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The SyncUp Leadership Group

We are a team of practitioners, educators and researchers committed to the art and science of growing conscious leaders. We make science practically useful in service of conscious leaders, conscious organizations and a better world.

We grapple just like you do with the most important questions of our time.

We believe systems transform because the people in them are transforming.

We believe understanding our human operating system is a work in progress.

We recognize the individual and collective call for growing up and maturing.

We honor the pain and resistance as well as the joys we have experienced in our own self-understanding and self-healing journeys. We would not be who we are without all of it.

We are all in this mess together. We recognize personal and collective pain as transformative agents.

Our commitment to our clients' consciousness growth is a personal privilege of the highest order.

We depend on our strength and love of life to guide us. It brings us hope.

At the SyncUp Leadership Group, we translate neuroscience discoveries and the most powerful therapeutic model for working with unconscious behavior, Internal Family Systems (IFS), into our world of organizations. Our pioneering work is recognized by Richard Schwartz, the founder of IFS.

Once we appreciate the disparate characters and perspectives of all our parts, we can stop expending energy disapproving of ourselves (or anyone else) for being inconsistent, having mixed feelings, or hosting inner conflict. When our parts separate from the seat of consciousness we discover what spiritual traditions have known and taught for thousands of years: That we have the resources we need to support and protect this vulnerable inner population with it's awesome potential. Self-acceptance is the ongoing process of welcoming all parts and banishing none. When we pursue the ideal of self-acceptance we also gain the freedom to live by curiosity, exploration, and inclusion.

Richard SchwartzInternal Family Systems Therapy, 2nd edition - pg. 42

The SyncUp Team

Suzanne Lahl, MSOD

Co-Founder of the SyncUp Leadership Group, Suzanne Lahl, MSOD is a specialist in growing mindsets in service of wise and inspired leadership, sustainable value creation and thriving organizations who live in transformative partnerships with their communities and the environment.

At SyncUp Leadership Group - Suzanne, Terri and their associates are recognized as pioneer educators, researchers and practitioners in vertical development – growing mindsets to meet the opportunities of a world emerging and grappling with the most profound and necessary disruptions to life as we knew it. They are uniquely qualified to liberate organizations from the limitations that prevent them from doing what they most want to do in service of a better world.

The SyncUp team uniquely integrates neuroscience, interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB) adult development theory and Internal Family Systems (IFS) into their engagements. Each of these theories has a solid foundation in practice and wisdom traditions and moves clients into working with their unconscious beliefs, assumptions, blind spots, and autopilot behavior.

In addition to Suzanne’s international consulting and executive coaching practice, Suzanne is an adjunct faculty member in the globally ranked MSOD program at Graziadio Business School at Pepperdine University.

She holds an MS in Organization Development from Pepperdine University and an undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Minnesota.

Outside of Syncup Suzanne can be found swimming in the ocean – sometimes up close and personal with wild dolphins and whales off the coast of Maui.

Suzanne Lahl, MSOD

Suzanne, co-founder of SyncUp Leadership Group, is an expert in mindset development – the kind that inspires greatness in leaders who are making the world a better place.

Terri Egan, PhD

Co-Founder of the SyncUp Leadership Group, Dr. Terri Egan uses her interdisciplinary training and experience to create dynamic programs that bring out the best in individuals inspiring them to collaborate in creative and innovative ways. She is known for her ability to translate cutting edge science into powerful and practically useful tools for leaders and organizations.

As an Associate Professor Emeritus of Applied Behavioral Science at Pepperdine University and former Director of the #1 ranked Masters of Science in Organizational Development program, Terri has taught graduate and executive courses in personal development, leadership, team effectiveness, organizational change and development, creativity and innovation and international organization development.

Her award winning research has been published in a number of top journals including Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Human Relations, The Journal of Public Administration, The Journal of Values-Based Leadership and The Journal of Leadership Education.

Terri holds a B.S. degree in social sciences, an MBA and a PhD in organizational behavior all from the University of California, Irvine and is a guild-certified practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education.

Outside of SyncUp Terri can be found creating soundscapes as a multi-instrumentalist and hanging out in the kitchen with her food-loving family.

Terri Egan, PhD

Terri Egan, co-founder of SyncUp Leadership Group, is known for her ability to translate cutting edge science into powerful and practically useful tools for leaders and organizations.

Julie Chesley

Julie Chesley, PhD

Dr. Julie Chesley is a passionate and experienced change leader, including twenty years of service to the United States Air Force retiring as a Lt Colonel. During her Air Force career, Julie had the opportunity to lead critical strategy implementation and change efforts including strategic planning for a major government agency which led to national recognition. She currently leads strategic and culture change initiatives as the founder of The Chesley Group.

Julie has been on the faculty at the United States Air Force Academy, at Colorado College, and Pepperdine University where she was the former Academic Director of the top-ranked Masters of Science in Organizational Development (MSOD) program. Julie's teaching focuses on personal and group transformation as well as the critical thinking and analysis required to successfully lead change.

Julie has numerous publications and presentations including articles in California Management Review, Journal of Business Research and the Journal of Leadership Studies, as well two texts: Applied Project Management for Space Systems and Strategic Thinking: Today's Business Imperative.

She holds a B.S. in Management from the United States Air Force Academy, and an M.B.A and Ph.D. in Organization Theory and Management from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado.

Outside of SyncUp Julie can be found volunteering as the board chair of a mental health nonprofit or dancing in the kitchen with her husband.

Julie Chesley, PhD

Julie Chesley, retired USAF Lt. Colonel, integrates personal and group transformation with strategic thinking. She is recognized for leading strategy implementation and change efforts.

Advisors and Associates

Amita Schmidt

SyncUp Leadership Associate Amita Schmidt has been leading mindfulness workshops nationally since 1998. For six years she was the resident teacher at Insight Meditation Society, one of the largest mindfulness retreat centers in the world. Amita was a consultant for the UCLA Mindfulness Research Center Program (MARC) and is the co-founder of Southwest Sangha, a non-profit meditation training center in New Mexico.

Her personal training includes over two decades of meditation and mindfulness practice, including many months of silent retreats. Amita has worked as a clinical social worker since 1984. She has a certification in Internal Family Systems (IFS) and has been training and supervising others in this modality since 2016. She is also certified in EMDR (a form of trauma therapy), and somatic movement. Amita is an internationally published author and cartoonist.

Outside SyncUp Amita can be found swimming with manta rays.

Amita Schmidt, LCSW

SyncUp Leadership Associate Amita Schmidt has been leading mindfulness workshops nationally since 1998.  For six years she was the resident teacher at Insight Meditation Society, one of the largest mindfulness retreat centers in the world.

Kent Rhodes, PhD

SyncUp Group Associate Dr. Kent Rhodes is a core faculty with Pepperdine University’s Doctoral Programs in Organization Leadership and the Master of Science in Organization Development. A politically savvy guide, Rhodes is an Organizational Development expert who cultivates emotional, social and business intelligence, helping senior-level leaders become more effective.

An expert in the field of family owned businesses, Kent brings firsthand experience equipping family executives and sibling/cousin management teams with leadership skills that build value, diminish discord and increase personal effectiveness. He also maintains a successful executive coaching practice for a variety of privately held and family owned enterprises both domestically and internationally. He is the lead author of “Managing Conflict in the Family Business: Understanding Challenges at the Intersection of Family and Business”, published by Palgrave-Macmillan.

Rhodes founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of OnCourse Network, Inc., an Internet Education Company. Kent’s business background combines with a unique appreciation of the links between personal development, giving back to the community and fulfillment in life and work. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for several organizations.

Outside of SyncUp Kent can be found hiking in the wilderness park by his house or riding his bike to the beach.

Kent Rhodes, PhD

Kent Rhodes is an expert in the field of family owned business equipping leaders with skills that build value, diminish discord and increase personal effectiveness.

Dr. Daphne DePorres

Daphne has extensive experience as an OD educator and practitioner, including positions as program director of the Master's Degree in Organization Development and associate professor in the business school at the University of Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. Dr. DePorres also served as Vice President of Research, Development and Organizational Effectiveness at Los Angeles Universal Preschool, an organization dedicated to providing pre-school education in Los Angeles County, as well as being a pivotal contributor to the movement calling for pre-school education for all four year olds.

As a practitioner, Dr. DePorres has consulted with numerous organizations in the pursuit of quality, productivity, equity, and supportive cultures, linking action research and leadership development. Her research interests include taking research out of the laboratory through innovative qualitative research methods that emphasize the agency of client-as-researcher, narrowing the gap between knowledge generation and the application .

Outside of SyncUp Daphne can be found at

Daphne DePorres, PhD

Daphne DePorres is a senior Organization Development practitioner, scholar, and educator. She is currently on the faculty of the Management department at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Dr. DePorres has dedicated her career to the pursuit of organizational excellence and individual agency and belonging within large complex systems.

Some Of Our Clients