Founded by Don Soderquist, Meet The Northwest Arkansas Team | Soderquist Leadership
Soderquist Leadership

Our Team

 

 

Lori Chalmers, Director of Operations, Soderquist Center

Lori Chalmers | Chief Executive Officer | Email

Lori serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Soderquist Leadership and provides overall leadership for our vision, strategy, and culture. In addition, she serves as a facilitator, responsible for delivering values-based leadership, team development content, and meaningful experiential learning. This work includes the utilization of a variety of assessments to help leaders identify their strengths and development needs. Lori comes to us after serving as an executive at Ozark Guidance, the local community mental health center. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor. She received her Bachelor’s in Biblical Literature and Psychology from Ozark Christian College and her Master’s in Community Counseling from Pittsburg State University. In 2016, Northwest Arkansas Business Journal awarded her a 40 under 40 inductee. She also serves on the Arkansas Support Network Governing Board.

Alex Cornett, Executive in Residence, Soderquist Center

Alex Cornett | Executive in Residence/SVP of Market Development | Email

Alex serves as Executive in Residence and Senior Vice President of Market Development at Soderquist Leadership. He has over 30 years of leadership experience in the food industry, working in leadership roles at Steak and Ale Corporation, The Pillsbury Company, and General Mills, as well as working voluntarily for a variety of non-profit organizations. Prior to joining Soderquist Leadership, Alex built Pillsbury’s cross-functional business team in Northwest Arkansas, leading the team through and after the General Mills acquisition of Pillsbury. He later led sales and marketing efforts across the Supercenter and Division 1 formats and was also responsible for leading the General Mills partnership with Walmart’s rapidly growing Small Format division. In addition, Alex worked with the General Mills International Team to build and scale the international partnership between Walmart and General Mills and served as the supplier lead for Walmart’s Sustainable Food and Agricultural network. Alex’s areas of expertise are Strategic Planning, Executive Coaching, Starting and Leading Multifunctional Customer Teams, Sales, Innovation and Marketing. Alex is on the Board of Directors for JOYN LLC, has been active on the Development Council for The Jones Center and the Walton Arts Center, and was a Board member for the Center for Retailing Excellence at the University of Arkansas. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas-Arlington.

Sandy Tush, Manager/Facilitator

Sandy Tush | Senior Facilitator and Program Manager | Email | Reading List

Sandy serves as a Senior Facilitator and Program Manager. She is involved with the creation and facilitation of both customized and open enrollment programs. This work includes the utilization of a variety of assessment instruments to help leaders identify their strengths and development needs. Sandy brings over 30 years experience in adult education and leadership development. She served as the Executive Development Center program manager at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., before joining our team. Prior to that, she held the position of Content Developer / Facilitator for Home Office People Development. She also taught Computer Science courses at community colleges. Sandy is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and also holds multiple certifications, including Professional in Human Resources (PHR), EQ-i, The Birkman Method, and many more. She is passionate about healthy living and is a Mayo Clinic trained Wellness Coach.



Blake Binns | Facilitator and Program Manager | Email

Blake serves as Program Manager and Facilitator at Soderquist Leadership. Currently, Blake is a Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Arkansas, where he also serves as an adjunct professor in ethics and integrity. Previously, Blake, who holds a Masters of Education degree from the University of St. Thomas, was a high school science teacher in Houston, which houses one of the largest school districts in the country. In addition to teaching, Blake served as the Department Chair of Science, as well as Coordinator of the University Interscholastic League, an organization dedicated to creating academic and athletic contests for thousands of students across Texas. Outside of the education world, Blake also served as the Assistant Camp Director of Brookhill Ranch, one of the largest and highest rated camps in Arkansas. Blake has extensively worked with non-profits and volunteer groups, and currently oversees the training and development of team leaders with Young Life, a national non-profit organization in which he also serves.

Jeffrey Essary | Program Manager/Content Developer | Email

Jeff serves as a program manager and content developer for Soderquist Leadership where he is responsible for producing, promoting, and analyzing all Soderquist digital and video content. He works alongside our Market Development team to ensure content is relevant for our customers and drives the acquisition of new clients. Prior to his current role, Jeffrey was a part of the Soderquist Fellowship where he managed our digital and video content as well as coordinated customer programs. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from John Brown University as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from JBU emphasizing in radio, video, and web. In his spare time Jeff enjoys playing music, playing any type of competitive sport, and cheering on his favorite NFL team: the Denver Broncos.

Chuck Hyde | Executive Coach | Email

Chuck Hyde is a trusted advisor to CEOs, key executives and emerging leaders. He has a track record of building teams, acquiring and maximizing talent, and delivering results. In addition to his Associate role with Soderquist Leadership, Chuck currently chairs peer advisory boards for executives through Vistage International and is an adjunct instructor for JBU Graduate Business program. Prior to this, Chuck spent 12 years at Soderquist Leadership, his last 8 as CEO. He also spent 12 years with Kimberly-Clark Corporation in various product supply roles in both manufacturing facilities and assignments at the corporate office including operations, operations support functions and leading strategic projects. Chuck earned his MBA from John Brown University in 2008 and his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arkansas in 1992. Chuck and his wife, Brian, have two sons, Charley and Jonathan.

Tom Verdery | Executive Coach | Email

Tom Verdery serves as Executive Coach for Soderquist Leadership and also teaches in the Graduate Business division at JBU. Tom has over 34 years of experience working with Procter & Gamble, of which the last 14 years spent at the senior leadership level working exclusively outside the US with Wal-Mart, Inc. Tom came to Northwest Arkansas in 1989 when P&G asked him to be part of the first supplier team with Wal-Mart. Tom’s areas of expertise include: Strategic Planning & Execution, Executive Coaching, Leadership & Ethics, and Starting and Leading Multifunctional Customer Teams. Tom holds an MBA in Management from The University of Dallas and a BBA in Marketing from Texas Tech University.

Shelby Mooty | Project Coordinator | Email

Shelby is a Project Coordinator at Soderquist Leadership, managing the delivery of a wide variety of team-building programs to many different organizations. Shelby graduated from John Brown University in May 2015 with a BS in Photography and is now pursuing an MBA in Market Research and Consumer Insights. In addition to her role as Project Coordinator, Shelby also sits on the Soderquist Non-Profit Scholarship committee and helps to oversee the applicant review process and allocation of scholarships. As a member of the Spanish National Honor Society in high school, she became interested early on in learning how people from different cultures relate. In her first semester at JBU, she was recognized at the Celebration of Academic Excellence. Following college, Shelby served as a Leadership Development program coordinator where she managed and equipped a team of counselors to train almost 200 high school students in servant-leadership. She also spent four years facilitating team building on a challenge course. Shelby then managed marketing and design projects at a product vendor in Rogers, AR before beginning her time at Soderquist Leadership. As a native Arkansan from Fayetteville, Shelby’s interests are rooted in outdoor activities that include backpacking, camping, running, and sports.

Meaghan Ranz | Project Coordinator | Email

Meaghan serves as a Project Coordinator at Soderquist Leadership and works on the delivery team full-time. As part of the Soderquist Fellowship program, she is pursuing her MBA with an emphasis in Organizational Behavior. In May of 2016, Meaghan graduated from John Brown University with a BA in Family and Human Services and a minor in Management. She is passionate about merging her love of organizational development and social services in order to help others make the most of their talents and resources. Some of her favorite programs to be a part of at Soderquist Leadership are strategic planning, Milestone, and leadership academies. With a love for travel and new experiences, Meaghan has spent time in Africa, Europe, Canada, and around the US. In her free time, Meaghan enjoys running, playing board games, and listening to podcasts. She especially loves spending quality time with friends and visiting her family around the country.

Cecilee Russell | Project Coordinator | Email

Cecilee serves as a Project Coordinator on the program delivery team. Her desire is to develop high performing teams and strong organizational leaders. Prior to joining Soderquist Leadership, she graduated from Corban University in Salem, Oregon with a B.S. in Business Leadership & Management and a minor in Biblical Studies. During her undergraduate studies, Cecilee invested a majority of her time with the Associated Student Body Leadership. For two years she served as the Student Body President. During her time as president, she led the organization through a significant organizational restructure, assisted in university-wide policy reform, and created a campus-wide conference to develop female leaders. In addition, she competed on Corban's track and field team. She served as a Team Captain and achieved NAIA All-American status in the 400m hurdles at 2016 National Championships. Outside of the university, she completed a Special Events internship with the McMinnville Chamber of Commerce. She also spent several summers working in operations at Motosport Hillsboro, one of the nation's top-performing Honda, KTM, and Kawasaki dealerships. As a Fellow, she is pursuing her MBA with an emphasis in Organizational Behavior at John Brown University. She plans to use her experience as a Soderquist Fellow as a unique approach to prepare for a career in student development within higher education institutions.

Carter Henson | Project Coordinator | Email

Carter is a Project Coordinator at Soderquist Leadership, assisting in the delivery of programs to many different organizations. He graduated from John Brown University in May 2017 with a B.S. in Communication and a minor in Marketing. He is working towards an MBA with a concentration in Marketing Research and Consumer Insights. While an undergraduate student at JBU, he was involved in various outlets on campus. He served in Residence Life as a Resident Assistant in Hutcheson Hall for two years, and was also a member of Golden Eagle Productions for four years, serving on the JBU Basketball broadcast team and working as one of the play-by-play voices of Golden Eagle basketball. In addition, he has also worked for 90.9 KLRC for three years, serving as a weekend DJ, along with working in the office and helping with station outreach events in the summer. Carter is a native of Northwest Arkansas and is passionate about baseball and other sports, live music, coffee, and spending time with friends and family.

Marisa Judson | Project Coordinator | Email

Marisa is a Project Coordinator at Soderquist Leadership and works on the delivery and marketing team. In May of 2017, Marisa graduated from Appalachian State University in North Carolina with her BSBA in Marketing and a minor in Supply Chain Management. As a part of the Soderquist Fellowship program, she is pursuing her MBA with an emphasis in Market Research and Consumer Insights. In her undergraduate years at Appalachian State University, Marisa actively participated as a leader in Relay for Life and in a program for special needs students called Scholars with Diverse Abilities.Marisa has a passion for learning and is eager to be a part of the team at Soderquist. Growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Marisa enjoys spending her free time outside running, kayaking, biking, and hiking.