The Latimer Team

Models of good communication

Working with The Latimer Group means that you’ll interact with multiple team members beyond Dean Brenner, the CEO and founder. Each person works in a defined area of authority for the client, and works in a team model (defined roles, structured communication, individual accountability) to move client work forward. The Latimer Group models the clarity we engineer into our clients’ organizations.

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The idea for The Latimer Group was born in Grand Canyon National Park, in fall of 2000, during a “what if” conversation between Dean and his wife Emily. Emily said the magic words… “You love to build teams, you love to teach, and you are a great public speaker… build a business around that.” Eighteen months later, The Latimer Group was off and running.

Dean is motivated by creating great environments for the people in his life. For his teammates, creating a culture of collaboration and opportunity where they can spread their wings. For our clients, creating learning environments where they are challenged, supported and empowered to make their own voice heard. And for his family, building a home environment that is based on love, laughter and great experiences.

In addition to his Latimer life, Dean spent more than twenty years directly involved with the United States Olympic Sailing Program, as an alternate on the 2000 Olympic Team, and then eventually as the Chairman and Team Leader for the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Teams. Dean cheers passionately for his beloved New York Yankees, and his dominant fantasy football team.

Dean M. Brenner

CEO & Co-Founder

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Emily and Dean co-founded The Latimer Group over twenty years ago. And ever since, Emily has been a quiet and strong guiding voice in the evolution of the company. In addition to being a majority owner of the business, Emily supports the team as a strategic advisor, content creator, and editor. She also Chairs the company’s Board of Advisors.

In addition, Emily has also been a history teacher, academic tutor, coach, and advisor at several prominent New England independent schools. She is currently on the Executive Committee of the Board at The Foote School in New Haven, CT, and is a Board Member of The Wallingford Historic Preservation Trust. Emily did her undergraduate work at Wellesley College, and her Master’s Degree in History at Yale University.

Emily and Dean live in Wallingford, CT with their two children.

Emily Brenner

Majority Owner & Board Chair

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Whitney sets the tone for our relationships with our clients. From the first interactions, through the scheduling of all client work for our client companies she is the one they spend the most time with. We are in a relationship business, and that all starts with Whitney. After that, the rest of us work hard to live up to the tone that Whitney set.

When Whitney is not serving our clients, you will most likely find her chasing her kids around her neighborhood, on a beach on Block Island, or reading a good mystery novel.

We love so many things about Whitney. But at the top of the list is her lifelong dedication to community service. No one puts more energy or care into serving others than Whitney. She is a past president of the Junior League of Hartford, a long-time Board member of Interval House, and volunteers every week at a local food pantry.


Whitney C. Sweeney

Managing Director

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Jake joined the team with an entrepreneurial background and the goal of bringing new ideas, products, and processes to The Latimer Group. After leading and establishing a core part of the business – NextGen Services, which features specific training for early career professionals and a direct-to-consumer product mix- he now supports each department within the company to improve efficiency, strategy, and implement a growth mindset.

Jake primarily focuses on growing our current and new client relationships, leading The Latimer Group to establish deep partnerships with L&D teams at companies of all sizes.

Jake represents the New York City contingent of The Latimer Group, living and working from Brooklyn.

Jacob Ward

Managing Director of Strategy & Growth

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Kendra is the brains behind our Learning Team, and is the lead voice with our clients on content development and workshop design. She has the keenest of eyes, not only with the substance of our content, but also in the way we present that content to the world. Her attention to detail is second to none.

Kendra has several “happy places” outside of work: travel with her family and friends, any kitchen where she can cook a great meal, and any place where she can snuggle with her dog Lulu! “Family first” is the guiding principle in Kendra’s life.

The thing we love most about Kendra is her dedication to everyone and everything in her life. You will never have a better teammate than Kendra. If she is on your team, smile and take a deep breath. She will have your back, and won’t rest until the job is done well.

Kendra E. Raguckas

Senior Director of Learning

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Will leads our Marketing effort, and is also an integral member of our sales process. Will’s list of skills is long, but his superpower is his ability to listen deeply for what is really going on in any situation. He hears everything you are saying, and even some things you are not saying, and has ability to crystallize things down to their essence. This makes him a great addition to our team, and the ideal person to help new audiences find and benefit from The Latimer Group.

Before joining the Latimer team, Will was the communications leader for the US Sailing Team at three Olympic and Paralympic Games (2012, 2016 and 2020), and at the 36th America’s Cup in 2021 for American Magic.

When he is not at work, Will’s happy place is on any sailboat, or with his nose buried in any history book he can find. He and his wife are currently in the midst of a “this old house” style restoration of their 122-year-old farmhouse on the south coast of Massachusetts, where they live with their puppy Seamus.

William Ricketson

Director of Marketing

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Jay enriches every conversation he participates in and brings people together with his warm and engaging style. Jay serves as the Director of Facilitation and Coaching at The Latimer Group. When not focused on his Latimer work, Jay is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion expert, consulting with many organizations to create substantive change, and he remains an active advocate in LGBTQIA+ organizations. In addition, Jay is actively working on his doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership at USC’s Rossier School of Education.

Jay was born in Alabama and lives on the west coast. He shares space with his amazing dog Zeke, who “saved” Jay at the beginning of the pandemic. He is an avid reader and an amateur historian, who consumes non-fiction and biographies, along with plenty of podcasts and documentaries.

We love Jay’s view of the world, and the ways in which he strengthens our team. He has an uncanny ability to see and acknowledge your perspective, and at the same time introduce that there might be another way to look at the issue.

Jay Prewitt-Cruz, EdD

Director of Coaching & Facilitation

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Jordan is a key member of our Operations Team. He leads our feedback and reporting process, and is a critical voice in the experience for our workshop participants. He is their guide prior to and after the workshop, providing critical information, answering questions, and working hard to ensure an outstanding experience.

Like many on our team, Jordan is an avid reader. He will consume almost anything, but most loves philosophy and socio-political non-fiction, with a little poetry sprinkled in here and there. Jordan also hones his “guide instincts” while hiking and kayaking on the weekends, and is an amateur woodworker.

We love Jordan’s unflappable nature, and keen sense of humor. When Jordan speaks, listen carefully, because there is always some special meaning in the things he says, and stories he tells.

Jordan A. DeFreitas

Manager of Participant Experience

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Mary-Kate keeps the trains running on time at The Latimer Group. She works directly with Whitney on managing all aspects of our client relationships, including the critical details like schedules and rosters. Perhaps most importantly, she manages our CEO, keeping Dean out of trouble on a daily basis. Mary-Kate loves contributing to a seamless client experience.

Outside of work Mary-Kate stays busy keeping her young daughters in line, teaching them how to bake, and taking rides in their family’s classic car.

Mary-Kate made an immediate impact on our team, from the moment she joined us in early 2021. In a short period of time, Mary-Kate has made herself indispensable to our team and our clients.

Mary-Kate Bzdyra

Operations Manager

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Aileen brings a fresh eye and perspective to our Learning Team with her extensive background in education. When she joined our team, she made a career leap from classroom teacher to Instructional Designer, and we are grateful for her choice. She works directly with Kendra and other members of our team to develop, prepare, and sharpen all our learning experiences. Aileen has a passion for engaging our participants and ensuring that we capture and maintain their attention throughout all our workshops and trainings. She always puts our learners first, and we can count on her eye for detail.

Like many of us, family comes first for Aileen. Her son Wylie is the light of her life, and she enjoys new adventures with him often. Aileen is a lifelong learner and strives to add value to our team every single day. The first word that comes to mind when I think of Aileen is collaborative. She consistently supports not only our Learning Team but all our colleagues. If you need help, she is the first one in line.

Aileen Parciasepe

Instructional Design Manager

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Based in Honolulu, Alex spearheads our business development effort. Alex helps to manage and expand a client list that is global in scope and reaches deep inside industries as varied as defense, aerospace, financial services, insurance, logistics and others. Alex works closely with Dean, Whitney Jake and Will to help more companies and individuals discover and benefit from The Latimer Group's diverse and transformative suite of services.

Alex came to us in early 2023 after a nine year career managing commercial and operations efforts for some of the most prominent teams and events in the sport of sailing. Alex held key roles during three America's Cup campaigns, two Ocean Race editions, SailGP regattas and many other high-profile sailing properties. Alex also worked for US Sailing, the national governing body of the sport.

When he is not in work mode, you can likely find Alex crushing a spin class, tasting at a vineyard or out sailing. He's also one of our most-traveled team members, and counts Newport, Rhode Island and Auckland, New Zealand among his favorite places to unwind.

Alex Rudkin

Business Development Manager

Facilitators and Coaches

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Hannah brings a broad set of skills to her role as a Latimer facilitator and coach. She is a student of her craft and is in constant search of improvement. In addition, Hannah previously served as the Director of Facilitation and Evaluation for The Latimer Group and was a full-time member of our team for five years, which gives her a unique perspective on our work.

Outside of work, Hannah is an avid runner and loves spending time at the family homestead in the Adirondack Mountains. She is a mother to three amazingly active kids, and her husband happens to be an elite triathlete in his spare time.

Hannah is a constant learner and a voracious absorber of ideas and content. If you ever ask Hannah, “what are you reading right now,” get ready for a great answer. Because she is always reading something fascinating and thought-provoking, no one loves a challenge more than Hannah.

Hannah A. Morris

Facilitator and Coach

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Lauren brings courage and empathy to her work every day, and makes it clear that she is in your corner. In addition to her work with The Latimer Group, Lauren leads her own life and career coaching company, and is dedicated to her mission of helping her clients develop the confidence they will need to live a fulfilled life, at home and at work.

Lauren and her husband grew up in Connecticut, and met in school at UConn. Lauren shows her competitive side by “bleeding blue” for her UConn Huskies, and by doing everything she can to dominate family game nights. Lauren loves to cook, hike, and travel. London, Thailand and Arches National Park in Utah are all on her “favorite locations” list.

We love Lauren’s dedication to her craft, and how she brings her whole self into her coaching. When you are working with Lauren, you have no doubt that she is completely present with you, and will do everything she can to lift you up… and help you lift yourself.

Lauren St. Germain

Facilitator and Coach

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Dan brings a powerful perspective to his Latimer work. He has a long history in marketing, business development, politics, non-profit leadership, and of course coaching and facilitating. In addition to his work at The Latimer Group, Dan runs a marketing and communications consultancy focused on building the connections we need to succeed in business.

Outside of work, Dan and his family reside in coastal Massachusetts, and spend their time on the water, engaged in local causes that speak to their hearts, and surrounded by family and friends.  

We love Dan’s ability to connect everyone around him, especially his workshop participants and the people he coaches. His style puts people immediately at ease, which allows the learning opportunities to pop up everywhere. He has had a fascinating career, in a range of industries, and he brings all of it into every workshop he teaches and every session he coaches.

Dan Cooney

Facilitator and Coach

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Ang is passionate about living and communicating intentionally, which directly connects her to The Latimer Group’s mission. As a U.S. Army broadcast journalist, she was selected to serve as one of the only women to provide communications consulting on a national crisis response team. Ang worked with teams from every branch of the U.S. Military, FBI, and other defense agencies that handle natural disasters and terrorism incidents.

After years of extensive travel consulting with the U.S. Department of Defense, Ang switched gears to work 1:1 with clients as a career services coach. She has helped thousands of professionals develop a clear vision for their lives and intentionally communicate to the world, creating their envisioned results.
Aside from her work with The Latimer Group, Ang coaches thought leaders on how to write and deliver more effective TEDx talks. She also hosts The Intentional Mind Podcast, where she creates conversations about living and communicating more intentionally. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, exploring the world with her family, and relaxing at her lake home in Indiana. We love Ang's unique experience, upbeat energy, and the welcoming approach she brings to every interaction.

Ang Barnard

Facilitator and Coach

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Jess is energized by helping others tap into their authentic voices and passions. Her personal motto is “Screw the Shoulds. Live big. Learn a lot. Stay true.” She backs this up with a Masters’ degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, accreditation with the International Coaching Federation, and over a decade of experience in consulting, change management, leadership development, and talent management. In addition to The Latimer Group, Jess owns a life and leadership coaching practice geared toward supporting working mothers who are balancing career aspirations and the chaos of a family at home. She also co-hosts a podcast called The Tightrope: Balancing Career, Motherhood, and Everything In Between.

Jess grew up in Southern California, but has found a home in Chicago where she lives with her husband and two boys. Outside of work, Jess is busy instilling a passion for travel in her young children (she braved a 24-hour flight to South Africa with a one-year-old!) and reading up to 5 books at any one time.

Jess believes there’s nothing like connecting to a community and leading with an open mind and an open heart. It’s why she loves her work and hopes each person who interacts with her takes a little bit of that with them.

Jess Feldt

Facilitator and Coach

Board of Advisors

Emily Brenner, Majority Owner & Board Chair, The Latimer Group

Phil Bonanno, Client Partner, Facebook
Mike Davis, Managing Director, Truist Securities
Bryan Gildenberg, Senior Vice President, Omnicom Commerce Group
Bill Goggins, CEO, Harken Yacht Equipment
Michael Goss, Managing Partner, Fiducient Advisors
Alix Hahn, Partner, Prophet Brand Strategy
Josh Levine, Managing Director, Great Bay Renewables
Thomas Lips, Managing Director, UBS Financial Services, Inc.

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.