Ralph Roberto, President, established Essex Partners in 1999 to provide superior career consulting and state-of-the-art technology exclusively for senior executives. Currently, Ralph serves as President of Keystone Partners, parent company to Essex, where he oversees the strategic direction and daily operations of the company and its divisions. Ralph also personally consults with senior executive clients and has partnered with hundreds of leaders from many of the world’s most prestigious organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, industry-leading corporations, and emerging growth organizations.
Ralph is a seasoned executive with over twenty years of experience in key corporate and operational assignments. He is recognized as a leading authority on executive career issues, and has been featured in many respected business publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, and Human Resource Executive. Prior to joining the firm, Ralph held senior management positions at Polaroid Corporation, where he established a unique blend of experience in human resources, sales, and marketing.
Ralph received his Masters in Business Administration from the Boston University School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Boston College. He has completed professional development programs including the Consumer Marketing Program at the Kellogg School and the Advanced Leadership Program at the Center For Creative Leadership.
He is the former Chairman of the Nominating Committee of the Board of Directors at Direct Federal Credit Union where he was also a board member. Ralph also served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees at the former Deaconess-Waltham Hospital.
Howard Seidel, Ed.D., J.D., Partner, has over 20 years experience as a career and executive coach, guiding hundreds of senior executives in all aspects of career development and change. Howard provides clients with an in-depth knowledge into the strategic and tactical elements of the transition process, along with a special expertise in advising senior executives exploring career change. Before joining Essex, Howard was Vice President of Keystone Associates, where he consulted on career transitions with senior executives from leading organizations spanning a variety of industries, including financial services, biotechnology and life sciences, health care, and higher education.
Prior, Howard served in several consulting roles at Electronic Data Systems (EDS) where he helped build the company's first external practice in Change Management, and provided executive coaching. He also led the company's development of a proprietary performance consulting methodology, spearheading the introduction of the system to the market. Additionally, Howard worked at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) where he managed the development and delivery of a worldwide training architecture for a new business initiative.
Howard has achieved widespread recognition for his insight on career matters, being interviewed by such national media outlets as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes.com. Howard holds a Doctorate in Education from Harvard University and a law degree from The George Washington University where he also received his Bachelor of Arts.
Jennifer Buras, C.P.A., M.B.A., Partner, is a skilled Executive Career Consultant with over 30 years experience. In her role as Partner, Jennifer seeks to collaborate with clients to create a customized strategy and plan, intended to achieve both professional and personal goals, including full-time positions, corporate boards, consulting roles, business ventures, non-profit leadership and other alternatives. As a former retained executive search professional Jennifer has extensive market knowledge and experience in the field of executive assessment and talent management, having advised corporate clients seeking senior executives.
Prior to joining Essex Partners, Jennifer worked for Egon Zehnder, a “top 5" global executive search firm, where she was a founding member of the Boston office. In her role as Principal, Jennifer consulted to clients in the financial services industry, assessed leadership teams, and advised corporate clients seeking senior executives. Previously, Jennifer spent 10 years in the banking industry with First Chicago and BankBoston. As a Director/Relationship Manager in the Media and Communications Group of BankBoston, she cultivated relationships with executive management teams, providing debt, treasury and investment banking products and services. She began her career at Price Waterhouse, as a senior consultant and CPA in the firm’s small business practice group.
Jennifer is currently the Treasurer of the YMCA of the North Shore Board of Directors and is the incoming Board President, effective 2017; she has served on the board’s Executive Committee since 2010. She also served as the President of the Lynch van Otterloo YMCA Board of Directors from 2009-2011, chaired the YMCA’s Board Governance Committee.
Jennifer holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BBA in Accounting from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. She was awarded a “Certificate of Completion for the External Coach Intensive,” as part of the Columbia Coaching Certification Program.
Colin Moor, Partner has more than 20 years’ experience as a career management consultant providing considerable expertise advising clients on career transition, career management, and executive coaching. Colin has worked with organizations and professionals within financial services, high technology, media, retail, legal, healthcare, biotechnology, academia, and other non-profit sectors.
Before joining Essex, Colin was a Senior Vice President with Keystone Associates where he advised senior level executives in the planning and execution of successful career transitions, entrepreneurial ventures, and portfolio models that successfully balanced an array of work/life priorities.
Prior to his years as a career management consultant, Colin worked in leadership capacities in the broadcasting, publishing, business consulting, and training industries. He was a Vice President at VIS Development, a nationally recognized entrepreneurial communication venture, a Director at Mirror Systems, an R& D media consulting start-up and the Coordinating Producer for the award winning public television series, NOVA, at WGBH.
Widely quoted and interviewed at such media outlets as the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, CFO.com, WBZ News radio, and the Boston Business Journal, Colin has been a contributor to many career focused blogs.
Colin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in communications from Syracuse University. He was Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Resource Partnership, a non-profit group that provided employment services to individuals with disabilities.
Mark C.D. Newall, Partner at Essex Partners has more than 25 years of career management, professional development and human resources experience working with law firms, professional services firms and high tech organizations. At Essex Partners, Mark works with executives across industries, including law, financial services, health care,private equity, life sciences and biotechnology. Mark provides clients with his in-depth knowledge into the strategic and tactical elements of the transition process along with his expertise in helping clients to plan and execute on all aspects of career development and change.
Prior to joining Essex, Mark was Senior Vice President of Keystone Associates, where he worked with the firm’s most senior executives. Before that, Mark was the Director of Human Resources at an international law firm and earlier in his career, Mark designed and delivered training programs for a global high tech company.
Mark is an executive, career management thought-leader and has been featured in many respected publications such as, The Boston Globe, Fortune Magazine, CNN.COM and Law360. He frequently presents to professional associations, executive networking forums and law schools on all aspects of career development.
Mark holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Education from Salem State University and is certified as a Master Career Transition Consultant by Career Partners International. Mark volunteers with the Boston Career Collaborative, a non profit organization helping people become economically self sufficient, and the New England Center for Homeless Veterans.
Sarah Friedell O'Connell, Partner, brings over 23 years of business experience, as well as career management expertise, to her work with senior leaders. As a former communications executive and spokeswoman for Fidelity Investments and Harvard University, Sarah has a keen talent for helping clients develop their personal branding and messaging to effectively position themselves in the marketplace. As an experienced career consultant, Sarah’s guidance has also enabled executives to achieve greater success and satisfaction both in and beyond the workplace.
Sarah’s clientele has included major corporations such as Ford Motor Company, Rockwell International, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and BF Goodrich. As an executive with the American Plastics Council in Washington, DC, her member companies included ExxonMobil, Occidental Oil, Dow Chemical, and DuPont. This extensive experience with multi-national corporations and complex institutions, blended with her communications expertise, gives Sarah a unique perspective in advising clients on career advancement within a wide range of organizational environments.
Prior to joining Essex Partners, Sarah was a consultant with Keystone Associates where she advised senior executives in transition from the financial services, life sciences, higher education, high tech, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors.
Sarah is a previously licensed investment advisor and registered representative, and a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA where she received a B.A. in English and Sociology. She is also a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute and the College of Executive Coaching, and is a certified Motivation Factor® practitioner.
Elaine Varelas, is Managing Partner of Keystone Partners where she brings over 20 years experience in career consulting and coaching development, and has worked with numerous executive management teams to improve organizational effectiveness. She has expertise in successfully resolving complex career management issues, including workforce planning, redeployment and multi-site restructurings. Elaine's experience spans a broad range of industries and businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, start-up ventures and not-for-profit organizations. Elaine also serves as Chairman of Career Partners International, LLC, a network of independently owned career management firms which Keystone co-founded in 1987.
Prior to joining Keystone, Elaine served as Director of Career Services at Stonehill College where she was a member of the faculty. She was formerly Assistant Director of Career Planning and Placement at the Boston University School of Management.
Elaine frequently addresses professional associations and has spoken to the Massachusetts Hospital Association, Society of Women Engineers, Hospital Financial Management Association and Simmons Graduate School of Management. Elaine has achieved widespread recognition for her expertise and insight on career matters. Elaine is a weekly contributor to the Boston Globe's Job Doc column.
A graduate of the Management Development Program at Boston University, Elaine holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Vermont and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. She is an active member of many professional associations, including The Boston Club.
Louisa Mattson, Ph.D., Partner, is an Essex career consultant and a business psychologist specializing in the field of career management. Louisa consults with Essex executive clients providing in-depth assessment and career management strategies. Additionally, Louisa has developed a unique talent for working with sitting executives to improve on-the-job business performance through coaching and assessment. Louisa also does specialized work with senior women executives, helping them reach new executive levels, define alternative career paths, and improve work/life balance. Her background in education and healthcare includes working at Wesleyan University and The Marino Center for Progressive Health as well as over 20 years in a private consulting practice. Louisa is experienced in a variety of executive assessment inventories useful in career planning and personal development, and has in-depth experience in stress management and performance enhancement techniques. She has advanced training in leading-edge mind/body techniques for addressing "whole person" issues.
Louisa holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan. She also has completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Organizational Development and Human Resource Consulting. She is a licensed One-on-One HeartMath® provider and a member of the American Psychological Association and The National Register of Health Service Providers.
Dr. David Brendel, M.D., PH.D. is a core member of Essex Partners’ career assessment team, helping executive clients identify core strengths and priorities to focus their energies on rewarding career paths.
Coupling a background as a psychiatrist with extensive executive coaching expertise, David has coached leaders across a variety industries including financial services, private equity, law, technology, life sciences, healthcare, manufacturing and non-profits. His experience also encompasses organizations ranging from small family businesses, to medium and large corporations. In addition to helping leaders manage stress and expand leadership capacity, David's expertise in “positive psychology” helps clients achieve greater satisfaction in their work and personal lives.
A thought leader in the field, David has published extensively in his areas of expertise and writes a blog for the Harvard Business Review on his approach to executive coaching. His book, Healing Psychiatry, was published by MIT Press. David also hosted a radio show on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment channel entitled “Leading Minds with Dr. David Brendel,” exploring how innovative approaches in psychology, neuroscience, and coaching are helping individuals and businesses succeed in the twenty-first century.
David holds an M.D. in psychiatry from Harvard Medical School, a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University.
Nancy Cullen, Psy.D, is an organizational and sport psychology consultant specializing in the areas of assessment, executive and leadership coaching and performance enhancement. Her work spans from Fortune 500 companies to national profile professional sports teams.
Nancy brings over 15 years of assessment experience to Essex Partners and she is highly regarded for creating reliable assessment strategies that predict performance. She has extensive experience in the airline, healthcare and sports industries and has had long standing relationships with her clients.
During her career at Delta Air Lines, some of her work included developing assessment strategies for pilot selection and creating a leadership assessment tool for In-flight leaders. For ten years, she has provided selection assessment consulting services to UCare, a Minnesota healthcare company that has doubled its workforce over the past five years been honored as the “Top Workplace” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune for five consecutive years. Nancy has taken her assessment expertise and applied it to her sport psychology work, successfully building selection strategies and completing assessments for selection for NBA draft candidates and coaches.
In addition, Nancy has extensive experience coaching executives, leaders, athletic coaches and elite athletes, helping them to enhance their potential and achieve higher levels of performance by improving such areas as self-confidence, positive thinking, focus, resiliency and team acuity. For over a decade, she worked for the University of Minnesota’s Intercollegiate Athletic Department helping over 500 athletes improve their performance and providing consultation to athletic coaches and other athletic leaders. She worked for the Minnesota Timberwolves, completing selection assessments for draft candidates, helping players to enhance performance and providing consultation and advise to coaches.
Nancy is a certified sport psychology consultant by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the American Psychological Association.
Nancy earned her doctorate degree in counseling psychology from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota.