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About Us

Client quotes

'Honest, Professional'

"Kristy is one of the most honest, professional and competent executives I have worked with in over 40 years in the business environment. I interacted regularly with Kristy over a 20+ year time frame to work through and resolve a wide variety of business issues that were often critical to my business. Having the confidence that the person I was dealing with and the organization she represented, would be up front on all of the issues being discussed made it a pleasure to deal with Kristy. I highly recommend Kristy's services to any organization in need of a knowledgeable and competent business strategy partner."

Don McNatty,
Executive Vice President

'Accelerated My Professional Development'

"Working with Kristy as a coach has accelerated my professional development by leaps and bounds. Using spot-on observations and an innate ability to problem solve, Kristy clearly illustrates how individuals can harness their talent to lead and develop better teams. Having Kristy as a resource has been invaluable and I look forward to continued growth with her support."

Courtney Johnson,
Director of Organizational Development

About Our Team

Our team members are the highest caliber consultants and executive coaches, with extensive experience focused on helping you with your project and meeting your unique needs and goals. If desired, we assist you in defining your objectives to ensure a positive, productive and profitable outcome.



      Shawn Kent Hayashi               Kristy Tan Neckowicz                      Ashley Russo



    MELANIE SANCHEZ-JONES                 Dr. ANDREW WARD                          JIM CIMINELLI



         Hasanna birdsong                EMILY HAMMEL-SHAVER                     MORGAN REES


About Our Expertise 

Shawn Kent Hayashi 

High Performing Teams Consultant, Executive Coach and Author

A high performing team consultant and coach, Shawn Kent Hayashi is the best-selling author of Conversations That Get Results and Inspire Collaboration, Conversations for Creating Star Performers, and Conversations for Change™. She is also a CEO, consultant, executive coach, and founder of The Professional Development Group LLC. Shawn serves as the Executive in Residence for the Lehigh University MBA program. A global expert in developing collaboration, star performers, and high-performing teams, Shawn facilitates growth in leadership ability, emotional intelligence, communication skills, stronger relationships and teams, and effective presentations. She guides leaders to achieve positive, lasting changes in behavior—for themselves, their people and their teams. Read more about Shawn Kent Hayashi →


Kristy Tan Neckowicz, PMP

Sr. Consultant and Coach, Project Management and IT Leadership

Kristy is a Certified Professional Stages of Growth" Strategist.  With this certification, she is qualified to perform an X-Ray to determine a company's current stage of growth; critically assess a company's past, present and future to get CEOs focused on the right things at the right time; and identify the hidden agents - defined as 27 Challenges - that are impacting the company's ability to grow, and develop a plan to solve those issues. More →


Ashley Russo

Sr. Consultant, Coach & Master of Ceremonies

Ashley Russo is a two-time Emmy® award-winning executive producer, founder and president of a media productions company, and television show host. With Ashley’s extensive track record of success, she knows how to coach leaders to deliver powerful presentations, become more inspiring speakers, and handle media inquiries and impromptu speaking remarks with confidence and ease.  Ashley is also an expert master of ceremonies.  She will bring to your stage years of on-camera experience from NBC, The Weather Channel, Bloomberg, and WFMZ.  For more than a decade, Ashley has served as event host for groups like St. Luke’s University Health Network, United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley, Lehigh University, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and many more.  As the host, emcee or master of ceremonies for your next event, conference, or corporate meeting, Ashley will help you create a unique and engaging event focused around your group’s central message – and manage it all from the stage.  More →


Melanie Sanchez-Jones, CPBA, CPVA

High Performing Teams Consultant and Coach

Helping teams and leaders all over the globe achieve better results is at the heart of Melanie Sanchez Jones’ expertise.  With international experience in both Europe and Asia, as well as experience in a variety of management and cross functional positions, Melanie knows how to create the kind of positive change that transforms workplace culture. Over the last five years, she has facilitated leadership transitions, change management and work process improvement. As a high performing teams consultant, Melanie worked with existing teams to refocus priorities based on values and business strategy, to analyze relevant business information and create action plans, and to coach team leaders on communication and leadership development. Because of her experience in a variety of functional disciplines, she understands the challenges of interdepartmental tension and excels at breaking through organizational silos. More →


Andrew Ward, Ph.D.

Senior Consultant & Coach

Dr. Andrew Ward focuses on preparing organizations and individuals to grow as they plan for, cope with, and lead in a disrupted future. He brings deep expertise in the areas of strategy, governance, and organizations, as well as in developing resilience and reputation. Andrew works with CEOs, leaders, and organizations to understand how future societal megatrends will converge to profoundly disrupt businesses – and how your business can develop resilience to grow and thrive amidst this disruption. Andrew also works with individuals and high performing teams on improving the decision-making process, resulting in improved quality and implementation of decisions. Author of The Leadership Lifecycle: Matching Leaders to Evolving Organizations, co-author of Firing Back: How Great Leaders Rebound After Career Disasters, and author of numerous articles in leading academic journals, Andrew is also the Associate Dean for the College of Business & Economics at Lehigh University and the Charlot & Dennis E. Singleton ’66 Endowed Chair in Corporate Governance. More


Jim Ciminelli

Corporate Finance Consultant 

Jim Ciminelli guides our clients toward growth and profitability as a Corporate Finance Consultant.  He creates a “dashboard” for business owners to understand their numbers, what makes them profitable, and how to know that they're on the right track moving toward meaningful growth and increasing profits.  With a 25-year career in the financial industry – including “big four” accounting firm Ernst & Young, VP for Deutsche Bank’s structured finance group, and VP/CFO for a national manufacturer with $30M in revenues – Jim has first-hand experience working on issues that span the corporate finance spectrum.  He possesses deep expertise in corporate financial management and mergers and acquisitions, and he understands the importance of focused discussions with owners, senior managers, boards of directors, counter parties, legal counsel, outside advisors, lenders, and investors.  As a strategic and tactical CFO advisor to our clients, Jim is passionate about helping organizations understand their value drivers and creating pragmatic approaches with focused initiates to maximize and protect those drivers. Contact Jim at 888-959-1188, ext. 86 or


Hasanna Birdsong

Director of Business Development

Hasanna brings her passion for collaboration and creating positive outcomes to our team - and our clients.  Are you looking for a speaker who will inspire your organization or association members?  A workshop that will unite, enlighten, and motivate your team?  An expert master of ceremonies to engage your audience?  Whatever your vision, goals, or challenge, Hasanna will be your partner in creating the perfect solution for your conference, corporate event, leadership or team retreat.  To learn more about The Professional Development Group, our services, and consultants, we invite you to contact Hasanna directly at 888-959-1188, ext. 81 or


Emily Hammel-Shaver

Director of Marketing & Client Experience

In addition to guiding our marketing efforts, Emily ensures that our prospective and current clients love working with The Professional Development Group.  She facilitates introductions to our consultants, serves as a resource and point person for your questions, and coordinates the administrative details of your engagement — so that you and our consultants can focus on creating positive outcomes for yourself and your team.  To learn more about The Professional Development Group, our services, and consultants, we invite you to contact Emily directly at 888-959-1188, ext. 83 or


Morgan Rees

Marketing Intern 

Morgan is a student at the University of Pennsylvania.  She contributes to our team on an ongoing basis, focused on marketing, photography, process and service improvements, and strategy for the growth of our organization.  To learn more about The Professional Development Group, our services, and consultants, we invite you to contact Morgan directly at
888-959-1188, ext. 80 or

Our experienced consultants and coaches guide organizations to build high performing teams and inspiring leaders. To learn more, we invite you to contact us at 888-959-1188 or

Client quotes

'Strategic, Keen Forsight'

"Kristy is dynamic, strategic and has an incredible ability to read any business situation. Growth cycles are her niche as she can adeptly adjust to changing environs and demands. Kristy's keen foresight and vision allow her to see beyond a given scenario to the core elements of a business challenge. She is a gifted speaker and effective motivator who has successfully managed large teams with grace. I would welcome the opportunity to work with her again in any setting."

—Kimberly Rhodes, VP, General Counsel & Secretary at Quintiq

'I now love the work I am doing!'

“Your coaching gave me the ability to see my own strengths and blind spots, to communicate more clearly with all my team members, and to step up and lead more directly. For the first time in many years, I now love the work I am doing.”

—Director of Operations

'Feeling really empowered!'

"Shawn is an excellent coach! She had me complete a Communication Styles and Workplace Motivators survey. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical but when Shawn explained the results to me I was shocked by how accurately I felt like they reflected me. I have followed Shawn’s advice and I am feeling really empowered and optimistic about how everything is going. I am really grateful for her expert advice.”

—Industry Analyst

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