Snapshot of Minoan imagery from ancient frescoes found in Santorini and Crete
representing nature's continuous flow of change
Hi. I'm Denise Berger and I help businesses grow through organizational focus and meaningful positive impact. Have a look around and learn about me and my work. I welcome the opportunity to come alongside you, your team, and your organization to create optimal outcomes. Drop me a line so we can explore next steps.
I believe in organizational development grounded in itCSR - integrative and transformative corporate social responsibility - the kind of CSR that is authentic, sophisticated, innovative, inspirational, multi-faceted, dynamic collaborative, game-changing, focused on the triple bottom line (people, planet and profits), and leads people to do well by doing better.
A study of how and why model U.S. Fortune 500 global corporations C corporate social responsibility. "Social responsibility is like teenage sex. Everyone says they're doing it, but only half are really doing it, and of the half, only half are doing it the right way" (Dahl, 2012). "IT" is a play on words, as an acronym for Integrative and Transformative.
A visual representation from my dissertation of the CSR stages.
Regenerative Engaged Learning Framework, an organizational development model. This is a design to develop the more sophisticated approaches to corporate social responsibility and create meaningful impact following the 4Ps: people, planet, profit and purpose.
Chapter 4 of the dissertation, articulating how U.S. Fortune 500 global companies develop authentic, sophisticated CSR activities and impact.
Chapter 5 of my dissertation, articulating why U.S. Fortune 500 global corporations are driven to develop CSR.
Collaborative Learning Loops Framework, articulating the necessary process to organize a team around a common purpose and deliver solutions to complex, multi-stakeholder projects.
Collaborative Intelligence Framework, articulating the necessary competency among leaders who seek to build solutions to complex problems.
A model that matches decision-making levels with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
Susan Cotton, Jackie Macias, EdD, and I co-founded Gazelle Advisors to help leaders realize their social ambition and organizations have purpose-driven impact.
Your business is my business. I believe in helping individuals and teams realize their full potential and do well by doing good. I believe in building 4P businesses, that is businesses driven to excellence by focusing on People, Planet, Profits and Purpose. I'm prepared to help you at any level, from impartial advice or practical assistance to help you make the most of every opportunity and maximize positive meaningful impact with every decision.
Whether you're just starting out or looking to restructure I have you covered.
I have qualified expertise in social responsibility, risk management, international business, and organizational leadership. I received a MBA from Fordham University in Marketing and International Business, with Beta Gamma Sigma and Alpha Mu Alpha high honors, and a BA from Colgate University. I later went on to complete a doctorate in Organizational Leadership. I am half Greek, worked in New Yorker for two decades, and I currently live in SoCal.
I completed my dissertation on Corporate Social Responsibility. In my dissertation, Doing it the Right Way, I identified the leading American Fortune 500 global corporations and analyzed why and how they do “itCSR” – a sophisticated level of CSR that represents a more ideal contribution of a corporation in society and produces meaningful triple bottom line impact (emphasis on people, planet and profits).
Previously, I was a Managing Director at Aon Risk Services, a global insurance broker and consultant. In this role, I ran the East Coast operations of the Global Business Unit, which handled the multinational risk management needs of Fortune 500 companies. I was also one of seven appointees to the company's Global Steering Committee. In addition, I spearheaded the Women’s International Network for Aon, as part of its Diversity and Inclusion strategy.
As a co-founding partner of Gazelle Advisors, I has been consulting for-profit businesses, such as Dogeared (retail) and Dermstore (retail, subsidiary of Target), in addition to advising non-profit businesses, such as Heal the Bay, Roundhouse Aquarium, and Team Prime Time. I have worked closely with Social Venture Partners’ Fast Pitch non-profit participants, Annenberg/CNN Hero’sFast Pitch participants, and TedX participants as a coach. I presently sit on two non-profit boards: Environmental Charter School and Open Temple, and I am part of SVP’s Building Allies program. I currently teach Leadership & Service, as well as Program Evaluation, in the Social Entrepreneurship & Change Master’s Program at Pepperdine University, and Leading Inclusive Organizations in Vanderbilt University’s Leadership and Learning in Organizations Doctoral Program. Lastly, I am an entrepreneur as the founder and designer of Aliki Designs - Greek-inspired, handcrafted, everyday elegant jewelry.
I am an educator, advisor, non-profit board member, and (recovering) business executive. My passion of helping leaders realize their full potential creates growth through focus and purpose. By collaborating, lending expertise, and educating, I strive to develop ethical, intelligent and responsible leaders that achieve their goals while cultivating a thriving society for all. Much of my work focuses on fine-tuning organizational culture, building leadership skills, optimizing team efficacy, and honing strategic plans. In so doing, I bring a uniquely curated experience to leaders to develop a well-defined and living vision, mission and core values that are central and foundational to organizational culture and the success of future strategic initiatives. My track record of helping teams achieve exceptional results is supported by my research on corporate social responsibility, collaboration, and equity, diversity and inclusion in leadership. I am the author of Collaborative Intelligence: The Next Frontier in Relational Competencies (2016) and am authoring the chapter Why Leaders Build Businesses with Purpose in a Routledge book sequel to Leadership and Change.
Quite simply? Because I give a damn.
I care about leaving a legacy which inspires my kids and their generation to, in turn, build their own legacy. And my legacy is guided by the ancient Greek proverb: a society grows great when old people plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit under.
My Vision: For the world to be led by ethical, responsible, adaptable, inclusive leaders* who cultivate a thriving society for all.
* If you have a pulse, you can be this kind of leader
My Mission: To help individuals, teams, and organizations realize their full potential through education, advisory and collaborative, inclusive practices.
1) Learning: to nurture discovery, understanding, gratitude
2) Well-being: to ensure balance, fun, vitality
3) Connection: that promotes collaboration, friendship, mutuality
4) Responsibility: that elevates citizenship, perseverance, leadership
5) Honesty: to build vulnerability, courage, transparency