Masters Alliance Founding Partner
Creating new ways to gain unusual breakthrough business results, competitive advantage, customer connections, and organizational excitement. J. Allen’s 30 years of management consulting experience span over 120 client organizations in 13 countries and 20 industries—ranging from health care, financial services, and retail to software, high-tech manufacturing, and chemicals.
Allen is a business graduate of the University of Illinois, a former US Naval Officer, and a veteran of 12 years of intense corporate responsibility. He has guest lectured at the University of Michigan School of Business and at New York University. He has served as board member, board chair, and/or president of numerous corporate, volunteer, and club organizations.
Allen’s ability to meet the challenges of difficult situations is demonstrated by these client comments: “Courageous and effective in talking with executives about stretch opportunities as well as problems they were causing that impeded results and growth.… Has a unique ability to promote positive change in organizations.… Linked immediately with people at all levels, effectively documented opportunities, helped them become a significant part of the business.”
Representative clients include Microsoft Central Europe; The Kellogg Company; Federated Insurance Companies; Allied- Signal Aerospace; University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Indian Health Service; ADC Telecommunications; Thomson Reuters; Raytheon Intelligence, Information Systems; and Patterson Companies.
Helping management teams and others achieve what they did not believe possible is a primary driver. Helping organizations achieve strategic success, raise the operational bar, improve market penetration, and strengthen the bottom line are tangible deliverables. Fast results and knowledge transfer are a must.
Grayce Belvedere Young
Masters Alliance Principal
Grayce specializes in strategy and visioning; leadership development; organization design; change management; performance management; talent management and succession planning; team effectiveness; board governance and development; and culture revitalization.
She brings over twenty-five years of organization and strategic expertise in numerous industries as well as not-for-profits. She is also Six Sigma certified with proficiency in business process design and improvement, with deep root cause analysis to solve complex issues. Grayce is deeply passionate about building organizational capacity – developing leadership skills and competencies, team effectiveness, and organization-wide change.
Grayce is the Founder and CEO of Lily Pad Consulting, a firm specializing in Strategy, Organization Development, and Board of Director Governance. In her consulting business, Grayce partners with leaders to develop vision and strategy, drive alignment and implementation, coach and develop talent, and facilitate change. Prior to over ten years in the consulting realm, Grayce held leadership roles at UnitedHealth Group and Thomson-West Group (now Thomson-Reuters).
She is active in the Minneapolis / St. Paul community and serves on numerous nonprofit Boards and Committees. Grayce holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature and an M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing. She has lived, worked or traveled in all 50 states, over 50 countries, and all 7 continents. She brings an inquisitive; thoughtful; big-picture, systems perspective; and global view to all her client engagements.
Masters Alliance Principal
Jenny is an experienced business leader with over 3 decades of experience in Fortune 50 companies ranging from international retailers, manufacturers and financial services organizations. With over 25 years of experience in helping companies with Strategy Development, Program, Project and Change management experience, and leading multiple facets of large scale organizational projects, Jenny brings a business-focused, execution centric consultant mindset to her work.
Jenny led the Strategic PMO for an international electronics retailer, focusing on strategies and programs that shaped markets, increased shareholder returns and brought true value to customers. As the primary consultant on some of the highest priority turn around initiatives, Jenny built a reputation as a leader who sees the bigger competitive picture, anticipates consequences of decisions, and responds in an instant when unanticipated situations developed. She brings those same skills to advise her clients today.
Jenny also worked in the financial services industry during some of the most tumultuous times in recent history, concluding in 2010 when just a few players in the banking field survived. During her tenure at organizations like US Bank, Amerus and GMAC Financial services, she led teams that focused on providing value to all stakeholders in and outside of the company. Jenny led large scale, enterprise wide change efforts and transformative, ground breaking technology initiatives in an industry that was cautious to change.
Currently, Jenny’s consulting work focuses on bringing all of the tools and experience from three decades worth of experience to benefit her clients. While some clients are small businesses, others are large financial and manufacturing firms. No matter the size, Jenny’s clients all receive a full spectrum of action, coaching, and results while working together on a vision. Jenny is also the founder of LittleBox advisors, a small business consulting firm.
Jenny has served on non-profit boards at both the local and national level, working on STEM and Innovation talent pipeline issues. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Journalism from the University of Minnesota.
Masters Alliance Principal
Aisha Friswold is an experienced international business professional with strong strategic, project, engineering and design experience.
Having grown up in Sweden and Montenegro, Aisha leverages her international business and educational background to serve clients on a broad range of issues including strategy development, market segmentation, marketing, competitive analysis and financial business modeling.
Aisha has provided international consulting services to a broad range of clients after beginning her career advising the Volvo Car Corporation, R&D, on product development and post-development testing of newly designed automobiles prior to acceptance for full production. She coordinated design efforts, problem/solution approaches and component prototypes for future car models. Additionally, she led 3D design solutions and development for construction and installation of engine and emission components, and led development efforts with foreign suppliers and partners in Japan, Germany and France to secure right quality, performance and design requirements.
Ms. Friswold worked for Ericsson Telecom in Strategic Planning and Business Development, focusing on competitive analyses, business intelligence international customer satisfaction programs and strategic and quality improvements for operations and manufacturing.
She also works with Scandinavian companies looking toward the U.S. market or American companies with connections to Scandinavia that are looking to build business relationships and develop business plans for growth.
Aisha serves as President on the Board of Directors for the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in Minnesota.
She originally worked as a mechanical engineer and later received a B.Sc. in Business; Finance and Marketing [Summa Cum Laude] from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Masters Alliance Principal
Denny is known as an exceptional global executive with a 30-year track record of success, and is recognized for work in strategic growth initiatives, new product development and introduction, customer satisfaction improvement, and business issue resolution. He is founder and president of Mool Consulting, a marketing consulting firm that offers strategic marketing, business issue resolution, and team-building services to businesses ranging from start-ups to $500 million in revenue. In 2001, Denny became an associate of the Masters Alliance, combining his marketing skills with the Alliance’s broadly based skills set.
Prior to founding Mool Consulting, Denny had extensive sales, marketing, and general management experience with Honeywell International, The Boeing Company and Dart & Kraft. He is a high-energy, enthusiastic professional with extensive experience in solving problems, global team building and delivering financial results.
Denny’s global marketing and management experience includes a highly successful five-year assignment in Europe. The UK organization’s marketing director complimented Denny on his contribution by saying, “It still amazes me as to what the European affiliates have jointly accomplished and that it was a ‘Yank’ who got us to work together.” The vice president of a $1.5 billion dollar business wrote of him, “Your dedication and professionalism, your balanced view, and your passion for the business made you a great advocate for whatever you did. People with that attitude and distinction can be counted on less than two hands within this company.”
Mool’s corporate awards include recognition for major new product introductions, divisional quality improvements and superior financial results.
Denny holds a Bachelor of Science degree, High Honors, in Ceramic Engineering from the University of Illinois, a Masters of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Illinois, and a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Seattle University.
Masters Alliance Principal
Mike Orscheln’s business passion is aligning strategy, culture and leadership around growth initiatives that will deliver enterprise value creation. His experiences over multiple roles and years, have placed him in leadership positions in organizations with mandates to accelerate growth organically and identify opportunities to expand more rapidly through future strategic acquisitions. With 40 years of experience in medical device distribution and manufacturing, he has led businesses through transformational change including restructuring, acquisitions and strategic alliances resulting in extraordinary growth periods. Mike has held P&L accountability for multi-national businesses of $600M+ and has led teams of up to 1,200. Mike’s experience includes leadership roles at Baxter Healthcare, Moore Corporation, Cardinal Health, Phonak (US) Hearing Systems and Patterson Companies.
Mike is known as a leader who delivers on his commitments, operates with integrity, and promotes industry success and health. He has been very committed to the Health Industry Distribution Association (HIDA) having served on the Board of Directors and chaired the Board in 2017. During his tenure as CEO of Phonak U.S., the leading hearing aid manufacturer in the world, he was a member of the Hearing Industries Association (HIA) holding the position of Vice-Chair in 2011-’12.
During his tenure at Phonak (U.S.) Hearing Systems, Mike and his team nearly doubled the company’s revenue to $450mm in 4+ years while growing market share from 15% to 25%. By aligning priorities across the organization and driving accountability & focused execution, his team launched multiple new products into the U.S. market. As President of Patterson Companies Medical Division, he restructured the sales, service and marketing teams while launching a strategic supplier partnership program which drove double digit organic growth during his first year. After the sale of the Medical Division to Private Equity, his team and he executed a successful Corporate carve-out in 2016-’17 into a stand-alone $500+mm private entity.
Speaking to Mike’s tenure at Phonak, the Global Head of Sales said “Mike was always extremely successful, delivering over expectations. During his tenure, our company achieved market leadership in the US while Mike adapted our structure and the targets over time to digest and consolidate the growth. Mike is a practical, common sense leader, able to create a team and lead them towards a goal.” And former CEO of Performance Health acquired by Patterson Medical in 2016 said “Mike is an inspirational leader who knows how to connect incredibly well customers and employees! He is a leader who gives energy to others!”
Mike joined Masters Alliance in 2021 while founding E.Q. Growth Solutions, LLC with a focus on helping businesses and their leaders adapt their business models, strategies, and cultures to deliver employee engagement, customer satisfaction and growth through disciplined execution and accountability.
Mike was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Emporia State University (Kansas).
Masters Alliance Principal
Scott Propp’s primary interest is growth and renewal of established enterprises through innovation. Scott began his career with Motorola, building solutions for technology and business problems, and gaining experience in his signature skill of finding and executing on new growth businesses. Scott has held P&L accountability for $100M and has led teams of up to 500.
An “engineer’s engineer,” Scott holds double degrees from the University of Wisconsin, and active PE licenses in Wisconsin and Illinois. He has an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, and attended the in-residence executive development program at Northwestern’s Kellogg School and executive programs at Harvard and MIT.
His entrepreneurial skills were developed at a young age, making his first sale at age 14 while working in the family equipment business. As an engineer he solved problems in materials, design and application resulting in two patents. He led engineering teams in mechanical design, RF design and mixed mode CMOS integrated circuit design. He contributed to industry firsts including:
- First microprocessor based mobile radio
- First fully synthesized base station
- First very high power paging base station
- Largest multi-city out of secure base stations for a key government customer
Scott has led turnaround initiatives in the components business, which supplied devices into cellular, paging and public safety equipment. As a manufacturing leader he led:
- A quality improvement project in a photolithography line that improved yield 150% in 14 months, leading to recognition through a CEO quality award
- A 300% production output level increase in quartz oscillators in 9 months by building a factory in Tianjin China
Additionally as a business director, Scott led
- An effort that built an OEM presence for Motorola components in every significant cellular manufacturer, that yielded a $50M level of annual sales in 18 months
- A breakthrough project with automotive manufacturers and DOTs that won an industry award for innovation from ITSA
- Established a successful ITS business through early stage acceleration within Motorola that doubled year over year for three consecutive years.
Scott is an author and speaker, publishing his work at scottpropp.com, where you can receive a copy of “The Growth Zone,” his latest eBook.
Masters Alliance Principal
Kathlyn Slater has extensive business experience and knowledge, client management focus, and a proven record for producing results. She served as internal consultant for many channels in the financial service industry, most recently a Senior Vice President at GMAC ResCap.
She enjoys the challenge of keeping complicated assignments and relationships running smoothly. She is at her best when in the middle of significant client engagements – applying her client management, coordination, and consulting skills – connecting business cases to markets and clients; linking current capabilities to market situations; and achieving operational excellence through collaboration to achieve mutual goals.
Her upbeat, high-energy approach helps her build teams and rewarding partnerships as indicated in client comments:
“…Kathlyn brings considerable knowledge, client-marketing experience, and a proven record for producing results… sees the big picture…more bandwidth than anyone…respected…has vision and can connect the dots…I learned so much from you over the years…strategic vision grounded in performance…queen of the virtual team…get it done focus…”
Kathlyn brings strategic vision grounded in performance, effectively interfaces with multiple cross-functional areas and willingly utilizes others’ experience / insight in building high performance cross-functional teams. “Getting Things Done” is a core competency. Uses market intelligence for competitive advantage, innovation and delivery of strategic results with increased implementation speed.
Early in her career, Kathlyn was Vice President, Commercial Banking at US Bank and a CPA with KPMG Peat Marwick. She graduated from Marquette University with a B.S. in Business.