Meet our Coaches


Dr. Connie Thurman

As an Executive Coach for Management Resource Group, Ltd., Connie brings more than 25 years of experience and offers the unique combination of operational knowledge and formal education in organizational behavior and human resources. 

Connie currently serves as the Chief Officer for Institutional Effectiveness and Innovation at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Previously, she held executive positions with Maytag Corporation in quality assurance, operations, and human resources where she created a socialization program for newly hired hourly employees and leadership programs for supervisors; the hallmarks of her work there.  She believes in blending practice and theory in order to provide insight into continuous improvement in leadership, employee development, strategic planning, organizational culture, and human resource processes.  Her focus is championing the value of human capital in organizations. 

Connie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biology from Knox College and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Western Illinois University.  In 2003, she graduated from St. Ambrose University with a Doctorate degree in Business Administration.  She has presented conference papers on employee socialization, employee training, 360-degree appraisal systems and knowledge isolating mechanisms.

 She also had developed curriculum and directed department-level team building, participated in process improvement planning and implementation with companies, has taken the lead in conflict resolutions assignments, and she is a six-sigma black belt.

 As a key contributor to MRG’s coaching and consulting staff for over 12 years, Connie has completed numerous individual executive level coaching assignments for non-profit and for profit clients.


Lauri Flanagan, SHRM-SCP

Lauri understands that good people are the driving force of a successful business. In her consulting capacity, Lauri helps companies through challenging people solutions, assuring expert navigation to achieve practical results. As MRG’s President, Lauri helps companies understand ever-changing rules, regulations, and laws and provides support and advice in people development, including performance evaluation, executive and management coaching, succession planning, selection, interview training, and best practices. In addition to completing her own recruiting assignments, Lauri has interviewed and recommended passive level candidates for executive search assignments, assuring candidates are fully qualified and interested in opportunities presented. Lauri provides thoughtful advice and insight throughout the executive search process and can guide companies through employee promotions, terminations, downsizings and reorganizations.

Lauri also manages MRG’s Assessment Center, which is designed to provide comprehensive assessments/tests available for selection, promotion and development. All of MRG's assessments are validated by a third party and results are analyzed by an industrial organizational psychologist.

For the past 16 years, Lauri has owned her own business consulting firm providing strategic advice and support in talent management. Previously Lauri worked as the HR Manager for Woods Equipment Company, which manufactures lawn equipment, and The Furst-McNess Company, an independent agricultural company that provides customized solutions for livestock performance and profitability.

 Lauri holds a B.A. in Psychology from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, an M.S. in Management from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She earned her certification as a through the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) as a Senior Certified Professional and she is an active member of SHRM and the Great River Human Resource Association (GRHRA), SHRM’s local affiliate chapter. 



Dr. Susan Stewart

Dr. Susan M. Stewart earned a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and has worked with a wide variety of organizations for over 20 years. She has assisted in the selection and development of employees and executives, and developed tools and delivered training sessions designed to enhance interpersonal skills, supervisory practices, decision-making processes, and behavioral and cognitive styles. She has supported organizations through change and development initiatives, facilitated leadership retreats, interpreted 360-degree feedback for executives, and created leadership development plans. Also, she has written and administered employment tests and surveys, ran statistical analyses, interpreted data, and wrote/presented reports. Her analysis and experience lends valuable insights for candidates, current employees, executives, and organizations alike.

Susan is a Professor of Human Resource Management in the College of Business and Technology at Western Illinois University-Quad Cities where she teaches courses in personnel selection, performance management, employment law, compensation, human resource management, leadership, organizational behavior, and more. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate (MBA) students and advises the student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management.

She has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, business cases, magazine articles, and actively presents papers at professional conferences. Her research has appeared in book publications such as Counterproductive Workplace Behavior (by the American Psychological Association) and Human Resource Management: An Experiential Approach (by Irwin/McGraw-Hill) as well as in journals such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Management, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Journal for Human Resources Education, and Educational and Psychological Measurement, to name a few. She has received numerous awards and grants for her research, teaching, and service. She is also a member in various professional organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. As a Senior Consultant at Management Resource Group, Susan utilizes her expertise in psychological measurement in the following areas: coaching, team building, organizational development, selection, succession planning, and position modeling.


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Ray Grymski

Ray has more than 31 years of experience consulting to over 125 organizations that include Fortune 500 companies, small and medium-sized businesses, and hospitals. He is affiliated with Management Resource Group, Ltd. as a Senior Consultant. Ray brings a wealth of expertise to MRG. He held Senior Manager positions with Deloitte Consulting and Ernst & Young. Early in his career, he was employed in the Human Resources Department of the Miller Brewing Company.

 Ray received his MBA from Case Western Reserve University, which included doctoral-level coursework in Organizational Behavior and a concentration in Information Technology, and he pursued post-graduate education at The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He specializes in helping clients implement strategic change. Specific assignments include developing executive teams, helping management teams develop strategies and identify priorities, redesigning organizations, and leading organizational transformation. Clients include RR Donnelley, Motorola, Allstate, 3M, McDonalds and Kaiser Permanente.

 Ray’s consultation often includes coaching CEO’s and other executives by providing helpful feedback, provocative insights and specific action plans to help these individuals simultaneously pursue organizational goals and personal success.

Scott Murphy