ROBIN KLEIN | EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT
Robin recently retired after spending her professional career in two organizations at the senior level in consulting, business development, and always as a chief people officer. In 1999, she joined Root as a member of Root’s leadership team, using her talents and passion to connect people and business outcomes. She loves problem solving and new challenges and had the opportunity to work externally with amazing clients who continue to be curious, thoughtful, hard driving, and committed to making their organizations stronger and more effective. Her consulting specialties include organizational transformation, culture, talent development, connecting strategy with individual change, and experience design.
Under Robin’s leadership, Root Inc. was recognized by the Great Place to Work Institute as one of the top 25 small to medium companies to work for in America. Root’s culture also was recognized by the Wall Street Journal and Winning Workplaces as one of the top small workplaces in the U.S., and it received a Bronze Stevie Award from the American Business Awards in 2012. Robin also led the development of a training product recognized by HR Executive magazine as one of the top 10 training products of the year in 2002.
Before joining Root, Robin spent 15 years in financial services and served as senior vice president for Sky Financial Group. She holds a BBA and an MBA from the University of Toledo and is an alumna of the University of Wisconsin’s Graduate School of Banking. In 2004, she won the Human Resource Management Award for Excellence in Northwest Ohio, and in 2018 she was named the Outstanding Alumni of the Department of Management at the University of Toledo. Robin also served as Board President for a Charter School and was a board member for many years on a regional health quality coalition. She is certified in both the Herman Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) and Lominger Development Tools.
Robin lives in Charleston, SC. She and her husband Dan have four wonderful daughters in their teens and twenties. She loves shopping, theatre, cooking and gardening. She stays in contact with her clients and will always love problem solving and making a difference where her expertise matters.
RICK HALLER | EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT
Rick was President and COO of Walbridge for almost 25 years. He was part of a leadership team of four civil engineers who came to Walbridge in their 20’s to grow the company from a small regional general contractor in southeast Michigan to a 43X larger multinational and multifaceted company. He developed service offerings, competencies, and processes to serve diverse manufacturing, technology, and institutional customers in North and South America, Middle East, and occasionally Asia and Europe.
As Rick matured in business he began to recognize the critical and lasting impact that a positive culture has on measurable business success, including improved operating results, exponential improvements in safety, creativity, and loyalty, and an ingrained ability to adapt and change to remain relevant and successful. He knew and guided building cultures that valued people, and in doing so his company was able to thrive.
Rick spends much of his time with family.
RON MAY | EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT
RICH SMALLING | EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT
MELANIE WEAVER BARNETT | EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT
HANNAH ARONOW | COMMUNICATIONS INTERN
Hannah is a senior at the University of Michigan, majoring in Organizational Studies and double minoring in Entrepreneurship and Community Action & Social Change. She enjoys taking courses which explore the intersection between positive leadership, innovation, and social impact. Hannah is intrigued by how businesses can leverage their power in ways that promote social good. She aspires to serve in a role where she can utilize positive leadership practices to help organizations develop their culture and create purposeful marketing strategies and materials which encapsulate their core values and mission.
Hannah joined the Riverbank team as our Culture and Communications Intern. She is lending her marketing and design skills to our overall Riverbank marketing strategy, and to the internal Culture Current newsletter.
Hannah is a lifelong Wolverine, having grown up in Ann Arbor just a few miles from the Big House. In 2015, during her sophomore year in high school, her family relocated to Rhode Island where she now spends her time away from school. In her free time Hannah loves spending time outdoors, especially running and hiking. She has spent several summers as a counselor leading backpacking and canoeing trips in Pennsylvania and Michigan. She also enjoys playing guitar and ukulele.
SARAH KURTZ MCKINNON | CONSULTANT
Personally, Sarah has never met a racquet sport that she didn’t like.
LISA SIMON | ADMINISTRATOR
CHRIS WHITE | PRINCIPAL
KATY WHITE | PROGRAM MANAGER
Katy’s mission is to create spaces that allow people to activate their best-self through deep connection and reflection. Throughout her professional career in Higher Education, this mission has been embodied through student coaching and program management. She has served as a coach to both undergraduate and graduate students studying in fields such as psychology, business, architecture, and computer science, helping them discover and engage their strengths and values. Program management for Katy has taken many forms, including guiding student ambassador programs, organizing events on campus, and engaging teams in professional, personal, and team development. No matter the project, Katy grounds her work in purpose, growth, and efficiency.
Katy believes that genuine care and trust are essential parts of what unlocks an organization’s or team’s potential. Positive strategic culture transformation teaches and embeds organizational norms that foster these values.
Katy’s family and friends are the heartbeat of her world. She especially loves taking family walks with her husband (Chris), kids (Crosby and Kaylie), and dog (Ringo) and hosting game nights (favorite games include Mysterium, Splendor, and Salad Bowl) with friends and extended family. Other favorite hobbies include producing puns and rewriting lyrics of popular songs for special occasions.
MARLENE WILDEN | ENGAGEMENT MANAGER
Marlene joins Riverbank Consulting Group as Managing Director of MMW Consultancy, a boutique, research & communications firm with international experience and broad, cross-industry perspective. Marlene works with senior leaders to develop performance planning in organizations ranging from start-up ventures to large, Fortune 500 and Big 4 professional services enterprises. It is Marlene’s deep understanding of statistical modeling, program evaluation fundamentals and project management standards that have given her a keen sense on how to increase competitive advantage and be a catalyst for change.
Previously, Marlene was embedded in the CEO’s office at Thomson Reuters where she helped sharpen execution of targeted relations strategies which included the company’s sale of the Finance & Risk business to private equity. Before that, Marlene was a Strategy Consultant at Daymon Worldwide where she led a multi-year engagement and worked with the C-Suite on all sales enablement and post-merger integration activities.
Marlene’s proficiency on the business-to-consumer side spans to the media & entertainment industry. She was a senior member of the group leading product operations for Nielsen’s sports division. She maintained a diverse client portfolio in addition to managing an analytics team.
Marlene holds an advanced degree in data & accountability for systems planning. While earning an Ed.M in Educational Statistics, Measurement and Evaluation, she supported the faculty of Rutgers GSE with works that examine the politics of education. Prior to that, Marlene served as a state certified secondary educator in both urban and rural Title I districts. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Temple University.