Michelle Thompkins

Michelle Thompkins is an experienced Business and Human Resource leader with 25 years in Healthcare.

She has worked with Global and Regional teams in Sales, Marketing, and Research & Development at GSK, Merck, and Johnson & Johnson.  Her expertise is in the areas of Organization Change, Leadership Coaching, Talent Development, Team Effectiveness, and Employee Engagement.  Michelle is a certified career and life coach and she is known for her ability to build strong relationships, work collaboratively, and inspire individuals and teams to achieve their best results.

At Johnson & Johnson, Michelle was selected for an International assignment in the Medical Devices Division.  She lived outside of London and was a member of the Regional Leadership Team responsible for growing the commercial diagnostics business in Europe, Middle East and Africa.  She enjoyed this experience working with people across many diverse cultures and took advantage of the opportunity to travel and see the world. 

In February 2016, Michelle transitioned from Corporate America to pursue her passion of giving back in her local community.  She is using her business and HR skills to address poverty, homelessness, economic development, and youth mentoring in the city of Trenton.  She is also the founder of Praise Consulting, an organization that supports non-profits, churches, and schools in achieving their mission.

Michelle graduated from Howard University’s School of Business with a Bachelors Degree in Marketing; and she earned her Masters Degree in Human Resources from Rutgers University.  Michelle is a life and career coach trained by the Life Purpose Institute in San Diego, California.  She also completed the Non Profit Management Program at LaSalle University in Philadelphia. 

Michelle is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Trenton Alumnae Chapter, and she attends Woodside Church in Yardley, PA.  Michelle and Jeff have two children, Jonathan and Chloe, and they enjoy traveling, bike riding, swimming, going to the theatre, and listening to music.

Community Organizations & Affiliations

  • Trenton Area Stakeholders – Steering Team Member
  • Princeton Area Community Foundation, Fund for Women & Girls – Leadership Team Member
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority – Strategic Planning Co-Chair
  • Woodside Presbyterian Church – Jr. High Bible Study Leader
  • World Vision – Child Sponsor

Education & Certifications

  • Certified Career & Life Coach
  • Certified Trainer, Targeted Selection Recruiting
  • LaSalle Non Profit Management Program
  • Bachelors in Marketing from Howard University
  • Masters in Human Resources from Rutgers University


  • J&J International Assignment Graduate – Europe
  • Change Leadership – J&J Medical Devices
  • Employee Engagement – J&J Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (OCD)
  • Diversity Excellence – J&J McNeil Companies
  • Team Effectiveness – Merck Health Science Services Team

Denise “Dennie” Rath Higgins

Denise “Dennie” Rath Higgins is a proactive senior career counselor and certified job/wellness coach.

Denise advocates to help individuals identify and use their strengths to make productive decisions and achieve their goals. Denise is certified and trained in Strong Interest Survey and SDS, Myers Briggs Type Indicator, MBTI, Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Caliper Assessment Profiles.

Denise, who was formally the Vice President of Right Management Associates Princeton / Parsippany, New Jersey, created a new program – “Empowering You to Manage Your Own Career” which broadened the organization’s career management consulting services. This was then sold to Crum and Forster Personal Insurance nationwide and Nabisco Foods Group, corporate headquarters. The program was featured in The Wall Street Journal.

While at Caliper Corporation, Princeton, NJ, Denise designed programs to identify the strengths of an organization’s existing teams. She coached employers on ways to define jobs to include not only tasks, but also the motivation and style needed to be successful in these jobs. This improved their staff effectiveness and successful hiring practices. She created, sold, trained and delivered a new process for matching welfare recipients to jobs, which were included in 2 nationally funded Welfare to Work programs. As a result, she was invited to the White House recognizing people that had made a significant contribution to their Welfare to Work efforts.

Denise serves on the board of several non-profit organizations that support individuals and communities to become self-sustaining. She was the first female “lobbyist” in education when she was 27.

Community Organizations & Affiliations

  • Rescue Mission of Trenton, Senior Advisory Board Co-Chair
  • Trinity Cathedral, Junior Warden
  • Citizens Campaign of Trenton, Initial Founding Member
  • Catholic Charities, Advocacy Team Member
  • Episcopal Diocese of Trenton, Major Chapter Member
  • NJ Foundation on Aging, Board Member

Education & Certifications

  • Wellness Coach, UMDMJ
  • Myers Briggs Certification
  • Executive Job Coach
  • Holland Strong Interest Survey
  • Caliper Human Strategies
  • Bachelor’s in Psychology from George Washington University


  • White House Event Recognizing – Top 100 influencers on Welfare to Work
  • Coached 2 “Clients of the Year” for Catholic Charities.
  • Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness – Recognition
  • School to Work Mentoring Program
  • Career Management Program for Educators – Featured in Nations Schools Report
  • Empower You to Manage Your Career – Featured in Wall Street Journal