About Us

The McCann Group, Incorporated is a consulting firm that specializes in the training of executives and professionals in persuasion, leadership, workplace diversity, and all aspects of the strategic use of communication in business settings.

Team Member Bios

Dr. Robert McCannRobert M. McCann, Ph.D.

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Dr. Robert M. (Bob) McCann is a professional public speaker and communication consultant, having coached several thousand professionals and students in persuasion, leadership, global management, public speaking, and the strategic use of communication in business settings.  Over the past twenty years, Dr. Bob McCann’s core teaching and consulting objective has been to assist individuals and companies in maximizing their executive development and communication effectiveness.  To accomplish this, Bob works 1-1 with clients with the goal of enhancing their persuasive effectiveness in presentations or pitches to internal and/or external audiences.  In addition, Dr. McCann is frequently called upon to assist business leaders who are tasked with driving and managing teams, finding communication solutions to increase company performance, and inspiring and motivating staff or key stakeholders.  As he tackles this diverse set of consulting tasks, Dr. McCann is not only able to draw upon his extensive academic and industry background in the communication field, but also over 20 years of experience working with Boards of Directors and management teams at major corporations both in the USA and Asia.

Dr. McCann is presently a professor in the Management and Organizations area of the UCLA Anderson School of Management.  He is also the Associate Dean of Global Initiatives at Anderson. Prior to joining Anderson, Bob was at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.  At USC, Dr. McCann taught Global Management in the International MBA Program (IBEAR), Advanced Managerial Communication and Professional Development for Leaders in the full time MBA program, and Strategic Business Communication to undergraduates. He was the recipient of the “Golden Apple” Teaching Award, an honor bestowed by Marshall’s full time, first year MBA class on its favorite professors. Bob was also the Faculty Director of the USC Marshall Executive Education Management Development Program. In Thailand, Bob spent nearly ten years teaching at Chulalongkorn University and the Thai Chamber of Commerce University.

Aside from managerial communication, Dr. McCann’s core area of research is on workplace ageism and intergroup communication, particularly in cross cultural contexts. Some of his recent research projects have taken place in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, and the USA. Bob has published articles in journals that include Human Communication Research, Communication Studies, the Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, Communication Yearbook, and the Encyclopedia of Communication. Dr. McCann has also written two books and is presently an editorial board member of the Journal of Asian Pacific Communication.

Bob is a frequent consultant to the media in the area of managerial communication, workplace ageism, and age diversified workplaces, most recently appearing on National Public Radio and in the US News and World Report, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, GQ, Esquire, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Capital Times, and the International Herald Tribune. He is a legal consultant in the area of age discrimination.

Bob has received the Western States Communication Association Milton Dickens Award for Exemplary Empirical Research, the Brython Davis Research Fellowship, the James J. Bradac Award for Excellence in Research, the National Communication Association Outstanding Dissertation Award in Communication and Aging, and the George D. McCune Research Fellowship.  He has also won several top paper awards at both the International Communication Association (I CA) and National Communication (NCA) annual conferences.

Prior to joining USC, Bob spent several years in the spirits’ industry as the Senior Brand Ambassador to Thailand and Asia for Johnnie Walker’s full line of products. In this capacity, Bob conducted nearly 2,000 client, promotional, and media events, and served as the relationship marketing program manager in Thailand. Bob also has a background in international banking (lending and trade finance), where he held management positions in Karachi, London, and Los Angeles. All together, Bob spent 17 years in Asia.

Dr. McCann holds a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.A. in from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Steven WerberSteven L. Werber, Ph.D.

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Dr. Steven L. Werber teaches and consults in the areas of leadership communications, strategic presentation techniques, marketing and brand development strategies, and communicating through digital/social media. In addition to his role at the McCann Group, Inc., Steven is currently a Lecturer at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business, where he is also faculty adviser on UCLA’s Applied Management Research (AMR) program. In this program, Dr. Werber works with MBA students and corporate clients on their client branding/communications strategy needs across a variety of industries. Steve was formerly an Instructor at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, where he taught small group communication principles and effective communication practices.

Formerly responsible for directing Pfizer Pharmaceuticals’ annual multi-million dollar media campaigns, Dr. Werber has a strong history of researching and developing persuasive sales approaches, marketing tools, statistical models, and data systems. Moreover, he has extensive experience in interviewing, group dynamics, qualitative and quantitative research procedures (including research and survey design), and data analysis.

As former President of Market Impact Strategies, a firm specializing in marketing research and communications development, Dr. Werber was a force in driving various clients’ marketing and communications initiatives, including providing marketing, messaging and advertising support. He has provided research and consulting to executives in a wide range of corporations including Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, ACNielsen, Honda, Parke-Davis, Johnson & Johnson and other top companies. He also developed various media buying and communications response models used throughout the pharmaceutical industry today.

In addition, Dr. Werber served as a Principal in Xtreme Marketing Intelligence (XMl), LLC where he developed unique marketing applications in the areas of sales training, market segmentation, psychographics, product image analysis, ad testing, concept testing, sales targeting models and “big data” applications.

Dr. Werber received his Ph.D. in Applied Research in Psychology at Hofstra University, after earlier receiving Master’s degrees in Organizational & Experimental Psychology at Hofstra University and in Clinical Psychology at New York University. His undergraduate work was completed at State University of New York at Stony Brook.

David Gershwin

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David Gershwin, a former chief of staff to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, is the McCann Group Inc.’s lead consultant and trainer in issues related to government relations, issue advocacy, media relations, and crisis communications.

More specifically, David’s work centers on areas such as identifying targeted media outlets and developing content that resonates with journalists, developing communications blueprints to plan ahead for crises, and conducting informative workshops that prepare upper management to perform in media interviews.

From 2008 to 2010, David was a Vice President at Cerrell Associates, Inc., where he developed comprehensive advocacy and communications blueprints for real estate developers, associations, financial institutions, public agencies, universities, and non-profit organizations.

David has a rich background in government and politics, previously serving as the Director of Government Relations for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. He joined The Jewish Federation from the Los Angeles office of the MWW Group, where he oversaw media relations and strategic communications planning. Prior to his work there, he served for more than five years as Director of Communications for Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla. In addition to his communications duties, Gershwin developed strategy on the issue of San Fernando Valley secession and covered key legislative issues. David has also served as legislative manager for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

David is a board member of Zócalo Public Square, an organization that builds intellectual community and civic discourse through lectures and public events. David is a graduate of the Jewish Federation’s New Leaders Project and is an active member of their Community Pillar. Additionally, he serves as a regional board member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League and is a graduate of their Salvin Leadership Institute. He has also served as co-chair of the Anti-Defamation League’s Latino-Jewish Roundtable. David has been a guest lecturer at USC’s Annenberg School of Communications graduate journalism course on governmental reporting, at USC’s School of Policy, Planning, and Development, and at the University of LaVerne. In July 2004, David was profiled in the Los Angeles Downtown News as a member of Generation Next: The 35-and-under movers and shakers shaping politics.

David, his wife, Beverly, and his daughter reside in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Kathy KellermannKathy Kellermann, Ph.D.

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Dr. Kellermann is an expert in communication and persuasive strategies with a rare combination of storytelling insight and quantitative expertise. For over 17 years, Dr. Kellermann has consulted on cases throughout the country and in the Southern California area where she resides. Dr. Kellermann works on all types of cases, particularly relishing cases involving complex scientific testimony. Dr. Kellermann is an expert in toxic torts, construction defects, environmental cases, civil rights, criminal defense, insurance, employment, personal injury, contracts, and shareholder disputes. Dr. Kellermann is familiar with and knows how to adapt case arguments to the most difficult venues in the country. Recently, Dr. Kellermann helped defendants win critical “bet-the-company” cases in California and Texas, and a federal civil rights plaintiff win the single largest award ever against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Dr. Kellermann has special expertise in mock trials, focus groups, case analysis, trial strategy, jury selection, witness preparation, attitude surveys and developing persuasive strategies and trial themes for openings, closings and witness examinations. Judicial observation is a service Dr. Kellermann uniquely offers trial teams.

As a nationally recognized authority on persuasion and communication, Dr. Kellermann is also an industry leading expert in research methods in designing, managing and conducting investigations; in analyzing, understanding and interpreting results; and in explaining, reporting and relaying findings. Dr. Kellermann has authored over 35 publications, including articles on witness preparation, hung juries, numerical displays, jury composition and compliance gaining strategies.  She has also given many presentations on jurors’ attitudes, and frequently teaches workshops on persuasive advocacy and storytelling techniques to litigators.  Dr. Kellermann regularly serves as a media commentator on trials and jury issues for TV, radio and newspapers. Among other topics, Dr. Kellermann has been sought for comment on gag orders, the State of California’s revised jury instructions, and the high profile criminal cases of O.J. Simpson, Scott Peterson, Michael Jackson, Phil Spector and Robert Blake.  For a number of years, Dr. Kellermann co-hosted a popular legal radio show, Santa Barbara Law, with public interest attorney Kirk Ah-Tye and past California State Bar President (and now Judge) Jim Herman.

Dr. Kellermann obtained a Ph.D. in Communication and an M.S. in Probability & Statistics from Northwestern University in Illinois, an M.A. in Communication from Wake Forest University in North Carolina, and a B.S. in Communication, Political Science and Psychology from Concordia College in Minnesota. Before turning her focus to litigation consulting, Dr. Kellermann was an award-winning professor and a communication consultant for local and national organizations. Dr. Kellermann has served on the Board of Directors of the International Communication Association and National Communication Association, and is a member of the American Society of Trial Consultants.  She speaks English and Portuguese.