We all communicate more.
(…and more…and more...and more.)
How do we communicate better?
We have a few ideas.
MICHAEL CHAD HOEPPNER
FOUNDER & CEO
MICHAEL CHAD HOEPPNER
Michael Chad Hoeppner is the CEO and founder of GK Training, a firm dedicated to giving individuals, companies, and organizations the communications skills necessary to reach their highest goals in work and life. Michael assists his clients in every aspect of their spoken communication — from public speaking and business development to executive presence and interpersonal agility.
His corporate clients include Swiss Re, Xerox, Computer Associates, Pfizer, NYU Stern School of Business, as well as three of the top eight global financial firms, 45 of the Am Law 100, and two of the four major US professional sports leagues. His personal clients include Fortune 100 C-suite executives, managing partners at international legal and financial firms, and founders of global companies. Michael has consulted for two presidential candidates, most recently as Senior Communications Strategist for Andrew Yang's 2020 campaign. He teaches his unique approach to communications at Columbia University Business School in the PhD and MBA programs, and coaches the faculty. Michael also volunteers his time and skills, mentoring elementary school students in New York City at the 52nd Street Project, and doing pro bono communications consulting for nonprofits.
Michael has a diverse background in communications, training, and teaching, studying linguistics, theatre, speech, rhetoric, philosophy, and communications at the graduate and undergraduate level. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the prestigious NYU Tisch School, and worked as an actor in film and television, on Broadway, and in international theatre for a decade. Michael attended Dartmouth College and Colorado College, graduating cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in History and Philosophy.
Hilary Kole is the Vice-President of GK Training and Communications and has been a Lead Executive Coach for the past five years, with an expertise and emphasis on vocal production and live performance techniques. She trains executives and directors from major corporations around the world, including New York’s top financial and accounting firms, international law firms, leading health care and pharmaceutical companies, and technology industries in presentation, meeting skills, sales training, and interpersonal business skills. Hilary uses her years of experience as a professional vocalist to help clients improve their vocal and physical presence, master nerves, and execute with consistency, spontaneity and authenticity.
A renowned jazz singer and recording artist, Hilary has performed as a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Town Hall, and around the world at major festivals and performance halls. She has performed alongside music legends Dave Brubeck, Oscar Peterson, Michel LeGrand, Nancy Wilson, and Quincy Jones, among others. Hilary received her conservatory training at the renowned Manhattan School of Music.
SENIOR EXECUTIVE COACH/
GK CONTENT DIRECTOR
Shawn has worked in New York City as a creative professional—writing, editing, performing, and teaching—for over twenty years. As a Senior Executive Coach with GK Training, he has helped top professionals in finance, law, pharmaceuticals, accounting, and advertising develop their skills in both written and oral communication. He also coaches PhD candidates at Columbia Business School, helping prepare them to enter the job market. With expertise in individual and group training, Shawn’s coaching practice is personal, tailored, effective, and engaging.
Shawn also serves as the company's Content Director, helping to build customized training programs and deliverables for a wide range of clients, as well as overseeing GK's online footprint.
As a writer and editor, he has worked in magazines (Departures, Food & Wine, Real Simple) and book publishing (Scholastic, Penguin), as well as developing original material for the theatre (Here, 45 Bleecker, Connelly Theatre, 3LD). An accomplished stage actor, his work has been seen in New York and across the country (twenty-three states and counting). Shawn has a degree in English and Theatre from the University of Delaware Honors Program, and is currently enrolled in the Quantic School's Executive MBA program.
LEAD EXECUTIVE COACH
Chiara Motley is a Lead Executive Coach with GK Training, and has an extensive background in coaching and entrepreneurial development. Chiara specializes in professional presence, vocal production, poise, composition, and movement training. She helps her clients determine what they want to present, organize the presentation, and communicate that content effectively, with poise, confidence, physical grace, and clarity. In addition to clients in law and finance, she has coached chefs and restaurateurs, helping them to speak passionately and eloquently about their cuisine, their aesthetic, and their business strategy. As a consultant, Chiara helped The Chef’s Connection develop their online content (video and text) to increase business and website traffic. She continues to work as a performer and voice over artist.
Chiara holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from The National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, CO, and a BA from Stanford University. She is also a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.
LEAD EXECUTIVE COACH
James Seol is a Lead Executive Coach with GK Training. With extensive professional experience in the United States and abroad, he has worked with many of the world’s leading IT firms, law firms, and financial institutions. With a particular emphasis on practicable, experiential learning in group and one-on-one settings, he guides clients at all career levels towards more facile, specific, and dynamic communication. As a coach, his areas of specialty include sales training; presentation strategy and execution; influencing skills across diverse populations and cultures; effective and efficient interviewing; and transformational feedback delivery.
A graduate of the Juilliard School, James’ acting work includes leading roles for Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theatres, as well as television shows for the USA Network and Netflix. He holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia.
LEAD EXECUTIVE COACH
Rebecca Brooksher is a Lead Executive Coach with GK Training. Her areas of specialty include sales training, executive presence, and core communication skills. Rebecca’s coaching techniques are built on the tools of artistic collaboration: active listening, empathy, moment-to-moment awareness, and improvisation. She helps her clients navigate 1-on-1 interactions with power, poise, and grace under pressure. To help them shine in larger settings, she coaches clients in the art of adaptation and listening. A New Orleans native, she has traveled across Louisiana teaching professionals and young adults the skills required for creativity and compassion in leadership. She also teaches life skills and works as a mentor at The ICC home for children.
A graduate of the Juilliard School, Rebecca also has a busy career as a performer. She has acted on and off-Broadway, on stages all over North America—including Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center—and on TV (ABC, CBS, NBC, USA, Showtime). She holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Arkansas.
LEAD EXECUTIVE COACH
Cassandra is a Lead Executive Coach with GK Training. In her work as an executive coach, Cassandra focuses on communications skills, team building, collaboration, and diversity training. She is a popular speaker and frequent panel moderator. As a facilitator and trainer, she helps individuals and organizations transform how they communicate by channeling their own strengths and creativity.
Cassandra is also the founder of the Kassandra Arts Project, a non-profit organization that seeks to empower disadvantaged children by helping them to unlock their creativity. KAP’s most recent programs focus on working with young people in Rwanda.
In addition to her work in the business and non-profit sectors, Cassandra is an established actress with credits in Hollywood and New York. She is an alumna of Florida Sate University, received her Master of Fine Arts from New York University, and currently teaches at Fordham University at Lincoln Center.
LEAD EXECUTIVE COACH
John has been a speech and communications coach for 15 years, working with a wide variety of ages, backgrounds, and professions. He's worked on forensics with high school students, on sales strategies and public speaking at Columbia Business School, and on executive presence and one-on-one communication for legal and financial professionals. In addition, John has also worked as a teaching artist with top regional theaters and local non-profits, serving underprivileged and refugee youth by developing inter-disciplinary arts-based curriculum to help break the cycles of poverty and foster a smoother cultural adjustment, while encouraging personal growth.
John earned a BFA from The Juilliard School and an MFA from Brooklyn College, where he’s also taught writing and literature.
LEAD EXECUTIVE COACH
Ben Graney is a Lead Executive Coach with GK Training. He brings his background in devising and leading storytelling workshops to his coaching with GK, helping people dig into their experiences and share stories from their lives with honesty, commitment, and presence. Ben is also the President of Artists Financial Support Group (AFSG), a non-profit that he co-founded. He has taught AFSG’s signature workshop—the Student Loan & Budgeting Workshop—around the country at places such as NYU, Yale University, and Ithaca College. Ben is also an accomplished performer and writer, having been seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, at regional theaters around the United States, and on TV (CBS, NBC, Showtime).
Ben received a BA from California State University, Long Beach, and his MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
LEAD EXECUTIVE COACH
Adam Koplan trains Fortune 500 executives, attorneys, physicians, academics, and non-profit leaders on “persuasive moments”–from keynotes to pitch meetings to Powerpoint decks. Adam also draws on years of live radio experience to help others improve their on-air interview skills, making their delivery natural, authentic, and on-message.
His coaching career exists alongside a busy career as writer/director for stage and screen. As a director and playwright, his work has been performed internationally and across the country, at venues including The Atlantic Theater and Lincoln Center. He makes monthly appearances on the radio, most notably as guest contributor on arts and culture on WABE 90.1, Atlanta’s NPR affiliate.
As a screenwriter, Adam is a proud member of the Writer’s Guild of America and is currently under contract with Twentieth Century Fox Animation.
SENIOR ON-CAMERA SKILLS COACH
Dan Shadwell is a media expert who helps companies and executives navigate on-camera communcation—including messaging, strategies, and tactics for on-camera interviews. Dan’s expertise is founded on a prolific career across media platforms, including more than 15 years as a news anchor and reporter at various CBS, NBC, and FOX affiliates across the country, including those in San Diego and Indianapolis. He has created, produced, and hosted a wide variety of interviews and news segments that have taken him all over the world and put him face-to- face with world class musicians, writers, directors, actors, politicians, scientists, and entrepreneurs.
In 2011, Dan co-founded a direct-to-consumer multimedia company that anticipated the convergence of TV and internet programming and viewer interactivity. Dan also created, developed, and produced television ad campaigns, including one of the longest-running series of commercials in Denver. He now draws on those varied experiences to help others improve their on-camera skills, making their delivery more natural and compelling.
CONSULTANT: PROGRAMS & PEDAGOGY
Drew is a teacher and coach specializing in linguistic precision, spoken delivery, and text analysis. He works as a consultant with GK Training while maintaining a full-time position as a founding faculty member at Avenues: The World School. In addition to his consulting work with GK, Drew has recently helped startups Vindigo, Zingy, and Rave Wireless improve their customer relations, and assessed new hire soft skills at PwC. He spent ten years on the faculty of the Vassar College/New York Stage & Film Powerhouse Training program, and has led workshops throughout the country at both the graduate and undergraduate level, including at the American Conservatory Theatre, the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater, and the University of Denver.
As a performer, Drew has been seen at theaters around the country, and he can be heard alongside Sir Derek Jacobi, Orson Welles, David Tennant, and Adrian Lester on the Sourcebooks Shakespeare editions of Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Drew holds his MFA in Acting from New York University, and a dual degree in Public Policy Studies and Drama from Duke University.
Bianna Golodryga is an anchor for Yahoo News and Finance. Prior to joining Yahoo in August of 2014, she served as the co-anchor of “Good Morning America’s” Weekend Edition. She was named co-anchor in April 2010, and under her leadership, GMA Weekend moved into the #1-rated Saturday morning network news show. Golodryga has interviewed President Clinton, chief executive officers, former Secretaries of State and Treasury, financial titans including Warren Buffett, box office and music celebrities, and she was the first U.S. journalist to interview Dzhokhar Tsarnaev—the father of the Boston Marathon bombers—in his native Russian tongue.
Golodryga joined ABC News in July 2007, initially covering the economy and business beat before being promoted to GMA Weekend anchor. She reported extensively on the automobile, housing and credit crises, and the financial crisis. She was also responsible for the network’s digital media and social networking coverage during the 2008 Presidential election.
Matt Seidman was a long-time GK friend and collaborator. He was essential in developing GK’s methodology for writing training, and his intellect and sensibility pervade much of what we do. As an undergraduate at Stanford, Matt studied marine ecology, linguistics, and sociobiology at Stanford University. Throughout his time in Palo Alto, Matt tutored extensively; following graduation he taught writing and the humanities in Bay Area private schools, then made his first forays into corporate communications coaching. After receiving a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Washington, Matt made his way East.
Upon his arrival in New York, Matt founded Intelligentsia, Inc., an enterprise dedicated to providing exceptional individualized education for all intellectual levels, from elementary to executive. Intelligentsia continues that mission today.
Matt Seidman lost his life in September of 2018, at the age of 45, and he is greatly missed.