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Workplace MVP at SHRM22: CJ Gross - Ascension Worldwide

CJ Gross, Founder and CEO of Ascension Worldwide, is the author of the newly released book, What’s Your Zip Code Story? CJ joined host Jamie Gassmann live from SHRM 2022 and discussed the book’s focus on our own personal upbringing and the class biases that unfold from our individual experiences. They also covered his career journey, his presentation at SHRM in 2019, understanding others’ stories, the new sport he’s taken up, and much more.


Workplace MVP is sponsored and presented by R3 Continuum and produced by the Minneapolis-St.Paul Studio of Business RadioX®.


This show was originally broadcast live from the 2022 SHRM Annual Conference held at the New Orleans Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

CJ Gross – Founder and CEO, Ascension Worldwide


Christopher “CJ” Gross is an international organizational development consultant specializing in leadership development and Diversity and Inclusion. CJ has 17 years of experience as a certified Social + Emotional Intelligence coach, trainer, Keirsey Temperament professional, and executive coach, with additional expertise in organizational mediation. He also serves as a Business Management, Adjunct Faculty for the Community College of Baltimore County. CJ possesses the unique ability to uncover and resolve social issues that hinder employee performance and efficiency.


CJ’s book, What’s Your Zip Code Story?, is now available and was born out of a Ted Talk you can find here.



CJ started his career as a mechanical designer at General Electric (GE) where he learned to lay out mechanical designs and run calculations. At GE, he learned how effective companies run and the importance of employee relationships to a company’s success. After receiving multiple corrective preventive idea awards for employee development, CJ merged his engineering skills with his innate understanding of people, offering professional coaching and staff development to companies in need of improved performance and effectiveness.


CJ cultivated his diversity and Inclusion acumen through an intense training and coaching program from Cook Ross, an internationally known diversity and Inclusion consulting firm. The program included key concepts from Daniel Kahneman’s book, Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow, brain science theory, and life-changing deep-dive identity coaching. In addition, CJ has worked with domestic and international leaders from fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and government agencies on their diversity and Inclusion strategies and initiatives. This training and experience enable CJ to help clients explore impactful strategies for identity, diversity, inclusion, equity and access from a unique vantage point.


CJ received a B. A. degree in organizational management from Ashford University through the Forbes Entrepreneurship Scholarship.


CJ has consulted with domestic and international companies including the United States Postal Service, Toyota, Turner Construction Company, Oracle, Arent Fox D.C, Washington Post, D.C. Child and Family Services, Morgan Stanley, Loyola University, Howard University: School of Social Work, Maryland Association of Community Service, Primerica, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, the District of Columbia-Metropolitan Police Department, Penn State and others.

CJ has been featured in the Washington Post, the Washington Informer Newspaper, East of the River Newspaper, Diamonds Xcel Magazine, the Baltimore Examiner, and on the Tom Joyner Show, the Audrey Chapman Show, DCTV Cable, WPGC 95.5 FM, WOL 1450 AM, WUSA 9, WBAL-TV, and FOX45.


He has published three other books including How to Get a Job in 90 Days, Seeds of Greatness, and The Parent Connection. Most recently, he has co-written an article titled, Design Thinking + D&I=Innovation.



Ascension Worldwide


Ascension Worldwide is a full-service minority-owned consulting firm committed to helping clients achieve workplace inclusion, employee and client diversity, and innovative growth opportunities beyond their imagination. We are a global company that utilizes Blue Ocean strategies, quantitative and qualitative analysis, internal analysis, master-minding, and other innovative techniques to support exponential growth in companies while providing specialized target business consulting services that bridge the gap in technology and human capital development.


​Ascension Worldwide provides an array of services, including talent management, leadership development, diversity, inclusion & equity consulting, strategic planning, process improvement, and other business management services.


Ascension Worldwide services clients from local and national non-profits, government agencies, as well as fortune 100 and 500 companies. We have experience in several industries including manufacturing, healthcare, construction management, engineering, law-enforcement, finance, education, insurance, retail, IT, and the military.


Company website | LinkedIn | Facebook |Twitter

Workplace MVP


Every day, workplaces face major challenges created by disruption. To respond to these challenges requires great strength, and there are remarkable workplace heroes who do just that – by providing multi-level support and taking steps to prepare for future disruption.


Our podcast amplifies the voices of these heroic workplace MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals) and highlights their inspiring real-life stories. Each episode takes a deep dive into the journey these heroes took to find their way through disruption, providing you with anecdotes of hope and inspiration.


In times like these – where ensuring the psychological and physical safety of your workplace is key – Workplace MVP offers you an outlet where you can share in experiences of other professionals navigating relatable challenges. You can also explore new best practice approaches for preparing for, responding to, and overcoming the challenges of disruption in the workplace.


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