About the Founder

Dr. Kayla WholeyDr. Askun Celik had worn many different hats throughout her career as an entrepreneur, university professor, trainer, consultant, and a psychologist. Dr. Askun Celik has been teaching as a university professor in different universities and capacities since 2007. She has been teaching courses for graduate and undergraduate students of Business, MBA, Management, Psychology, and Communication. Among the various courses she teaches, we can list Strategic Management, Global Business, Entrepreneurship, Cross cultural theories of leadership, leadership, organizational behavior, human resources management, management of human capital and leading teams, industrial/organizational psychology (theory & applied), cross-cultural psychology, research methods, and business communication. Prof. Askun Celik taught in several schools in New York city metropolitan area. She has been an adjunct Faculty at Fordham University Gabelli School of Business and Rutgers Business School between the years 2018-2020 and currently teaching at CUNY-Baruch College, New York City College of Technology and at Rice University-Jones School of Business, online MBA Program.

Among the many paths of her career, may be the most important one is entrepreneurship. Askun Celik started her own small business back in 2004 while she was still a doctorate student and an employee. She has developed variety of training and consulting programs, recruitment services, business intelligence consultancy, performance appraisal program development, leadership, competency, and talent management programs. Since she started practicing corporate training as a freelancer back in 2002, she has developed her training experience and skills by delivering wide range of services from her own company, Smart Solutions (www.smarsolutionsgroupusa.com). Through Smart Solutions, she designed and implemented several training and development programs for leading companies of their industries. The industries she has experience with can be listed as FMCG, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Finance, Energy, Construction, Manufacturing, IT, and PR/Media. Some of her client companies are Nestlé, Novartis, IKEA, Unilever, KPMG, IFC (International Finance Corporation), Dyno Nobel, Qatar Gas and Qatar Petroleum. Since one of the core competencies of her company is recruitment and selection, she worked with some of the world’s largest construction firms (Polimeks #42; Astaldi #47 to name a few) which are listed in the ENR’s top contractor’s list.

In 2017, Professor Askun Celik started a business incubator project while consulting Starcamp incubator to launch bootcamp and accelerator programs in Silicon Valley. In the year of 2017, she has spent majority of her time in Palo Alto, California to help organize training programs and boot camps that included modules for idea generation & product development, user experience, go to market strategy, investor pitch and venture capital investments. As a co-organizer, she has successfully completed two cohorts. Currently, she is serving as a founding member and a consultant for Match (Mediterranean American Trade Chamber) for helping out businesses overseas to expand their operations internationally (https://tradechamber.us/en/)

Apart from her entrepreneurship role, she frequently conducts research in the area of management and organizational behavior. Her articles were published in highly reputable journals such as Management Research Review, European Management Review, and Journal of Business Ethics. She has been a co-editor of two books and has authored two books in the area of I/O Psychology and Personal Development. For many years, she has been serving as a reviewer for reputable journals in the field of social sciences such as Employee Relations, Social Indicators Research, and International Journal of Conflict Management.

Finally, she is the author of the book “Your First Step to Re-Create your Life in Oneness: Awareness” (Amazon, B&N) written under a pen name Kayla Wholey and has a personal development platform called “Group of Change” (www.groupofchange.com) where she dedicates her spare time and effort towards the cultivation of more awareness therefore consciousness of individuals all around the world.

Dr. Askun Celik has an MBA degree from Baruch College, an MA degree in Clinical & Counseling Psychology (with a concentration on Spirituality, Mind and Body) from Teachers College Columbia University, a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Marmara University (Istanbul-Turkey), an MA (Clinical Psychology) and a BA degree from Bogazici University (Istanbul-Turkey).