Sommer Kehrli - The Centre

Sommer Kehrli, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Sommer Kehrli is the Chief Executive Officer 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.

Julie Riklin - The Centre

Julie Riklin, BA

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 for Organization Effectiveness, Julie worked as a business analyst at SeaWorld for 15 years. 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 - The Centre

Deanna Potter, MA

Director of Growth and Development

Deanna is the Director of Growth and Development for The Centre for Organization Effectiveness. She has more than two years of experience in individual coaching and group training courses designed to improve communication skills and 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 welfare of the individuals within the organization. She has generated organizational models and systems that focus on process improvements, innovative 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 CAPPO, San Diego Housing Commission, Western Municipal Water District, City of San Diego, County of San Luis Obispo, City of Carlsbad, CalSTRS, Trilogy Financial, California Association of Realtors, Hartford Insurance, Orange County Sanitation District, SANDAG, National Institute for Governmental Purchasing (NIGP), and County of San Diego. 

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, has led new system implementations, supervised performance enhancement procedures, managed the creation of quality assurance projects and led teams of more than 245 staff members. 

In 2015, she co-founded and co-launched SUE Talks. A series of events throughout Southern California promoting the professional journeys of women leading in business. During which time she coached individuals through the process of crafting a compelling message and building confidence to present from the stage. 

Deanna received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from the University of San Diego and her Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Point Loma Nazarene University. Her areas of expertise include Leader as Coaching, Presentations for Elected Officials, Team Effectiveness, Communication Skill Development, Productivity Improvement, Systems Enhancement, Leadership Development, Executive Team Facilitation, Hybrid Workforce Assimilation, Positive Psychology, and CliftonStrengths training/development.  

Deanna has conducted numerous keynote presentations for conventions, conferences, and organizations around many topics and has highlighted 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. 

When Deanna is not presenting you will find her watching her favorite sport – baseball with her husband of 30 years and playing with her Boston Terriers – Madison and Olive. 

Jena Ellithorpe, MA

Organization Development Program Manager

Jena Ellithorpe is the Organization Development Program Manager at The Centre for Organization Effectiveness. During her time at The Centre she has worked with various public sector organizations supporting a variety of organization development initiatives. These projects have included the alignment of strategic initiatives with out-come based performance measures, strategic team development initiatives, the design of department-wide innovation programs, and the development, implementation, and analysis of employee engagement surveys. Additionally, Jena has noteworthy experience developing training content and programs in the areas of emotional intelligence, generational differences, action planning, change management, and techniques for increasing managerial effectiveness.

Jena earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of California Santa Barbara and subsequently earned her Master’s in Organizational Psychology from Alliant International University in San Diego. Jena has a passion for factors that impact employee engagement and motivation. As well as methods for cultivating team effectiveness, specifically through focus on team characteristics, team design/structure, and organizational context.

Jena is dedicated to helping individuals with their personal development in a way that both supports their personal goals, as well as, the effectiveness of the entire team/organization. She has experience administering various assessments including the DISC assessment, StrengthsFinder, and Emotional Intelligence assessment. Jena is certified in StrengthsFinder and DISC and capitalizes on this knowledge to support the development of others and to foster effective working relationships within organizational systems.

Greg Harkless, MA

Chief Administrative Officer

As chief administrative officer for The Centre, Greg develops and implements policies, procedures, and structures to support the work of the rest of the team. He coordinates a number of administrative and business operations, including human resources, payroll, accounts receivable and payable, client contracting, and more. Greg supervises the Business Operations Manager, the Project Coordinator, and the Administrative Assistant, and is the primary liaison with the Centre’s contract accountants.

Greg has a diverse professional background featuring a dozen years as an outdoor educator/administrator and wilderness medicine instructor; traditional classroom teaching with students at all levels from elementary to university; and seven years of nonprofit leadership experience. He has been a volunteer AYSO soccer coach, and a is certified martial arts instructor who has helped start and lead youth programs on both coasts of the U.S.

Greg earned a master’s degree in leadership studies through the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego, where he previously earned a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Karina Orozco, MA

Program Coordinator

As Project Coordinator at The Centre for Organization Effectiveness, Karina provides support for all client projects. She is responsible for coordinating with consultants and monitoring and managing logistical elements of virtual sessions to ensure training programs and academies run smoothly. She is also responsible for assessment administration and collaborating with other Centre employees and contractors to facilitate accounts receivable, accounts payable, and other project logistics.

Karina has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she graduated cum laude and a master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Alliant International University, San Diego, where she graduated summa cum laude.

Karina has a passion for helping others reach the ultimate version of themselves. She enjoys being a part of other’s growth journeys as they become more self-actualized individuals. Other interests of hers include personal development, health and wellness, action research, team dynamics, and leadership.

Karina is an ENFJ and her top five strengths are empathy, responsibility, input, arranger, and futuristic.

Robert Keeley, BA

Business Operations Manager

Robert Keeley is the Business Operations Manager at The Centre for Organization Effectiveness. He helps coordinate the intricate workings of policies and procedures and develops and improves internal resources that make those operations more effective and efficient. His focus centers on driving operational efficiency, addressing challenges, and bolstering overall productivity to align with the Centre’s overarching purpose. He manages a diverse portfolio of responsibilities, encompassing general business operations, financial processes, and contracting.

After separating honorably from the United States Marine Corps, Robert earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from California State University, San Marcos, where he graduated summa cum laude. Prior to working at The Centre for Organization Effectiveness, he worked as a Personal and Professional Development Advisor at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, where he developed and implemented training programs and operating procedures focused on empowering all transitioning service members from Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow to have a successful transition back into the civilian sector.

Roberts’ passion for over a decade has been centered around helping individuals reach their personal and professional goals by way of identifying strengths, development areas, and designing learning programs and targets to ensure their success.

Robert’s top five strengths are discipline, restorative, developer, strategic, and learner.

Johanna Benson, MA

Program Manager

Johanna has a broad background in Education Program Management for nonprofit arts organizations, and has served in leadership positions at both Mingei International Museum and The San Diego Museum of Art. She has a bachelor’s degree in art history from San Francisco State University and a master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego. 

Johanna believes that leadership is a creative practice and is driven by the desire to support continuous learning and growth for professionals at both the individual and organizational level. She has extensive experience building strong relationships with diverse stakeholders; developing and managing programs that support positive social impact; and a passion for goal oriented evaluative thinking and design.  

Johanna’s top five strengths are Input, Individualization, Activator, Positivity, and Learner.

Lizzy King, MS

Program Manager

In her role as a Program Manager at the Center, Lizzy oversees learning and development projects from inception to completion.

Lizzy graduated summa cum laude from the University of San Diego with a Master of Science in Learning Design and Technology, and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Life Pacific University. Over the past decade, she has gained experience in several industries, including hospitality, food service, retail, higher education, arts, and nonprofit organizations.

Prior to working at the Centre, Lizzy worked as an instructional design specialist in the School of Business and Management at Azusa Pacific University, where she partnered with faculty to maximize course outcomes and student learning opportunities.

She also develops curriculum for the Table Art Society, a cohort-based learning community that aims to create a supportive ecosystem to help artists flourish. She is dedicated to using her creative, strategic, and technical skills to develop transformational learning experiences for all kinds of learners.

Kelly Dalrymple

Administrative Assistant

Kelly Dalrymple is the Centre’s Administrative Assistant. She is responsible for providing project and operations support for The Centre team. This includes printing training certificates, class materials, and coordinating the catering for the Centre’s training programs and academies. She also coordinates most of the Centre’s scheduling and travel arrangements for the Centre, in addition to maintaining the San Diego office.

Kelly has more than 15 years of executive level support in the private sector, as well as 12 years of volunteer work in her community.