Meet the Rational Games Board

Mark Young

Mark YoungNegotiation Expert, RGI President

Dr. Mark Young, the founder of Rational Games, is an independent author, trainer and consultant with many years´ practical and academic experience in the area of negotiation, mediation and conflict management skills. His theoretical work is tempered by practical lessons learned as a negotiator in government (US Department of Commerce) and in the field of corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions in the US and Europe. Mark divides his time between Cambridge, Mass, Washington, DC and Berlin, Germany.

Raymond Cyr

Raymond CyrTreasurer

Raymond is a finance professional active in the controllers division of an international bank. Raymond’s experiences in both the nonprofit and for-profit business sectors come together to support the mission of Rational Games, Inc. Eager to support initiatives locally and globally which further work being done in the fields of conflict management, negotiation and mediation, Raymond is delighted to be serving Rational Games, Inc. in his capacity as Treasurer of the organization.

Ray is fluent in English and German.

Wayne LifshitzGrantee Relationships

Wayne Lifshitz is a 20 year professional with executive and senior level management experience in the non-profit, start-up and Big 5 consulting industries, and has worked with several large and globally recognized brands which have included CARE, Booz Allen, Nike, and WorldShop. Wayne is an entrepreneur, inventor, and strategic connector. He began his career in international development focused on social change where he was the Founder and Director for CARE’s Sport for Social Change Network [grant program] and later led a large grant portfolio for Booz Allen. At present, Wayne is the CEO of Kennin Co,. an entrepreneur and small business consulting firm, that is focused on COO as a service, strategy, strategic connections, general business consulting, KPI and project management and new business development. The firm works with tech start-ups, consumer goods manufacturers and non-profits on projects that improve short and long term growth and sustainability. He is also the inventor of the Piggyback Rider and other successful consumer products and works closely with LifecycleVC and Piranha Tank that help start-ups get seed funding.

Wayne obtained his Bachelors of Arts in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and also holds a Master’s degree from Boston University. He has completed an MBA leadership certificate course at Cornell University and is a PMP and Certified Partnership Broker. In his free time, he’s a sailor, father, jujitsu blackbelt and USA National and World Team Judo competitor.

Norm ThomasNegotiation Trainer, Strategic Partnerships

Norm Thomas is a recognized industry leader in technology for professional services firms. He spent 8 years with Microsoft as Director of Industry Market Development for the Legal and Professional Services solutions business, focusing on customer engagement and channel-building in the services sector globally. Before joining Microsoft, Thomas was a Client Partner for Cambridge Technology Partners in enterprise-scale project management and client development, and before that was President of Softec Solutions, Inc., a systems integrator for small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from USC and an MBA in Finance from the University of Washington and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Washington.

Björn Hofmann

Björn HofmannNegotiation Trainer, RGI Board Secretary

Björn is a humanitarian aid worker with professional experience working for international organizations and for government departments. In addition to his regular work, Björn has been contributing to the ideas and work of RGI since 2009 as an independent trainer and consultant in negotiation skills. In 2014, Björn joined the Board of RGI as its newest member, supporting Rational Games in carrying forward the idea of constructive negotiations and of creative problem solving through seminars, and by strengthening RGI’s strategic partnership with other negotiation professionals. With his experience in the nonprofit and governance sector, Björn is able to bring new ideas to the work of RGI.

Björn is fluent in German and English and speaks French.

Associate Trainers

Valentin Ade

Valentin AdeNegotiation Trainer, Coach

Valentin Ade teaches negotiation at the University of St. Gallen, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, and Technical University of Berlin. Also, he leads trainings for public and private clients such as Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and The Renewables Academy (RENAC). Before dedicating his career to negotiations, Valentin has worked for several years in international project finance and business development in the solar energy industry. Valentin holds a joint MSc in Management / Diploma in Business from ESCP Europe (Paris) and the Technical University of Berlin, and a BA in International Affairs from the University of St. Gallen. Since 2015 he is a part-time PhD candidate in social psychology at Leuphana University of Lüneburg where he researches the long-term effectiveness of negotiation trainings. He is particularly interested is in negotiation mindsets.

Valentin is fluent in German and English.

Catherine Mertens

Catherine MehrtensNegotiation Consultant, Coach

Catherine Mehrtens started her career in the Paris headquarters of the insurance company AXA. There she helped guide the strategic internationalization of the HR department which included negotiating and advising on the ensuing career paths for AXA executives and expatriates.

Since 2012 Catherine has worked as a freelance negotiation consultant, coach and trainer, serving both the private and public sectors. Her primary focus is the support of international change projects and strategic negotiations, particularly in the banking and insurance business, as well as healthcare and IT.

Catherine is a German citizen and is fluent in German, English, and French.

Jill Tanamal

Jill Tanamal BlackbyrnNegotiation Consultant, Trainer

Jill Tanamal has been a Research Fellow of the Robert Bosch Academy Berlin - an institution of the Robert Bosch Stiftung in 2016. Her field of research was Mega Trends in South East Asia with the vision to enhance an informed and holistic understanding of the Southeast Asian region in Europe.

Since 2016, Jill Tanamal is part of the Board of Directors of the South East Asia Leadership Academy (SEALA) which is an initiative launched by the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF). Prior to that, she was Corporate Communications Manager at Bosch Indonesia for three and a half years succeeding in increasing brand awareness in Indonesia by opening up communication channels from traditional media to digital.
Preceding that, she worked for the German Federal Foreign Office as Liaison Coordinator for the second International Conference on Afghanistan. In this capacity, she was responsible for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. She performed similar roles for conferences at the Head-of-State and Ministerial level during Germany’s presidency of the G8 Summit, EU-ASEM and EU-ASEAN. Besides being the point of contact for the UN delegation, she was also key contact for all ASEAN countries during that time.
From 2008 to 2009 Jill Tanamal was Project Manager for the Corporate Division at MCI Berlin office, handling high-level symposiums for the German government as well as other event formats.
Jill Tanamal is a Certified Event Manager from IHK (German Chambers of Industry and Commerce). She followed up with Chinese studies from 2009 - 2011 at Beijing Language and Culture University.

Jill is fluent German, English and Indonesian, and speaks some Chinese.

Dr. Franziska Frank

Franziska FrankNegotiation Consultant, Trainer

Franziska is trainer, key note speaker and program director, both free-lance and as Affiliate Program Director for ESMT Berlin. Her teaching and key notes focus on negotiation, decision making, influencing and about what every manager should know about their brain. Qualified as a MBSR teacher she includes elements of mindfulness where they help strengthen negotiation performance.

To gain a long term perspective Franziska read history at Cambridge moving on to develop negotiations skills by completing two law degrees in Germany. Deepening intercultural experience she wrote a PhD about Russian law and spent half a year in China. She then moved into application in the business world by consulting six years for The Boston Consulting Group before working full-time for ten years as Program Director at ESMT Berlin running dozens of open and customized executive education programs for clients all over the world.

Max Felix Herrmann Portrait

Felix HerrmannNegotiation Consultant

Felix Herrmann is a business consultant in London, and Vice President at Second Chance Homes Ltd., a social enterprise with the purpose to deliver affordable social housing using refurbished shipping containers. He holds a bachelor degree in industrial engineering as well as two master degrees in Management from the École Supérieur de Commerce in Paris and Carlos III University of Madrid. As a management consultant at CCMI Consulting and the Otto Group, he negotiated a range of different IT and business projects with internal and external stakeholders. Felix holds the scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation and leads a European Citizen Initiative on gender equality which negotiates new legislation for a European parental leave directive. He lives and works in London.

Felix is fluent in German, English, and Spanish.