top of page
Ascend Stock Photo.png


Our values

We start with integrity and empathy. We only work with clients we believe can benefit from our specific approach in a meaningful way. If we don’t think we are a great fit, we will refer you elsewhere.


We put our clients first because it’s the right thing to do. And we also make sure we take care of our team; because who wants to work with a company that doesn’t live what they teach? 


Happiness is essential to our performance. If we can’t find or create joy in our client relationships, we part peaceably. 


Value matters. Value received and delivered. We treat your investment in us and our services as a sacred trust. If we haven’t seen it, done it or know from direct experience that our advice or approach works, we will never try to deliver it to you.

Tom Frank

Senior Partner

Tom Frank is the Founder and Senior Partner at Ascend. He is an entrepreneurial executive with more than 25 years of experience building top tier companies in packaged goods, television production, streaming media, software, e-commerce and advanced mobility.

Tom also helped build one of the highest ranked entrepreneurial education programs in the country at the University of Michigan.


Tom serves as a certified instructor for the National Science Foundation in the I-Corps research commercialization program.

He understands the complexities of customer discovery, building a world class team, retaining talent, fundraising, board relationships and scaling operations through all kinds of business challenges.

His approach to coaching and training is rooted in a pragmatic approach to identifying and solving problems. Tom focuses on specific management challenges and personal-professional leadership development.


Tom applies his “real world” operating experience when working with founders, emerging leaders, senior executives and full management teams. 

Tom Headshot 3 BW.jpg

Eva schaible

Director of client engagement

Eva Schaible is the Director of Client Engagement at Ascend. Since graduating from Marquette University, Eva has been working in the field of market research, executive leadership communications and training for over 10 years. Experienced in building successful client relationships from start-up to Fortune 100 companies, as well as extensively managing projects and accounts with an operational attention to detail, she is responsible for driving client value and ensuring absolute engagement from end-to-end. 


She has helped to design programs and implement learning and development across a variety of fields with an emphasis on relationship building, communication skills, conflict resolution and organizational development. Curious by nature, Eva’s approach to problem solving is both collaborative and practical. She is dedicated to ensuring that the client experiences a seamless, proactive and positive engagement when working with Ascend. 


In her free time, she enjoys photography, chasing waterfalls while hiking and admiring every dog she comes across.




Anton Franckeiss coaches senior executives and those on a fast track or newly appointed to senior roles. He has a strong ability to master a situation quickly; highly knowledgeable in a wide variety of professional disciplines and is pragmatic and highly proficient. He is highly effective in supporting individuals and teams in developing and running successful business operations. Anton has a wealth of experience in developing strategies to support growth and people and organizational effectiveness; possessing excellent interpersonal, communication and organizational skills with proven abilities in delivering both individual and organisational assessment and development.



  • Marshall-Goldsmith Coaching and 360 GLA Assessment Accreditation

  • Doctorate Degree and Post-Doctorate degrees (OD & Change)

  • Senior Fellow of Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development

  • Member of Association for Coaching

  • Member SIOP.

  • Member of European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) WBAC & ICF.

  • Licensed in a full range of industry standard assessment tools.

Anton Franckweiss


Business development manager

Lisa has enjoyed a successful career, in sales, management, project management and operations at some of the most exciting companies in the world including Yahoo!, Datron Media, and GE Digital. Lisa brings a rich skillset to her role as chief liaison at all organizational levels with a diverse set of clients from finance to tech to entertainment.


At Ascend, Lisa is committed to ensuring every client experience is a superlative one. Lisa is simply the best at listening and providing smart solutions and support. Lisa also manages special projects and holds the entire team accountable.

Lisa Kowalski

Meryl Russo


Meryl Russo enjoyed a successful career in sales, brand strategy and project management for The Walt Disney Company, Meredith Corporation and Readers Digest. With 35 years of experience, she collaborated with nearly every category of consumer products. Clients like Nestle, Honda, Toyota, Hilton, Paramount, Sony, Disney, Mattel and Dole have successfully created and implemented consumer facing programs to increase brand awareness, positively impact sales and contribute to the bottom line.


Meryl has been a lifelong student of human behavior and transformation. This, along with her corporate experience and 10 years as a grief group facilitator has naturally led her to coaching. She believes that a highly intelligent executive is only part of the recipe for a successful executive. Meryl specializes in emotional intelligence; Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Motivation, Empathy and Social skills. She stands in one core truth of humanity; that everyone wants to matter and be “seen.” What gets in the way is the internal chatter, stories and limiting beliefs - all elements of being human. Through compassionate listening, kindness and impactful tools, individuals and groups look under the hood together to identify and clear the obstacles that block them personally and professionally. What emerges is the ongoing ability to collaborate, communicate and generate from a fresh perspective with a clearer path to success.




Meg Luby is an accomplished marketer, sales leader, consultant and adviser with  34 years of experience in the  Consumer Packaged Goods and retail industries  Her record of leadership and  commercialization success includes industry leading companies: Build-A-Bear Workshop, Hasbro, Johnson and Johnson, Clorox  and Procter and Gamble. During her career she built a reputation for innovative strategic thinking, operational excellence, passion for  organizational development, and a commitment to building strong customer relationships. She has over 10 years of P&L responsibillity and success in categories including toys, OTC medications, household  products, food, nutritionals, and baby products. She is highly qualified to advise in a number of areas including executive presence, communication, navigating change, Board management, strategic design and overall leadership skills.  

Meg Luby
bottom of page