her recruiting expertise to create education workshops, leadership development and provide other resources to help companies with their ‘pipeline’ problem.
Aware that top talent sometimes has a problem self-identifying, Stacey is a highly-rated career coach and is a member of Forbes Coaching Council. She is also an Advisory Board Member and mentor to UCLA Extension Coding Bootcamp and has established Rework Work as a corporate training partner for conferences across the country. She was recognized by Pepperdine University as a Top 40 Over 40 Leader, was a finalist for Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women Helping Women Award and was recognized by Forbes as a Top 3 Business Leader Who Spoke Out About Diversity & Inclusion in 2017.
With an MBA from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business & Management, Stacey is an Adjunct Professor teaching Diversity in Organizations at Phillips Graduate University, the former President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources and manages programs for Professionals In Human Resources Association, the largest SHRM affiliate in the country. She is the author of a book titled The Successful Interview: 99 Questions to Ask and Answer (and Some You Shouldn't) and four LinkedIn e-learning courses titled Recruiting for Diversity, Awareness of Unconscious Bias, Making a Career Change and Writing a Resume, which collectively are well on their way to one million views. As a consultant and career strategist, Stacey has written career and diversity related articles and provided content for Essence, Black MBA Magazine, Forbes.com, Monster.com and several career related blogs. She was also a career segment guest contributor to Fox Business.
Farzana Nayani, MA — Chief Strategist
Farzana Nayani is a nationally recognized leader in diversity & inclusion and intercultural consulting with over fifteen years of experience supporting Fortune 500 companies, startups, higher education institutions, and public-sector organizations. She is a frequently requested speaker and subject matter expert on cultural awareness, employee engagement, and intergroup relations in the North American and global workplace.
A former advisor for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Farzana has been invited to the White House on several occasions to represent the voice of diverse entrepreneurs at discussions on national business initiatives and government policy. She is also a seasoned trainer on strategic leadership, inclusion, collaboration, and effective communication. Her specialties also include engaging diverse audiences in both the workforce and the marketplace, while assisting organizations in achieving their organizational objectives. Farzana’s global background in Canada, the U.S., South and Southeast Asia affords her a keen perspective on working with stakeholders from populations from around the world.
Farzana has served as National Director of ERG Relations for the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) and Board Director for the Society of Intercultural Education, Training, and Research (SIETAR) USA. Her most notable publications include a contribution to the Sage Handbook of International Management entitled “Cross-Cultural Training”, an online history curriculum for the Smithsonian, and Being All of Me: A Handbook for Teachers and Parents of Multiracial, Multiethnic, and Transracially Adopted Children. Farzana’s expertise has been featured in media outlets such as Forbes, DiversityInc, NPR, and the LA Times. She holds a Master’s Degree in Communication and Management from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa and the esteemed East-West Center. Farzana is a qualified administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory®, and has served as adjunct faculty with the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Intercultural Communication for over ten years. She is based in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and two young sons.
Anisa Rashad, MBA — Executive and Leadership Coaching
Anisa Rashad is a voice for executive women, championing you in achieving personal and professional success without compromising your quality of life. As an executive coach, leadership strategist, professional speaker, prolific writer, executive mom and spouse, Anisa believes in living well everyday!
She is the founder and CEO of Anisa Rashad, LLC, an Organizational Effectiveness Manager at Northrop Grumman, and board member for the California Women’s Conference, and Adjunct Professor for University of California San Diego, Rady School of Management. As a Certified Executive Coach, and a strategic thought leader who yields exceptional business results and has worked with hundreds of executives in Fortune 500 companies and government agencies for over 23 years. Her key focus areas are driving change, developing diverse talent, particularly among women and leading strategic initiatives to accelerate business growth and performance. She holds multiple degrees and certifications from distinguished institutions including an MBA from The Johns Hopkins University and a Graduate Certificate in Organization Development from Georgetown University. Anisa’s most important values include faith, family, fitness, quiet time, and work that serve others.
Through her vast experience and dynamic thought leadership, she has helped clients find solutions to reach the next level of professional and personal success.
Lisa Gates, BFA — Negotiation Strategies and Pay Equity
With a career that spans profit and nonprofit business, from marketing and public relations to freelance writing to acting in theatre, Lisa Gates has learned a thing or two about pitching, selling, negotiating, and storytelling. As a certified coactive coach (CTI) with training in mediation, Crucial Conversations, and StrengthFinders, she helps smart, ambitious women become daily askers and confident actors in work and life by honing in on interview prep, strategy, script writing, and roleplaying.
Lisa also designs leadership, negotiation, and workplace coaching trainings that help women navigate organizational complexities, the frustrations of bias, and rise to the level of their aspirations.
Lisa has authored several video tutorials available online at lynda.com and LinkedIn, including Asking for a Raise, Negotiation Fundamentals, Resolving Conflict, Coaching and Developing Employees, and Coaching for Results.
Joel A. Brown, PhD — Cultural Intelligence, Leadership Development and Strategy
Dr. Joel A. Brown is a management consultant specializing in cultural intelligence, leadership development, and organizational strategy. As a change agent, Joel works strategically with organizational leaders and professionals to cultivate innovative, creative, and adaptive environments where the cultural genius of everyone can be harnessed and leveraged successfully.
Best known for his critical analysis, creativity, humor, and his ability to build consensus, Joel has partnered with Fortune 500 Companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to help them achieve sustained growth and organizational breakthroughs. Some clients he has worked with include the City and County of San Francisco, Apple, Workday, UserTesting, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Charles Schwab, Inc., LinkedIn, the San Francisco Bar Association, Johnson & Johnson, Kansas City Power & Light, the Bar Association of San Francisco, the Human Rights Campaign Fund, Groundspark, the University of South Florida, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and many other corporations, nonprofits, and institutions of learning.
Joel is also an Executive Coach who works with C-level executives, emerging leaders, visionaries, and “cultural creatives.” Certified by the Coach for Life teaching institution in Orlando, Florida, Joel employs a holistic approach, focusing on the employee as both an indispensable part of the organization, and as an individual seeking greater self-realization.
Joel is a member of several international think tanks, including D2K, the Diversity Collegium, SIETAR, SIETAR Europa, Young SIETAR, and the Global Community Dialogue. He is also an Expert Panelist with the Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks, and a certified facilitator with the Cultural Detective suite of intercultural tools. Joel is a visiting professor at the IESEG school in France, and is a nationally recognized spoken word artist in the United States. Joel has completed his doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Mary’s College of California, which included domestic and international coursework in design thinking, global citizenship, innovation, and peace education.
Kelly Watson, MBA — Women's Leadership Strategies
Kelly Watson is Managing Partner of Orange Grove Consulting and has spent more than 20 years as an accomplished operations and organizational development consultant. Kelly’s clients have included Raytheon, Oracle and Toyota, as well as Skillsoft and Linkage, for whom she has designed women’s leadership curriculum. Kelly has been an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount University and is co-author of the book, The Orange Line: A Woman’s Guide to Integrating Career, Family, and Life.
Prior to consulting, Kelly served as Vice President, Marketing for Telecom New Zealand USA and has held other senior operational roles. Kelly holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada and an MBA from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Victoria Pynchon, JD, LLM — Negotiation Strategies and Pay Equity
Victoria Pynchon brings a quarter century of legal practice followed by a decade of mediation, arbitration and negotiation experiences to every consulting, speaking and training engagement. As a former commercial litigator and trial attorney, Victoria not only knows the art of persuasion but also the fears, hopes and challenges faced by corporate CEOs, small business owners and fellow professionals. After earning her Master’s in conflict resolution from the world-famous Straus Institute at Pepperdine University School of Law, she published two books on the psychology of conflict and practicalities of assisted negotiation - The Grownups’ ABCs of Conflict Resolution and Success as a Mediator for Dummies.
Victoria also brings her passion for fair compensation to her membership on the Pay Equity Task Force convened by the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls to roll out amendments to the California Fair Pay law.
Amer F. Ahmed, Ed.D — Equity and Educational Strategy
Dr. Amer F. Ahmed is an organizational strategist who helps institutions and leaders address diversity and inclusion, equity, race, and intercultural development through consulting, coaching, group facilitation, and keynote speeches. A frequently requested speaker nationwide, Dr. Ahmed’s approach is grounded in social justice and commitment to community. He brings his identity as the son of Indian Muslim immigrants and extensive years as an intercultural and diversity consultant as the sources of a pivotal understanding of the depth of diversity and inclusion work. Throughout his career, Dr. Ahmed has worked with large organizations, higher education institutions, non-profit agencies, schools and community groups to create understanding and change among key constituents and institutional leaders.
His thought leadership and keen sense of the latest trends informs his approaches to helping groups address potential areas of opportunity to grow and develop. Dr. Ahmed incorporates deep theoretical knowledge of the field combined with a variety of methods including storytelling, discourse on current events and connections to art and music in order to move audiences to profound awareness of issues and next steps. He has published key opinion pieces and has been featured in media such as MSNBC, documentary film, and other national press outlets for his commentary and critical perspective on news and significant topics in society.
Dr. Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of AFA Diversity Consulting, LLC, a consulting practice dedicated to enhancing the development of organizations through efforts around leadership, professional development, assessment, and strategic change. In addition to his consulting work, Dr. Ahmed serves as Director of Intercultural Teaching and Faculty Development at University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Faculty at the Summer and Winter Institutes for Intercultural Communication, and is a member of SpeakOut: Institute for Democratic Education.
Jodi Detjen, MA — Women's Leadership Strategies
Jodi is an accomplished organizational consultant and educator with a foundation in operational change management. Her mission is to help realize gender equity in the workplace as soon as possible. In addition to being Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Orange Grove Consulting, Jodi is Clinical Professor of Management and Academic MBA Program Director at Suffolk University, Boston, MA. She has worked in organizational development for over 25 of years transforming the way people work at small and large companies. Jodi designs top-tier women’s leadership training for clients that include Skillsoft and Linkage. She has consulted and run workshops for clients such as Accenture, Microsoft Partners, Dimension Data and Oracle. She is a highly sought after speaker and writer for organizations that include Bright Horizons, Society of Women Engineers, Harvard University, Smith College, Lean In and Brandon Hall Group. She is co-author of the book, The Orange Line: A Woman’s Guide to Integrating Career, Family, and Life.
Jodi earned her B.Sc. in Management Science from Virginia Tech and her MA in International Development Policy from Duke University. She is an active member of a many women’s advocacy organizations among them, the Geena Davis Women in Media and the Boston Club and proudly sits on the board of West.org, an organization that advances women in science and technology.
Sonya Kaleel, MA — Learning and Organizational Change
Sonya Kaleel is a seasoned learning and development leader, change agent and thought partner. With over 25 years of experience, she has supported individuals and organizations in working effectively across diverse styles and fostering inclusive environments. She has led strategic initiatives that include linking talent management to international assignments, redesigning a benchmark training program to offer personalized coaching support for global business professionals and developing a global readiness assessment to evaluate employees for global leadership roles. Her strengths are embracing change, navigating uncertainty and synthesizing a broad range of input to ensure diverse voices are heard. She works best when thinking together with others and co-creating innovative solutions to address organizational challenges. Sonya holds a BS degree in Communications from Bradley University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University. She has lived in five countries on four continents, traveled to over 30 countries and now resides in Austin, Texas, USA with her family.