Martin L. Cohen, M.D.

Chairman | CEO | President – Cohen Brown Management Group & ProPractice

As the creator of Cohen Brown Management Group and ProPractice, Marty has always single-mindedly focused on helping individuals and organizations, and maximizing their potential.

Prior to entering the business world and becoming a visiting professor of management at the Drucker School of Management, his passion for helping people and commitment to excellence informed his career in medicine as an emergency room physician, psychiatrist, medical director, and medical researcher.

What is most gratifying for Marty are the World Standard results that have been produced in all these endeavors.

He is most excited now about ProPractice, our revolutionary breakthrough in verbal skills training, which Marty created to help people and organizations become “Uncatchably First”. ProPractice applies to sales, service, leadership, management, coaching, relationships, and/or any other situation where verbal communications are of vital importance.

ProPractice has also been used in preventive medicine, law enforcement communications / de-escalation, and is now entering the field of substance abuse rehabilitation. It has now also been adapted to optimize “speed-to-excellence” during new employee onboarding.

Marty attended UCLA School of Medicine, Cedars Sinai for his medical internship, and The UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute for his psychiatric residency.

John DiGiantomasso

Technical Innovation

John discovered computer programming at the age of 14 and by the age of 17 was working as a professional computer programmer while a senior in high school. His first job was in computer based instruction, and pre-dated the term “eLearning.” From there he worked in computer graphics, accounting, communications, supply chain, and other disciplines in the roles of programmer, analyst, network manager, IT director, and application architect. John met Rick at Proxima in 1993, then led Rick to Microsoft to be joined by Yasaman. The three came to Mitrix where they joined Ken and Michael. After Mitrix collapsed in 2007, John’s sister introduced him to Dr. Cohen. Since then, John has managed the growth of under the direction of Dr. Cohen, and has been able to bring along the very best people from his past to form the technical team as it exists today.

John leads the team to provide workable technology to deliver the vision of better ways to engage the brain in the learning process. John’s vision of a better way to author eLearning allowed the superior learning methodologies to be encoded into modules so effortlessly that this unique approach became practical and affordable for virtually everybody interested in improving the way their people learn.

John designed, developed and delivered the automated system that runs the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad in Skagway, Alaska.

John continued his youthful enthusiasm for computer technology and is self-taught in application architecture and software development.

John provides leadership and technical training to youth to help them better understand the workings of the real world.

Brenda Schäfer (née Bernhard)

Regional Results Consultant—Europe, Middle East and Africa

Brenda Schäfer’s financial services career began more than 25 years ago when she worked as a teller and advisor with ABNAMRO Bank N.V. in the Netherlands. Brenda spent 21 years with ABNAMRO bank N.V.

Brenda worked her way up within ABNAMRO Bank N.V. into the roles of advisor, branch manager, manager services, branch coach, and sales coach. As a sales coach she implemented and embedded a leadership process and sales and service process within her region. She trained, coached, and consulted managers and front-line salespeople nationwide in achieving their sales and service goals, and she also supported and advised the Head of Sales Management and the Regional Manager on sales-related issues. In a nine-month period, Brenda achieved an increase of sales effectiveness in her region from 122% to 184%.

Concurrently with her management and coaching experience, Brenda continued furthering the education she began at the Secondary Economic and Administrative Education (MEAO) in Bussum and the Higher Economic and Administrative Education (HEAO) in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Brenda completed advanced studies in economics, and added English and German to the list of languages she speaks fluently alongside her native Dutch. Her continuing training from 1987 to 1990 with the Dutch Institute for Banking, Insurance, and Investments included banking skills such as private credit funds, consumer lending, mortgage, and investments. In 2004 Brenda was certified by the Association for Coaching in “The power of coaching”. In 2005 she was certified by the Haagse Hogeschool for Coaching and Consultancy in personal (management) coaching, team coaching, and team development. In 2007 Brenda participated in and partly facilitated a Personal Leadership Program by order of ABNAMRO Bank N.V. along with Heart Selling in Zeist, the Netherlands.

Since September 2007 Brenda has worked with the Cohen Brown Management Group and as a Results Consultant covering the territory of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. She has continually brought her vast practical financial services training and management and coaching experience to bear in proving herself to be an essential resource in improving the behavioral embedding of best practices for Cohen Brown’s European clients. Brenda successfully rolled out and embedded the ProPractice solution with numerous clients in the world.

Chad Emmons

Business Development

As a former LEO. Chad served as a Corrections Deputy, Corrections Supervisor, Road Patrol Deputy, Swat Operator, and Detective. Chad is captivated by Technology, Human Behavior, and how the brain functions in high stress professions and business.

As a Detective Chad investigated numerous homicides, armed robberies, sexual assault / abuse, and fraud cases, etc. He spent hundreds of hours on the witness stand and was involved in many high-profile court proceedings. After numerous years in Law Enforcement Chad relocated to Texas with his family to volunteer with an organization assisting Military Veterans and First Responders struggling with PTSD and other battles. At this time Chad also entered the business world learning the art of Business Development and building long lasting Business Relationships. Chad founded his first company Project B.O.W. W.O.W. (Beside Our Warriors…With Our Warriors) to assist in the fight against PTSD. The mission was to raise awareness and provide financial assistance to service dog industries assisting our warriors. Chad also formed a Business Consulting company Emmons & Associates helping small businesses with exit strategies and other business-related issues. Chad has taken the many skills he’s gained from his Law Enforcement career and has implemented them into business. First and foremost, it’s all about Integrity. Doing the right thing when no one else is looking.

Chad holds a Bachelor Degree from Spring Arbor University in Business – Management and Organizational Development.

David Mannion

Product Development

Dave has been developing software for over 25 years in a variety of industries, including publishing, image processing/light manufacturing, ERP systems and industrial automation.  He worked with John at Microsoft and moved up to Washington to work at the Redmond campus for several years.  He returned to sunny SoCal in 2006 to help build a SAAS/Cloud start up company, where he led the engineering team for 7 years.

When his head isn’t immersed in code, Dave spends time with his wife and three boys. He coaches youth sports and in the off-season they enjoy family bike rides, camping trips and doing home improvement projects.

Cynthia Whitmer Griffith

Performance Results Network Director Senior Results Consultant

Cynthia Griffith currently serves as Performance Results Network Results Consultant for Credit Unions and Community Banks at Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc. and She has been in the financial-services industry for over 35 years in various capacities.

A graduate of the University of Akron, Cynthia spent a twenty-five year career with a community bank in Northeastern Ohio. During her career, she held every position within the branch and developed the organization’s first platform training program while working as a trainer. Cynthia was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Retail Administration where she worked closely with bank operations to develop branch procedures, and was a member of Product Pricing, Asset and Liability, and Retail Marketing committees.

Cynthia was named Vice President of Sales Development through a merger of equals involving two Cohen Brown financial institutions creating a 42 branch, $2.7 billion organization. Cynthia was responsible for driving and leading the sales process throughout the organization with particular focus in retail banking, consumer and business call centers, business banking, and had influence in the sales development process of corporate banking and wealth management. Cynthia successfully rolled out and embedded the ProPractice solution with numerous clients.

Ken Rudewicz

Operational Excellence

Ken began his work with technology in the supply chain field, starting as an end-user tasked with providing feedback and recommendations to the processes used in the company. This led to Ken’s role in leading operations and providing insight into customers’ needs and how they can be met through the successful implementation of technology. Ken had brief contact with John when John worked as a consultant at his company, which was the common thread that brought John and his historical teammates to Mitrix in 2005.

Ken directs all of the day to day operations including client services, production, information technology, and administrative responsibilities. Ken is a key contributor to the design and development of our products, calling upon his passion and vision to get the job done, and get it done right.

Ken contributed to successful implementations of Supply Chain Software at several multi-million dollar businesses, as well as a member of a team responsible for the successful implementation of ISO 9000 process.

Ken does not have a formal education, electing instead to enter the world of business and gaining invaluable insights and experience directly from the workplace.

Kens interests include family, technology, and participating in sports including workouts, bicycling, golf and bowling.

Jacob Hodgson

Media Art

Jacob, a life long creator, tinkerer, and craftsman received his Bachelor of Science degree from The Art Institute of Orange County, where he studied Media Arts, Animation, and design with a focus on 3D modeling. After graduation, Jacob worked in Mechanical Engineering, doing technical CAD drafting, HVAC, and plumbing design. Transitioning from Engineering, Jacob decided to shift his focus from the strictly technical to a more creative avenue, which in 2009 led him to the team responsible for ProPractice and ThinBlueOnline.

Jacob acts as the company’s creative director creating and implementing all media art needs; including but not limited to 3D character art, animation, video production, audio engineering, voice acting and directing.

Julie Freeman

Regional Director North America

Julie Freeman brings more than 32 years of demonstrated accomplishment in leadership, coaching, business development, client service, and marketing to our clients. Julie also successfully rolled out and embedded the ProPractice solution with numerous clients.

Prior to joining Cohen Brown and, Julie was SVP and Manager of the Retail Sales-and-Service Group at U.S. Bancorp where she was integrally involved in building and implementing all aspects of a proactive, consultative, and needs-based sales and service culture across Bancorp’s branch network. She is highly skilled in both influence and direct line leadership and coaching.

Julie keenly understands the challenges individuals and organizations can face in achieving and sustaining behavior change to optimize results. She has extensive experience coaching senior executives, and developing and implementing targeted performance solutions to address complex situations and achieve clients’ business objectives. She assists clients in the retail, business, private banking and insurance areas of financial services, as well as clients in other industries, including higher education and biotechnology.

Julie joined the financial services industry following a 10-year career with a global agriculture company in increasingly responsible sales, sales management, and marketing positions. As a District Manager, she led one of the worst-performing groups in the company through a major turnaround. Midway through her second year as a District Manager, year-to-date sales results had surpassed the prior year’s total results.

Julie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with a minor in science, from Oregon State University and is a graduate of Columbia University Executive Marketing Management.

Michael An

Technology Platform

Michael changed careers from Aerospace Engineering to an Information Technology focus in 2000. In 2002 Michael worked a supply chain that led to working with John, Ken, Rick and Yasaman at Mitrix.

Michael is responsible for the design, implementation, and support of the production systems hosting the LCMX, as well as other supplemental systems such as the development and Quality Assurance environments and the LMS test and support platforms.

Michael’s First job was providing engineering support to the Space Shuttle program

Michael holds a BS from University of Maryland, MS from University of Michigan in Aerospace Engineering

Michael’s hobby is photographing his sons participating in sports activities, including baseball and water polo

Andrea DiGiantomasso

Senior Instructional Engineer

Andrea began her career in 2005 as a U.S. Army linguist, where she learned to speak, read, and write Mandarin Chinese. After enduring one of the most grueling and demanding educational curricula in the world, she discovered a passion for developing engaging and easy-to-use learning methodologies. Focused on language learning, she assisted in editing Chinese learning texts in 2007 and offering instruction in the language.

After she had separated from the military, she began working at Disneyland as a joke-telling skipper on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland, where she delighted in being able to make people smile, and being able to help guests from all over the world with her understanding of Spanish, Chinese, American Sign Language, and French.

While working in this role, her father’s company had a need for Chinese language content. In 2010, she offered to help with this task, but soon began assisting with other projects. It wasn’t long before she stood out on her own merits as a script writer, copy editor, and curriculum developer. Her skills developed in rapid language learning translated into rapid cultural learning, allowing her to create quality and nuanced content for a wide variety of markets, from call center training to cosmetics sales, from banking to bartenders, from insurance to horology.

Currently, Andrea works developing content for ProPractice, focusing on creating embedded, natural speech patterns for people learning to communicate. Her twelve years of experience has shown how much she loves the field of professional education and curriculum development. Her current passion project for ProPractice is using the methodology to teach people recovering from addiction how to talk themselves out of relapse and into a successful, clean life.

Stephen Parsons

Regional Director Europe

Prior to joining Cohen Brown and, Stephen Parsons had an extensive career in the Financial Services Industry that spanned more than 28 years with two of the largest Financial Institutions in the Pacific Region. During that time Stephen held the roles of Executive Manager in the Commercial/Corporate segments and Area Manager Retail Banking where he used Cohen Brown core methodologies to drive outstanding Sales and Service outcomes. In his final role prior to joining Cohen Brown, Stephen, as General Manager, was part of a team that oversaw the sales and service transformation of the largest Bank in Australia, a process that led to the Bank achieving its long term vision of being number one in customer satisfaction.

Stephen has a go anywhere, anytime approach. He currently works with clients based in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, and so he has a depth and breadth of experience working across many cultures in a diverse range of Industries. Stephen has launched ProPractice in the Asia-Pacific region.

Stephen specializes in Sales and Service Leadership, and Coaching and Relationship Management. In his spare time he enjoys fishing, golf and family time.