Our Team – New

Dean R. DeLisle – Founder, CEO, and Chief Architect  dean-logotwitter-iconlinked-in-iconfb-icon


For over 30 years, Dean has demonstrated his ability to accelerate companies, stimulate business development, and make operations more efficient. He has harnessed the ever-evolving power of technology, paired with his consulting, coaching, and training skills, to implement sound business practices. Using the power of online social networks, as well as traditional media, he has helped numerous clients pack the room for events, establish their online and social media presence, and develop countless company, brand, product, and service launches. Dean uses every tool available, weaving aspects of every medium to achieve the end goal and accelerate his clients’ business growth.

At Forward Progress, Dean leads his core team to provide integrated marketing solutions using a proven coaching and consulting methodology in driving business growth. Committed to delivering both “Lowest Cost per Lead” and “Converting Leads to Sales,” Forward Progress has helped over 4,000 corporate clients assess and improve their online marketing and social networking results, and has trained over 50,000 people in over 45 countries with their online programs. As an experienced CEO and business owner, Dean coaches senior executives in publicly and privately held companies using his proprietary Power Plan System to identify the appropriate strategy, map out a clear direction, structure the team, and execute the plan within an aggressive timeframe.

Lonnie Watkins – Director of Operations linked-in-icon

Lonnie is an innovative and highly entrepreneurial executive with proven results. With more than 30 years of experience as a leader and team builder, he is able to develop products and markets within a start-up or growth mode while delivering bottom-line results.

Lonnie’s long career includes repeated milestones of profit building, staff expansion, systems creation and high-level ranking of the groups and departments under his leadership. Beginning with his emergence from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from the Kelly School of Business, Lonnie has left a substantial and high-value imprint on every organization with which he has worked. He counts among his many core competencies profit and loss management, marketing and sales expertise, negotiation, forecasting, strategic thinking, market analysis, client relationship management and more.

Lonnie’s other noteworthy professional accomplishments in recent years include roles as principal for an investment group that purchased commercial buildings and builder subdivisions from troubled banks in Chicago and Florida; senior branch manager for a mortgage company where he led 30 experienced sales people, increasing production from $180 million to $230 million within 18 months; and vice president of business development for Draper & Kramer Mortgage Corp., growing the size of the sales organization by 300 percent in less than 12 months across three states.
In addition to his substantial experience and accomplishments in the mortgage and real estate industries, Lonnie has worked in the medical equipment field in training, systems and marketing capacities.

Joe Karns – Director of Technology  twitter-iconlinked-in-iconfb-icon


Joe is a serial entrepreneur leveraging over 12 years of web development and business experience to help clients achieve their goals and build their business.  In joining the Forward Progress team of professional visionaries  Joe specializes in  web development, social media coaching, and search engine optimization.  Joe takes great pride in being a part of an exceptional team helping clients reach their sales and marketing goals.

Prior to joining the Forward Progress team, Joe was a sales leader in the mortgage banking industry closing as many as 25 home purchase transactions in a single month totaling over $11M in sales volume per month.

Rick Sherman – Senior Marketing Strategist, Rapid Launch Plan Specialist twitter-iconlinked-in-iconfb-icon


Rick Sherman has spent his 25 year career in the graphic arts and marketing, and he has successfully blended entrepreneurial ingenuity with corporate practicality. He effectively created a campaign for both B2C and B2B models across multiple industries: Education, Real Estate, Technology, Finance, and Manufacturing. With Forward Progress, Rick has helped develop and execute the integrated Rapid Launch Plan, designed to achieve rapid sales growth and response, and he has seen it successfully implemented across multiple business sectors. Rick’s experience encompasses every aspect of the marketing and production process.

Holly DeLisle – Senior Manager in Accounting and HR. twitter-iconlinked-in-iconfb-icon


Holly A. DeLisle is the Senior Manager at Forward Progress in charge of all financial aspects of the company. Holly has been involved in accounting and customer service with two key companies over the last 20 years. She first started her role at Delcom Systems Group Inc. as an owner involved in accounting and customer service, and she managed 22 employees.

In 2005 Holly made the move to Forward Progress to head up the accounting and human resource functions. She currently has set up the systems for the company that involves the following: Accounting, Invoicing, Accounts Payable, Benefit Analysis, Recruiting, Human Resoources, and Customer Service. She also coordinates all the key events for the company. She currently is also the PTA President for her sons Middle School in Indiana.

Paul J. Engelbrecht – Lead Application Developer, Systems Architect twitter-iconlinked-in-iconfb-icon


Paul has over 15 years of experience in providing design, development, and implementation of customized CRM applications, integrated web applications, and online marketing systems to medium and enterprise level businesses. He has been involved in managing all aspects of various projects from concept to delivery as well as hands on application development on a wide variety of platforms, mainly involving client/server architecture. He has managed specialties including systems/data integration, workflow automation, reporting services via extensive experience in database server administration, third party API utilization, and various reporting platforms. He is the lead developer on several multi-million dollar custom online payment web applications, requiring in-depth understanding of online data validation, integrity, and security. Other duties include end user technical support and training on all custom solutions.


Supporting Faculty and Curriculum Advisory Staff

These are the supporting faculty working with us at Forward Progress Inc. All of them are talented, dedicated individuals with years of experience in business, Social and Emotional Intelligence and Network Science. They understand more than just businesses though—they understand people. For decades each of them has developed their own systems and techniques for the advancement of human potential. They inspire, create, and train leaders in business and beyond, and use their years of knowledge to create successful businesses with extensive networks.


Dr. Bob Wright – CEO at the Wright Graduate Institute  twitter-iconlinked-in-iconfb-icon


Dr. Bob Wright is a successful speaker, author, entrepreneur, corporate consultant, and executive coach, author of two books, Beyond Time Management: Business With Purpose and People Skills, and has appeared on television and radio including NBC and WGN Radio, and co-founder of The Wright Graduate Institute for the Realization of Human Potential. He is considered one of America’s top speakers and a visionary in realizing human potential and human emergence technologies. Dr. Wright has a BA in Sociology, MA in Communications, MSW in Clinical Social Work, and a Doctorate in Education, Leadership, and Change

Dr. Wright excels in helping others become leaders and achievers, realizing their potential and how they can use it to build their business better. Designer of the Grounded Leadership system, he teaches how not just to be a leader, but a transformative leader who changes the very world around them. Dr. Wright has also engaged himself in the growing technology of Social Networking, embracing the ability for humans to use, influence, and create technology to keep us better connected

Dr. Judith Wright – Co-Founder of the Wright Graduate Institute twitter-iconlinked-in-iconfb-icon


Dr. Judith Wright is an expert in social and emotional intelligence, author of books such as The Soft Addiction Solution and The One Decision, and co-founder of The Wright Graduate Institute for the Realization of Human Potential. Making appearances on more than 400 radio stations and 70 TV programs, she is hailed of one of America’s best speakers, educators, and motivators.

Her skills lend themselves easily to those looking to expand, improve, and optimize their business, whether it’s large, small, or just a single person. In Soft Addiction Solution, she writes about how our soft addictions to things like coffee, television, and internet keep people from reaching their full potential and value, and discusses strategies to work more effectively and efficiently without such distractions. In The One Decision, she inspires leadership, confidence, and progressive action to make the one decision that can change a life. For business owners large and small, one decision can sometimes be the last stepping stone from mediocrity to brilliant success, and Judith Wright knows how to inspire people to aim higher.

Dr. Laura Belsten – Executive Director at Institute for Social & Emotional Intelligence twitter-iconlinked-in-iconfb-icon


Dr. Laura Belsten is an expert in the sciences of Social and Emotional Intelligence, herself having written the SEIP or Social and Emotional Intelligence Profile, the most comprehensive, reliable, and scientifically validated instrument for measuring social and emotional intelligence currently available. In use by 75% of Fortune 500 companies, Dr. Belsten’s profile allows managers and employers to understand the emotional and social strengths of their employees and themselves, as well as highlighting areas of improvement. As “IQ” loses clout to “EQ” in the workplace, Dr. Belsten’s work has been instrumental in helping entrepreneurs and large businesses alike realize the tremendous untapped potential of emotional and social strategies in creating a more comfortable, efficient, and effective workplace. She also personally coaches executives and managers in how to lead their employees and their company through hard times, and how to make the most out of the good.

Over the past 12 years Dr. Belsten has worked with executives and leaders from companies such as Hewlett Packard, Compaq, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Symantec. She received her PhD in Leadership and Organizational Communication from the University of Denver, and has been on the University of Denver faculty for 18 years, teaching graduate courses in leadership and communication.

Dr. Michael Zwell – Chancellor at Wright Graduate Institute twitter-iconlinked-in-iconfb-icon


Dr. Michael Zwell is a world renowned expert in Competency and Talent Management, leading hundreds of companies and organizations to realize their true potential through the development of more efficient and effective systems, processes, and people. He has intimate experience with the process of developing and growing a business, both as a founder himself and as a consultant, and has dedicated his life since 1989 to studying the factors that lead to success in the workplace. Since then he has developed tools and strategies to help executives, management teams, and sales teams, optimize their performance by ensuring competency-based selection at every level. Clients he has helped maximize their potential include JP Morgan Chase, Lenovo, Dow Jones, The Chicago Public School System, and many more. Dr. Zwell is dedicated to cultivating knowledge from cutting edge academic resources, and using this knowledge to help companies hire the right people, grow in the right direction, and achieve long-lasting success.

Dr. Zwell has a BA from the University of Chicago, and an MPhil and PhD in Anthropology from Yale University. He has previously taught at Rutgers University, and wrote several books, among which are the critically acclaimed Creating a Culture of Competence, and Six Figure Salary Negotiation.

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