November 26, 2014
Keystone Partners
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Meet Our Principals

Ralph Roberto, President, Keystone Partners
Ralph Roberto is President of Keystone Partners where he oversees the strategic direction and daily operations of the firm and its divisions. Ralph also personally consults with senior executive clients and has partnered with hundreds of leaders from many of the world's most prestigious organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, industry-leading corporations and emerging growth organizations.

Ralph is a seasoned executive with over twenty years of experience in key corporate and operational assignments. He is recognized as a leading authority on executive career issues, and has been featured in many respected business publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal and Human Resource Executive. Prior to joining the firm, Ralph held senior management positions at Polaroid Corporation, where he established a unique blend of experience in human resources, sales and marketing.

Ralph received his Masters in Business Administration from the Boston University School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Boston College. He has completed professional development programs including the Consumer Marketing Program at the Kellogg School and the Advanced Leadership Program at the Center For Creative Leadership. He is the former Chairman of the Nominating Committee of the Board of Directors at Direct Federal Credit Union where he was also a Board member. Ralph also served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees at the former Deaconess-Waltham Hospital.
Elaine Varelas, Managing Partner, Keystone Partners

Elaine Varelas, Keystone Partners’ Managing Partner, has over 20 years experience in career consulting and coaching development, and has worked with numerous executive management teams to improve organizational effectiveness.  She has expertise in successfully resolving complex career management issues, including workforce planning, redeployment and multi-site restructurings. Elaine’s experience spans a broad range of industries and businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, start-up ventures and not-for-profit organizations.  Elaine also serves as Chairman of Career Partners International, LLC, a network of independently owned career management firms which Keystone co-founded in 1987.

Elaine frequently addresses professional associations and has spoken to the Massachusetts Hospital Association, Society of Women Engineers, Hospital Financial Management Association and Simmons Graduate School of Management. Elaine is frequently quoted in publications like The Wall Street Journal, and Boston Business Journal. Elaine has achieved widespread recognition for her expertise and insight on career matters. She is a regular contributor to the career section of where her monthly column,  The Hire Authority, advises Human Resources professionals and hiring agents on how to maximize their human capital and optimize their workforces. Elaine is also a regular contributor to the Boston Globe's  Job Doc.

A graduate of the Management Development Program at Boston University, Elaine holds a Master of Education degree from theUniversity of Vermont and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.  She is an active member of many professional associations, including  The Boston Club.

Prior to joining Keystone, Elaine served as Director of Career Services at Stonehill College where she was a member of the faculty. She was formerly Assistant Director of Career Planning and Placement at the Boston University School of Management.


Leaders and Key Staff

David Hennessy, Senior Vice President, Keystone Partners
David Hennessy partners with individuals and corporate clients to successfully address their career management challenges. David joined Keystone in 2000 with over twelve years of experience in management, training and sales. Prior to joining the firm, he was an East Coast Sales Manager for a national raw materials distributor. David is a certified Dale Carnegie course instructor who has also been trained by Organizational Dynamics as a certified facilitator in Quality Management programs. As an experienced program leader, he has provided training in communication, leadership and management skills.

David is a member of Northeast Human Resource Association's Advisory Group and he is a former Board member and President of the  Human Resources Council, the longest-standing human resources professional association in Greater Boston. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Boston University's Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Sean T. Kenney, Partner, Essex Partners
Sean T. Kenney, Partner of Essex Partners, brings an entrepreneurial, business development and career management background to his consulting work with senior executives and business leaders.  With a particular strength in helping clients position and market themselves for successful advancement and career and life change, Sean leverages relationships in the greater Boston area established over many years in business development to gain visibility for his clients with retained recruiters and target companies. 
Before joining Essex, Sean was Vice President of Keystone Associates, where he consulted with senior executives from financial services, life sciences, healthcare, private equity, higher education and non-profit organizations on advancing their careers and exploring new professional options.
Previously, Sean served in a dual role of Business Development Manager and Market Research Consultant for Massachusetts-based Foresight Science & Technology.  At Foresight, Sean identified niche markets and designed targeted entry strategies for emerging technologies through strategic partnerships with licensees, developers and manufacturers in the value chain.  Prior to Foresight, Sean co-founded a greeting card and stationery product company on the west coast and served as its President during eight years of significant growth.
Sean has been actively involved in  The Salvation Army of Massachusetts Bay, serving as Vice Chair of the Advisory Board and Chair of the Human Services Committee.  He serves on the Advisory Board of the  Career Collaborative, a non-profit organization helping people with low-incomes become economically self-sufficient.  Sean holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College.
Debra Noschese, Senior Vice President, Keystone Partners
Debra Noschese works closely with client companies on integrated career management and leadership development needs.  She comes to Keystone with over 20 years of training and business development experience.  At Eastman Kodak Company's internationally acclaimed Marketing Education Center in Rochester, New York, Debbie led several courses including the six-week "Basic Sales Training" program, a model shared with other major corporations.  She was a key contributor in developing computer based training that was used by IBM following Kodak's acquisition of their copier division.  As a Regional Training Coordinator in Dallas, Texas, Debbie designed and developed curriculum for continuous learning programs for sales staff, as well as instructed and managed training initiatives.  She was involved with developing annual operating plans with the forecasting and analysis group; developing a skills inventory for sales positions; and assessing sales staff to improve productivity and performance.  While a Training Consultant in Plano, Texas, Debbie developed curriculum and conducted professional development seminars focused on adult learning and presentation skills for the faculty of a local college.

Debbie holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and currently serves as an officer of the Medfield School Committee.
Kim Littlefield, Senior Vice President, Keystone Partners
Kim Littlefield consults with organizations and senior executives on complex career transition and workforce planning issues. Kim has over 15 years of experience in training and business development. Prior to joining Keystone, she was a senior trainer with Dale Carnegie Training. As a certified Dale Carnegie instructor, Kim has taught courses on human relations, communication, leadership, sales, public speaking and presentation skills to thousands of people from students to executives. At Keystone, she regularly trains groups on Networking, Your 30 Second Commercial and How to Work a Room.

Kim holds a Master of Science degree in Adult and Organizational Learning from Suffolk University and a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Bryant University. She is an active member of the  Northeast Human Resources Association and  Human Resource Leadership Forum. Kim frequently addresses professional associations and networking groups, including the Northeast Human Resources Association and  Financial Executives International.

Rick Pfeiffer, Vice President, Keystone Partners, Raleigh-Durham, NC

Rick is Vice President for Keystone Partners where he advises organizations and senior leaders on complex career management and leadership development challenges. Rick brings over 20 years of Human Resources experience to Keystone in Organization Development, Employee Relations, Change/Career Management, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching and Talent Management. 

Prior to joining Keystone Partners, Rick served in human resources and business development positions in the medical supply and professional services industries.

Rick has been active with the Triangle Society of Human Resources Management and the Raleigh Wake Human Resources Management organizations.  He has been a Board Member with the Durham American Red Cross, was a founding member of the Board for the United Way Lake County Council Against Sexual Assault in Chicago and is currently a Board Member of A&A Industries in Evansville, IN. 

Rick and his wife Andrea have three daughters.  When he is not spending time with his family, Rick can be found on the Tennis court where he is the North Carolina state champion in his age group.
Howard Seidel, Ed.D, J.D., Partner, Essex Partners
Howard Seidel, Partner of Essex Partners, has over 15 years experience as a career and executive coach, guiding hundreds of senior executives in all aspects of career development and change. Dr. Seidel provides clients with an in-depth knowledge into the strategic and tactical elements of the transition process, along with a special expertise in advising senior executives exploring career change. Before joining Essex, Howard was Vice President of Keystone Associates, where he consulted on career transitions with senior executives from leading organizations spanning a variety of industries, including financial services, biotechnology and life sciences, health care and higher education.

Prior, Howard served in several consulting roles at Electronic Data Systems (EDS) where he helped build the company's first external practice in Change Management, and provided executive coaching. He also led the company's development of a proprietary performance consulting methodology, spearheading the introduction of the system to the market. Additionally, Howard worked at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) where he managed the development and delivery of a worldwide training architecture for a new business initiative.

Howard has achieved widespread recognition for his insight on career matters, being interviewed by such national media outlets as the Wall Street Journal and Howard holds a Doctorate in Education from Harvard University and a law degree from The George Washington University where he also received his Bachelor of Arts.
 Omar Saldana, Vice President, Keystone Partners
Omar Saldana, Vice President of Keystone Partners, counsels organizations and senior leaders to successfully address career management and human capital challenges.  He joined Keystone Partners with over twenty years experience in management and human resources with expertise in performance management and career development. Prior to joining the firm, Omar worked in the bio-pharmaceutical, professional services, technology and higher education sectors. He is SPHR certified and is fluent in Spanish.
Omar is an active member of Northeast Human Resource Association and the Human Resources Leadership Forum. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from New York University's Stern Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Consumer Economics from the Cornell University.
 Brenda Stanton, Vice President, Keystone Partners

Brenda is Vice President for Keystone Partners where she advises organizations and senior leaders on complex career management and leadership development challenges. Brenda joined Keystone Partners in 2011 as a consultant, partnering with individuals on the development and successful execution of customized strategic career plans.  Brenda’s experience in human resources and consulting transitioning professionals allows her to bring a unique perspective to every client engagement.

Prior to joining Keystone Partners, Brenda served as a career transition consultant for individuals in industries such as financial services, biotech and pharmaceutical, high tech, manufacturing, and professional services.  She also spent 15 years in business development and marketing roles at publishing, advertising and technology firms.

Brenda attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Isenberg School of Management, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration.



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