Customer experience experts
who have done it all...

EthnoPraxis has staked its claim within the still-emerging field of Customer Experience. Over the last 10 years, EthnoPraxis has gathered a core team of highly-skilled professionals to implement customer experience strategies across a diverse field of industries.

Led by founder and chief customer experience strategist, Joan Melgaard, and supported by a team of experienced and dedicated professionals, our people bring a wide variety of life and work skills, educational credentials, and an unstoppable commitment to helping our clients achieve their goals. We exist because of the longstanding relationships we cultivate and the tangible results we help our clients achieve.

Before we were consultants we worked in operations, human resources, sales, and marketing. And before those roles, we were the employees on the front line serving customers. We've been the employee who delights and we've been the employee who let a customer down. We know how great it is to get it right and we know how important it is to have permission and room to recover if you get it wrong. 

 

Joan is thrilled an owl is a regular visitor to her backyard in St. Louis and she is on a quest to find the perfect mid-century modern ranch.

Joan is thrilled an owl is a regular visitor to her backyard in St. Louis and she is on a quest to find the perfect mid-century modern ranch.

Joan Melgaard — MSIT

As our Chief Customer Experience Strategist, Joan believes your most important brand representatives are the people who interact with your customer—in person, on the phone, electronically, or behind the scenes—it is in those interactions that the customer experience lives.

With a background in operations, sales, and marketing, she began consulting with Fortune 500 businesses in 2002, leading to the founding of EthnoPraxis in 2007. She has worked on projects focused on the patient experience, guest experience, fan experience, shopper experience, internal and external customer experience, employee experience, and much more.

After her first career in sales, she dove into what makes people tick because that ultimately controls how they perform on the job. It has been a fascinating journey. Beyond her BA, she holds an MS in Adult Learning and Instructional Technology and a Certificate in Game Design and Development.

 

Industry experience

  • Entertainment

  • Financial

  • Food & Beverage

  • Healthcare

  • Hospitality

  • Insurance

  • Retail

  • Software Development

Function experience

  • Branding

  • Corporate Communications

  • Customer Service

  • Human Resources

  • Operations & Transportation

  • Safety & Quality

  • Sales

 

Informed by books, birds, and beauty, Jean Marie contends that every woman needs a room of her own, understands why the caged bird sings, and embraces the beauty she loves in everything she does.

Informed by books, birds, and beauty, Jean Marie contends that every woman needs a room of her own, understands why the caged bird sings, and embraces the beauty she loves in everything she does.

Jean Marie Johnson — MS

Jean Marie is our Senior Learning Strategist whose lifelong passion is to “make things better” for customers and the organizations that serve them, while dignifying the contribution and experience of every employee in every role.  

An experienced writer, facilitator, and coach, Jean Marie has worked with the Fortune 500 and small businesses for over 20 years. With a background in People Development, Communications and Marketing, she wrote telemarketing scripts for one of the first business-to-business call center operations, and pioneered innovative approaches to employee on-boarding, domestically and abroad. In addition to her experience in line, staff, and consulting roles, Jean Marie co-owned and operated a top-rated Bed and Breakfast in northwestern Connecticut for 13 years, while also running a vintage clothing and accessories boutique frequented by film and theater professionals.

Jean Marie excels in respecting and understanding the nuances of both people and processes and partners with clients to optimize both. She is an avid reader of literary fiction that “tells the human story with grace, compassion and realism,” and holds a BA in Social Work and an MS in Counseling/Human Resource Development. Jean Marie joined our team in 2010.

 

Industry experience

  • Consumer Goods

  • Financial Services

  • Government

  • Healthcare

  • Hospitality

  • Relocation

  • Retail

  • Tourism

Function experience

  • Corporate Communications

  • Customer Service

  • Human Resources

  • Marketing

  • Operations/Logistics

  • Patient Services

 

Mike is passionate about social justice, learning, and bleeds purple & gold (Go Dawgs!) He enjoys traveling – wants to see the world and his secret desire is to learn how to cook authentic Italian food.

Mike is passionate about social justice, learning, and bleeds purple & gold (Go Dawgs!) He enjoys traveling – wants to see the world and his secret desire is to learn how to cook authentic Italian food.

Mike Saunderson — MSW

As a Program Manager, Mike manages client relationships and motivates project teams, solves problems, and resolves conflicts to ensure project completion.

As an Instructional Designer Mike Identifies the performance outcomes, skills, knowledge, and information gaps of a target audience to create learning experiences that close gaps using instructional theory and best practices in the field. As an individual, or by managing a remote project team, Mike builds longer and micro elearning training courses using ADDIE, Dick & Carey, SAM, and Rapid Prototyping models of instructional design.

An avid reader of biographies of great leaders, Mike is interested in what inspires people to greatness and allows them to be their best and lead others.

Mike holds a Master of Science in Education specializing in Learning Design and Technology. Mike holds a BA in Political Science, Sociology, and Social Welfare and a Master in Social Work. Prior to joining EthnoPraxis, he worked for over 15 years as a social worker in social services, hospitals, and adoptions.

 

Industry experience

  • Healthcare

  • Logistics

  • Family Services

Function experience

  • Instructional design

    Program management

    eLearning development

    Audio production

    Voice talent

 

Karen enjoys small-town living in Central Washington where there is abundant natural beauty and outdoor activities. She skis regularly at the local mountain, enjoys bike riding on the Columbia River trail, and playing in the water during the summer.

Karen enjoys small-town living in Central Washington where there is abundant natural beauty and outdoor activities. She skis regularly at the local mountain, enjoys bike riding on the Columbia River trail, and playing in the water during the summer.

Karen Kobold

As our Standards Development and Technical Writer, Karen develops documentation and assists with training content for front line employees and their managers with a focus on customer service oriented positions. Her focus includes standards development, policy and procedure documentation, software user guides, and training designed to help employees quickly learn and apply customer service and technical skills to their job.

Prior to consulting, Karen worked at Starbucks Coffee Company for seven years as an instructional designer and procedures writer. Karen earned a B.A. from Western Washington University and holds a Certificate in Technical Writing. Karen joined our team in 2007.

 

Industry experience

  • Food & Beverage

  • Healthcare

  • Retail

Function experience

  • Human Resources

  • Content Management

  • Project Management

  • Standards Development

  • Technical Writing

 

In her free time, Chaitra raids thrift stores and plant nurseries with her husband and 3-year-old son. She enjoys reading, crafting, and playing games with her family.

In her free time, Chaitra raids thrift stores and plant nurseries with her husband and 3-year-old son. She enjoys reading, crafting, and playing games with her family.

Chaitra Devereaux — PsyD

Chaitra is our Senior Content Developer who helps clients create content that inspires employees to engage with company values, feel empowered in their role, and empathize with their customer’s experience to provide superior service.

Chaitra believes that when individuals identify their values and connect to the importance of their role, motivation and behavior will align—empowering them to create consistently superior customer experiences.

Chaitra has worked with organizations at various levels of development, offering support as they expanded their services and enhanced their internal and external customer experience. She has designed and facilitated programs that support team unity, increase alignment with individual and organizational goals, and prioritize understanding and enhancing the customer experience.  

Chaitra is trained in various psychological services and is a member of several professional associations devoted to the study of behavior, motivation, and values-alignment.

Chaitra holds a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Chaitra joined our team in 2012.

 

Industry experience

  • Behavioral Research

  • Community Mental Health

  • Medical/Diagnostic

  • Psychological Assessment

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences

Function experience

  • Corporate messaging

  • Customer Services

  • Environmental Health and Safety

  • Operations/Logistics

  • Patient Services

 

Ryan enjoys planting terrariums, fishkeeping, and playing video games in his spare time. He expresses his creativity through painting and photography, and loves exploring imaginary worlds with his toddler and wife.

Ryan enjoys planting terrariums, fishkeeping, and playing video games in his spare time. He expresses his creativity through painting and photography, and loves exploring imaginary worlds with his toddler and wife.

Ryan Zimbelman

Ryan Zimbelman is a Creative Director and Graphic Designer who works with clients to develop and execute visual solutions to complex problems. He believes that the most effective interactions are ones that make life simple for people, and that the fastest way to the heart is through the eyes. His work always strives to communicate in the simplest, most universal visual language possible.

Before coming to EthnoPraxis, Ryan led design-focused projects at the world-renowned Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, including a successful rebranding that shifted the organization’s focus to an education-based experience.  

Ryan has a BFA in Fine Art and Design and a Certificate in Game Design and Development. Ryan joined our team in 2012.

 

Industry experience

  • Conservation

  • Education

  • Healthcare

  • Non-profits

  • Museums

  • Tourism

Function experience

  • Gaming

  • Graphic Design

  • Marketing/Branding

  • Project Management

 

Pete is intrigued (sometimes plagued) by time; so much so, he has a small watch collection. He has five children and eight grandchildren. Traveling and cooking are two of his passions

Pete is intrigued (sometimes plagued) by time; so much so, he has a small watch collection. He has five children and eight grandchildren. Traveling and cooking are two of his passions

 

Pete DiSantis

Pete DiSantis has extensive experience in performance improvement and management and leadership training. He brings over 40 years of experience in industrial engineering, logistics operations, management and project management. 

His internal and external consulting expertise spans various industries and includes world-class organizations such as UPS, FedEx, Airborne Express, Quest Diagnostics, among others. Pete’s unique skills blend LEAN, process improvement, leadership and information architecture with experience in brand development and execution. 

He believes everyone does the best they know how with the information they have available. His job is to shine a light onto the previously unexplored areas of an operation to make more information available.

Pete has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering (BIE). He first joined our team in 2008, then a client stole him for a few years. He recently rejoined us in 2018.

Industry Experience

  • Last Mile Transportation

  • Logistics Distribution

  • Healthcare

Function Experience

  • Process Improvement

  • Operations Management

  • Training & Development

  • Project Management