Your Leadership Team

Our leadership experiences are highly collaborative and dependent upon partnerships with colleagues, subject matter experts, consultants, facilitators and YOU, our clients!

Our Leaders

DICK RICHARDSON
DICK RICHARDSONCo-founder and CEO
Dick is the co-founder and CEO of Experience to Lead. Combining his passions for history, riveting a crowd with a great story and developing leaders from across the globe, he has found his ideal role impacting leaders across industries.

Prior to co-founding Experience to Lead, Dick was Executive Leadership Director at IBM, responsible for leadership curriculum for all managers and executives, Manager of Management Development for IBM in Asia, and Director of Leadership Development at ITT. He holds two patents for innovations in organizational learning at IBM. Dick was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in the 17th Annual American Business Stevie Awards. Dick also published his first book Apollo Leadership Lessons — Powerful Business Insights for Executives.  which is available on Amazon.com.

AMANDA HARMON
AMANDA HARMONGeneral Manager and Client Solutions
As one of the founding team members of Experience to Lead, Amanda has worked in every area of the business. Now overseeing daily business operations and serving a select group of clients, her passion is delivering customized leadership solutions with a client-centric approach.

Amanda has worked with some of the leading firms in the world, helping them continue to evolve their leaders to meet the demands of today’s complex business environment. Amanda’s eclectic background has involved sales, logistics, technology and operations, finance, public speaking, facilitating and management. A jack-of-all-trades, Amanda is a master of connecting people, concepts, and projects to enable our team to deliver on our promises to our clients.

Your Client Solutions Team

JEFF JACKSON
JEFF JACKSONProgram Director & Senior Client Relationship Leader
Jeff is a co-founder of Experience to Lead. He’s responsible for business development and client relationships.

Jeff previously worked as the Executive Director of Leadership & Experiential Programs for The Conference Board. He was responsible for the delivery of over 100 customized executive and C-level leadership and best practice programs.

He’s held senior leadership, program and business development positions at Dale Carnegie and IDology, a UK-based leadership consultancy. Jeff has also held senior marketing and sales positions with Time Warner/Atlantic Records.

MORGAN YEARGAN
MORGAN YEARGANClient Solutions Manager
Morgan is our Client Solutions Manager. She is responsible for client relationships, and has worked with some of the leading firms in the world, helping their executives to become better leaders.

Morgan has been a part of Experience to Lead since 2016. She has been on the design team for Launch Point, Brace for Impact, as well as contributed to our European programs. She is passionate about tailoring each program to fit our client’s needs and making sure that each program has a lasting impact.

Robin Speno
Robin Speno Client Solutions Associate
Robin is our Client Solutions Associate. She has a passion for providing effective results for clients. Robin supports Jeff and Amanda to ensure that we provide excellent customer service to all of our clients.

Robin brings a wealth of corporate event planning experience with a focus on details and customer relation. In addition to Robin’s extensive client focus, we are proud of her service in the U.S. Navy.

Your Event Management Team

JENNY WATTS
JENNY WATTSEuropean Event Manager
Jenny is our on-site logistics support for the Normandy and Waterloo Experiences.

Jenny has over 10 years experience in events logistics and has a bespoke event management company in London specializing in corporate event planning.  Prior to this, Jenny worked as an event specialist for a UK FTSE 10 Property Developer, organizing over 40 events a year including conferences, hospitality and exhibitions.

ALEX D'EATH
ALEX D'EATHDirector of Operations
Alex oversees all of our program planning and on-site logistics. He provides client support for all of our programs and special events, and will go out of his way to accommodate all of our clients’ needs.

Alex brings us over 20 years of experience in operations, and is also the director for our video projects.

JENNIFER LARSEN
JENNIFER LARSENOperations Coordinator
With over 10 years of experience in event planning and logistics, Jennifer handles pre-event and on-site event coordination to ensure that your events run smoothly.

Her event management experience spans multiple industries and includes media relations, social media, public speaking, and event planning.

Jennifer handles logistics for the Gold Medal and Gettysburg Leadership Experiences and on-site coordination for the Gold Medal, Apollo, and Gettysburg Programs.

Your Leadership Facilitators

ANNA BRACCO
ANNA BRACCOLeadership Facilitator
Anna’s thoughtful and engaging approach to facilitation draws people into the leadership conversation and helps distill the most relevant takeaways from impactful experiences. She keeps the individual at the center of the conversation and encourages impactful dialogue that helps translate the experience into actionable leadership outcomes.

With a background in leadership development consulting, Anna has worked with executives at all levels in the public, private and nonprofit sectors and has honed her expertise in developing high performance in leaders and their teams. With a degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, she has assessed, developed, and coached high potentials for a broad range of organizations such as Whirlpool, Coca-Cola, Exelon Corporation, Amcor, The Federal Reserve Bank and its Board of Governors. Anna is bilingual in English and French, and brings a depth of experience developing and facilitating leadership programs both stateside and abroad provide allow her to provide unique insight and perspective to her programs.

Anna is certified to facilitate our Apollo, Launch Point, and Gold Medal Experiences.

FRED BUNSA
FRED BUNSALeadership Facilitator
Fred is skilled at tapping into the learning powers of history, humor, and fun — all while asking the questions which spark participants to engage in honest and productive conversations. His flexibility to follow that energy of the moment resonates with our senior level audiences.

Fred specializes in helping leaders navigate the competing pressures between demanding business goals, key stakeholder relationships and their own aspirational leadership goals to implement focused action plans. Prior to joining ETL, Fred has been a certified Executive Coach with over two decades coaching and facilitating in the leadership development space. He also benefits from 13 years of sales and management experience. Fred has developed a communication prototype for building strategic messages which influence others to take action. He also co-developed and facilitated a Leadership Development Academy for both a major healthcare provider and major hospitality company.

Fred has a dual role at Experience to Lead: he is certified to facilitate our Gettysburg, Apollo and Gold Medal Experiences and he leads our Design and Delivery Practice Area.

DANA BYRD
DANA BYRDLeadership Facilitator
Dana’s facilitation approach is rooted in the belief that leadership and learning are both an art and a science. She creates an environment in which people open to new ideas and ways of being and leading. She strives to find the sweet spot between taking the work seriously, but not taking ourselves too seriously.

Dana thrives on helping clients find renewed inspiration on their leadership journey and in making deep connections to the stories and concepts they encounter. In addition to partnering with ETL, Dana develops and facilitates leadership development programs, creates and deploys customized team solutions, and provides one-on-one coaching to clients. Over the past twenty years, she has worked with audiences ranging from c-suite leaders to front-line managers. Her clients have come from a range of industries, including financial services manufacturing, aerospace and defense, architecture, and technology. Dana has a master’s degree in I/O Psychology and is an ICF-certified coach.

Dana is certified to facilitate our Gold Medal, Apollo, and Launch Point Experiences.

MARY JO AMMON
MARY JO AMMONLeadership Facilitator
Mary Jo’s engaging, approachable style as a skilled facilitator consistently provides a high impact leadership experience. She asks the questions and facilitates the conversations that result in optimized outcomes for individuals, teams, and organizations.

Mary Jo’s clients appreciate that she is a deep listener and meets them where they are without presupposing a specific solution or course of action. She is often commended on her innate ability to know when to facilitate and when to let the conversation take its course. She challenges leaders to lean in to their strengths and practice new skills to continually up their game.While her work of over 35 years has touched every aspect of optimizing team and organizational performance, Mary Jo has honed her focus to building skilled and compassionate leaders who create a desired culture. Other areas of expertise include strategy development and execution, process improvement and culture transformation. She has worked extensively with leaders across the Federal Government and quasi-governmental organizations, as well as non-profit associations, Federal advisory committees, and the  private sector.

Mary Jo is certified to facilitate our Apollo and Gold Medal Experiences.

DAVID HUTCHENS
DAVID HUTCHENSLeadership Facilitator
David is a leadership facilitator and program designer. His main focus is the Gold Medal Leadership Experience, and has a passion for high-performance leadership and teams.

David is an author, business writer, and learning designer who has created communication solutions for The Coca-Cola Company, Wal-Mart, IBM, GE, Nike, and many others. He is a nationally recognized developer of innovative learning products.

SHEILA HAJI
SHEILA HAJILeadership Facilitator
Sheila’s warm and inviting facilitation style meets people where they are and inspires them to explore new possibilities for learning and development. Her deep listening and powerful questions help individuals and groups translate their insights into action.

Sheila has over 25 years of consulting and corporate experience that gives her an appreciation for the challenges facing leaders in the daily work lives. In her prior career with the Bell System, Sheila oversaw the implementation of the Enhanced 911 database for a tri-state area and also served as Director of Executive Development. As a leadership development practitioner, Sheila has worked with executives, mid-level managers, and supervisors in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in positive organizational change.

Your Subject Matter Experts

JEROME AVERY
JEROME AVERYU.S. Paralympic Guide Runner
Jerome is a speaker for the Gold Medal Experiences. He has been a guide runner with U.S. Paralympics since 2004, and has guided David Brown, one of the world’s top visually-impaired sprinters, since 2014.

Jerome is a Gold medalist alongside David, and together the team obtained David’s world record in the 100m and 200m. Collectively, Jerome led his teammates to 10 national championships, 5 world championships, 4 American records, as well as 4 Paralympic Games.

SHEILA DAIL
SHEILA DAIL U.S. Airways Flight Attendant
Sheila is our guest speaker for the Brace for Impact Leadership Experience. She has been a flight attendant for over 38 years and was on Flight 1549 that had an emergency landing in the Hudson River. Sheila is now the founder of the Critical Incident Response Program. She helps flight attendants recover from traumatic events.
BRIAN DUFFY
BRIAN DUFFYApollo Historian & Former NASA Astronaut
Brian is one of our historians for the Apollo Leadership Experience. He became an astronaut in July 1986. He is a veteran of four space flights.
He later served as spacecraft communicator in Mission Control during numerous Space Shuttle missions.

He also served as the Assistant Director and Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center.

LEX GILLETTE
LEX GILLETTEU.S. Paralympic Medalist
Lex is a speaker for the Gold Medal Experiences. As a totally blind long jumper for Team USA, Lex Gillette has achieved medal winning performances at every major international competition he has attended to date, and is a world record holder.

When Lex is giving a motivational presentation on stage, his goal is to inspire audiences to realize a vision of who they can truly be, ultimately, teaching people to see. His mantra is “no need for sight when you have a vision”, and it is central to Lex’s outlook on life.

HARV HARTMAN
HARV HARTMANApollo Historian & Former NASA Executive
Harv is one of our historians for the Apollo Leadership Experience. He has over 33 years of service at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. His experiences there transfer to help you and your team become more effective.

Harv worked as a part of the NASA team during the entire Apollo Program, giving him a front-row seat to one of mankind’s greatest adventures. As the Director of Human Resources, Harv played a key role in selecting and shaping NASA’s leaders. His other leadership experience includes service as a naval officer and as a leader in a variety of community and professional organizations.

DAVID LEESTMA
DAVID LEESTMAApollo Historian & Former NASA Astronaut
David is one of our historians for the Apollo Leadership Experience. With 47 years of government service, he keeps us straight on our stories and history of space flight.

He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and then went to flight school and earned his Wings of Gold. After several squadron tours and 3 operational deployments flying the F-14A Tomcat, he was selected as a NASA astronaut in 1980. He flew three space missions aboard the Space Shuttle. After retiring from the Navy as a Navy Captain, he was selected by NASA to be the Director of Flight Crew Operations. He later served as a program manager at NASA.

TONY NICASTRO
TONY NICASTROGettysburg Historian & Licensed Battlefield Guide
Tony is our historian for the Gettysburg Leadership Experience. He’s a stickler for facts and empirical evidence. Tony has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg since 1993.

He has developed leadership programs for numerous clients including: the U.S. Navy Seals, Johns Hopkins University, Washington University, and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Tony is a published author and college professor. He also served in the United States Navy.

MIKE PETERS
MIKE PETERSNormandy & Waterloo Historian, Chairman of International Guild of Battlefield Guides
Mike is our battlefield historian for the Normandy and Waterloo Experiences. He is a retired British Army officer with more than 30 years of service in the Army Air Corps.

Commissioned from the ranks, he has served on operations in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Mike is also the Chairman of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides and has a lifelong passion for military history. He has written two books and is a regular contributor to the Soldier magazine.

JOHN REGISTER
JOHN REGISTERChange Agent
John is a speaker for the Gold Medal Experiences. John is a two-time Paralympic athlete (swimming, 1996; track & field, 2000) and silver medalist in the long jump, a four-time All-American track and field athlete at the University of Arkansas and U.S. Army Gulf War Veteran.

From All-American track star to amputee to Paralympic medalist, John has never allowed adversity to hold him back.

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Our Story

In 2001, then part of The Conference Board, we delivered our first Experience: The Gettysburg Staff Ride. The group of CEOs who attended found the experience to be so compelling that our single event became a regular offering. As we gathered feedback from participants, we discovered the success of the program not to be isolated in the story of Gettysburg but rather found the power in the structure of learning by immersive storytelling.

Fast-forward 15+ years and we’re still offering our beloved classic, The Gettysburg Experience.  In addition, we now offer three non-battlefield programs: Apollo (at NASA), Gold Medal (at elite athletic training centers) and Brace for Impact (under the wings of Sully’s Flight 1549) and battlefield programs in three countries.

Now as Experience to Lead, we enjoy a collaborative relationship with The Conference Board. We have the ability to flex quickly to our clients’ needs, develop new programs, open up new locations and most importantly, meet the highest standards of quality that our clients expect and deserve.

Our Partners and Associates

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The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association. They help companies improve their business performance. They partner with us to provide the Apollo, Gettysburg, Normandy, Waterloo, and Team USA Experiences.

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Guild of Battlefield Guides

The Guild offers professional development, insights into new approaches, and knowledge of historic battles. We partner with Mike Peters, a highly sought-after Guild member, for our Normandy and Waterloo Experiences.

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The Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides

They are the oldest professional guide service in the United States. We partner with Tony Nicastro for our Gettysburg Experience to ensure the highest level of accuracy.

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SPACE CENTER HOUSTON

Space Center Houston is the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center and the only Smithsonian Affiliate in the greater Houston area. Experience to Lead’s relationship with Space Center Houston allows you to have exclusive access into the Museum and private dinners surrounding some of the most compelling space artifacts.

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NASA – JOHNSON SPACE CENTER

For more than 50 years, NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston has led our nation and the world on a continuing adventure of human exploration, discovery, and achievement. They have provided technological innovations and scientific discoveries. The Apollo JSC Experience includes exclusive access to unique venues such as the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, the Apollo Mission Control Room, and the International Space Station Mission Control Room.

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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

The Kennedy Space Center features some of NASA’s most iconic landmarks. This is NASA’s primary launch center for human spaceflight. The Apollo KSC Experience allows you the chance to explore the KSC Rocket Park and Astronaut Memorial in a deeper way.

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U.S. Olympic Training Center

The U.S. Olympic Training Centers serve Team USA’s athletes in all aspects of their pursuits of winning gold. Our partnership allows participants the opportunity immerse themselves in the culture of elite athleticism by meeting with Olympic athletes, coaches, High Performance Directors and engaging in sports experiences.

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The Friends of Gettysburg Foundation

We are a proud supporter of The Friends of Gettysburg Foundation. Their mission is to enhance the preservation and understanding of the lasting significance of the Battle of Gettysburg.

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Waterloo Memorial 1815

We are a proud supporter of the Waterloo Memorial 1815. This facility brings the history of the site to life through artifacts, media, and historical documents. It is the official historical preservation organization where we take participants during our Waterloo Experience.

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Smithsonian Institution

We are a proud supporter of the Smithsonian. It is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, and nine research facilities. We utilize the National Air and Space Museum during the Apollo Experience in Washington, DC.

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Carolina’s Aviation Museum

Carolina’s Aviation Museum showcases the plane from Flight 1549. The Miracle on the Hudson is the capstone of our Brace for Impact Experience. You’re able to hear first-person stories and have a reception under the wings.

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Space City Films

Space City Films provides videos for our Apollo Experiences. Space City Films is also working with us to produce footage to enhance all of our programs and tell our story in a visual way.