Hi, I'm Dr. Lola Gershfeld, founder of EmC Leaders.

On a mission of improving 1,000,000 lives in the workplace, my work is about creating connections in team relationships. Emotion has a deep logic to it, and you can learn to use it as a compass to guide your steps as you work together.

Backed by years of research, my team and I want to help you learn about the revolutionary science of emotional connection and bonding; creating a culture where you can thrive – what’s more thrilling than that?

On this page, I'd like to introduce you to our work. Please meet
our team, browse our case studies, and consider joining our research.

I can't wait to learn more about You!

Rooted in five decades of scientific research, proven by hundreds of case studies, and facilitated by pioneers in the field of workplace connection, you can expect our work together to:

invigorate creativity & collaboration • enhance trust & authenticity • create thriving cultures

Research &
Academic Involvement.

We are committed to continuously evaluating our methodology, content, and delivery through substantive research informed by best practices in psychology.

Our team of scientists and professionals have engaged in several beta studies and have received an IRB approval from Pepperdine for a larger study. Beta test results suggest significant positive results in emotionality and self-awareness.

The EmC Leaders program transformed our leadership team and brought honesty and transparency into every conversation. We were able to build trust and become the high-performing team that we all wanted to be.

- Wayne Ward, Executive Vice President
at California Bank and Trust

I now have the skills and confidence to reconnect when a conflict arises, build trust to lead change, and coach others to do the same. This is a life-changing experience that will impact all areas of my life.

- Katherine Cianci
at Talent Manager at Blue Shield of CA

With EmC, we speak the same language and terminology, so navigating through emotions becomes much more enjoyable. EmC Leaders has helped us to be more cohesive and collaborative, leading to better outcomes.

- Fay Christodoulou, CSO
at Miroculus

The ROI on this training is exponential! All of the people we interact with – bosses, peers, direct reports, clients, and family members – experience EmC benefits from the individual who engages in this process.

- Irakli (Rocky) Bandzeladze
at Banking

As a leader, EmC helped me to bring a framework in order to create a greater understanding between our team members about each other’s strengths, beliefs, and perspectives. As a result, we have become even more effective, collaborative, and connected.

- Dawn Reese
at The Wooden Floor

I took the EmC training and immediately had an opportunity to utilize it with a Leadership Team. I encourage anyone interested in improving personal or workplace relationships to take this training. It will truly make a difference!

- Lois Carson
at Executive Coach

Case Studies

Executive Team Coaching

EmC Improves Board Engagement and Transforms Culture & Performance

CLIENT: Center Club Orange County

“When we first started, I had difficulties seeing that this process could bring any value. Having been in corporate governance for nearly 35 years, I didn’t buy into the concept of using emotional connection to create board engagement and involvement. . . But that was the differentiator that brought us together. The process created change in our board meetings, engagement, and direction.”
— Vice Chairman Delmonico

Company Training

EmC Helps Build Strong Relationships, Transforming Biotech Company Culture

CLIENT: Miroculus

“The EmC process gave us tools to connect with one another at an emotional level making the communication lighter, to speak without fears, and have a stronger connection within the team. Once that happens, everything becomes easier to do.”
— Alejandro Tocigl, Co-founder and CEO at Miroculus

Transforming Team Dynamics

EmC Improves Productivity

CLIENT: California Bank & Trust

“Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.”
— Dr. Betty Uribe, Executive Vice President of California Bank & Trust

Our Team & Research Advisory Board

Lola Gershfeld

Dr. Lola Gershfeld is the Founder of EmC Leaders, an organizational psychologist, and a Corporate Emotional Connection expert. She is a developer of the Emotional Connection process or EmC and the author of Emotional Connection, The EmC Strategy, and her new book, The Culture of Connection.

Dr. Gershfeld leads several EmC research projects with a group of scientists and business professionals who focus on demonstrating the effectiveness of the EmC methodology, content, and delivery through substantive research informed by best practices in psychology. Her articles on emotional connection and leadership appear in Forbes, The Corporate Board, Industry Week, Corporate Board Member, The CEO Magazine, Chief Executive Magazine, NACD Directorship, California CEO Magazine, Training Industry, and others. She is a co-author of Emotional Connection, The EmC Strategy: How Leaders Can Unlock the Human Potential, Build Resilient Teams, and Nurture Thriving Culture.

Prior to EmC Leaders, Dr. Gershfeld spent over two decades working as a CFO, HR, and researching the way for people to resolve workplace conflicts peacefully and re-engage teams together. The EmC process that she developed is making a significant contribution to the field of leadership, team resilience, and organization effectiveness. The EmC Courses have been incorporated into the curriculum for HR Management, Leadership, and Organizational Development courses at California State University, Fullerton, California State University, Long Beach, and Pepperdine University. The EmC training has been adapted and developed into education programs and certification courses that are accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), and Society of Human Resources and Management (SHRM) for recertification hours.

Dr. Gershfeld serves on the Advisory Board at the UC Santa Barbara Women’s Leadership Program. She is very passionate about her work and shaping organizational cultures where people can thrive. She spends much of her time sharing her knowledge through training programs, writing and speaking. When she is not working, she spends her time reflecting in hot yoga classes, exploring with her adorable five grandkids in Hawaii, and deepening her relationships with her life partner, family, and colleagues.

Lola Gershfeld, Psy.D.
Founder, CEO, Author
Greg Cashner

Greg brings extensive training, sales, and marketing experience to the Emc Leaders team. As a sales development instructor for AT&T Wireless, he wrote and led numerous sales and development training courses throughout the United States. He now shares his passion for people development and healthy work relationships with the EmC Leaders customer community.

Greg has an MBA from Chapman University, where he was a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Society and the recipient of the Financial Executives Institute of Orange County Scholarship as the top student. He also holds two Bachelor’s Degrees from the University of California, Irvine.

Greg is an Orange County, California native and resides there with his two lovely daughters.

Greg Cashner
Vice President of Customer Solutions

Jenna has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and over 10 years of experience in marketing, specializing in content strategy and copywriting. Her passion is to create exceptional storytelling and to develop brand messaging that creatively reflects a company’s mission, products, and services.

Jenna Wohlwend
Marketing Strategist
Olga Kalashnyk

Olga Kalashnyk our social media and communication expert. She curates social media content that highlights the latest news, webinars, trainings and events of our company. With the degree in psychology she fully understands the nature of our work, and has more than 5 years of experience working with social media.

We love working with Olga because she has exceptional communication skills and ability to create great content that effectively reflects the essence of our company`s work.

Olga Kalashnyk
Social Media and Communication
Jack Gershfeld

He is also a clinical supervisor at Straight Talk Community Clinic, Director at Riverside EFT Community Training Center, and runs a non-profit Couples TLC organization.

Jack has worked with hundreds of people, from individuals, couples, families, teams, and organizations, helping to create strong and supportive relationships.

Jack was instrumental in developing some of the key tools in the Emotional Connection “EmC” process, a groundbreaking and empirically supported approach to team engagement and conflict resolution. In addition to running a manufacturing company and having his own practice, Jack conducts live EmC workshops and is actively involved in EmC training projects.

Jack Gershfeld, LFMT
EmC Chief Training Officer and Research Advisory Board Member
Dan Hyun

Dan also was the Founder and President of Acacia, responsible for launching many new and innovative medical devices that were successfully divested to Becton Dickinson, Smith Medical, Medela, and Oratec Interventions, and others.

Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona and an MBA degree in Marketing from National University. He earned his Ph.D. in I-O psychology at Grand Canyon University.

Dan Hyun, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor, Research Advisory Board Member
Polina Marian

Polina is a founder of AskPolina.com, which focuses on educating and promoting healthy habits and strong relationships. Polina has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and has produced hundreds of training resources for improving health, wellness, and gaining new skills in creating a better life. She is a mom of five kids and has been using the Emotional Connection language to create stronger connections. Polina is passionate about helping leaders and organizations to use emotions to drive performance.

Polina Marian
EmC Certified Trainer and Coach
Alicia Maciel

She utilizes a blend of neuroscience, mindfulness, and positive psychology to teach skills that lead to greater fulfillment, vitality, and wellbeing.
Alicia holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science from Berkley University. She comes with a multicultural perspective and over 28 years of executive management experience across industries. As an immigrant to the USA from Mexico and the first in her family to graduate from college, Alicia is effective at supporting others to thrive in adversity. She began her professional career as a financial analyst at The Chevron Corporation, then a senior strategic planner at The Walt Disney Company. She has held the top executive position at a private nonprofit school, built high-performing teams, and developed and implemented detailed strategic plans.

Alicia Maciel, MBA
EmC Certified Trainer and Coach
Ramin Sedehi

As a convener of the United Nations General Assembly Science Summit (September 2022), Ramin is forming several sessions addressing issues of global health equity, building trust in science, the role of the liberal arts in supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Open Neuroscience initiatives, private/public scientific and health partnerships, and decolonization of global health education.

Ramin advises and mentors leaders committed to unlocking the power of human-centered organizations and capable of nurturing emotion-centered connections, courage-based leadership, and systems thinking to solve intractable problems and thrive in the service of humanity. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and has completed graduate studies in Public Administration/Health & Science Policy from California State University, Hayward. Ramin is also a graduate of executive education at Stanford University business school.

As a co-author of Emotional Connection, The EmC Strategy: How Leaders Can Unlock the Human Potential, Build Resilient Teams and Nurture Thriving Culture, Ramin thinks holistically and believes in exploration, experimentation, and diversity of thought to effect change. He is committed to the power of human-centered organizations to bring the heart into 21st-century leadership and enable organizational and individual wellbeing while achieving outstanding financial results.

Ramin Sedehi
Author, Research Advisory Board Member
Lois Carson

With a successful career as a Food Industry leader and an International Coach Federation certified coach, Lois uses the EmC Strategy to empower individuals, teams, and organizations to stop struggling and accomplish what they want in a competitive and fast-paced environment.

Lois Carson
EmC Certified Trainer and Coach
Angelina Iyamah

Angelina Iyamah-Wilson is a certified EmC Trainer and Coach and holds an immense wealth of knowledge about what it means and what it takes to lead effective organizations where people grow and develop their talents to achieve goals and objectives. It is Angelina’s passion to help and equip others to communicate effectively, collaborate to innovate, and navigate through difficult situations. Angelina is a GREAT trainer, coach, and leader.

Angelina Iyamah-Wilson
EmC Certified Trainer and Coach
Katie Cianci

Katie Cianci is a certified EmC Trainer and Coach. She received her MA degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. For over 13 years, Katie has worked in Human Resources, providing consultation in benefits administration, employee relations, and recruitment for the healthcare industry. Katie enjoys educating and supporting her clients on how to manage stress and build resilience so they can show up at work and home as the best version of themselves. Katie enjoys teaching mindful ways to increase awareness, cultivate emotional connection, and resolve conflict in the workplace.

Katie Cianci
EmC Certified Traner and Coach
Krisha Kerr-Poole

Krisha is trained and certified in Google, Microsoft, and various other applications as an educational leader. Holding a bachelor’s in Science and English and an MS in Technology Integration, she is well versed in integrating technology to reach all learners and begin erasing the digital divide. Krisha loves the Emotional Connection and uses the strategy in her daily interactions in the workplace and at home.

Krisha Kerr-Poole
Training Design and Development
Veerle Pieters

Veerle Pieters is an amazing graphic & web designer. She loves creating logo & brand identities, illustrations, book cover design & complete book and magazine layouts, and of course also web sites & application user interface designs. We love working with Veerle on our brochures, books, and designs!

Veerle Pieters
Creative Designer
Kerri Cissna

She is a member of the Global Partnership for Poverty and Entrepreneurship through the Academy of Management. She is designing online courses in teamwork and conflict mediation for the master of the leadership program at Southern Nazarene University. She teaches human resource management at Cal State, Long Beach.

As an entrepreneur, she is the founder of Inspired Life Consulting and a producer at Inspired Life Film Productions. As an intrapreneur, she is known for creating Project LEAD, the student affairs assistantship program, several endowed scholarships, and Lifelong Learning Lecture Series at Pepperdine University.

Her research is in Global Leadership and Change, focusing on the intersection of inclusive leadership and workplace spirituality. She has also been on a qualitative research team for over ten years that concentrates on work-family integration and has collected over 600 interviews from women leaders worldwide.

She is a certified trainer in mastering emotional connection with EmC Leaders and is currently working with the EmC research team to assess the EmC model for creating emotional connections in the workplace.

Kerri Cissna, Ph.D., Ed.D.
Chief Academic Officer, Research Advisory Board Member
Amanda Wickramasinghe

In addition to these and earlier leadership roles, she is the CEO of Wickra Consulting, where she guides organizations to design global competency initiatives and she is an adjunct professor at both Brandman University and National University.

She has traveled extensively internationally to interview global leaders so as to contribute to academic literature about foreign leadership styles. She has presented numerous papers at conferences and seminars in the United States, Canada, Central America, and Europe.

Additionally, she has conducted multiple leadership series workshops with executives and leaders from all disciplines and has been the organizer and moderator for leadership panels at Pepperdine University, including “Leading in the Digital Age,” “Leaders of Tomorrow,” “The Future of Leadership,” and “Women in Entrepreneurship.” Moreover, Amanda is a board member of the International Center for Global Leadership and is involved with organizing the annual global conference in Belize. She is an active member of the International Leadership Association in multiple roles and has chaired discussion and research panels. Most recently, she has moderated a keynote speaker event at the ILA 5th Women and Leadership Conference.

Amanda is a Leader for the Pepperdine University Alumni Association, Orange County Chapter, and she was recognized as an Inaugural 40 under 40 Honoree at Pepperdine University.

Amanda Wickramasinghe, Ph.D., Ed.D.
EmC Certified Trainer and Coach, Advisory Board Member
Charles Gross

He has assisted on research projects with notable institutions such as RAND, NSF, the New Delhi Institute of Management, and Pepperdine University. His experience in the design and execution of studies across disciplines and settings has helped him grow as a leader, researcher, and scholar.

Charles Gross, Ph.D.
Research Manager, Advisory Board Member
Lene Martin

Dr. Martin is also the CEO of a Malibu consulting company, an entrepreneur and investor of tech startups, an advisor and director of several boards, a published author and international speaker, and a leader in innovative solutions for blockchain, cybersecurity, and communications at organizations such as Lockheed Martin Corp. and Amgen Inc. As an advocate for social impact and women leaders, she recently co-authored a book on Women in Leadership: Work-Family Integration, published by Cambridge Scholars, and is the founder of the Work-Life Integration Project Speaker Series.

She holds M.A. degrees in mass communications and women’s studies, an Ed.D. in organizational leadership, a Ph.D. candidacy in global leadership and change at Pepperdine University, and is the recipient of a Pepperdine University Waves of Innovation grant award. As a Norwegian-American scholar, her research agenda focuses on Nordic leadership models of economic growth, prosperity, and sustainability, specifically the convergence of emerging technology strategies and corporate social responsibility standards.

Lene Martin, Ph.D., Ed.D.
Research Advisory Board Member

Victor Gombos, Ph.D., has over 15 years of research and data analysis experience that spans areas of psychology, social services, and healthcare domains. Before working at Los Angeles County government and in the private sector, he taught statistics, research methods, computer applications, psychology, and critical thinking at California State University, Fullerton, and other local community colleges. In the last 7 years, he managed an analytics team at an occupational healthcare company, where he learned to nurture positive connections and dynamics intrinsically aligned with the concepts and practices of EmC Leaders. As a consultant, he has assisted in research, statistics, and various communications materials concerning employee engagement, team dynamics, and workplace conflict.

Victor Gombos, Ph.D.
Technical Writer, Researcher & Data Analyst

"People stuff" is often the hardest thing
for leaders to navigate. We exist to help.

At EmC Leaders, we aim to make the intangible tangible so you can build and nurture
an environment that positions your company to do its most important work.
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