Our Team


John Baird, Ph.D., Chairman

John is considered to be one of the premier coaches in Silicon Valley, having coached executives from companies like Apple, Nike and Twitter, as well as founders of younger companies including Agile PM, AirPR, BloomThat, Townsquared, and Zesty. He has coached CEOs and senior executives for over 20 years, with a specialty in coaching start-up CEOs. He started his first coaching company, ExecutivEdge of Silicon Valley, almost 20 years ago with Michele Bolton.

His early study of start-up CEOs, Survival in the Fast Lane, provides a research-backed conceptual and practical framework for coaching start-up CEOs. John holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Communication and Leadership from Purdue University. He spent 17 years on the faculty at San Jose State University in the College of Business and was named Outstanding Professor of the entire University during his time there.


Edward Sullivan, Managing Partner & CEO

Edward Sullivan’s 20-year career has taken him around the globe coaching and advising start-up founders, Fortune 500 executives, and heads of state of foreign nations on 6 continents. His client list includes executives from Foundation Capital, Google, RetailNext, Slack, and many others. He has also served in senior positions at various early and mid-stage start-ups.

Edward is currently part of the career development and leadership skills training team at The Wharton School. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School.


Marissa Peterson

Marissa’s founder and executive coaching practice has thrived due to her extraordinary focus on delivering excellence and accelerated business value to clients. Her diagnostic insights, range and depth of coaching approaches, practical first-hand leadership experience, and working to the full context of the business are differentiating characteristics. Marissa has coached executives at ebay, HP, Stanford Hospital and Charles Rivers Ventures.

Marissa Peterson brings a broad senior executive portfolio to her board and executive coaching practice. She joined Sun Microsystems when it was still a small public company, helping it scale to reach a peak of approx. $20 Billion in annual revenues. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Humana, Ansell, Quantros, and Oclaro.


Susan Hwang

Susan has worked closely with senior executives across technology and financial services for more than 15 years. Her engagements with leaders at both large firms and startups benefit from her background in behavioral psychology and practical business acumen.

Susan leverages years of executive experience helping grow SNL Financial, a SAAS data platform, into a thriving multi-national. Susan is currently an investor and adviser to a number of startups in varied industries and a Director at the Alliance of CEOs. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Virginia, where she was an Echols Scholar, and a Master's Degree from the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on positive organizational leadership and behavioral science.

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Dawn Kimball

Dawn has over 20 years of talent management and organizational development experience in start-up, emerging growth and Fortune 500 companies. Dawn specializes in working with leaders from the director to senior executive levels to optimize their leadership practices and performance. She is known for her ability to quickly identify core issues and support her clients in environments of rapid change, ambiguity and high levels of stress. 

With a dual major in Counseling Psychology and Organizational Development, she is certified in the use and interpretation of a variety of assessment tools. She is also certified in The Grove Consultants International Team Performance Model, PROSCI and the Gallup Strengths Finder. Dawn also received her Executive Coaching Certification from UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business.


Joan Dauria

Joan has over twenty years of human resources management and coaching experience at companies including Apple, Disney, Genentech, Rodan+Fields, Salesforce, and Williams-Sonoma. She provides coaching to founders and executives seeking to play a more impactful and valued role in their businesses. Her practice draws from a broad-based background in leading organizations through fast, dynamic growth and transformation and from building business-oriented, high-impact human resource organizations.

Joan works one-on-one with senior executives or with their teams to help them gain a new level of insight and self awareness through assessments and feedback about how their behaviors may impede their effectiveness. Joan is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a dual major in Education and Psychology.