Job Title: Founder and President
Organization: Leadingwell Associates
Degree(s): Ph.D.; Master of arts in theology
Joseph W. Synan is a leadership and team effectiveness consultant who has successfully served organizations and teams in the corporate, non-profit, and public sectors. The focus of his work is helping leaders and teams by facilitating their consensus building and helping them to lead, vision, and plan better together. Mr. Synan has assisted hundreds of not-for-profit organizations in their strategic planning, visioning, and goal setting. He is founder and President of Leadingwell Associates, a consulting practice he has led since 1988. Mr. Synan is the past president of the American Leadership Forum, a national non-profit organization that brings together diverse senior leaders in communities across the country. Mr. Synan was president and COO from 1987-90, and later served as chairman of the Board for the national organization. An experienced entrepreneur and business consultant, in 1985 Mr. Synan co-founded Change Management Associates, a Houston firm which specialized in helping companies down-size and helping people affected by the down-sizing to continue their careers. Mr. Synan has 17 years in the energy industry with Gulf and Chevron. He held senior management positions in information resources, research and development, and strategic planning in both the U.S. and Canada. Mr. Synan's earliest career was in nuclear power, where he assisted a Gulf subsidiary in obtaining approvals for the operation of its nuclear power plants. Mr. Synan has three degrees in nuclear engineering, two from M.I.T. and one from Notre Dame (graduating Maxima Cum Laude). He has completed the University of Virginia, Executive Business Program, and holds a master's degree in pastoral theology from the University of St. Thomas. He is a native of Zanesville, Ohio and resides in Kingwood, Texas with his wife, Susan, a psychotherapist. Their son, Chris, a graduate of the University of St. Thomas and South Texas College of Law, and their daughter, Jenny, is a graduate of New York University. For the past 10 years, Mr. Synan has been a student at the Glassell School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, studying painting. He sells his art through the website SynanArt.com. His paintings have been exhibited at galleries and exhibitions throughout Houston. His work was selected for inclusion in the Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival, one of the highest-ranked arts festivals in the country. An active mountain hiker, runner, and cyclist - Mr. Synan has hiked to the highest point in 44 states, and, since 2005, has completed 9 marathons, 5 half marathons, and 3 MS150 bicycle events (Houston to Austin).