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Chris Palmer Bio

Chris Palmer is the President of Chris Palmer Leadership, LLC – an advisory firm specializing in executive, organization and team development.  

During his 30-year corporate career, he held responsibilities on a global scale with extensive experience in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa.  His executive experience includes executive roles for Volvo Cars, Alstom, and Lafarge. 

As an Executive Coach, Chris works with leaders across several sectors and disciplines in large global companies.  Chris has recently worked with leaders at companies including General Electric, Bechtel, Starbucks, Verizon, Micron, Dropbox, CRH, Ernst & Young, The International Monetary Fund, Sephora, Merck, Ally Financial, and Boston Beer Company, and several others.

As a CHRO, he managed significant executive talent and succession decisions while being a member of the decision apparatus about global organizational structures. The breadth of Chris' experience provides him a unique perspective and deep insights into the executive psyche, the keys to executive leadership, how great teams are built and managed, and how large global enterprises successfully manage significant change initiatives.

An MBA graduate from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, he also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Kettering University.

Chris Palmer holds a Graduate Certification in  Executive Coaching the University of Texas at Dallas and is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coaching Federation. He is also an executive and team coach with Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching.  As a Certifed  Partner with the Predictive Index,  Chris brings his insights and powerful software tools to diagnose, design, and build great teams in his consulting work.  He also is a certified Hogan consultant and uses his partnership with Hogan in Executive Assessment with his own clients, as well as for other coaches who trust his experience in this domain enough to work with their own clients.

I help solve the people and organization challenges that can either get in the way, or enable execution of a great business idea.


My first business venture was in high school, manufacturing wood products with a small group of other teenagers.  As a young student with a business, I met many leaders in the business community, including executives at some of the large companies in my hometown.  Their interest in my success touched me, and it was foundational in my belief that most leaders want to be part of others' success.  They gave me the confidence to push myself, take some risks, and generally keep a good dose of humility.  I tried to live up to that ideal of leadership as I built an executive career growing companies, teams, and leaders worldwide.


A conversation with one of the executives I met in high school led me to apply and get accepted to the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University). I studied and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Administration and a job with General Motors when I graduated.


My first job was as a front-line supervisor of about 20 unionized factory workers who were thrilled at the prospect of working for a 23-year-old graduate with no experience. It taught me a lot about my leadership approach - what did and didn't work, and what was important for people to stay motivated and focused.   That was the foundation for a 30-year corporate career growing companies, teams, and leaders worldwide and ultimately attaining the top HR job at Volvo Cars Americas, Alstom NA, and Lafarge NA.  

With a few years of work experience under my belt, I went back to graduate school and earned an MBA at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.


In late 2017 I was working in what I thought was my dream job as head of HR for Volvo Cars Americas.  On a long flight home from China, I thought about my future.  I wanted to  focus on leadership development. My dream job was to work for myself and dedicating my efforts towards assisting leaders in being the kind of leaders they aspire to be and giving people the types of leaders that I was lucky enough to have at several points in my career.  Part of that dream job was to work with leaders across a variety of sectors and companies.


I coach and advise executives to make better decisions in shaping the future – for their business, their teams, their relationships, and their career.  I know the pressures in these senior roles. I've been there. I'm a thought partner as a coach and a solution builder as a strategic advisor.


I'll help build capability in an organization to lead better, perform, improve connection within and with their customers, and stay energized even in these challenging times. I'm adept at aligning with company cultures and missions.  And I'll bring helpful, scalable tools that are impactful and easy to deploy.  My job is to make leaders more effective, not busier.


"Chris’ own experience allows him to be credible with prospective clients.  He has a clear understanding of the challenges, career stallers, and developmental paths for varied levels within an organization … he relates to and empathizes with staff at all levels."

- CEO – Strategic Advisory Firm

For over 3 decades my life was very centered around my work, career, and executive growth.  I have reached a stage in my life where I am able to share, support and give back.  This extends beyond my professional life and ability to financially support charities, but also into my private space. 


I serve our nation’s heroes as a coach for combat injured warriors for the Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation  


I am active in my community helping young people find the Double WIn in their own lives.  I serve on the Board of Directors of Old Newsboys of Port Huron who ensures that children stay warm by funding the purchase of new boots, socks, underwear, mittens and coats.   I am honored to provide free advisory work and coaching to the Board and Staff at A Beautful Me - an amazing and growing organization deducated to increasing confidence in young women by teaching them about business and personal accountability.  

Recent weekend projects have included events like Oyster Reef Restoration on Botany Bay with the Nature Conservancy .


My life has been changed by my volunteer work – I strongly believe that living by your values makes you a better person. Undoubtedly this has made me a better coach.


Charity Work

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