Our Story

The Center for Physician Leadership Excellence (CPLE) was formed in 2016 to respond to a growing need for healthcare organizations to be able to identify physicians who can be moved successfully into leadership positions; and to facilitate the development of physicians currently holding leadership positions.

CPLE is led by a team of experts with practical healthcare industry experience partnering with physician leaders to design leadership programs and coaching for all levels of leaders along with a combined total of over 50 years of consulting experience in the areas of assessment center design, development, and organizational research.

CPLE assembled a consortium representing four large healthcare systems who provided input into the design and construction of the assessment role plays, and the development of the CPLE Physician Leader Competency Model that is the foundation of our system.  The flexibility designed into our tools was in response to our consortium members’ strong desire to customize these tools to support their organization’s culture and physician needs.

Kathy Oswald
Kathy OswaldChief Executive Officer
Kathy is the Chief Executive Officer for the Center for Physician Leadership Excellence. In addition to Kathy’s role with CPLE, she also serves as Chief Administrative Officer of H2O Energy, a family owned business. Kathy has over 40 years’ experience in Human Resources, and her career spans a variety of industries including healthcare, manufacturing, global automotive, information technology staffing and services, and organizational consulting and she has worked in both for-profit and not-for profit sectors. Her most recent position was as the Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Henry Ford Health System. Kathy is also certified as an ACC Coach with the International Coaching Federation.

Kathy began her career as a secretary at the Chrysler Corporation in 1972. During her 28 years with Chrysler, she grew to become Chrysler’s top female executive before retiring in 2000. At the time of her retirement, Kathy was DaimlerChrysler’s Chief Administrative Officer responsible for Human Resources, Labor Relations, Community Relations, Public Relations and Communications.

Following her career at Chrysler, Kathy joined Right Management as President, Great Lakes Region. While at Right she was responsible for all operations of their offices in the Great Lakes region including Southfield, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Toledo. Her key roles included leading their Organizational Consulting, Key Executive and Business Development activities, as well as growing their customer base. During her tenure at Right Great Lakes she led them to year-after-year records for growth and profit.

In July 2008, Kathy joined Henry Ford Health System as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. In this position she was responsible for all aspects of Human Resources for over 30,000 employees and over 1,200 employed physicians; including succession planning, leadership and physician development, performance management, talent selection, credentialing, employee/physician engagement; compensation, pensions, benefits, health engagement, employee safety; diversity, security and employee relations.

Kathy earned both her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Personnel Management from Central Michigan University. She has also completed Duke University’s Advanced Management Program as well as the University of Michigan’s Advanced Human Resources Executive Program. She is certified by the Coach Academy International and in the Birkman and the Hay Group Emotional Intelligence Assessment. Throughout her career, Kathy has received numerous awards and recognition for her professional achievements. She was featured in Human Resources World’s “Top 50 HR Executives in the World” (2000); Automotive News’ “100 Leading Women in North America’s Auto Industry” (2000); Crain’s Detroit Business’ “Top 100 Women in Michigan” (1997) and “100 Most Influential Women” (2007); and American Society of Employers Michigan Human Resources Executive of the Year (2011).

John Arnold, Ph.D.
John Arnold, Ph.D.President
Dr. Arnold is President of the Center for Physician Leadership Excellence (CPLE). In addition to John’s role with CPLE, he serves as President of Polaris Assessment Systems, a company focused on the development of high-quality selection and assessment systems for a range of industry groups. Prior to this, Dr. Arnold served as the President of Polaris Educational Systems and the Senior Vice President in charge of U.S. consulting services for Aon’s Human Resources Consulting Group. Dr. Arnold was also a member of the faculty in the Department of Psychology at Wayne State University where he directed the Applied Psychology and Organizational Research Group.

John has over 30 years of consulting experience, primarily in the areas of personnel selection and classification, assessment center design and development, and organizational research. Dr. Arnold holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and the Society for Human Resources Management. He also twice served as the President of the Michigan Association of Industrial/Organizational Psychologists.

John has published and presented a number of professional papers, including publication in the Journal of Applied Psychology and presentations at the national conventions of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Brad Chambers, Ph.D.
Brad Chambers, Ph.D.COO & Chief Technical Officer
Dr. Brad Chambers is the COO & Chief Technical Officer for the Center for Physician Leadership Excellence (CPLE). In addition to Brad’s role with CPLE, he serves as the COO of Polaris Assessment Systems. The vast majority of Dr. Chambers’ career has centered on helping organizations measure and make great decisions about their people through the use of structured tools and data. With regard to leadership roles, specifically, assessments are certainly powerful. But when these assessments are paired with development and ongoing coaching, leaders are able to become the best possible versions of themselves.

Brad started his career as a Research Scientist with Personnel Decisions Research Institutes where he developed Adaptive Thinking and Leadership training for Army Special Forces Soldiers (Green Berets) and consulted with multiple federal agencies in the intelligence community around talent assessment, performance management, and succession planning practices.  He joined AON Consulting where he managed more than 30 percent of the consultancy’s talent assessment business, working with clients such as McDonald’s, Bank of America, 3M, Caterpillar Ecolab, Kellogg, Target, Union Pacific Railroad and the Internal Review Services. After leaving Aon Hewitt, Brad joined Polaris Assessment Systems, Inc., a boutique talent assessment firm, as the Chief Operating Officer.

Brad’s leadership coaching philosophy is heavily influenced by the 2001 book The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership-Powered Company (Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, and James Noel), which focuses on the various “turns” in a leader’s career as he/she transitions from managing him/herself to managing others, to managing managers, to managing functions, etc., and the things the leader must stop, start, and continue doing at each “turn” in order to be effective.

Brad holds a B.S. in Psychology from Wright State University, where he graduated summa cum laude, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Michigan State University. He has published his work in multiple research journals and books, and has presented numerous research studies at regional and national conferences.

Wendy Soubel, Ph.D.
Wendy Soubel, Ph.D.EVP & Chief Quality Officer
Dr. Wendy Soubel is the EVP & Chief Quality Officer for the Center for Physician Leadership Excellence (CPLE). She has over 25 years business experience including 12 years as a Human Resources executive with General Motors. She has been an advisor and coach to physicians, officers and executives in a wide range of functions, including patient care, sales and marketing, design, product planning, program management, engineering, manufacturing and finance. She is skilled in the administration and interpretation of various assessment tools and is certified in the use of the Hogan inventories and has a powerful ability to share results in a way that captures leaders’ attention, leading to action plans and real change. Wendy is currently an instructor in the M.A. in Industrial Organizational Psychology program at Wayne State University.

Dr. Soubel has worked with leaders to develop solutions on a broad range of issues such as organization and team effectiveness, leadership development, employee engagement and compensation. Wendy has helped lead mergers and the restructuring of business units. Through partnering with executives, she has successfully identified and developed talent for positions key to the achievement of business objectives.

Wendy has experience in automotive, healthcare, insurance, higher education, apparel, packaging, engineering & construction and public sector. She has worked with and coached both individuals and teams in nearly all functional disciplines. Wendy’s adaptable style is effective in working with corporate officers, executives, middle managers and entry-level employees in both staff and field environments. She has a passion for working with leaders to strengthen their leadership skills, enhance their organizational agility and improve job performance. In addition to top management, Wendy is particularly skilled at working with individuals as they make important transitions into their first leadership assignment, move from a tactical to a strategic role, or complete re-entry after an overseas assignment.

Wendy has served as an external and internal consultant and led comprehensive consulting initiatives. She has held executive-level positions and been responsible for the performance of teams of professionals and administrative staff in the public and private sectors. Wendy is an experienced coach and has led countless coaching engagements. She has designed and led numerous company-sponsored leadership, employee development and process improvement workshops.

Wendy holds a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and is a member of the Human Resources Association of Greater Detroit, the Michigan Association of Industrial-Organizational Psychologists, the Society for Human Resource Management and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Wendy has conducted and published research on topics including selection, performance ratings and well-being in retirement. She served as an adjunct professor of business and psychology at several Detroit area colleges and universities.

Paul Hulsey
Paul HulseyEVP & Chief Marketing Officer
Paul Hulsey is the EVP & Chief Marketing Officer for the Center for Physician Leadership Excellence (CPLE). In addition to Paul’s role with CPLE, he serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of Sales and Marketing of H2O Energy, a renewal energy organization. Paul’s career spans over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing.

Paul began his career in 1993 at Chrysler Corporation working in the sales and marketing division. During that time he held multiple field positions consulting with Chrysler Corporation dealers in the areas of inventory management, process optimization (QS9000), sales and marketing strategy, and dealer profitability.

In 2007, Paul joined Innovative Media in Madison Heights, Michigan, a tier 1 supplier to the automotive industry supplying graphic branding to Chrysler and Penske Automotive Group. Paul worked as the brand manager for the Great Lakes Region and Canada. At Innovative Media, Paul learned the importance of brand management and how it can build an emotional connection between the customer and the products or services they purchase.

Paul joined Pure Eco Environmental Solutions in 2008 as CEO and VP of Sales and Marketing, and has a goal of making Pure Eco the “go to” green solutions company in the Midwest, promoting innovative products and superior service.

Paul has a BBA in marketing from Western Michigan University and an MBA in International Business from the University of Phoenix.