Our Team

Our Founders

Marsha Connolly and Sandra Drought are the founding partners of The New River Group. In addition to our founders, we have an extended global team of 200+ highly qualified coaches and consultants with whom we work to serve our clients in multiple geographies.

Marsha Connolly

Marsha Connolly is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of The New River Group. She specializes in helping successful leaders enact positive changes that will help them meet key challenges and navigate successful transitions in their businesses and their careers. Her clients include Board, C-level, VP, Director and Partner level corporate and professional services executives, as well as media personalities, elected government officials, scientists, physicians, healthcare administrative executives and internet and technology entrepreneurs.

In her coaching practice, Marsha works with leaders who want to operate at the top of their game and are willing to make the commitment and put in the effort to do so. She encourages them to work at the edge of their capability in order to reap the greatest return.. Her years of coaching experience, combined with her substantial direct experience as a corporate leader managing complex business challenges and change in a variety of industries, including financial services, professional services, technology, and energy, have helped her to understand the realities of organizational life her clients face every day. Her coaching approach targets the intersection of the leader’s individual values, role, and life goals and the organization’s culture, mission, and strategy, ensuring positive change that supports the mutual success of the leader and the enterprise

Marsha’s expertise in executive development is founded on her extensive experience as a Fortune 50 corporate executive leading organizations focused on learning and performance and as a behavioral coach and consultant helping executives and teams attain success through the application of contemporary social science research on learning and role performance.

Marsha is affiliated with CoachSource, the world’s largest global executive coaching network, with Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching, with London based Acuity Global Development and Cathy Reilly Associates. She is a Goldsmith Advanced Certified executive coach and an NCHL-GE Institute for Leadership Transformation Certified Executive and Organizational Coach. Marsha is a former member of the Korn/Ferry cadre of senior executive coaches, a former member of Marshall Goldsmith Partners and former Leadership Development Practice Leader for the Alliance for Strategic Leadership, also founded and led by Marshall Goldsmith.

Marsha’s previous executive roles include heading executive development and firm-wide learning for KPMG LLP during an era of widespread change in the accounting and professional services industry, including the spinoff of the consulting practice to Bearing Point, the collapse of Arthur Anderson and the implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. She was previously a Vice President of Citibank and head of human resources development for Tandem Computers (now Hewlett Packard). In addition to coaching, Marsha trains coaches and organizational leaders in coaching methods and skills and designs and facilitates executive education programs and strategic team meetings. She has instructed and acted as coaching faculty for executive education programs at Dartmouth Tuck School of Business, MIT, Babson College, and Harvard University.

Contact Information:
Phone (201) 391-0960

Sandra Drought

Sandra Drought is a Partner and Co-Founder of The New River Group. Sandra is a seasoned, creative, results-oriented executive coach and consultant who specializes in working with companies and executives involved in organizational changes such as mergers, divestitures and new strategy implementation. She works primarily with senior leaders and their teams to help enhance their leadership and core operational excellence by providing essential and practical knowledge to drive and sustain increased personal and professional performance through all business cycles.

Sandra has over 20 years of experience as a senior executive in Financial Services. Her many years in business are distinguished by significant accomplishments in a wide range of line positions As head of customer focus at BankBoston, she was responsible for the creation and implementation of a culture change initiative that achieved alignment and integration around key strategic business initiatives designed to transform the company. Additionally, she held senior positions in marketing, customer service and sales and built a start-up direct banking business, evolving it into an industry leader and best practices model in people practices, sales, service and technology.

Sandra has experience coaching and consulting in multiple industries including Financial Services, Investment Banking, Technology, Insurance, Pharmaceuticals, Private Equity, and Professional Services, and consults pro bono to various non-profits including the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the ASPA. She has demonstrated success in managing and helping her clients to manage increasingly complex business challenges by sticking to her fundamental philosophy that organizations succeed only by first focusing on selecting the right people and then effectively developing and engaging them. She is a skilled coach who specializes in ‘alpha styles’, and a skilled facilitator who guides executives in becoming more successful—personally and professionally. Her distinct style is characterized by high energy, humor and directness. Her innovative approaches always focus on pragmatic solutions, teamwork and helping people develop their full potential.

Sandra earned a BA in Communications from Wayne State University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. She has lived and worked globally in South America and Asia and currently resides in the Boston area.

Contact Information:
Phone: (617) 630-1600