Senior Executive, BlessingWhite Division and Vice President, GP Strategies
Chris joined BlessingWhite in 1999 as the CEO. Founded in 1973, BlessingWhite became employee-owned in 2001 after Chris led a buy-out to purchase the firm from Wolters Kluwer N.V., the Dutch publishing company. In October 2012, he oversaw the sale of BlessingWhite when it became a division of GP Strategies.
Recognized as a "Top 100" thought leader by Leadership Excellence Magazine, Chris's expertise is regularly featured in business and human capital media. He is the co-author of The Engagement Equation: Leadership Strategies for an Inspired Workforce, published in October 2012 by John Wiley.
Chris works with senior-level clients, providing executive coaching and consulting on achieving business strategies from effective leadership, culture, and employee engagement.
Before joining BlessingWhite, Chris held senior executive positions at Drake Beam Morin, The Gallup Organization, and AchieveGlobal. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.
Business Development Director, BlessingWhite Europe
Kate is the European Managing Director and Business Development Director working with clients across Europe.
Kate’s responsibilities are centered on developing client relationships, working with senior teams and the wider employee populations to implement and sustain high performance organisations and cultures. This includes organisational values, leadership, team development and employee engagement initiatives.
Prior to joining BlessingWhite Kate built a successful career in Management Consultancy, specialising in the Private Equity, Chemical, Oil and Gas industry, her clients included BP, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Carlyle Group and TPG. Before this Kate worked for The HR Forum at Richmond Events in a sales and client relationship role. In her spare time Kate enjoys competing in equestrian show jumping and 3-day eventing, squash, running and walking..
Managing Director, Consulting Services
Cate manages the consulting group and oversees product development at BlessingWhite. She is passionate about partnering with organizations to reinvent leadership and the meaning of work, and does so through consulting and original design. She is a co-designer/developer of core BlessingWhite solutions such as Why Should Anyone Be Led by You? , Helping Others Succeed and Influencing Across the Matrix.
Cate has developed and implemented highly customized solutions and wide-scale initiatives for clients in a variety of industries. She also evaluates organizational cultures through qualitative (focus groups, interviews) and quantitative (surveys) assessment, analyzing data, and preparing and presenting recommendations to senior leaders. Her passion is helping companies create environments for people to do their best work every day.
Prior to joining BlessingWhite, Cate started-up and ran a company which provided professional editorial and marketing communications services. Cate began her career as an environmental engineer and has held leadership positions at Johnson Matthey and Groundwater Technology (a division of Fluor Daniel).
Cate earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University.
Head of Marketing, Research & Asia-Pacific
Fraser heads BlessingWhite's worldwide marketing capabilities and research function. He also oversees activities in Asia Pacific.
Fraser is the author of many of BlessingWhite's research reports and articles on employee engagement and effective leadership. He is the co-author of 'The Engagement Equation' (Wiley 2012).
Fraser grew up in France and holds a business degree from the University of Bradford School of Management in the UK. Prior to joining BlessingWhite, Fraser was Head of eCommerce at GE Healthcare's Life Sciences division.
Managing Director, Northeast & Midwest regions
Paula manages our team in the Northeast working with clients from New York to Boston including Western New York. Her experiences with our clients include major implementations for Pfizer, Coach, Citigroup, and Avon, to name a few. Paula was with BlessingWhite from 2001-2006 and has recently returned.
Before re-joining BlessingWhite, Paula was the Vice President of Sales for TransitCenter (TransitChek) in New York. Past positions included General Manager for Kaplan Test Prep in New Jersey, Eastern Region Vice President for AchieveGlobal, and Vice President of Sales for Porter Henry and Company.
Paula holds a BA from Albright College and graduate work in Public Administration at The George Washington University.
Managing Director, Western Region
Alysa oversees BlessingWhite's Western US operation. She works with organizations to develop inspiring leaders, engage employees at all levels, and create high performing cultures. Her clients span an array of industries from technology to entertainment, manufacturing to pharmaceutical/biotech, consumer product goods to utilities and oil. In addition to partnering closely with clients, Alysa facilitates programs and speaks regularly at industry conferences.
Previously, she was Chief of Staff and Director of the MBA Career Management Center at The Anderson School at UCLA. She has also been on the faculty of UCLA/Anderson School’s “Women’s Leadership Institute” – an Executive Education program. She held similar positions at the Wharton School/U of Penn.
Alysa spent four years in marketing at The Procter & Gamble Company. Earlier in her career, she worked for the United Nations in Vienna, Austria. She has launched and directed a Presidential Commission on Eastern Europe as well as founded and managed a private consulting and career counseling practice.
Alysa has a B.A., magna cum laude, from Brandeis University and a M.A. in International Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Harvard/Tufts Universities.
Director, Employee Engagement Practice
Matt Varava is the Employee Engagement practice leader at BlessingWhite. He has over 25 years of combined CFO, strategic and operational planning, performance metrics development, financial reporting and global consulting experience. Matt and his team work globally with HR and business leaders to develop, implement and sustain employee engagement strategies to drive financial performance. The team consults on the deployment and efficacy of engagement diagnostics as part of an integrated approach to building a culture of engagement. Matt often consults with leaders interested in understanding the relationships and challenges between human capital metrics and economic value creation. At BlessingWhite, he led a cross functional, global team in developing the firms comprehensive employee engagement capabilities ranging from leadership development and communications, engagement audits and assessments to “moving the needle” initiatives.
His passion for Employee Engagement goes back to his years of consulting at Coopers and Lybrand and PricewaterhouseCoopers. As a senior consultant in the Finance Cost Management practice, Matt worked extensively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Harris Communications, Air Products, HJ Heinz and Ethyl Corporation. Throughout his career, Matt has led enterprise wide strategic planning efforts at Fortune 500 clients using the Balanced Scorecard methodology and in particular the development of employee engagement and other intangible asset strategies to impact financial performance.
He holds undergraduate degrees in Economics and Accounting from the University of Pennsylvania and Rowan University and received his MBA in Finance from Philadelphia University.
Since 1999, Matt was responsible for the firms Accounting, Finance, Human Resource and IT functions. In 2001, Matt led the employee buyout of BlessingWhite and has served on the Board of Directors through Sept 2012 when the GP Strategies partnership became finalized.