In a global economy where consumers having a competitive edge in customized diverse solutions matters. Yardstick Management helps clients develop a plan that delivers a quantifiable impact on their target market.
Dr. Ebbie Parsons, III, is the Founder and Managing Partner of Yardstick Management. A seasoned business executive with a passion for intentional impact, has been applauded for his strategic thinking, engaging leadership and results orientation throughout his successful career. After working at Fortune 500 companies including Intel, Medtronic and American Express, Dr. Parsons, III, made the decision to transition from a promising career in business in 2007 to join the prestigious Broad Residency Program in Educational Leadership. The Broad Residency was his first introduction to the inner-workings of America’s public education where he served as the Chief Operating Officer of Hartford Public Schools.
Championing the overhaul of the district’s school funding methodology, he negotiated the state’s first pay-for-performance teacher union contract and led the redistricting of the city to an “All-Choice” system of schools. Following his time in Hartford, Dr. Parsons, III, was on the founding team of the groundbreaking Relay Graduate School of Education where he led the Human Capital function of the organization. Following Relay, he took on a new challenge to serve as the Chief Operating Officer of the third-largest Charter Management Organization in the U.S., Mosaica Education, Inc. At Mosaica, Dr. Parsons, III, managed over 80 schools across eight states, Washington, D.C., the Middle East and Asia. He led Mosaica to their two consecutive most profitable years in the company’s 14-year history while simultaneously leading the company to their highest academic performance results in years.
Leveraging his wealth of experience and expertise in business and education, he launched Yardstick Management with a vision to become a leader in transforming and impacting the global landscape of the management consulting industry. Less than a decade later, Yardstick has now become a world thought leader and powerhouse in providing specialized Management, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Talent consulting services to renowned mission-driven brands and organizations across the globe. Yardstick is committed to building the internal capacity of their clients so that they can enhance their ability to deliver extraordinary results to their constituents.
He holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Florida A&M University, an MBA from the University of Minnesota, and a Doctorate in Educational and Organizational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. He has also served as a Faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. Dr. Parsons, III, has extensive board leadership experience, including serving on the boards of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, Lighthouse Academies, Children’s Orchestra Society, the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, Urban Ministries, Inc., the Atlanta Music Project (an El Sistema Program), The Winans Group and the Finance Corps. Dr. Parsons, III, is a Fellow with the Pahara Institute and the Aspen Institute and is a Member of the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Dr. Parsons, III resides in Atlanta, GA with his wife, Ayana, and their adorable daughters, Ebbie Noelle aka “Noey”, and Noohra Celeste. He has a passion for the arts and serves on the Board of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and previously served on the Metropolitan Opera Guild Board. He is also a Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. In his spare time, he enjoys cycling, kayaking, and most of all rooting for his favorite hometown team, the Michigan Wolverines. Go BLUE!
Chris Webber currently serves as Partner for Yardstick Management, and is responsible for growing the company portfolio and acting as an ongoing image consultant. Prior to joining Yardstick, Chris was a five-time NBA All-Star, a five-time All-NBA Team member, a former NBA Rookie of the Year, and a former number one overall NBA draftee. At the University of Michigan, he was a member of the unforgettable “Fab Five.”
Webber now serves as a Broadcast Analyst at TNT, where he also co-anchors “Players Only.” Aside from basketball, Webber produces films under his company with documentarian Peter Gilbert. He is also one half of Beat Brothers, a music production duo with brother David Ranier. He is featured as a broadcaster in the massively popular video game: NBA 2K and hosted “Chris Webber’s Full Court Pranks” on TruTV.
In his free time, Chris enjoys giving back to his community and spending time with his wife and two kids.
Naima Greenwood currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer at Yardstick Management, responsible for growing the Yardstick Management portfolio and managing ongoing projects. Prior to joining Yardstick, Naima served as a Senior Manager on a government contract with the Office of Foreign Labor Certification. Naima has a diverse background in Sales and Marketing, Operations and Retail.
Naima holds a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Florida A&M University and an Executive MBA in Global Business from Georgia Institute of Technology. Naima started her career at Target Corporation as a Business Analyst in their entertainment division. There she collaborated with major movie studios and record labels in managing their releases. She later relocated to Atlanta, GA where she managed a $1 billion domestic landscape business for over 2,200 retail stores for The Home Depot. After completing her Executive MBA, Naima was recruited by Bank of America where she served as an Assistant Vice-President. She oversaw efforts to convert California accounts to a single platform for improved efficiency and reliability, and managed a multi-million-dollar project to develop global consumer risk assessment plans for call centers
Naima resides in Atlanta with her husband Andre, and their daughters, Ava and Aubree. In her spare time, she actively volunteers in a variety of civic and cultural organizations including Habitat for Humanity, and the Andrew & Walter Young YMCA. Outside of professional interests, she enjoys travelling and spending time with her family.
Slma Shelbayah is the Chief Communications Officer at Yardstick Management, overseeing the internal and external communications strategy alignment, marketing, public relations, branding and project management solutions for clients. Her background includes more than 15 years of experience as an award winning journalist, communication, and public relations expert in the media industry, including experience as a reporter, show host, editor, writer, voice-over artist, and producer.
Prior to joining Yardstick, Slma managed her own communication consulting firm. She brings with her experience as a former Director of Corporate Public Relations with Savannah College of Art and Design. Previous to that role, she spent many years in journalism as a producer, writer and assignment editor at CNN. She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor of communications, language and business for several universities, including Brenau University, Georgia State University and Clayton State University.
In 2015, she won the CNN Worldwide Diversity Ovation Award for her commitment to inclusion in news coverage. Shelbayah is passionate about diversity, human uniqueness and unraveling tough conversations and traditions. Additionally, she is dedicated to promoting stronger voices for under-privileged individuals with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
Slma holds a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Sociology and an M.A. in Linguistics with a focus on cross-cultural linguistics of Spanish and Arabic, both degrees from Georgia State University. She was inducted and graduated from LEAD Atlanta’s distinguished and highly selective leadership program for the class of 2018. She has also obtained a certificate from Oxford University, U.K., during which students were selected from 30 countries across the world to pursue a seminar on global media policy: technology and new themes in media regulations.
Mansa Bilal Mark King currently serves as a Principal Diversity Consultant at Yardstick Management. He is responsible for key project work at Yardstick Management, and for growing the portfolio. Prior to joining Yardstick, Bilal served as an Associate Professor of Sociology at Morehouse College for 14 years, and as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Middle Tennessee State University for 2 years. Before this, Bilal combined college and graduate school courses with his work on basic and applied social science research projects. In this capacity, he was a research assistant in the Career Opportunities in Research program, at The American Institutes for Research, and on the Three-City Study on Families, Children, and Welfare project. Since finishing school in 2006, he has conducted independent research projects on father-involvement in America’s inner-cities, religious conversion in Ghana, and Black America’s transnationalism. He published chapters/articles on the first two topics, but the third project is ongoing. His other publications, invited lectures, and project work has addressed Black-White racial reconciliation, Africana Muslims in liberal arts education, and diversifying the body of American college students who study abroad. In addition to the introductory sociology course, the classes that Bilal has taught most often are: Men in Society, Classical Social Theory, and Africana Families.
Bilal holds a Ph.D. and M.A in sociology from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S. in psychology (minor in mathematics) from Howard University. He graduated from Howard Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude.
Bilal resides in Atlanta with his wife Fikira, and their daughters, Sabila, Hafsatu, and Asmaoo. He is familiar with Wolof, Hausa, Kiswahili, Classical Arabic and Spanish. His community work includes educational engagements with local and regional faith organizations, such as the American Jewish Committee in Atlanta, Tayseer Seminary in Knoxville, and the Islamic Networks Group in San Jose. Outside of professional interests, he enjoys exercise, travel, art, and playing monopoly or chess with his children.
Shannon Hassler serves as a Principal Consultant with Yardstick Management where she leads our executive search practice and serves as a key member of our diversity, equity, and inclusion practice.
Shannon brings 20 years of talent acquisition and advisory service experience. She most recently served as a Principal with Korn Ferry, driving the expansion and application of their Rockefeller Foundation-sponsored Women CEOs Speak research, and furthering the firm’s work with client organizations to realize the full power and potential of their female talent. She is outspoken about covering topics like women in leadership and determining ways bias impacts organizations’ effectiveness in recruiting and optimizing talent.
Shannon spent the early part of her career specializing in financial officer recruitment, then she broadened into talent consulting with a focus on assessment, board effectiveness, and inclusion and diversity with Heidrick & Struggles. She then applied her experience in both recruiting and management consulting to drive internal improvements with two primary objectives: winning in the market and delighting clients. Most recently as Practice Management Director for both the firm’s CFO and CEO & Board Practices, Shannon led change efforts in processes, training, branding, and engagement execution.
What has fiercely driven Shannon for the past ten years in the industry has been a passion for finding ways to do this important work better and focusing more on the people vs the transaction. Her mission is to find ways to uncover talent too often overlooked or discounted and realizing the power of diverse leadership teams.
Shannon received her J.D. from Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent College of Law, and her B.S. from Northern Illinois University. She is an active member and a Class of 2012 alumna of Leadership Sandy Springs, and she is on the advisory board of The Women’s Collective, bringing C-suite and other executive level women leaders together around a mission of promoting and enhancing leaders focused on the workplace, education, and mentorship.
Eldrin L. Deas is a Senior Consultant with Yardstick Management. He brings to Yardstick more than a decade of experience in strategic design, research, community outreach, advocacy, and partnership/network building along with a deep knowledge of a cross-section of markets to provide creative and analytical insight to a diverse portfolio of projects.
Prior to joining Yardstick, Eldrin served as Consultant on the School Improvement Team at Mass Insight Education & Research, working with leaders to develop and advance visionary, practical ideas to dramatically improve K-12 education through implementation science. He designed tools to make implementation practice more efficient and effective for local and state education agencies and developing strategies to make the field of implementation science more accessible to a more diverse pool of researchers and practitioners nationally and globally.
He currently serves on the editorial board of The Urban Review: Issues and Ideas in Education and as Board Director of Espacio en Blanco in Monterrey, Nuevo León (Mexico), previously taught high school math in DeKalb County, Georgia, and developed state math assessments at American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C. While serving as Analyst for District Supervision and Support at the Connecticut State Department of Education, he led the development, implementation, and analysis of turnaround initiatives in priority school districts across the state.
Eldrin holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Morehouse College, an M.S. in Social Foundations of Education from Georgia State University, and a Ph.D. in Education; Culture, Curriculum, and Change from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While pursuing doctoral study, Eldrin was awarded academic, research, and professional fellowships from Southern Education Foundation (Southern Education Leadership Initiative), Education Pioneers, Joseph R. Neikirk Distinguished Professorship, and New Leaders Council (NLC) North Carolina.
Linda Brito serves as a Senior Consultant at Yardstick Management and has a keen insight on operations improvement. Before joining Yardstick, she worked for several years in customer operations in the manufacturing sector, and most recently in healthcare improvement. She brings cross-industry experience, facilitation and coaching improvement initiatives, and a vast knowledge of how to evaluate performance and promote data-informed decision making to drive sustainable change.
Linda is originally from the Dominican Republic where she completed her BS in Industrial Engineering. She obtained her MBA in Spain from EAE Business School and has a Lean Six Sigma Certification from the University of Georgia. She currently lives in Athens, GA with her husband and their two kids.
Melanie Calhoun supports Yardstick’s Diversity and Inclusion line of business. As a senior consultant with expertise in marketing management and diversity and inclusion initiatives, Melanie helps organizations improve D&I strategies by conducting assessments, helping to establish clear and measurable D&I goals, and creating long-term roadmaps to address the structural inequality that may exist.
Before joining Yardstick, Melanie spent time as a researcher in the Relationships and Social Cognition Lab at the University of California, Berkeley Psychology Department. Under the leadership of Rodolfo MendozaDenton, Ph.D., Melanie developed an active research interest in stigma, intergroup relations, and stereotyping. Much of her racism and bias research is informed by her experience working as a marketing executive for over fifteen years.
Prior to her work at UC Berkeley, she was Head of New Customer Acquisition and Experience for Invisalign® clear aligners at Align Technology. Under her leadership, Melanie launched new advertising campaigns to recruit new dentists to become providers. Before working at Align, Melanie spent time as the Senior Marketing Manager of Product Marketing for Vocera Communications. In her role, she oversaw competitive strategy. As Marketing Manager at Ecolab, she managed the Surgical Patient Care products, increasing sales to $12MM. She also spent time at Medtronic supporting surgical procedures in endovascular aortic aneurysm stent graft repair, pediatric deformity spinal surgery, and neurostimulation for obesity and chronic stomach disorders. She received various awards for her leadership including the Medtronic Emerging Leaders and was one of the first participants in the Leadership Development Rotation Program.
Melanie is committed to her community and through her leadership has made a significant impact on women and children’s issues. She has held various positions in the Junior League of Atlanta and served on the Executive Board of the San Jose Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Currently, Melanie is a Board Member of the Atlanta Chapter of It’s My Birthday, Inc. and The Atlanta Birth Center.
Melanie earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida A&M University. She currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, two-year-old son and newborn daughter. She is an avid reader, loves cooking, traveling and yoga.
Jaclyn Carter is a Senior Consultant on Yardstick Management’s leadership team. Jaclyn provides leadership and direction in all aspects of managing Human Capital. She brings over 15 years of experience in labor/employee relations, recruitment, training, compensation design, compliance audits, job analysis, process improvement, culture shifts and performance improvement interventions. She has served in leadership roles and provided HR support to a variety of clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies, including DaimlerChrysler, United Technologies and Berkshire Hathaway, to small startups. Jaclyn can successfully re-engineer organizational Human Resource goals and practices to be in alignment with strategic business goals and objectives.
Jaclyn also serves as a trainer and coach for leadership and professional development programs and career transition services. Through her extensive experience with executives and professionals, she has developed a unique ability to help clients identify core values and motivators. She collaborates with clients in developing career management and performance plans to achieve progressive success. Jaclyn brings a broad base of industry experience, which helps her connect with each client and support advancement and success in their profession. Jaclyn customizes her approach to each client, as they build the skills required for the next stage in their career.
Jaclyn holds a BA in Human Resource Management from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business and an MILR, with a concentration in Dispute Resolution via Mediation and Arbitration, from Cornell University’s School of Industrial & Labor Relations. Jaclyn resides in Hartford, CT with her family.
Dr. Neil Van Leeuwen serves as a Senior Consultant on the Yardstick team leading the Customer Value Creation process for Yardstick’s commercial client portfolio. Neil’s interests and expertise combine education, arts, and entrepreneurship. He earned his BA summa cum laude in Classical Studies from University of Pennsylvania, where he was also a researcher at the Wharton Entrepreneurial Center, a percussionist in the Penn Symphony Orchestra, and an inductee of Phi Beta Kappa. Leveraging his Marketing, Strategy and Entrepreneurial expertise, Neil successfuly co-authored (with strategic consultant Paul Morin) the business plan for Penn’s Wharton West campus in San Francisco, now named Wharton San Francisco and is in its 18th year having awarded over 1,100 degrees.
After Penn, Neil went on to earn his M.St. with distinction in Classical Languages and Literature from Oxford University and his PhD in philosophy from Stanford University, where his research combined philosophy, cognitive science, and cognitive neuroscience. Neil’s understating of cognitive neuroscience has helped him to become an expert at understanding the psyche. In addition to his academic pursuits at Stanford, Neil focused on creative writing, and he has since written the libretto for one full-length opera (Oxford Companions, with composer Giancarlo Aquilanti) and the lyrics for one full-length musical (Song of Solomon, with composer Andrew Beall).
Neil’s academic career includes fellowships and teaching at such diverse institutions as Rutgers University, Tufts University, and University of Johannesburg; he is currently an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Associate of the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He has published extensively in philosophy and cognitive science and is currently under contract for a book with Harvard University Press. Throughout his academic career, he has maintained his commitment to entrepreneurship, serving as Strategic Advisor to the HiPER Solutions Group (HSG) in San Francisco and as Sr. Consultant for Yardstick Management.
Andre Chatfield is a Consultant at Yardstick Management and has a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. Prior to Yardstick, Andre worked for Accenture as a business and integration arch analyst, assisting with new process implementations, technological enhancements, and quality assurance testing. Bringing over two years of tech consulting experience and a genuine determination to win, Andre is ecstatic to work with his clients to find effective solutions that govern success.
Andre graduated from Harvard University in 2018 with a B.A. in Economics, and a citation in French. As a high DI basketball recruit that received offers from institutions like Georgetown, Stanford, and Georgia Tech, he played on the Varsity Men’s Basketball team and made it to the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2015. He is originally from Lilburn, GA and currently resides close to home in Atlanta where he enjoys spending time with his family, competing in recreational basketball leagues, and traveling on occasion.
Gordon Callaway serves as a Consultant for Yardstick Management. He is responsible for building, leading, and reviewing proposals for new business clients across all sectors.
Prior to joining Yardstick, Gordon worked as an Operations Manager at DHL, and was responsible for domestic and international logistical operations. Before joining DHL, Gordon served as an Air Force Contracting Officer in the field of acquisitions, contracting, and procurement. While in the Air Force, he was responsible for both military and civilian personnel members and executed over 200 Million Dollars annually in new acquisitions for 5 military organizations. He was an advisor to senior government and corporate executives and ensured acquisitions complied with federal laws and regulations.
Gordon holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Tuskegee University and is currently pursuing his M.B.A. at Emory University. He is also a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Gordon resides in Atlanta, Georgia and enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and attending Atlanta United games.
Dr. Nicole Nero serves as a Consultant for Yardstick Management. She is responsible for facilitating client workshops and trainings and oversees Yardstick Management’s Consulting practice as a project manager.
Prior to joining Yardstick, Nicole served as a Consultant in the rapidly expanding EdTech industry. In her most recent role at CampusLogic, Nicole led the strategic adoption and training efforts for enrollment solutions clients.
Nicole’s mission as a Consultant is to leave people and teams better than she finds them: more encouraged, better equipped, and in a better position to win! Her experience has given her the unique ability to support clients by purposefully aligning their organizational values with their strategic goals.
Nicole holds a BSBA from Auburn University in Human Resource Management with a minor in Marketing. She also received an MBA from Auburn University at Montgomery. Additionally, she earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Southern Methodist University.
Sparked by her former role in campus recruiting for Deloitte, Nicole’s doctoral research focused heavily on job attainment for minoritized groups. Nicole was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama where her passion for DEI work was first sparked as a young intern for the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Nicole now resides in Dallas, Texas.
Outside of professional interests, she enjoys travel, (very) slowly learning to play her guitars, and all things Peloton. She is also a proud co-founder of DRA Lending, a non-profit microlending organization for entrepreneurs in the South Dallas community and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Gilberto Orozco is a 2020 graduate of the University of Michigan and serves as an Associate Consultant at Yardstick Management. Before joining Yardstick, Gilberto has been involved in the entrepreneurship space — being a part of a team that founded an educational non-profit dedicated to teaching entrepreneurship to kids — for over six years and worked in a lab as a coordinator for the Institute of Social Research where he analyzed global market trends through a multidisciplinary approach. Gilberto’s passions lie in global human development and bipartisan policies that improve the longevity of everyone.
Residing in Detroit as a Venture for America fellow, Gilberto aims to aid the city in the entrepreneurship ecosystem for the next two years. In his free time, he enjoys to travel, trains for marathons, and creates elaborate meals for his friends and family.
Josie is an Associate Consultant for Yardstick Management. She is a 2020 graduate from Earlham College with a Major in Global Management with a focus in Management Information Technology. Josie is a Venture for America Fellow, and found entrepreneurship by being a founder herself. She assembled a company called Methane Hub in 2016 to help international rural communities fight indoor air pollution using an engineered renewable cooking fuel, and has since moved on to creating information products and processes to uplift women in tech. Josie is passionate about applying tech-based solutions to businesses and products that provide positive social impact while contributing other skills such as UX design and coding. She builds teams that make work enjoyable and transparent. To recharge, Josie loves sailing, meeting with like-minded changemakers and GenZers over coffee, starting side hustles, and reading about new fascinating concepts.
Haneen serves as the Diversity Sourcer for Yardstick Management. She is a seasoned sourcer having previously worked with Microsoft, Facebook, AWS and Slack. Her mission has been to ensure big companies in the United States and overseas have a diverse candidate pool and that marginalized groups have equal access to the senior technical and non-technical roles within these organizations.
Haneen graduated with her Bachelors of Science degree in computer science from Najah National University and she holds an MBA from Indiana University Pennsylvania. Prior to her sourcing experience, she interned as a Technical Program Manager at LinkedIn, and worked as a Product and Account Manager for the Telecom company, Jawwal.ps.
Kae’s interests have always been split between sports and the arts, and she attended Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) as an undergrad in order to be able to grow in both areas. She learned a lot about balance as a student-athlete as she earned a BFA in Advertising Design with a specialization in Graphic Design. After graduation, she made the move to the Atlanta campus and obtained her masters degree in Interactive Design and Game Development.
Kae brings over 7 years of Art Direction experience to the Yardstick team, while providing print and digital design solutions for the firm and its clients. Today, Kae maintains her balance by skating for the Atlanta Rollergirls.
Jasmine is a 2019 graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. With her focus in multimedia journalism, marketing, and public relations, she hopes to connect individuals with the power of digital communication. Her passions and interests collide with all things creative such as story development, brand management, and creative direction. She has curated work for brands like BET Networks, Linkedin, Wogrammer, and Pace Communications. Her ultimate goal is to use her talent for writing to ideate innovative ways to bring brands and visions to life. In her free time, she enjoys balancing work-life with yoga, dance, blogging, and cuddling her German Shepard, Onyx.