Management Team

Mary Abbajay, President

Mary Abbajay is an acclaimed and sought after public speaker, organizational consultant, facilitator, trainer, and author. She is the president and founder of Careerstone Group, LLC, a woman-owned professional development consultancy that delivers leading-edge talent and organizational development solutions.

As a consultant, speaker, facilitator and trainer, Mary helps clients develop the strategies, skills, and sensibilities needed for success in the 21st century. Her expertise lies in helping clients create dynamic and productive workplaces that foster professional and personal excellence and growth. In short, she is committed to creating workplaces where both the organization and the individual can flourish.

Mary Abbajay brings 20 years of experience in leadership positions, a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management, and post-graduate certificates from Georgetown University and the Coaches Training Institute. In addition to being an entrepreneur and consultant, Mary has served as adjunct faculty at George Mason University’s School of Management and has taught at both Montgomery College and the Georgetown University Center for Professional Development.

Her experience and business savvy has led her to serve as a frequent expert contributor for television, radio and print publications in the greater Washington, DC area. She is the host of “Women Talk” and a regular contributor on “The Working Life,” two iHeart Media radio shows broadcast in the Washington, D.C. area. She is a regular guest expert on News Channel 8’s “Let’s Talk Live” and “News Talk with Bruce DePuyt,” where she provides practical leadership and career advice.

Mary currently serves on the Market President’s Board of BB&T Bank and is a Past Chairman of the Board for Leadership Greater Washington where she also chaired and led the adult Signature program, the Youth Leadership Program and the Rising Leaders Program. She was a volunteer mentor for Mentor’s Inc., an urban youth mentoring program and served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C. Additionally, Mary was the co-owner of the Toledo Lounge and Crush Nightclub in Adams Morgan.

In 2010, Mary was named as one of Washington Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business and was a Smart CEO Brava Award recipient in 2017. Mary is the author of Managing Up: How to Move Up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss to be published by Wiley Press in March 2018.


Dr. Christopher Butts, Vice President

Dr. Christopher Butts is a trusted advisor to executive management in both the public and private sector on complex human resource and employee relations issues. With over 15 years of leadership experience, he has facilitated more than 1,000 hours of training on leadership, diversity and inclusion, civility in the workplace, strategic middle management and many other topics.

Dr. Butts conducts rigorous train-the-trainer and coaching programs for senior leaders and managers in the science and intelligence communities; he has also designed multi-level, multi-learning curricula that advance strategic organizational objectives. As a process facilitator, he helps agency planners develop new decision-making procedures for risk management analysis.

Dr. Butts works with select clients for organizational development, executive leadership, and human resources, utilizing deep expertise in Diversity & Inclusion, Human Relations, Leadership, and Workplace Civility. He brings a wealth of expertise and first‐hand knowledge on leadership excellence, change management, and commitment to engagement. He is certified to present a variety of workshops and trainings, including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Dr. Butts serves as a board member for the Human Capital Executive Research Board and an Editorial Board Member for the Macrothink Institute in Research in Business Management. He is an active member of multiple organizations for human resource and higher education professionals.

Dr. Butts received a Master of Education in Higher Education degree and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education and Policy Studies degree from the University of Central Florida. His published work includes a recent article in the journal Industrial and Organizational Psychology Perspectives on Science and Practice, Diversity Executive Magazine, a book chapter in Understanding and Managing Diversity, and another in Cross-Cultural Competence for a Twenty-First-Century Military.


Laura Buckley, Director of Training & Facilitation

Laura Buckley is an experienced leader and educator with a passion for helping organizations and individuals achieve their goals to become the best version of themselves. Prior to joining Careerstone in 2012, Laura served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army for nearly eight years where she worked as a registered dietitian. During this time, she interacted with individuals at all levels of the military and gained a deep appreciation for the value of excellent communication and adaptive approaches needed to work successfully across diverse viewpoints and personalities.

Since joining Careerstone, Laura has worked with many government and private sector clients to provide expert facilitation and training. She brings enthusiasm in helping young professionals find their fit in the workplace and advance their interpersonal skills. She loves helping teams construct more effective and efficient meetings to get the most out of their time together and she is committed to helping people connect at work. She believes relationships are truly the foundation of a successful team.

Laura spent one year as the Marketing Director for a non-profit specializing in advancing the incorporation of women-owned businesses in the supply chain. She understands the importance of diversity in the private market and is proud to be back supporting the success of this woman-owned business.

Laura has a BS in Nutrition Management, an MS in Adult Education, and a certificate in Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership from Georgetown University. She was the Army’s Instructor of the Year in 2007 and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for excellence in Leadership and Education. Laura is currently a major in the U.S. Army Individual Ready Reserve and maintains a DOD-sponsored secret clearance.


Carly Eckard, Executive Assistant and Training Coordinator

Carly Eckard is the Executive Assistant & Training Coordinator for Careerstone Group, LLC where she provides project and logistical support as well as executive-level assistance. Carly is responsible for the administration of personality inventories, project logistics, executive calendar management, and a host of other essential administrative functions. Additionally, she assists with Careerstone’s social media presence, marketing, and research.

Prior to joining Careerstone, Carly served for eight years as an active duty officer and clinician in the U.S. Army. Carly holds a Master of Science in Nutrition from Baylor University and a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach. As a registered dietitian (RD) and certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD), Carly has worked in multiple patient care settings and has extensive experience with project and team management, database management, communications, and research methodology. Additionally, she holds numerous publications with her most recent in the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development titled, Metabolic and body composition changes in the first year following traumatic amputation.


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