About E. K. Ward & Associates

Our Practice Leaders

All of our people are highly trained professionals with a wealth of practical real-world experience.

Lateyfa Ali, President and Senior Advisor, has over 25 years experience in talent management, organization development, executive coaching, executive assessment and selection, strategic planning, team leadership, and project planning.  Lateyfa has led consulting engagements and provided executive coaching solutions for leadership development, employee engagement, talent acquisition and employer branding, competency modeling, succession management, learning and development, as well as executive and board development. She has also been instrumental in helping newly established companies with HR structures, compliance, and compensation models. Her corporate experience includes executive-level positions in banking and finance, manufacturing, municipal government and non-profits, hospitality and entertainment, healthcare, and consumer products.  Her experience, leadership skills and diverse background make her uniquely qualified to manage value-based talent management consulting projects.  Her approach is pragmatic, energetic, collaborative and direct enabling her to quickly engage and deliver solutions that support your strategies and objectives. lali@ekward.com

Rebecca Boyle, MBA, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Senior Consultant,  offers over 20 years of HR experience and knowledge as a Talent Development and HR leader. Rebecca has held several Executive level HR positions throughout her career.  Her strategic HR experience includes leadership development with a focus on succession planning and organizational development, quality, performance improvement, and high potential identification and development.  Rebecca has experience working in oil and gas, financial services, healthcare, insurance, and higher education.  She is an effective communicator, facilitator, presenter, investigator, change agent, and coach across all organizational levels.  Rebecca has provided small and large group interventions across a wide variety of audiences.  She brings extensive experience in measuring and guiding action planning for employee engagement.  Rebecca has been responsible for numerous merger integrations ensuring appropriate staffing, training and culture integration. Rebecca completed her undergraduate education at William Smith College, Geneva, NY and her MBA graduate education at Canisius College, Buffalo N.Y.  Rebecca has been the recipient of several leadership awards for her coaching and mentoring activities.  In addition, she is a member of the Board of Directors for Community Services for Every1 having previously served in various officer positions including Board Chair.  rboyle@ekward.com

Judith Gooch, Senior Consultant, offers 20 years of experience in Human Resources including talent acquisition, change management, coaching, executive presence and communication, teambuilding, assessments, succession planning, and talent development.  Judith has a strong communication presence to facilitate focus groups across organizations.  Judith has held senior HR positions in both operations and manufacturing at all levels within the organization.  Over the course of her career she has designed and facilitated a variety of domestic and international training workshops, seminars and customized leadership development programs. Judith has introduced and facilitated creative brainstorming techniques, such as World Cafe’ and Appreciative Inquiry, and developed the original framework for succession planning at General Electric. Judith is passionate about developing leaders to their highest potential through strengths identification, 360 feedback, and emotional intelligence awareness.  She completed her M.A. Organizational Leadership and B.S. Human Resources Development and serves as adjunct faculty at D’Youville College for Human Resources courses. Buffalo, NY.  Judith is a member of SHRM, ASTD and the Human Resources Association. jgooch@ekward.com

Melissa Tucker, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior Consultant, is a practice leader, HR consultant and executive coach with over 25 years’ experience. Melissa brings a strong business background developed through positons and consulting assignments in Fortune 500, multi-national and regional companies in industries including health care, financial services, and manufacturing. She has extensive experience in human resource planning and operations, organizational change and effectiveness, team building and facilitative leadership. She has also developed talent assessment and leadership development programs to unlock individual and team potential to drive growth, innovation and continuous improvement.  Her corporate experience includes VP of Human Resources for a multi-billion-dollar health insurer where she worked extensively with the Board Executive Compensation and Succession Planning Committee and led a team of 40+ professionals in 3 regions specializing in talent acquisition, talent management, talent development, compensation, benefits, wellness, employee and labor relations. Melissa is also experienced in presenting at industry conferences, workshops and seminars. mstucker@ekward.com