Development Concepts Leadership

Who are we?

George Cooper Headshot

George R. Cooper III

George started out in the manufacturing world as an engineer after graduating from Georgia Tech with a mechanical engineering degree, then moved to maintenance management—in fact, he still thinks of himself as a maintenance man, first. Shifting to work for a Tier One automotive supplier, he held positions in operations and quality management, including responsibility for implementation of the Toyota Production System (TPS) across his Division's locations. Along the way, he obtained an EMBA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

His extensive real-world experience perfectly set the stage for creating a consulting practice focusing on the development of content-validated technical assessments used for selection, qualification and determination of training needs for jobs with specialized knowledge, as well as the development of customized training curricula and materials to assist clients in improving the skills of their incumbent workforce. Having been a practitioner in the industrial world with a broad technical background makes him uniquely qualified to consult from a position of experience and expertise.

In recent years, George has become active in the areas of public education, skilled workforce development in an effort to address the shortage of qualified candidates for skilled jobs. He has partnered with regional secondary and post-secondary education institutions and employers to bridge the gap between schools' curricula, students' demonstrable proficiencies, and employers' needs. He sees a big picture emerging of an industrial renaissance in the United States, and the need to provide clear pathways to the many skilled jobs that exist for people in all walks of life.

Andria Yates Headshot

Andria L. Yates, Ph.D.

Andria first worked as an engineer after obtaining her hard earned bachelor's degree in mechanical and materials engineering from Vanderbilt University. After her years in manufacturing management, she left the manufacturing world and completed a doctoral program in psychology, adding a few formal letters to her name along with the concentration in industrial / organizational psychology.

She has worked in management and executive positions in manufacturing, human resources, and new media businesses in addition to her continued consulting practice of over twenty years. She also serves as part time faculty at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she has created seminars in areas such as Social and Emotional Intelligence and Meditation. As Dr. Yates, she also leads study abroad courses in Social and Multicultural Psychology, to Greece and Italy, respectively.

Andria is a systems thinker, which influences all areas of her work (and life outside of work.) Her consulting spans the boundaries of organizational and individual services, with an overarching emphasis on the health and effectiveness of the system, whether the system is an organization, a group, or an individual. This includes work as quantitatively focused as creating pre-employment assessments and analyzing the results of an employee survey (which greatly appeal to her left brain) to the more qualitative efforts involved in coaching others and leading experiential retreats in self discovery (engaging more of her right brain).