meet the team who makes it all possible
An icon in the hospitality industry, Cindy Novotny is the original founder of MCA and is an internationally renowned leader in sales, leadership and customer service. She has been recognized by the American Society of Training and Development as one of the most powerful, innovative and passionate speakers in the industry. Cindy has become a “radical mentor” for thousands of executives around the world. Her ability to close the “gap” with senior executives and line employees has made MCA a leader in many industries. Cindy is responsible for the leadership of all MCA trainers, consultants and develops her team to go far beyond customers’ expectations.
Lefty Novotny is the President of Master Connection Associates. His business expertise includes Sales, Marketing, Leadership Development, Customer Service Processes, Business Strategy and Innovation in Organizational Effectiveness. Lefty works closely with MCA clients to identify specific training objectives that when fulfilled by MCA, produces significant result gains. In addition to his leadership role, he is responsible for business development, strategic alliance partnerships including the Performance Selection Process (MCA’s exclusive talent assessment tool) and the e-destinACCESS software automation for the hospitality industry and meetings management industry.
From the inception of MCA Shelley has played a significant role. As a leader in sales, Shelley’s clientele spans the globe. Being born and raised in England, Shelley is able to adapt the cultural differences between doing business in America and Europe. Shelley is also responsible for setting up our International offices around the world.
Jessica KANE (Novotny)
The next generation is led by Jessica Kane. She is responsible for new business development at MCA. A graduate of Texas A&M in business, she is focused on oil and gas market segments in addition to growing the hospitality, law and financial segments for MCA.
Logistics, sales and client service are the scope of Carla’s responsibility. As an account manager and liaison with the trainers and clients, she is able to build relationships with partners, clients, trainers and vendors. Her ability to manage diverse aspects of the business gives MCA the ability to break into many new markets.
The Millennial Team – Jessica Martinez is in charge of MCA’s design, social media and marketing. Jessica is also an Account Manager, prospecting for new business with the New Business Development Team.
Millennial Team – Austen Ward is a multifaceted part of the MCA team. Austen is an Account Manager focused on new business development and manages the print and production aspects of our business. Prior to working with MCA, Austen spent a number of years working in the medical field specializing in emergency room care. He is continuing his education focused on Business Marketing with an emphasis on the hospitality industry. Austen is an important asset to our international team as he is a dual citizen (British & American) and has an ever-growing passion for sports and traveling the world.
Mary’s experience includes opening 2 luxury hotels – Pelican Hill Resort, The Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas and “Hanna’s” Restaurant. As a facilitator, she has sales and service expertise, particularly in food & beverage. As a Millennial, Mary brings a fresh perspective to working with this huge generation of clients and associates.
Pam Jordan is one of the first associates of MCA and has an extensive background in Human Resources and Organization Development. She plays an integral part in working with organizations to keep the training alive. Pam’s classroom style is relaxed, yet passionate and creates an open environment. She works with customers in sales, customer service and leadership training.
Sales, leadership, food & beverage and a history of being a successful restaurateur gave Michele the background to be a leading trainer and consultant. Michele has a dynamic, personable and hands-on approach in the classroom. Her vast experience spans the globe in private clubs and luxury resorts such as Pebble Beach. She is responsible for many on- site consulting projects.
Kim has years of experience in leadership, training, personal coaching, organizational development and training design work. She works with customers in sales, customer service and leadership training and training design. Kim began her career with the Pebble Beach Resorts, first in sales and reservations and then in training and development.
Jos has extensive corporate leadership experience leading national and multi-national teams of people across the world in marketing management, call center operations, distribution and sales, and has lead various international organizational design and change projects in finance, distribution and branding. Jos is a licensed NLP Master Practitioner, a certified Life Coach, Strategic Interventionist and holds an MBA from Georgia State University Atlanta. He worked and lived on four continents and currently shares his time working and living between Asia & Europe.
With over 25 years of experience on the West Coast and in the Midwest, Stacey’s extensive background plays an integral part in her energetic and hands-on approach in a classroom setting. Her sales, convention services and leadership roles with major hotels and convention bureaus allow her to effectively facilitate on-site consulting projects by applying her diverse experience.
Nancy is an experienced planner and consultant supporting the corporate team on a project basis and is a valuable asset to our trainers, sales managers and clients because of the history she shares with all of them.
Melina is located in London and works for MCA as an account manager and trainer.
Kelly Doba has extensive experience in project and event planning, mystery shopping and sales service coordination. This allows her to bring value to any assignment and clients.
Pat Castillo is a master facilitator in sales and customer service training, as well as leadership development. Pat’s dynamic and motivational style has earned her tremendous success in developing and leading teams of employees all over the world, with both English and Spanish speaking audiences. As an international speaker and trainer, Pat has worked throughout North and South America, Europe, Canada and the Caribbean
Creighton Casper has a significant consulting background with the ability to strategically align organizations and provide planning in marketing and operations. His tactical planning experience is an asset to customers as they continue to realign their strategies in the future. Creighton has been a leader in restructuring global sales offices and hotel marketing functions.
“Eby” brings to life sales, catering and conference services training by offering “hands on” application and training processes. She is a lead trainer, consultant and spear headed MCA’s International catering training for the U.S.A.F. Catering Initiative; a comprehensive program to standardize catering operations in Air Force Clubs around the world.
Melissa is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and passionate about impacting people. She speaks on sales, customer service, leadership, communication, conflict resolution, building dynamic teams, and quality as it pertains to the luxury service industry. Her extensive hospitality experience includes the Pebble Beach Resorts where she guided departments including marketing, revenue management and the leadership teams to impact positive sales growth and guest experience.
Laura Leiva is a Millennial with luxury retail sales and customer service experience. This background and enthusiasm bring value to any assignment. Being fluid in both Spanish and English brings a great dimension to her value to clients.
Amy Sherman has worked for globally recognized hotels, resorts and spas as a hospitality sales, customer service and training professional for more than 25 years. She is an inspiring teacher that motivates staff to set the bar high and create extraordinary experiences that imprint lasting, positive memories for guests. Known for achieving results, Sherman has received numerous training achievement awards along with repeated recognition for surpassing evaluations and championing engagement. She has also been recognized for Sales Excellence and Global Sales Initiative awards over the length of her career.
The foundation of MCA has been the solid design of our educational workshops. Ed Pierce, educational technologist, is the mastermind behind MCA’s training technology. His background in training and development began several years ago with the Shell Oil Company, where he pioneered the development of the company’s first interactive video-disc training system and implementation strategy of e-learning. Ed was one of the first training specialists to introduce training programs designed to yield measurable results. His peers recognize him as a leader in training around the world
Marcia Murphy has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality and luxury lifestyle industries. After starting her management career in resort operations for DisneyWorld, she worked as an Operations and Marketing Analyst for Westin Hotels & Resorts and was a first generation Director of Revenue Management for Starwood Hotels and Resorts. This experience led her to opportunities in sales and marketing with ecommerce companies such as Luxury Link, TravelCLICK and TripAdvisor. As the founder and principal consultant for Luxury Boutique Consulting, she worked with luxury hotels and lifestyle products and service entities to ultimately grow their overall asset value.
As a facilitator and consultant Miki brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record in leadership and sales expertise in the luxury market gained from her years in leadership roles including: Director of Sales at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and regional sales roles at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Miki’s in-depth knowledge of specific market segments and sales strategies has enabled her to excel and set the stage for high impact facilitation in the classroom. Miki shares her time between Europe and the US, offering clients another International connection.
Linda Newman is a results-orientated, hands-on individual with more than 30 years broad-based and progressively responsible experience in human resources and management. For 15 years as Director of Employee Development, Linda provided strategic direction for the customer service initiatives and the development programs for the Executive Staff of Alston & Bird, LLP, a law firm which has been recognized by Fortune Magazine for the last fourteen years on its annual list of the “100 Best Companies To Work for in America.” With Linda’s contributions, the HR team implemented and managed many programs that brought the firm national recognition as an innovator in branding a level of customer service that is unique to law firms. Linda can help leaders articulate the performance behaviors that make their culture unique and prosperous, and translate those through enhanced organizational communication and HR practices that will inspire the workforce and empower them to deliver the highest quality work. She can help design multi-faceted engagement programs that will create value for an organization every day.
Rebekah Gregory is a simple wife and mother whose life was forever changed due to the events of the Boston marathon bombings on April 15, 2013. This horrible act of terrorism left her as one of the names of the seventeen amputees and therefore permanently handicapped at the young age of only twenty six years old.
Instead of being bitter, Rebekah has used her platform in a huge way by encouraging others worldwide. Speaking out about her story and own daily obstacles, she believes that life’s struggles are not only meant to teach us lessons, but make us better versions of ourselves than before. Rebekah’s delivery with her quick wit and contagious optimism is sure to have everyone feeling inspired and ready to make their own life changes. Outlining her popular phrase, “with every new day comes new hope” she never fails to leave her audience ready to “change the world.”
Marcy Blum’s experience as a Culinary Institute of America trained Executive Chef, restaurateur, American ‘eventiste’ and founder of the industry’s foremost wedding and event production company for the luxury consumer makes her one of the most knowledgeable experts in the world.
As Founder and CEO of MBA she has expanded her luxury consulting business to include venue advisory, event planning and profitability consulting and keynote speaking to a multitude of audiences.
Examples of her consulting work include helping to create and develop Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings into a profitable venture. She also was an integral part of establishing Sandals Hotels wedding program, improving service and turning it into a highly profitable niche market.
Being a knowledgeable, charismatic story teller, Marcy is in high demand as a keynote speaker. She has the rare talent to be entertaining as she connects and relates to her audiences with real life, actionable processes to improve operational and creative effectiveness in the wedding and event industry.
Ann spent more than 15 years motivating people through a camera lens. She now takes her talents to another level as a consultant, motivational speaker, author, fundraiser and coach.
DR. TIM GOHMANN
Tim is recognized as a leader in behavior economics, employee selection and business success measurement. He has founded three consulting companies, directed the business units of two large global research firms, introduced new products for multiple global marketers and developed technology sampling and personnel selection systems for two others.
Tim’s experience includes the development of new behavioral economic, organizational development, personnel selection techniques, research, forecasting, enterprise performance management and corporate reputation management. His work spans all industries including hospitality, travel, technology, automotive, professional service firms, real estate, package goods and manufacturing.
He served as head of the Travel and Leisure practice for J.D. Power and Associates where he introduced new award studies for the airline, airport and hotel industries, designing and reporting all studies supporting The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company’s unprecedented second Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. His work supported Master Connection Associates’ expertise in running The Ritz-Carlton Learning Institute for over 13 years.
Tim began his career at Burke Research where he developed the first sessions on data analysis for the Seminar program, served as Consulting Editor of the Journal of Marketing Research and taught at the University of Cincinnati. He received an A.B. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame du Lac and his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Experimental Psychology from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.
Monika is the Wellness Reporter for MCA. She started her career as a PR Manager and Journalist in Hamburg, Germany and London, UK. In 1998 Monika moved to Miami and since works as a TV producer and reporter for various TV networks in Europe and the US. Her hobby and passion is everything about health, sports, wellness and nutrition. Consequently she graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and added Health and Wellness Coach to her reporter career. Monika’s mission is to provide education about health and wellness to the corporate world. She teaches employees from management to on-site staff how to live a balanced life in a hectic environment so that they can begin to make healthy living, second nature
Meet Tater and Charlie! They are our office mascots who keep us happy during the work week.