• LinkedIn - Black Circle
Dr Órla NicDomhnaill
CEO and Founder

Dr Órla NicDomhnaill is the founder and CEO of Thrive Advisory, a boutique leadership firm that customises leadership support to help individual leaders, teams and organisations thrive. Órla works with directors, CEOs, and senior management teams at the intersection of strategy, organisation, and leadership to enhance culture, performance and growth. She has over 20 years of consulting experience, working with leading organisations and their boards, building board and organisational effectiveness, leadership awareness and strength, and senior team alignment.

An entrepreneur at heart and an organisational psychologist by background, Órla has traversed the globe and thrives in contexts where she can blend her experience in consulting, academia and pragmatic business-building while personally delivering bespoke support to her clients. She specialises in CEO/C-Suite succession, high-potential talent development, executive and team coaching and D&I. Her latest research, D&I² focuses on the relationship between Diversity and Inclusion and Disruption and Innovation. Prior to founding Thrive  Advisory, she was a Senior Partner at Pivot Leadership – a Korn Ferry Company where she was the Asia-Pacific Business Head, in addition to the regional lead of Leadership Development Solutions. Órla built the Asia-Pacific business over 3 years and was responsible for strategy, business development, client delivery, staffing and IP building.


As the Head of the Assessment & Succession Practice at Stephenson Mansell Group, she was responsible for creating, staffing, and marketing the practice. Following this set-up, she was responsible for selling and delivering high-impact client offerings, primarily in the areas of CEO succession, executive talent management, including assessment and development, high-potential talent development, and senior team effectiveness. Órla led the creation of intellectual capital and marketing materials in the areas of high-potential talent and leadership assessment for individuals, teams, and organisations. Prior to SMG, Órla was a principal consultant within the Leadership Consulting practice at Heidrick and Struggles. While she was based in Australia/New Zealand, Órla consulted globally with Heidrick and Struggles’ strategic clients, including BHP Billiton (global), Mercedes Benz (China), and HP (Asia-Pacific region), where she specialised in CEO succession, high-potential talent assessment, and development (360 feedback, development, and coaching) for leaders, teams, and organisations.

Prior to Heidrick & Struggles, Órla was a Principal Consultant at Oliver Wyman Delta (New York), working with CEOs, boards of directors, and senior executives of major corporations on CEO succession, executive talent management, and large-scale organisational change, where she consulted to PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson, BlackRock, Bausch & Lomb, and United Airlines. Prior to joining Delta, Órla worked in the human capital strategy practice at Mercer and in the organisational effectiveness group at Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals. 

Órla was on the faculty at Columbia University, where she taught research methods courses in the school’s Social-Organisational Psychology Masters Program, and worked as a process consultant in Change Management and Conflict Resolution Practicums. Her dissertation, “Gendered Behaviour at Work: How Sex, Gender and Approach to Work Impact Behaviours and Outcomes” was published in 2008. She holds a PhD in Social-Organisational Psychology, an MPhil in Social-Organisational Psychology, and an MA in Organisational Psychology, all from Columbia University. She earned a first class honours BA in Psychology from University College Dublin. She lives in Sydney with her husband and two young children.

Thrive Advisory Team

Ilea Stoltenberg

Principal Consultant

Brisbane Office

  • LinkedIn Social Icon

Jessica Apfel

  • LinkedIn Social Icon


Sydney Office


Ilea's background includes a breadth of knowledge and experience across a range of talent management solutions.  She has experience on global engagements which have spanned across Australia, Asia, and the United States.  She aims to support individuals and organisations alike to enhance their performance and capability by applying her expertise in psychometric assessment, knowledge of current human capital trends and research, and psychological principles.

Ilea takes a scientist-practitioner approach to working with clients, teams and individuals whereby she applies psychological rigour to deliver practical solutions to ensure her client's are thriving.  She has vast experience in psychometric assessment for talent development and talent identification, leadership and talent development, 360-degree feedback, talent and workforce management, job analysis, competency modelling and development, coaching facilitation, leadership wellbeing, as well as designing and facilitating assessment and development centres.

Ilea commenced her career in 2008 working with the Centre for Applied Social Research (CASR) which applies innovative concepts and methods in social sciences to advance complex, multi-faceted organisational research.  By taking an interdisciplinary perspective, she was able to enhance her understanding of human social behaviour and develop practical solutions to real-world problems.  After moving to Sydney in 2012, Ilea has worked for large consulting firms Chandler Macleod and Korn Ferry Hay Group.

Ilea is accredited and experienced in the use of many psychometric assessment tools.  She has a Master of Science, Industrial and Organisational Psychology from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Science (hons.) Psychology also from the University of Oklahoma.

Jessica specialises in working with businesses to accelerate their performance and achieve their company goals.  Her work extends to both individual professional development and organisation-wide leadership development programs.  Her recent focus is on C-suite executives using 360-degree assessments, team development and coaching techniques to help them identify any performance gaps and then supporting them to bridge those gaps.

Jessica combines in-depth knowledge of leadership development, strong analytical skills and a warm and personable approach that reveals her genuine interest and drive in helping organisations achieve results. Prior to joining Thrive, Jessica worked at Leadership and Succession Advisory, a boutique CEO Succession and Board Advisory Firm.  She has also worked at Heidrick and Struggles, a Global Executive Search and Leadership Advisory Firm on a number of complex and high-profile development programs with clients including Westpac, Aurizon, NIB, BHP Billiton, Western Sydney Institute and Charter Hall.  Her work involved Culture Shaping and the design and facilitation of programs aimed at shifting attitudes and behaviours so that the teams and individuals were aligned to their company culture.

In addition to her consulting experience, Jessica has worked in financial services at BT Financial Group where she developed competency frameworks and learning initiatives aimed at lifting professional standards.  She has also held Learning and Development roles at Morgan Stanley in London, Deutsche Bank and Hudson Global Resources.

Jessica is an MBA candidate at MGSM and holds a Bachelor of Human Resources (Psychology and Business) from Macquarie University.  She is also accredited in a range of psychological assessment tools.

Melissa Meadows

Executive Assistant

Sydney Office

Melissa is a seasoned Executive Assistant with over 20 years experience in the field and has worked with Senior Executives, HRD's and CEO's in the FMCG, Retail, Property and Professional Services sectors.  Tech-savvy,  she integrates her love of graphic design with project management, marketing, social media and branding assistance.

Melissa's in-depth knowledge of various industries and her keen eye for detail, ensure that we are delivering our best when it comes to our clients.


Connect with us

  • Twitter - Grey Circle
  • LinkedIn - Grey Circle
  • Instagram - Grey Circle