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 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 or call at 646-863-4000

Kristen Shattuck, Director of Facilitation & Training

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.

Robin Goodstein, Senior Consultant

Robin Goodstein is an organizational effectiveness consultant, facilitator and trainer who spent over 20 years in internal consulting, advisory, and leadership roles in higher education. During a brief stint as a solo consultant, Robin discovered that she missed having colleagues and gleefully joined The Careerstone Group.

Equipped with a knack for asking incisive questions and empowering people to solve their own problems, Robin helps teams to resolve conflict and organizations to find better ways of being. She has designed and facilitated professional education experiences for all types of adult learners at every level of organizational life, and prides herself on leading and teaching with empathy, humor and authenticity.

Robin holds a B.A. in Political Science from Kenyon College; an M.A. in English and Teaching Writing from Georgetown University; and a J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law. She trained in mediation at Community Mediation Services of Central Ohio and earned a post-graduate certificate in Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership from Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership.

Laura Buckley, Senior Consultant

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.

Courtney Sloan, Marketing and Project Manager

Courtney Sloan is the Marketing and Project Manager for Careerstone Group, LLC. She oversees and develops all of the marketing campaigns including designing monthly newsletters and promotional emails, writing blog posts, curating social media content, and creating strategies to streamline content creation.

Courtney also manages the administration of personality inventories and provides executive-level assistance to the team through scheduling and client correspondence.


Courtney graduated magna cum laude from Goucher College in 2019 with degrees in Business Management and Psychology. During her time at Goucher, Courtney rode on their varsity equestrian team and served as team captain. Before joining Careerstone Group, Courtney worked in numerous marketing positions and served as the Chief Operating Officer for a startup designed to connect buyers and sellers of horses via a mobile app.

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