CEOCompany: Ascension Worldwide
Role: Session Presenter
Christopher “CJ” Gross, CEO of Ascension Worldwide, is an international organizational development consultant specializing in leadership development and diversity and inclusion. He has 17 years of experience as a Social + Emotional Intelligence certified coach, trainer, Keirsey Temperament professional, and executive coach, with additional expertise in organizational mediation. He also serves as a Business Management adjunct faculty for the Community College of Baltimore County. CJ possesses the unique ability to uncover and resolve social issues that hinder employee performance and efficiency.
CJ started his career as a mechanical designer at General Electric (GE) where he learned to lay out mechanical designs and run calculations. At GE, he learned how effective companies run and the importance of employee relationships to a company’s success. After receiving multiple corrective preventive idea awards for employee development, CJ merged his engineering skills with his innate understanding of people, offering professional coaching and staff development to companies in need of improved performance and effectiveness.
He cultivated his diversity and inclusion acumen through an intense training and coaching program from Cook Ross, an internationally known diversity and inclusion consulting firm. The program included key concepts from Daniel Kahneman’s book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” brain science theory and life-changing deep-dive identity coaching. In addition, CJ has worked with domestic and international leaders from Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and government agencies on their diversity and inclusion strategies and initiatives. This training and experience enable him to help clients explore impactful strategies for identity, diversity, inclusion, equity, and access from a unique vantage point.
CJ received a BA degree in organizational management from Ashford University through the Forbes Entrepreneurship Scholarship.
He has consulted with domestic and international companies including the United States Postal Service; Toyota; Turner Construction Company; Oracle; Arent Fox D.C.; The Washington Post; D.C. Child and Family Services; Morgan Stanley; Loyola University; Howard University School of Social Work; Maryland Association of Community Service; Primerica; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission; Maryland Department of Juvenile Services; Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia; Penn State; and others.
CJ has been featured in The Washington Post, The Washington Informer newspaper, East of the River newspaper, Diamonds Xcel Magazine, and The Baltimore Examiner and on the Tom Joyner Show, the Audrey Chapman Show, DCTV Cable, WPGC 95.5 FM, WOL 1450 AM, WUSA 9, WBAL-TV, and FOX45.
He has published three books including “How to Get a Job in 90 Days,” “Seeds of Greatness,” and “The Parent Connection.” Most recently, he has co-written an article titled “Design Thinking + D&I = Innovation.”