Our Leadership Team

At Aeritae, we believe a fun, challenging and innovative culture makes for happy employees – and happy employees make for happy clients. As a value-based organization, we’re the place people want to work and the company organizations want to hire. Our team of talented consultants help define the guiding principles of our organization, creating a strong foundation of knowledge that brings our team together around our individual and collective strengths.

Michael Finlon

Michael Finlon, President & CEO


STRENGTHS: Strategic, Ideation, Relator, Achiever, Developer

As co-founder of Aeritae, Michael dedicates himself to leading and supporting the development of Aeritae’s service-based consulting delivery model. Michael accomplished it through hard work and dedication. With unusual calm and a talented Aeritae team supporting him, Michael’s focus is to continually move Aeritae’s team and services towards excellence.

Michael believes in giving and helping others and being part of his local community. He has worked extensively with youth groups, chaperoning youth service trips and helping establish a local food shelf and family resource center in Eagan. He is currently serving as President of New Prague Hockey Association.

Michael enjoys spending time outdoors, some of his favorite activities include fishing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, hiking and recently photography. He even enjoys spending time doing the traditional out door chores. Michael finds that being out in nature is one of the best ways to revitalize himself – especially if it involves hands on work with nature. He has never been afraid to get his hands dirty or to work up a good sweat.

Mike O Keefe

Mike O'Keefe, Senior Partner


STRENGTHS: Strategic, Futuristic, Ideation, Relator, Achiever

Mike began his career as a journalist in 1981. Pioneering some of the first satellite media networks and multipoint video services, For the next 8 years, Mike worked in several news organizations in Illinois and New York before settling down in Saint Paul, at KMSP-TV. Always envisioning technology as an enabler to deliver business value, Mike joined American Express in 1989 leading the operations and technology for, at the time, the largest, distributed financial planning firm in the country. Mike’s passion around technical innovation evolved, and in 2006 he joined Cisco Systems where he became the Executive Director of Financial Services leading an innovations team that covered the US, Canada and Latin America. Mike joined Aeritae in 2012 as a senior partner.

He currently leads new business development with a emphasis on opening new markets for the Leadership & Organization practice along with the IT Financial Management service. His experience leading large technology operations and driving innovation at IT firms over two continents enables Mike to deliver broad spectrum of insight and advice to Aeritae clients. Mike and his wife Valerie are committed to maintaining an active, balanced lifestyle as they raise their 4 children and find time whenever they can to play golf, run and travel.


Nick Hernandez, Co-Founder


STRENGTHS: Maximizer, Strategic, Self-Assurance, Arranger, Achiever

Nick began his career at IBM in 1983 marketing to large commercial businesses and public sector. After this enterprise experience, he joined several dynamic start-ups that kept starting up, finally deciding there was little to lose starting his own.

Aeritae was thereby launched in January 2001. This leap of faith paid off. Aeritae has earned a solid reputation for growth, attracting talent and delivering quality client results. Nick attributes this success to the firm’s talent, strengths and passionate employees focused on delivering quality results.

On the family front, Nick celebrates 30 years of marriage with his high school prom date, Mary Alice, and has four wonderful children. Nick and Mary consider world travel their open book of knowledge and enjoy special adventures every year. Nick also learns two new practices every year. He gains inspiration from reading and writing poetry, tasting great loose leaf teas and sampling new wines.

He is a student of the great spiritual writers and philosophers. Passionate about trip planning, he gets thoroughly absorbed imagining that next great adventure.


Allen Debes, Executive Vice President of Delivery

STRENGTHS: Achiever, Individualization, Significance, Futuristic, Learner

Allen is a graduate of St Johns and holds an MBA from the U of M.  He spent 13 years as a consultant and consulting executive leadership including Accenture, PWC, Solutions Consulting and Magnet 360. Allen also spent nearly 10 years on the client side serving in IT executive leadership roles for two Fortune 500 companies, tours of duty across App Dev, EPMO, shared service centers of excellence (ERP, QA, etc…), Business Partner, and IT/Business Relationship Management.


Susan Rylance, Vice President of Sales


STRENGTHS: Achiever, Relator, Focus, Competition, Activator

Susan began her professional career starting up Digital People; a creative and digital staff augmentation business under the Atterro brand,  where she grew it locally to be a well-recognized and respected brand in the community. As a member of the executive leadership team at Atterro, she helped lead the team to win several Fortune 500 clients locally and nationally. Susan’s passion is helping companies understand the convergence of marketing and technology and how to best leverage the two in order to increase productivity and profitability for her clients.

As the newest member of the Aeritae executive leadership team, Susan leads the account and new client development teams expanding Aeritae’s presence on a regional and national basis.

Susan enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two daughters.  A few of her favorite activities include SCUBA diving, backpacking, canoeing in the boundary waters, gardening and attending her daughters’ hockey, cross-country and karate tournaments.

Linda Schubring

Dr. Linda Schubring, Director of Strengths-Based Organizational Culture


STRENGTHS: Connectedness, Adaptability, Strategic, Individualization, Empathy

Linda joined the Aeritae team in 2012 as the Director of Strengths-Based Organizational Culture. She employs her expertise and emotional intelligence to create safe spaces to have strategic conversations that foster community, promote leadership identification, and build meaningful teams. Linda spent 15 years in higher education administration in private universities in Minnesota and California. She began her consultancy in 2008, and brings to the table national and international experience in StrengthsFinder™ applications, team building, talent management, change management and adaptive leadership principles. Linda has a Doctorate in Intercultural Studies. In 2009, she joyfully married Brian, president of Leadership Vision Consulting. In addition to consulting together, they are proud parents to teen daughter and travel the world finding life from Europe to Southeast Asia.

Linda battled breast cancer in 2011 and won. She entered 2012 cancer free, with a passion to live a full, meaningful and generative life. To Aeritae, she brings a desire for individuals to flourish, teams to excel and the company to thrive through the continued cultivation of a positive organizational culture.


Joe Wrzosek, Vice President of Technical Strategy & Solutions


Joe is a results-driven senior technical consultant with a broad and deep understanding of information technology systems. Joe’s proven track record of leadership and technical skills in network and systems architecture, includes all phases of the technology development lifecycle, from analysis, design, and implementation to technology harvest and disposition. Joe also brings a deep level understanding of network application performance; determining infrastructure impact on applications and vice versa, in both pre-production and production environments, including bottleneck identification and resolution, as well as superior troubleshooting skills in the area of enterprise application performance.
Joe is dedicated to customer service, and skilled at translating technical concepts and terminology into terms easily understandable to business personnel and leadership, coming from a keen awareness of the fact that IT systems are delivered to enable business solutions.

Stacey Fournier-Thibodaux, Vice President of Enterprise Strategy & Solutions



Stacey Fournier-Thibodaux is a graduate of St. Catherine’s University where she studied technology, organizational leadership and strategic management.    She’s spent most of her 19-year career innovating in mid-sized global companies of 5000-15,000 employees as an IT leader.

Most recently Stacey led global service strategy and delivery functions for a major Fortune 250 company where she gained extensive experience implementing efficient business and IT solutions through software technology and IT platforms.

Stacey is well known in the Twin Cities metro area as an expert on ServiceNow platform strategy with a long story of success for both IT and business teams striving to maximizing the platform.