The VP Team

Vertical Performance is a company whose strength is genuinely defined by the depth of its staff. They are a collective of individuals from a variety of public and private sector career fields with common and compelling connections to each other and the VP purpose.


Jim Schneider

President / Founder of Vertical Performance, Inc.

Specializations: Individual Development; Team Development; Leadership Development; Coaching; Community Building; Public Speaking and Facilitation

Foundational Quote: “Effective leadership is not so much about individual achievement as it is about what I bring out in others.”

Jim has been doing the work of human development and community building for the past 35 years. He is a facilitator, trainer, program/ project innovator, speaker and leadership coach. Jim is passionate about human potential, from individual growth to building culture within organizations, to ultimately the larger notion of collective potential throughout our communities. He served 22 years at the YMCA of Southwest Illinois where he was Director of Leadership Development. He was founder of Life Adventures, a team building/ adventure based program and Teambuilders, a corporate training program. He also served 11 years as Director of Human Resources and Director of Community Development for the City of Belleville, IL.

Jim: “I believe strongly that to see real positive organizational transformation and productivity, it is imperative to first build an effective culture and healthy community within the organization. We are strongest together, so why would we not intentionally create a culture conducive to nurturing the giftedness in everyone?”


Lyndon Joost

Vice President of Operations / Senior Consultant

Specializations: Visioning & Strategic Planning; Work Culture Enhancement; Succession Planning; Individual Development; Team Development; Leadership Development; Individual & Group Assessment; Facilitation

Foundational Quote: “Begin with the end in mind.” (Stephen R. Covey)

Lyndon is a leader, manager and innovative strategist. While having the ability to visualize and articulate the ‘big picture’, he is equally adept at identifying and outlining specific, tactical details that go into effectively implementing and executing a plan for change. He has over 35 years of experience leading and facilitating the transformation of both public and private sector systems, processes and organizations.

Lyndon: “I’m convinced of the individual potential of every human being. So I am passionate about helping groups of individuals discover the collective potential that comes from truly working together as a team. I love to guide organizations through the process of developing a common, collective vision, taking ownership of that vision, and then implementing a plan that turns that vision into reality. I have experienced firsthand the utter transformation of an organization that can result from consistent, focused effort.”


Lynn Clapp

Vice President of Program Development / Senior Consultant

Specializations: Team Building; Individual Development; Leadership Development; Community Building; Public Speaking and Facilitation

Foundational Quote: “When you tug on one small thing in nature you find it connected to the universe.” (John Muir)

Lynn is a school/community psychologist, university educator, and former assistant school superintendent with 35 years of experience in building individual and organizational excellence. He is an experienced facilitator, mediator, and professional coach. He is an accomplished public speaker, and believes in strong community connections. He is most passionate about helping individuals and groups unlock their unlimited potential.

Lynn: “I absolutely thrill to the look, the sounds and the feel of a “best version” workplace! In my experience, this is an organization where people look forward to arriving every day; a climate that is truly inclusive, encourages “voice”, and maximizes the strengths of each person. I love becoming a partner with organizations that desire a collective focus. For me, it is highly rewarding but also just darned good fun facilitating the process of a workplace’s transformation from “good” to “great”!


Jim Holdener

Senior Consultant

Specializations: Team Building; Communication; Human Relations Transformation; Leadership Development; Coaching; Storytelling

Foundational Quote: “The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is giving your gift away.”

Jim has been an engineer in various management positions for over 44 years, handling million dollar projects from conception to reality. He has also been instructing Dale Carnegie classes for 29 years helping folks enhance their self-confidence, communication, human relations, leadership, and attitude skills. He stays young hanging with his young-adult twin sons.

Jim: “My personal mission statement is ‘To help people grow and be more successful.’ In other words ‘I help people tune their instruments to create a symphony.’ As a facilitator I serve as a guide on the side rather than a sage on the stage. Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it. And remember, wherever you go there you are.”


Kim Smallheer

Senior Consultant

Specializations: Leadership Development; Mentoring; Team Building; Customer Service; Activity-Based Training; Program Development & Administration

Foundational Quote: “What’s new? What’s next?”

Kim brings a wide spectrum of experience to Vertical Performance in both the public and private sectors. His continual focus on high level performance, creativity and customer service has provided him with opportunities to lead multiple organizations to national recognition. Most recently he was General Manager of the McKendree University MultiRecPlex in O’Fallon, IL. He was the Director of Student Recreation at McKendree University and previous to that, Kim served as Executive Director of the O’Fallon Branch of the YMCA of Southwest Illinois. Kim is a retired Air Force Colonel.

Kim: I’ve learned that Leadership is not easy. Effective Leadership can leave you wounded. Every day, you are alone as the shepherd of your flock. Every day, the Leader is alone at the tip of the spear. Every day, you are alone as the Captain of your ship taking care of your crew while venturing into uncharted and often stormy waters guided only by your own morale compass while embracing your own set of Leadership principles. Principles like: “Business as usual is dead,” ” A kite only rises against the wind,” “Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds,” “Stay humble,” and “If we are afraid to be different, how can we possibly make a difference in the world?” Keep in mind, though, that when you mix your principles with a strong dose of Courage, Conviction, and Commitment, you will develop the scars from the fight that allow for unhindered admittance into Heaven.


Additional VP Consultants

Vertical Performance utilizes the talents of individuals who bring unique life and work backgrounds and experiences to client services. They demonstrate a collective competency for the highest quality group development and team building experiences.

Marge Belt

Marge is a clinical social worker licensed in Illinois and currently working at Belle Valley School District in Belleville. She has a background in individual & family counseling. Marge has extensive experience in adventure-based instruction, as a group facilitator in leading activities and trips that encourage transformation through experience.

Jeff Allison

Jeff is a small business owner and operator, who understands and appreciates the common challenges of business owners. He is an adventure-based learning instructor and facilitator and experienced leader and guide for adventure excursions. Jeff has designed and built low- and high-challenge courses and climbing walls.

Al Hogg

Al is a Registered Professional Nurse in Illinois and cares for patients in Memorial Hospital’s intensive care unit, a career that reflects his natural empathy towards others. He is also the founder and proprietor of Cycle of Giving, a non-profit organization that has provided free reconditioned bicycles to needy children. Al is a skilled adventure-based learning instructor and trip leader.

Kevin Korte

Kevin is a certified special education teacher in Illinois, currently working as Executive Director of Todd Hall Retreat Center. He has a degree in Psychology and is a trained Life Coach . Kevin is the former director of an independent living services program for disabled adults. For 23 years, he was a Program Director for Life Adventures, during which time he specialized in adventure-based programming, instruction, and facilitation for individuals and groups.

Ann Brown

Zorina “Ann” Brown is a business professional with expertise in the areas of community, programming, curriculum development, grant writing and relationship building. She has degrees in Theology and Business Administration, and will attain an MS in Administration in 2017. She is the president of Total Woman Elite, the founder and CEO of Elite Youth Professionals, and works with her husband, Pastor of Word of Life Ministries International. She is in the process of publishing her first book.

Mike Inyart

Mike is a certified school social worker in Illinois. He is currently the Director of Pastoral Care for the Retirement Community of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville. He has expertise in individual and family counseling, and is a long-time grief support counselor. Mike is skilled in applying activity-based concepts to team building and group development activities.

Nicholas Powell

Nicholas is a medical case manager at Washington University in St. Louis and an adjunct instructor for McKendree University. He is a former sprinter from Jamaica with a degree in Physical Education & Psychology and a Master’s in Kinesiology. He is also the owner of The Mind Game, focusing on athletic performance improvement, at all levels, amateur to professional. Nicholas is experienced in team building and team development and is an outstanding public speaker.

Linda Malone

Linda is our “rocket scientist”, with a degree in Physics, a Master’s in Science Education and 28 years of teaching experience. She teaches Physics, Physical Science and Chemistry at Columbia High School in Columbia, IL. Linda is skilled with group development and outstanding in working with clients one-on-one. She translates that experience for Vertical Performance through facilitation of groups with activity-based programs.

Dan See

Dan is an experienced teacher and leader in the Computer Science / Math Department of St. Louis University High School. He is an experienced collaborator, communicator, and facilitator in guiding stakeholders towards common objectives. He has a degree in Math, and Master’s degrees in Educational Administration and Supervision, Instructional Technology, and Statistics. Formerly, he was an instructor at the Colorado Mountain School.

Michelle Moore

Michelle is a certified elementary teacher and Reading Specialist in Illinois, working in Belleville School District #118. She attends to the literacy growth of students from kindergarten through sixth grade students. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in education. Her experience as a teacher makes her particularly effective in facilitating team building and group development activities.

Scott Neill

Scott is an adjunct instructor at McKendree University, teaching courses about Health and Wellness. Recently, he has introduced innovative culture-building activities into his classes. He is also a small business owner, a high school sports coach, and an avid runner. Previously, he was the Physical Director for the YMCA of Southwest Illinois, as well as the General Manger of LivRite Fitness center. He is part of the group team building and development programs for VP.

Vertical Performance, Inc.

15 N. 1st Street, Suite 202
Belleville, IL 62220
618.234.8110
In The Peer 151 Co-working & Incubator Space

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