About Us

Who We Are

Ebbie Parsons, EdD

Ebbie Parsons, EdD

Founder + Managing Partner

Dr. Ebbie Parsons, III is the Founder and Managing Partner of Yardstick Management. Ebbie, a seasoned business executive with a passion for education, has been applauded for his strategic thinking, engaging leadership and results orientation throughout his career. After working at Fortune 500 companies including Intel, Medtronic and American Express, Ebbie made the decision to transition from a promising career in business in 2007 to join the prestigious Broad Residency Program in Educational Leadership. The Broad Residency was his first introduction to the inner-workings of America’s public schools where he served as the Chief Operating Officer of Hartford Public Schools. Ebbie championed the overhaul of the district’s school funding methodology, negotiated the state’s first pay-for-performance teacher union contract and led the redistricting of the city to an “All-Choice” system of schools. Following his time in Hartford…
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Founder + Managing Partner

Ebbie Parsons, EdD

Dr. Ebbie Parsons, III is the Founder and Managing Partner of Yardstick Management. Ebbie, a seasoned business executive with a passion for education, has been applauded for his strategic thinking, engaging leadership and results orientation throughout his career. After working at Fortune 500 companies including Intel, Medtronic and American Express, Ebbie made the decision to transition from a promising career in business in 2007 to join the prestigious Broad Residency Program in Educational Leadership. The Broad Residency was his first introduction to the inner-workings of America’s public schools where he served as the Chief Operating Officer of Hartford Public Schools. Ebbie championed the overhaul of the district’s school funding methodology, negotiated the state’s first pay-for-performance teacher union contract and led the redistricting of the city to an “All-Choice” system of schools. Following his time in Hartford…
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General Counsel

Kenya Pierre, J.D.

Kenya Pierre is a Partner at Yardstick Management leading Yardstick’s Legal Executive Search practice and also serves as the firm’s General Counsel.  Prior to joining Yardstick, Kenya served as General Counsel for Arauco North America, a $6 Billion leader in composite panel manufacturing, and oversaw the legal operations of 10 mills in the US & Canada with various operations for engineering particleboard, MDF, laminates and other types composite panels.

Kenya is a cum laude graduate in Chemistry/pre-med of Spelman College and a Law Review graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Kenya first started her law career as a patent attorney with the Procter & Gamble Company in Cincinnati, Ohio supporting the Beauty Care Division.  She then moved to Atlanta to support global juice and nutritional research science with The Coca-Cola Company.  While at the Kimberly-Clark Corporation in Roswell, Georgia, Kenya served in a variety of roles supporting corporate research and innovation, litigation, global compliance and as the lead business counsel for Global Nonwovens.

Kenya has three daughters who keep the family busy with volleyball tournaments.  In her “spare time”, she is a certified 200 RYT yoga instructor who enjoys leading others in their journey to well being.

Senior Consultant

Neil Van Leeuwen, Ph.D.

Dr. Neil Van Leeuwen serves as a Senior Consultant on the Yardstick team leading the Customer Value Creation process for Yardstick’s commercial client portfolio.  Neil’s interests and expertise combine education, arts, and entrepreneurship. He earned his BA summa cum laude in Classical Studies from University of Pennsylvania, where he was also a researcher at the Wharton Entrepreneurial Center, a percussionist in the Penn Symphony Orchestra, and an inductee of Phi Beta Kappa. Leveraging his Marketing, Strategy and Entrepreneurial expertise, Neil successfuly co-authored (with strategic consultant Paul Morin) the business plan for Penn’s Wharton West campus in San Francisco, now named Wharton San Francisco and is in its 18th year having awarded over 1,100 degrees.

After Penn, Neil went on to earn his M.St. with distinction in Classical Languages and Literature from Oxford University and his PhD in philosophy from Stanford University, where his research combined philosophy, cognitive science, and cognitive neuroscience. Neil’s understating of cognitive neuroscience has helped him to become an expert at understanding the psyche.  In addition to his academic pursuits at Stanford, Neil focused on creative writing, and he has since written the libretto for one full-length opera (Oxford Companions, with composer Giancarlo Aquilanti) and the lyrics for one full-length musical (Song of Solomon, with composer Andrew Beall).

Neil’s academic career includes fellowships and teaching at such diverse institutions as Rutgers University, Tufts University, and University of Johannesburg; he is currently an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Associate of the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He has published extensively in philosophy and cognitive science and is currently under contract for a book with Harvard University Press. Throughout his academic career, he has maintained his commitment to entrepreneurship, serving as Strategic Advisor to the HiPER Solutions Group (HSG) in San Francisco and as Sr. Consultant for Yardstick Management.

Senior Consultant

Jaclyn Carter, MILR

Jaclyn Carter is a Senior Consultant on Yardstick Management’s leadership team. Jaclyn provides leadership and direction in all aspects of managing Human Capital. She brings over 15 years of experience in labor/employee relations, recruitment, training, compensation design, compliance audits, job analysis, process improvement, culture shifts and performance improvement interventions. She has served in leadership roles and provided HR support to a variety of clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies, including DaimlerChrysler, United Technologies and Berkshire Hathaway, to small startups. Jaclyn can successfully re-engineer organizational Human Resource goals and practices to be in alignment with strategic business goals and objectives.

Jaclyn also serves as a trainer and coach for leadership and professional development programs and career transition services. Through her extensive experience with executives and professionals, she has developed a unique ability to help clients identify core values and motivators. She collaborates with clients in developing career management and performance plans to achieve progressive success. Jaclyn brings a broad base of industry experience, which helps her connect with each client and support advancement and success in their profession. Jaclyn customizes her approach to each client, as they build the skills required for the next stage in their career.

Jaclyn holds a BA in Human Resource Management from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business and an MILR, with a concentration in Dispute Resolution via Mediation and Arbitration, from Cornell University’s School of Industrial & Labor Relations.  Jaclyn resides in Hartford, CT with her family.

General Counsel

Kenya Pierre, J.D.

Kenya Pierre is a Partner at Yardstick Management leading Yardstick’s Legal Executive Search practice and also serves as the firm’s General Counsel.  Prior to joining Yardstick, Kenya served as General Counsel for Arauco North America, a $6 Billion leader in composite panel manufacturing, and oversaw the legal operations of 10 mills in the US & Canada with various operations for engineering particleboard, MDF, laminates and other types composite panels.

Kenya is a cum laude graduate in Chemistry/pre-med of Spelman College and a Law Review graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Kenya first started her law career as a patent attorney with the Procter & Gamble Company in Cincinnati, Ohio supporting the Beauty Care Division.  She then moved to Atlanta to support global juice and nutritional research science with The Coca-Cola Company.  While at the Kimberly-Clark Corporation in Roswell, Georgia, Kenya served in a variety of roles supporting corporate research and innovation, litigation, global compliance and as the lead business counsel for Global Nonwovens.

Kenya has three daughters who keep the family busy with volleyball tournaments.  In her “spare time”, she is a certified 200 RYT yoga instructor who enjoys leading others in their journey to well being.

Senior Consultant

Neil Van Leeuwen, Ph.D.

Dr. Neil Van Leeuwen serves as a Senior Consultant on the Yardstick team leading the Customer Value Creation process for Yardstick’s commercial client portfolio.  Neil’s interests and expertise combine education, arts, and entrepreneurship. He earned his BA summa cum laude in Classical Studies from University of Pennsylvania, where he was also a researcher at the Wharton Entrepreneurial Center, a percussionist in the Penn Symphony Orchestra, and an inductee of Phi Beta Kappa. Leveraging his Marketing, Strategy and Entrepreneurial expertise, Neil successfuly co-authored (with strategic consultant Paul Morin) the business plan for Penn’s Wharton West campus in San Francisco, now named Wharton San Francisco and is in its 18th year having awarded over 1,100 degrees.

After Penn, Neil went on to earn his M.St. with distinction in Classical Languages and Literature from Oxford University and his PhD in philosophy from Stanford University, where his research combined philosophy, cognitive science, and cognitive neuroscience. Neil’s understating of cognitive neuroscience has helped him to become an expert at understanding the psyche.  In addition to his academic pursuits at Stanford, Neil focused on creative writing, and he has since written the libretto for one full-length opera (Oxford Companions, with composer Giancarlo Aquilanti) and the lyrics for one full-length musical (Song of Solomon, with composer Andrew Beall).

Neil’s academic career includes fellowships and teaching at such diverse institutions as Rutgers University, Tufts University, and University of Johannesburg; he is currently an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Associate of the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He has published extensively in philosophy and cognitive science and is currently under contract for a book with Harvard University Press. Throughout his academic career, he has maintained his commitment to entrepreneurship, serving as Strategic Advisor to the HiPER Solutions Group (HSG) in San Francisco and as Sr. Consultant for Yardstick Management.

Senior Consultant

Melanie Calhoun, MBA

Melanie Calhoun leads Yardstick’s Diversity and Inclusion line of business. As a senior consultant with expertise in marketing management and diversity and inclusion initiatives, Melanie helps organizations improve D&I strategies by conducting assessments, helping to establish clear and measurable D&I goals, and creating long-term roadmaps to address the structural inequality that may exist.

Before joining Yardstick, Melanie spent time as a researcher in the Relationships and Social Cognition Lab at the University of California, Berkeley Psychology Department. Under the leadership of Rodolfo MendozaDenton, Ph.D., Melanie developed an active research interest in stigma, intergroup relations, and stereotyping. Much of her racism and bias research is informed by her experience working as a marketing executive for over fifteen years.

Prior to her work at UC Berkeley, she was Head of New Customer Acquisition and Experience for Invisalign® clear aligners at Align Technology. Under her leadership, Melanie launched new advertising campaigns to recruit new dentists to become providers. Before working at Align, Melanie spent time as the Senior Marketing Manager of Product Marketing for Vocera Communications. In her role, she oversaw competitive strategy. As Marketing Manager at Ecolab, she managed the Surgical Patient Care products, increasing sales to $12MM. She also spent time at Medtronic supporting surgical procedures in endovascular aortic aneurysm stent graft repair, pediatric deformity spinal surgery, and neurostimulation for obesity and chronic stomach disorders. She received various awards for her leadership including the Medtronic Emerging Leaders and was one of the first participants in the Leadership Development Rotation Program.

Melanie is committed to her community and through her leadership has made a significant impact on women and children’s issues. She has held various positions in the Junior League of Atlanta and served on the Executive Board of the San Jose Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Currently, Melanie is a Board Member of the Atlanta Chapter of It’s My Birthday, Inc. and The Atlanta Birth Center.

Melanie earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida A&M University. She currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, two-year-old son and newborn daughter. She is an avid reader, loves cooking, traveling and yoga.

Senior Consultant

Jaclyn Carter, MILR

Jaclyn Carter is a Senior Consultant on Yardstick Management’s leadership team. Jaclyn provides leadership and direction in all aspects of managing Human Capital. She brings over 15 years of experience in labor/employee relations, recruitment, training, compensation design, compliance audits, job analysis, process improvement, culture shifts and performance improvement interventions. She has served in leadership roles and provided HR support to a variety of clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies, including DaimlerChrysler, United Technologies and Berkshire Hathaway, to small startups. Jaclyn can successfully re-engineer organizational Human Resource goals and practices to be in alignment with strategic business goals and objectives.

Jaclyn also serves as a trainer and coach for leadership and professional development programs and career transition services. Through her extensive experience with executives and professionals, she has developed a unique ability to help clients identify core values and motivators. She collaborates with clients in developing career management and performance plans to achieve progressive success. Jaclyn brings a broad base of industry experience, which helps her connect with each client and support advancement and success in their profession. Jaclyn customizes her approach to each client, as they build the skills required for the next stage in their career.

Jaclyn holds a BA in Human Resource Management from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business and an MILR, with a concentration in Dispute Resolution via Mediation and Arbitration, from Cornell University’s School of Industrial & Labor Relations.  Jaclyn resides in Hartford, CT with her family.

Who We Serve