Meet our Staff and Associates

Charis staff come from many countries, disciplines, and points of view, and they share a common focus: to develop the communication and leadership skills required for our clients to meet their global business goals.

When considering a global business trainer or consultant, the client would do well to consider the country expertise and first-hand business experience of that professional, the composite strengths of their team, plus the resources of the organization that supports him or her.

Charis consultants are available as individuals and teams for your global and cross-cultural business needs.

Our Staff

Marian Stetson-Rodriguez - PresidentRuben Rodriguez - Director of Operations & ResearchDavid Wan - Director Asia Pacific ServicesAshok Mathur - India StrategyAnjali Rao - India Practice

Marian Stetson-Rodriguez, M.S.O.D., is President and founder of Charis Intercultural Training Corporation, an intercultural communication and management consulting firm based in Pleasanton, California. Her work in successfully building global communication solutions includes cross-cultural business training programs for 30 countries, multicultural diversity training, and international relocation and management development. She manages a staff of intercultural associates in the U.S., Brazil, Costa Rica, Israel, France, U.K., Singapore, China and India. Since 1999 she has been adjunct faculty at Santa Clara University, Graduate School of Engineering, in the heart of Silicon Valley, where she teaches engineering managers how to attract, retain and develop the engineers who are from many different countries and cultural backgrounds.

She holds a Master of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management, a B.A. in Linguistics from University of California at Berkeley, has attended La Sorbonne Paris IV, the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication. Her work includes over eighteen years of training and consulting for Fortune 500 company software designers, engineers, customer service centers, semiconductor fabs and assembly/test, clothing manufacturers, oil refineries, and universities in the United States, France, Ireland, Israel, Costa Rica and Venezuela plus managing projects in Japan, India, Philippines, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Brazil and Taiwan. Her areas of expertise are executive coaching for effectiveness overseas, building multicultural teams, and cross-cultural training program design.

A native of California, USA, she lived and worked in France 1974-75 and in Venezuela 1980-82 and has lived, worked in, and traveled to over 30 countries. Clients include Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung Semiconductor, Fujitsu Electronics, Sun Microsystems, Space Systems/Loral, Chevron Overseas Petroleum, Levi Strauss and over 25 other firms. She has spoken at international conferences in Vienna, Washington D.C., Manila, and Chicago. She is fluent in Spanish, and conversant in French and Italian and, with her husband, is raising three bilingual children.

Ruben Rodriguez M.S. Director of Operations and Development

Ruben Rodriguez has created and currently directs Charis’ information systems, finance, and quality systems for operations among Charis network of associates worldwide. Ruben holds a M.S. in Materials Science from California State University in San Jose, B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering, and has undertaken advanced coursework in authoring multimedia, website and intercultural training design. He has been an integral part of Charis’ success since its founding in 1994.

Prior to his work at Charis, Ruben worked for 12 years in semiconductor photolithography and software graphics engineering in the multicultural environment in the high tech industry. He negotiated multimillion dollar equipment purchases with Japanese and German firms in both those countries, applying intercultural communication strategy with technical expertise to successfully complete these projects. He participated in technology exchanges in Japan over five years. He has earned two patents and numerous departmental and divisional awards. In addition to his skills working in the U.S., Japanese and German environments, he has worked in management, engineering and sales at Venezuelan and Mexican joint venture firms in the steel and petroleum industries in Venezuela.

He manages research and development on Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East to update and expand Charis’ resource bank and databases. He conducts statistical analysis of employee surveys for client organizations, providing succinct graphical reports and presentations to clients. He authors and maintains Charis corporate website. He is a native of Venezuela and is fluent in Spanish and English.

David Wan B.A. Director Asia Pacific ServicesDavid Wan, Director, Asia-Pacific Services, has 25 years of extensive hands-on and multifaceted work experience in Asia and in the US. David helps multinational companies navigate cultural uncertainties and trains their employees to be successful in doing business in Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. He has coached executives in their APAC leadership and management strategies at Oracle, Google, Intel, LSI, NetApp, Palm, and many other companies in over 10 years with Charis.

David facilitates multicultural business negotiations of strategic alliances and contracts, business startups, and joint venture integration. He provides consultation and customized training for high technology clients ranging from executive vice presidents to managers and individual contributors. The training focus is to provide them with strategic insights to implement new and change processes and to enable them to work effectively with their counterparts and colleagues in various countries in Asia. David also trains expatriates and their families relocating to these countries and prepares them for a successful assignment.

In his prior corporate management positions with two major US multinational companies over a period of 20 years, David explored uncharted territories to ascertain viable options and find the best fit to do business in Asia. He started new businesses, managed joint ventures and regional operations, and increased sales and market share in many of Asia’s emerging markets. David’s firsthand experience working with China started in 1991. Thereafter, as Director, China Operations, based in Beijing and Shanghai, David successfully started, completed and managed new multimillion dollar manufacturing and sales companies in China in the late 1990’s. He hired and trained Chinese managers especially on working with multinational companies. He also recruited and trained American expatriate managers and engineers and helped them develop effective business and communication skills to be successful in China.

In the early and mid-1990’s, David lived and worked in Malaysia and Thailand to set up joint venture manufacturing and sales companies. He also established sales distribution in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and the Philippines. David is well conversant with different Asian cultural values and priorities, management styles, business and social etiquette, relationship building process, communication and negotiation styles, and decision making hierarchy, etc. A Chinese American, and fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese, David works effectively with Asians and Americans. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Hong Kong. 

Ashok Mathur M.B.A., B.E. India Strategy ConsultantAshok Mathur, M.B.A., B.E., has extensive hands-on and multi-faceted work experience in India and in the U.S. Ashok’s knowledge of international business practices, economics, cultural traditions and social protocol facilitates multicultural business negotiations, formation of strategic alliances, collaboration with virtual employees, and leader-subordinate relationships.

He and his wife, Dr. Minu Mathur, have trained U.S. executives for expatriate assignments and business trips to Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai. Charis’ successful Working with India training program, coaching and consulting has been delivered to over 500 managers and engineers at Intel, LSI, Chevron, NetApp, Agilent Technologies, Adaptec, Intuit, Standard Pacific, Space Systems Loral, and Sandia National Laboratories. Ashok is known for his depth knowledge in global business and his delivery style and sense of humor that engages everybody across cultural boundaries.

Ashok has over 20 years experience as a manager and executive in software, telecommunications and electronic publishing. He has started new businesses, participated in taking a company public, conducted turn-arounds for distressed companies, and forged numerous business alliances in the U.S., Asia, Australia and Europe. Ashok currently works as the CEO of a minerals and environmental company, and contributes to Charis projects.

Ashok has been an instructor in business and has spoken at and chaired numerous panels at information industry conferences. He holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata, holds an undergraduate degree in engineering, and has done graduate studies in strategic management at Oklahoma State University. As an active member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) in the Silicon Valley, the premier network of Indian-U.S. business people, Ashok has key insights to the opportunities, challenges and motivation for Indians working globally. Among the companies he has worked at or built alliances with, are ITC, Ltd. India; TMS, Inc.; SAP, AT&T, Aiwa, and HP He travels to India frequently, and is fluent in English and Hindi and conversant in Punjabi and Urdu.

Anjali Rao M.A. India ConsultantAnjali Rao, India Consultant, M.A., is from Bangalore, India where she completed her undergraduate studies and worked for Indian companies. Anjali received her Master’s degree in Communication, with an emphasis on international and intercultural communication and adult learning, from Portland State University of Oregon. She graduated with highest honors and 4.0 GPA. Anjali has in-depth knowledge of Indian culture and communication styles of the younger generation participating in India’s high tech and outsourcing boom, and more traditional Indians from the diverse regional and religious spectrum of India. She has first hand knowledge of current business practices in the high tech industry. Anjali has delivered Working with India for Charis at Intel, Xilinx, LSI Logic, Lennar, Warmington, Toll Brothers, and other clients. She has delivered Working with the USA for clients in Bangalore and Pune, India. Participants comment that her passionate training delivery and comprehensive knowledge of Indian culture give them excellent application “take-aways” for to improve teamwork across cultural differences.

Prior to her work at Charis, Anjali worked at Intel Corporation in Oregon, where she managed development and delivery of training programs for Intel’s Oncall Assistance Center, the primary HR solutions group. Her group received the Division Recognition Award for the project’s success. She has worked on global H.R. initiatives to attract and retain world-class talent. She has been an intercultural trainer at the International Refugee Center of Oregon, Portland State University, and University of Phoenix where she dealt with multiple cultures. Anjali travels to India every year to keep abreast of trends and changes in the culture, and has lived in Oregon and California, U.S., for ten years. She is multilingual, fluent in English, Hindi and Kannada.

Our Charis Associates

Juan Arias - Costa RicaAmy Miao - ChinaOlga Ivanova - RussiaMarina Bemanian - Iran, AfghanistanSantalynda Marrero - Org & Team DevChanya Allen - ThailandDonovan Le - VietnamMitsch Tapia - PhilippinesVanessa Puniak - Program Mgr.Motaz Hajaj - Saudi ArabiaLothar Katz - GermanySue Shinomiya - JapanCaroline Smadja - FranceAnat Kedem - IsraelRossana Miranda-Johnston - MexicoJenny Chin-Hui Wilkins - TaiwanPawel Walentynowicz - PolandJeremy Wong - ChinaJoe Bharat - South Korea
Juan Arias Ph.D. Costa Rica ConsultantJuan Antonio Arias, Ph.D., Costa Rica Consultant, is a native of Costa Rica, and has worked as a Charis trainer and consultant, and university professor in both the U.S. and Costa Rica, for over 10 years. He enables U.S. expatriates and business travelers to build successful relationships with Costa Ricans, or “Ticos.” Since 1997 he has contributed to the successful international start up and ongoing operations of Intel Corporation’s factory in Costa Rica.

Juan has trained U.S. employees to understand Costa Rican culture, business and cross-cultural communication. He has also worked with Costa Ricans on assignment to the U.S. to integrate productively to the U.S. work environment. Dr. Arias received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and currently divides his time between the U.S. and San Jose, Costa Rica. He is fluent in Spanish and English. 

Amy MiaoAmy Qing Miao, M.D., M.S. Microbiology, M.S.W., China cross-cultural consultant, has worked for over 10 years with China and U.S. government, high tech, manufacturing, biotech and healthcare industries. Amy works closely with U.S. and Chinese businesses to establish mutually beneficial relationships, inspiring enthusiasm and team work across cultures. She assists American firms to source vendors, understand the business practices, negotiations, transmission of reports and contracts, using her skills to interpret the language, culture and motivations of the Chinese workforce. For Chinese businesses, Amy interprets foreign cultural practices new to them.

Since 2006, Amy has worked with American companies, including high tech corporations doing business in China, facilitating the differences in business practices to build trust along a wide spectrum of clients from business managers, to spouses and children, to rural farmers-turned-factory workers. Amy has trained expatriates and their families relocating to China to help them to prepare for the cultural insights, language, social practices, and expectations to experience successful assignments. Her clients rate Amy “Outstanding as a trainer, and a pleasure to work with.” With her high levels of energy, flexibility in teaching technique, and avid love of learning, she challenges trainees to meet and exceed their learning goals.

Born and raised in Beijing, Amy graduated from Tianjin Medical University, and worked as a medical doctor at Tianjin Medical University General Hospital in the early 1990’s. In 1994 she transitioned to Motorola in Tianjin, to direct a staff of 12 doctors and nurses providing primary and emergency care for 8500 employees. After training at Motorola’s Arizona facilities, she returned to Tianjin to organize Motorola’s Environmental, Health & Safety Standards (EHS), and Occupational, Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) programs. She worked closely with human resources to develop consultations, assessment, treatment and training for mental health stability among employees. Amy moved to the 1997 to pursue a dual Master’s in Social Work and Microbiology at Arizona State University, and to work in Motorola (Arizona) EAP program. She visits China frequently, and speaks fluent English and Mandarin Chinese.  

Olga IvanovaOlga Ivanova-Nuss, M.S., is an international performance consultant and multicultural trainer with 18+ years of professional experience in both Russia (her native country), and in the U.S. Prior to her relocation to the U.S. in 1994, Ms. Ivanova-Nuss started several private innovative educational institutions in Moscow, Russia, both as part of a team and individually. She has taught a new generation of Russian managers to work efficiently in a free market economy and within the international arena.

Ms. Ivanova-Nuss coached employees and worked with top global companies and organizations in the USA and abroad: Sabre, Intel, Alticor, Conoco-Phillips, British Petroleum and TNK/BP, Shell, Sandia National Laboratories, MeadWestvaco, Ernst & Young, International Paper, HIT Entraitanment, Meridian Eaton Global Group, US State Department of Commerce, Ft. Worth International Small Business Development Center (Texas, USA), Dallas World Affairs Council (Texas, USA), Global-LT, Center for Effective Performance (USA), Performanceleap (UK) and Kent Business School (UK) providing performance and training solutions in areas such as multicultural teams, management and leadership in a global environment, global mindset and global communication skills. Companies report that after utilizing her consulting and training services in the areas of multicultural teams performance, communication skills, doing business in a global environment and specifically in Russia, many working relations were improved, conflicts were solved and/or prevented, team-members gained more confidence working with their partners and customers from all over the world resulting in saving human and financial resources, higher job performance levels, and delivering international projects on time.

Ms. Ivanova-Nuss holds a BS degree in management from Humanitarian University of Russia (Moscow, Russia) and MS in Instructional and Performance Technology from Boise State University (Idaho, USA). She received her professional certification in “Cross-Cultural Training for International Corporations” from the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (Portland, Oregon, USA). Olga has spent all her professional career working and training adults in colleges, private and government organizations. Russian language is her native language and she fluently speaks English.

Olga served as a Program Partner and a cross-cultural coach for Community Connections and International Visitors programs for the World Affairs Council of Greater Dallas (USA). For 5 years she volunteered her time as a Chair of Educational sub-committee at the Dallas-Saratov (Russia) Sister-Cities Committee, “bridging” American and Russian educational institutions for joint projects and institutional cooperation.

After 15 years of her professional career in USA Ms. Ivanova-Nuss returned to her home in Moscow, Russia, to continue coaching global professionals for their assignments in Russia. She frequently returns to the U.S. for business and vacations.

Marina BemanianMarina Bemanian, M.S. Computer Science, is originally from Teheran, Iran; has lived in Pakistan and the U.S., and is a tremendous resource for understanding Iranian and Afghan cultures. She has delivered Charis Passport to Iranian Homebuyers programs for northern and southern California homebuilders.

She has experienced first hand the cultural adjustment challenges in California, having moved to Southern California, studied at California State University, Northridge and worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. She travels annually to Iran to visit family and friends and stay current on the tastes, styles, trends and culture in Iran. Marina is active in the home sales industry, working as a real estate and staging consultant with unique insights to the preferences and communication styles of Iranian, Afghan and Indian home buyers.

Previous to her work with Charis, he worked in international sales, and is well aware of the importance of good communication and negotiation skills and relationship building in the customer sales and service process. She is fluent in Farsi, English, and Urdu.

Santalynda MarreroSantalynda MarreroEd.D. Organization and Team Development,  received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Rutgers University. Her broad range of experience for the past 15 years includes teaching, counseling, organization development, training and speaking. She has worked at Rutgers University, Bell Laboratories, Silicon Valley high tech, and Stanford University Hospital. She enjoys a balance between theory and practice to facilitate-experiential learning in her programs. Using humor, a little magic, and activities to involve the audience make for inspiring and impactful workshops, retreats and presentations

Santalynda consults with management to understand issues concerning management and communication with a multicultural workforce. She is fluent in Spanish and English.



Chanya AllenChayada “Chanya” Srithong Allen, Thailand Intercultural Consultant, provides cultural awareness, business practices, and life skills transitions for U.S. – Thai business ventures, global teams, and expatriate assignments. Originally from Bangkok, Chanya holds a degree in Communication Arts from the prestigious Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok and worked in Bangkok for many years. She specialized in intercultural communications with a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Oregon, USA.

Chanya is highly skilled in training facilitation and excels at fostering multicultural team building. For more than 20 years she has navigated cultures in both her academic and professional careers in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, while staying abreast of Thailand’s current events and cultural changes through travel, work, and community involvement. She has extensive experience working with multiple industries, government and non-profit organizations. She has served as a liaison to the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Secretariat, managing bilateral initiatives in support of the OEDD (Oregon Economic Development Department), particularly international delegation visits. She has provided Thai cultural orientations for the city of Portland staff in preparation for hosting delegates from Thailand. Her Japan and China cross-cultural expertise was highly appreciated as she trained local Seattle hosts during the visit of the China Minister of Science and Technology accompanied by a group of Chinese Mayors. 

Chanya currently serves as a Community Liaison for the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Leadership Development Division (USA). She is an active committee member of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training, and Research (SIETAR Northwest), Seattle Chapter. She facilitates Diversity and Inclusion intercultural communication workshops for local businesses and government agencies. With 15 years’ expertise as an international education advocate, she volunteers for AFS Intercultural Exchange Program’s pre-departure orientations. Her true passion is in transitional facilitation across cultures. She travels annually to Thailand to visit family, friends, and colleagues. She speaks Thai and English fluently.

Donovan LeeDonovan Le, Vietnam Consultant, M.S. Engineering, was born and raised in Vietnam, and moved to Texas, then California as a young man. Don Le has been a consultant and trainer for Charis since 2000, specializing in creating customized training programs for understanding Vietnamese culture, with insights to the experiences, values, and consumer attitudes of the various “waves” of Vietnamese immigrants to the U.S.

He has a dynamic and humorous delivery style, and has been an acclaimed speaker at Charis’ Passport to Vietnamese Homebuyers’ programs in California. Focusing on the new business enterprises in Vietnam, Don has made six trips to Vietnam in recent years, from 3 to 6 weeks at a time, staying current on the changes in Vietnamese society and business in Ho Chi Minh City and the provinces.

In addition to his training at Charis, Don is a Project Manager for a company that manufactures medical devices used in hospitals and laboratories, and in that role has managed Vietnamese engineering and technical subordinates. He has worked in manufacturing and delivered training at plants in Singapore and Mexico. He has worked as a consultant and presenter to dozens of organizations on hiring and career building for a diverse workforce. Don received his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and Bachelor of Science degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Davis. He is fluent in English and Vietnamese.

Mitch TapiaMitsch Tapia , Philippines Associate, M.S. Organization Development, is a native of the Philippines with over 12 years experience working in the business sector, government, and independent consulting. Mitsch specializes in strategic change management and cross cultural organization development with projects in a semiconductor factory, a holding company and government financial groups.

She has worked at Intel in the Philippines, Costa Rica, China, and Arizona, and has facilitated strategy development, teambuilding and customer research workshops for property development and management companies in the Philippines. She has also led her own human resources consulting firm in Manila. Mitsch is a graduate of the prestigious Ateneo De Manila University, with a B.S. in Psychology, and has an M.S.O.D. from Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management. She brings key insights to global teams on how to build effective cross-cultural business practices.

Vanessa PuniakVanessa Puniak, M.A. Intercultural Communication, Vanessa is a skilled diversity and cross-cultural communication consultant and trainer, having conducted over 500 workshops in the U.S. and abroad for industry and non-governmental organizations. She holds a M.A. Intercultural Communication from San Francisco State University, B.A. in Public Relations from San Jose State University, and has undertaken graduate anthropology studies at the University of Dakar, Senegal. She develops country-specific business seminars, leadership and team building programs, is a Dispute Resolutions Mediator, and Associate Faculty, College of Humanities, University of Phoenix in San Diego, California where she teaches intercultural communication, world religions, global mythology and Contemporary American Society.

Vanessa managed Charis’ successful intercultural communication programs for a high tech start-up in Costa Rica 1997-98, with training for over 400 employees in Costa Rica and the U.S. She developed and facilitated a monthly spouse network for expatriate spouses in Costa Rica, enhancing their cultural adjustment for the challenges of start-up phase. Her first hand experience in Southeast Asia is key to her dynamic delivery of training programs on Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines. She has also facilitated Charis’ Passport Europe: Germany, France, United Kingdom programs at Etec Systems.

An avid world traveler, she has developed businesses in Thailand, worked with Pacific Rim delegates in Canada, and escorted U.S.A.I.D. participants from 16 countries while on business in the U.S. Cross-cultural immersion is her way of life, as she has lived / worked / traveled in over 80 countries on all seven continents. A published travel writer and photographer, she is chronicling these experiences in her new book which focuses on strategies for solo women travelers. Vanessa has a working knowledge of Spanish and French.

Motaz HajajMotaz Hajaj, M.S. Engineering Management, is from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and currently lives and works in San Francisco, California where he works in a multicultural team to develop and execute digital marketing for B2C and B2B clients around the world. Motaz has lived, studied and worked in the US for six years in the early 2000’s, and from 2009-2011 to gain engineering expertise, first-hand application of U.S. business practices, and American marketing strategy. He is fluent in Arabic and English, and impressive in his ability to connect with people of any culture.

In his native Saudi Arabia, Motaz worked as an IT operations officer at the National Commercial Bank in Jeddah, the second largest city after the capital. From 2007 to 2008 he worked with local and foreign managers from various cultural backgrounds such as Eastern Asia, India, Europe, USA, and multiple Middle Eastern countries to identify IT needs and increase process efficiency by 40%. He created new credit verification processes, and built consensus for adoption in the organization.

Motaz’ passion for building global collaboration and cultural awareness stem from two critical situations in his life. Motaz began his studies in the U.S. Midwest in September of 2011, one of only 3 Saudi Arabian students on campus. The events of 9/11 catapulted him into practicing cultural sensitivity and dealing with prejudice. Prior to that he had recognized the strains, miscommunications and inefficiencies occurring when working in a multicultural team in the finance industry in Jeddah. Motaz is committed to bringing cultural awareness training to organizations in Saudi Arabia when he returns in 2012, therefore has maintained contacts among his network in the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Education and Jeddah Chamber of Commerce.

Motaz has visited Egypt annually since 1996 and considers Egypt “my second home”. Through family contacts and personal interest, he has developed a knowledge of the business practices, cultural nuances, communication styles and day-to-day considerations for doing business in Egypt.

Building relationships is a key strength Motaz brings to any project, across generations and cultures. As a Gen Y foreign student at Missouri University of Science & Technology, Motaz was President of the International Students Club and Director of the Comedy Committee, a natural outgrowth for his love of humor. At Santa Clara University graduate engineering program in California, he has networked extensively to bring faculty and Arab students together to improve communication, increase recruiting and acceptance of Arab students, and build community relations.

Lothar KatzLothar Katz, M.S, is a trainer and management coach in the field of international business. He has delivered workshops on successful collaboration across cultures, especially concerning global teamwork with Europe, U.S., India and China. Lothar has delivered successful onsite and virtual training for Charis clients in the US, Germany, plus other countries joining virtually from Europe and Asia. He has helped many companies, among them EDS, Hewlett Packard, L-3 Communications, Merck Inc., Texas Instruments and others grow their global business competence and maximize their international success. He also advised several Asian companies seeking to establish a stronger presence in the United States, such as China’s Huawei and India’s Tata Group.

A former Vice President and General Manager during his nearly 20 years with Texas Instruments, Lothar managed international business organizations that included several teams in China and India. He frequently visited and interacted with customers, outsourcing partners, and third parties in numerous places in both countries, as well as elsewhere in Asia.

Lothar is originally from Germany, graduated from the University of Hanover with a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering. He holds dual US and German citizenship, resides in Dallas, Texas and travels frequently to Europe and Asia. He has native fluency in English and German, delivering training and public speaking in either language. In addition to his training and coaching for corporate clients, he is a professor at The University of Texas At Dallas, and adjunct faculty at Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business, where he lectures on International Project Management.

Sue ShinomiyaSue Kallenbach-Shinomiya, M.B.A. International Business, has been a consultant for intercultural communication and training to multinational companies for over 15 years. As an expatriate to Japan for eight years, Ms. Shinomiya is very familiar with cultural adjustment and the keys to successfully working and living in another culture, and participating in geographically dispersed teams. During that time, she managed intercultural training at a semiconductor company’s Japan site and integrated successful interfaces between U.S. and Japanese teams. She has worked with such global companies as Hitachi, NEC, Dell, Motorola, and Applied Materials for successful international business relations.

Since 1999, Ms. Shinomiya has conducted U.S. inpatriate programs for over 100 employees and their spouses assigned to the greater Portland, Oregon area. These assignees have come from a range of countries including Japan, Israel, Singapore, India, England, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Finland, Mexico, and Canada. A native of California, she has lived in Portland, Oregon for the last five years, and provides Oregon and Washington insights for assignees to these areas. She is an author and frequent presenter on intercultural communication in business, and she is fluent in English and Japanese.

Caroline SmadjaCaroline Smadja, M.A., Director of Intercultural Services, Europe for Charis Intercultural Training Corp., has over 20 years multi-faceted cross-cultural management, leadership and communication training experience in Europe and the U.S. Currently based in Paris, she leads Charis’ practice in Europe.

She has conducted International Management and Leadership Programs for Delphi Automotive Systems since 2003, for hundreds of managers from all over the world (France, UK, Germany, Italy, Poland, Turkey, US and more). Caroline covers global management and leadership, change management, coaching, global and/or virtual team-building to provide managers with conceptual frameworks and practical tools for personal and team effectiveness.

With her extensive studies and work experience in the U.S., Caroline brings insights to key areas of shared norms, cultural and behavioural differences, and strategies to leverage the tension and compatibility between French and Americans, in Working with the USA. She challenges her audiences to reflect, react, debate and engage to experience new skills in intercultural communication, leading meetings, presentations and negotiations in English. She holds a M.A. in U.S. History from U.C. Davis and a Masters in American Civilization from the University of Paris VII (Jussieu). In the 1990’s she taught French language and culture, European Civilization, and U.S. History to M.B.A. and law students at Golden Gate University, the Weller International School of Business in San Francisco; and Monterey Institute of International Studies, in California.

Caroline conducts training with professionals from Europe and the U.S. to understand each other’s respective cultures in the business context, with training delivered to expatriates, business travellers and global project managers at Intel, Applied Materials, Solectron and French enterprises Total, AXA, ICM, Vivendi, Air France, Lucent Technologies and many other companies in France. She has developed e-learning (Espace Langues Virtuel) to provide language and intercultural training virtually among international staff.

Born in Tunis, Ms. Smadja grew up in Nice, spent two years as a teenager in Jerusalem, has studied and worked as an adult in Paris and California, and travelled extensively in Mexico and Cuba. She is an active member of SIETAR in Europe and the U.S. Ms. Smadja is fluent in French and English, and conversant in Spanish and Hebrew.

Anat KedemAnat Kadem, M.A., Israel and Organization Development Consultant, holds an MA in Education and Training from Haifa University, is an ICF Certified Coach, and has over with over 15 years experience in cross-cultural training, coaching and mediation. She has provided training for Charis clients with engineering sites, customers and acquisitions in Israel, focusing on how to build cross-cultural communication skills, and create trust and collaboration in US-Israel teams. Her in-depth experience living, working and studying for over 10 years in each country gives her the perspective and credibility for both Israeli and American audiences, as she challenges their thinking and behaviors to achieve results.

As a consultant, facilitator and coach, Anat has worked with individuals, teams and executives in a variety of industries. Her work experience in Israel includes assisting corporate clients such as Intel, Motorola, Dialogic, Orbotech, Telrad, and Amdocs with managing global teams and projects and employee international relocation. She designed and facilitated seminars and authored resource materials and curricula for the Israeli government, the Israel Defense Forces and non-profit organizations focusing on diversity and interfaces with mainstream Israeli society for Israeli Arabs, new immigrants, and American groups. She is the co-author of Cultural Detective Israel.

Since 1998, Anat has provided relocation coaching services in the U.S. to Israeli expatriates and executives, alongside intercultural training, consulting and coaching to startup and established clients such as Intel, Rinchem Company, Diligent, Texas Instruments, Cisco, Mellanox, Zoran, SanDisk and VSI, in most cases training both the Israeli and US based teams and managers. As mediator, trainer and coach for the DRPS (Dispute Resolution Program Services) in Santa Clara County, California, Anat delivers basic mediation courses at various universities as part of the College Consortium Program, and serves as a community mediator and coach for new mediators.

Anat’s background includes cross-cultural training, coaching, instructional design, and dispute resolution. She specialized in cross cultural communication at the Intercultural Communication Institute in Portland and at Tel Aviv Open University’s Intercultural Communication Training for Trainers. Anat trained as a facilitator at TELEM’s (Israel) Group Facilitation Program. Anat is a graduate of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland’s IOSD – International Organization & Systems Development Program and of the Gestalt Center for Organization and System Development ICF accredited International Gestalt Coaching Program. Anat has lived in Israel, the US and South Africa, and is bilingual in English and Hebrew.

Rossana Miranda-JohnstonRossana Miranda-Johnston, Mexico Consultant, can deliver Working with Mexico and Working with the USA. She has over 15 years experience working with global companies to be successful in Mexico and Latin America. She is a recognized expert in client-tailored cross-cultural “Working with Mexico” programs to build effective communication; mutual understanding that creates respect and trust within teams, and give insights to the Mexican maquiladora business environment that enable leaders in change processes.

Rossana is successful with all levels in organizations, having delivered training for executives, plant managers, and global teams of many nationalities.

  • Recent factory and maquiladora training and teambuilding projects include working with a U.S. aerospace company building planes in Mexico
  • A pharmaceutical company with assembly operations in Mexico, found through Rossana’s facilitation that a critical team leader in Mexico needed to develop the leadership skills to adequately fulfill the organizations’ requirements
  • Working with Mexico training supported several companies opening new maquiladora plants in Mexicali, Chihuahua, and Tijuana
  • Training Philips engineers in the U.S. to interface with light bulb factory maquiladoras in Aguas Calientes (near Monterey) Mexico improved communication and work processes.

In addition to these maquiladora environments, she has trained Kyocera managers in working with their professional office-environment colleagues in Mexico. Her US business experience has been with such companies as FedEx, Motorola, Lucent, Guidant, and others; her Mexico business experience has been with Novamex, Teléfonos de México, Asociación de Industriales del Bajío, and others.

Born and raised in Mexico, Rossana received a Master’s in Intercultural Management from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, and a Licenciatura (Bachelor’s degree) in Psychology from the Universidad del Nuevo Mundo, Mexico City, with a concentration in industrial psychology. She has completed many training courses given by the National MultiCultural Institute in Washington, D.C., and lived and worked in Mexico, the United States, Portugal, Israel, England, and Italy. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and proficient in Italian.

Jenny WilkinsJenny Chin-Hui Wilkins, M.S., USA and Taiwan cross-cultural consultant, currently lives and works in her native Taiwan, and has lived and worked in the US for 17 years (in California and Arizona), and Brazil. She has successfully brought US, Taiwanese and Malaysian cultural training and teambuilding to a joint venture that will start a 3,000 person manufacturing plant. Jenny is a business communications coach in Taiwan, providing executive coaching for effective speaking and document writing for English speaking audiences.

In 2008 Jenny was a successful lead trainer in Arizona in Charis’ “Working with the USA” program for Intel’s Fab 68 Dalian project with over 200 Chinese managers, project leads and engineers. They transferred from China to work at Intel’s fabs in Arizona and learn the communication skills to succeed in Intel’s fast-paced, direct, and innovation-oriented corporate culture. For over 10 years Jenny assisted newly-arrived Chinese and other immigrants in adapting to their new U.S. environment, understanding the culture, and successfully adapting to their work or university environments. She is experienced at both one-on-one coaching and group training on working successfully across cultures.

Jenny is used to the pace and demands of the high tech environment, having worked at Tandem Computers as a computer system engineer and tech support, and later at Corio in Silicon Valley, California. At Corio Jenny managed a staff of 20+ people including infrastructure architects, system engineers, desktop technicians, and technical support personnel. In 2001, she was asked to start up Corio’s Operations Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Her responsibilities included strategic planning, facility planning, procuring equipment, vendor contract negotiations as well as managing the technical staff members.

Working with Charis for several years, Jenny now combines intercultural theory with her extensive international work business experience. She holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from California State University at Chico, and a B.S. in Computer Science from University of the Pacific in California. Jenny is an entrepreneur, a leader, and has been active in the community. She practices successful management as a small business owner, she was president of Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee (a suburb of Phoenix), as well as lieutenant governor designate of the Kiwanis Southwest district. She speaks fluent English and Mandarin Chinese, as well as conversational Brazilian Portuguese, and is raising two bilingual children with her U.S. American husband.

Pawel WalentynowiczPawel Walentynowicz, M.A., is a highly experienced cross-cultural trainer and consultant. Originally from Poland, and now living in Belgium, Pawel delivers programs on leadership, communication and cross-cultural management with specialization in Central and Eastern Europe.

Pawel has delivered Charis “Working with Poland and Romania” via webinar, and brings an engaging style, clear presentation, extensive first-hand experience as well as cultural objectivity to his training. Participants find his pan-European perspective highly valuable when they have multicultural teams or regional responsibilities in Europe. Pawel has extensive international experience working and living in many European countries, and is fluent in five languages. A part of his work has been executive coaching for Western managers being relocated to formerly communist countries, and understanding the motivation and management strategies for the generational differences that occur in these economies. He develops training programs in cultural awareness, multicultural team building and resolving conflict in multicultural teams for such clients as Siemens, Arcelor Mittal, 3M, Tesco, Parametric Technology and Philips.

Pawel holds a M.A. in Organisational Sociology from the University of Tilburg, the Netherlands, and has additional coursework at Warsaw School of Economics. He is fluent in English, Polish, Dutch, German, and Russian, and has conversational skills in Czech and French. He is the author of Cultural Detective Poland.

Jeremy WongJeremy Wong, M.B.A., has broad experience working for and with multinational corporations in China. A Certified Public Accountant, Jeremy has first hand business experience working for U.S. companies such as Heinz (global consumer food products) in Hong Kong and Shanghai. He worked for Young and Rubicam, one of the largest advertising firms in the U.S., serving clients such as Philip Morris, Caltex (Texaco), and Disney.

He studied his Masters in Business Administration at HKUST, with a faculty and syllabus entirely based on the U.S. MBA model. He has traveled to over 20 cities in the United States, and confers with U.S. Americans, socially and professionally, on current issues such as collaborating as a global team, and understanding U.S. values such as privacy, individual initiative, and intellectual property. He transfers this work, social, and academic background to his delivery of “Working with the USA” for multinational corporate clients in China.

Building on his knowledge of East and West, Jeremy has been an intercultural trainer for four years, training business people to build relationships, communication skills, and business process that bridge differences between China and the West. Trainees have been from all levels of organizations, from fresh graduates of China’s universities, to senior V.P.’s of U.S. corporations who wish to understand the nuances of Chinese society and business environments.

Jeremy is a Chinese national, has lived in Sydney, Australia for ten years, carried graduate business studies in Spain, and has traveled in over 35 countries. He is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, has delivered training for Charis (classroom and webinar) in those languages, and is also conversant in Spanish. He is based in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Joe BharatJoe Bharat, South Korea Consultant, Certified Master Coach, and intercultural workshop facilitator, has lived and worked in Korea and Japan for over 12 years. He is an experienced trainer and manager, and has worked with Korean governmental organizations, multinational corporations, Incheon International Airport, and Korea’s largest chaebol or conglomerates: Samsung, Hanwha, Hyundai, LG, Kumho Asiana and SK.

He has been an executive coach and communications workshop trainer for a variety of Korean and multicultural audiences. After his Charis “Working with South Koreans” workshops at the Port of Portland, Oregon, and Intel Corp., executives, managers, employees and Korean interns said Joe’s cross-cultural expertise, knowledge of today’s dynamic Korean business environment, and role modeling behaviors created an outstanding learning experience that they recommend for all employees who work with Koreans. Originally from the United States, Joe brings his first-hand success practices as a non-Korean to those who want to learn how to build relationships and do business with Koreans of all levels in the organization.

Joe has been involved in the corporate training and development industry in East Asia since 1997. With a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing from California State University, Joe launched a successful startup in Japan that provided corporate trainers to Japanese manufacturing companies. After a smooth transfer of operations in Japan, Joe relocated to Korea, where he presently lives near Seoul with his Korean wife. His special expertise is cross-cultural coaching to bridge the gap with Korean business culture. Clients explore how and why East and West differ in business relations, in areas of credibility, creativity, leadership, rapport, service, teamwork, and motivation – and learn strategies to build and improve global relationships and performance.