Cortex Leadership Consulting helps you solve your toughest people problems. Our interactive approach is based on proven scientific research and practices to train and coach leaders and their teams to more effectively and efficiently reach their business objectives and desired outcomes.
Leading the team of consultants, trainers and coaches for Cortex is:
Lynda McNutt Foster, CEO & President
Lynda’s clients have included: City of Roanoke, County of Roanoke, Orvis, Valley Star Credit Union, Harmony Senior Services, Home Instead Senior Care, Kissito/Pace Health Care (now Innovage), Carilion Clinic, Delta Dental VA/Corvesta, Excel Truck Group (VA, NC, SC), Federal-Mogul, Roanoke College, Goodwill Industries of the Valley, MB Contractors, Better Building Works, Quick Fix Real Estate, HH Hunt, and many others.
Education and Certifications: Certified Conversational Executive Coach, Certified Practitioner of TED* The Empowerment Dynamic, Certified Health Coach, School of Hilton Johnson, Miami Dade College. Lynda is a regular contributor for the WFXR-TV, Fox 21/27 News at 10pm with Bill Wadell and appears each Monday morning on Good Day Virginia. Lynda also publishes a weekly newsletter to over 2,000 leaders entitled Lynda’s Launch List.
Learn. Do. Teach. Coach. Rinse, repeat. There’s nothing old or stale about Lynda’s methods in creating and delivering the most contemporary leadership training and development available today. Building on the foundations of successful outcomes in leadership development and implementation of proven practices and principals is the key to the success of the leadership programs and coaching Lynda has created and delivered to hundreds of successful leaders.
Lynda is a rare type of leadership trainer and coach in that she not only can create innovations in her own companies and industries, she has developed the methodology to help other leaders innovate through their biggest challenges. In her Leading a Winning Team courses, she has created a quick and easy to implement methods for helping leaders have the optimal impact possible based on their strengths, skills, resources, and behaviors.
Lynda is the author of several books including Time Mastery: 7 Simple Steps to More Effective Outcomes available on Amazon and Audible and 4 Keys to More Effective Leadership available exclusively through her Leading a Winning Team program.
Enterprises she has owned: Best Pest Control, Inc. (sold to Terminix International in 1998), Synergize My Business & McNutt & Associates, Inc. (both merged into Cortex Consulting), goMonti, LLC.
Commentator (weekly): WFXR, VirginiaFirst.com: Virginia@work
Employment experiences: VP and Chief Content Creator and Trainer/Coach for Voltage Leadership Consulting, WSET, Wheeler Broadcasting (Q99, WSLC, WXLK, WFIR, WVBE)
Senior IT Consultant
Are your technology projects missing deadlines? Is your IT team having challenges communicating with other departments?
Richard has over 30 years of experience in consulting, management of technology teams, data analytics, and as an enterprise architect. From directing $400K to $3M initiatives to managing over $20M in VC/equity funding, Richard understands how to achieve success and what to do when you have it. One of his greatest successes was the transition he made from advertising and marketing to a new project that resulted in moving the needle on children’s’ education throughout our country. Richard’s work building Interactive Achievement allowed him to make a powerful impact and one he expects will continue with the PowerSchool organization, who recently acquired Interactive Achievement.
With experience as an enterprise architect with organizations like NASA, AOL, Discovery Channel, and Freddie Mac, Richard led teams that consistently delivered the right innovation at the right time.
Richard has a talent of transforming low performing IT teams with his ability to synergize the worlds of technology, business, and people.
Richard is an expert in SQL and other business analytic tools that allow him to find holes in data that others can’t and presents them to clients in a language they can understand. Combining this with his “big picture” understanding of success, it is not surprising that Richard is highly regarded as a community technology leader.
In Jonathan Hagmaier’s book, Aha to All In, about the rise of Interactive Achievement, he describes the period when Richard entered the organization as the beginning of the “Golden Era”. Working with Cortex, Richard will be able to help you usher in your own golden era of growth.
Baraka Kasongo is a transformational leader and CEO of Volatia Language Network and was named an Inspiring Leader by Virginia at Work. He demonstrates an exceptional ability to lead, innovate, and pioneer new paths through his collaborative nature. His passion for bridging language and cultural barriers is fueled by Baraka’s experience of being a refugee fleeing from a genocide and being a refugee in five different countries over a span of seven years. Baraka founded VOLATIA to be the means through which he can mitigate linguistic and cultural disparities that exist in every community throughout the United States and around the world. To learn more about Baraka’s story click here.
He serves on numerous boards that focus on creating and fostering diversity and inclusion at every point of contact.
Baraka’s newest endeavor is a collaborative educational experience with Cortex Leadership designed for corporations and organizations known as “Escape from the Biasphere”. His energetic, experienced, and light-hearted approach to the keynote speech, breakout session, or full day training, educates and delights audiences and attendees about the power of working together for optimal outcomes, regardless of gender, race, or cultural background.
To find out more about booking Baraka for your upcoming conference, corporate event, or team building session or leadership training, contact Cortex at 540.776.9219 or email@example.com.
Baraka holds a bachelor of science degree in Management & Leadership from Bluefield College, an associate of applied science in Emergency Management from Frederick Community College, and is certified as a Green Belt Lean Six Sigma practitioner through Virginia Tech.
Allen Foster, CPBA, CPDFA
The merger of McNutt & Associates, Inc. with Cortex Leadership Consulting, created an opportunity to expand the consulting work Allen Foster had been doing with clients for more than 15 years in the areas of marketing strategies, advertising, and public relations. As President of the boutique advertising agency, McNutt & Associates, Inc., Allen managed more than $5 million a year for clients like Rappaport Management Group who owns shopping centers like Towers Shopping Center, Central Park in Fairfax, VA, and more than 20 others, along with Virginia Furniture Market, Simpson Funeral Home, Altizer & Altizer Law Firm, Home Instead Senior Care and many others.
Allen spent the first 10 years of his career in retail management for giants (at that time … he’s old now) K-Mart and Staples, eventually rising to be one of the youngest store managers in the Staples chain. Allen was charged with multi-million renovation projects and new store openings as the operations management of stores ranging from $2M – $10M in annual sales.
As the President of Cortex, Allen serves clients through consulting sessions focused on marketing, advertising and optimizing onboarding success of new hires, along with co-facilitating select leadership workshops on DISC – he is a Certified Professional Behaviors Analyst (CPBA) and Certified Professional Driving Forces Analyst (CPDFA) through Target Training International – and the Currency of Trust. He remains an experienced and trusted media buyer for some Cortex clients.
Allen graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. He is married to Lynda McNutt Foster (Cortex’s CEO) and father to Melody McNutt. He is a trivia wiz, a serious fan of Virginia Tech football, avid reader of books on history and science, and frequently can be found with Lynda walking or running on the Roanoke Greenway.
Courtland James, CPBA, CPDFA
Courtland has shifted his focus from leading and training some of the most motivated, disciplined, and intelligent teams in the military, to developing leaders and teams in business and civilian organizations. His experiences as a Marine Corps Tank Officer have shaped him into an advanced, forward-thinking leader who is constantly asking the question, “What can we do better?”
At age 22, Courtland endured the most grueling and intensive leadership training in the world during his 3-month initiation into the Marine Corps at Officer’s Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. At 24, Courtland led a tank platoon on over 100 combat missions in Afghanistan, always achieving the two primary objectives of every Marine Corps unit – “mission accomplishment” and “troop welfare.” At 26, he designed and implemented a comprehensive annual training program that set the current standard by which his unit’s Anti-Tank Missile Platoon is trained. These, and the many other experiences leading and training Marine Corps combat units, give Courtland a unique perspective on the leadership challenges today’s millennial business leaders face in their organizations and an effective framework from which to draw to develop solutions to overcome them.
Courtland earned his executive coaching certification from the Center for Executive Coaching, is a Certified Professional Behaviors Analyst (CPBA) and Certified Professional Driving Forces Analyst (CPDFA) through Target Training International, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Virginia Tech. He has also completed some of the most challenging leadership training programs the military has to offer. These include the Marine Corps Officer’s Candidate Course, Basic Officer’s Course, and Fire Support Coordination Center Course and the US Army’s Armor Basic Officer Leader’s Course, Airborne Course, and Army Reconnaissance Course.
Currently a Captain in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Courtland continues to serve in the position of Tank Company Executive Officer with Alpha Company, 4th Tank Battalion. His professional awards include a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Combat Action Ribbon for meritorious combat service in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Cortex Leadership also works with a variety of professionals from various disciplines. Click here to meet them.