Striving to improve communities and business

Our Team

Rick Thomas

President & CEO
Rick Thomas graduated in 1985 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with a degree in Finance. He spent 10 years in the banking and insurance industries, but his true passion is Sociology - fascinated by why people do what they do and how populations respond.

An entrepreneur at heart, Thomas opened The Chariot Group, Inc., in 1999, an enterprise that is globally recognized for its expertise in videoconferencing system design, installation and integration. In December 2016, he launched the STRIVE Group to address a growing market need for a variety of consulting services focusing on leadership, workforce investments and business sustainability. Thomas is a respected industry leader and torchbearer of digital transformation, using a platform of innovation to connect people with ideas and solutions.

Heather Kinzie

Chief Operating Officer
Heather Kinzie serves as the Chief Operating Officer for The STRIVE Group. With more than 20 years of organizational and workforce performance experience, Kinzie offers consultation; facilitation and mediation; content development and training; and coaching to clients around the country. She oversees a team of experts who utilize a broad, systematic and collaborative approach to analysis, problem solving and consultation.

Recognizing the critical importance of leadership, communication and effective engagement among teams, Kinzie has spent years learning, applying, evaluating and refining her theories on group dynamics, relationships, problem solving and motivation. Kinzie's clients appreciate her authenticity and creative, pragmatic insights and ideas to improve their leadership abilities, their teams and ultimately their organizations.

Kinzie is a sought-after national keynote speaker, noted for bringing humor, genuineness and practical perspectives to her presentations. Her relevant and inspiring content resonates with audiences, engaging participants to step into new spaces.

Nance Larsen

Vice President, Integrated Marketing & Communications
Nance Larsen, APR, Fellow PRSA, is the Vice President, Integrated Marketing & Communications for The STRIVE Group and serves as Managing Editor for STRIVE Magazine and The STRIVE Project.

With extensive capabilities spanning a wide range of industries and world-renowned brands, Larsen brings more than two decades of strategic communications, public relations and multi-media experience to The STRIVE Group. Innovation, creativity, thought-leadership and authenticity are keystones of her work.

Globally recognized for her expertise in crisis communications, brand architecture, storytelling, media relations, corporate positioning/messaging and reputation management, Larsen is dedicated to creating opportunities for collaborative communication that supports an informed public.

Marshall Watson

Professional Development
Marshall Watson is the Professional Development Manager for The STRIVE Group. As a twenty-three year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a former adjunct instructor with UAA’s Mat-Su College, Marshall adds training and development, instructional technology and coaching expertise to The STRIVE Group’s team. He is skilled in assessing an organization’s training needs, developing content to meet those needs, and delivering it through on-demand, in-person and distance learning methods.

Kelsey Donlan

Marketing and Events Coordinator
Kelsey Donlan joined The STRIVE Group in March of 2019 after moving to Alaska from Washington State. She has more than 10 years of sales and event management experience in the hospitality and non-profit industries. With an eye for detail and passion for cultivating relationship, Donlan supports The STRIVE Group’s marketing efforts and manages the organization's special events.


Jim Bates

Jim Bates’ vast career spans more than 30 years with proficiencies in business and project management and information technology. Well versed in quality improvement and outcome-based learning, he offers consultation and training on infrastructure, management and leadership. His passion for efficiency and continual learning serves as a catalyst for organization improvement in a variety of industries.

Woodrie Burich

Woodrie Burich has more than 20 years of expertise in corporate sales and strategic business consulting. She builds upon this experience to offer valuable insight into wellness and stress management to a variety of clients and industries. Her counsel provides the perfect blend for individuals wanting to create productive and sustainable balance in their work lives.

Diane Decker

Diane Decker grew up in Human Resources and she drew upon that experience to begin her consultancy. From there, she developed expertise in strategic planning, quality improvement, and leadership. While she is never far from her roots, a full host of training, facilitation and coaching services compliment her HR offerings. She believes that simplicity and commitment are key drivers of success and ensures her advice and counsel are straightforward and likely to produce sustainable positive results.

Kristin Helvey

Kristin Helvey has more than 10 years of experience in such areas as multicultural communications and community partnership development. She consults with and assists organizations across community sectors in improving communications strategy and execution. Her insights boost leaders’ understanding of communication as it relates to business priorities and sustainability.

Jonathan King

Jonathan King draws upon more than 20 years of experience working in economics and leadership to ensure his consultation and coaching is practical and valuable. His expertise in business and data management, teamed with his keen intuition on leadership philosophy serve to enlighten clients of all industries. He values integrity, accountability, personal growth and humor and these values serve as the foundation for his consultation and coaching.

Karen Kirk

Karen Kirk has more than 25 years of experience advising leaders and their teams in a plethora of industries. She develops and presents energetic training programs, facilitates engaging planning and performance sessions, and provides counsel and assistance in improving processes and protocols. Her expertise in change management, communication and healthy work relationships ensure her advice and counsel is pragmatic and immediately useful.

Ben Leonard

Ben Leonard has over eight years of experience in HSE roles in various industries. Mr. Leonard most recently served as an HSE director at an oil and gas company that provided pipeline construction, well tending, welding/fabrication, drilling rig moving and heavy hauling services to clients. Prior to this, Ben has held HSE roles in companies that provided services such as top-hole drilling, well servicing, well pad construction, heavy dirt work, coal-fired generating station outage work, asphalt production, and heavy highway construction. Ben is an active trainer for both PEC and the American Red Cross and he is certified to teach PEC SafeLand Basic, PEC Basic Pipeline, PEC SafeGulf, PEC Core Compliance, and American Red Cross Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED classes.

Greg McCully

Greg McCully is a board-certified safety professional with 19 years of health and safety experience in various industries, including aerospace, manufacturing, construction, shipbuilding and oil and gas. Previously, McCully served in a director-level role with an oil and gas company where he championed a risk-based approach to health and safety across both the upstream and midstream businesses. This role required an analysis against risk to people, business and community, as well as regulatory compliance needs, industry best practices and good engineering practices. McCully utilizes his vast experience to help companies achieve best in class HSE.

The STRIVE Group

The STRIVE Group