Elissa Sterry

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Elissa Sterry retired from ExxonMobil in 2017, following a 37-year career during which she held a number of senior leadership positions at the corporate and business unit levels and was responsible for identifying and developing senior leadership talent and managing highly diverse teams. Through these experiences, Elissa gained a passion for leadership excellence and additionally became a recognized speaker on ExxonMobil’s outlook for energy and energy-related issues. She has traveled around the world to speak with government officials, government agencies, think tanks, NGOs, investors, national oil company executives, and university students on energy-related matters. Elissa holds bachelor of science and master of engineering degrees from Cornell University.

Adrienne M. Harrison, PhD

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Adrienne M. Harrison has spent twenty years as a military leader and private sector executive. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, she held a variety of leadership positions as a multifunctional logistics officer across three combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Adrienne played an integral role in the Army’s change management process aimed at completely transforming the way logistics and life support operations are conducted on the battlefield to meet the challenges posed by the complexities of the War on Terror. She subsequently served as an assistant professor of American history at West Point. Her military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, two Bronze Stars, and the Combat Action Badge.

Adrienne holds MA and PhD degrees from Rutgers University. She has lectured extensively on the colonial period, the American Revolution, and George Washington’s presidential administration. She is the author of A Powerful Mind: The Self-Education of George Washington (University of Nebraska Press). Additionally, she has authored book chapters and articles and appeared as a featured expert in documentaries aired on the History Channel, C-SPAN, and Fox News. After concluding her Army service, she entered the corporate world and held several executive roles, most recently acting as chief of staff at East Coast Warehouse and Distribution Corporation.

Adrienne resides with her family in Hawthorne, New Jersey, and is the chief operating officer and a senior historian of Battlefield Leadership, LLC.

adrienne.harrison@battlefieldleadership.com

315.955.3126 tel

Col. (Ret.) Gian P. Gentile, PhD

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A 30-year armor officer who commanded at the platoon, company, and squadron levels, Col. Gian Gentile is a combat veteran of two tours in Iraq, a former chief of military history and professor at the US Military Academy at West Point, and a visiting fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley with an MA in military arts and sciences from the School of Advanced Military Studies and a PhD from Stanford University. With specialized knowledge in the history of airpower in the United States, Gian is also a counterinsurgency expert currently employed by the Rand Corporation.

Col. (Ret.) Pilar McDermott, PhD

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A former chief of international history and full professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Colonel McDermott served 27 years in command and staff positions, including as commander of the largest artillery battery in the army. A graduate of West Point, with MA and PhD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Pilar has had essays and books published in the United States, Spain, and Italy. She has received several fellowships, including one from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Upon her retirement from the army in 2013, Pilar received the Compass Award from the Women’s Leadership Exchange, given to those “who have shifted the paradigm of how women are perceived as leaders.” Pilar leads Battlefield Leadership’s women’s leadership studies and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

James Czupil

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James Czupil is a former human resources executive at The Hershey Company with 25 years of experience in global executive development, diversity, and compensation. He also worked for Bank of America where he developed executives from across the enterprise. A graduate of Penn State University with a BA in marketing, James also holds an MA from Saint Francis University in industrial relations. At both Hershey and Bank of America, he excelled at facilitating strategy and business development sessions with global teams. His role at Battlefield Leadership is to ensure that our team fully explores clients’ leadership and business challenges and helps them create workable plans to move their companies forward.

Everett Berger

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While at Merrill Lynch (and later Bank of America), Everett was responsible for global leadership and talent programs under Merrill Lynch University, where he led the design, development, and delivery of programs across all lines of business. Everett retired from Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2012 and joined Battlefield Leadership, where he serves as a program facilitator. In addition to co-facilitating Battlefield Leadership’s Antietam, Gettysburg, Little Bighorn, Washington’s Crossing, and Normandy programs, he delivers the Shackleton Leadership Experience to global audiences throughout the world.

Michael Hobbs

“We are determined not to let the lessons we learned at Gettysburg go to waste. So I have dedicated two hours every month for leadership training. I’ve assigned each of my managers a month to run a session. The focus of each session is to make us better leaders individually and as a team by learning from each other.”

Vice President Custom Services & Development | Novation
Michael Hobbs

Dr. Steve P Nichols

“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from all my team members. In short, I can summarize it by saying every one of them stated this is the best leadership experience they have ever participated in…by far. The enthusiasm you portrayed as you led us and the genuine interest you took in the team and each member of it largely accounts for the huge success.”

U.S. Agronomic Manager | Bayer CropScience
Dr. Steve P Nichols

Robert F. Amen

“The appeal of the Gettysburg Leadership Program is truly universal. Our global senior management team, which comprises more than a dozen nationalities, rated this the best and most relevant leadership course they have experienced.”

CEO, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. | International Flavors & Fragrances Inc
Robert M. Amen

Kamie Eckert

“This was the second time that our team has partnered with the Battlefield Leadership group for a team engagement trip. After having an amazing experience the first time in Normandy, it was hard to imagine that we would be able to recreate that same type of magic and connection. I am happy to share that while the Malta experience was very different, it certainly built on what we had learned previously and filled the current needs of our team perfectly. Kevin is great at reading the group, using our language to prompt conversation and making the space for the business discussions to take the lead. This has allowed us to grow through the connection and experience of the trip, but it has also to enabled us to have important business discussions leading to decisions that will help us accelerate our strategy. I am a huge fan and believer that the Battlefield Leadership experiences are key to our team’s success!”

President, General Manager USA | Royal Canin
Kamie Eckert

Peter A. Darbee

“My focus over the last thirteen years has been, above all else, on leadership. During these years of inquiry, no one has defined leadership quite as succinctly or effectively as you did at our session; character and competency says it all.”

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer | PG&E Corporation
Peter A. Darbee

Luis Merizalde

“Your Normandy program was a great experience and the entire team came home energized and eager to apply the focused insights we picked up in Normandy to the business and their own lives. We definitely came back as better leaders! I was impressed with how well the program appealed to and affected all the different nationalities in a team as diverse as mine. I genuinely believe the Normandy Experience has provided important areas for improvement in effectiveness and a strong motivation boost for my team.”

President | General Mills, Australasia
Luis Merizalde

David Tallman

“Our entire team of senior leaders was impacted by the Battlefield Experience—Leadership Lessons at Gettysburg. The examples used, coupled with the chance to actually walk the fields of engagement and learn how the decisions of a few leaders impacted many, were outstanding. The corollaries to our business leaders’ intentions and ensuring that all our team members understand those, left a lasting mark. The battle at Gettysburg determined the outcome of our nation’s greatest challenge…so too the lessons learned will impact the outcomes of our businesses. Thank you for making this a great investment in our team’s development.”

Senior Vice President and General Manager | Eaton Corporation
David Tallman

Steve Snyder

“The program format is very compelling. Our team was engaged at a level that brought energy to the event—I felt it touched each and every one of our senior management in a way that left them more engaged and focused.”

President | 21st Century Healthcare, Inc.
Steve Snyder

Sal Sama

“The Gettysburg Leadership Experience provides an environment for business professionals to examine one of the greatest battles of American history through the perspective of its leaders and their subordinates. Clarity of communication, organizational focus, alignment, succession readiness, and many other present day business challenges are discussed through a historical perspective where certain decisions and actions turned the tide of war and history, and which metaphorically apply as factors for success or failure in your business. Participants in the Battlefield Leadership training benefit both personally and professionally from the experience.”

Business Manager | WinField Solutions
Sal Sama

Kevin D. Wilde

“There is no better feeling for a champion of corporate learning than when a creative leadership development program makes an important difference for the organization AND wins over the skeptics. Battlefield Leadership is such a success story for General Mills. While some leaders were excited to use history and battles as a learning tool, others here weren’t so sure. But history came alive for all members of the team that week and it made a powerful impact on individuals and the working team. Since then numerous teams have sought out the Battlefield experience and we have an ongoing demand for this offering. I can highly recommend this program and also greatly value the partnership with the principal consultants.”

VP, Organization Effectiveness and Chief Learning Officer | General Mills, Inc
Kevin D. Wilde

Patrick F. Bassett

“Experiential education and team-building at its best, the Gettysburg Experience is a transformational undertaking for leaders at any level in any organization, and especially for leadership teams. By walking the historic battles of Gettysburg and deconstructing the decisions made under fire, the relationships between leaders and subordinates, and the examples of inspired vs. confused communication, the Battlefield Leadership facilitators bring historic moments to life and make it extraordinarily relevant to the ‘battles’ modern leaders fight every day.”

President | National Association of Independent Schools
Patrick F. Bassett

Jeff Lane

“We have taken both experienced and potential leaders through the Cowpens Leadership Experience. Feedback from the participants has been overwhelmingly positive. The battlefield provides a natural and engaging platform for leadership development.”

Director of Corporate R&D | Milliken & Company
Jeff Lane, PhD

August W. Schaefer

“In the past three years I’ve had the opportunity to participate in both the Gettysburg and Normandy: D-Day Leadership Programs, and I could not be more impressed. While history is the backdrop, these are not history programs. Rather, history serves as the chalkboard for lessons in leadership and lessons in teamwork that are readily applicable to the workplace. The instructors don’t take you to the battlefield, they take you back in time and into it. I would strongly recommend these programs, and the instructors, to anyone looking to solidify their team or improve its performance.”

Senior Vice President & Public Safety Officer | Underwriters Laboratories Inc
August W. Schaefer

Marc A. Chini

“As I look back on the experience personally, there is a unique effect that takes place when you connect such an emotional and historic event with leadership education. It makes the learning come to life in a way that is much different than anything that can take place in a classroom.”

EVP & Chief Human Resource Officer | Synchrony Financial
Marc A. Chini

Ken Gills

“Your leadership insights were no less than outstanding. I learned more these past two days of leadership training than in any other course I have ever attended.”

Bayer HealthCare
Ken Gills

Justin Greis

“Battlefield Leadership was one of the most profound and meaningful leadership development programs of my professional career. It perfectly blended history with real leadership business leadership challenges to create a powerfully immersive experience that will resonate from the most junior analyst to the executive office. So often we refer to leadership as some unattainable goal; a lofty title reserved for presidents, celebrities and TV personalities. Battlefield Leadership emphasizes the key behaviors and traits of leadership that can make the difference between a successful outcome and a resounding failure. The impressive team of military historians, officers, and leadership experts focuses on real behaviors that can be put into practice immediately and gives you the tools to cut through the fog and ambiguity that hinders many from reaching their full leadership potential. I will carry with me this experience always and I highly recommend the Battlefield Leadership program to anyone looking for a leadership experience that will feed the mind, enrich the soul, and touch the heart.”

Partner, Professor of Information Systems | Kelley School of Business, Indiana University and Ernst & Young Advisory Services
Justin Greis

Carol Candino

“I just wanted to reach out after the Leadership Experience to say thank you for all of your guidance and experience in teaching this life course. I learned much about our history’s leaders and how their decisions and thought processes unfolded, as well as how it related to corporate leaders today. What I found most surprising were the leadership lessons and how they related to me in more ways than I could have expected. I saw qualities in myself that I had forgotten I possessed. I want to thank you for reminding me that they were there. Thank you again for being an inspiring leader to us and for helping us to discover the leader within.”

Bayer Healthcare
Carol Candino

Kevin Wirkus

“As a business leader and veteran, I can think of no better platform to train today’s executives than Battlefield Leadership. Much more than a history lesson, Battlefield Leadership offers profound and detailed insight into the leaders and decisions that shaped the very fabric of America, as well as the application to today’s competitive business environment.”

Vice President | 21st Century Healthcare, Inc.
Kevin C. Wirkus

Paul Merrild

“It’s impossible to visit the battlefield of Gettysburg without being deeply moved. When I recently spent three days wandering these hallowed grounds, I realized that my industry, health care—and others going through turbulent times—have much to learn from the hard-won lessons of Gettysburg.”

Senior Vice President, Enterprise Solutions | athenahealth, Inc.
Paul Merrild

John T. Dillon

“On behalf of International Paper, please accept my thanks for a great job in taking us through the Gettysburg Experience. Your enthusiasm and deep knowledge about the subject made for a rich experience, and your energy kept everyone going through a very busy day. As leaders, our challenge is to take these new learnings and use them to motivate our people to help us take our company to the next level. Thanks again, and well done!”

Chairman | International Paper
John T. Dillon