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Who We Are

We’re coaches, consultants – and an MD / scientist.

We’re here to help individuals, teams, and organizations do better and be better.

We Help You On Your Path To Greatness

We are highly experienced consultants who specialize in peak performance, leadership and management capability building, reducing burnout and increasing well-being.

We’ve had the privilege of partnering with some of the most innovative enterprise organizations in the world. Our clients span academic medical centers to regional community health systems, flour milling to investment banking, pharmaceuticals to medical devices.

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BolsterUp Senior Consultants

Bruce Alfred

Principal, Coach + Consultant

Bruce’s mission is to empower people at work to do better, feel better, and be better. He is a Gallup-certified CliftonStrengths consultant, a peak performance coach, and an expert in building individual and team resilience and well-being.

Bruce specializes in helping teams work better together and in guiding managers to lead people more effectively. Since 2012, he has been utilizing research-driven and results-oriented practices to help individuals and organizations improve areas critical to their success, including strengths-based development, people-leader training, team performance improvement, and resilience.

In our post-pandemic world, the workforce landscape has changed dramatically and demands a new approach. Bruce helps organizations thrive in this new world by helping their people thrive.

Bruce is the founder of BolsterUp, a coaching and consulting firm with a roster that includes large non-profit, government, and corporate clients. He is also a registered yoga and mindfulness teacher, the father of four grown children, and the wrangler of one rather rambunctious 140lb puppy.

Top five CliftonStrengths:
Input | Learner | Strategic | Futuristic | Achiever

Bruce Alfred
Margaret Dow

Margaret Dow, M.D.

Program and Curriculum Development, Coach + Consultant

Margaret is passionate about emphasizing individual talents and priorities to optimize health, well-being, and performance. She has spent the last two decades investigating how to build well-being as the scaffolding for personal and professional success. As a physician and educator at Mayo Clinic, she was introduced to coaching in 2015 after being charged with helping to design and implement a health coaching curriculum for medical students. She then began exploring how coaching could improve interpersonal relationships, job satisfaction, and performance for people in all industries, and became a certified Gallup CliftonStrengths coach, health coach, and yoga instructor. As a physician, she is board-certified in OBGYN and Obesity Medicine.

Margaret has published many peer-reviewed studies and has been an invited well-being speaker and workshop facilitator for national and international meetings, including The Obesity Society, Society of OBGYN Hospitalists, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She has held regional and national positions including Wellness Officer for the Mayo Clinic Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Chair of the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology Wellbeing Task Force.

An avid learner and expert task switcher, she dabbles in art, paddle boarding, running, reading, cooking, and puppy snuggling while raising four children. She is currently the Chair of the BirthCenter at Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester, MN and the Chief of Research and Curriculum Development for BolsterUp.

Top five CliftonStrengths:
Strategic | Ideation | Individualization | Learner | Relator

Susan Heinlein

Consultant + Facilitator

Susan works with companies to help them harness innovation, intelligence and insights to solve their most difficult problems.

She is an expert in results-focused business transformation, change management, and process design and improvement. Her down to earth style draws attention to what is critical and helps organizations take the actions needed to be successful.

Susan is a leading expert in internal partnering. Her new partnering framework is trainable, repeatable, and measurable. She believes that better collaboration is key to elevating business performance.

Previously, Susan was a partner at Korn Consulting Group. She spent 10 years at Ameriprise and GE in senior roles in finance, pricing and operations. Prior to GE, Susan worked at Honeywell in finance including international roles in Asia.

Susan is a Six Sigma Certified Master Black Belt.

Top Five CliftonStrengths:
Command | Ideation | Individualization | Achiever| Restorative

Marian Powell

Marian Powell

Consultant + Facilitator

Marian has decades of experience helping organizations, teams, and individuals deliver higher levels of performance and results. She is a transformational leader that inspires individual and teams to both turn exciting ideas into extraordinary outcomes, and in the process, develop their own capabilities.

She is an expert in using a co-creative approach to help clients clarify their strategy, break down silos, gain alignment and work together to accomplish more than they thought possible.

Previously, Marian was a partner at Korn Consulting Group Inc, an Officer of GE Capital, and SVP of Global Sales and Marketing for GE Equipment Services. She has also served in senior roles in product management, operations, quality, communications, digitization, and human resources.

Marian is a Six Sigma Certified Black Belt with deep expertise in change management. She is also a graphic scribe.

Top five CliftonStrengths:
Ideation | Relator | Input | Strategic | Futuristic

Evan Smith

Consultant + Facilitator

Organizations change when their leaders do: when each leader chooses a growth-learning mindset, assumes personal responsibility, and builds capabilities to both learn and lead by example.

Evan helps leaders and their organizations grapple successfully with significant demands for learning and growth. In addition to his own independent clients and work with BolsterUp, he works with partners Kotter Inc. and Box of Crayons, bringing smart, practical habit change that helps leaders to shift their patterns, create more engagement, and have more impact.

He’s worked with leaders across Fortune 500 companies, private firms (including startups), government and nonprofits.

He has an MBA from the Yale School of Organization and Management; and Bachelors degrees in Engineering and Liberal Arts from Penn State; and lives in Providence, RI.

Top five CliftonStrengths:
Input | Includer | Ideation | Strategic | Achiever

Ann Budner

Strategic Planning Consultant

A specialist in nonprofit organizations, Ann’s expertise includes strategic planning, board development, and outcomes measurement. Ann has over 30 years of experience working with nonprofits.

Ann helps clients identify the human and organizational characteristics that are essential to their success. She designs strategic plans that are practical and detail-oriented yet concise, with benchmarks and timelines to ensure accountability. Working with a planning team of diverse stakeholders, she facilitates a highly participatory process that ensures maximum investment in the final product.

Top five CliftonStrengths:
Learner | Individualization | Empathy | Input | Connectedness

We’re Trusted By

Selected clients:

Great organizations of our time take great care of their people all of the time. Let’s talk about how we can help you get there.

It starts with a 15 minute call.