Our team is dedicated to developing great leaders and helping them build great organizations.

Peter Thies, PhD

Peter is the President and Co-Founder of The River Group. He has 25 years experience helping global companies implement strategic organizational changes. Present and past clients include public company CEOs and executives in a range of industries including Financial Services, Consumer Products, Retail, Industrial, Professional Services, Telecommunications and the nonprofit sector.

Peter Thies is the President and Co-Founder of The River Group. He has 25 years experience helping global companies implement strategic organizational changes. Present and past clients include public company CEOs and executives in a range of industries including Financial Services, Consumer Products, Retail, Industrial, Professional Services, Telecommunications and the nonprofit sector.

His expertise includes:

  • Building executive teams to improve performance and provide better leadership
  • Developing the next generation of leaders
  • Designing and executing seamless succession plans
  • Integrating acquisitions on a global scale to build a unified, high performing company
  • Redesigning organizations to stimulate high growth
  • Increasing executive effectiveness with their direct reports, peers and Boards of Directors through feedback and coaching
  • Prior to forming The River Group, Dr. Thies was a Senior Client Partner with Korn/Ferry’s Leadership and Talent Consulting division and co-leader of the firm’s CEO Succession practice.

Earlier in his career Peter founded Equinox Organizational Consulting, a global organization development firm. He was a partner at Mercer Delta Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) for 11 years, holding several leadership positions. He has published numerous articles in business journals and books on organizational change. Peter holds a PhD and MBA in organizational behavior from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an MS in educational psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in psychology from SUNY Albany.

Oliver Sommer

Oliver is a Partner at The River Group. He has over twenty years experience as a consultant and executive. He specializes in helping executive teams create and implement transformational organic and M&A driven strategies. He has consulted to organizations across the US and Australia.

Ollie Sommer is a Partner at The River Group. He has over twenty years experience as a consultant and executive. He specializes in helping executive teams create and implement transformational organic and M & A driven strategies. He has consulted to organizations across the US and Australia.

His expertise includes:

  • Redesigning organizations in partnership with senior leadership teams to accelerate strategic growth objectives
  • Developing comprehensive organizational design options to align strategic objectives with talent capabilities and needs
  • Creating implementation frameworks including talent development programs to ensure the achievement of identified strategic objectives
  • Enhancing the effectiveness of program and project management capabilities to accelerate change management objectives
  • Identifying, executing and integrating acquisitions in order to realize targeted revenue and cost synergies as well as the requisite business model and talent integration objectives
  • Developing initiatives for broad-based talent engagement across organizational levels to promote a common culture aligned with strategic objectives

Before joining The River Group, Ollie was the Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at First Niagara Financial Group, a $37 billion asset bank holding company operating in the Northeast. He created and led the Corporate Development function including responsibilities for strategic planning, enterprise program and project management, mergers and acquisitions, integration management, and organizational development. Prior to his role at First Niagara, he was the President of Aston Associates, a leading advisory firm for financial institutions and their investors. Aston focused on the strategic, organizational and operational design of its clients; it also assisted with target identification, due diligence and integration for mergers and acquisitions as well as capital raising and structuring.

Lisa Shall

Lisa is an Associate Partner at The River Group. Lisa is a seasoned talent management professional with deep experience in leadership assessment, organizational design, change management, and talent management processes. Savvy relationship builder with the ability to adapt quickly, learn on the fly and work across geographic boundaries.

Lisa Shall is an Associate Partner working with The River Group, a management consulting firm that helps CEOs and senior executives transform their organizations and their leaders in order to execute their strategy.

Lisa is a seasoned talent management professional with deep experience in leadership assessment, organizational design, change management, and talent management processes. Savvy relationship builder with the ability to adapt quickly, learn on the fly and work across geographic boundaries. She has experience transforming talent and implementing organizational effectiveness initiatives across a wide range of companies and industries. Past clients include Retail, Financial Services, Healthcare, Life Sciences, and Consumer Products.

Her expertise includes:

  • Conducting organization diagnostic and leadership assessment processes
  • Designing and delivering innovative leadership development solutions, with experience developing and delivering training for mid to senior level leaders.
  • Designing and implementing change management programs
  • Creating scalable talent management solutions, including Talent Assessment (9-box) processes
  • Executive coaching and onboarding, including advising and coaching senior executives and their teams for maximum effectiveness

Strong program management capability; skilled in working with clients to develop communication strategies, identify milestones, determine change plans, and define success

Most recently Ms. Shall served as a Talent Management leader for Northwell Health. In this role, she had responsibility for redesigning the High Potential program, designing and implementing a Talent Assessment process system-wide, launching a new competency model, and developing and implementing a variety of talent management initiatives designed to improve employee engagement and leadership capability.

Previously, Ms. Shall was a consultant at Korn/ Ferry International, where she served clients and managed engagements across the areas of executive assessment, onboarding, high potential leadership development, organizational design, and culture redesign.

Ms. Shall previously served as a management consultant for Accenture in their Talent and Organizational Performance area. In this capacity, she primarily worked as the change management lead at several large retail clients, as well holding roles in other industries. Her role encompassed the areas of change management strategy, training strategy, training development, training deployment, organization impact assessment, business readiness, stakeholder analysis, and communications planning.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Shall was a marketing associate manager within the finance practice of Corporate Executive Board. Before that, she served as a marketing associate in the same company’s technology practice.

Ms. Shall earned a master’s degree in social organization psychology from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Michael Franklin, PhD

Michael is a Partner at The River Group with over 25 years of experience helping CEOs, boards of directors and senior managers to design and implement large-scale organizational change and build leadership capability to drive successful business performance.

Michael Franklin is a Partner at The River Group with over 25 years of experience helping CEOs, boards of directors and senior managers to design and implement large-scale organizational change and build leadership capability to drive successful business performance. Clients have included Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies across multiple industries including financial services, health care, technology, telecommunications, energy, transportation and consumer products.

Areas of expertise include:

  • Board assessment and development
  • CEO and executive team effectiveness
  • Executive assessment and development
  • CEO and executive succession planning
  • Organization design and transformation
  • Merger and acquisition integration
  • Change leadership

Prior to joining The River Group, Michael was a Managing Director with PwC’s Advisory practice. He spent most of his career with Delta Consulting Group, which was acquired by Marsh & McLennan Companies and operated as part of Oliver Wyman and Mercer consulting groups. Michael was a Partner at Delta for 15 years and led Delta’s San Francisco office for over 10 years. Before moving into external consulting, he led an organization-effectiveness and training function within Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. Michael holds a BA in Psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles and a PhD in Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, Berkeley.

Bani Mahindroo Kumar

Bani is a Principal at The River Group. She has a wide range of experience in organizational effectiveness, culture change, performance management, and talent assessment and development.

Bani is a Principal at The River Group. She has a wide range of experience in organizational effectiveness, culture change, performance management, and talent assessment and development. She has worked as an HR Business Partner and in consulting in a range of industries, including: energy, financial services, and NGOs and nonprofits.

In one recent cultural transformation project, at one of the largest NGOs in the world, she designed and managed a new leadership development and succession process, redefined and guided implementation of a new performance culture, re-framed the organizational values, and rebuilt internal channels of communication.

Bani has a BA (Honours) in Psychology from Delhi University and a Specialization in HR from XLRI, Jamshedpur, India.

Rachel M. Johnson, PhD

Rachel is a Principal at The River Group, based out of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She has over 17 years of experience in global consulting and internal HR roles. She specializes in executive assessments for both selection and development, executive coaching, designing leadership development programs for high potentials, competency modeling, and succession management.

Rachel Johnson has over 17 years of experience helping clients achieve their strategic goals through integrated talent management, executive assessment and coaching, and leadership development programs. She has partnered with a variety of Fortune 500 clients in the life sciences, industrial, automotive, fintech, and consumer industries. She has worked both independently and through several large and boutique consulting firms. Prior to consulting, she has also worked as a director of learning and development, responsible for all onboarding, training, professional development, and succession management of staff at a global professional services firm.

Her expertise includes:

  • Utilizing insights from her in-depth executive assessments to help clients choose the best fit for leadership roles and their organizational culture
  • Coaching mid-level through C-suite leaders on how to increase their self-awareness and transform their perspective and performance
  • Developing both high potential and high performing leaders using tools such as 360o feedback or personality tests, or through designing and implementing leadership development programs
  • Defining leadership success profiles and competency models that align with a client’s business strategy to aid in recruiting, selecting, and developing employees
  • Implementing succession management initiatives, including designing the talent assessment strategy and facilitating talent reviews

Earlier in her career, Rachel held an internal position at Sun Microsystems, Inc., where she worked on organizational effectiveness efforts that won several awards during her tenure there. She began her career while earning her Ph.D. Her initial consulting roles focused on organizational development solutions in the healthcare industry and academia, including training needs assessment, design, and evaluation, as well as employee survey work.

Rachel earned her Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from Colorado State University. She holds Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees (magna cum laude) in psychology and sociology from the University of Georgia. She holds multiple certifications in a variety of assessment tools. She is currently working towards becoming an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF). She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Fusako Matsui, PhD

Sako is a Principal at The River Group. She has many years of external and internal consulting experience helping global companies drive complex change, accelerate execution, transform leadership capabilities, and build culture of engagement, growth, and results.

Sako is a Principal at The River Group. She has many years of external and internal consulting experience helping global companies drive complex change, accelerate execution, transform leadership capabilities, and build culture of engagement, growth, and results. Sako brings a consultative approach that is collaborative, anchored in management and behavioral science, and biased toward pragmatic and simple solutions for business leaders.

Her expertise includes:

  • Organizational assessment and development
  • Executive leadership assessment and development including succession
  • Next generation leadership pipeline strategy and execution
  • M&A due diligence and integration
  • Board assessment and development
  • Large-scale talent management and development platform design and execution
  • Prior to joining The River Group, Sako was Vice President of the Organization and Talent
  • Development Group at Visa Inc. During a period of extraordinary growth for the company, she shaped and led the global function responsible for delivering company-wide organization and talent development strategies and solutions, including organization reviews (covering key drivers of organizational health), executive succession planning, performance management, leadership and management effectiveness, career development platforms, and impact metrics (including organizational effectiveness surveys).

Prior to Visa, Sako was a partner at Mercer Delta Consulting Group (now called Oliver Wyman) helping CEOs and senior leaders address the most pressing organizational, people, and change management challenges. Her work focused on M&A, culture transformation, change management, executive talent management, leadership development, and corporate governance. In addition to her advisory work, Sako carried out several high-profile management studies including a study commissioned by the National Association for Corporate Directors that identified best board practices in CEO succession among Fortune 500 companies. She also carried out a study revealing what successful companies do to achieve organic growth: “In Search of Growth: 10 Practices That Create Organic Growth Champions.” Earlier in her career, Sako was a consultant with the Organizational Effectiveness and Development Practice at Pricewaterhouse Coopers and an HR consultant at Goldman Sachs.

Sako earned her PhD in Social-Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. Sako is a native of Kobe Japan.

Laura McLaine

Laura is the Operations Manager at The River Group. She is responsible for all aspects of day-to-day operations including scheduling, event planning, and data management.

Laura is responsible for all aspects of administration within The River Group.

Before joining River, Laura worked in the public sector. Laura has a bachelors degree in Psychology from University of Massachusetts Lowell and an associates degree in Business Administration.

Morgan Fioritto

Morgan is an Associate at The River Group. Her responsibilities include assisting with Intellectual Property and Data Management, as well as Marketing and Client Operations.

Morgan is an Associate at The River Group. Her responsibilities include assisting with Intellectual Property and Data Management, as well as Client and Marketing Operations.

Prior to joining The River Group, Morgan worked in the health and wellness industry, managing sales, client relationships, and merchandising for boutique fitness franchises.

Morgan earned a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in health care administration, both from The University of Toledo. During her time in the master’s program, she was invited to take part in the Advanced Leadership Academy, a cohort of the University’s top graduate students, on the basis of campus and community engagement, leadership potential and academic merit.