Our Founder - Dr. Paula Duren 

Dr. Paula Duren is an award-winning psychologist who has spent the last 30 years consulting in the areas of change management, executive coaching, team building, professional development and parental involvement training.

Paula is an outstanding professional — very talented, very creative, a strategic thinker, and an outstanding team leader and builder. Paula consistently demonstrated a tremendous capacity to understand client needs deeply and accurately; and then mobilize the perfect team of talented professionals with the perfect mix of skills and experiences and deploy us to implement an intervention strategy for the client that was fresh, innovative and absolutely effective.”
— Sondra Jenkins, Human Resources Director, Detroit Institute of the Arts

Paula has teamed with manufacturing, health care, utilities, food services, airports and other industries to coach executive teams and design employee surveys, as well asdevelop and implement training programs. She has successfully partnered with single business units, municipalities and multicultural health systems to create strategic diversity initiatives that fully align with business objectives. Other client organizations have utilized Paula’s consultative expertise in crisis situations as well as in long-term leadership, and organizational performance planning.

Paula brings unique insights to caring for loved ones suffering from dementia after years of relating to both her elderly parents as they’ve steadily declined in memory and awareness. The journey resulted in the development of a family support tool entitled, “My Lights Are Going Out…But It’s Not Dark In Here.” The tool includes a journal, 7-step guide booklet and an audio CD.  It focuses primarily on seven behavioral lessons she learned while serving her parents.  

Paula has also served as adjunct professor for Wayne State University and Henry Ford Community College, both in Detroit, Michigan. She is a certified facilitator of the following programs: Seven Habits Training, True Colors Assessments and Framework for Poverty.

Prior to founding Duren and Associates in 1982, Paula spent eight years at Ford Motor Company as an Internal Consultant and Human Resources Specialist. She was also a staff psychologist and member of the faculty at Illinois State University. Paula earned her Ph.D. degree in Counseling Psychology from Southern Illinois University, where she also completed a Masters in Counseling. She has a second masters degree in Library Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.

Paula is a Leadership Detroit graduate, a recipient of the Minority Business of the Year award presented by the National Black MBA Association and recognized as one of the top 25 women-owned businesses by the National Association of Women Business Owners. Dr. Duren enjoys ballroom dancing, morning workouts, watching football and spending time with her family.

“Paula has a unique ability to get to the meat of a matter and provide meaningful mentoring and coaching in a positive manner. I have seen her provide help that was immediately useful and accepted gladly, without defensiveness. That takes ability and insight into personalities.”
— Curtis Petterson, President and Owner, Absolute Engineering & Consulting, LLC
Duren & Associates has a strong knowledge base in human resources development. Their ability to effectively communicate with teams to bring about resolutions is outstanding.”
— Marilee Bylsma, Leadership Development Associate Director, Detroit Public Schools