Dr Nancy Zentis


The experience of Dr. Nancy Zentis early in her career was focused on helping others achieve their career goals. With a background in Human Resources and Career Development, she entered the field of Organization Development to help individuals and organizations create organization change and individual success. While working as an OD Consultant with her firm IOD, she realized an opportunity to develop Organization Certification Programs and grew her organization into the global organization that it is today. With over seven thousand participants awarded OD certifications over the past 22 years, Dr. Zentis, the founder and CEO of Institute of OD, is a leader in providing OD Certification Programs for professionals in the field of Organization Development.

A Day That Changed Her Life

While completing her bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Nancy realized she wanted to be a voice for women and minorities to enhance their career opportunities. She started a Women’s Center at the University, providing support services to women returning to college to earn their degrees. Nancy had the good fortune to attend an event and was introduced to Richard Bolles, author of “What Color is Your Parachute.” That special day influenced her career decision to work in the field of Human Resources and Training and Development.

Making things happen

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Nancy was offered a position as the director of the internship program at Oakland Community College, MI (OCC), recruiting students and finding them paid internships in the county government. Nancy found jobs for underemployed students and provided career counseling preparing them for future careers. Over five years as Director of Internships, Nancy was able to bring in $100,000,000 in grants to train, develop, and provide job experience to the underemployed. In addition, she hired women interns to help staff her program, offering opportunities to gain job experience while obtaining their degrees.

After completing her master’s, she applied for a corporate job in HR at Uniroyal Tire, becoming one of the first women to be hired in a management position. Uniroyal had an exemplary leadership culture, which helped Nancy introduce major changes in HR for the organization and build the foundations work she embodies in her current organization, IOD. 

Nancy had a successful 30-year career as an independent consultant in Organization Development for many fortune 100 companies in diverse industries.

In 1999, while completing her Ph.D. in Organization Development, Nancy decided to create the South Florida OD Network (SFLODN). Nancy led SFLODN and grew its membership for over 13 years.  

“I want to be a source of inspiration for others entering the field of Organization Development.”  Her legacy is to help others change the world through OD.

Visit the Instititute of Organization Development

The IOD Global Community was Born

In 2001, Nancy created the first OD Certification Program for those in the field of OD to help professionals gain skills in the field of OD and enhance their career opportunities. Nancy formed the Institute of OD and began providing classroom OD Certification Programs. As the reputation grew, IOD offered programs throughout the US, Jamaica, India, and Africa. IOD held an annual OD conference in Florida and internationally to attract OD Professionals. Global interest in OD was growing and attracting a new audience. 

With the advance in online technology, IOD presented its first online session in 2010 which proved to be successful providing seven OD certification programs for a global audience. IOD offered OD Certifications online in India for several years through one of their partners. IOD has since hosted multiple cohorts and inspired the creation of an OD university in Ghana. 

Given the rapid growth of IOD, starting in 2013, IOD welcomed some of the top facilitators, program managers, and educators in OD. Starting with Patti Dammann, who now leads IOD as its President. Patti has been at Nancy’s side for over twenty years as her advocate, partner, and best friend traveling around the world working to make a difference with OD.

Another invaluable addition to the IOD family was Susan Gervasi, who joined IOD in 2014, bringing her outstanding facilitation and instructional design skills. Susan, Patti, and Nancy are the dream team who love working together and along with the entire IOD team, have built an incredible online platform for learning.   

“I want to be a source of inspiration for others entering the field of Organization Development.”  Her legacy is to help others change the world through OD.


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