Donnel Nunes, PhD

Donnel Nunes, PhD


Phone:  +1 808-554-6509
Email:  view email here

Donnel Nunes, PhD, Partner is a behavior and social learning specialist who brings more than 20 years of family therapy and educator experience to his work with families in business. He has specialized in work with families in business since 2015.

He focuses on facilitating engagements that present opportunities for clients to strengthen their ability to move past old wounds so that they can share and receive knowledge. With ongoing consideration for the client’s potential for growth, he designs and orchestrates interactions where learning goals are targeted and within reach of individuals and teams. Donnel helps families in business to build the capacity to lean into discomfort and conflict, accept the past, and renew the potential for the future.

As clients broaden their self-awareness and skills related to communication, emotional safety, and trust, he provides ongoing support to promote an enduring culture of learning and personal discovery between members. Using strategically aligned educational experiences that employ best practices from family business advising, social learning theory, mentoring, and performance psychology, clients will be provided with the foundation and tools to transform their family and business into communities of learning.

Some of the areas where Donnel can provide support:

  • Restorative relationship support for family members and other key stakeholder groups
  • Psychological assessments for family and key business leaders to help identify strengths, values, organizational alignment, and potential risks for performance
  • Succession planning
  • Setting up mentoring for family members and employees
  • Professional development of rising generations, key family members, managers, and teams
  • Individual and team development with a focus on self-awareness and self-management
  • Family education
  • Meeting and retreat facilitation
  • Family governance
  • Organizational change and development
  • Capturing and transferring organizational knowledge

In 2018, Donnel received his PhD in Educational Psychology, with a cognate in organizational behavior, from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. His research focused on mentoring between family members. He also holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Chaminade University and is a licensed mental health counselor in the State of Hawaii.

In addition to his work with the Aspen Family Business Group, Donnel maintains a Hawaii-based consulting practice, PVA Knowledge Group, and is a senior facilitator for Classic Leadership Institute (a leadership development program based in Oregon).

Since completing his PhD, Donnel has continued his research on familial mentoring with a focus on mentoring in family business. He has authored chapters for two international handbooks, by SAGE (2017) and Routledge (2018), on the topic of familial mentoring (mentoring that takes place between family members). He regularly speaks at national and international conferences on topics related to behavior, education, and mentoring.

Donnel has lived in Hawaii since 1997, and currently resides on the island of Oahu with his wife and young son. He is an active member of the Kailua Chamber of Commerce as the chair of the newly formed AI Learning Committee. He regularly provides program support to local Family Business peer groups and educational programs. He is also actively involved in the local watersport community and enjoys finding ways to integrate performance and sport psychology into his work with clients.

Aspen Family Business Consultants
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