Sound ConneXionsTM was founded in 2007 by Iris and James Lemmer. Together they have spearheaded several social innovations, including a scalable model for building Community Technology Centers (CTCs) in Kenya, Africa and a series of quarterly public forums designed to serve as a living Community of Practice for anyone interested in Social Innovation. SoundConneXions provides education and consulting support to individuals, communities and organizations who operate in the public interest. Iris and James bring many years in business management, finance, and hands-on experience in management consulting, group facilitation, educational design and leadership of systemic change to organizations and communities in the field of social innovation.
Prior to devoting herself full-time to Sound Connexions, Iris developed innovative human resources and organizational development programs as an internal consultant for Microsoft, Kraft Foods and Helene Curtis. Her strategic, results-oriented approach to leadership allowed her to create breakthrough-learning experiences for employees by unleashing the transformative potential that resides in individuals and communities of practice. She spearheaded grassroots innovation efforts at Microsoft and developed a business case for developing scalable and sustainable entrepreneurial development. She created breakthrough learning and new kinds of social innovation by forging for-profit, not-for-profit partnerships at Microsoft and Kraft. She has been a frequent speaker at organization development conferences and written numerous articles for the profession. Recent conference workshops include, “Using Communities of Practice for Strategic Advantage” at the Pacific Northwest Organization Development Network,” and “From Invention to Adoption: Change the Way You See Innovation” at the 2009 Pegasus Conference. She has also published several articles including Creating Systems-wide Change: Career Models and Culture Change at Microsoft (2007), OD Best Practices Journal and co-authored with Olesen, C; White, D . Iris holds B.S. in Retail Management Administration from Purdue University and a M.A. in Organizational Change Leadership from Antioch University Seattle.
James has worked in business development, strategic planning and collaborative implementation for more than 25 years, serving businesses and organizations of all sizes. His most recent projects emphasize grassroots initiation of entrepreneurial opportunities in which he designs innovative partnerships and a variety of business models to create unique value propositions. His consulting clients include Allstate Insurance, Fruit of the Loom Inc, Acme Boot Co, Microsoft Corporation, John Deere Co, Tempo Plastics, and Household International. James has also designed and delivered experiential workshops on financial literacy, leadership and innovation, and served as a guest lecturer at Chapman University, University of California, Davis, and California State University, Fresno. During the 1980’s, James served as a member on the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and worked as a Market Maker in stock index options and futures. James received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.
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