Management Team

Mary Abbajay, President

Mary Abbajay, author of the best-selling Managing Up: How to Move Up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss is the president of Careerstone Group, LLC, a full service organizational and leadership development consultancy that delivers leading-edge talent and organizational development solutions to business and government.

As a sought-after author, speaker, consultant, 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 over 20 years of leadership experience, 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.

Mary is a frequent expert contributor for television, radio and print publications where she provides practical leadership and career advice. In addition to her role as a Forbes.com contributor, her work and advice have appeared in the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Forbes, The Financial Times, Money, Southwest Airlines Magazine, Monster, and the BBC.

Mary currently serves on the Greater Washington Market President’s Board of BB&T Bank and is a past Chairman of the Board for Leadership Greater Washington where she has 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.

To request Mary as a speaker for your event, please contact Outspoken Agency at info@outspokenagency.com or call at 646-863-4000


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.


Kristen Shattuck, Senior Consultant

Kristen Shattuck is a coach, trainer, and facilitator whose experiences have focused on improving the quality and efficacy of the culture and performance of organizations throughout North Carolina and the greater Washington, DC, areas. As Senior Consultant at Careerstone Group, Kristen specializes in designing and facilitating programming that is active, participant-centered, and results-based. Kristen’s work has focused on collaboration, communication, time and organizational management, strategic planning, diversity, cultural competence, and leadership development through a variety of Careerstone Group programs including Managing Up, Conflict Matters, Communication Matters, Teambuilding, and Presentation Matters.

Kristen’s professional experiences include K-12 school principal, teacher, and non-profit administrator; she has translated the leadership and project management skills needed in these roles to support individuals, teams, and organizations through leadership coaching and facilitation. Kristen received her master’s degrees from both Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; her research in both programs focused on reform implementation, policy, and leadership development.

As a school principal, Kristen developed partnerships with Elon University, North Carolina State University, and Alamance Community College to increase middle and high school students’ access to rigorous academic courses, designing curriculum options that provided students with college credits before graduating high school. While managing a $3 million budget for over 500 students and 50 faculty and staff members, Kristen worked to build capacity on the Board and raised the profile of the independent school to a vibrant campus at 105% capacity and a 250% increase in student applicants waitlisted each year.

Kristen transitioned from school leader to consultant in 2012 and has developed significant experience leading teams and providing technical assistance to K-12 school districts, education non-profits, government and commercial clients. At North Carolina New Schools, a public-private partnership pioneering the Early College High School movement, Kristen designed and facilitated professional learning for teachers, principals, district office staff, and community college professors and administrators. These professional learning opportunities focused on scaling up the Early College High School model with large, comprehensive, rural high schools throughout North Carolina. This work resulted in increased school attendance (>95%), Algebra I completion – long known as a gateway to high school completion and college-going rates – and earned college credits and Associate Degrees before high school graduation for over 50% of students in partner schools.

Kristen values work that is collaborative, reflective, and that offers new learning through diversity of people, thought, and experience. She understands the importance of training professionals to learn new skills while keeping motivation, interest, and confidence in implementation strong. Her lifelong interest in teaching and learning has provided her with a wealth of opportunities at home and abroad. She has studied education systems in England, Russia, Ghana, and Australia, as a graduate student, Fulbright-Hays recipient, and project leader.


Katherine Bergmann, Program Support Associate

Katherine Bergmann is the Program Support Associate for Careerstone Group, LLC. She assists with marketing, and provides project support as well as executive-level assistance. Katherine is responsible for the administration of personality inventories, managing Careerstone’s newsletter and social media presence, research, and project logistics. Additionally, she assists with executive calendar management, and a host of other essential administrative functions.

Katherine holds a Bachelor’s degree in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland. Prior to joining Careerstone, Katherine has held a variety of positions and has experience in marketing, project and database management, and communications.


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