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The Team

Clear Directions is fueled by talented, experienced professionals who are eager to see other entrepreneurs and business owners realize their potential:

Denise Stillman

Denise Stillman is the founder and principal of Clear Directions for Healthcare. She is a 20-year veteran marketer and strategist who has developed expertise in strategic planning, sales and business development through her work for well-known consumer products companies, pharmaceutical giants and the healthcare industry. She has coached individual, startup entrepreneurs as well as CEOs of $100M companies seeking to grow to the next level. In her role as the vice president of planning and marketing at a community hospital outside Chicago, she oversaw all of her organization’s marketing and communications efforts, including advertising, public relations and Internet communications, as well as strategic planning, facility planning, the consumer call center, and physician and community advocacy staff. Prior to her career in healthcare, she worked as a consultant to pharmaceutical and consumer products companies including AstraZeneca, Abbott Laboratories, Procter & Gamble, Philip Morris USA and Dowbrands, managing their corporate communications, product marketing and government relations. A summa cum laude graduate of Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., Denise holds a bachelor of science degree in public relations with an emphasis in political science. Her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management focused on strategy development, marketing and health services management. She also completed a fellowship program in leadership from the Advisory Board in Washington, D.C. She has been recognized for her work by PRSA’s Health Academy, the Publicity Club of Chicago and the Business Ledger, who named her one of several Influential Women in Business 2010. She lives in the Chicago area where she enjoys a very active and fulfilling life with her husband and two children.

Meet the Team

Kathleen DeVine’s healthcare career has spanned thirty (30) years in multi-hospital systems, managed care organizations, academic medical centers and children’s hospitals. In 2008, she began assisting executives and boards with difficult strategic challenges. She has worked with national organizations and local hospitals, from established to start-ups, in defining the best ways to move forward in challenging times. Prior to this work, Kathleen served as the CEO of Catholic Health Partners/Saint Anthony Hospital. During her 25 years in Chicago, she has held executive positions at Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s prestigious Prentice Women’s Hospital, Children’s Memorial Hospital and Columbus Hospital. Prior to coming to Chicago, she spent four years at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, Washington. Her healthcare career began in Detroit, Michigan with the Sisters of Mercy Health Care Corporation (now Trinity).

Kathleen has a Master’s in Public Health from Yale University. Having served on numerous community boards and the Illinois Hospital Association Board over the past twenty years, she currently chairs the Board of the Scott Nolan Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital. She also serves on the boards of US Bank – Chicago, Hospital Companions, and Maryville Academy. In 2005, she was awarded the Jonas Salk Health Leadership Award by the March of Dimes for her work in healthcare for women and children.

Steve Davis, MBA, brings broad experience in strategy, marketing/sales, operations and finance to a wide range of clients across various sectors of the health care industry. He blends a keen strategist orientation with a practical focus on execution, operational excellence, customer and employee engagement and continuous improvement. Steve has consulted for clients from a broad array of vertical markets and industries, advising startups and Fortune 100 clients alike, including a privately-held software vendor, a leading not-for-profit that manages large grant awards, several faith-based not-for-profits, managed care organizations and vendor of IPA management services, a startup in the web-based coaching and wellness space and a global auto manufacturer.

Steve has served in various executive roles for Hinsdale Hospital (Hinsdale, IL), for the Midwest Region of Adventist Health System and for The Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha, NE.) Throughout his career, Steve developed a reputation as an intuitive, inventive leader with consistent achievement in implementing business growth initiatives, leading organizational change and facilitating strategic conversations throughout complex health care organizations.

Steve has served on numerous not-for-profit boards, including as past Treasurer and Board Member, Teen-Parent Connection, Glen Ellyn, IL. A Kellogg Fellowship recipient, Steve graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a Masters in Business with an emphasis in Health Care Finance.

Forrest W. Anderson provides insight for client decision-making. He comes to this insight by combining qualitative, quantitative and secondary research with analysis, synthesis and a solid understanding of client business goals. He has particular expertise in communications, brand and messaging strategy. Forrest has served as the senior research officer and managed the research functions at GolinHarris International, Applied Communications and Text 100. He has worked with numerous consumer, business to business and not for profit organizations. His clients have included ARM, Boy Scouts of America, Disney Imagineering, Glaxo, IBM, McDonald’s, Sara Lee, Stanford Athletics, United States Ski and Snowboard Association, Weyerhaeuser and many more. Forrest received a bachelor of science degree in biology and English with honors from the University of New Mexico and an MBA with emphasis on marketing and management policy from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Gary Hubbell consults around philanthropy, strategy, planning, and coaching, bringing more than 30 years’ experience to client engagements, drawn from work in development, public relations, opinion research and delivered with his own polished style and infectious sense of humor. Gary partners with organizations to illuminate the path to a desired future, identifying and removing barriers to growth while securing the human and financial resources necessary to get there. A voracious reader and student of history, he is constantly looking to understand the driving forces that shape organizational choices and produce create openings for change. He seeks to know why people and organizations behave the way they do so their passions and energy can be channeled to reach their full potential.

Julie King is an experienced marketing communications consultant and freelance writer, specializing in health and fitness. She operates as the director of communications for Octane Fitness, Torque Fitness and PLAE, and is a monthly contributing writer for Club Business International, a leading trade publication for the health club industry. Previously, she worked as senior manager of communications/education at Life Fitness, where she managed public relations, created internal communications and oversaw the Life Fitness Academy. Julie also was a manager in the healthcare practice at Burson-Marsteller, where she ran strategic external communications efforts for numerous clients, including AstraZeneca, The Gatorade Company and the American Dietetic Association. For 18 years, Julie has been a certified group exercise instructor and personal trainer, holding certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, the Aquatic Exercise Association and Schwinn/Mad Dogg Athletics. She has extensive continuing education and instruction experience in PiYo, YogaFit and Pilates. With honors, Julie earned a M.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University.

Susan Sarhage has been in the administrative/consulting health field for more than 20 years. She has assisted several physician groups and private practices develop strategies for improved performances including operational and financial as well as marketing strategies to promote growth in these changing times. Founder of Medical Office Solutions, LLC, Sue offers services for practice management, front desk operational improvement, coding, payor follow-up, financial analysis along with EMR implementation, specializing in small group practices or single physician offices. Having worked on EMR for more than five years, Sue’s experience guides clients through the challenging process of implementation. Optimizing an office environment prior to implementing the EMR is Sue’s key to success.

Judy Beller is a professional medical marketing consultant who has 20 years of experience in medical sales, management, marketing and healthcare consulting. She has a strong passion for customer service with exceptional results, and is committed to providing clients the best possible solutions for their individual marketing needs

Vince Vandehaar provides professional business consulting services to help organizations with business strategy, research and deployment. Specifically Vince facilitates strategic planning, creates proven marketing plans/tactics, conducts both qualitative and quantitative market research, i.e., database marketing, competitor tracking, provider/payor research, balance scorecard development and customer satisfaction research. Vince started his business after working 16 years for Saint Luke’s Health System of Kansas City whose largest hospital won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2003. Prior to his experience at Saint Luke’s, Vince worked in the payor and insurance industry for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City; Tillinghast, a Tower’s Perrin Actuarial Consulting Firm; and Lutheran Mutual Life Insurance Company. Vince continues to teach college classes as a part-time Adjunct Marketing Professor (since 1988) at Webster University and with Rockhurst University – Helzberg School of Business/./ Vince is a Malcolm Baldrige coach and a professional focus group moderator and teaches classes at the MA/MBA graduate level in Marketing, Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Management, Statistics and Marketing & Health Capstone classes. Vince is actively involved in the national Society for Healthcare Marketing and Planning, KC Employee Benefit Professional Association, MO HC Executives, and the American Marketing Association – KC chapter.

Jennifer Jedow is an experienced website designer, user interface expert and owner of Jedow Interactive, LLC, a website design and marketing company. Jennifer has been developing websites for over 15 years and has a wealth of experience in the online industry. Prior to entrepreneurship, Jennifer earned a BFA from the University of Connecticut, she began her career designing animations for children’s software, then worked for Grolier Multimedia and eventually moved to a few online companies, including Switchboard.com for seven years.

Jennifer recently published her first book and is in the process of launching two new websites in 2011, the first geared towards marketing to medical based businesses, the website is www.medadvertising.com and the second website is called www.ebusinessforkids.com a website geared towards educating kids on financial literacy and giving them the tools they need to become entrepreneurs and market their own businesses.

Deborah Taber

Deborah Taber specializes in organizational change, leadership development, strategic planning, executive coaching and assessment, 360˚ feedback systems, teambuilding, training, and employee communications. Deborah has more than 25 years of experience in organizational development and human resources. She was president of her own OD consulting firm for five years. She also worked as a management consultant for Ernst & Young, The Hay Group and Modern Management. Her clients include health care, manufacturing, insurance, not-for-profit associations, financial services, hotels, education, and the public sector. In addition to organizational change, executive coaching, leadership and team development, Deborah specializes in facilitating process improvement teams, performance management, employee opinion surveys and strategic planning.

In addition to her consulting experience, Deborah was the Director of Human Resources at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. and the Managing Director of Corporate Resource Development for Cohen Financial, a financial investment services firm. In these capacities, she directed a culture change process; initiated an internal university program; developed a 360-degree performance review system; facilitated self-directed work teams and TQM committees. She also developed and conducted employee opinion surveys, compensation studies and internal employee newsletters.

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