Leader Testimonials

- Tracy Tunney Ward, CEO at Miramar Services Inc.

"We did an exhaustive, nationwide search for someone who could help us step back from our family office and rethink what it should provide our clients and how we provide it. We screened plenty of consultants with academic approaches, but we really hoped we would get someone who could help us deliver. With Jude we got both. He combined the strategic rigor that we needed to reimagine the business with the operational expertise to help us execute ambitious new plans. He had a deep level of engagement and applied just the right touch to get the most out of very diverse constituencies and stakeholders. As a bonus – and probably the ingredient that is most glaringly missing from most of these engagements – he quickly gained our trust."

- Jay Madary, CEO at JVM Realty

"I started working with Jude in early 2016 with the goal to improve myself as a CEO and my company. As a successful second generation privately held company, I wanted to ensure JVM was well positioned with the most talented leaders and most efficient and effective processes to support our long-term growth objectives. Jude was extremely effective in working with myself and JVM’s senior leadership team to identify and focus on our strengths, while addressing opportunities for improvement. Through an engaging strategic planning process, Jude not only facilitated the development of a formal strategic plan, but continues to work with JVM to coach our leaders through the implementation of the plan. I would highly recommend Jude to other organizations with the passion to succeed."

- Stanton Lewin, CEO & Founder at LKH&S

"Jude was the keynote speaker at our recent conference in Miami and he spoke about servant leadership. In a word, he “crushed” it. In our post event follow-up survey Jude not only had the highest scores among presenters for that event, but the highest we have seen among any event we've executed. Jude has fantastic command of material and speaks to the audience with authenticity and a very resonant tone. He is highly effective because he uses references (corollaries and analogies) to which we can all relate."

- Steve McShane, CEO & Founder at Midtronics

"Jude is leading a strategic planning process for us that has our executive team totally engaged, working together over an extended period to develop a compelling envisioned future. In the process, we have assessed our purpose and values, recognizing our strengths and weaknesses as we are creating the objectives, goals, strategies and metrics that will guide us through the exciting world we have ahead of us, meeting the challenges of technology advancement in the industries we serve.
Jude is an inspirational and motivational coach and respected mentor for our leadership team. He is helping us align our company's strategic vision and core values with those of our key customers and industry partners. His facilitation and leadership have helped encourage our team to move forward with greater confidence in our ability to achieve the growth to which we aspire."

- Anne K. Smart, Director of The Family Business Center at The Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago

"Jude Rake takes apart and examines strategy through the lens of servant leadership.  His practical approach offers a clear eyed and accessible solution to first understanding and then overcoming a company’s obstacles to growth.  The leader’s responsibility to be self aware, empowering of others and accountable are not new concepts– but Jude’s treatment is a breath of fresh air that leaders can intuitively understand and quickly adopt to create positive and sustainable change in themselves, their teams and their firms."

- John L. Ward, Co-director of The Center for Family Enterprises and Clinical Professor of Family Enterprises at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and co-founder of The Family Business Consulting Group

“The most successful, sustaining family business leaders we know are committed to developing and refining a personal philosophy of leadership. Jude Rake provides an excellent example of such. His decades of experience and reflection have formed a compelling model of leadership principles and purpose. His devotion to servant leadership is inspiring.”

- Linda Salem, CEO at Great Plains Manufacturing

"Jude quickly assessed and helped us articulate our core culture and strengths. Just as importantly he guided us to identify and articulate weaknesses in our organization and gave us the tools to address these. He brought a market driven focus to our historically engineering and manufacturing driven strategies. His focus on developing leaders and collaboration across all functions of the company has resulted in a lasting improvement in our ability to manage complexity in a focused and strategic manner."

- William Hallock, General Counsel and Board Director at Construction Specialties Inc.

"I highly recommend Jude because I have seen his leadership principles in action, and they work. During the time our family-owned company has worked with Jude, we have focused our organization on strategic priorities and improved collaboration, innovation, accountability and results."

- Tim King, Chief Administrative Officer at Miramar Services, Inc.

"I worked with Jude for 18 months. From the outset I thought I would benefit from his work more than I benefited from any other consultant over the past three decades ... and a year and half later that sentiment proved to be even more accurate than I had hoped. Meetings with Jude are not filled with cliches and rehashed concepts (as is the case with so many business consultants); they were productive and efficient working sessions that achieved transformational results. Having been an experienced and successful operator made his counsel so much more practical than I expected. He builds leadership skills that can have as much effect on the business as better strategies, planning and execution. As a bonus, he is extremely easy to work with."

- Mary George, former Chairperson at RPG and CEO at Easton Hockey and Bell Automotive

"As chairman of RPG, I had the opportunity to work very closely with Jude. I was very impressed with Jude's ability to assess the challenges the company was facing, develop a strategy and action plan and execute it in a timely manner. Jude is known for his ability to assemble high performance teams and lead them to achieve superior results. He has extensive experience in developing and building strong consumer brands. Excellent communication skills. Jude is a great asset to any organization that values leadership with integrity, courage and tenacity."

- Mark Pacchini, CEO of rVue Media Technology, Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, and former President of FCB Advertising

"I had the pleasure of working with Jude on numerous businesses over the past three decades. He always displayed a level of thoughtful leadership, which is seldom seen in the frenetic business world. Jude is one of those rare individuals who has both a strong analytical mind and genuine people skills; and over the years he honed those skills to elevate his teams and brands. Jude knows how to build strong leaders, organizations and deliver results.

- Patrick O’Brien, CEO at Paris Presents Incorporated

“Jude has the unique ability to create a vision for growth AND the right plans to achieve them…His engaging leadership style helped make his team the place to be at SCJ for development and success.”

- Camille Cleveland, General Counsel at A Place For Mom

“His win-win approach to negotiating, his willingness to think out of the box and his sharp analytical mind played a critical role in positioning the company for acquisition by American Greetings…Jude is not only a leader, but he can pull his sleeves up and work side by side to assist in getting a deal done. Personally, he has an indomitable and positive spirit, coupled with a high sense of integrity and commitment to others.”

- Dan M. O'Brien, Chief Executive at Tech Image

"There are only a few people that I have ever worked with who have a great strategic business talent and Jude is one of them. He can quickly evaluate business intelligence and articulate a plan and a vision that will accelerate success. Jude is as comfortable leading change in sales organizations, product development and marketing as he is in the boardroom. Jude is a leader with integrity, able to inspire teams and get results. I highly recommend him."

- Bill Chiasson, President at ETA hand2mind

“Jude takes a hands-on approach to recognize and develop talent at all levels. During our partnership for the last three years, I gained valuable experience on how to be a stronger leader through Jude's mentoring, and I recommend Jude to any organization looking for a leader who can drive change and innovation at all levels.”

- Steve Hill, President and CEO of Thermacell LLC

“Jude and I worked together early in our careers but even then he was preternaturally wise, possessing awareness and perspective well beyond his age.  His business achievements speak for themselves but what is astonishing to me is his ability to get to the heart of an issue quickly."

- Jerry Quindlen, Former President & CEO at Logitech

“Jude is a great attracter of talent who builds strong teams and excels at nurturing that talent to perform at the highest level. And while he is strong across the broad spectrum of managerial disciplines, I would say he is a great marketer at heart. Jude was always a very vocal advocate for keeping the consumer front and center in all our thinking and all our efforts as an organization. His marketing instincts are superb."

- Chris Bauder, CEO at Weiman Products, LLC

"Jude is one of the most dynamic and successful business leaders for whom I have ever worked. During our time together on Home Cleaning at SC Johnson, Jude accelerated growth through a combination of focused innovation investment, smart portfolio spending choices, and a commitment to strong advertising development and support. Jude built a very strong team spirit and was an inspirational coach who put in place strong career development processes and professional training.”

- Mark Martin, Vice President - Marketing, International Markets at SC Johnson

“Jude is high on the motivation and courage scale. He drives for success in everything he does, and is not afraid to take on the hard issues and make the challenging decisions. If you are looking for a leader who acquiesces, avoids conflict, or embraces the status-quo, Jude is not your best option...I believe any company or team able to get Jude on their team is quite fortunate. His passion, leadership, and strategic skills are best-in-class. The experiences he has had, from large consumer products companies to mid-market organizations, all contribute to the potential he has to deliver results….”

- Ervin Knezek, Chief Education Officer at lead4ward

“Jude is a visionary leader - grounded in the needs of the client yet with an eye on latent needs and untapped human/technical capital. He is masterful at locating and finding talent and redirecting and reimagining focus areas. Our work together was meaningful, productive, and well received.”

- John Fellowes, President & CEO at Fellowes

“Jude is an inspirational leader who fosters an environment of strong teamwork and drives goal-oriented decision making.”

- Ed Stassen, CFO at Learning Resources

“Much of Jude’s success was the result of the strong team of leaders that he attracted to the company and his ability to lead with courage and transparency through challenging economic conditions.”

- Tim Bennett, Vice President at MPG Drug, a division of Crossmark

“Jude is one of the most remarkable leaders with whom I have associated. He has a unique ability to inspire the highest level of commitment and performance by his leaders, provide incredible strategy and leadership through difficult periods, and fosters a high performing team culture throughout the organization.”

- Fran Linnane, AVP Product Development/Mergers and Integration

“What strikes me most about that era and Jude in particular is the calm confidence that he exhibited in the face of unprecedented change. As VP of Marketing and later as COO, Jude demonstrated a consistent, clear long-term vision of where the business needed to go. He worked diligently and fearlessly across the organization to get consensus and alignment on our strategy and plans… With the high level of risk and uncertainty, morale was a serious risk, but Jude’s behavior, character and skills inspired many people to peak performance…Leadership isn’t always important, in fact, many companies do pretty well without leadership....but in times like these leadership is everything.”

- Julie Jacobs, Human Resources and Talent Acquisition Executive. Organizational Development Consultant & Executive Coach

“ Jude is an inspirational leader who is actively involved in his team's success and growth. He transformed the organization into a highly engaged and innovative workforce. His strength lies in his ability to forge personal relationships and articulate a unified vision for all…His willingness to try new approaches to problems, innovate and his open door policy and full support of cultural initiatives created a feeling of appreciation from the corner office to the warehouse.”

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