Our Team

“My passion is working with leaders who are committed to transforming their culture...to produce extraordinary business results, have teams fulfill on their purpose, and individuals achieve greater work/life balance.” – Karla

Karla Pierson

President and Founder, Candeo Partners, LLC


Karla has spent the past 20 years partnering and consulting with CEOs, corporate executives, business owners and leaders with a vision of producing extraordinary results—for their organizations and their people. She is committed to empowering leadership and creating innovative, collaborative work environments. Karla developed deep human behavior knowledge, intuition and practical, hands-on client experience through working with leading national and international consulting firms that specialize in breakthrough methodologies and organizational transformation. She has consulted across multiple industries, including oil and gas, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, consumer products, retail and manufacturing.

Karla started Candeo Partners in 2009, with a goal to blend proven transformational principles and techniques together with the latest research in a way that maximizes leader, team, and organizational performance.

Karla earned her MHA-MBA from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Texas in Austin, with a B.A. in Biology.

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“The result is always better with the perspectives of different people…whether it’s individuals, companies or society, it takes a step change in thinking to produce a step change in results.” – Susan

Susan M. Cunningham
Executive Vice President, Candeo Partners, LLC


Susan has spent the past 30+ years building and creating profitable organizations with a focus on innovation, leadership and breakthrough performance. She has held executive and technical roles within major oil and gas companies, including Amoco, Statoil, Texaco and Noble Energy, leading global projects in regions such as the Middle East/Eastern Mediterranean, Africa, South America and Canada. She has a successful track record of bringing innovative, strategic thinking to exploration, safety, operations and overall business execution. She is most known for spearheading exploration teams to find legacy assets and optimize portfolio value. Susan blends her strong scientific and geophysical expertise with a commitment to unlocking the highest potential in people.

At Candeo, Susan brings innovation and transformation to executive leadership teams and organizations. She has a passion for connecting the best science and data practices with the latest neuroscience and human behavior research to produce extraordinary results at the individual, team and organizational levels.

Susan has won numerous professional awards, including: Top 25 Most Influential Women in Oil and Gas Award, National Diversity Council’s Most Powerful Businesswomen Award, Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Oil & Gas Award, OTC Heritage Award and WISE-BIO Houston Leadership in Technology Award. She currently serves on the board of directors for Enbridge and Oil Search, and as an advisor for Darcy Partners. 

Susan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geology and Physical Geography from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. She also completed a management program through Rice University’s Office of Executive Development in Houston, TX.

“I’m passionate about helping others go beyond old ways of doing things and transforming their lives, both professionally and personally.” – Julie

Julie Pittman Rice
Vice-President, Candeo Partners, LLC


Julie has spent the past 25 years studying and applying transformational methodologies to improve performance at all organizational levels. She has a commitment to bringing excellence and integrity to everything she does. In her 30-year career at FedEx Corporation, Julie held various positions, developing a deep understanding of the business from the inside out—starting as a delivery driver in college and retiring as a Strategic Business Development Executive. Julie not only created growth strategies for FedEx in numerous markets, but also helped clients grow their businesses and streamline their logistics. Her specific areas of expertise include supply chain, safety, sales, training and leadership development.  

Julie attended Lamar University, where she earned her Master’s degree in Education, specializing in Counseling and Development, and her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a focus on Human Resources. She is an accredited Human Resources Specialist.

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“I enjoy helping people identify their purpose and core values, so that their work and personal life is one of their own choosing.” – Steven

Steven R. Skiff
Vice President, Candeo Partners, LLC

Steven has over 20 years of experience working with business owners and corporate leaders to improve their bottom line.  He has a strong track record of turning ideas into profitable realities by identifying growth opportunities and empowering people to “think outside the box.”   Steven has expertise in full-cycle healthcare systems—from clinical practice to sales, distribution, marketing and management.  He has worked in various roles of increasing responsibility across the pharmaceutical, medical device and dental industries including companies such as Eli Lilly and Wright Medical Group.

At Candeo, Steven helps leaders and their teams set stretch goals and empower them to deliver transformational results.  His contagious entrepreneurial spirit, strong leadership skills and visionary coaching style generates an extraordinary sense of freedom for clients that allows them to reach their highest potential and produce their best performance.  Steven has successfully owned and operated multiple businesses and has a commitment to a fulfilling work/life balance as well as giving back to the community through the arts, mentoring and school associations.

Steven earned his MBA in Marketing/Management from Texas A&M University, with international business studies in Germany. He has a Master’s degree in Counseling from Louisiana State University, where he also received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.