Tatyana Fertelmeyster


Tatyana Fertelmeyster is Founder and Principal of Connecting Differences, LLC. She provides intercultural communication and diversity training to corporate clients, educators, and mental health professionals, both nationally and internationally. She also trains business executives and their families in preparation for their moves overseas for global assignments. Although Tatyana is quite accomplished in her chosen field, she doesn’t find it hard to empathize with those who struggle in her training sessions – she only has to remember the years of ballroom dance lessons she took while still managing not to learn how to dance.

Originally from Russia, Tatyana is the co-author of Cultural Detective: Russia and a contributor to The SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence (Janet Bennett, editor) and Building Cultural Competence: Innovative Activities and Models (Kate Berardo and Darla Deardorff, editors). She is also a Master Trainer of Facilitators for the Cultural Detective® model and a faculty member at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches experiential facilitation skills and methods for identity exploration.

In addition to Cultural Detective®, Tatyana is certified to work with the Emotional Intelligence and Diversity training model, as well as the Personal Leadership model. She is certified to administer and interpret the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), the Cultural Orientation Indicator (COI), the Global Competencies Inventory (GCI) and the Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (IES).

Tatyana has over 20 years of experience and has worked with a number of corporations, academic institutions, and governmental organizations, including AlcoaBoeingErnst and YoungGMACHewitt AssociatesJohn DeereSara LeeSiemensCenter for Victims of TortureIllinois Department of Employment SecurityIllinois Department of Human ServicesHarper College (Palatine, IL), Triton College (River Grove, IL), Portland State UniversityUniversity of Illinois Extension Program and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Tatyana holds an MA in Journalism from Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia) and an MA in Guidance and Counseling from Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago, IL). She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has extensive experience working with individuals and groups on issues of cultural transition, adjustment to change and loss, relational dynamics and personal growth.

A Past President of SIETAR-USA (Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research), Tatyana is also a member of the Personal Leadership Community of Practice, the International Association for FacilitatorsFamilies in Global TransitionSHRM (Chicago Chapter), and Rotary International Club of Buffalo Grove, IL.

Personal Leadership has given me a strong foundation to lead from the front with my team. From “knowing something is up” through aligning actions with our Vision Statement my team now realizes that their critical moment dialogues are theirs to own. I use Personal Leadership on a daily basis not only to lead myself but to lead my team.
— Sales Director, UCB, Inc., Smyrna, Georgia