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Our Team

Learn How to Optimize Your Team’s Performance

Dr. Kozhi Sidney Makai, SPHR®, CPLP®

The Official Version…

Kozhi serves as our behavioral scientist, nerdy leader, and Founding Chief Executive Officer. He brings 18-plus years of human and organizational behavior experience and exemplifies the achievement he works tirelessly to inspire in our clients. A professional and All-Nation basketball player at 14 in his native Zambia, he’s been leading on one big stage or another for over 25 years and brings both practical and research-based tools in the way he leads our organization and advises our clients. He is the author of five books and the editor of a textbook releasing in the summer of 2017.

Kozhi earned his Bachelor’s in Speech Communication in 3.5 years from Sam Houston State University (Go BearKats!), his Master’s in Leadership & Influence in eight months (yes, 8) from Jones International University, and his Ph.D in Applied Management & Decision Sciences in eighteen months (18) from Walden University. Kozhi is a Senior Professional in Human Resources® (SPHR®) and Certified Professional in Learning & Performance® (CPLP®). As our self-proclaimed Nerd-in-Chief, he is a few months away from candidacy for his second doctoral degree; this one, a Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D) with a focus on Positive Psychology and Performance Psychology.

Things You Definitely Care Less About…

  • I’ve been lobbying for “Nerd-in-Chief” as my official title, but someone who shall remain unnamed keeps vetoing it.
  • Though Peter Jackson took some literary license, I watch the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy several times a year.
  • 24 is about the best show ever, and there’s no replacing Jack Bauer. Corey Hawkins is great in 24: Legacy, but it’s not Jack’s 24.

Lela Crisp

The Official Version…

Lela serves as our no-nonsense Chief of Staff. She was Chief of Staff (CoS) before it was cool to have a CoS in the for-profit world. She’s like Heimdall the Gatekeeper who is the guardian of Asgard in the Thor movies (oh, come on, it’s a perfect analogy!); she protects the interests of Kozhi Makai Worldwide and runs the day-to-day operations.

She’s so meticulous, we call her Monk, like Tony Shalhoub’s character in the show Monk. That meticulous nature is what keeps us efficient and effective. We don’t think she realizes it, but she’s central to the excellence we strive for each day.

Things You Definitely Care Less About…

  • I’ve thwarted the silly “Nerd-in-Chief” title for someone who shall remain unnamed.
  • I don’t like my food to touch; seriously, why should my mashed potatoes and chicken fried steak touch? And I’m not the only one out there…
  • There’s no better college football team than Alabama. Some disagree, but I allow them to be wrong. Roll Tide!

Tabitha Pistole-Makai, CDM® CFPP®

The Official Version…

Tabitha serves as our Dietary Management Coach and Consultant (isn’t that a mouthful?! Get it? The pun? Ugh…you’re no fun!). Anyway…with over a dozen years of experience as a chef, she helps our clients manage an integral part of their performance: their nutrition. Our approach is to ensure our clients are optimized in every way that impacts their performance. Tabitha makes sure our clients are aware of and practicing healthy lifestyles nutritionally.

Tabitha is also a BearKat and earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology and her Master’s in Family & Consumer Sciences and Counseling from Sam Houston State University. She is a Certified Dietary Manager and Certified Food Preparation Professional.

Things You Definitely Care Less About…

  • I was raised in Defiance, OH, recently made famous by the show Scandal (my husband says he can’t make this stuff up).
  • I can’t quite say I can speak other languages, but I won’t starve in a foreign country as I know food. Clearly, my second language is food.
  • My senior year in high school, I won Three Stars at the FCCLA Regional and State Competitions (it’s kind of a big deal, and why I’m a coach).