Our Leadership

Each of our professionals has a track record of success in attorney career coaching. With our JD’s and leadership in legal career development, we help clients design and execute customized career plans focused on leadership, practice management, and transition goals.

Robert S. Wilson, President, JD

Bob is co-Founder and President of High Potential, Inc. Formerly the Engagement Partner for Right-Jannotta Bray, his leadership in providing outstanding service is recognized by clients as an HPi hallmark. His reputation for facilitating organizational and individual transitions was established while serving as Managing Director of Banque Indosuez, where he successfully reorganized corporate operations. A former practicing Lawyer, Bob served as Counsel for the City of Cleveland and a variety of health-care and publicly traded companies. A frequent speaker on legal career management, Bob delivered the keynote address to the International Trademark Association’s recent conference in Washington D.C. Bob received his JD from Case Western Reserve University, and completed a number of MBA courses as well. He is on the Executive Faculty of the Leeds Business School at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he lectures on Career and Executive Development.

Denise D. Russo, Vice-President of Professional Development, J.D.

As an accomplished marketing professional and practicing attorney, Denise brings personal experience in both the business and the practice of law. Denise recieved her J.D. from The John Marshall Law School and worked as an Assistant Public Defender in Cook County. She subsequently moved to Mexico City where she transitioned to a career in marketing with the Leo Burnett Company. During her 16 year tenure, Denise managed high profile domestic and international businesses, rising to a sednior executive position. She then decided to combine her legal background and marketing expertise when she became Director of Marketing for DLA Piper LLp. Denise led the firm's marketing efforts through a number of mergers, name changes and strategic alliances. As a result, she has a keen understanding of the challenges and issues facing the legal industry today.

Christopher L. Wagner, Senior Executive Consultant

Chris Wagner, a Senior Career Coach specializing in high level attorney services, has been with HPi since inception. Previously, Chris served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the global law firm, McDermott, Will & Emory, as well as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the First National Bank of Chicago. His career consulting/coaching experience includes assessment work with hundreds of clients and the application of the full range of assessment tools including Myers-Briggs, DiSC, and 360° feedback. Chris has held leadership positions in a number of professional organizations/associations including the Bank Administration Institute, the Chicago Clearing House and SWIFT. He holds a BBA Degree (Bus. Admin) from St. Norbert College and is an alumnus of the Loyola University Rome (Italy) Center for the Liberal Arts.

Nancy Bellis, Senior Executive Coach, J.D.

Nancy brings a unique perspective to her role as a professional coach drawing from her extensive experience as a highly effective corporate lawyer. For over 25 years, Nancy has counseled and coached senior executives, boards of directors, and lawyers on a wide array of business and legal matters. In addition to her JD, Nancy has a Master’s degree in Counseling and Organizational Psychology to complement her finely tuned business acumen and proven leadership and legal capabilities with executive coaching, leadership development, and other organizational development skills. Nancy works closely with HPi as an adjunct consultant providing one‐on‐one career transition and executive coaching services across a variety of programs specializing in the legal industry. Ms. Bellis received her   M.A. in Counseling and Organizational Psychology, from the Adler School of Professional Psychology,; her J.D. from University of Virginia School of Law; and her B.A. from Yale University

Phil Staffa , Vice-President of Professional Services

Phil Staffa is Vice President Professional Services and Executive Coach with HPi. He has over 15 years of experience in the Human Resources field. Phil spent the breadth of his career with Quaker Oats/PepsiCo in a variety of roles. They included Quality Assurance, Manufacturing, and, in particular, Human Resource Leadership & Management for the Sales and International Divisions. His HR expertise includes all aspects of Large-scale organization restructuring, rapid change and merger integration, coaching senior leaders, people assessment, strategic HR planning, employee development, and performance management. Mr. Staffa has worked in a senior consulting capacity for High Potential since August 2007. He has coached a wide range of attorneys as well as coaching leaders in organizations to maximize their leadership potential. He has completed the Life Coaching program with CTI (Coaches Training Institute), and has a BS degree form Seton Hall University.

Bob Allen , Senior Consultant, JD

Bob Allen is a Senior Consultant with High Potential Inc. He has twenty-five plus years experience in the areas of human resources, labor relations, mergers and acquisitions, career transition, training and both individual and organization development. He has held senior positions at two major corporations - Container Corporation of America and Baxter Healthcare Inc. At the later, he was Director of the Baxter Institute for Training and Development. He has managed thirty plus professionals in an international environment; delivered numerous career transition workshops; worked with many senior managers regarding their careers; developed many job search manuals for use throughout the world; and conducted 100+ seminars on subjects such as leadership, managing change, strategic planning, interpersonal impact and effective communication. He has served as President of 500-member Life-Long Learning Institute at Roosevelt University - Schaumburg and been on numerous boards of directors. He co-authored "Key Questions in Career Counseling" that is used at many universities throughout the world. Bob holds a B.A. in Economics and a M.B.A. from the University of Kansas; and a Doctor of Jurisprudence for the University of Texas School of Law.

Linda Bruemmer, Senior Consultant

Linda Bruemmer brings more than twenty years of experience in executive development and career management consulting, as well as early work experience in career development and planning for Chicago area colleges, to HPi.   She worked as Director of Career Planning and Placement for Elmhurst College and held a faculty appointment in Student Development at Oakton Community College.  While at Oakton,  she was recruited to join Right Jannotta Bray as VP and Consultant for their executive practice where she served as primary consultant administering and interpreting assessments for individual clients, in addition to providing career search support.  During her years there she was among the first consultants selected to provide executive coaching in addition to transition services. Linda is a Double Northwestern Wildcat having received her MA, Counseling, from Northwestern University and her BA Psychology from Northwestern University as well.


Helping High Performers Maximize their Potential
High Potential Inc.
33 West Monroe, Suite 2110

Chicago, IL 60603
312.252.8200