Company Leadership

Headshot of Joseph Grenny

Joseph Grenny

Cochairman, Cofounder

Joseph is an acclaimed keynote speaker and business strategy expert. For the past twenty-five years, he has designed and implemented major corporate change initiatives. He has advised thousands of leaders on every major continent, from the board rooms of Fortune 500 companies to the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Joseph was formerly president of California Computer Corporation and an executive for the Covey Leadership Center. He is coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers Change Anything, Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, and Influencer. Joseph cofounded Unitus, a nonprofit organization that helps third-world poor achieve economic self-reliance.

Headshot of Al Switzler

Al Switzler

Cochairman, Cofounder

Al has directed training and management initiatives with hundreds of organizations worldwide. He has served as president of two consulting firms, vice president of marketing for an information firm, and director of training and management development for a healthcare organization. Al is on the faculty at the University of Michigan Executive Development Center. He has taught at the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University, at Auburn University, and also at the University of Kentucky. Al is coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers Change Anything, Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, and Influencer. Al has received numerous teaching awards, including the first Innovation in Teaching Award from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University.

Headshot of Kerry Patterson

Kerry Patterson


Kerry is a prolific writer who has coauthored numerous articles and award-winning training programs. Kerry taught at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management and then cofounded Interact Performance Systems, where he worked for ten years as vice president of research and development. Kerry is coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers Change Anything, Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, and Influencer. Kerry has completed doctoral work at Stanford University. He is a recipient of the Mentor of the Year Award and the 2004 William G. Dyer Distinguished Alumni Award from Brigham Young University.

Headshot of Ron McMillan

Ron McMillan


Ron has taught and advised executives and leaders on topics such as team development, personal vitality, quality, communication, and results-oriented leadership for more than twenty-five years. He cofounded the Covey Leadership Center, where he served as vice president of research and development. Ron has worked with a broad variety of groups, ranging from union and first-level managers, to CEOs and corporate executives. He is coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers Change Anything, Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, and Influencer. He holds advanced degrees in sociology and organizational behavior from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. Ron serves on the Board of Directors for the American Family Institute.

Headshot of Andy Shimberg

Andrew Shimberg

Chief Executive Officer

Andrew Shimberg is a respected consultant and adviser to some of the world’s most powerful executives. Working across the Global 1000, Shimberg has helped leaders in organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, Merck, ConocoPhillips and Daimler, drive complex behavior change to secure bottom-line results. Prior to his role as Chief Executive Officer at VitalSmarts, Shimberg served as President of nGen Talent, a division of nGenera Corporation. Shimberg has also led dozens of large-scale research projects. His latest research on increasing influence to solve entrenched problems was named the 2009 Change Management Approach of the Year by MIT Sloan Management Review.

Headshot of David Maxfield

David Maxfield

Vice President of Research

David Maxfield is coauthor of the three New York Times bestsellers Crucial Accountability, Influencer and Change Anything. David completed doctoral work in psychology at Stanford University and has since taught at Stanford University and the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University where he received the Motorola University’s Distinguished Teaching Award and Stanford University’s Dean’s Award for Innovative Industrial Education. As vice president of research at VitalSmarts, David leads an ongoing series of research projects uncovering the negative impact of cultures of silence in organizations around the world. His research has been published widely including in the MIT Sloan Management Review, where his article “How to Have Influence” was awarded The 2009 Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize for the most outstanding article on planned change and organizational development.

Headshot of Mike Carter

Mike Carter

Cofounder, Executive Vice President

With more than twenty years of experience, Mike has cofounded eight business start-ups in which he specialized in leading sales channel development among other leadership positions. Volunteering as a business and career mentor, Mike has advised more than 200 individuals and business start-ups. He studied business at the University of Texas and Brigham Young University. Under Mike’s leadership, the VitalSmarts sales team won a 2007 American Business Awards in the Best Sales Team category. Mike also received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 Award in the Utah region.

Headshot of Yan Wang

Yan Wang

Chief Financial Officer

Yan has more than fourteen years of experience in her field and has been a certified public accountant for more than ten years. Prior to joining VitalSmarts, she worked as a senior accountant for a manufacturing company and as a CPA for a public accounting firm. Yan also taught accounting and economics at Shanghai Agricultural College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Shanghai Agricultural College, and master’s degrees from Utah State University and Brigham Young University.

Headshot of Mary McChesney

Mary McChesney

Vice President, Marketing

Since joining VitalSmarts in 2004, Mary has led the company’s largest integrated marketing and publicity campaigns. As vice president of marketing, she oversees five main marketing functions: Product Management, Corporate Communications, Demand Generation, Channel Marketing, and Project Management. Specifically, Mary has been instrumental in launching and sustaining the company’s New York Times bestselling business books, multiple research studies, and all major product lines. In 2010, Mary’s team received a Stevie for “Marketing Department of the Year” from The American Business Awards.

Headshot of Emily Hoffman

Emily Hoffman

Vice President, Development & Delivery

As vice president of development and delivery, Emily is integral to the success of the company’s training products. Under her leadership, VitalSmarts creates and develops the company’s award-winning line of training products as well as supports a community of more than six thousand certified training professionals with nationwide development opportunities, conferences, and training implementation tools. Emily also travels around the world speaking, training, and consulting to the VitalSmarts roster of Fortune 500 clients. She graduated from Emory University with a BA in English, and received an MD from the University of Utah School of Medicine and an MBA from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University.

Welcome to

VitalSmarts and Vital Skills International of Michigan are pleased to announce a new era in their joint service to the Michigan market. As of February 28, VitalSmarts has acquired the Vital Skills business and will maintain the presence of a Michigan-based office to provide you with streamlined and enhanced customer support.

We look forward to working with you!
If you have any questions, please email Josh Boyd at jboyd at vitalsmarts dot com.