Marcia Ruben, PhD, CMC, PCC

Certified Executive Coach and Tangle Doctor™ 

Marcia Ruben, PhD

The signature of an effective leader is his or her organizations’ ability to rise to the challenge, amidst uncertain, complex and ambiguous conditions. Marcia Ruben instills in her clients the confidence to lead and the conviction to build more resilient, responsive teams to face these conditions.

As executive coach, consultant and facilitator, Marcia brings 25 years of experience in untangling complex interpersonal and organizational dynamics.  Whether the need is stronger leadership presence, increased conflict management skills, higher emotional intelligence, more persuasive influence or higher performing teams, Marcia’s focused, direct, and warm approach wastes no time in facilitating a brain based process in which both leaders and their organizations discover their best  solutions. 

Marcia’s experience, skill and knowledge of human and organizational dynamics in strategic contexts have repeatedly produced pragmatic change strategies and aligned tactics. Her one-on-one coaching with leaders consistently enables solid advances whether the need is developing within their current position or advancing to the next level. Marcia’s consulting engagements yield insight, guidance and direction to individuals and organizations alike.  And her facilitation quickens the untangling that’s necessary for progress, whether the knots are within individuals, among team members, or arise from the complexities of the organization as a whole. 

Marcia has experience with leaders in a variety of business sectors, including high tech, clean tech, biotech, healthcare, financial services, retail, private equity, government agencies, nonprofits, and professional services firms. Coaching, consulting and facilitation engagements include work with CEOs, EVPs, executive directors, general managers, vice presidents, and senior directors at organizations ranging from start-ups to Global 50 companies.   She is a published thought leader in the executive coaching arena and has spoken at industry conferences. Her educational background includes a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems, double Master’s degrees (M.S. Counseling and M.A. Human and Organizational Systems), and Phi Beta Kappa graduation from U.C. Berkeley with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Mathematics.

Marcia earned the Certified Management Consultant designation from the Institute of Management Consultants USA in 2002. This certification is awarded to those select consultants who have demonstrated a history of substantive results for clients, adherence to the canon of ethics of the Institute of Management Consultants USA, and professional practice management.

In 2010, Marcia earned the Professional Coach Certification (PCC) from the International Coach Federation. This certification is rewarded to coaches who have proven coaching expertise. She completed a year-long Evidence Based Coaching program in 2008 and has logged more than 2000 coaching hours, with scores of corporate clients. 

Marcia currently serves as an Assistant Professor in Golden Gate University's graduate school of business and is also the Chair of the Management Department. She redesigned and teaches a popular course in team dynamics, both in-person and online. She also designed and teaches a very well-received course in Developing Personal Leadership for students completing their Professional MBA program. 

Marcia resides in San Francisco with her husband, and works on assignments around the globe. She is active in nonprofit leadership boards and provides pro bono services to local nonprofits. Marcia is most passionate about unlocking each person’s highest and best potential. 


Consulting Affiliates and Untangling Team

Ruben Consulting Group has affiliate relationships with a network of hand-picked and elite senior-level specialists from a variety of disciplines. We can support any size project with a hand-picked team whose skills will meet your needs and whose style will match your culture. Listed below are descriptions of the members of Ruben Consulting Group's talent bench.


Beth Symes, PCC

describe the imageBeth Symes is a seasoned executive coach and consultant specializing in leveraging individual and team strengths to optimize performance outcomes.  Beth works with senior executives and management teams, utilizing a dynamic and demanding process of self-discovery, experiential learning, personal challenge, and goal setting to guide individuals and teams beyond the barriers that have limited their performance.  As a result, her clients create futures that more accurately reflect their talent and ability, which is reflected in the impact they make on their organizations.

Beth works with corporations and individuals in a variety of industries and professions.  Her organizational clients range from Fortune 500 corporations, to early stage and not for profit organizations.  She has partnered with well known organizations such as London Business School and Lane4 in the UK, as well as Leadership by Design in the U.S.  Her initiatives are focused in the areas of Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Dynamic Team Performance and Performance Execution.

In addition to her consulting work, Beth hosted an international internet radio talk show for several years called “Work Life Today” which focused on individual and organizational performance issues.  The show provided a forum for industry leaders and noted authors for advancing the concepts of human performance and potential.

Beth graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in English and has an MA from Washington University in Human Resource Management.  Beth is a graduate of the Fielding University Graduate program in Evidenced Based Coaching and has earned the ICF designation of PCC.  Beth is currently pursuing a second Master’s Degree in Organization and Management Development with a graduation anticipated in December 2010.  Beth’s 10 year consulting career was preceded by 20+ years of hands-on cross-functional line management experience in the pharmaceutical, airline and hospitality industries.

Laurence Akiyoshi

describe the imageLaurence F. Akiyoshi has over 25 years of experience as a line manager, executive advisor, and consultant to leaders and organizations. His experience includes director and manager roles of learning and organization development functions within large global organizations, owner and principal of an international consulting firm, and managing teams of consultants for global high technology and biotechnology organizations.

In his consulting work, Laurence specializes in collaborative approaches to complex and comprehensive, organization transformation, change, and redesign.  He has developed and refined effective approaches where leaders and employees jointly identify initiatives and changes that produce higher levels of organization effectiveness, performance, commitment, and results. In addition to this work, he focuses on the development of executives, executive teams, and key strategic leaders by enhancing their ability to learn, broadening their capability, and designing ways to achieve greater impact.

 Laurence provides strategic insight, as well as intensive and ongoing consulting support for many large-scale organization change and transformation initiatives, and the redesign and implementation of functions and business units within organizations. He provided executive coaching and leadership development to clients throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. His style is hands on and shares the commitment and accountability to the achievement of results. He has consulted in a wide variety of industries, including high technology, entertainment, service and technology venture start-ups, manufacturing, consumer goods, automotive, biotechnology, financial services, retail, franchise and restaurant operations, utilities, wineries, and aerospace.

He has co-authored workbooks and articles in the areas of organization development, consulting skills, and change management, they include: Strategic Organization Design, Implementation of Collaborative Design, Staff Consulting: Making Meaningful Contributions to Organizational Performance, and Executive Coaching During the Phases of Planned Change.

 Laurence holds graduate degrees in counseling psychology and management from the University of California. In addition, he is a graduate of Columbia University’s Advanced Program in Organization Development, as well as advanced work in Organization and Action Learning in a joint venture with Apple, Inc. and Harvard University. He is currently enrolled in the Dispute Resolution and Conflict Resolution Graduate Program at Southern Methodist University, and is a lecturer/visiting scientist with the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.