About Kris Yagel

West Point Graduate

Top Rated Army Leader

Award-Winning Executive

Development Expert

TEDx Speaker

Keep the fire hot!  – Kris

Kris Yagel is a servant leader with a proven record of winning. Believing that everyone has value and purpose, he passionately helps others to recognize the worth that lies within themselves and then equips and mentors them to achieve their highest potential.

Success came early on for Kris. After building a foundation as a scholar athlete, he became his high school’s first attendee of The United States Military Academy at West Point. Following the Academy’s rigorous four-year course of personal development, he graduated and was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army Military Police Corps. By empowering his subordinates and building cohesive teams, Kris received top honors as a special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team commander and Army base police chief in the wake of 9/11 and as an Army unit commander of over 100 active duty soldiers.

After six years of military service, Captain Yagel decided to leave the Army to lead others in the corporate world. He reached top honors, again, in the new endeavors of project management, medical device sales, and business development. Ultimately, after taking stock of his experiences, Kris realized that his life had been a carefully woven sequence of events that prepared him to continue serving others by founding his leader development, team optimization, and inspirational speaking company, Diligent Plans.

Today, Kris is known as a gripping motivational speaker, astute consultant, innovative trainer, and empathetic connector.

His motto is simple: Do whatever it takes to help others grow.


About Joe DeAntona

West Point Graduate

30-Year Army Officer

Award-Winning Leader

Dynamic Speaker

Leadership Expert

When in doubt, take charge!  – Joe

Colonel (Retired) Joe DeAntona is one of the most potent leader development experts in the world today. Unmatched in passion and intuition, he leaves a wake of greatness in those under his tutelage.

From a modest upbringing in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Joe went on to play Division 1 College Football at his eventual alma mater, the United States Military Academy at West Point. Endlessly driven, he later achieved three Masters Degrees in the fields of Strategic Studies and Human Factors Psychology.

Upon commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in Army Air Defense Artillery, Joe began an illustrious career of service to the Nation that spanned more than three decades. He spent a sizable portion of his service time overseas on assignment and leading troops during operational deployments like Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom, among others. When stationed in the United States, one of his passions was teaching at the university level, where he instructed for a total of seven years. West Point, recognizing Joe’s penchant for developing others, brought him back for a record three tours to work with cadets across the entire spectrum of growth. He served, separately, as an assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, as the Brigade Tactical Officer (Dean of Student Affairs), and as the Deputy Athletic Director for the United States Corps of Cadets.

The Army was but a chapter in Joe’s commitment to service. He continues to travel the world as a leadership and strategy advisor while committed as a husband, father, and humanitarian.

Joe is simply unforgettable; a “once in a lifetime” encounter.


About John Vermeesch

West Point Graduate

27-Year Army Officer

Purple Heart Recipient

Award-Winning Speaker

Leadership & Ethics Expert

Trust is the only currency that really matters.  – John

Colonel (Retired) John Vermeesch has directed the leadership and ethics development of more than 1.2 million people to date. Quite simply, he is beyond world-class in his field. He is a humble servant, committed to the betterment of humanity.

With eyes for leadership early on, John began his military career by graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Later, he enhanced his academic development with two Masters Degrees in the fields of Strategic Studies and Leader Development and Counseling.

During his service in the Army John flourished as an officer in the premier branch for combat leadership, the Infantry. From second lieutenant to colonel, John set himself apart from his peers by receiving such awards as the purple heart, bronze star (four times), and the U.S. Army Ranger School Distinguished Honor Graduate. He led troops, in exemplary fashion, in combat on multiple occasions during Operations Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn.

Not only did John serve the Nation at war, he was integral in developing future generations of leaders. On two occasions he was stationed at West Point and placed in positions of direct influence over the Corps of Cadets. Ultimately, the Army’s most senior leaders took notice of John’s abilities and assigned him as Director of the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic (CAPE) where he oversaw the improvement of culture across the entire Army. His legacy endured as he was consistently rated in the top 10% of the strategic leaders of a globally focused leader development organization with over 32,000 personnel.

Today, John is intently focused on developing ethically sound leaders around the world.

John’s core belief: We can all become the leader we would want leading our children.


About Alicia Chin Greer

West Point Graduate

Decorated Army Leader

Record Setting Executive

Operations Expert

You are in everything you do.  – Alicia

Alicia Chin Greer leaves an indelible mark of excellence on every organization she is a part of. With extraordinary breadth, she combines passionate success in leader development with an uncanny eye for operational growth potential to create the right conditions for success. Alicia is a cutting-edge leader of the highest caliber.

Her academic and sports achievements during her early years earned her an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. As a cadet, she played Division 1 College Basketball, made the Dean’s list, and was integral to upholding the honor code for all ~4,000 cadets. After graduating, Alicia continued to shine as an Army Engineer Officer. She served with distinction while deploying with her soldiers on three occasions, two of which were to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight terrorism. During one mission, she orchestrated the first-ever air deployment of a construction engineer unit to a combat zone. After five years of leading troops, Captain Greer left the Army to pursue new challenges.

Leaving military service did not cause Alicia’s fire for achievement to dim. After earning an MBA, she took the financial services industry by storm at the prestigious Goldman Sachs. Before the one year mark she led her team to record the highest daily trade settlement value on the Toronto Stock Exchange in the company’s near 150-year history. Less than a year later at barely 30 years old she was enthusiastically promoted to Vice President.

Having established the high water mark in each of her professional endeavors, in 2009 Alicia took a well-deserved break to start a family. A servant to the last, she has since returned to the mainstream to, not surprisingly, build the next generation of leaders.

Alicia leaves a permanent wake of greatness in everyone she reaches.

About Laura McKenna

West Point Graduate

Decorated Army Officer

Award-Winning Professor

Life-Transformation Expert

You get what you focus on!  – Laura

Laura McKenna is relentless in her noble calling to help people reach new levels of health and success. Unrivaled in energy, stoked with passion, she is an influencer in all regards.

Laura’s journey of accomplishment began at the United States Military Academy at West Point where she was a standout cadet. She received the John Hottell Award for the highest GPA in her major and was also recognized for excellence in communications by induction into the Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society.

After graduating from West Point and commissioning as an officer in the Army Military Police (MP) Corps, she was handed two critical back-to-back missions. First, she led the security forces that secured the crash site at the Pentagon immediately after September 11, 2001. Then, she continued to fight terrorism alongside her soldiers during a deployment to Afghanistan. The challenges of being an MP were great, but Laura sought more so she transferred to Army Aviation where she became a Blackhawk helicopter pilot. During her flight years, the Army wisely decided to send Laura for an advanced degree so she could return to West Point and instruct cadets in the core pillar of physical education. In keeping with her legacy she was awarded the Coach Krzyewski Award for Teaching Excellence.

When the time came for Laura to leave the Army, she only left the uniform; her drive to serve remained. She further polished her leadership and operations ability and began mastering a new skills set in account management and sales before deciding to pursue her calling. She is now a leadership trainer, lifestyle and wellness consultant, and personal transformation coach.

Merely being around Laura is enough to shift anyone into high gear.

  • "My biggest challenge with my current assignment was to reconnect a team that had lost its cohesion. Based on an enthusiastic referral, I contacted Kris at Diligent Plans for help with the situation. I couldn’t be happier with the results of the full day team building event that he led us through. Now, my team is highly motivated and much more synchronized!"

    Izza Rodriguez, Senior Manager | JOHNSON & JOHNSON
  • "The County was recently looking for a thorough training regarding meaningful presentations and clear communication when approaching a decision-making audience. We were extremely satisfied with the training conducted and facilitated by Diligent Plans. The trainer, Kris Yagel, was patient, thorough and well informed on the subject matter, and he was able to connect with the audience in a way that made a lasting impact. We are grateful for his time with us and look forward to working with him again!"

    Melissa Carrillo, CHRO | COUNTY OF EL PASO, TX
  • "Diligent Plans has delivered exceptional service and sales training for the TFCU team. At TFCU, we strive to create a learning environment that is engaging, professional, and continuously improving. Kris Yagel brings a humble and effective approach that conforms with our culture. Our organizational values of human dignity, fairness, and professional execution also align with Mr. Yagel's approach. I recommend Diligent Plans to leaders that are looking for this delivery."

    Max Villaronga, CEO | TFCU
  • “As a goal to conduct a memorable team building event for my ~ 70 leaders this year, I gave the mission to Kris Yagel and his team at Diligent Plans. Kris successfully delivered a mix of academic and hands-on, experiential events that far exceeded my expectations! The event was instantly marked as a milestone in our company culture!”

    Bill Randag, President | DATAMARK
  • "When we were looking for a speaker on leadership for the Annual Conference of a national trade association, we contacted Diligent Plans for suggestions. The company sent us resumes of five potential speakers, each offering a unique perspective on leadership. We selected our speaker and Diligent Plans was efficient in handling the contract and the details of the engagement. It was a pleasure working with Diligent Plans and we feel they are a great resource for future programs."

    Stella Jones, Executive Director | FISA
  • "I was looking for a team-building training that would engage my whole team – an event that could have an impact beyond the actual training day. I was referred to Kris Yagel at Diligent Plans. I met with Kris to discuss my goals and then allowed Kris to develop the training event. I was very pleased with what we learned as a team, and indeed, the team ended the day with ideas that we can carry forward in our work. Kris was warm and personable, and could easily relate to the team. Kris was very professional, and held the team’s attention throughout the event. It was a great experience and I look forward to working with Kris Yagel and Diligent Plans again!"

    Pat Degman, Comptroller | CITY OF EL PASO, TX