elena shackelford headshot blue beyond consulting bay area

Elena Shackelford


Elena has a deep background in organizational development, leadership development, and talent management.

Prior to joining Blue Beyond, Elena led performance management and talent management programs at cosmetics retailer Sephora. Before that, Elena worked at Spectrum Brands, where she designed and led OD projects for change management, leadership development, and talent management in support of the company’s global workforce effectiveness goals.

Her experience working within a variety of industries – including health care, manufacturing/distribution, and consumer brands – has exposed Elena to a broad range of perspectives and business challenges, which serve her well in her role at Blue Beyond. Elena’s practical skillset is complemented by a thorough approach grounded in theory, research, and best practices in human organizational behavior.

Elena has a PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology, contributed to published research entitled “Managers’ and Diversity Experts’ Perceptions of Multiculturalism and Internationalism in Organizations”, and is a member of the NeuroLeadership Institute.

What skills and expertise do you bring to the team?

Technical knowledge in the field of Industrial organizational psychology, certified in brain-based coaching through the NeuroLeadership institute, program management, and consultation & facilitation. I have a passion for the field of NeuroLeadership and integrate their work and research wherever possible.

What do you find most rewarding about your work?

People and their work/contributions give me life…any time I can help support their efforts or make their life easier is the most rewarding. Seeing an “aha” moment on someone’s face is extremely rewarding.

What makes you proud to work at Blue Beyond?

In my short time with Blue Beyond, I have already witnessed what a unique team this truly is. I consider myself lucky to work with authentic, honest, talented, and caring people. This shows up in client interactions, partnership on projects, and how each person shows up in their individual lives. This is consulting with creativity, passion, and care — which sets the team apart from other consulting firms, in my opinion.

Who or what matters most to you?

The people in my life and my relationships are what matters most to me. My husband, dog-baby, family, and hometown friends are everything to me. No matter where life has taken me – these are people who show up in my life day in and day out with support, love, laughter, and words of wisdom….I am so grateful!

If you could take the year off, what would you do?

I am recharged through traveling, new experiences, and doing things outside of my comfort zone. My personal goal is to travel to a new place in the U.S. and abroad every year…but I would love if I could spend an entire year going to as many new cities and countries as possible!

What learning experience had the biggest impact on who you are now?

The learning journey of getting my doctorate has had a great impact on who I am now, but not because of the degree itself. The journey and process I had to go through to get to the end goal has by far had the biggest impact on me. This, to date, has been the most challenging experience in my professional life. It taught me persistence, endurance, patience, and how to have a work ethic that will lead to success. The journey isn’t about your intelligence — it’s about your diligence and persistence in difficult and ambiguous environments.

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