Web Analytics

MEET THE TEAM

Take a closer look at Scotwork’s people. Experts, not trainers. Real-world negotiators, not professors. Able to coach and advise young professionals and CEO's alike. From all walks of life, with plenty of battle scars, but united by a love of the rough and tumble of deal-making, and the joy of delivering breakthrough performance in others.

We have coached hundreds of thousands of senior managers in 25 languages in 104 countries. We have grown into the world’s number one independent negotiation consultancy, with offices operating in 38 countries.

Brian Buck

CEO

Sure, we could whip up a snappy bio about Brian’s experience as an entrepreneur, business owner, and Fortune 500 executive. While we’re at it, we could go on for an afternoon about his 20 years in marketing and advertising, developing brilliant consumer-engagement strategies for the likes of Google, Amazon, Samsung, Virgin Mobile, Microsoft, and Sony. But knowing Brian, he’d rather we not. Instead, he’d likely ask us to focus on something else — namely, other people. It’s Brian’s investment in the power of people, in building winning teams, that’s driven his success at turnarounds, not to mention performance and productivity improvements. 1) Give him a challenge. 2) Have him team-build with some passionate people. 3) Let him lead those people through projects that matter to everyone involved. 4) Stand back and admire the results.

By the way, Brian holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business. He lives in Southern California with his wife and two daughters. When he’s not spending quality time with them, or his teams, you’ll likely find him in his at-home woodshop. If you haven’t laid eyes on his handmade shave kit, complete with a beautifully turned, rosewood-handled badger-hair brush, rosewood shaver, and stand, you really do owe it to yourself.

Sandy Sbarra

Senior Vice President

Teaching and coaching are, quite literally, in Sandy’s blood. The son of a high school English teacher, he grew up with a fundamental understanding. “Everyone has a spark. Uncovering that spark takes different approaches, depending on the person,” he says. “Above all, you must be able to let them feel ‘safe’ in that they trust you.” Combining that lesson with a hereditary gift for “reading” people, he’s nothing short of a negotiations natural. “My interest has always been to help adults and children be more than they might be if left to their own devices. In other words, how to get them to maximize their full potential.”

Since joining Scotwork in 2001, he’s become a teacher of a different sort, bringing expert skills training, coaching, and negotiation advice to thousands of professionals. During that time, he’s drawn from a 20-year procurement career and done extensive work with clients in such spaces as advertising, retail, and health & medical. Throughout his commercial journey, he led teams through large, complex indirect services and direct supply-chain contracts. This period was capped by 13 years at Mars, Incorporated, where he co-developed and delivered a training program for their commercial negotiators.

When he’s not in the classroom or at home with his wife on the Delaware shore, Sandy can be found releasing pent-up energy via target practice or skeet shooting. If he’s not on the range, he’s likely out on the back nine. “Once I retire, golf will become my new ‘vocational focus,’” he says. “I find it relaxing in that I have to shut out everything else in my life to concentrate on a sport that requires so much focus. When I hit one great shot, it tends to make up for a lot of the bad ones.”

Richard Waldrop

Senior Vice President, Consultant

“I live on an island, and I enjoy the island frame of mind when I’m home.” When Rich talks of “the island frame of mind,” he’s referring to life out on Ocracoke, just off the North Carolina coast. His time on Ocracoke, with his wife, consists of going out on his 21-foot Grady-White boat, cruising in the nearby waters or fishing for flounder, bluefin tuna, and Spanish mackerel. Otherwise, he might be found clamming on the beach or relearning how to surf by way of a stand-up paddleboard.

Yes, life out on Ocracoke is very nice. What does that have to do with successful negotiating skills? Everything. Rich brings to Scotwork 40 years of management and negotiation expertise, transforming the negotiation performance of operations, sales, and procurement teams. He has extensive experience in the manufacturing, oil, gas & chemical, pharmaceutical, and medical device sectors, and his services are sought by commercial organizations throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. All of which has led him to one inevitable conclusion: “Helping people feel more confident in their ability to negotiate is everything. It’s the key for them to chart their own course in life.”

David Mahr

Vice President, Canada

“My parents were adventurous,” says Dave, recounting a childhood that saw him grow up in the Middle East and travel the world six times by his 18th birthday. “For me, landing in a country is as comfortable and normal as people getting in and out of an Uber.” Whether exploring the Christmas markets in Vienna, Prague, and Paris with his oldest daughter, or jetting to Singapore to help an executive strategize with their major accounts, he attributes his remarkable people skills to a passport that, we must assume, has simply run out of pages.

It’s that same passport that led him to Scotwork’s Canadian HQ, following 25 years devoted to leading sales and marketing teams, in addition to holding senior sales positions at NCR, Capgemini, IBM, and KPMG. “Being aware of your surroundings and listening to people are foundational elements for negotiation,” he says. “I believe that regardless of technology, culture, or age, we’ll be dealing with people, as we’re human. But few people understand and enjoy negotiation interactions. They get stressed and embarrassed. I find this intellectually fascinating and love the practicality of helping them become more confident!”

A certified coach, Dave is a natural-born teacher whose talents at “presenting and facilitating a room” extend beyond the negotiating table. A professor at Sheridan College in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, he teaches business strategy, sales, and CRM courses to a largely international student body.

Come to think of it, his talents extend beyond anything we could’ve expected — and typically by way of an extension cord. At home in the greater Toronto area, the husband of Elizabeth and father of three grown daughters can typically be found “out back.” “I like to build things,” he says. “I’ve pretty well built or renovated everything: buildings, docks, decks, bathrooms, kitchens, landscaping . . . I’ve cut down trees with horses, milled wood onsite, and created my own materials. In fact, I’ve been around so long, I’ve ‘rebuilt’ things after 20 or 30 years. I love it — It humbles and empowers me.”

Gaëtan Pellerin

Negotiation Consultant

When Gaëtan says, “It’s all about not letting our fears get the better of us,” he may be talking about diving into a negotiation. Then again, he may just be describing diving into an ocean swarming with great white sharks — a favorite pastime of his when he’s off the clock. “I’m motivated to understand what’s driving each of us: emotions, fears, desires. I love helping and coaching people and seeing how much they can gain in confidence and the ability to be themselves.” In addition to his decade spent devoted to personal development, he just published his first book, Mindful nEGOtiation: Becoming More Aware in the Moment, Conquering Your Ego and Getting Everyone What They Really Want. “I believe that if we pay attention to the emotions at any step of negotiation, we can change the outcome,” he says.

Rest assured, we’ll get back to the sharks thing in just a sec. In the meantime, we give you some backstory about the man who enjoys their company. Originally from Montreal, he holds an MBA from the University of Sherbrooke. A sales and marketing executive, Gaëtan brings to Scotwork 30 years of global experience in negotiation, having finessed multimillion-dollar contracts in Japan, China, Thailand, Belgium, Sweden, and Canada.

And now, back to the sharks. A father of two who resides in central Connecticut, Gaëtan took his fascination with Discovery Channel’s Shark Week as a call to action. In 2015, he went cage-diving with great whites in South Africa — around an international Scotwork conference, no less. Next on his bucket list? Diving with them in the wild. “Don’t get me wrong, this could be dangerous,” he warns. “But it’s all about safety, track record, and not getting overwhelmed by emotions. We make bad decisions when we’re emotionally involved.”

Ananda Laberge

Negotiation Consultant

Ananda would like to make one point abundantly clear: “Cultural sensitivity is critical in life and business.” And she should know. After all, she was born in Canada but grew up in Guatemala. During her childhood, she spent time in Mexico before going on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature and history from UC San Diego. In her early twenties, she lived in Holland but made sure to carve out plenty of time to travel to 16 countries in the region. “All of that experience gives me a deep sense of empathy, compassion, and tolerance with regards to other cultures, which translates well into what I do,” she says. “I love helping people achieve their goals and look at myself as a cog in a wheel that can help transform and accelerate not only a person’s business skills acumen as it relates to negotiation, but also, hopefully, their perspective on life and how they interact with people from all cultures.”

Prior to coming to Scotwork, Ananda spent 25 years in the healthcare space, putting her sales leadership, team management, and negotiation skills to work in pharmaceuticals (Pfizer), healthcare IT (Eclipsys), supply chain (GHX), and diagnostics (Abbott Laboratories). “My diverse background in healthcare has afforded me an understanding of the complexities that arise, both in treating people and dealing with the systems by which they are treated. In particular, working in healthcare during the pandemic has made me a better consultant, because I was challenged to a greater degree to pivot quickly and find the best strategies for my clients at a time fraught with uncertainty — sometimes on a daily basis.”

Jill Campen

Negotiation Consultant

“I’m on a lifelong journey of learning. I learn from every person and every company I encounter — and it takes me and them to the next level of changing the world!” Spend some time around Jill, and you’ll soon discover that her energy is contagious. It’s the engine driving her more than 20 years in negotiation and sales strategies, leadership and cultural transformation. By her estimation, she’s worked with upwards of 18,000 professionals around the globe — at organizations ranging from Microsoft to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, from Tupperware to Disney — transforming lives using a mixture of one part psychology, one part business strategy (a recipe she first developed via her bachelor’s degree in just those disciplines from UCLA).

Jill is a traveler, a seeker. Her journey has taken her from Ohio to Los Angeles, Monterey, San Diego, Seattle, with a dozen stops in between. So, why did she choose Greenville, South Carolina, where she now resides with her husband and son? “I’m an outdoor enthusiast! My husband and I travel the globe looking for hard-climbing road-bike rides and swooping mountain-bike trails with breathtaking vistas.” As it turns out, Greenville is packed with some serious climbs and downhills. Being close to the Blue Ridge Mountains doesn’t hurt. Then again, neither does having a healthy appetite, which brings to mind one of her favorite rides of all: The Bakery Ride along the Greenville Watershed, which features a sticky-buns stop at a well-known bakery along the peak. “How can you go wrong with a ride called The Bakery Ride?,” she asks. “We ride because we love to eat!”

Jerry Langlois

Negotiation Consultant

When Jerry says, “Know your audience,” he really means it. The musical theater vet was recruited to college on a dance scholarship. While there, he performed in such iconic ballets as Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. “I was one of the leads in the ‘Arabian Dance’ piece for The Nutcracker my sophomore and senior years,” he recalls. As it turns out, playing many different roles taught him a thing or two about playing to audiences. “I consider it ‘Personality Dynamics 101.’ When negotiating, it’s not so much who you are as it is knowing what personality type is across the table or phone from you and adjusting your style to make the most out of every opportunity.”

Offstage, Jerry boasts more than 25 years as a sales executive, entrepreneur, and business owner. He’s served on the Board of the Northern New Jersey chapter of the American Society for Training and Development. In fact, prior to joining Scotwork, he facilitated training for the entire staff of hiring managers at Merrill Lynch, dramatically increasing their performance around hiring top talent. He also has experience negotiating multimillion-dollar deals with multiple stakeholders and has worked with such clients as JP Morgan, The Ford Motor Company, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Impressive accomplishments, to be sure. More impressive still is why the devoted father of two daughters who now lives in Houston is so invested in personal growth and behavioral change— at the negotiating table and in his city’s streets, where he’s committed to helping the local homeless population through a non-profit called Direct Hope. “The juice!,” he says. “I get to see people’s spirit light up and take flight the instant they learn something that will significantly change things for them, personally and professionally.”

Julie Shen

Negotiation Consultant

Julie has lived in several countries, from the Middle East to Europe to the U.S. While her exotic travels have the rest of us a little jealous, we also see how they’ve provided her with keen insights into human behavior: “At their core, people are the same no matter where you go. You just have to find their language, and it’s not always what they speak. People are my hobby — understanding what makes them tick, the essence of their culture and how that forms them.”

It should come as little surprise that Julie began her career in the travel industry, managing the sales team for a global travel management firm, where she increased annual revenues from $50 million to $375 million. And when she transitioned into training and consulting, more than 20 years ago, she coached executives and managers from some of the largest firms in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, including Sony, Canon, Sun Microsystems, Disney, and Siemens. If there’s a through line connecting the many far-flung homes and clients dotting her map, it’s this: “Passion. Commitment. I love to see the fruits of my labor.”

At home in Southern California, a scenic seaside slice of L.A., she puts that same passion and commitment into music. Many of her friends are in local bands, and she regularly catches shows around town. But it’s her vinyl collection, which she’s carried with her since age eight, that holds a special place in her heart. “I gave up other stuff,” she says, “but never my vinyl.”

Randy Kutz

Negotiation Consultant

For Randy, the path to negotiation was one of dire necessity. As a realtor in Arizona, a region particularly hard hit by the 2008 housing crisis, he found himself in a position of having to negotiate for clients who were losing their homes to foreclosure. “It was a very challenging and emotional business environment,” he recalls. “Bank negotiators were the people I had to deal with. They had the skills and I did not. I learned in the trenches for the first year, and then I got training to make myself a better negotiator for me and my clients.”

More than a decade on, Randy estimates he’s taught upwards of 3,500 professionals to negotiate in complex, often high-stakes situations. His classroom success could be chalked up to over 30 years’ experience in business, marketing, and leadership. Then again, this is Randy — a Marine Corps vet, a former Congressional chief of staff, a guy who knows his way around all sorts of trenches. “I’ve always been a creative problem solver,” he says. “My people skills were refined as I had to navigate the deep waters of the political world, as well as dicey office politics, all while maintaining a professional decorum.”

Married 31 years, with three grown kids and three grandkids, Randy lives at Phoenix’s White Tank Mountain foothills, where he took up hobby farming, learning to grow and raise their own food.

“Working with animals and the earth is such a great classroom for honing my negotiation coaching skills. Cultivating growth is a farming term, but it’s also often associated with people. Nurturing them and helping them grow and thrive is such a rewarding experience. Negotiation skills are incredibly useful in one’s personal and professional world, and I am incredibly fortunate to play a role in helping others improve their behavior at the bargaining table.”

John Leehman

Negotiation Consultant

Say you’ve spent the past 35 years building nationally recognized companies in the construction, fashion, health & wellness, and consumer products industries. And by successful, we mean the kind of success that grabs the attention of Inc. magazine, which recognizes you as the “leader of one of the best small businesses in America to work for.” Isn’t your next logical move to ease back, relax, and reflect — to bask a bit in your accomplishments? Not according to John: “I love to travel. I love to stay engaged with business people at the leading edge. I love to make an impact. I have an ability to bring real-world experiences into the conversation in a way that helps people understand complex concepts.” That makes us, and our clients, extremely happy.

While John’s background is impressive — graduate of the OPM program at Harvard Business School, Vermont’s governor’s delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business — he remains a student of the fundamentals. The father of three who lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, with his wife, Sandy, likes nothing more than getting his hands dirty around the house. “Because of my long construction background, I can resurrect a property from the ground up and can fix almost anything,” he says. “I like remodeling and gardening, and whenever I have a few days free or a room that needs upgrading, my wife has a list waiting for me.”

Millie Davis

Negotiation Consultant

“Go forth and be a force of the awesome.” It’s a command emblazoned on one of Millie’s favorite memes, featuring an image of a boy in a blue T-shirt and red cape, engaged in a Superman-like pose. It’s also a way of life, as she’s ably demonstrated. “I love watching people transform,” she says. “What a gift it is to be building confidence in others.” Millie brings to Scotwork 20 years of marketing and sales experience for such consumer electronic giants as Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, launching the likes of Xbox, Halo 2, and PlayStation 4. (You’re welcome.) During that time, she steered teams both domestically and internationally, negotiating the in-store development, launch, and sell-through of multiple products at Best Buy, Amazon, and more.

Millie holds an MBA from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Sydney, Australia. When she’s not building confidence in the classroom, she can typically be found traveling. The pictures on her travel wall include trips to Mexico, Iceland, Brazil, Croatia, South Africa, Israel, and Antarctica. Otherwise, she’s likely at home in Seattle, enjoying time with friends and family or engaged in some serious cooking.

Simon Carkeek

Negotiation Consultant

Ask Simon about his best qualities, and he’ll tell you about his innovator’s mindset, not to mention his can-do approach and abundance of curiosity. Your likely response will be, “Well, that makes sense.” After all, they’re precisely the qualities you’d need to succeed at the negotiating table, which he does with remarkable regularity. Then it occurs to you: Aren’t these the very same qualities you’d need to succeed in life?

A positive person — trust us, we’ve tried to provoke him — who thrives on potential, Simon has brought his ability to create outcomes that work for everyone to all aspects of his life. “Creating win-win deals where all parties come away satisfied is absolutely possible with the right mindset, flexibility, and creative thinking,” he says. “So, why wouldn't you?”

Not surprisingly, this philosophy has served him well in his native England, his adopted home of the US, and numerous points in between — as a certified coach, corporate trainer, sales director, and COO. He’s negotiated multi-million-dollar joint ventures in India and China, established a business in the US, and developed strategic partnerships with global clients across the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Simon now resides in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife, Sophie, and their teenagers, Maddy and Jasper. “My son, in particular, has always been a master of negotiation, more so now he's in his teens. Definitely a good real-world challenge!” But greater challenges beckon far beyond any dining room or boardroom — like negotiating the twists and turns of nearby trails. “I was really into BMX when I was a kid, so mountain biking seemed like a natural progression,” he says. “I currently ride a Santa Cruz 5010, which climbs like a mountain goat but is also a rocket on descents!”

A little risky? Perhaps. But like any negotiation, when he visualizes a positive outcome and knows his limits, he generally ends the day with a smile on his face.

Michael Roche

Vice President, Sales

According to legendary journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.” According to seasoned business developer and sales leader Michael Roche, Thompson was, well, right. In fact, Michael’s put the adage to work throughout his career consulting for Fortune 500 companies in the creation of proprietary custom content programs. “I enjoy the entire lifecycle of a client project, from seed to implementation,” he says with a gleam in his eye. “I would conduct initial analysis on everything from onboarding and sales to compliance and product knowledge. The goal was to design precisely the right tool for that specific audience.” 

How does someone with such a hands-on approach and rigorous eye for detail unwind after developing award-winning programs for DirecTV, UNUM, and CVS, not to mention working in the trenches with the likes of Chick-fil-A, Dominos, and NIKE? Hot yoga, naturally. “To me, it’s the one martial art in which you fight against yourself,” he muses. “It tests your mind and body equally. It will humble you, but also give you hope that you can push beyond your limits.” When not fighting against himself in 100-degree temperatures, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife, Rachael, and their three kids. Together, they just might have found their ideal home in Holladay, Utah. “I’ve always lived on the coasts, but Utah and its outdoor life really spoke to me,” he says. “I love all the adventures I can go on just outside my back door.”

Speaking of adventures just outside his back door, the native Jersey boy has found a home away from home right here at Scotwork. And while he won’t be snowshoeing along our majestic trails, he will be doing what he does best (yes, better than snowshoeing) — bringing his focus and dedication to our clients’ needs.

Mike Saporito

Operations Manager

Say hello to Mike, a critical member of our office team at corporate HQ. He arrived at Scotwork just months after taking home a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Cincinnati. If we were to break down Mike’s title and role on an org chart, it would read something like “Operations Manager responsible for managing the day-to-day business, overseeing the databases and processes, and coordinating pre- and post-course initiatives.” Thankfully, life is not an org chart. Here’s what you really need to know about him: “I enjoy challenges, and I’m eager to learn more and try new things. At Scotwork, I’m exposed to all aspects of the business, and that’s helped me grow immensely as a professional.” (Read: Mike does way more for us than his job description suggests.)

If Mike’s the ultimate team player who excels in high-energy environments, it’s because he actually was a team player who excelled in high-energy environments. A four-sport athlete growing up, he narrowed his focus in high school, devoting himself to football and baseball. He brings his sports philosophy to everything he does: “One of the common approaches that I have in sports and work is to never settle and to be all-in when working towards achieving a goal.”

With his playing days behind him, you’ll likely find him and his friends in Budd Lake, New Jersey, glued to the games they love. In other words, Yankees, Giants, Nets, and Islanders games. “There’s also a decent chance that I have some money invested in the game,” he adds. “With the amount of sports I watch, you’d think I’d be better at that . . .”

Susan Boisvert

Finance Manager

It takes a healthy skill set to handle all financial matters for Scotwork. Needless to say, Susan has just that skill set — the result of education (a business administration degree with an emphasis in accounting) and extensive real-world experience (including working for the University of Michigan Medical School). Unfortunately, none of those qualifications even suggests her sense of adventure and generosity of spirit. Did we mention that she spent two years as a missionary doing accounting, not to mention teaching physical education and math? “Two weeks after I graduated from college, I boarded a plane to Nairobi, Kenya, to begin a two-year assignment as a missionary,” she says. “The highlight of living there was getting to know the Kenyan people — they stole my heart. Learning their way of life gave me an appreciation for the simplicity of life and how valuable living with less is.”

Susan is a natural athlete. How do we know this? There was that time in Kenya when she went tent-camping in the Masai Mara National Reserve and climbed down Mount Kenya with a blindfold due to snow blindness. Then there was that other time when she was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Adrian College (her sports: track and field hockey). And, come to think of it, she was a runner in the 1984 Olympic Torch Relay back when she was a high school junior.

While knee issues have sidelined her, they can’t keep her spirits down. She and her husband, both musicians, have that much more time to serve their church’s worship team together in Port Murray, New Jersey.

Latest Blog:

Lessons From Lasso

Among those who have fallen in love with the Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso, many of us have grown fond of the character Nathan Shelley, a coach for the Richmond football team (known as soccer here in the US). In Season 2, Episode 5, Coach Nate is faced with a precarious situation when he must negotiate with a host at the restaurant his father “complains about the least.” Coach Nate tries to procure the window table for his parents’ 35th wedding anniversary dinner, but the host insists that they don’t take reservations for that table. Using what he believes is his leverage, he name-drops Roy Kent — a star footballer who’s also a coach for the Richmond team — to which the host replies that if Roy Kent comes in, he can have the table.

Latest Tweet:

Scotwork North America
1 Pluckemin Way, Suite 100
Bedminster, NJ
07921
United States
973.428.1991
usa@scotwork.com
Follow us
Scotwork CPD 2020
award 1.jpg
award 2.jpg