New Directions works with a selected number of trusted associates who bring a range of skills, experiences and languages that enable us to offer a more comprehensive service. Scroll down to read biographies of our key associates:

Frank Garten is an international business consultant, who has specialised in the field of intercultural communication and negotiation. He has designed and delivered talent management and assessment & development programs to international firms, working with high-potentials on their professional and personal development. He has an engineering background, and worked in a variety of functions such as engineering, commercial marketing, general management and human resources management.

Frank has a PhD in the field of Physics/Chemistry, and joined a wide variety of other developmental programs in the fields of coaching, management development, negotiation and intercultural effectiveness. He is a member of the OOA (Order of Organisation Advisors, Netherlands) and SIETAR (European Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research).

He has worked in various companies such as Philips, NXP Semiconductors and Agere Systems, before becoming an independent consultant. He travels extensively across the world, and especially in Eastern Europe and Asia.

Frank is based in the Netherlands and woks in English and Dutch.

Erica is a certified management consultant with a masters degree in change management. Over the past 20 years she has worked for a variety of training and consultancy firms as a manager, a consultant and a management trainer. In her assignments, Erica has worked for large corporations as well as not-for-profit organisations. She is a member of the Dutch association of management consultancy.

She founded her own firm that specialises in personal coaching and management development in 1997. The name of her company is Parresia, stemming from Greek philosophy and meaning 'speaking openly and truthfully, without holding back'. She uses this as a motto for her work. She also works as a teacher at a postgraduate school for management consultants. Erica is a very experienced trainer. In her communication, she is direct but also supportive, trying to reach ever deeper levels of self-analysis. She is also analytical, quick thinking and constantly looking for possibilities to help her clients find solutions to their problems while maintaining the emphasis on their responsibilities.

She works as a coach and trainer of coaching techniques for managers, and regularly delivers workshops in influencing, negotiating and philosophy of management. Erica is a partner in Learning Consortium, lives in The Netherlands and can work professionally in Dutch and English.

Jac began as an internal communication consultant with a large Dutch bank. After 6 years, the bank merged with another bank, which seemed a good time to move on, and he founded his own business as an independent trainer/ consultant, and is now also a partner in Learning Consortium.

Jac prefers to work outdoors, not only because he himself feels better between trees than between walls, but also because he has seen that the physical surrounding and the room to move physically has a strong effect on the learning processes of participants. His intercultural awareness has been sharpened by working in the US, Turkey, and several countries in Europe, with groups varying from young gang members to people just below the board of large international firms.

He loves to come in when all standard solutions have failed, and people start to feel they're wading in mud. He will use uncommon methods, like a combination of outdoor and socratic dialogue, and his biggest professional achievement was to have an insomniac oversleep after the first programme day (it was the start of a new life for her). One of his innovations is to use archery as a coaching medium.

In his work, Jac is a typical archer: patient, concentrated. And loving. Apart from that, he is driven. He lives and works from The Netherlands and Turkey and trains in Dutch, English and German.


Jem’s line management career was spent in the technology industry, with International Computers Ltd, in Stuttgart, Germany, and with Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in Munich, Germany and Sophia Antipolis, France. Most of his assignments were change programmes of an organisational nature, involving complex interconnected projects, and in addition implementations of both ISO 9000 certification projects and Project Based Organisations. From 1995 until early 2000, Jem was Human Resources and Training and Development Director for VLSI in Sophia, and facilitated the merger of VLSI with Philips Semiconductors.

As a training consultant he now specialises in interpersonal and management training, cross cultural training, and organisation development. Recently he has also been involved with Multi-Cultural, Multi-Site, Complex-Projects training with NXP Semiconductors, and running interpersonal skills programmes for Philips. He designs and runs cross cultural training programmes for doing Business with Asia, Japan, China, India and Korea. He also coaches and runs workshops in Life and Career Design for high potential professionals. He is a partner in Learning Consortium. Jem is qualified to administer FIRO-B and MBTI.

He lives in the South of France, and works in English, German and French.

Margaret has worked in the field of personal and organisational development for over 30 years, initially as a Human Resource Professional working in the cosmetics, textile and energy sectors. She works with individuals, groups, organisations and communities to facilitate change. Margaret now works as an independent consultant specialising in strength based approaches to change, engagement, and building understanding and relationships - particularly Appreciative Inquiry. She promotes and focuses on abundance rather than scarcity, assets in place of needs, hope instead of despair and an appreciative rather than a problem-solving approach. She is the founder of a number of community based 'Imagine' projects to enhance communication, connection and collaboration in communities, and has facilitated a number of development projects in Scotland. She has also used the appreciative approach to facilitate large scale dialogues for the NHS, local authorities and Communities Scotland. She also works part-time as an OD Advisor for an NHS Trust in Scotland.

Margaret studied at Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities. She has worked in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and has been an independent consultant since 1996. She is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, is a qualified in number of aptitude and psychometric tests including MBTI. Margaret lives in Edinburgh.

George Simons, MA, DMin leads a global virtual consulting and training network specialising in intercultural communication and global management from Madelieu la Napoule in France and Santa Cruz USA. He is the creator and general editor of the award-winning DIVERSOPHY® training instruments and the website.

He is an internationally recognised counsellor and author, fluent in English, German, and French, and conversetional ability in Spanish and Dutch. He is part of Management Centre Europe’s regular faculty and their online training initiative team. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory board of the European Business Review and board member of SIETAR Europa. Recently clients include Astrium, BNP Paribas, Capgemini, CocaCola, Cruz Roja de Barcelona, Ford, Michelin, Shell, Siemens, the UN and Unilever.

As an author George has created and edited a number of books, training materials and multimedia-training designs including Putting Diversity to Work, Not my Kind for Video Arts, EuroDiversity: a Business Guide to Managing Difference, Cultural Detective™ USA, Cultural Detective™ Netherlands, and most recently translated his Global Competence training manual into Spanish (Competencia Global). George lives in the South of France and works in English, French, and German.

Andrew is an international learning & development specialist, with strong leadership & communication skills, underpinned by a varied background in line management, which saw him manage a variety of teams (commercial, specialist & virtual) in the UK and overseas. His last corporate role saw him develop the Learning & Development strategy for the African arm of Barclays Bank. Prior to that he enjoyed several internal change management consultancy roles at regional & national levels in the UK, Africa, Europe & the Caribbean in operations support and IT services.

As a consultant he has designed & facilitated International Leadership Conferences in Johannesburg, a culture change & brand awareness programme for an international hotel group, e-training modules in performance management for global telecommunications company, and coached & mentored a number of individuals in senior roles in UK & overseas organisations to improve their own effectiveness & career potential.

He is a member of the Institute of Leadership & Management, and Accredited Trainer for TMS, SDI and MBTI. Andrew lives in Leeds.

Ben Johnson spent his early post-graduate years teaching in the West Indies and South America before moving to Provence, in the South of France, where he co-founded a school for teaching English as a foreign language and developed one of the first audio-visual methods for language teaching. He moved into the business world as a training consultant in 1985 and has provided services on major development programmes for: Digital Equipment, Compaq Computers, VLSI, Mitsubishi Trium, Citicorp, Philips Semiconductors, Novartis Consumer Health, Microsoft Corporation, and United States Postal Service. His specialism is in project management. He also works as an interim project manager.

Ben is fluent in English and French and lives in Aix-en-Provence, France.

Cathy Dunn is an experienced learning, leadership and organisation development specialist with over 20 years of experience gained in working in one of the world’s leading oil companies.

She has worked on all stages of design and facilitation of learning activities and able to work at all levels within an organisation from senior executives through to operational staff. Her most recent achievement was to successfully manage a global programme, on all continents, for 10,000 front line leaders, running 100 events annually and gaining recognition in the form of a UK National Training Award. Cathy is an associate with SAMI Consulting, working on application of future thinking and scenario planning.

Cathy is accredited for MBTI, Team Management Index, FIRO-B, Innovation Potential Indicator and SIMA Coaching. She lives in Surrey.