Meet the Team

We are small but mighty, we work hard, we connect people and share great ideas, and we care a lot. We love to do great work and have fun!

chris at Microsoft learning conference

Chris Pirie


Founder and CEO

Former Oracle Global VP of Online Learning, where he launched the Oracle Learning Network, Microsoft’s Chief Learning Officer for Microsoft’s entire global sales force for the past 7 years, and previously Head of Sales and Marketing for the Microsoft Learning Division where he orchestrated the move from a product to a cloud sales approach, Chris’s entire career has been spent working at the intersection between Learning and Technology.

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Deborah Newell


Deborah has an extensive career in corporate finance, working in the oil, energy and retail sectors for brands including The Gap, but has re-focused on the Education sector in recent years, with roles including COO of the French American School of the Puget Sound and Treasurer at Social Venture Partners. Deborah holds degrees from Essex University (England), the London School of Economics and the University of Washington.

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Gary Flood


Chief Scribe

Another passionate believer in the power of lifelong learning and with a keen interest in the social impact of new technologies, Gary helps police up LFG’s content and messaging by deploying skills gleaned from 30 years as a journalist for hi-tech publications including Information Week and Computer Weekly.

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Irene Holden

Business Administrator 

Irene has deep knowledge of helping great teams work friction-free, working previously for Microsoft, where she worked for executives and teams in multiple Microsoft operating divisions, Irene applies her energy to support the success of the people she works in the companies she loves.

Nice Things Our Customers and Partners Say

Chris Pirie is a thinker and a doer, a visionary and a pragmatist -- with a history of great corporate success, which is energized by his personal values, intellect and curiosity.

Chris has enormous experience-based wisdom and insights to share regarding the dramatically changing elements of training effectiveness in organizations.

His informed intelligence is particularly timely and vital right now. Chris has enormous value to contribute as the learning and development field undergoes huge disruptions and tries to align itself with stunning technological advances and work force changes, coupled with severe time and budget constraints.

Chris is a highly collaborative thought partner to me and to Mandel’s leadership team. His help is invaluable as we plan our research, technology, product and business strategies, with the goal of providing even greater value to our clients in the coming years of continual change on the human side of enterprise.

He possesses a relentless motivation to understand how science and human behavior intersect. That focus has made him keenly astute regarding innovative methods that can help people and their organizations create higher levels of human skill, engagement, job satisfaction and organizational performance.

The profound workplace issues of diversity and inclusion also are top of mind and heart for Chris, and that adds enormously to his value as a thought partner.

I can recommend Chris without reservation.

Ed Musselwhite, CEO
Mandel Communications, Inc.
Working worldwide to help people in organizations
“Make Every Communication Count.”
Ed is a professional colleague of Chris

When it comes to learning strategy and the future of workplace learning, Chris Pirie is the guy. I was lucky to work with Chris as we ran a corporate university together and where he led the online strategy and operations. Here are three of his stand-out strengths: 1) Chris is brilliant. He's sharp for sure, but I've never seen him take the "know-it-all" path. He thinks and communicates in ways that others are able and eager to join in. 2) He's relentlessly future oriented and skates to where the puck is headed. And, it's not just future thinking, he get's it done. 3) He's fun, funny, and delightfully self deprecating. You can't help but want to work with Chris. In sum, he's got the killer combo: smart, driven, fun.

Liz Wiseman
NY Times bestselling author and executive advisor
October 12, 2018, Liz managed Chris directly

I want to give a shout out to a close colleague and someone I deeply respect; Chris Pirie. In my roles within Deloitte as the CLO, architect of Deloitte University, Managing Partner who acquired Bersin & Associates for Deloitte, lead on our annual HC Trends report and creator of our Human Capital Learning practice I have come across many learning leaders. I have seen Chris first-hand in his role at Microsoft. Very few people have the unique combination of skills required of today's learning professional. Deep thinker, strategist, able to work and partner across many fields, and frankly able to just get things done. I have seen Chris lead the biannual CLO Summit and the work he has done for non-profits such as the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies where his ideas are helping to train over 11 million people to handle some of our world's toughest humanitarian challenges. Chris is a leader in every respect of the word and comes with my highest recommendation.

Bill Pelster
Partner at Deloitte
October 22, 2018, Bill worked with Chris but at different companies

At our 2019 L&D Tech event in Sydney, Chris Pirie was a standout keynote speaker! He’s an absolute star and I’d recommend Chris for any future event focusing on L&D, Talent, Corporate Learning, the future of work, Learning Technology, and Learning & Leadership. His extensive global leadership experience enable him to engage, connect and entertain large audiences through compelling stories humor and provocative ideas and insights. Plus he brings huge energy to the community and one the nicest folks you’ll meet.

Ian Collier,

Conference Director at The Eventful Group, Sydney, Australia. Dec 2018.