Melerick Mitchell –Founder and Talent Development Architect
Melerick “Mel” Mitchell is the Founder and Talent Development Architect of Drive Influence LLC. Prior to creating Drive Influence Mel worked for Microsoft for nearly 10 years in roles ranging from System Analyst, Program Manager and his last role was as a Talent Development Consultant. As a Talent Development Consultant Mel managed the Microsoft IT Talent Development Program, which focused on developing the next generation of leaders for Microsoft IT. In that role Mel created, developed and managed Microsoft IT’s Accelerated Professional Experiences Program (APEX), which is a two-year global rotational program for new college hires. In addition to managing the APEX program he also assisted with rollout of several leadership development conferences targeted at the Microsoft’s High Potential employees.
In 2005 Mel was one of five Microsoft employees selected to participate in the Microsoft Loaned Executive Program, which is a program, that loans Microsoft employees to the King County United Way for duration of five months. As a MS Loaned Executive Mel helped increase awareness about critical issues facing the community and assisted with raising of funds to address community issues.
Mel remains committed to serving his community by volunteering, and he has served on several non-profits boards in Seattle, Tucson, Las Vegas and Dallas and he is a past Region Six Alumni Chair for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE),and the past VP of Technology for the Dallas Chapter of the American Society of Training and Development. Currently he is the National Professional Development Chair for the National Society of Black Engineers. Mel has also taught career readiness workshops for the Technology Access Foundation in Seattle and has volunteered his technical and leadership expertise to St. Gabriel’s Elementary School in San Fernando, Trinidad, at Ashesi University in Accra Ghana and for Dream Jamaica in Kingston, Jamaica.
Mel has a passion for learning particularly in the areas of leadership and organization development and personal coaching. Over the years he has taken executive leadership education courses taught by University of Michigan Ross School of Business, UCLA’s Anderson School of Business, Maximum Impact and from coaching organizations such as the World Institute for Action Learning and the Academy for Coach Training. Mel also holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology from Louisiana Tech University and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
In the past Mel has also worked as an electrical engineer for Bechtel Nevada and a system analyst for Raytheon Missile Systems.
Zithri Ahmed Saleem – Leadership Consultant
Zithri is a successful non-profit executive with over 10 years of experience at all levels of program design, development and evaluation. His primary work has focused on development and evaluation of programs for innovative public-private partnerships that use technology to facilitate teaching and learning for students (K-12) and adults. Recent work includes direction and implementation of Washington State’s first Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) school managed by a public-private partnership.
Zithri’s recent work has received over $5MM in funding from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Washington STEM Center, Microsoft and Stuart Foundation. Current projects include service as the Director of Education for Technology Access Foundation (TAF), a Consultant with Drive Influence, and a volunteer/advocate for numerous community-based initiatives in Washington, Oregon, and California.
Program development and evaluation, curriculum and assessment, grant writing, instruction and facilitation, leadership development, peer mentorship, professional coaching and project management
- Design and evaluate professional development and training programs that improve teaching and learning for students and adults
- Develop and direct leadership development and knowledge management initiatives
- Develop logic models, program documentation, and tools for client assessment and program evaluation
- Innovate strategic solutions to complex challenges in organizational and program development
- Manage and direct growth and transition including communications and information management strategies
- Lead complex projects between public and private institutions including corporations, foundations and non-profit organizations that lead to mutually beneficial outcomes
Cindy Anderson – Blogger
Cindy Anderson is a professional coach who empowers, teaches and guides individuals, teams and organizations to explore what’s possible in order to create their best possible future. Prior to launching her own coaching practice, Potential Revealed, LLC, she had a successful thirteen year tenure at Microsoft. During this time Cindy has made a significant global impact with a focus on team building particularly during times of increased ambiguity and change.
Cindy’s career at Microsoft was a learning laboratory for understanding how to create and support high performing teams and individuals. She’s worked internationally and has gained valuable knowledge and expertise within several business units at Microsoft. Her broad range of experience includes product management, program management, business intelligence and sales with a focus on technical leadership and training, strategy and program development. Cindy is a dynamic public speaker and workshop facilitator with outstanding presentation skills.
As a trained expert in The Achieve System™ from the Achieve Institute, Cindy has helped teams in fortune 100 companies make significant gains on internal KPIs. The Achieve System™ is an organizational development tool that teaches individuals, teams and organizations how to sustain high performance even in times of extreme pressure and stress.
Cindy is also the co-founder and managing director of Omilero, a non profit organization, who’s mission is to create economic development through the access to clean water in Nigeria. Her primarily goal here is to build a sustainable social enterprise that will no longer require her involvement as it will be completely run and managed on the ground in Nigeria.
Cindy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with honors from York University in Toronto, Ontario and an EMBA from Seattle University with a focus on Leadership Development.
Corey Weathers – Blogger
Born and raised in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, Corey is the fourth of six children and the first to graduate from college. He completed his undergraduate studies at Howard University in May 2008, receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Systems & Computer Science.
Professionally, Corey has worked in a variety of IT roles for a number of different companies. He started out as a software developer for Howard University, then worked as an IT specialist at the Internal Revenue Service helping to modernize their software infrastructure. After also completing two internships with Microsoft, Corey joined Microsoft full time in July 2008 as part of the Microsoft IT APEX Rotation Program. His time there has been spent in a variety of roles, ranging from traditional software development and testing roles to business management. He is currently working as a Software Test Engineer in the Product Activation team.
Corey currently lives in Redmond, WA with his fiancée Ericka and their dog Zoe. In his spare time, he can often be found playing his piano, learning new cooking techniques, or doing community service with a number of different organizations.