About Us


Our Identity

With a combined 50 years of experience in organization development and executive coaching, Ruffin Associates bring to their clients unparalleled insight and expertise in a wide range of areas from corporate strategy and culture architecture to executive team building.   Our depth of personal experience in and out of organizations has brought inspiring lessons, informing who we are and the understanding we bring to our clients.  


Our Philosophy

Organizations are interdependent and dynamic systems in a process of continual change.  Any issue of concern has a holistic relationship to other key areas of organizational life.  Organizational identity is a symbiotic relationship of strategic vision, internal culture, and corporate brand.  All must work in concert for transformative results.


Our Promise

At Ruffin Associates, we have chosen to be catalysts in the process of unleashing purpose and passion in the organizations with whom we partner.  We are committed to the co-creation of resolutions and evolutions, to cultivating a spirit of meaningful contributions in all who work there, and holding a common resolve toward a quadruple bottom line of 

profit, people, planet, and purpose.   

What We Do, Among Others...

Strategy and Culture Architecture

Success requires effective execution of a strategic vision. We help organizations define the culture that supports their corporate strategy, brand identity, and operational excellence. 

Organizations as Conversations

Difficult and uncomfortable conversations within an organization are often put off much too long.  Facilitating these conversations with insight and care is our specialty. What conversations do you need to have?  

Off-Site Planning and Facilitation

When your executive or functional team needs that focused attention of an off-site, we can provide all elements from detailed planning to issue facilitation, custom-designed to draw out your best thinking as a group.

Team Development and Synergies

Building trusting and synergistic teams demands more than Nerf guns and a beer after work.  We have brought hundreds of teams to new interpersonal skills recognizing the power in  collaboration and valuing differences.

Executive Coaching and Mentoring

Our Evidence Based Coaching (EBC) combines research-based theory and models, the client’s context, the coach’s use of self, along with reflexive coaching skills and monitored results, to create an effective coaching engagement . 

Performance Communication

Too often performance "reviews" are an annual or at best semi-annual experience, with limited results.  Performance communication can be integral to weekly conversations, engaging dialogue and ownership of improvement plans.

Our Core Team


John Ruffin

John's 30+ years of consulting in strategy formulation, culture architecture, executive coaching, have demonstrated breakthroughs in the Fortune 100 corporations to the federal government and national foundations. His preference is organizational settings where volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity are the challenge. John brings experience as a manager, owner and CEO.  His business ethic is “Do exceptional work, build committed relationships, and if there isn’t a bit of fun in it, don’t do it.”


Jill Schnipke

Jill brings 18 years of experience coaching teams to improve their performance and organizational effectiveness. Her specialty is developing cross-functional teams including corporate executives and government leaders, to operations managers and line employees. Jill’s exceptional insight and positive energy allow her to transform “herds of cats” into functional, collaborative teams where all participants win.

Consulting and Coaching Methodologies


Whole Systems Change

Often it takes more than the deliberations of executive team to fully conceive and implement the necessary change in organization direction and identity.  Engaging a critical mass of the organization in this process and in full group often surfaces critical insights and enhances ownership of results.

Appreciative Inquiry with Strategy and Planning

The Appreciative Inquiry technology is a powerful and widely used approach to the planning process that focuses on a positive and transformative mindset that can change your organization.  It is based on the principle that the ways in which we leverage our positive experience will guide the quality of our behaviors and futures of our organizations.  

Conversations that Matter

Organizations are in fact "on-going conversations", it's the way we get things done.  As with any key function, it's important to keep those conversations maintained and allowing for productive change before they become crucial and more difficult to manage.  We help you institute Conversations that Matter as the norm in working together vs the avoidance that may require more attention later.

Group Facilitation with the World Café

Achieving  powerful outcomes in group sessions or management meetings is a usually a distant hope.  Our process of facilitation in groups from 20 - 200 will produce an interaction and magical results that you have likely never experienced.

Synergistic Team Building and Coaching

We specialize in experiential team dynamics and can tailor activities and events to meet the needs and time available.  Our coaching capabilities to help process the team learning will take these teams to new dimensions of personal and group awareness and resulting effectiveness.

Surveys and Assessments

Out-of-the-box surveys are developed for general populations, but your organization is unique.  As such, we custom tailor any type of survey desired from 360's, to culture definition, to leadership competencies, but only after coming to understand your organization in real terms.  Survey results are followed-up in-depth with subjects and respondents to maximize productive results.  We also are licensed and experienced with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, StrengthsScope, and many others.

Comments from our Clients

Management Off-Site Facilitation

Given the amount of notice and the ambiguous objectives provided to you, you guys pulled off a miracle.  It was a sensational learning experience. 

SR VP,  Commercial Development Firm

M&A Identity Integration Process

Before acquisition as a new division we had major concerns about the ability to integrate.  After 3 days of  work with your team, we have gained 6 months toward common goals and a collaborative spirit. 

Div. Dir. Major Pharmaceuticals Corp.

Executive Team Coaching

My senior team was in dysfunction and not getting the message I was projecting.  John Ruffin confronted the problem that was in my approach and we subsequently achieved national recognition for effectiveness. 

Reg. Dir. Fed Gov't Agency

Strategy and Culture Design

It has been a breakthrough for our  executive team to see how our newly developed corporate strategy is so clearly dependent on alignment with our organizational culture. Thank you!  

Exec VP Engineering

Employee Driven Culture Change

We never could have imagined the positive change that has occurred in our safety culture, and across 7 divisions. It was your encouragement to open the door to employee leadership that allowed this to happen.  

SR VP, Power Utility

Performance Communication Skills

The process you've taught us for resolving performance issues has had the effect of removing conflict and blame in these discussions, but also allowing employee ownership of the solutions.  

Mgr. Construction & Maintenance

Among Our Values and Beliefs...


A smattering of values, beliefs, and insights that stimulate our practice

Curiosity is the best catalyst.

               Appreciate the value of productive conflict

Leverage ambiguity; creativity never came from certainty

            Lead with others’ engagement vs your entitlement

Recognize the power of questions vs assertions

            Asking questions is easy; asking powerful questions is not

What if you held a meeting where the only communication allowed was asking questions?

            Meaning is a hidden treasure in the workplace; find it, nurture it, and lead with it

Engage the Einstein in every employee

            When generals can remember their time as a private, people will rise to their leadership

Synergy is about maximizing the power in differences.

            It takes a bit of sand to make a pearl

Share future vision as a vision for your people, and they will take you to the future

           When planning for employee retention, it’s already too late.  

As a rule, always consider breaking the rules. 

          Hiring for a “cultural fit” can be like asking for a  box of crayons in just one color. It makes for a flat                                picture.

The most valuable corporate measure is employee passion

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Ruffin Associates


(720) 726-2528