Jess' mission in life is to help others reach their potential. Through ActiveLeading and Gear FLX, Jess combines his passions: developing others, adventure travel, and adventure sports. A 2012 graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration and 2017 graduate of Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Business, Jess is well-suited to hospitality and business.
With his hospitality background and with several certifications (e.g., Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification, Arbinger Institute's Advanced Arbinger Facilitator Training, and Power and Systems' Organization Workshop certification), Jess crafts unique content and workshops that invite individuals to enhance their potential; to harness their strengths; and to help them shape their lives.
"At ActiveLeading, I help people lead better lives: it's the most meaningful work I've ever done. And I'm not alone: I am so fortunate to have ActiveLeading's board of advisers for guidance. Many of them have deeply influenced my life and given me even more desire to offer possibilities for others."
ActiveLeading offers top-quality content and workshops that invite you to be a better person: in mind, body, and spirit. As a result, our participants feel energized, connected, and inspired after time with our skilled consultants or with our online content."
Before Dr. Gudaz--Jen--earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Creighton University, she earned her Masters of Science degree from the State University of New York at Brockport and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington State University.
Currently the Senior Associate Director of Athletics, the Robert E. Browning '56 Director of Physical Education, and the Helen Newman Director of Recreational Services at Cornell University, Jen has been in the field of university physical education since 1996 and also served as an adjunct professor in Ithaca College's Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.
Additionally, she is active with The National Intramural Recreation Sports Association (NIRSA).
In 2013, Jen partnered with Jess to launch ActiveLeading. An adventure-travel enthusiast, Jen designs curriculum for and co-facilitates ActiveLeading's dynamic workshops and online content. Her knowledge of curriculum design, MBTI facilitator certification, amazing energy, sharp mind, and passion for the outdoors make her an integral partner.
When she is not working for Cornell University or ActiveLeading, Jen enjoys relaxing, working out, experiencing new restaurants and new cuisines, and finding (and trying) interesting bottles of wine.
Our Advisory Board
Dr. Craig Snow
Senior Lecturer, Cornell University
Craig Snow has studied, researched, taught, written about, and provided consulting services concerning managerial communication for the past 33 years.
Dr. Snow has a lifetime of experience in the academic arena. He is currently a Visiting Senior Lecturer at Cornell University, where he has taught for 20 of the past 24 years. Additionally, he directed the Managerial Communications program at The Olin School of Business at Washington University, served as Assistant Director of the Business Writing program at Purdue University, and has received numerous awards for excellence-in-teaching from Purdue and Cornell. He is the co-author of Prentice Hall’s Guide to Report Writing.
His teaching is enriched by hands-on experience in business. He has worked as a Senior Communications Specialist for McKinsey & Co. in New York City, served as Director and Executive Director of a children’s summer sleep-away camp in New York State’s Catskill Mountains, and has provided consulting services for businesses in hospitality, banking, health care, manufacturing, technology, real-estate development, and other industries.
When he is not working with students and professionals, he can typically be found playing pick-up basketball—and he plans to continue to do so for as long as his knees and ankles hold out.
Why Dr. Snow believes in ActiveLeading
Jess Cisco and Jen Gudaz are perfectly suited to lead this new venture that combines leadership training with outdoor education and health maintenance.
With their background as trainers—including personal training, leadership, organizational efficiency, and quality—they have developed and discovered activities to help others to reach their own potential both individually and in teams. Program participants have the opportunity to improve not only their team skills, strategic-thinking abilities, and professional efficiency; equally important, they have the opportunity to enhance their lifestyle choices that will enable them to set a solid and meaningful foundation for enhanced physical health, reduced stress, and spiritual renewal: benefits that will last long after the program concludes.
President and Founder, Ambiance Radio, LLC
After 10 years of experience in the food service and hospitality industry, Bradley founded Ambiance Radio to apply his education, experience and vision to the solution to a widespread industry problem—the profusion of dull, inappropriate and "just plain bad" music in restaurants.
A graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Bradley began his career as a server for a prominent Southern California catering company at age 14. By age 17, he was managing complex catered events and the café at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, overseeing a staff of 20 or more at times.
Though young in his career, Bradley has worked every line-level restaurant position, from a line-cook to food runner and bartender. He managed the upscale-casual Taverna Banfi in Ithaca, NY, where he conducted his first tests of research-guided restaurant music.
His entrepreneurial drive and desire to expand his knowledge about all aspects of hospitality led him to work as a consultant for Coyle Hospitality Group and to spend a year working internationally with Celebrity Cruises. His passion for improving the dining experience and his in-depth understanding of restaurant operations are providing the guiding vision for Ambiance Radio.
Assistant Vice President, Finance and Operations at Cornell University
Dr. J. Bruce Tracey
Kenneth and Marjorie Blanchard Professor of Human Resource Management, Cornell University
J. Bruce Tracey, professor of management, received his Ph.D. from the School of Business at the State University of New York at Albany in 1992.
He has taught courses in human resources management for undergraduate, graduate, and professional audiences throughout North America, Europe and Asia, and he has won several awards for his efforts.
He has conducted research on a wide range of strategic and operational-level HR topics, including the impact of training initiatives on firm performance, employee turnover, employment law and leadership.
He has presented his work at numerous regional, national and international conferences, and his research has been published in diverse outlets such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, and the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law. Tracey’s recent sponsors for research and consulting include Four Seasons, Hilton, ClubCorp and Uno Chicago Grill, and he has been cited in USA Today and the Orlando Sentinel, among other popular press outlets.
Susan (Vogelson) Fix
Leader and Office Manager
A dynamic team leader with a passion for her staff and customers, Susan has more than 35 years of leadership experience in the hospitality industry.
She has successfully lead organizations and subordinates in diverse industries, including government, education, IT, Pharma, consumer business to business, and associations.
Additionally, Susan has been recognized for creating and launching award-winning retail and dining concepts on university campuses and in private corporations, as well as creating a mentoring program nationwide for future leaders in the hospitality workforce.
With an M.B.A. in Human Resource Management from Walden University, a B.A. in Political Science from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, and over ten years of experience in the outdoor action-sports industry, Dan Sweeney brings a unique set of skills, experiences, and perspectives to the ActiveLeading advisory team.
Currently serving in as Assistant Vice President of Finance and Operations at Cornell University, Dan has a wealth of experience:(e.g., organizational development, staff recruitment, personnel management, and finance) to help guide and shape the future of ActiveLeading.
Prior to his work with Cornell University, Dan served as a member of Recreational Equipment Inc.'s (REI) East Coast market leadership team, providing oversight to a full-scale $2 billion national action-sports retail chain and coordinating operational expansion into multiple new Northeastern urban markets.
Dan also has a multitude of experiences working with entrepreneurial and start-up companies, specifically in the outdoor sports industry.
In his free time, Dan can be found trail running, mountain biking, and spending time with his family.