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Our Founders

Jeff Dess is an author of five books and serves as the Director of Leadership and Engagement at New Jersey City University. Lenny is a professor within the business departments at multiple institutions, with an MBA.

Both men have traveled nationwide and abroad as public speakers, educators, and co-founders of their Leadership Institute, Trill or Not Trill which focuses on culturally responsive leadership and student development.

With just over 20 years of combined experience in Higher Education, Lenny and Jeff have dedicated their careers towards changing lives and disrupting success. They have spoken to over 30,000 students at colleges, universities, conferences, barbershops, pizzerias and more. Between the two of them, they have appeared on CBS, Fox 5 New York, The Boston Globe, Ebony Magazine, Black Enterprise, The Root, and Hot 97. From working with, consulting and presenting for the NFL, TEDX, Twitter, Buzzfeed, NASPA, NCSL, and The NSLS, these two have continually pushed the envelope when it comes to impacting all those they meet.

Now we must say, Lenny is a Chicago Bulls Fan and Jeff continues to painfully root for the New York Knicks but for some reason they are still great friends and colleagues who are dedicated to changing the world of higher education and beyond. Their forthcoming book, “I  Wear Kicks to Work” creates a blueprint and develops strategies towards becoming more effective as culturally responsive educators and leaders.

Who Are We!

Trill or Not Trill is a leadership institute specializing in culturally responsive leadership.

What We Do!

Professional Development

Our team provides the professional development needed to excel on every level. We offer innovative techniques and topics of study that are perfect for executive roles to new employees.


Headshots, Linkedin Cleanup, Financial Literacy, Mock Interviews and Resume Review

Leadership Development

Masterclasses, Pop Culture Programming, Diversity, Public Speaking, Personal Branding, Leadership Fellowship


Keynote, Interactive Workshops, Daytime and Evening Social Events, Train Orientation Leaders

Event Curation

Keynotes, Curriculum Development, Conferences, Social Events, Alumni events


Retention, Strategic Planning, Branding, Organizational Development

Racial Justice and Equality 

Our seasoned practitioners provide a collection of interactive training sessions and resources to help sharpen skills and provide tangible strategies on addressing structural racism and advancing racial equality in the workplace or as a student leader on campus.

Virtual Programs

The Trill or Not Trill Virtual Programs is the home of the most culturally responsive online educational space. Virtually connect with thought leaders, Entrepreneurs, engaged students and more!

How We Make A Difference

  • We Prepare, Create and Cultivate the Leaders of the Future
  • We Customize Culturally Relevant and Integrated Solutions for Institutions

We Value

  • Positive disruption of standard leadership and development and educational norms
  • Diversity of thought and the inclusion of all leaders regardless of level, race, nationality, religion, sexuality, disability, age, illness, or gender identity
  • outstanding, unconventional student development and leadership programming and professional development workshops.

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