Statement from our Founder

A statement from our Founder

Over 20 years ago, I founded CorpTalk to bring healthy conversation and systems thinking into organizations. I introduced the art, science, and practice of conversation as a way to value all voices and to empower people to speak openly and honestly about things that really matter.

At the time, I was a family therapist with a growing clinical practice treating families dealing with difficult situations across a spectrum of seemingly intransigent problems.

I was trained to listen attentively to the ways in which my clients shared their stories and the patterns that caused them distress, pressure, or pain. I was also trained to see how dysfunction or pathology experienced as personal problems could get “locked in” at a systemic level.

Working with my clients, I experienced first-hand the ways in which honest, thoughtful, heartfelt conversations could generate transformational healing.

I also came to recognize patterns of stress related to the workplace in a preponderance of the presenting problems that many families brought to me. Many of the situations they described were highly pressured and could be classified as pathological. I saw lots of opportunities for improvement by focusing on the quality of our conversations.

I was motivated to move my clinical practice into organizational settings to bring the tools, techniques, and conversational frames that helped so many families on a more massive scale into the workplace. After all, many of us spend as much or more time at work as we do with our families and the workplace is where we come together to accomplish efforts that benefit society and where we innovate in order to solve highly complex problems.

I committed to bringing systems thinking into organizations and communities in ways that were accessible to everyone and in simple straightforward language,

Conversation is the cure ®. This philosophy guides everything we do at CorpTalk.

Change is a Conversation®. This is the model that is embedded in our holistic approach and our programs.

Our vision is to re-imagine and empower healthy conversations and to value all voices
To achieve a healthier and more egalitarian society through the intersection of community, commerce, and culture.

Our mission is to empower people to engage effectively in healthy conversations and to value all voices
By teaching the art, science, and practice of conversation and by creating the context for relational health and wellbeing.

I invite you to explore the power of conversation.


Our team

Denise Foerst

Executive Support, Program Manager

Debra Hirsch

Senior Associate, Master Coach

Ruth Weider

Organizational Cartographer

Pia Tempestini

Brand & Program Advisor

Careers at corp talk

Maria Seddio

Principal, Founder

Maria Seddio is an executive coach, educator, organizational development consultant, and strategic advisor. A recognized thought leader and expert in systems thinking, she specializes in communication, corporate community building, collaborative design, and culture change. Through her work, she supports forward thinking business leaders and high-performance teams to achieve competitive success, transformational change, and a more inclusive, and egalitarian workplace.


Building on her clinical training as a family therapist, Maria founded CorpTalk to introduce the art, science, and practice of conversation and narrative change methodologies into organizational settings. Her holistic approach combines behavioral health, interpersonal neuroscience, and the power of story to support individuals and teams to re-imagine what is possible and realize their full potential. She is the author and curator of CorpTalk’s comprehensive content library, comprising thirty-five coaching modules and developed CorpTalk’s signature programs, The Art, Science and Practice of Conversation and Change is a Conversation.


With over twenty-five years of experience working in Global 100 and fast track companies, Maria has co-led and collaboratively designed and delivered highly successful enterprise-wide M&A and culture change initiatives involving tens of thousands of employees. She has contributed original and customized content and train-the-trainer support to build organizational learning systems and working knowledge assets featuring conversation as a core business process.


Known as a coach’s coach and expert facilitator, Maria offers master classes in her subject expertise, working closely with C-level executives and skilled practitioners to integrate the paradigm into business settings and established professional practices. She is regularly consulted on high conflict, high complexity projects requiring advanced skills and sensitivity. She is a motivating speaker and is often invited to host large-scale events, engage in think tanks, and present on leadership in forums such as The American Psychological Association, Applied Brilliance, and TedX Youth.

Trained in interpersonal psychology and systems theory, Maria received her master’s degree with distinction in counseling with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Hofstra University and is a past president of the New Jersey Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Maria was awarded Coaching Diplomate status by the International Academy of Behavioral Medicine, Counseling and Psychotherapy (IABMCP).

Debra Hirsch (PCC)

Senior Associate, Master Coach

Debbie Hirsch is an executive coach and communication expert who specializes in collaboration, communication, leadership, and change. With more than 20 years of coaching experience, Debbie has worked with a range of companies, from small business to global 100 companies, across industries, including pharmaceutical, financial services, and biomedical/healthcare. Debbie partners with clients to develop business leaders, while building high-performance teams and ensuring collaborative and global mindsets and behaviors. She delivers high-impact coaching solutions to support clients throughout every stage of their careers, from on-boarding to promotions to career transitions. She has extensive experience in utilizing online coaching solutions and delivering high-energy, interactive webinars.


As a coach, Debbie is known for her ability to deliver fresh perspectives in a straightforward style with ease and humor. This translates into an interesting, fun, and trusting experience for clients, resulting in reduced stress, greater work satisfaction, optimal performance and more optimistic career outlook.

With a particular passion for managing difficult relationships and having game-changing conversations, Debbie provides a big picture perspective, while emphasizing emotional intelligence and collaboration. Her knowledge of what works in multi-player, high conflict situations translates to more meaningful coaching outcomes and sustainable skill development for her clients.

Previously, as an officer and senior account manager in large New York advertising agencies, Debbie managed teams that served as key liaisons between all departments in the agency as well as between the agency and client. In addition to developing the advertising strategy, she managed all projects for her businesses, including large-scale television productions for packaged goods companies such as Procter and Gamble and General Mills. Her rich understanding of the corporate world allows her to map easy-to-implement success strategies that align her clients’ lived experiences with their aspirations.


Debbie is an ICF-certified Professional Coach (PCC) and a CorpTalk-certified Master Coach. She received her BSE from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, is certified in MBTI and EQ-i, and has completed programs on Negotiation and Leadership as well as Difficult Conversations at the Harvard Project on Negotiation.