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The foundation of Meridian Resources’ proven talent management methodology is individualized, tailored, proactive coaching. The quality of our coaching is assured due to the exemplary expertise of our coaches. Cumulatively, Meridian Resources coaches have well over 100 years of experience coaching C-level executives, mid-level managers, individual contributors, and entry-level employees. They are credentialed in their field of work through accredited organizations such as Coach U, the International Coaching Federation,  as well as Master's degrees in coaching and counseling.


Our coaches' business experiences include sales, marketing, operations, and human resources positions at management and executive levels within Fortune 100 companies, non-profits, universities, government entities, and start-up businesses. These experiences position our coaches to provide real-world guidance to our participants regardless of their desired outcome.

Fully engaged in understanding the changing world of work, our coaches are immersed in emerging hiring, leadership development, business start-up, and active retirement trends and techniques. You can trust that your employees are well-positioned to engage in focused, efficient, outcome-oriented transitions, whether it be starting as a new employee, moving into a new role, or an unexpected departure from the organization.


We have a solid bench of professional coaches ready to support a single employee or engage in a large-scale project.


Below are just a few of our amazing coaches ready to serve your career management needs! 

Mark Richardson

Mark brings extensive business knowledge through many years in Fortune 100 organizations in human resources and decades as an executive career coach in the outplacement industry.  His expertise is career transition, developmental coaching, and entrepreneurial exploration.  Mark has a Master’s degree in Career Coaching and is certified in MBTI, FIRO-B, WorkPlace Big 5, and WorkPlace 360.  He has been with Meridian since 2000.

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Dr. Joel Bloom, Ed.D.

Dr. Bloom served as President of the New Jersey Institute of Technology for 10 years. During his tenure, the organization achieved national ranking in the top 100 universities and top 20 for public universities.  He has been the recipient of multiple awards for his leadership and service and is an expert in organizational development, strategic and financial planning, and executive and team development. Dr. Bloom currently serves on multiple Boards. He holds a Master's degree and a Doctorate of Education as well as a Master of Economics and Bachelor of Social Sciences. (Full Bio)

Penny Sommer

Prior to entering the career management industry in 2004, Penny spent over twenty years in sales and marketing roles with Fortune 500 companies. She is an ICF Certified Coach and has a Bachelor’s degree in Organization Management.  She is an active member of the International Coach Federation. Penny is certified in DiSC Behavioral and Hogan Personality Assessments. She has been with Meridian since 2011.

Katherine Ponds

Prior to entering the career management field in 1995, Katherine held diverse management positions in executive recruitment, government, and non-profits. Her corporate successes include growing revenue and profit in dynamic, highly competitive industry sectors, developing and overseeing execution of career, talent, and change management solutions, and helping organizations optimize their human capital, downsizing, and career management activities.  Katherine has been with Meridian since 2016.

Marla Emery

Marla is a leadership development coach, corporate trainer, workshop facilitator, and career management specialist. She also offers expertise in the entrepreneurial space having launched and managed a successful coaching business. Marla is an ICF Associate Certified Coach, a Certified Leadership and Talent Management Coach, and an Academy Certified Resume Writer. She is also certified to administer and interpret the DISC+ assessment. Marla has been with Meridian since 2014.

Jim Carow

Jim has a robust business background as an executive in risk management and healthcare administration, in addition to two decades in the executive search industry. He developed and leads iWork, a job support network group in his local market through which he has empowered thousands of individuals successfully manage career change. Jim is a public speaker with regular engagements at DeVry University for the Human Resources MBA program and was a featured speaker at the National Conference for Crossroads Career Network in Orlando, FL. Jim has a Bachelor’s degree in Education. He has been with Meridian since 2018.

Claudia Barnes

After a highly successful career in corporate training with Fortune 100 organizations including Exxon, Claudia entered the field of counseling and career coaching.  She has a Master’s degree in Counseling and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She is a graduate of Coach U and an ICF Certified Coach. In addition to her coaching credentials, Claudia is a Mindfulness Educator. She has been with Meridian since 2013.

Deb Welke

As an International Coach with 11 years living and working overseas, Deb specializes in partnering with high-potential leaders in cross-cultural business, global career management strategies, and domestic / international job search transitions. Deb holds a Master's degree in Psychology and a Bachelor's degree in Economics. She is an Academy Certified Resume Writer, an Academy Certified LinkedIn Profile Writer, a 360Reach Personal Branding Certified Analyst, and is also certified in MBTI and The Strong Interest Inventory. Deb is a graduate of Coach U, a Certified Job Search Strategist, and a Certified Career Management Coach. Deb has been with Meridian since 2007.

Pat Knight

Pat is a seasoned executive career coach with decades of experience in human resources within global organizations. Prior to joining Meridian, Pat served as Professor of HR, Organizational Development & Change, and General Management at the Graduate and Undergraduate levels at DeVry University. He holds a Master of Science in Human Resource Management. Pat has been with Meridian since 2016.

Vahbiz Shroff

With a Ph.D. in Life and Chemical Sciences and coaching certification, Vahbiz brings a diverse business background to the coaching experience. Her strengths include life, leadership, career development, and career transition coaching. She is an Associate Certified Coach through ICF and certified in Authentic Leadership Coaching and Team Coaching. She is also certified in DiSC.  Vahbiz has been with Meridian since 2018.

Rhonda York

Rhonda holds a Master's degree in Executive Coaching as well as numerous advanced coaching credentials, including a Professional Coach Certification through ICF, a Board Certified Coach, and a Certified Conversational Intelligence Coach. She is a professional keynote speaker and dynamic workshop facilitator. Rhonda serves as a volunteer Leadership Coach at the McColl School of Business at Queens College in Charlotte, NC. She has been with Meridian since 2000.

Marlyn Kalitan

As a Certified Professional Coach, Marlyn offers extensive experience in the career management space as a strategic leader and advisor in the career management industry. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor, teaching Influencing Skills & Negotiating Strategies courses to MBA students at Rutgers University. In addition to her professional career, Marlyn was elected to four terms as a Councilwoman for Cherry Hill, NJ. Marlyn holds Master’s degree in Organizational Dynamics. She is certified in a number of assessment instruments including Myers Briggs, Strong Interest, and Career Architect. She has been with Meridian since 2016.

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