CEO, CxO, CxA, Leadership Council Member

Robert Gregoire

Leading and achieving organizational change over the past 27 years, Bob offers versatile business expertise and focuses on strategic positioning and leadership. Having held executive leadership positions in the for-profit and social service sectors, he has been credited with the successful formation of multiple purpose-driven companies. A business leader whose strength in strategic thinking combines with discipline and no-excuses approach to accomplishing goals, Bob has created value and generated positive results for more than 100 organizations ranging from midsize to Fortune 500 companies.

Within Bob’s portfolio of business successes is founding of a national outsourcing firm in 1995, later sold to CH2MHill, a global engineering firm. As its CEO, he led the delivery of innovative outsourcing strategies for Fortune 500 companies, and took the company to a dominant industry position. As Founder and CEO of CxORE, a Fractional Leadership firm, Bob is charged with delivering innovative solutions to the diverse leadership needs of a growing client base that spans the for-profit and social sectors. He is also focused on expanding service-delivery capacity to respond to increasing demand for company offerings.

Leadership and professional service have been core values of Bob’s entire career. They also define his community-strengthening commitments: a President of the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy, a former member of the Board of Directors for the International Facility Management Association, a member of the Board of Directors of the March of Dimes, Greater Capital Division, and a member of the Rotary Club of Davis where he previously served on the board. He is an active member of the GATEways Planning Council, an external advisory board for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.

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CxO, CxA, Leadership Council Member

Joy Hermsen

Joy has been empowering leadership teams to exceed their goals for over 20 years. An effective coach who addresses clients needs with positive energy, creativity and no preconceived notions, she partners with individuals and groups as they discover their leadership strengths and produce meaningful results for their organizations and themselves. 

Joy’s training and development expertise resulted from working with a wide range of groups – large and small – in public and private organizations. Her career was launched at PepsiCo and progressed through several positions at Round Table Franchise Corporation as Director of Training, Director of Operations Consulting, and Director of Company-Owned Stores, with line responsibility for $30 million in sales for 63 units in three states. In 2004, Joy co-founded Nimble Training, an athletic training company, whose purpose was supporting  people of all ages to achieve a lifelong fitness goal, such as completing a marathon, a triathlon or a century bicycle ride. Joy currently leads Bike Monkey, Inc., an even production and cycling advocacy company that stages Levi’s GranFondo, the first and largest GranFondo in the United States.

Joy earned her master’s in business administration from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, and her bachelor’s in political science at UCD. She has served on several boards, including the Cal Aggie Allumni Association, UCD GSM Alumni Association, Girls on the Run Sonoma County, and the Early Bird Women’s Developmental Cycling Team. An alumna of the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy, she serves on its faculty. She also teaches business courses including organizational development, entrepreneurship and marketing at Santa Rosa Junior College.

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CxO, CxA, Leadership Council Member

Ken Crittendon

During his entire career, Ken has been driven by producing the maximum results for his clients and for the companies where he gained his experience and expertise. For more than 20 years, he has led positive change for teams and organizations helping guide them through challenging crises and highly promising opportunities. He developed his leadership and coaching skills in the Silicon Valley, where he played an active role commercializing the Internet and clean technology.

With confidence and ability to relate to a wide range of clients, Ken has been a sought-after executive and for the past few years has coached many CEOs through the challenges of successfully building their organizations. Examples of his skillfully delivered interventions are advising a seasoned CEO through a business-threatening move that resulted in a $1M strategic investment, and mentoring a first-time CEO through a company repositioning and its successful launch of a product into the mobile market.

Prior to focusing on executive coaching, Ken co-founded and led Commendo, a software company providing rich Internet experiences on mobile devices, to a partnership with Intel that culminated in a Best of Show Award at the Consumer Electronics Show. At the height of the Internet boom, he helped Scient, Wall Street's darling in the eBusiness consulting space, grow to a $6B market cap. He led two critical engagements during eBay's rapid growth and is recognized for leading the development of eBay's worldwide network strategy. At AT&T Yahoo!, Ken led several initiatives which strengthened his reputation as a trusted problem-solver and created significant value for the company.

Ken holds an MBA in Marketing & Finance from Cal Poly and a BS in Finance from California State University, Sacramento where he serves on the university's Center for Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.  In addition, Ken is a recent Alumnus of the Year and serves on the board of the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy. He is committed to giving back to the community and philanthropically prioritizes education based on his belief that it is the foundation for tomorrow's leaders. He mentors aspiring entrepreneurs and speaks to graduate and undergraduate university students. He also works to improve K-12 education at the administration and classroom levels. 


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Leadership Council Member

Kathleen Socolofsky

Kathleen’s career has evolved on the edge of leadership and positive change. A strategic leader who can envision not only the end result of a project or initiative, but also the most effective way for getting there, she guides individuals and teams toward identifying opportunities and accomplishing ambitious goals.

Kathleen has served as the director of the UC Davis Arboretum since 1998, and as an Assistant Vice Chancellor in the Office of Administration and Resource Management since 2008. Kathleen is the co-developer of the UC Davis Arboretum GATEways (Gardens, Arts and The Environment) initiative that envisions the Arboretum as a physical and programmatic “gateway” to the campus. In addition, Kathleen has recently taken on the responsibility of transitioning the central campus of UC Davis into a public garden, using the public engagement and educational strategies that are a hallmark of the Arboretum’s success. 

Prior to joining UC Davis, Kathleen served as the Director of Education at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Ariz., for 13 years, where she was Principal Investigator for a National Science Foundation Grant that transformed the garden and its collections into an interactive science center. Under her leadership, the project won the Valley Forward’s Crescordia Award for Environmental Education, and the National Interpreter’s Association first prize for interpretive guidebooks. In 2007, Kathleen received the Professional Citation award from the American Public Gardens Association, which recognizes her significant achievements in the field of public horticulture.

Kathleen received her master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University and her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University. She is Vice Chair of the Center for Urban Horticulture, a national outreach program of the University of Delaware, and is on the Visiting Committee of the Board of Trustees of Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. She has served on the board of the American Public Gardens Association, as President of the Museum Association of Arizona, as co-founder of the Museum Educators of Central Arizona, and as president of Soroptimist International of Davis in California. 

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Leadership Council Member

John Cronley

An executive management coach, consultant and educator, John’s extensive background in sales, marketing and service operations make him a valued change agent at any organization. As a member of the Leadership Council at CXORE, he offers expertise in process analysis and improvement for fixed and variable operations, as well as increased efficiency, productivity, customer success and profits. He is well-respected for his skills in problem-solving through teams, market and business development, and management training. With a sharp focus on priorities and goals, and ability to get to the root of challenges and opportunities, John is a talented consensus-builder guiding his clients to achieve strategic outcomes.

Since 1991 when John founded his company, The Learning Curve, he has expanded his reach and reputation nationally and internationally. John is a member of the Premier Coaching Group and a presenter at the University of Toyota and Lexus College in Torrance, Calif. There, he focuses on executive management coaching in a retail setting, and leading staff and management courses in small and large groups. 

His clients include most major U.S. and import automotive and truck manufacturers. He coached the new Scion Retail Brand sales process at Toyota; contributed to process improvements for Toyota’s U.S. Retail Operations; provided productivity-boosting sales training and coaching to Toyota Financial Services and strategic marketing solutions to Toyota International and Ford Commercial Trucks. John was also the National Field Training Manager for Subaru of America, where he pioneered a team-teach concept that increased productivity in a cost-effective way while leading a 13-member training staff. 

John earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from National University.  

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CxA, Leadership Council Member

John Walter

Over a successful career in several industries, John has built a reputation for intuitive and adept problem-solving based on solid but right-sized analysis and a talent for generating innovative ideas for those he serves. Driven by his focus on stable performance and ability to relate to managers at every level, John guides clients through identifying critical leverage points to achieve value-added results. His broad experience helps him investigate and promptly diagnose problems, and define solutions – even with limited information.

His early career began in developing domestic and international oil fields with Chevron. He followed that experience with several consulting roles, culminating with assessing the value of technology developed by a national laboratory. His interest in valuing product and market potential led him to help build an international market research firm that provided strategic marketing support to organizations in medical imaging and information systems. His leadership and coaching skills were further honed when he joined a national executive search firm, where he identified and recruited talented leaders to address defined challenges at academic and mission-driven non-profit organizations.

John is currently a partner at New Energy Assets, LLC, which develops solar energy opportunities in commercial, agricultural and residential spheres. John has been credited with developing and executing successful operational strategies leading to increasing product line profitability, customer satisfaction and repeat sales.

Over his career, he has founded, invested and advised dozens of companies in a wide range of industries. John has earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Petroleum Engineering along with the terminal Degree of Engineer from Stanford University and a Master’s in Business Administration from University of California, Davis. He has served on the board of the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy and recently completed a two-year role as president.

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Leadership Council Member

Glenn Dirks

With more than 30 years of experience in facilities management; environment, health and safety; and human resources, working in the electronics industry and with regulatory agencies, Glenn is nationally recognized for innovative organizational management techniques and his expertise in leveraged outsourcing, change management and implementing mobile work programs. He led teams at Fortune 500 companies in telecommunications, energy, defense, technology and finance through generating and implementing plans for a variety of change management initiatives. Glenn combines a firm commitment to the business needs and goals of clients with the drive for constant learning and improvement while offering a positive outlook and a focus on the team’s strengths and assets. 

As Vice President of Customer Enablement for Optimaze, Inc., Glenn oversees the creation of new work environment solutions for customers across the globe, including Software as a Service’s (SaaS) sales, customer support and enterprise account management system. 

Before that, he developed and deployed Sun Microsystems’ flexible work environment program, managing more than 35 implementations in the U.S. and Europe. He increased employee acceptance of mobile work projects, and enhanced program effectiveness. From 1987 to 1999, he served as Director of Facilities Operations for Sun, implementing its first major leveraged outsourcing of Facilities and Environment, Health and Safety operations. Using strategically designed change management techniques led to minimizing impact on employees and increasing their willingness to actively participate in the initiative.

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CxO, CxA, Leadership Council Member

Bret Hewitt

Recognized as a leader firmly committed to strategic growth, Bret has contributed significantly to business success at numerous organizations of varied size and purpose, among them a Fortune 50 firm, a tech start-up, a major research university, nationally recognized nonprofits, an innovative municipality and an arts organization. Driven by an optimistic outlook and focused on strengths and opportunities for the clients he serves, Bret brings impeccable ethics and dedication to delivering meaningful value and strategic results.  

As a member of the senior management team at Cambridge Associates, the premier global investment consulting firm, Bret dedicated 18 years of his successful career to guiding health care, higher education and foundation clients as they implemented customized endowment strategies. He also led the initiative to strengthen “back-office” units (both the US and internationally) necessary to support the company’s consulting practice. Prior to that, Bret pioneered the growth of a second line of business for SallieMae, developing and market-testing a new product well-received by higher education and health-care clients and ultimately generating 25% of the firm’s revenue.  During this period he served on the company’s corporate strategic visioning team. In 1991 Bret was named “Banker of the Year”.

Bret received an MBA from Stanford University, and a BA (honors) and MA from University of California, Davis (UCD). He has remained a dedicated volunteer for UCD, including board leadership on its alumni association and foundation, and on advisory councils for both the campus’ largest college and its public arboretum. His volunteer service was recognized with the Fielder Award (1991), the highest alumnus award from an UCD’s alumni association. He has also provided leadership for the Studio Theatre Board for 22 years, strengthening its capacity to become one of Washington’s most influential theatre companies. Additionally, he has served on the City of Davis (CA) Planning Commission, guiding that city’s innovative land-use and energy conservation policies. Currently Bret provides leadership for the Stanford Business Fund Council.

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