noun. One who facilitates leadership experiences for Ariel. synonyms; thought leader, guide, guru.

Tim Van Ness

Tim Van Ness


Tim has over 25 years of experience as a consultant, coach and master facilitator. With a unique background in the use of theatre, storytelling and action methods for leadership development and behavioral, cultural and transformational change, his passion is about helping people truly connect. A 35-year veteran of Playback Theatre, an improvisational form, he is also a classically trained musician and accomplished singer/songwriter, and performer. Once a music teacher in the Boston Public Schools, he has sung with highly acclaimed choruses on both US coasts and has toured numerous times throughout Europe.

Training Experience

Tim has designed and delivered distinctive programs for clients across diverse industries globally. He is also an accredited trainer for the Center for Playback Theatre and has been a guest professor at Antioch (Keene, NH), New York University and the Stockholm School of Economics.

Particularly skilled in working with in-tact and Sr. Leadership Teams, he believes in linking the content and objectives of any program to company values, competencies and change initiatives. His industry specialties include financial and professional services, healthcare, manufacturing, energy, technology, higher education, family businesses and non-profits. Some past clients include: BCG, IBM, NASA, The Central Intelligence Agency, Cisco Systems, Google, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Procter & Gamble, American Express, KKR, CVS Caremark, Kaiser Permanente, Liberty Mutual, Executive Education Programs at Harvard, Duke, Columbia & Darden, and Capital One.

Business Experience

In addition to serving as president of his own company, Van Ness & Co., Tim has worked in a variety of business and development positions. Notable roles include Assistant Director of Development at The Men’s Resource Center of Western Massachusetts, Conference Coordinator Program Assistant at Interface, a holistic adult education center, and Principal Partner at DramaWorks InterActive, which he co-founded in 1997. He’s also served as a strategic advisor to non-profit boards.

Theater Experience

•   Numerous roles for Hampshire Shakespeare Company and the Pioneer Valley Summer Theatre in Western Massachusetts

•   35-year veteran actor, musician and conductor for Playback Theatre, an improvisational form based on the enactment of personal story. He performs and teaches globally

•   Performed various roles in corporate training videos for KKR, IBM, and In-Light Productions

•   Voice over artist for a leading gaming company

•   Develops and performs many roles in plays on various workplace issues including executive development, gender and power, leadership and truth-telling, patient privacy, customer satisfaction and conflict resolution


Education and Credentials

•   BME (Bachelor of Music Education) from the University of Colorado, Boulder

•   Certificate in Education from the University of Colorado, Boulder

•   Certificate of Advanced Training (included 100 hours of psychodrama training) from the Centre for Playback Theatre

•   Advanced level certificate in SRT (Self-Regulation Therapy) from the Canadian Foundation For Trauma Research & Education.

•   Certified Advanced Guide in The Listening Hour

•   Currently enrolled in a psychosynthesis coaching certification program from the Psychospiritual Institute