Our expertise spans generations of excellence. Bert Decker founded the company in 1979, and later recruited his son and daughter-in-law to propel Decker Communications through the new generation of business communications.

Bert Decker

Bert Decker
Chairman and Founder

A true visionary, Bert launched Decker Communications in 1979 to transform people’s lives – and that mission remains the same today. Bert’s passion for communications evolved from his early career as a successful filmmaker. After turning the camera on himself, he became keenly aware of the power of video feedback and the need for communications coaching.

Since then, Bert has become a nationally recognized communications expert, appearing on the NBC TODAY Show several times, commentator on Presidential Debates, and featured on ABC’s 20/20 and dozens of other print and broadcast media. Bert is entrepreneurial to his core.

In addition to speaking and writing, he is the founder of seven companies and organizations, Chairman of the Advisory Board of The Salvation Army, and fancies himself an early adopter of all things tech. Bert raised his three children in the Decker Method and is now working on his grandchildren. He and his wife Dru Scott live in Nevada.

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Ben Decker

Ben Decker
Chief Executive Officer

Ben drives the Decker vision, ensuring that we always set out to transform individuals to increase their impact. In addition to speaking and leading executive programs, he spearheads Decker’s strategy and expansion efforts.

His prior experience and success in sales and sales management in the telecommunications and surgical industries validated the importance of communicating effectively, even in the most brief interactions.

Ben holds a BS in Psychology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Ben has literally been steeped in the Decker Method his entire life. Early on in his “career,” he remembers being videotaped prior to his junior high book reports. In hindsight, he can certainly see the value of it, but the jury is still out on whether or not he’ll subject his own three boys to do the same.

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Kelly Decker

Kelly Decker

Head of Decker’s Program Development and Training, Kelly works closely with our clients to customize innovative programs that solve their evolving communications challenges. In addition to speaking and leading executive programs, she is focused on growing and scaling the elite quality of communications training and messaging programs upon which Decker has built its reputation.

Every day, she leverages skills and past experience gained in consulting with The Alexander Group, and in corporate communications and sales management with AT&T. She holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business, and a BS in Psychology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Having grown up in a large Italian family, Kelly worked hard to overcome the communications challenge of over-gesturing. She’s also a proud survivor of growing up with three brothers, and she uses her experience to raise her and Ben’s three boys, Jackson, Joseph and Christopher.

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John Tarman

John Tarman
Chief Operating Officer

A native son of the Bay Area, John’s commitment to organizational leadership has included 20 years with the California Interscholastic Federation (Assistant Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer) as well as his most recent service as Executive Director of the Volunteer Center of the East Bay.

At various times during his career, his management responsibilities have included finance, administration, sales, marketing, human resources, communications, training, media relations and event management. His passions include basketball (former high school and college basketball official) and wine (ten years in the wine industry). John has served on the Board of Directors of the Volunteer Center and currently serves as Chair of the Finance Council of St. Joan of Arc Church in San Ramon. John is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and resides in Dublin with his wife Domini.

In his operations role, John leads all aspects of administration, finance and human resources while working with the rest of the Decker Executive Team to chart the future course for Decker’s growth.

Scott Bender
Senior Vice President – Strategic Relationships

Scott is passionate about helping individuals, teams and organizations work more effectively. He joined the Decker team because of the way we powerfully foster both individual growth and broader organizational change. In Scott’s words, “It’s so exciting to see the way we impact people. Improving the way that individuals communicate and influence impacts performance at every level!”

Scott spent 23 years of his career working in distribution for a division of International Paper and Veritiv Corporation, both Fortune 500 companies. His career highlights included climbing the ranks of sales leadership to General Manager, where he was responsible for both sales and operations. He feels fortunate to have worked with leaders who have taken an interest in his development and helped him focus on his leadership skills. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Arizona.

Personally, Scott enjoys time with his wife and two teenagers. They love living in the San Francisco’s East Bay, and their family time includes watching their son play golf and trying to keep up with their daughter, who is passionate about dance. To “relax,” Scott enjoys running. He believes his best time to think is on long runs, and since he’s run 6 marathons (with another one on the horizon), he gets plenty of time to think!

Dani Janklow Photo

Dani Janklow
Director of Marketing

With passion for leadership, social change and strategic communication, what does Dani love most about the Decker MethodTM? Getting answers to the age-old question: “So what?”

Dani started her career producing live television before turning to marketing to share ideas. She has been brand building, creating original content, managing national campaigns and developing messaging strategy from coast to coast (and in between) ever since. Prior to Decker, Dani was consulting for start-ups and nonprofit organizations.

Dani loves spending time outside – especially hiking, skiing and surfing. She also has a penchant for international travel, volunteering, yoga, citrus and spicy foods. Dani graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She currently lives in San Francisco.

Karen Laos

Karen Laos
Senior Manager – Program Delivery, Program Leader

Karen loves being a Program Leader for Decker! She considers it a privilege to be a catalyst in people’s growth and is passionate about seeing participants transform in just two days. Her background in human resources at Gap Inc and Gensler Architecture has helped shape her philosophy of experiential learning. She finds her job rewarding because people get to practice and see immediate results. Karen received a BA in Psychology from Lafayette College and puts it to good use everyday.

Originally from Minneapolis, Karen decided to pack up her bags in 1994 and follow her childhood dream of living in San Francisco. An adventurer at heart, she takes every opportunity possible to travel, especially to beach destinations. Next on her must-visit list: Greece and Bermuda.

Jonathan Willard

Jonathan Willard
Vice President – Strategic Relationships

Jonathan leads Decker’s New York office. He brings two decades of experience in designing and delivering organizational communications and performance improvement programs for some of the world’s most admired companies.

Jonathan has worked extensively in the areas of strategy, innovation, leadership, business development, and brand activation. His agency affiliations have included JWT, the Involvement Practice, Bonfire Communications, and New York Consulting Partners.

In addition to his work in communications, Jonathan is an accomplished artist whose paintings and drawings have been widely exhibited, and his writing has appeared in numerous journals and literary reviews.