The Centre for Organization Effectiveness is a team of organization development professionals who Inspire Excellence in Leaders and Organizations through competency-based education, coaching, and consulting services.
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Claritas est etiam processus dynamicus, qui sequitur mutationem consuetudium lectorum. Mirum est notare quam littera gothica, quam nunc putamus parum claram, anteposuerit litterarum formas humanitatis per seacula quarta decima et quinta decima. Eodem modo typi, qui nunc nobis videntur parum clari, fiant sollemnes in futurum.


Since our inception in 1993 we have delivered over 350 leadership and management programs serving more than 7500 participants throughout the State of California. We have had notable partnerships in the areas of San Diego, Los Angeles, Inland Empire, Orange County, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento.

We specialize in the needs of public sector organizations, understanding the unique goals and challenges that they face on a daily basis. Our loyal clients include 76 cities and city agencies, 33 counties and county agencies, 38 special districts and authorities, 20 special agencies, 18 retirement associations, 34 education or healthcare organizations, 20 state or federal agencies, 42 private sector groups, and 22 non-profit organizations.

The Centre is organized as a Joint Powers Authority created by the City of San Diego and the San Diego Water Authority. This means we are a public-sector organization ourselves!




We have over one hundred and fifty seasoned and award-winning consultants to deliver our services, with deep knowledge of the unique environments of our clients.  

Our consultants are selected for their specific areas of expertise and our projects are staffed with the most appropriate person to make the project successful.
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We have developed and validated an exclusive Competency Instrument, which drives a powerful 360-degree feedback process (from one’s supervisor, peers, and direct reports) to measure current levels of performance on 18 competencies judged to be critical to excellent performance.Read more


We are the exclusive California provider of the Certified Public Manager® Program, which awards successful participants with a nationally-recognized credential.Read more




Sommer Kehrli - Executive Director
Sommer Kehrli is the Executive Director for The Centre for Organization Effectiveness.  Her background includes leading large-scale change management and employee engagement efforts, facilitating executive retreats and teambuilding workshops, coaching leaders of all levels, designing training programs, conducting research on leadership competencies, and creating assessment instruments.

Sommer has experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.  She has worked with local and state government, pharmaceutical companies, financial institutions, healthcare organizations, and universities.  Sommer worked at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California as the Director of Performance Improvement and as an Organization Development Consultant.

Sommer has a Ph.D. and Masters degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Santa Clara University.  Sommer is a member of the American Psychological Association, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, American Society for Public Administration, and Organization Development Network. Sommer is also a fellow in the UCSF – Center for Health Professions Change Agent Program.

- Director, Organization Development
Julie Riklin - Training Programs Manager
Julie Riklin is the Training Programs Manager at The Centre for Organization Effectiveness in San Diego. She is responsible for coordinating and managing all of the Centre’s training programs and academies. This includes scheduling, booking rooms, creating budgets and proposals, ordering food, administering the Centre’s Competency Instrument, ordering training assessments, and creating training certificates. Julie works hand-in-hand with consultants and clients to ensure an open line of communication and to assist in the preparation and assembly of consultants’ training content. In addition to managing The Centre’s various programs, Julie creates marketing fliers and emails for the various Centre’s training programs. Due to the diversity of Julie’s work and the many responsibilities she manages she is considered by her colleagues as a “jack of all trades” and is recognized for her flexibility and can-do-attitude.


Julie graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies. Prior to working for The Centre of Organization Effectiveness, Julie worked at SeaWorld for 15 years as a Business Analyst. Some of her prior responsibilities included preparing and monitoring labor and sales budgets, analyzing costs and item data, and identifying and creating more efficient methods for accomplishing work. Julie’s diverse working experience has aided her ability to take on diverse work tasks and effectively manage program needs from start to finish. Julie is an ENFP and her top 5 Strengths are Empathy, Woo, Developer, Connectedness, and Communication.

Deanna Potter - Strategic Communications Manager
Deanna Potter has nearly 20 years’ experience in individual coaching and group training courses designed to improve organizational results.  She is a speaker, trainer, coach, and author who has consulting experience in both the private and public sectors.  She understands the demands and importance of balancing an organization’s key performance objectives against the well-fare of the individuals within the organization.  She has generated organizational models and systems that focus on process improvements, cutting edge workflow methods, and practices that improve communication and increase workload capacity.

Her noteworthy background includes various leadership positions, consulting projects, and presentations with organizations such as ITT Hartford Insurance, CAPPO, San Diego Housing Commission, Western Municipal Water District, Keller Williams Realty, Trilogy Financial, Anderson Marketing, California Association of Realtors, Orange County Sanitation District, QWISE of Qualcomm, and National Institute for Governmental Purchasing (NIGP).

Deanna has held positions as Division Project Manager, HR Staffing Specialist, Division Training Coordinator, Customer Service Manager, Sales Certification Manager, Consumer Affairs Specialist, and Broker CEO. She has been a team leader for nationwide projects over multiple locations, lead new system implementations, supervised performance enhancement procedures, and managed the creation of quality assurance projects.

In 2015, she co-founded and co-launched SUE Talks. A series of events promoting the professional journeys of women leading in business.

Her degree from the University of San Diego is in Communications with a minor in English.  Her training emphasis is in the areas of Teams, Communication, Productivity, Systems, Leadership, Decision Making, and Negotiation.

Deanna has conducted numerous keynote presentations for conventions, conferences, and organizations around her book From Distress to Success which outlines the 3 Key Choices critical to moving through challenges and obstacles.

Deanna understands the challenges facing employees and leaders in today’s fast paced world.  She uses her knowledge to help others systematize and prioritize their responsibilities for greater success.


There are several reasons for the unique spelling of the name “The Centre” and it is a story I always delight in telling. The hope for The Centre has always been that it be distinctive and spelling the name in a slightly different, Canadian, way is meant to be distinctive and is loaded with meaning for me. This was my subtle and respectful nod to the valuable experience I had attending graduate school at the University of Toronto and my gratitude for the fellowship opportunity I was given. It also represents the sociological and “big picture” impact on my thinking that living in Canada provided.

Trudy Sopp, Ph.D., Founder