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 b & w head shot

John Gregory Vincent - MBA Principal Advisor

John Gregory Vincent is the co-founder of The Submarine Way. 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 mindset and human behavioral change to maximize client results.

Carey Mason - Alliance Partner

Carey, a successful experienced senior executive and coach, helps business owners and CEOs achieve their personal and company visions by developing strategies that produce measurable results! Carey delights in helping municipalities identify opportunities to support and grow small businesses. Carey leverages his 35 year private sector work experience to help municipalities and small businesses to identify opportunities to leverage available resources to create careers and not just jobs.  Carey’s background includes business coaching, consulting, strategic planning, and implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, working with businesses of all sizes and industries.

With more than three decades of experience working in the private sector, Carey brings a unique perspective on the client profit chain. Like his partners, Carey has managed P&Ls of varying sizes, successfully achieving expected financial results. In addition to owning The Alternative Board – Northern Colorado, Carey works with various non-profits including Cultivate NGO, TGTHR, Fertile Ground, Out Boulder County, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas, and Salute Colorado.

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

Deke Copenhaver - Alliance 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.

Greg mason head shot

Gregory Mason - Ed D. Alliance Partner and Dean of Workforce Development

Results-oriented leader with extensive experience in workforce development initiatives, building employer and community relations, strategic planning, program development, grant writing, budget management, and outcomes assessment. Recognized for collaborative leadership style, proactive approach to problem-solving, and ability to effectively translate strategic objectives into tangible actions.

Specifically, Greg has strengthened existing employer-college relationships by establishing new collaborations to support regional economic growth through short-term training for in-demand jobs and creating work-based learning opportunities for students such as establishing joint apprenticeship programs with the local trades unions.

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.

jeff tolson

Julie Harrison- Lead Facilitator

Julie’s unique background includes serving in the U.S. Army as a military intelligence officer and over two decades of corporate leadership experience, including serving as Vice President of Human Resources at Comcast. Julie’s experience also includes leadership roles at Michelin Tire, Kelly Services Automotive and the City of Chicago.

Julie is the President and Founder of Julie Harrison Consulting LLC, an HR Consulting firm focused on leadership coaching, employee engagement strategies and change management planning. Julie is a Prosci certified change management practitioner and instructor, an executive coach, and a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). She is an Affiliate of The Submarine Way and believes that having an inclusive mindset will set leaders apart from others and drive better business outcomes.

Julie lives in the Charleston, SC area with her husband David and enjoys being a “foodie”, spending time at the beach, kayaking, running, and practicing yoga.

julie harrison

Curtis Challenger - Lead Facilitator

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
Will Bryant

Will Bryant - Systems Adminstrator

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.

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.     

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.
Compass rose for crew page

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