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Our Team

Chris Sams

Applied Improvisation Facilitator Consultant

Chris Sams

Chris Sams delights in using improvisational theater technique as a trainer-facilitator to teach leadership, communication, adaptability, creativity, innovation, presence, storytelling, collaboration, teamwork, team building, and on-the-spot thinking.

Chris has led more than 250 workplace improv workshops and departmental events for more than 100 companies and corporate teams, including Google, LinkedIn, McKinsey & Co., Deloitte, ZS Associates, Genentech, UC-Berkeley Haas Center for Executive Education, UCSF, Facebook, Salesforce, Virgin America, and Dropbox.

Chris served for eight years as Director of BATS Improv’s On-The-Go corporate engagement programs.  Additionally, Chris has been coaching improvisation for adults at all levels, from foundational elements of improv principles and basics to advanced performance classes for actors in the Bay Area and beyond.  He has been active with the Applied Improvisation Network since 2002, serving on the world conference steering committee in 2012.  Chris is a Benjamin N. Duke Leadership Scholar graduate of Duke University.

Improv Consultants is thrilled to have Chris on board as he has a unique way of approaching design and discovering new ways to apply improvisation and support our teams.

Applied Improvisation Facilitator Consultant

Laura Derry

Laura Derry was a scripted actor terrified of improv but after her first class, it was so much fun she hasn’t stopped doing it. She has a BA in Theatre Arts from UCSC, trained at A.C.T and Berkley Rep and BATS Improv. Laura performs improv all over the Bay Area, was on TLC’s reality show “Four Weddings,” and recently starred in the short film “Displacement” which won an award at the Monaco International Film Festival.

Laura is a guest artist who teaches in the K-12 school system applying improv and getting students ready for performances. She works with beginning adult improvisers – shy people or people new to improv, and also more advanced classes geared towards performances involving short form or long form. Laura also works with local businesses doing team building, leadership, innovation, creativity and communication trainings along with applied improv.

Laura is also a walking testament to the power of improv – she was once very shy, highly self critical of her creativity and terrified of improv. Now she is a professional improviser and teacher who creates a safe fun space to laugh with a wonderful group of people, and play and grow and experience the joys of improv.

Kate Fitzsimmons, Writer

Kate Fitzsimmons, Writing Consultant

Kate Fitzsimmons

We are thrilled to be collaborating with Kate Fitzsimmons! Kate is an accomplished writer who is endlessly curious and enjoys connecting the dots when researching a topic. She knows that quality content creation often relies on in-depth research. Her interviewing and writing skills were honed as a contributing editor to The San Francisco Review of Books and Maiden Voyages magazines. She also worked as a freelance reporter for Bay Area newspapers. Her journalism and photography assignments have appeared in local and national publications. Her grant writing taught her the importance of data driven research. {more}

Founder of Improv Consultants

Lisa Safran

Lisa Safran has over 15 years experience in training and development. As the founder & training strategist of Improv Consultants, Lisa believes that when it comes to training, ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL. She works collaboratively with her clients to support customizing business training and coaching programs.

Lisa has a background in theater and improvisation making “fun” an operative word when it comes to the programs she facilitates. Lisa facilitates experiential professional development programs with individuals, businesses, and teams. As a training strategist, Lisa helps her clients strengthen communication & leadership skills, and develop healthier teams through training and team building programs.

Lisa has had the pleasure of working with many cultures around the world and living overseas twice in her lifetime; so far.

Lisa is the author of two books – Reading and Writing Come Alive and Executive Presence Improv Style. When Lisa is not working, she is working. But work for her is also play as she loves what she does – and there is also Nellie her adorable Maltipoo puppy who plays along side her.