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Testimonials & Events


Jun 2nd, 2011Comments Off on MemorialCare

Tammie McMann Brailsford
EVP, Chief Operating Officer,
MemorialCare Health System

“We had a performance appraisal form that was less than popular and a performance management process that, while well defined for senior executives and employees, was lacking for Managers through Vice Presidents. We evaluated many firms that might help us to develop our performance management strategy and approach. We chose Brainard Strategy based upon their team’s expertise and experience in building Performance Management initiatives in a variety of industries to include healthcare and Michael’s abilities to specifically create an inclusive and comprehensive process.

We created a steering team to work with Michael’s team to build the processes, deliverables, and measurements that would increase our organizations ability to drive results. This project took a year and covered the initial blue-print all the way through HR policies and training. Brainard Strategy’s team is flexible, technically expertise, and fun to work with. Michael’s ability to present multiple options, as well as his experiences have helped us to build a performance management approach for our managers that is going to be able to grow in sophistication as we grow. We are now looking at linking our performance management system to our variable compensation approach and succession planning strategies. Brainard Strategy has earned our business for both of these engagements.

The team at Brainard Strategy is expert in performance management, they customize and create with us rather than doing things to us, and they are easy to do business with. We will leverage Brainard Strategy to help us grow well into the future.”

CNS Response

Jun 2nd, 2011Comments Off on CNS Response

George Carpenter
CEO, CNS Response

“After more than one year of a great amount of turbulence at the board and executive team levels, we needed a deep and independent assessment of our management effectiveness. This was particularly complex because our founder and former CEO remained a disruptive force to the organization in many ways.

Michael and I met, and at that time I was not exactly sure about the right path forward and how to implement the assessment and change process. All I knew was that we needed an outside and expert view that could enable us to better understand some of our historical dysfunction and then help us to develop a road forward as a company, board, and executive team. However, as soon as I was able, we contracted with Brainard Strategy. Michael demonstrated a confidential and practical approach for to conducting a board and executive assessment process which could be implemented instantly.

Michael’s blend of assessment skills, organizational development knowledge, and senior executive presence helped me to get our management team focused on the key re-building activities. Additionally, Michael put together a report that enabled our board to clearly understand the challenges, root causes, and strategic choices as we moved forward. Lastly, we are implementing his action items and our company is in a vastly better place today than we were prior to engaging with Brainard Strategy. As a small publicly traded firm, Michael applied a highly customized, thorough, and legally defense-able process for us to resolve once and for all some of our major challenges and move forward in a much more unified way.

Brainard Strategy’s flexible options for management assessment enabled us to navigate very choppy waters and we are better for it at the board level, executive team level and organizational level.”

Kia Motors America

Jun 2nd, 2011Comments Off on Kia Motors America

Greg Georgianni
Director, Human Resources
Kia Motors America

“Kia Motors America has just experienced its 14 years of sales growth in the U.S. This was accomplished within the context of declining automotive sales in the U.S. In addition, Kia Motors America is opening a new manufacturing facility in Georgia in 2010 to further support our sales efforts. Seeing the future ahead of us, our leadership team decided to look at developing some Breakthrough Ideas that would allow our company to continue to succeed and achieve our aggressive objectives over the next few years.

Michael Brainard was instrumental in conducting a two day leadership team offsite that allowed us to establish our need for change. Our leadership team looked at our organizational culture, in an open and forthright manner, and assessed our internal and external enablers and barriers to change. Then working with the group, Michael was able to help the team identify actionable items and narrow the breakthrough ideas into specific, concrete, actionable initiatives via the Performance Scorecard© (Objectives, Goals, Tactics and Metrics: OGTM) framework.

The outcomes from this meeting will certainly allow Kia Motors America to increase revenue, market share or other key metrics as we continue to grow as a company.”

Beckman Coulter Japan

Jun 2nd, 2011Comments Off on Beckman Coulter Japan

Bob Hurley
Beckman Coulter Japan

“At Beckman Coulter we have a great deal of experience with mergers and acquisitions. In 2009 we acquired a large Japanese Diagnostics business. This business had autonomous executive management in Europe, Japan, and North America. As the executive responsible for the integration, I had and have a great sense of urgency for Beckman Coulter to realize the value targets. This more than half of a billion dollar transaction is incredibly complex due to its size, international components, regulatory and competitive environment, and the senior management implications.

I thought that Michael Brainard may be of assistance based upon his unique background and prior successes working with senior teams. Michael has completed transactions as an internal executive, and his process orientation as a consultant offers a unique combination that is valuable in integration work. We originally invited Michael to assess the combined businesses product portfolio. As a part of this process Michael facilitated a series of meetings to develop an integrated product strategy and to develop a first pass rationalization of the combined R&D budgets. As you can imagine there were executives wed to their products and products in development. Our outcomes were fantastic in that the newly combined team made objective decisions that would not have been possible without Michael’s skills. Michael then began to work with the new management team on their overall Mission, Vision, and Strategy. This team is now partnering with Michael as an on-going strategic consulting partner to assist them with the many integration activities. I have also asked Michael to “do what he does” for our Japanese executive team and then to work with that team as they interface with other management teams around the world.

Michael’s background as a psychologist and as a business development executive who completed transactions is invaluable. His facilitation capabilities, as well as interpersonal skills and pragmatism helped our team and company to gain value that may not have been gained without him. Michael is a friend, and someone whom I trust implicitly as a strategic consultant. Please don’t write a book, Michael. We can’t have you go on the road and be unavailable to our business.”

Viejas Enterprises

Jun 2nd, 2011Comments Off on Viejas Enterprises

Tony Chartrand
SVP Human Resources, Viejas Casino
San Diego, California

“We needed an accurate way to measure the capabilities and potential of our management team. Brainard Strategy effectively assessed our team and helped us better understand our strengths and areas for improvement. Brainard Strategy then worked with us to develop a comprehensive and integrated leadership development curriculum that was highly practical and focused on driving the right results. Now, we can more effectively manage talent at this critical level in the organization.”


Jun 2nd, 2011Comments Off on Nielsen

Robert Nascenzi
CEO, Nielsen, San Diego, California

“Our business was mature and our brand was strong, but we had been through a couple of mergers and the executive team was a mix of past competitors. Our Teamwork had broken down and the company was under increasing pressure from outside sources. Alignment among the executive team was critical. Michael Brainard provided an effective method to diagnosis the team, which helped me to restructure the team and helped the executives themselves achieve greater alignment across functions. His process centered approach, business acumen, facilitation skills, and pragmatism helped us over the course of 6 months to work better as a team and to renew and gain focus around our Mission, Vision, Values, and core functional strategies.”

CORE Realty Holdings, LLC

May 18th, 2011Comments Off on CORE Realty Holdings, LLC

Aaron Cook
Executive Vice President
CORE Realty Holdings LLC

“I have been blessed with a successful career in financial services over the last twelve years due to being in the right place at the right time, surrounding myself with high quality hard working team members, some luck and hard work. Over my career I have been able to grow from an individual producing financial advisor to the President and CEO of the managing broker dealer for my current company of which I am also a partner and an Executive Vice President. Over that time I have overseen and managed as many as 60 employees at any one time.

Over the last 12 months I have engaged Michael Brainard as an executive coach in order to help continue to take my career to that next level. While I had experienced reasonable success prior to working with Mr. Brainard he has helped identify weaknesses in my management style to focus and improve while also assisting in the development of my areas of strength. As a result I have been able to improve my relationships throughout the organization and motivate other departments as well as my partners to take action towards a common objective. I have been able to establish trust and confidence with my 4 partners and the “C” level executives in the organization creating a more cohesive and cooperative working environment compared with the first 2 years in the organization.

Mr. Brainard has also helped me get the most out of the 30 some employees that I currently manage by helping me develop a system of accountability as well as encouraging creative thinking, ideas and problem solving with my team members. I have been able to foster independent decision making and open discussion and debate of ideas with management while still being able to provide the final approval or veto. Once a decision or idea is implemented each team member has participated in the thought process and thus has more of a vested interest in its execution. While I am still working on improving, Mr. Brainard has helped me exhibit my trust and confidence in my team’s abilities, which has provided the platform for their improved and more rapid career development. These efforts have improved levels of performance with team members freeing me up to more effectively develop innovative investment products, consider longer term strategic direction and to continue to build and grow the company’s distribution channels all while also creating a greater sense of loyalty and commitment amongst the team.”

The Buddy Group

May 18th, 2011Comments Off on The Buddy Group

Vice President, Operations/Finance
The Buddy Group, Irvine, CA

“Our young company faced a dilemma. A few unexpected employee departures indicated we had organizational issues, but we did not have the internal resources to objectively figure out what they were or how to handle. We interviewed several HR service providers and selected Brainard Strategy to help in our task of surveying our employees and developing an action plan. It was the right choice. Michael Brainard’s depth and breadth of background was invaluable. He is both the professor and practitioner of organizational development. After consulting with other vendors, it seems anybody can throw some questions together and call it a survey. But Michael and his team were able to help us sculpt our survey questions and most importantly translate the results into clear and addressable issues. Our culture has a ways to go as it moves out of start-up mode, but with Brainard Strategy’s guidance, we at least have a road-map to follow.”

KetelOne Vodka

May 18th, 2011Comments Off on KetelOne Vodka

Senior Vice President, Operations & CFO
Nolet Spirits U.S.A., 2009

“We had originally requested Brainard Strategy to assist us in the development of custom leadership development offerings. In the midst of our training, we began to go through some organizational changes at our company. In one of our sessions on Change Leadership, Michael demonstrated an amazing grasp of the organizational implications of these types of changes. As Michael had practical experience with organization change, we asked him to shift his focus from partnering with us on leadership development to change management. He was able to work with our executive team on communications and structural concerns, with our managers on how to deal with their own experiences of the changes and to offer them coaching and guidance on handling their direct reports. He demonstrated a true knowledge of change management, made theory real and applied his experience in practical ways.

We count on Brainard Strategy for strategic change management and leadership development needs and Michael Brainard is a well respected resource for many in our company.”


May 18th, 2011Comments Off on Qualcomm

Jane Baker
VP Human Resources
Qualcomm, San Diego, California

“At times, when we have executives who are derailed and/or struggling to capitalize on their strengths and maximize their potential we need external resources who are able to quickly assess the situation, confront the behaviors and attitudes that are barriers, and advise executives “real time”, which is often very fast… With the help of Michael Brainard and the coaches at Brainard Strategy, many of our executives are able to quickly assimilate changes in their performance and motivation. This real-time change is what enables our leaders to help the organization take the next steps towards success.”


May 3rd, 2010Comments Off on AccentCare

Vince Cook
AccentCare – 2009

“After several years of exceptional growth, it became important to pull our executive team together to refocus our strategy and commitment to teaming. We determined that an outside consultant would be helpful to facilitate this process and create a clear and concise agenda. We sought input from a number of trusted partners in the Orange County market, and Brainard Strategy’s name came up again and again.

Michael met with our CEO and me to discuss the outcomes and options for the process. We sought to both develop our executive team’s ability to work better together and to develop/refine a set of strategic objectives that would guide the business over the coming two years. Michael interviewed all of the team members, and then worked with us to refine the agenda and outcomes while offering the benefit of his insight. Michael then facilitated a series of meetings that resulted in a set of strategies that we are successfully implementing today. Michael introduced us to a team functioning assessment that gave us a starting point for the team development process. That model and language have been immensely helpful to our team.

Michael’s blend of assessment skills, facilitation capabilities, and pragmatism helped our team and company to gain ever more focus on the highest value activities and have helped us to work better together.”

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