Penumbra Group was formed in 1998, with a focus on employee training and development for clients on the West Coast of the US. Today, Penumbra has grown into a full-service talent management consulting practice, specializing in selection, retention and development services for clients worldwide. Your dedicated Penumbra team is with you from start to finish, becoming experts on your company structure and culture. You receive the benefit of trusted advisors with a valuable outside perspective that includes open dialogue about improved performance, best practices and competitive information. Learn more about our services.

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Got a question? No problem! You can reach us by calling the number below, or by sending a quick message on the contact form.  We look forward to hearing from you!



Jen Shirkani is a nationally recognized expert on emotional intelligence and a featured speaker at national and state conferences, universities, government agencies, and at business organizations around the world. She is the author of Ego vs EQ and Choose Resilience, guides for leveraging the power of emotional intelligence. She has spent over 25-years working with organizations from the Fortune 50 ($40B) to family-owned entities as a business consultant and executive coach. In addition to emotional intelligence, she frequently speaks and writes about workplace challenges, including interviewing and selection, employee engagement and motivation, generational differences, and coachability.

She is certified in several assessments and has been educated in personality styles, motivation theory, development coaching, principles of adult learning, and the stages of human development. She holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership.

Her corporate career includes learning and development roles at specialty retailer Nordstrom, Select Comfort (the Sleep Number Bed), and Bergen Brunswig (a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical distributor). She has also been certified in programs by Franklin Covey, Achieve Global, and the TRACOM Group.

Jen has been a frequent guest of several national radio programs, and has been featured in Bloomberg/Businessweek, Leadership Excellence magazine, Reader’s Digest, Inc.com, Business Insider, Publishers Weekly, Fast Company, and Upstart Business Journal.

She loves visiting new places, spending time with her big family (8 children, 5 grandchildren), and snorkeling. When not at home in Mesa Arizona, Jen shares her insights with clients and audiences on how to make common sense more common.



Steve Friedlein has over 25 years of experience helping hundreds of employees develop new skills and improve performance. Steve’s extensive experience in leadership, management and skills development allows him to deliver individualized learning in coaching, as well as group interventions. He works with individuals – one-on one, with teams, small groups, and large speaking venues.

His specialty topic of Emotional Intelligence is presented from a leadership perspective filled with practical strategies and immediately useable tips. He previously led the firm administration duties at a successful national public accounting firm, overseeing all functions within HR and special projects, including the role of talent management advisor to the firm partnership. He was also previously the head of the JCPenney Leadership Development unit for Direct Marketing Services, managed HR projects for JCPenney Credit, and was a Store Manager for Hartmarx Retail Specialty Stores.

Steve is a graduate of Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota, and holds a degree in Education. When not in his current home base in Salt Lake City, Steve focuses on land and water conservation at his 5th generation family farm on Solomon Lake in Western Minnesota. Last year, he was selected as Kandiyohi County Outstanding Conservationist of the Year. (For implementing conservation practices, creating wildlife habitat and improving Minnesota’s natural resources.)


Senior Consultant / Senior Project Manager

Angela manages our firm’s multiple platforms and leads key projects. She is also certified in several assessments and enjoys coaching clients during debriefs. As a past air traffic controller and military veteran, she brings a keen perspective and rigor to our firm.

Angela has a solid background in leadership and management. From her time in the Navy to the present, she has overseen several businesses and staff sizes ranging from 10 to 60. She will be the first to tell anyone that the relationships she has fostered over the years in her various careers, are one of her strongest assets. She believes that being able to personally connect with all kinds of people is the foundation for not only being a successful business person, but a successful human being as well. She has had a passion for aviation since she was young, and air traffic control seemed like the perfect match for her adaptability and quick-thinking skills. She became certified by the FAA after her time in the military and continued this work as a civilian. Angela is an alumna of Southern New Hampshire University, has a BA in Communications and Digital Media, and is also a certified scrum master.

When she’s not juggling projects, Angela enjoys all things music, gardening, and cooking for anyone who happens to be hungry.



Jane began her career at 1991 as an executive assistant and has more than 20 years of experience prior to joining Penumbra Group in 2011, she served in a number of support positions within various industries. Most recently, she was the Executive Assistant to the COO of CORT Furniture Rental. She is responsible for providing high-level support to the CEO and administering Penumbra Group’s internal operations and enjoys spending her free time hiking and being in the outdoors.