The founders and owners of Red Fern are Steve and Allison Mahaley. Both have spent their lives and careers as educators.
Steve is an explorer of what lies at the intersection of learning design and technology. At the highest level, his purpose is to work at the intersection of technology and education design to develop effective, engaging experiences that change people’s lives for the better. Current areas of work include designing and developing virtual reality immersions for empathy and human understanding, facilitating experiential learning sessions, and designing high performance learning journeys.
Client work in the past 2 years has included NC State University, Heidrick and Struggles, The Red Cross, Bristol Myers Squibb, UBS, and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Conference presentations include Merging Virtual Reality and DEI Strategy (Omaha CODE Conference), How to Convey Narrative in VR (RTPVR Online), VR for Human Understanding (New Orleans), and the Yin and Yang of Learning Technologies (Sweden). More recently Steve has presented and facilitated panel discussions on Virtual Reality for Training Magazine’s TechLearn conferences.
Writing contributions include chapters entitled Education at the Intersection, Digital Transformation and Public Services: Societal Impacts in Sweden and Beyond (2019), The Learning-Doing Bridge for Leadership, Guide to Talent Development: How to Launch, Leverage, and Lead Your Organization’s Talent Development Effort (2019), Business Transformation at Pace and Scale, Improving Performance Through Learning (2019), and Re-Thinking Topical Blending and Imagination, Technology and Learning for Training Industry Magazine (2018).
Steve is a certified High Performance Learning Journey (HPLJ) designer. and has a qualification in PSI’s Emotional Intelligence Profile instrument.
CEO Red Fern and Principal, The Dialogue Company
Allison Mahaley brings deep expertise in youth development, non-profit leadership, grassroots organizing and anti-racism work. As an entrepreneur, Ms. Mahaley has built a successful consultancy that focuses on human understanding and cultural competence. As an educator in the K-12 space for nearly two decades, Ms. Mahaley developed anti-bullying curricula, youth empowerment initiatives, and successfully developed anti-racism strategies that consistently closed the achievement and discipline gaps for students of color and their white counterparts.
Ms. Mahaley co-authored “Equipping Anti-Racism Allies: A 30-day Guide to Transformative Allyship” with Dr. David Campt. Together, the two have trained thousands of people in the methodology outlined in the book, a dialogue method aimed at persuading white America to transform society toward building a fully inclusive society by openly speaking about how bias works in themselves and in our world. In addition to being certified in HPLJ, she has recently become an Intercultural Development Inventory and Conflict Style Inventory qualified administrator. These tools are useful in developing strategic interventions for both groups and individuals. As a consultant, Ms. Mahaley has designed and delivered training for Fulton Bank, The American Red Cross, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the University of Southern California, the Canadian Unitarian Conference, and many others.
In the non-profit sector, as a volunteer, Ms. Mahaley was awarded multiple grants to support community based anti-racism courses for white people of privilege. Funded by BluePrint NC, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, she provided training and worked on various campaigns to fight systemic racism and provide an alternative narrative about issues from immigration to poverty to under-achievement.