RiseSmart Team


RiseSmart was founded on the idea that there had to be a better approach to career empowerment. We’re always refining our outplacement and career management services in a concerted effort to give our customers the best solution on the market and to help displaced employees land even faster. Along the way, we’ve built a winning culture and an impressive team that continues to grow.

Management Team

RiseSmart is led by an accomplished, experienced and diverse group that together comprise its management team.

Sanjay Sathe President and Chief Executive Officer

Sanjay Sathe

President and Chief Executive Officer


President and Chief Executive Officer

Sanjay Sathe founded RiseSmart after more than two decades in marketing management, leading successful sales and marketing organizations domestically and internationally for more than 20 years. He has specialized in product marketing, CRM, loyalty programs, branding, marketing communications, public relations and strategic alliance initiatives for companies in telecommunications, banking, airline and technology.

Sanjay served as vice president for enterprise data management for Sabre Holdings, the parent company of Travelocity and a $2.5 billion global leader in travel commerce. Before Sabre, Sanjay was senior vice president of marketing for Brierley & Partners, a CRM and loyalty management company that serves global brands such as Hilton HHonors, Hertz #1 Club Gold, Sony and Nokia. He also has worked in marketing management in Europe and Asia with Lufthansa, HSBC and other major corporations.

Sanjay holds a Master of Business Management degree from the Asian Institute of Management in Manila, Philippines, and has completed an executive education program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Sanjay Sathe - RiseSmart
Dan Davenport, Executive Vice President, Global Operations

Dan Davenport

Executive Vice President, Global Operations


Executive Vice President, Global Operations

Dan oversees RiseSmart’s world class delivery organization and global partnerships. In his role, Dan ensures RiseSmart’s products and services are delivered effectively to meet the company’s operating, financial, and most importantly – customer satisfaction targets. Dan brings a wealth of experience to the company, having worked previously with global technology companies in a variety of different finance, operations, and business development roles.

Before he co-founded RiseSmart with CEO Sanjay Sathe, Dan worked nearly a decade with Sabre Holdings, the parent company of Travelocity. Dan served in various roles in Sabre’s software and services unit, Sabre Airline Solutions, including leading international teams in finance, business development, and global sales operations. Dan also served in account management roles supporting strategic customer relationships. Prior to joining Sabre, Dan worked in finance and treasury roles at Electronic Data Systems, now HP. Earlier in his career, Dan was a licensed investment advisor with Fidelity Investments.

Dan holds a MBA from Texas Christian University (TCU), and a BS in Economics from Southern Methodist University (SMU).

Dan Davenport - RiseSmart
Ian Dawson Chief Sales Officer

Ian Dawson

Chief Sales Officer

Ian Dawson

Chief Sales Officer

Ian Dawson serves as RiseSmart’s Chief Sales Officer, overseeing RiseSmart’s growth and expansion in the US and abroad.

Ian joins RiseSmart from parent company Randstad, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President of Global Solutions for Randstad Sourceright’s Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). There he was responsible for the sale and design of some of the group's largest, most complex RPO deals, including global engagements. He has been a part of the Randstad team for the past ten years and holds more than 25 years of experience in sales and human resources-related outsourcing.

Ian joined Spherion (SFN Group) in 2005 and held a number of sales-related positions until Randstad acquired Spherion in 2011. There he served as a member of the executive committee and oversaw the new business growth of the vibrant RPO business.

Josh Barlow Vice President, US Operations

Josh Barlow

Vice President, US Operations


Vice President, US Operations

Josh Barlow has been a key player in RiseSmart’s operational success. It’s his mission to improve our processes and build our teams so that we can meet and exceed our goals for effectiveness, excellence and customer satisfaction.

Josh brings an expansive, senior-level background in professional services delivery to his role, which puts him squarely at the hub of everything we do. He integrates input from every team at RiseSmart to achieve results, from client services to technology development to product management.

With a skill set that bridges technical, business and client-facing needs, Josh makes innovation and quality the cornerstone of RiseSmart.

Josh Barlow - RiseSmart
 Karin Bootsma Vice President, Marketing

Karin Bootsma

Vice President, Marketing


Vice President, Marketing

As vice president of marketing, Karin adds to RiseSmart’s talented leadership team two decades of high-tech, HCM, and SaaS marketing experience, including several years as vice president of marketing at public and private companies.

In her role at RiseSmart, Karin is responsible for providing the marketing foundation and execution for ongoing customer, sales, and channel success in each of our markets. She believes in combining customer partnerships, market insights, creative ideas, and impactful execution to drive long-lasting success.

Before RiseSmart, Karin led Product Marketing, HR Alliances, and Monster’s Talent Management Suite at Monster Worldwide. While there, she drove product marketing for many new products, such as Monster’s flagship semantic resume search products. Prior to Monster, she was responsible for all aspects of marketing at Trovix, a purveyor of resume and job matching, which was later acquired. This included branding, awareness, demand generation, sales enablement, and competitive intelligence. She also established a competitive presence for Entopia, a venture-backed knowledge management company, and led marketing strategy and execution at ISD, leading to successful initial and secondary public offerings.

Karin holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business, and a mechanical engineering degree from UOP.

Vikash Chauhan Vice President, Engineering

Vikash Chauhan

Vice President, Engineering


Vice President, Engineering

As leader of the engineering team, Vikash steers the vision, roadmap, and builds and delivers RiseSmart’s suite of web-based products. A dynamic market innovator, Vikash is known for leadership in both small startusps and Fortune 500 organizations. He builds talented onshore and offshore teams and executes strategies that help our products scale in the marketplace.

Vikash has spent over 15 years implementing Agile development methodologies to maintain the quality and stability of applications. He brings the analytical and technical skills of a computer engineer and the business mindset of an entrepreneur to produce innovative, industry-leading technologies. As the Co-Founder of Market2Lead (acquired by Oracle), Vikash built a strong development team and managed end-to-end solution delivery in addition to creating critical strategic plans and made key business decisions.

Vikash is a member of TiE Silicon Valley and has a Master of Science, Computer Science from Louisiana Tech University.

Michael Gray, Vice President, Product

Michael Gray

Vice President, Product


Vice President, Product

As leader of the product team, Michael sets and drives the product vision for the company in its pursuit to be the global market leader in career transition services.

Michael has over 15 years of executive leadership experience from leading HR and recruiting companies. He has a strong track record of managing the development of complex enterprise applications from the ground up as well as overseeing global products lines generating hundreds of millions of dollars.

Michael has interacted closely with recruiters, hiring managers and jobseekers, learning a great deal about the challenges and pain points each group faces. In addition to his business experience, Gray was educated at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and is also a certified Agile Product Owner.

Kim Johnson Vice President, Sales

Kim Johnson

Vice President, Sales


Vice President, Sales

Kim Johnson brings a unique combination of experiences to her work as sales leader and global trainer. She’s known for securing and maintaining relationships with key customers and for ensuring that the company meets client and customer expectations in the very best way. Kim has worked in a broad range of industries, including oil and gas, telecommunications, high tech, financial services, consumer goods and pharmaceuticals.

Before joining RiseSmart, she was senior vice president of sales at the New York-based outplacement services company Drake Beam Morin Inc. In nearly 11 years at DBM, Kim progressed from a sales executive to senior vice president, leading many successful sales teams along the way. As a member of the executive leadership team at DBM, Kim was responsible for top-line revenues and bottom-line profitability in a 26-state territory.

Prior to DBM, Johnson worked in sales leadership positions at Pryor Resources. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma.

Kim Johnson - RiseSmart

Strategic Advisory Council

RiseSmart’s management receives valuable assistance from the company’s Strategic Advisory Council.

Peggy Taylor

Peggy Taylor


Peggy Taylor has been managing partner of B Cubed Ventures, LLC, an investment management firm, since 2000. From 2000 to 2005, she also served as president of PeopleSoft Investments, Inc., a subsidiary of PeopleSoft, Inc., which provides human resources management systems and other enterprise application systems.

Peggy originally joined PeopleSoft in 1989 and served on the company’s management team for a decade. She was senior vice president of operations, managing product development, customer services, professional services and administration. She also has served as CEO of Venture Builders, LLC, a consulting company for start-up businesses, and has held various management positions for The Hibernia Bank of San Francisco, California, and the Bank of California.

Peggy holds a bachelor of arts degree from Lone Mountain College in San Francisco.

George I. Stoeckert

George I. Stoeckert


George I. Stoeckert brings decades of experience in leading global corporations to the RiseSmart Strategic Advisory Council. He is the former president of North America and Internet Solutions at Dun & Bradstreet Corp. and also served as the president of D&B North American customer segments.

Prior to joining Dun & Bradstreet, George held a variety of senior leadership positions at Automatic Data Processing, Inc., for nearly 17 years. He served as the president of employer services international, where he was responsible for all human-resources outsourcing businesses in more than 50 countries. He also led the creation of ADP’s key multinational and global solutions: GlobalView and Streamline. Earlier at ADP, George led the North American major accounts services.

Before ADP, George worked at Ryder System, Inc. for more than 16 years in general management, strategy and financial roles. He served as chief strategy officer, including business development, and later became president and CEO of Ryder’s insurance management services division.

George has an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Miami and MBA from the University of Miami Graduate School of Business.

Dan Phelan

Dan Phelan


Dan Phelan is the senior advisor to the CEO at GlaxoSmithKline and a member of the TE Connectivity board of directors and its Management Development and Compensation Committee.

In more than 30 years with GlaxoSmithKline, Dan held key leadership roles throughout the company, including senior vice president of human resources for 14 years. He also served as vice president of personnel for the U.S. pharmaceutical division, senior vice president of operations and administration for the global research and development organization, and as chief of staff from 2008 to 2010 with global responsibility for human resources, information technology and other departments.

Helping people find jobs is a passion Dan pursues through his membership on the CEO Council for Growth of Select Greater Philadelphia, an organization focused on initiatives to stimulate jobs and new business opportunities. He has served on the Dean’s Advisory Council of Rutgers School of Law-Camden and was elected to the Rutgers University Board of Overseers in 2009.

Dan earned a master’s degree in higher education administration from The Ohio State University and a law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Camden.

Ann Weiser

Ann Weiser


An accomplished and highly experienced global business executive, Ann Weiser’s career spans more than 30 years. Her roles leading human resources, business integration, organizational transformation and talent development are testimony to the depth and breadth of her expertise.
Most recently, Ann was Chief Human Resources Officer at Activision Blizzard, the worldwide leader in interactive entertainment, based in Santa Monica, California. During her tenure, she was instrumental in the design of the business integration of Activision and Vivendi Games, and led its global implementation. Today, the result of that successful integration is Activision Blizzard--a $5 billion leader in the interactive entertainment space. As a strategic partner in all Activision Blizzard businesses, Ann contributed significantly to the development of the company’s leading market positions across every major category of this rapidly growing industry.

Prior to joining Activision, Ann was Chief Human Resources Officer at US Foods and a key member of this $30 billion company’s executive leadership team. A thought leader and valued business partner, Ann was a key advisor to the US Foods Chief Executive Officer. In this capacity, she was a driving force in the successful financial and cultural turnaround of the company, leading to the eventual sale of this national foodservice distributor in 2007. While at US Foods, Ann was responsible for human resources strategy and implementation as well as internal communication and safety.

Ann’s career has focused primarily on the consumer food sector, with assignments at M&M Mars, and Kraft Foods, among other leading companies. Ann has also held key positions at Baxter Healthcare and a large office products distributor. With this wealth of experience, she is fluent across many functional areas including manufacturing, distribution, sales and research and development.

Ann's professional commitment to talent development led to her engagement with the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. She serves on the Reigel and Emory Human Resources Advisory Board and has been a frequent guest speaker in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. Following her retirement, Ann enthusiastically pursued the opportunity to become an instructor in Human Resources at the Moore School; she is now a popular professor.

Recognized and sought out for her business leadership and organizational expertise, Ann serves on the board of advisors for Kiz Studios, an independent video game and entertainment studio. In addition, Ann serves on the board of directors and is chairman of the Human Resources committee for the Midwest Palliative and Hospice Care Center in Glenview, Illinois and the Personnel committee of the Sea Island Habitat for Humanity in Johns Island, South Carolina. Ann is a frequent speaker at HR conferences across the US and has served as an expert witness in employment related litigation.

Ann attended the California State University-Long Beach, where she earned a bachelor of arts in Sociology while working full-time; this experience provided an excellent foundation for the demanding global business career that would follow.

China Gorman

China Gorman


China Gorman is a successful global business executive in the competitive Human Capital Management sector. She is a sought-after consultant, speaker and writer bringing the CEO perspective to the challenges of building cultures of strong employee engagement for top performance and innovation, and strengthening the business impact of Human Resources. Well known for her tenure as CEO of the Great Place to Work Institute, COO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and President of Lee Hecht Harrison, China works with organizations all over the world to enhance their brands and their go-to-market strategies. Additionally, she serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Jobs for America’s Graduates as well as the Advisory Boards of RiseSmart Inc. and the Workforce Institute at Kronos. China is the author of the popular blog Data Point Tuesday, and is published and frequently quoted in media properties like Fortune, Huffington Post, Inc., Fast Company, U.S. News & World Report and many others

Ian Ziskin

Ian Ziskin


Ian Ziskin is the president of EXec EXcel Group LLC, a consulting and coaching firm that specializes in human capital strategy and development of leadership and talent. He has served as chief human resources officer and in other senior leadership roles with three Fortune 100 corporations: Northrop Grumman, Qwest Communications, and TRW.

During his CHRO tenures, Ian designed and implemented business and human-capital solutions for businesses with combined revenues of $68 billion and 300,000 employees in more than 25 countries. His portfolio of responsibilities extended to oversight of diversity and inclusion; employee communications; environmental, health, safety, and sustainability; ethics; facilities, flight operations and security.

Ian is the author of WillBe: 13 Reasons WillBe’s are Luckier than WannaBe’s, a leadership guidebook published in 2011. He is a sought-after speaker on a variety of subjects including career management; executive compensation; HR strategies, competencies and public policy issues; and the workforce/workplace of the future.

His writings have been featured in books by authors such as John Boudreau and Ed Lawler, and in publications and websites including The Wall Street Journal, BNA Reporter, Career Lab, Directors and Boards magazine, HR Executive magazine and Organizational Dynamics Journal.

Daniel Walker

Daniel Walker


Dan Walker is one of the world's leading experts on building and leveraging human capital, and has played a pivotal role in building some of America's most innovative and successful companies. He brings forty years of experience, leadership and revolutionary thinking to his latest venture, The Human Revolution Studios.

The HR Studios is a 21st Century ecosystem for the creation and deployment of high impact enterprises focusing on improving human capital worldwide. The HR Studios model is derived from the breakthrough concepts that he developed at Gap and Apple.

In the mid 80's, Dan joined Gap, Inc., ultimately serving as the VP Human Resources. He was the architect and driver of Gap's talent supply chain HR model. He and his team delivered world-class talent that helped make Gap the global leader in specialty retailing. On Dan's shift, Gap launched Gap Kids and Baby Gap, revitalized the Banana Republic brand and began its expansion into Europe.

In the early 90's, Dan left Gap to create Daniel Walker and Associates, an executive search and consulting firm. While leading DWA, Dan partnered with some of the best brands in retail and fashion: Bloomingdale's, Gap, Ralph Lauren, Williams-Sonoma and many others. In 1999, Dan began a long and fruitful relationship with the Apple brand. Initially challenged by Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, to find a leader for Apple Retail and to assist in the concept's development, Dan's success brought him to the company in a broader capacity in 2000. As Apple's Chief Talent Officer, he built and led Apple's now legendary Global Human Resources team. During Dan's tenure, they launched iPod, iTunes, Apple Retail and other innovations that made Apple one of the most successful brands in modern history. Dan's current ventures are driven by the same core belief that helped to create meteoric growth at Apple, Gap and others: a company's most valuable offensive weapon is an overabundance of exceptional talent.
In addition to his own enterprises, Dan is an active angel investor and advises a number of early to mid-stage companies. He is a frequent public speaker and, in December of 2010, delivered a keynote speech to the Arab Thought Foundation's annual FIKR conference in Beirut. Dan lives in Southern California with his wife Maureen and three of their five children (the others are grown). He proudly served with the United States Army Security Agency from 1967 to 1971. Dan graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Psychology after his military service.

Daniel H. Pink

Daniel H. Pink


Daniel H. Pink is the author of several provocative, bestselling books about the changing world of work.

His latest is To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, which offers a fresh look at the art and science of sales. Using a mix of social science, survey research, and rich stories, the book shows that white-collar workers now spend an enormous portion of their time persuading, influencing, and moving others. Then it reveals the 3 personal qualities and 3 specific skills necessary for doing it better. To Sell is Human is a New York Times (#1), Wall Street Journal (#1), Washington Post(#1), San Francisco Chronicle (#6), and Publishers Weekly(#8) bestseller.

In Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Pink uses 50 years of behavioral science to overturn the conventional wisdom about human motivation and offer a more effective path to high performance. Drive is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Publishers Weekly bestseller — as well as a national bestseller in Japan and the United Kingdom. The book has been translated into 32 languages.

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future charts the rise of right-brain thinking in modern economies and describes the six abilities individuals and organizations must master in an outsourced, automated age. A Whole New Mind is a long-running New York Times bestseller that has been translated into 24 languages.

The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need is the first American business book in the Japanese comic format known as manga and the only graphic novel ever to become a BusinessWeek bestseller. Illustrated by award-winning artist Rob Ten Pas, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko has been translated into 14 languages.

Daniel’s first book, Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself, was aWashington Post bestseller that Publishers Weekly says “has become a cornerstone of employee-management relations.”

His articles on business and technology appear in many publications, including theNew York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Wired, and The Sunday Telegraph. (See a sample of articles here) Daniel has provided analysis of business trends on CNN, CNBC, ABC, NPR, and other networks in the U.S. and abroad. And he lectures to corporations, associations, and universities around the world on economic transformation and the new workplace.

In 2011, Thinkers50 ranked him one of the 50 most influential business thinkers in the world.

A free agent himself, Daniel held his last real job in the White House, where he served from 1995 to 1997 as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore. He also worked as an aide to U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich and in other positions in politics and government.

He received a BA from Northwestern University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a JD from Yale Law School. He has also received honorary degrees from the Pratt Institute (2013), the Ringling College of Art and Design (2011), and Westfield State University (2010).

Daniel lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and their three children.

Lora Villarreal - RiseSmart

Lora J. Villarreal, Ph.D.


Lora Villarreal is President of Human Resources Group, LLC and has more than 25 years of business, human resources and administration experience. HRG assists organizations in aligning people strategies with company and client values.

Dr. Villarreal retired from Xerox Business Services, LLC in April 2013 as Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer. In her role with Xerox Business Services, LLC, Lora was a member of the board of directors for Buck Consultants, a wholly owned Xerox subsidiary. Prior to that, she was Vice President, Human Resources, for Transamerica Real Estate Information Companies. Additionally, she held various positions with First Data Resources, including Vice President of Administration for a start-up operation in Mexico City, which included human resources, training, purchasing, facilities, and public relations.

Active in charitable and civic affairs, Villarreal participated in the Leadership Dallas Class, Executive Women’s Council, Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic 100 and the Society for Human Resources Management. She served as President of the ACS Philanthropic Foundation and is currently on the boards of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Dallas, Inc. and SP Bancorp, Inc. Dr. Villarreal currently serves on the boards at the Dallas County Community College District Foundation, The Dallas Zoological Society and is also on the Advisory Council of Our Lady of Perpetual Help School.

Highlights through her career include being named one of Hispanic Business magazine’s Top Five Hispanic Women of the Year in 2008. That honor came after a previous ranking as one of its Top 25 Elite Hispanic Women in Business. She was selected as one of 25 Hispanic women throughout the U.S. to attend the National Hispanic Leadership Institute, a program designed to prepare women for positions of national impact and to influence public policy. Dr. Villarreal was named one of the Most Outstanding Women to Watch in 2008 by Hispanic Business magazine, received the Dallas Business Journal Minority Business Leaders Award and the Ogletree Deakins Human Resources Professional of the Year Award in 2008, and received the CareerFOCUS Eagle Award in 2009 which is one of corporate America’s highest accolades in executive leadership achievement. Most recently, she was awarded the 2011 Woman of the Year Award by the Texas Diversity Council.

Dr. Villarreal holds a bachelor of science degree in human resource management from Bellevue University, a master of science degree in administration and management from Central Michigan University and a Ph.D. in philosophy and management from California Coast University.