About Us

Jessie Shternshus

Jessie Shternshus

Founder of Improv Effect

Improv Effect was founded 2007, by Jessie Shternshus. Her goal was to help businesses reach their full potential by means of interpersonal-communication skills training. Throughout the years, Jessie has become a key player in internal culture transformations for global companies such as Groupon, Fidelity Investments, Johnson & Johnson, Getty Images, The PGA Tour, Crayola and many more. Utilizing an array of experiential techniques, some of which she learned on the job at Disney and Sesame Street, she leads teams and organizations in their endeavors to achieve teamwork, creative problem-solving tools, on-boarding, presentation skills, and product development ideation sessions. Jessie co-authored the book, CTRLShift: 50 Games For 50 ****ing Days Like today. http://amzn.to/1bLkjvE and www.ctrlshift.biz

Jessie has been a speaker at: Conferencia Rails, ConvergeFL, LeanDayWest, MadisonRuby, NDC London, NDCOslo, HybridConf, UXMad, and many more. A great post on The Improv Effect: http://somewhereinthecity.com/2013/10/22/jessie-the-improv-effect/ and Check out this podcast to hear more about the how The Improv Effect works with businesses: http://hacktheentrepreneur.com/podcast/jessie-shternshus/

Some of her proudest contributions are developing an engineering on-boarding curriculum, helping build an innovation lab within a global enterprise company, and being a speaking coach to leaders worldwide.

Sunni Brown

Sunni Brown

Corporate Trainer and Coach

Sunni is Founder and Chief Human Potentialist of Sunni Brown Ink, an international consultancy specializing in applied visual, design, game and improv thinking to support organizational problem-solving around communication, creativity and culture. She was named one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” and one of the “10 Most Creative People on Twitter” by Fast Company. She is a global public speaker – having delivered hundreds of presentations in diverse environments – and the best-selling author of Gamestorming and The Doodle Revolution. She leads a global campaign advocating for visual thinking and design thinking and very recently launched a start-up called GrowthHackLove. Her TED Talk on doodling has drawn more than a million views on TED.com and her work has been featured in every major U.S. publication including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, WIRED and Entrepreneur. Most importantly, she is funny as all hell.

Rob Schiffmann

Rob Schiffmann

Corporate Trainer

Rob is a professional improviser and corporate trainer / host who has worked with such companies as Celgene, Olympus, Cisco, Folgers, Microsoft, Solvay, Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard Bank of America, Pepsi, Dannon and many more. Winner of the 2011 INNY (Improvisation News New York) Award for Best Improv Coach, Rob has trained and performed all over the world. Rob’s show, Broadway’s Next Hit Musical, a fully improvised 2-act musical, which has received numerous accolades from the New York and national press, will be touring nationally in 2012/13. Rob is a 3-time MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Award winner. Rob has improvised on The Daily Download, The CBS Early Show and most recently on The Anderson Cooper Show.

Sean Ely

Sean Ely

Corporate Trainer and Videographer

Sean Ely is a Second City Conservatory alumnus, regularly performing at 15 different theaters across the Midwest. He started his own videography business thanks to the experience he had working at Tribune Publishing for two years. He is also the co-founder of Number Six With Cheese, a comedy food review series with 175 episodes under its belt. Sean also loves electric skateboards, diner hashbrowns and traveling somewhere new every month.

Sean also works The Improv Effect’s corporate improvisational trainer, alongside Jessie Shternshus. He specializes in very quickly getting individuals to come out of their shells and have a great time advancing their socializing skills. Sean has also performed on stage with The Improv Effect’s performance group.

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Lia James

Leadership Coach and Learning & Development Consultant

Lia James is a Leadership Coach and Learning & Development Consultant helping executives improve hiring strategies and skills development training to build more inclusive and productive teams. Through her extensive background in people development and personal branding, Lia helps professionals fine-tune their brands through storytelling and goal aligning to improve leadership quality, communication, and team dynamics.

Anthony Catanese

Anthony Catanese

Corporate Trainer

Anthony has spent the past 5 years as a facilitator and technical product manager designing systems and workshops to help individuals communicate and solve problems. In 2012 he co-founded Ignite, the innovation lab of Fortune Global 500 company, Adecco Group. In 2013, Anthony applied his love of entrepreneurship and community with the creation of “StartupJax”, a 1200+ member support group of engaged business owners and starters. He specializes in working with traditionally non-tech corporate teams to think like startups and to build products/processes fast and thoughtfully.

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Cindy Peterson

Leadership and Business Agility Coach

Cindy works side by side with leaders and makers in organizations big and small to solve the problems keeping them up at night, help teams and leaders embrace agility in all aspects of their work, and bring new ways of working to life.  As an expert facilitator, Cindy develops and leads workshops and training programs on leadership, agility and lean startup.  Cindy guides leaders, teams, and individual through the journey, so “change” becomes the way of working.   She coaches and develops emergent leaders as they step into larger roles, whether as a first-time frontline manager or stepping into the C-suite.