I guide others to create happier and more powerful lives through my strategic life coaching practice. I especially enjoy coaching high-potential, overachieving, and socially and ecologically conscious people.
My work draws upon more than eight years of education in coaching, counseling psychology, public policy and management, and general psychology.
I compose music, and am an award-winning author of several books. I enjoy nature, outdoor activities, cooking, eating, comedy, and deep conversation.
I’ve been fortunate to have many educational and growth opportunities that help me to serve others. I’ve faced life challenges that have provided perspective.
One of my greatest learning experiences was foster co-parenting an incredibly cute and lovable little girl for two years. This included fun urban forest adventures, as shown in the photo.
As I encourage my clients to do, I enjoy breaking through stereotypes and labels.
I grew up in a blue-collar Ohio environment with modest financial resources and a loving family. My earliest jobs included assisting my parents with custodial work, working on a factory assembly line, and cooking in a fast food restaurant.
I attended some of the world’s wealthiest and most rigorous schools, deepening my interest in human development and potential, relationships, leadership, and spirituality.
Once the last pick for school sports teams, I later bicycled across the continent, ran a marathon, and grew to love outdoor athletic activities.
Once teased about abnormal speech patterns, I later won a few speaking competitions. Often shy, I now sometimes write and talk with people about taboo topics like money, sexuality, and social programming.
While I’ve written two vegan cookbooks, I don’t view related issues as black and white as some do, so I consider myself “mostly plant-based.”
Much of this happened not only because of hard work and determination, but also the support and encouragement of others. Nobody is entirely self made. Whatever sets you apart, despite the opinions of the world, I’d like to help you express it.
I’ve worked on economic and public health projects that informed leadership decisions, created and taught a self-development course to community leadership graduate students, and served as a leadership skills assessor at a well-respected HR consulting firm.
I’ve done a lot of self-growth work as a recovering overachiever, so if you identify with that label, a free discovery session is especially likely to serve you.
More details on my formal training, credentials, media coverage, and interests follow.
Education and Credentials
Phillips Academy Andover
B.A., Psychology, Yale University
Yale Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society
M.S., Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University
Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy
4.0 GPA, Highest Distinction, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Heinz Fellowship
Coursework including strategic planning, social networking theory, negotiation communication, economics, management science, multicultural issues
M.A., Community Counseling, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
4.0 GPA, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Spinelli Memorial Merit Scholarship (awarded to one student each year)
Coursework including various models of human behavior and change, multicultural issues
Certified Life Coach (CLC) and graduate of 130-hour ICF Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP), Institute for Life Coach Training
My professional work, opinions, and volunteer endeavors have been featured or cited in a number of publications and media outlets:
- The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (cited as a life coaching expert in “Spring Renews Energy, Initiates a Desire for Self-Improvement”)
- The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, (cited as a life coaching expert in “Penning Your Own Obituary Can Help You Fine Tune Your Goals”)
- The Mansfield News Journal (text of interview on my life coaching practice and self-help book Naked Idealism, pdf file)
- Runner’s World (interviewed for life coaching expertise in “What Kind of Runner Are You?”–under the “Life” headings, 11 mb pdf file)
- The Pennsylvania Sierra Club’s Sylvanian (review of my self-help book Naked Idealism, pdf file)
- Pittsburgh City Paper (interview on my life coaching practice in its earlier days) (pdf version)
- The Journal of Community Health (“Connecting Environmental Health Data to People and Policy”) (additional link)
- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (chocolate cookbook mentioned in “Sexy Cookbooks Provide Recipes for a Hot Meal”)
- WMFD Television (news coverage of volunteer event in my hometown for Happiness Sprinkling and Weekend of Authentic Connection)
- Sierra Club Columbia Group Newsletter (2nd place photographs for “Finding Ourselves in Nature”)
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (stories on efforts to repair a long-ignored neighborhood public safety hazard)
I’ve also posted a range of individual testimonials from clients, colleagues, and students I’ve taught.
Have you ever considered the common threads that link the activities you enjoy?
My hobbies fall within three areas:
1) Creating things that energize, inspire, or nourish others: composing music, cooking, gardening, writing
2) Actively exploring and experiencing nature: jogging, hiking, cycling, camping
3) Learning about various personal growth topics, through reading, experience, and others’ teaching and experiences.
A question often on my mind: Which societal “shoulds” and unquestioned social norms box us in, preventing us from being our fullest and truest selves, and limiting our happiness and positive impact?
Topics include life balance, career development, relationships, sexuality and intimacy, breaking through limiting gender role and social class norms, spirituality, and physical living environments.
Coaching is a blast for me because it combines elements of all three areas above: I’m supporting you in creating results in your life (which energizes, inspires, and nourishes you), while weaving in personal growth concepts.
Additional Training and Workshops
- Solution-Focused Approaches (including specific applications for sexuality and relationships)
- Leadership Behavioral Competency Assessment
- Fundamentals of Conflict Resolution
- Sexual Attitude Reassessment
- Reality Therapy/Choice Theory
- Bowen Family and Organizational Systems
- Wellness Coach Certification
- Advanced Falling Awake (on money and relationships, by Dave Ellis)
- Soul Sex
- various workshops on authentic and conscious relating
Select Work Experience
Outside of coaching, I’ve served others in a range of settings, providing an appreciation for statements like, “I’m interested in several things, but I’m not sure which way to go.” My people-oriented work is balanced by a technical and analytical side. My experience has a common thread of improving quality of life, catalyzing change, and maximizing potential.
- Authored several books including three self-help and inspiration titles.
- Designed and taught a self-development class for graduate leadership students.
- With a leadership consulting firm, observed and assessed corporate managers’ behavior, communications, and personality profile data, and crafted developmental feedback messages.
- Counseled formerly incarcerated men using coaching-related approaches.
- Managed a multi-agency initiative on family and community wellness data.
- Conducted research and evaluation on environmental health, youth civic participation, and urban economic development.
- Presented at national and state professional/academic conferences on topics linking leadership, psychology, and social responsibility.