What our clients say…

Paul and Akiko have worked with our Senior Leadership Team over the past year, leading us through a series of sessions to develop our emotional intelligence. They have been thoughtful, knowledgeable, and insightful as they have guided us through a process of learning more about ourselves and each other. One of our top executives stated that this was some of the most important work we have done as a team. We unanimously agreed to continue our work with Paul, Akiko, and the Interculturalist team.

— Jen Muenchow, Director of Human Resources, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

The Gift Mapping exercise was a powerful combination of relationship-building and role-modeling inclusive behaviors. The exercise provided an opportunity to reflect on my own talents, learn how others perceive my strengths, and share how I see strength in others. Akiko and Paul did a phenomenal job of framing the exercise in the context of our broader DEI work and in creating an environment where participants felt comfortable fully engaging and being vulnerable. As a result of this exercise I feel much closer to my colleagues.

— Craig Warren, Vice President of Enterprise Solutions, Minnesota Children’s Museum


It has been a pleasure partnering with Interculturalist to help deliver our intercultural programming. They have a deep knowledge of the IDI and can tailor their feedback to the diverse roles, backgrounds and context of our employees. They are flexible, professional and embody intercultural competence in all they do.

— Catherine Menyhart, Manager of Training and Development, Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)

Akiko worked with our faculty as a consultant and coach using the IDI for intercultural development. Akiko went out of her way to build relationships with each of us, and to be attentive to where we were individually in our own intercultural development. I have found her to be a deep listener in our conversation, and one who listens with purpose. She never wavered from careful attention to our specific growth needs, and this focus was evident to every faculty member without exception. Akiko is willing to be appropriately personal as she draws out our own personal stories. I found her to be very affirming, but it was never soft or aimless affirmation. She was quite willing, having built rapport, to challenge us in places we might not have expected. Her challenges were specific, and always directed toward a learning goal within the program.

We certainly have encountered her competence and expertise within the Program as a whole: teaching, interpreting, and mentoring us in all aspects of intercultural development. The faculty has the highest regard for her work, and feel fortunate to have her as our mentor, consultant, and coach in our Intercultural development program.

— W. Mark Richardson, President and Dean, Church Divinity School of the Pacific

Over the years I have worked with a number of professionals that provide diversity training and/or intercultural coaching. Through these experiences I have gained some perspective that helps me distinguish high quality performers from average performers in this field. The impact of the best is based on a passion for their work and a desire to create positive and lasting growth. The best demonstrate exceptionally strong content expertise combined with highly adaptable process skills in order to meet the needs of their clients. More specifically they understand that interpreting assessments, conducting training and providing coaching each have a different purpose and that each require different skill sets and approaches. This is how I would assess my experience with Akiko Maeker. She is among the best. I would recommend her with complete confidence. She will not disappoint you.

— Rich Melvin, Assistant Superintendent, Osseo Area Schools

I have had the privilege of working with Akiko Maeker at Interculturalist (LLC) in my personal development. My role as EVP/President Construction Systems and Solutions required her area of expertise in order to learn and develop my intercultural competency skills. I found my sessions with Akiko to be very worthwhile and insightful. Her approach is one of openness and in the true spirit of growth and development. Akiko has contributed nicely to my executive growth. The coaching approach that Akiko uses was truly eye opening and relevant.

— Norman Adkins, Executive Vice President, Construction Systems & Solutions, Southwire

A partial list of clients

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