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Consulting Services  »  Human Capital Consulting  »  Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Gini Collins

Gini Collins

Managing Principal

Gini loves the outdoors, and she believes some of the most profound insights in her experience have come to her while hiking. She has learned how beneficial it can be…

Gini loves the outdoors, and she believes some of the most profound insights in her experience have come to her while hiking. She has learned how beneficial it can be to combine personal insights with her formal education in order to synthesize unique solutions for her clients.

Gini has extensive experience in human capital, specializing in executive coaching. She feels privileged to work with top executives to maximize growth potential and/or remediate performance challenges, and has successfully facilitated turnarounds for executives facing career derailment. She also provides expertise to businesses, helping them plan critical succession issues. Gini utilizes strong analytical abilities to facilitate organizational development and growth issues through a variety of assessment techniques, including organizational surveys, focus groups and assessments. Because each organization is unlike any other at any given point in time, her challenge is to find the unique key which will drive the desired change. Gini compares this work to that of a whittler or stone mason who believes the form is hidden in the raw material; it is her job to help reveal the form, the answer, the truth for each organization.

Gini has also conducted extensive research and has authored many articles. She has been a presenter at the Midwest Psychological Association Conference, Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychologists Conference, M Financial University, M Marketing Meetings, AALU, SHRM and the Governor’s Summit on Workforce Development. She has taught strategic leadership, leadership skills, organizational behavior and organizational consulting in the MBA and EMBA Programs at the University of Nebraska-Omaha

Her interpersonal and leadership skills, coupled with a comprehensive knowledge of human behavior, facilitate professional growth in clients. Her unique organizational insight and analytical ability provide clients with the fresh perspectives needed to maximize the growth potential for their organizations. Gini says there is deep gratification in helping people create better work environments with higher productivity and more balanced lifestyles.

Gini is a member of several professional organizations, including the Society of Consulting Psychologists, American Psychological Association, Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychologists, Human Resource Association of the Midlands and the Society for Human Resource Management. She currently serves on the Board of Heartland Family Services. When Gini is not busy coaching or collaborating with her colleagues to create successful outcomes for clients, you can often find her wearing hiking boots and dreaming of the day she will be able to introduce her granddaughter to the joys of hiking.

Contact Information
e-mail: vcollins@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5602  |  fax: 402.963.4085

Professional Certifications

  • Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)

Education
PhD of Philosophy  |  Industrial & Organizational Psychology
University of Nebraska-Lincoln  |  Lincoln, NE

Masters of Science  |  Industrial & Organizational Psychology
University of Nebraska-Omaha  |  Omaha, NE

Masters of Counseling
Austin Peay State University  |  Clarksville, TN

Bachelor of Science  |  Psychology
University of Maryland  |  College Park, MD

Merle Riepe

Merle Riepe

Principal

As an avid skier, Merle is well acquainted with fresh powder, moguls and ego bumps. As a Senior Consultant for SilverStone Group, Merle takes the same dedication…

As an avid skier, Merle is well acquainted with fresh powder and moguls. As a psychologist, he is well acquainted with ego bumps. As a Principal for SilverStone Group, Merle takes the same dedication he has for skiing and translates it into increasing the effectiveness of people in the workplace based on proven psychological and management approaches. With experience in the fields of psychology and management consulting, he helps organizations hire the best, develop their leaders and create great work cultures.

Merle has developed his consulting skills by managing a wide range of projects over the last ten years. He handles individual assessment, 360° feedback and leadership coaching. At the organizational level, he manages employee engagement surveys, implements culture change initiatives and provides succession planning and selection services. Merle also facilitates strategic planning. Merle says it’s the variety of his work that he enjoys most. Every project provides a new challenge and the opportunity to work with exceptionally bright people to solve important problems. He feels privileged to collaborate with clients who are excited about and value the services he loves providing.

Merle received a PhD in Consulting Psychology from Alliant International University, with research interests in global leadership, personnel selection validation and employee engagement. Merle is active in both his professional and local community. He is a graduate of Leadership Omaha. Merle is President of the Zeta Psi Omicron Alumni Board and he is President of his homeowners association. He is a member of HR People & Strategy, the Society of Consulting Psychology, the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology and SilverStone Group’s Wellness Activity Group (WAG). Merle has served on the WAG committee for six years and is currently chairperson. WAG mentors associates in developing and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. His leadership roles and his experience with our wellness plan are invaluable to his clients.

Dr. Riepe’s knowledge of human behavior and systems, his expertise in assessment and his experience in facilitating change enable him to provide innovative, practical and principled consulting services that are crafted to meet clients’ critical needs. Merle’s relentless commitment to a successful outcome is what separates him from the rest. Although Merle is dedicated to his work, he makes time to hit the slopes at one of his favorite ski resorts. If you see him at the lodge, he is likely to strike up a conversation with you, whether it’s about moguls or egos!

Contact Information
e-mail: mriepe@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5515  |  fax: 402.963.4085

Professional Title

  • Organizational Psychologist

Education
PhD of Philosophy  |  Consulting Psychology
Alliant International University |  San Diego, CA

Master of Science  |  Consulting Psychology
Alliant International University |  San Diego, CA

Bachelor of Science  |  Psychology
Nebraska Wesleyan University |  Lincoln, NE

Danielle Crough

Danielle Crough

Senior Consultant

Danielle considers herself mom to Remington and Fletcher, but the two soft-coated Wheaten Terriers have had to share her attention lately. That’s because Danielle welcomed a baby girl, Vivienne, into the world last August.

Danielle considers herself mom to Remington
and Fletcher  – two soft-coated Wheaten Terriers. But those two now share her attention with her little girl, Vivienne. Through all her parenting experiences – new and old – she has learned the importance
of consistency and discipline. These two qualities translate easily into Danielle’s work as a Senior Human Capital Consultant with experience
in measuring organizational culture, performance management, selection systems and employee engagement.

As a Senior Consultant, Danielle takes a holistic approach to her work to help people perform at their best to ensure businesses thrive. Her expertise includes leadership
and organizational development via management training, executive team building
and individual coaching. She also assists clients with the development of selection
and performance management systems, as well as leveraging organizational culture
and employee engagement for organizational success.

Danielle’s passion for developing leaders and helping organizations stems from
her experience in the field, as well as her thorough understanding of best practices.
Her clients can count on her to effectively implement cutting-edge and conventional methods to assist with their human capital needs. Danielle serves as adjunct faculty
for various universities in the Omaha community, teaching courses such as Organizational Psychology and Advanced Statistics. She is a featured speaker on human capital topics and also serves as an elected member of the steering committee for the Omaha Women’s Fund Young Professional Circles Group. In addition, Danielle is a member of the Society
of Industrial Organizational Psychology and Applied Psychological Science where
she presents her research findings and collaborates with others in her field.

When Danielle is not working, teaching or attending class, she enjoys spending time with her babies (all three of them). There’s nothing like a little dog and a baby’s touch to help her relax at the end of the day.

Contact Information
e-mail: dcrough@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5546  |  fax: 402.963.4085

Professional Certifications

  • Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)

Education
PhD of Philosophy  |  Industrial & Organizational Psychology
University of Nebraska-Omaha|  Omaha, NE

Master of Arts  |  Industrial & Organizational Psychology
University of Nebraska- Omaha |  Omaha, NE

Bachelor of Arts  |  Industrial & Organizational Psychology
University of Minnesota |  Minneapolis, MN

Andie Gordman

Andie Gordman

Senior Consultant

Andie sees the value in people, which is why she enjoys her job so much! It is her belief that people are the most important asset to any organization.

Andie sees the value in people, which is why she enjoys her job so much! It is her belief that people are the most important asset to any organization. Over the last 20 years, Andie has specialized in helping clients and their organizations move forward by providing human resource strategy development and tactical execution.

Andie provides support to clients through her expertise in employee relations, audit, compliance and Affirmative Action planning, as well as compensation structure and analysis. Andie’s previous executive level roles allowed her to learn about the success factors of many industries. Before joining the Human Capital Team at SilverStone Group, Andie collaborated with the team as a Project Consultant. She appreciates SilverStone Group’s dedication to the community and recognizes our care and concern for employees.

When away from work, Andie keeps busy serving on the Temple Israel Board of Trustees and enjoys being a mentor. In addition, Andie is the Director at Large for Society for Human Resource Management Nebraska State Council. Andie isn’t all work and no play, she loves to travel. She and her husband are currently looking forward to planning
an Alaskan adventure and a European cruise.  

Contact Information
e-mail: agordman@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5624  |  fax: 402.963.5555

Education
Bachelor of Arts  |  Organizational Communication
Creighton University  |  Omaha, NE

Professional Certifications

  • Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashley Thomalla

Ashley Thomalla

Senior Consultant

Ashley loves the great outdoors. Whether it’s running, working in her garden, fishing or skiing, she prefers activities that get her outside. Ashley enjoys taking her boxer, Hank, on walks…

Whether she’s running, working in her garden, fishing or skiing, Ashley enjoys spending time outdoors. She also likes spending time with her boxer, Hank, on walks. Ashley admires Hank’s curiosity for life, but it can sometimes get the best of him. He recently demonstrated this when he managed to chow down 17 hot dog and hamburger buns while left unattended for a short period of time. Hank keeps Ashley on her toes, which helps her stay prepared for what the consulting industry brings her way!

As a Human Capital Consultant, Ashley is dedicated to meeting client needs and helping them see the big picture in their organization. Her background in industrial/organizational psychology, coupled with her common sense approach and ability to balance science and practice, prove to be crucial in her work as a consultant. Ashley brings her outside perspective to help numerous clients, including those in education, financial services, healthcare, non-profits, production and utilities.

Ashley has experience in analyzing and documenting jobs, which serve as the foundation of many key organizational functions such as hiring, training, compensating employees and managing their performance. Her experience includes work environment scans and audits, as well as organizational design, restructuring and succession planning projects. On a regular basis, Ashley conducts research and analyzes data to answer questions and examines best practices and industry trends to help clients see how their policies and practices compare. She provides recommendations accordingly.

She is a Certified Compensation Professional, as well as a Global Remuneration Professional. Ashley’s education and experience in compensating and rewarding employees have helped her to focus clients on the importance of their total rewards strategy, which includes compensation, benefits, work-life, performance and recognition, and development and career opportunities.

She routinely provides clients with compensation recommendations to help them attract, motivate and retain talent. Furthermore, Ashley encourages a pay for performance culture and has helped clients design incentive plans to motivate desired employee behaviors that lead to positive organizational outcomes. Her analytical ability, critical-thinking skills and attention to detail prove very useful in helping clients with their compensation needs. 

Ashley is working towards her PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Her research interests include policies and practices regarding workplace flexibility and work-life fit, which pertains to making work “work” for both employers and their employees. She is a member of the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology and World at Work.

Contact Information
e-mail: athomalla@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5409  |  fax: 402.963.4085

Education
Master of Arts  |  Industrial/Organizational Psychology
University of Nebraska-Omaha  |  Omaha, NE

Bachelor of Arts |  Psychology
University of Nebraska-Lincoln  |  Lincoln, NE

Jina Picarella

Jina Picarella

Senior Consultant

After growing up in Colorado and living in all four corners of the United States, Jina has landed in the Midwest. Her studies and career have taken her to Oregon, Massachusetts, California, Tennessee and now, Nebraska.

After growing up in Colorado and living in all four corners of the United States, Jina has landed in the Midwest. Her studies and career have taken her to Oregon, Massachusetts, California, Tennessee and now, Nebraska.  

As a Senior Consultant, Jina brings 10 years of experience to the Human Capital Consulting Team. Her expertise includes leadership development and executive coaching, diversity and inclusion, strategic planning, talent and performance management, organizational development and employee engagement. With a PhD and two master’s degrees, Jina has a wealth of knowledge. She is passionate about her work and enjoys helping clients and organizations achieve long-term results.

Jina has diverse experience, working externally as a management consultant
and internally as a talent management expert. She also has experience working in both the public and private sectors with a variety of industries. Jina’s diverse experience allows her to provide insight and perspective as a Human Capital Consultant at SilverStone Group.  Additionally, her experience managing others allows her to help her clients navigate the complexities and challenges of leading others and enhances her insights as an executive coach. 

When Jina is away from the office, she enjoys being outdoors with her two dogs, Penny and Bella. Some of her hobbies include snowboarding, hiking, yoga, meditating, cooking, traveling and trying new things. She’s even attempted hang gliding!

Contact Information
e-mail: mailto:jpicarella@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5542  |  fax: 402.964.5555

Education
Doctor of Philosophy  |  Consulting Psychology
California School of Professional Psychology  |  San Diego, CA 

Master of Science  |  Consulting Psychology
California School of Professional Psychology  |  San Diego, CA 

Master of Arts  |  General Psychology
Boston University  |  Boston, MA 

Bachelor of Arts  |  Psychology/Sociology/Anthropology
Lewis and Clark College  |  Portland, OR 

Victoria Kennel

Victoria Kennel

Senior Consulting Associate

It takes someone special to work in our Human Capital department and Victoria has what it takes!

It takes someone special to work in our Human Capital department and Victoria has what it takes! Victoria recently joined SilverStone Group as a Human Capital Senior Consulting Associate. She is currently working on her Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and brings a fresh perspective to her team of experts.

Having already earned her Master’s degree, Victoria has extensive experience in personnel selection, employee training and organizational development, as well as performance management. In her current PhD program, Victoria’s specific research interests include leadership development, teamwork, decision making and a thorough understanding of what drives creativity and innovation in organizations. 

In her work at SilverStone Group, Victoria aids clients each day through hiring the right people, encouraging them to reach their potential through training and development and maintaining their high levels of performance. Victoria is detail-oriented, organized, focused and driven. She uses these skills to help clients improve their workplace and workforce through achieved success.

Victoria is a member of the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology and the American Psychological Association. She has conducted a number of presentations for both organizations.  

When Victoria isn’t working, studying or attending class, she loves to play soccer. She also enjoys weight-training, yoga and running. She and her husband have two cats, Sammy and Scooter.

Contact Information
e-mail: vkennel@ssgi.com | phone: 402.964.5403 | fax: 402.963.5555

 Education:
Master of Arts  |  Industrial/Organizational Psychology
University of Nebraska at Omaha  |  Omaha, NE  

Bachelor of Science  |  Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Nebraska Wesleyan University  |  Lincoln, NE

Diego Valadares Kientz

Diego Valadares Kientz

Senior Consulting Associate

Bom Dia! That’s “hello” in Portuguese. Having been born in Brazil, Diego is fluent in both English and Portuguese. However, being bilingual is only one of Diego’s many talents.

Bom Dia! That’s “hello” in Portuguese. Having been born in Brazil, Diego is fluent in both English and Portuguese. However, being bilingual is only one of Diego’s many talents. He recently finished his Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and is excited to assist the Human Capital Team with FLSA audits, reviewing and writing job descriptions and making classification recommendations.

While completing the graduate program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Diego studied alongside many other members of SilverStone Group’s Human Capital Team. Seeing these familiar faces around work has made Diego’s transition from student to Associate a smooth process. As a Senior Consulting Associate, Diego provides support on compensation and compliance projects, as well as conducting market analyses that allow clients to see what similar organizations are paying for comparable jobs.

Diego is a hard worker and possesses a strong desire to not only learn new skills, but to continually improve upon the skills he already has. Diego believes his career at SilverStone Group will give him the opportunity to learn from experts within his field. In addition, Diego appreciates the culture at SilverStone Group and particularly enjoys the company’s emphasis on wellness.

Diego earned his undergraduate degree from Kansas State University and travels back to Kansas for nearly every home football game!  When it comes to sports, however, Diego is a soccer fanatic! He plans to travel home to Brazil next summer to watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Contact Information
e-mail: dvkientz@ssgi.com | phone: 402.964.5558 | fax: 402.963.5555

Education
Master of Arts | Industrial/Organizational Psychology
University of Nebraska-Omaha | Omaha, NE

Bachelor of Science | Psychology
Kansas State University | Manhattan, KS

Cindy Tully

Cindy Tully

Consulting Associate & Executive Assistant

Cindy really cares about the people she works with—in fact, she considers them family (which is a good thing). As the go-to person for SilverStone Group’s Human Capital Consulting Team…

Cindy really cares about the people she works with — In fact, she considers them family (which is a good thing). As the go-to person for SilverStone Group’s Human Capital Consulting Team, Cindy is often called upon to make travel arrangements, field dozens of client calls, assist with client work and keep everyone’s schedule up-to-date. In short, she’s an organizational whirlwind, dynamic problem solver and proactive client advocate. Plus, she’s just darn nice to work with.

With 15-plus years of experience in the Human Capital division and over 30 years in business, Cindy’s experience includes survey input and report generation, compensation market analysis and affirmative action program analysis. Her professional skills are definitely a true asset to SilverStone Group.

 Cindy enjoys the client interaction and variety her job offers. Her interpersonal and management skills, along with a values-based approach to business and client work, provide her with the tools needed to contribute to the growth of the organization.

 Cindy serves on SilverStone Group’s Wellness Activity Group Committee (WAG), which is dedicated to helping Associates develop and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Cindy keeps her life active by golfing, jogging, biking and any other outdoor activity you can think of. After raising two active children, Cindy currently enjoys life as a grandparent.

Contact Information
e-mail: ctully@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5549  |  fax: 402.963.5555

Maria Teresa Gaston

Maria Teresa Gaston

Consulting Associate

Maria Teresa enjoys working with diverse groups of people. A descendent of entrepreneurs, she is originally from farming and ranching families in Cuba.

Maria Teresa enjoys working with diverse groups
of people. A descendent of entrepreneurs, she
is originally from farming and ranching families
in Cuba. Maria Teresa is skilled at helping people develop their creative capacities, appreciate differences and hone their collaborative problem-solving skills.

With 13-plus years of experience as the director of a team at Creighton University’s Center for Service and Justice, Maria Teresa is an expert when it comes to helping others with career development, group dynamics and process, program planning and evaluation. She is currently working to complete her doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology. As part of the Human Capital Team, Maria Teresa helps to develop selection systems for clients, as well as interpret assessment information.

Even with her extremely busy schedule, Maria Teresa finds time to enjoy the art of cooking. She loves to prepare food with ingredients from her garden and local farmers markets. She is pleased her three sons have taken an interest in cooking, as well.

Contact Information
e-mail: mgaston@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5429  |  fax: 402.963.5555

Education
Master of Arts
University of Nebraska-Omaha |  Omaha, NE

Bachelor of Arts
Marquette Milwaukee, WI

Lauren Weivoda

Lauren Weivoda

Consulting Associate

Lauren grew up with a pet tiger, so she knows a thing or two about earning her stripes. As a Consulting Associate on the Human Capital Team, Lauren allows her natural creativity to run wild with her formal education, coming up with easy-to-use solutions for clients.

Lauren grew up with a pet tiger, so she knows a thing or two about earning her stripes. As a Consulting Associate on the Human Capital Team, Lauren allows her natural creativity to run wild with her formal education, coming up with easy-to-use solutions for clients. Specifically, Lauren assists with the development of selection systems for clients and provides support on employee engagement and succession planning projects.

Her experience with personnel projects, selection, performance management, employee engagement and succession planning make her an asset to the Human Capital Team. Lauren is thorough and persistent, ensuring that she comes to the right solution for clients by considering all possible outcomes and alternatives. It is Lauren’s goal to reduce turnover and increase job performance by helping to develop effective selection systems.

Although her days of taming tigers are over, Lauren still keeps a fun schedule. When she is not studying, writing articles to be published and working at SilverStone Group, she enjoys baking, reading and traveling.

Contact Information
e-mail: lweivoda@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5405  |  fax: 402.963.5555

Education
Bachelor of Arts |  Psychology
Hamilton College  |  Clinton, NY

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