What is OPA?

The Greek word “OPA” possesses a long history, and in many respects is much more than a simple word. It carries with it deep and profound meaning, which put into practical context and fully understood may be used to help build resilience, foster engagement, manage life transitions, and enjoy life to the fullest — in your personal life and in your work.

From its ancient roots, the Greek word “OPA” can be viewed as two sides of the same coin: One side (ΌΠΑ) refers to the uplifting, inspiring, enthusiastic expression that is often heard during some kind of celebration (a manifestation of “kefi” or spirit). The other (ΏΠΑ) refers very seriously to the human need to remain alert, warn ourselves and others, look out for any possible “danger” in one’s path, and be more awake to life’s potential, unlimited opportunities. Like the holistic concept of the yin and yang in Chinese philosophy, both sides of the Greek concept of “OPA” are interdependent and are needed to achieve our highest potential.

OPA's Self-Directed Learning Model

What is OPA Associates?

OPA Associates are a group of uniquely experienced individuals in leadership development, executive coaching, research-based leadership assessments, consumer demand, and business analysis. Ed Hubennette is an International hotel executive with extensive experience in Europe, Asia Pacific, and the United States. Dr. Carol Pernsteiner is a professor in Leadership at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona and the Director of the M.B.A. in Hospitality Program at Nova Southeastern University in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. Sondre Blaasmo is a young Norwegian entrepreneur with expertise in social media, and business innovation, making him a future business leader to watch. Dr. Dimitros Nosaur at the University College in London is a recognized expert in the psychology of consumer demand.

Who are OPA Associates?

Ed Hubennette

Ed Hubennette

Ed is an international business leader with recognized skills in developing, motivating and coaching leaders for the future.  As an executive coach and consultant, Ed draws upon his prior professional experience in management, customer service, business strategy, operations, product management marketing and development. Today, he coaches and leads workshops for some of the largest corporations, nonprofits and governmental organizations worldwide. In addition Ed has extensive experience helping analyze and manage investments in the hospitality industry working with several financial firms worldwide.

Ed’s experience includes leading Marriott’s organization in the United Kingdom and Ireland at the time exceeding one billion in revenue and managing more than twelve thousand employees. Ed also led Marriott’s operations in Hawaii, Asia, Australia and South Asia giving him a broad spectrum of experience, succeeding in different cultures and environments. His education includes the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the University of Cambridge, The Thunderbird School of Global Management, and Cornell University’s School of Hotel Management. Living and working in diverse cultures, Ed developed a deep awareness for different points of view, which informs his coaching practice.

Ed is a Member of the Board of Directors at Minor Group, a Trustee of Robert Kennedy Junior’s Waterkeeper Alliance, and a member of the Board of Directors for The Red Cross in San Francisco, and has been active in several community, national, and International non-profits. He also participated in the Asia Pacific Center of Security Studies, a leading center for senior military personal from across the Pacific region.

Dr Carol Pernsteiner

Dr Carol PernsteinerCarol is a business executive with a Doctoral Degree in Business Management from Nova Southeastern University. She has extensive practical leadership experience in general management and other senior management positions in the hospitality industry with ITT Sheraton and Starwood Hotels. Carol has a proven record of financial results with a high degree of customer and associate satisfaction. Carol was Director of the MBA Program in Hospitality at Nova Southeastern University and is currently an instructor in the College of Doctoral Studies at Grand Canyon University. She has also taught at Florida International University, and the University of Phoenix, and has experience at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels. She has taught courses in a variety of business topics including management, leadership, organizational behavior, organizational development, innovation, strategy, creative thinking, entrepreneurship, business ethics, diversity and doctoral research. Carol is a published author in hotel mergers and acquisitions, e-commerce, and virtual leadership.

Carol’s experience includes leadership positions with local and state hospitality organizations, and chambers of commerce. Carol is a member of the American Management Association, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education, and is certified by the Center for Creative Leadership in research-based 360-degree and assessment instruments in multiple languages for executives, managers, and high potential individuals.

Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos

Dr Dimitrios TsivrikosDr Dimitrios Tsivrikos is a leading London-based consumer and business psychologist of global renown. Implementing his trusted expertise in the fields of academia, consultancy, media commentary and art advising, he uses science to provide solutions for business challenges, helping understand how people connect with certain brands and services—and, crucially, why.

A lecturer at University College London, Dr Tsivrikos was the first person to establish the field of consumer psychology in the UK and understood at an early stage how making the connection between communications, economics and psychology can help business.

Consumers are increasingly cynical and believe much less in the theatre of branding. Dr Tsivrikos expertly and influentially uses psychology to work out what people want and think in order to build things that are long lasting and more absorbing. We know when, but we don’t know why. Dr. Tsivrikos believes that psychology offers that why.

Sondre Blaasmo

Sondre is a Norwegian entrepreneur and business leader with expertise in emerging technologies, business development and operations. Working across industries and projects, Sondre has successfully paired his start-up and corporate experience with a BA in Management & Entrepreneurship. These days he focus his efforts on projects in high growth businesses within the technology and hotel space. Recently, he helped launch a differentiated and profitable hotel company across Southeast Asia.

Sondre has also co-founded a B2B construction software enterprise. Today, it is valued at £10M and is successfully expanding internationally. He holds a directorship at a £100M+ Norwegian investment company, and is trained in AGILE, SCRUM and PRINCE2 project management. Alongside his professional achievements, Sondre sailed his own yacht from Norway to the Caribbean and back home again in 2013. These experiences and his entrepreneurial spirit have made him a data-driven problem solver, analyst and executor taking great pride in an idea or business case, building a strong proposal, and executing against a detailed plan.