Our Crew

Driving Leadership Development Through Inclusion

Born out of Deb’s passion for effective leadership development, true inclusion and the prevention of bullying and harassment in all forms, The Submarine Way is the next generation of its parent company, The Genesis Group LLC, founded in 2008. The Genesis Group LLC, has always been centered on helping organizations maximize the potential of people, through a lens of each persons unique talents and strengths. The Submarine Way takes our core principles to a much more powerful, focused place….true inclusion. Leadership needs to have inclusion woven through every course.

Deb Cake Fortin - MS Founder & President

Deb Cake Fortin is the Founder and President of The Submarine Way. She is the co-author of the bestselling book, Diversity and Inclusion The Submarine Way and the recently released, UP PERISCOPE, Putting Traditional Leadership in the Crosshairs. She has been in the business world for 25 years, managing people, leading diversity teams and changing them. Deb has been a VP of Operations and client services, COO and General Manager in several large organizations. Deb has her graduate degree in human performance technologies. She feels that most inclusion issues are largely human performance issues. When people feel included, have a purpose, and the tools to carry out this purpose, human beings want to get along. When Deb did research on why The System worked so well and realized it was a repeatable system on submarines, and could  be repeated in the business world, she left the business world to write, speak and consult on this topic. What if  we could share a mission to change the world?

Deb Cake Fortin

John Gregory Vincent - MBA Principal Consultant

John Gregory Vincent is the co-founder of The Submarine Way and serves as the Principle Consultant. He is the preeminent expert on leadership development through inclusion, an expertise he began to develop during his time on submarines. John served on a variety of operational submarines for 14 of his 20 years of Navy service, retiring as a Command Master Chief. He went on to become The Gallup Organizations top, client rated, consultant in the world.  John is a author of three books, two co-authored with his business partner and wife, Deb Cake Fortin. Diversity and Inclusion The Submarine Way became a bestseller and introduced the foundation of their patent published system to the world. He is a certified Gallup strengths coach, international speaker and utilizing his deep understanding of human behavioral change to maximize client results.

Faith Welsh - VP of Client Services

Faith Welsh, a native of South Carolina, is our Vice President of Client Service. She considers herself lucky to call the Holy City (Charleston, SC) home. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, Faith has been in the corporate world for 22 years.  She has led teams in Client Service, Operations and Implementation. She also served as a Relationship Manager for multiple Fortune 500 companies.

During this time, Faith has witnessed how challenging it can be for companies to deliver on the goals of diversity and inclusion. She is excited to be working with clients introducing The Submarine Way, helping them foster true inclusion in their organization. 

Faith Welsh

Jeff Tolson - VP of Learning and Strategic Growth

Jeff Tolson is our Vice President of Strategic Growth at The Submarine Way. He is an expert in client relations and team building. Jeff has worked in the business-to-business world for 22 years working as a Corporate Account Manager, Sales Executive, Head Coach, Team Trainer and Motivational Speaker.

He attended the University of New Hampshire on a full student athlete scholarship where he began his journey in leadership and team co-dependency. Here he learned and gained a vast knowledge of team training and team building. He has lead dozens of multi-million-dollar corporate teams to success with his high-energy, team-bonding exercises and training camps, and continues to influence others with the fundamental thought that any goal can be achieved when you work together as a team. Jeff has lived and traveled all over the country, including parts of Europe, to expand his networks and help organizations thrive and flourish through team diversity and working together.

Deke Copenhaver - Strategic Partner and Former Mayor

During Deke’s career he has been provided a unique opportunity to gain a tremendous amount of insight into many fields having been afforded the opportunity to pursue multi-sector career paths in banking, real estate and development, and land conservation while serving on the boards of multiple nonprofits and foundations and having served as Mayor of Augusta for nine years. Being provided a total immersion learning experience in all of these sectors has given him a wealth of institutional knowledge that can provide value add to businesses, local governments, nonprofits and individuals through a unique perspective on how to properly manage outcomes from many different perspectives. He specializes in collaborative leadership and identifying the common ground that every sector can rally around in order to better benefit their communities and their own organizations as well. In simple terms he’s a creative problem solver.

Gary Richardson - Strategic Partner & Diversity and EEO Expert

The CEO and Founder, Mr. Gary Richardson, established R. Diversity WorkX March 19, 2018 as a full service diversity-consulting firm, which specializes in diversity training for practitioners, diversity education, developing harmonious community relations between law enforcement and the public, supplier diversity, equal employment opportunity, and motivational speaking. Mr. Richardson has a unique and extensive professional background in the fields of diversity and equal opportunity, which he brings to his clients. He’s a retired New York State Trooper in which he held the rank of Technical Lieutenant and served as the departments Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Officer for over 6000 plus members. Mr. Richardson also served 28 years of honorable service for both the Active-Duty Air Force and Air National Guard retiring as a Major. In this capacity, he was a Military Equal Opportunity Director and certified diversity facilitator. In his last assignment, Mr. Richardson was the Program Manager of the Senior Leadership Development Branch at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute in Cocoa Beach, FL. In this role he trained and advised senior ranking military members and civilian employees from the Department of Defense on diversity and human relations issues. These experiences are what sets R. Diversity WorkX LLC apart from other firms when it comes to assisting companies with understanding diversity and helping establish better relations between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Without a Compass You Are Without Direction

Every crew must have a functioning compass. Without it you will never reach your destination. Our compass is comprised of a diverse, core group of experts in critical fields to ensure we arrive at the destination through interdependence, collaboration with each other and our clients. Furthermore they model our mission, vision and values, internally and externally daily and we are fortunate to have them onboard.
Having set sail many time over the years with our clients we know storms arise and challenges of all types occur.  The best crews anticipate these things which is why in addition to our core crew we have a select group of Affiliates and strategic partners to make sure no matter how complex and challenging the voyage may be, we are completely prepared to overcome them in order to achieve our clients mission.
Please learn more about other key crew members below the contact us link

Contact us

So much better to talk with us than read about us. Just click here and grab a time that works for you!

Will Bryant

Will Bryant

William Bryant is a native of North Carolina, attended Western North Carolina 
University and has been a problem solver, communicator and Training Supervisor. Will is passionate about diversity and inclusion and is the Learning Management Administrator for The Submarine Way.

Curtis Challenger

Curtis A. Challenger an amateur globetrotter in training has used his love of language, arts and culture to foster and build depth and understanding for the many teams he’s built, developed and led. Seeing people as individuals with a story and journey that has led them to their present state, he’s joined them in their growth as a complimentary dial on their compass, and glue to their run-ins along the way. 

He prides himself on building, promoting and sustaining teams of hidden leaders who propel the company’s mission and values, their greater self and increased service and profits! He’s spent many successful years in leadership and middle management in various industries from mom and pop to corporate operations and has recruited, mentored and promoted many individuals through including them in their growth process and thus providing rewarding results for all involved. 

He’s excited to be on this ride that takes a deeper look into the important, relevant and effective approach of true diversity and inclusion! He looks forward to working with you and your leaders as we craft and navigate a path to higher heights through deeper depths! ARE YOU IN?

Curtis Challenger
Dr. Larry Webb

Dr. Larry Webb

Dr Webb is a preeminent expert on LIFO, and several other behavior tools, The Submarine Way uses to effectively coach and develop high potentials and teams. Dr Webb was President of The Kilgore Group LLC, and Webb Consultants International LLC, and is a Psychologist receiving a Doctorate in Psychodynamics and Counseling. Dr Webb serves as primary consultant to The Submarine Way.     

We also have Superb Affiliates to help you achieve your goals. Want to learn more about them? Simply click here.