Meet Our Team
Elena Deutsch & Steve Salee didn’t know each other all that well in high school, but when they kept bumping into each other as adults, the universe was telling them it was time to talk. Over breakfast at a diner, they realized they share a passion for helping individuals & organizations thrive, and believe a major roadblock to success is how people get along, or don’t, at work. It’s like Elena’s grandmother often said, “Work is easy, it’s getting along with other people that’s hard.”
Steve and Elena’s collaboration brings their unique strengths into a “Yin/Yang” package. Steve brings clinical and coach training, and consulting experience to individual and group client work. He also soars easily to a 10,000 foot perspective to view the organizational topography – bumps, valleys and territorial rifts. Elena brings tremendous understanding of how individuals and teams learn and change. Her expertise is the foundation for creating and delivering powerful coaching engagements and facilitated meetings.
By coming together, Steve and Elena help create dynamic and lasting change for individuals, team and organizations. Plus, they bring honest communication, fun and willingness to work hard both to their own business and clients. Steve and Elena are building WildFire Strategies into the kind of company they are proud to work in, and helping others do the same.
Learn more about the WildFire team:
Expertise: Strategic planning; coaching; diversity; business development
Steve is the founder of WildFire Strategies, and loves this work. With nearly 20 years experience as a strategist, organizational consultant, and coach, Steve understands people and organizations at deep levels that help them become more aware and make meaningful change.
Steve has worked with executive teams and leaders at board, senior and mid levels in financial services, publishing, media, the arts, law, human rights, and insurance.
Steve is a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF). He serves as Chair of the National Leadership Council of GLSEN and is a member of its national board of directors. He earned MSW and MPA degrees at Columbia University and has a BA from Brown University. Steve lives in Manhattan with his family. He is proud of having passed along his car geekiness to his son, and love of classic R&B to his daughter. Steve sings, rows and writes whenever he finds the time.
Expertise: Workshops; coaching; program design; diversity
Elena Deutsch, MPH has been facilitating adult learning for over 20 years. Working with Steve Salee to provide services through WildFire Strategies is an ideal environment for Elena’s skills. She gets to help people have more ease at work, which is a major energizer for her, and her clients.
In addition to creating and delivering trainings for The New York Times, Deutsche Bank, and Barclays, Elena brings her design and facilitation skills to strategic planning meetings and off-sites. Elena also coaches leaders and executives with compassion and clarity. She completed her training in Coaching at New York University and helps clients leverage their skills and strengths to address challenges and blind spots.
Elena has had a long career in the non-profit sector. She completed her Masters in Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill and has held leadership roles at the American Cancer Society (ACS) and Cicatelli Associates, Inc. As a lead spokesperson for the Cancer Society, she appeared on Good Day New York, Inside City Hall and Hardball with Chris Matthews. She sits on the Board of Friends of PS 187 and chairs the School Leadership Team at PS/IS 187. That school can be found around the corner from where she lives in “Upstate Manhattan” (a.k.a. Washington Heights) with her family.
Jeremy Robinson is a highly experienced senior-level coach whose business career has been the result of the mix of disciplines of writing, psychotherapy and management consulting. He coaches C-level executives, Managing Directors, Senior VPs, VPs, Executive Directors and high potential employees in a wide range of industries. He is Faculty member and Fellow of the Zicklin Leadership Initiative at Baruch College in New York. Jeremy is a Master Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation and he holds certificates in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, and Community Mental Health Consultation from the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health in NYC. He has graduate degrees in Social Work and English Literature/Creative Writing.
Diane Malnekoff, Ph.D. brings over 20 years as a seasoned strategic planner, executive coach and consulting Psychologist. Her dual expertise in leadership and in doctoral- level psychology uniquely qualifies her to help leaders to discover critical personal insights, transform their careers and take their effectiveness to the next level.
Lionel R. Shockness is a senior executive coach and diversity consultant. He has a deep interest in diversity and cross-cultural relationships. His areas of coaching expertise include Emotional Intelligence, Conflict Management, Team building, Work-Life integration, Career planning and Personal development. He is a trained group facilitator in: stress management, conflict mediation, career transitions, and mid-life transition issues. Lionel holds a Masters in Clinical Social Work from Yeshiva University and a BA in Psychology from the State University of New York.
Derek is a talented strategic planner, financial services industry expert and executive coach. He brings the powerful perspective of 10 years experience in investment banking, leveraged buyouts and strategy consulting. His approach to coaching incorporates a warm appreciation for personal development, combined with strategic business thinking and practical leadership.