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IPR founder and President, Heidi Shepard has been involved in the field of intercultural training for more than 25 years. She has researched cross cultural training issues and designed and facilitated seminars for thousands of Americans relocating abroad and internationals living in the USA. Her seminars have been implemented on the corporate, university and youth levels.
Heidi's experience abroad for U.S. State Department-funded programs covered a variety of cross-cultural orientations. As curriculum planner and trainer for Southeast-Asian youth and adults relocating to the USA, she developed and taught courses in cross-cultural adaptation and American cultural issues. She also supervised, trained, and evaluated a team of Asian cross-cultural instructors overseeing groups of more than 500 adults.
Heidi's experience living and working abroad, as well as extensive travel throughout Asia and Europe, have given her a thorough understanding of the process of cultural adaptation and the complicated issues involved in working with and supervising internationals.
Heidi currently resides in the Denver suburbs, after living in China for 8 years. She continually looks for ways IPR may be most effective in aiding others in global transition.
Jennifer Christensen, GMS
Jennipher Christensen joined IPR in 2004 as an experienced Denver, CO Destination Services Consultant. “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life” is an example of Jennipher’s outwardly positive attitude that granted her a staff position first as an IPR Account Manager, then as Director of Destination Services and currently, Managing Director.
Jennipher’s experience in team management, leadership, client relations and business development, as well as her cultural sensitivity from both her professional as well as personal background, brought depth of knowledge to IPR. As a child, Jennipher relocated with her family throughout the contiguous U.S., Hawaii and Mexico.
As Managing Director of IPR, Jennipher enjoys the high level of competence and enthusiasm shared by the IPR team, as well as the adaptability her job demands due to the dynamic environment of global mobility. Her continual focus on developing and implementing state-of-the-art and tailor-made service programs is bolstered through participation in industry conferences and networking with peers. She proudly holds the Worldwide ERC Global Mobility Specialist (GMS) certification and is a member of Worldwide ERC, Delaware Valley Relocation Council and the Rocky Mountain Relocation Council.
Jennipher and her family enjoy the array of outdoor activities and cultural amenities Denver and its surrounding area has to offer, including skiing and mountain biking.
Stephanie Schlecht-Maki, GMS
Stephanie began working with IPR as an Area Consultant in 2010 and became an Account Manager in 2011.
Stephanie’s previous work experience with a U.S. import retailer includes 10 years of foreign travel experience as a buyer and another 10 years in the Planning and Allocations department, interacting with vendors from over 25 countries. She has also worked as a substitute teacher and a financial manager for a private client.
Stephanie currently resides with her family in a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas. She has a son attending the Texas A&M University and a daughter attending high school. She enjoys being a “theatre mom,” supporting her daughter’s theatre and musical productions and competitions as well as serving on the Theatre Booster Executive Board. In her free time, she likes to travel, read, and garden.
Stephanie's diverse career and excellent communication and organizational skills are an outstanding addition to the IPR Management Team.
Claire Denis, GMS
Claire is a Belgian citizen with a track record of successive relocation experiences and a dedication to personalized service.
Born and raised in Belgium, Claire graduated with a degree in Physical Therapy. While practicing health care for over 11 years, she developed a passion for attending to the needs of her patients and providing them with unsurpassed attention and service.
Her first corporate relocation to the United States in 1994 gave Claire an opportunity to discover the natural beauties of Michigan and volunteer work in a medical setting, while being immersed in a new language and cultural environment. In 1998, she moved back to Europe for two years, only to return to Michigan in 2000 for another corporate relocation. Two years later, she relocated to Pennsylvania, where she enjoyed helping expatriates and newcomers adapt to their new social environment as an IPR Area Consultant. Always on the move, she now operates as an IPR Account Manager out of Toledo, OH.
Fluent in French, and active in a variety of social groups, she delights her friends with her cooking and craft skills, and stays in shape by playing tennis. She is proud of having raised her two TCK (Third Culture Kid) daughters to be multicultural citizens.
Ellen Berner, GMS
Ellen began her career with IPR in October 2008 as a Minneapolis Area Consultant. She then joined IPR as Account Manager in April 2010.
Prior to her career with IPR, Ellen was a Buyer and Buying Director for a U.S. based direct import, home furnishings retailer. During the last 10 of 18 years with the company, Ellen logged more than 1 million international travel miles as she crossed the globe in search of new product offerings. Ellen regularly traveled 3 – 4 weeks at a time, 4 times per year, attending trend and trade shows and working with overseas suppliers in 25 countries in Asia, Europe, and North America.
Following her family’s move back to Minneapolis in June 2005, Ellen began her own professional organizing company, specializing in residential organizing, relocation, and “redesign”.
Ellen currently resides in Southwest Minneapolis with her husband and teenage daughter. She and her family continue their interest in travel and world cultures and take regular trips abroad. Ellen enjoys reading, tennis, and cultural events around the “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis and St Paul.
Joan Hill, GMS
Joan Hill is a familiar face to IPR, having worked as a Lead Trainer for IPR’s Youth Programs since 1997. Joan has the unique perspective of working in both IPR’s Cross Cultural Training and Destination Services Divisions. Until 2007 when Joan became an IPR Account Manager, she provided on-the-ground support, as a Philadelphia Area Consultant.
Joan spent most of her childhood in Northwest England. Although American, her international background promotes an excellent understanding of the challenges relocating families -- especially children -- face when moving to a new country. In addition, Joan’s leadership, organizational skills and “can do” attitude are valued attributes in her role as Senior Account Manager/Team Lead.
Joan holds the Global Mobility Specialist (GMS) certification from Worldwide ERC and is an active member of the Delaware Valley Relocation Council (DVRC.)
Joan is based in the Philadelphia area, and she enjoys going to the Jersey Shore in the summer with her family.
Kirsten Lewis, GMS
Kirsten has been a full-time member of the IPR Family since 2010. Prior to her permanent employment with IPR, Kirsten worked as a Quality Assurance intern. As IPR’s Supply Chain Manager, Kirsten enjoys the challenge of sourcing and developing IPR’s nation-wide network of Area Consultants. It’s her pleasure to ensure the “face of IPR” is up to speed on best practices and industry trends.
When Kirsten graduated from Penn State University, where she majored in Public Relations, she was happy to return to her hometown of Philadelphia and join the workforce as a member of the IPR Management Team. She brings with her the personal experience of what it is like to live in another country, after spending a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a study abroad program. Kirsten attends industry conferences and is actively involved with the World Wide Employee Relocation Council.
In her free time, Kirsten loves reading, trying new ways to stay fit, and improving her cooking skills (still a work in progress!). She also enjoys the opportunity to serve as a leader in her church's group for youth, which allows her to mentor teenage girls.
Cathy Cicalese, GMS
Account Manager – staff member since 2011
Myrtle Beach, SC
As a native to New Jersey, Cathy joined IPR as a New Jersey Area Consultant and Destination Service Coordinator; she later accepted the IPR Account Manager role. Cathy’s strong relocation background includes home sales and corporate housing. With a degree in Communications from Keane University, Cathy strives to understand IPR’s client needs, deliver positive results and exceed expectations.
Karen is responsible for managing all of the company's financial resources.
Karen graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont and worked as an elementary school business manager for ten years, prior to joining the IPR team. IPR benefits from her strong organizational skills, wise financial insights and money-management. Having lived and studied in Germany and traveled to a wide variety of countries, Karen also brings international experience to her position.
Residing in downtown Philadelphia, Karen enjoys the many attractions of the city—from museums to the variety of walking paths. She loves spending time and traveling with her husband and two young adult children, reading, and studying Spanish. She is active in her church's women's ministry and gives piano lessons to beginner students.
Nancy Petersen, GMS
In 2014, Nancy accepted the position of Account Manager with IPR. She was previously in a dual role as Destination Service and Materials Coordinator. Prior to joining the IPR staff, Nancy had provided destination services for six years as an IPR Area Consultant in both the Chicago and Kansas City metropolitan areas. She brought her extensive travel and cultural experiences, as well as diplomatic interpersonal skills, in house to enhance the day-to-day operations of IPR. Nancy currently resides in the Kansas City Metro area.
As an expat to Denmark, and domestically to five different states, Nancy has relocated numerous times herself, totaling more than a dozen moves. During the three years she resided in Denmark, Nancy traveled often throughout northern and southern Europe, the United Kingdom, and also Russia. She was a member of the American Women’s Club (AWC) in Denmark and served a term as President. During the Danish assignment, Nancy and her husband become parents to a brother and sister sibling pair adopted from Russia. Their children have enjoyed their many travels as well.
For more than a decade, Nancy has served as an educational and community living advocate for special needs children and young adults. She is a member of numerous domestic and international clubs and professional organizations. Her interests include volunteering, spending time with family and friends, sewing, cooking, flea markets, estate sales, and travel.
Donna Ennis is excited to be part of the IPR Team, acting as a Destination Service Coordinator. Donna’s strong written and verbal communication skills were honed during her years as a Certified Court Reporter. In addition to her professional experience and her personal experience relocating domestically, Donna possesses the perfect skill-set to provide excellent support for IPR Account Managers and Area Consultants ensuring the successful delivery of Destination Services.
Donna was born and raised in north-central New Jersey and attended the Academy of Court Reporters obtaining her New Jersey license for Court Reporting. Donna relocated to California where she met her husband and eventually moved to their current home in Northern New Jersey. She and her husband are blessed to have three wonderful boys through domestic adoption. They enjoy attending their sons’ sporting events, especially football and basketball. They spend their summers in Long Beach Island, New Jersey, where they enjoy boating, fishing and kayaking in the beautiful waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Donna serves as co-president of the Parent Teacher Group as well as chair of the school’s annual Bingo fundraiser. Through her involvement with the Adoptive Parents Committee, she helps couples realize their dream of becoming a family through domestic and international adoption.
Mallorie was born and raised in Belgium. After graduating from the Brussels University (Université Libre de Bruxelles) with a Law Degree, she spent 10 years working as an attorney within an international law firm in Belgium. During her career as a lawyer, she was especially interested in the international aspects of the job.
Mallorie and her husband decided to relocate to Philadelphia, PA in 2010. They were both ready and excited for a new international adventure! She was introduced to IPR as an accompanying spouse receiving Destination Services. In December 2011, IPR gained a valued addition to our team when Mallorie joined the IPR staff as a Destination Service Coordinator.
Mallorie's own experience living and working abroad has given her a good understanding of the practical difficulties encountered when relocating to a foreign country. She is fluent in French, English and speaks some Dutch.
Mallorie enjoys spending time with her husband and their adorable son, Liam, who was born in Philadelphia and is being raised as a TCK (Third Culture Kid). After having traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia, she and her family are now eager to explore North America. She also likes reading, running, snowboarding and discovering the artistic and culinary scene of Philadelphia.
Vu has been a member of the IPR Family, acting as a Destination Service Coordinator since 2014. Prior to her permanent employment with IPR, Vu worked as an IPR Area Consultant in Midland, Michigan sharing her knowledge with international newcomers.
Upon graduating from Central Michigan University with degrees in Marketing and Logistics Management, she moved on to pursue a career working for a logistics company. Vu left the corporate company to support her husband in pursuing an opportunity to work and live in Tokyo, Japan. After returning to Mid-Michigan, a hobby transformed into a small business of purchasing, managing and leasing multiple apartment rentals. This occupied Vu’s time until they were offered another transfer assignment to the metropolitan city of Shanghai, China. She spent four years in China, had two children, learned mandarin, became active in many clubs/organizations, explored Asia, and helped other newcomers acclimate to Shanghai. In 2009, Vu and her family returned to Midland.
Her experience living abroad combined with field experience as an IPR Area Consultant equip Vu with the perfect skill-set to support IPR Account Managers and Area Consultants, ensuring the successful delivery of Destination Services.
Vu enjoys spending time and caring for her family, camping, volunteering in the community and schools, entertaining, as well as traveling both domestically and abroad.
Carol Metevier, GMS
As a Detroit native who relocated domestically as well as internationally, Carol is well versed in the challenges of relocation. When she was an accompanying spouse in Yokohama, Japan, Carol immersed herself and her family in the host location’s culture and customs. While on assignment, Carol taught Japanese students English as a Second Language.
Upon returning to the U.S., Carol continued to instruct Japanese students in local customs, business English, as well as English as a second language. In addition, Carol became a Detroit Area Consultant assisting expatriate families with their Destination Service needs. In 2009, Carol advanced her career by joining IPR. She held positions as an Area Consultant Mentor and Development Coordinator, as well as her current role as a Sr. Account Manager responsible for maintaining Client and Assignee satisfaction.
Carol holds the Global Mobility Specialist (GMS) certification from Worldwide ERC and regularly attends local and national industry conferences.
IPR Consulting provides globally oriented companies and their employees with relocation services.