Laurel Donnellan, Founder and CEO


Laurel is a compassionate leadership expert with experience coaching/consulting individuals and organizations including the University of Denver, Cornell University, Toyota, Disney, Viacom, and the New York City Board of Education. She has an undergraduate degree from Cornell University in Hotel Administration and an MA in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. Laurel specializes in career, leadership, and organizational development that improves engagement and has designed programs for corporate universities, schools, universities, an ashram, and a prison. She has published several books including Pause for Purpose and Born To Do: The Practical Guide To Loving Your Work, has been featured on NPR and worked with executives in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Laurel is a contributor at where she writes about Compassionate Leadership and hosts the Compassionate Leaders Circle Podcast where she interviews leaders from all sectors impacting their organizations and communities through kindness and purpose. She has dedicated the last twenty-four years to researching, developing, and validating change models that help people find work they love and help organizations provide loveable work. LinkedIn Profile

  • Author, Master Coach, Organizational Change Thought Leader, Serial Entrepreneur
  • BS Hotel Administration, Cornell University, MA Organizational Psychology, Columbia University
  • Faculty/Guest Faculty at Cornell, NYU, Fordham, The Omega Institute, University of Denver

Kelly Dwyer, Director of Learning 

Kelly Dwyer is the Director of Learning at Compassionate Leaders Circle. As an executive coach and facilitator, she helps leaders and teams build awareness and choice, and drive toward performance outcomes. Clients find clarity, realize improved performance, and experience life at their growth edge. Kelly has extensive leadership experience across operations, strategic projects, and program management, often holding responsibility for the creation and launch of new departments, business services, and cross-functional teams. Her experience in startup and high-growth environments has given her an eye for innovation, a visceral experience of what it means to be Agile, and the ability to come up to speed very quickly in new contexts. Additionally, years of experience practicing and teaching mindfulness and yoga enhances the work Kelly does with clients in the areas of emotional intelligence, presence, and focus. She is a contributing author for Pivot with Purpose: The Path to Remarkable Work, is an engaging speaker, and is deeply passionate about personal growth and the positive impact it has in performance at work, personal relationships, and happiness. Kelly has worked with leaders in companies from 50 to 100,000+ employees, and across industries including software, healthcare, management consulting, media, legal, consumer products, and non-profits.  Kelly is an ICF professional certified coach (PCC), holds an MBA from Cornell University, and a BS in Journalism from the University of Colorado. LinkedIn Profile

  • BS Journalism, University of Colorado, MBA, Cornell University
    Team member at three venture-funded companies with successful exits
  • Co-Author Pivot with Purpose: The Path to Remarkable Work

Shamis Pitts, Senior Faculty 

Shamis Pitts serves as Senior Faculty. Shamis has operated at the intersection of strategy, people and business processes for 20 years. She served as Chief Operating Officer for start-up technology companies in the education, music and beauty verticals. Shamis functioned as the official mediator and the unofficial heart and soul of the companies, facilitating team alignment with the business strategy on a daily basis. Prior to working with start-ups, Shamis performed mission-driven work in both elementary and higher education, allowing her to support the educational growth and personal development of young women and men of color. She began her career as a human capital management consultant focusing on the development of strategies to increase operational efficiency through the design and implementation of compensation and other human resource structures. Shamis then had progressive responsibilities within a major US bank that spanned internal consulting, business operations and marketing. She is passionate about mentoring young black women professionals. When at play, Shamis is mentoring, volunteering, karaoke-ing and dining with friends, or golfing with her husband. LinkedIn Profile

  • 20 years’ experience in strategy, people and business process within human resources management consulting, financial services, education and start-up technology.
  • International Coaching Federation-Certified Professional Leadership Coach
  • Senior Certified Professional, Society for Human Resource Management
  • MBA, Leadership and Strategy specialization, Cornell University’s SC Johnson Graduate School of Management
  • BA, Sociology, University of Pennsylvania

Tracy Goodsel, Senior Faculty

Tracy has more than 20 years of operations and project management experience working in multiple industries including hospitality, manufacturing and higher ed. She is a natural organizer and thrives in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment. She earned her bachelor’s degree at UC San Diego and proceeded to find work all over the country. Starting in Hawaii, making her way to New York and eventually settling on the west coast, she now resides in Reno, NV with her husband and two children. Tracy has a passion for the arts and self-development, which she infuses into her work as our Director of Operations as well as one of our certified coaches. LinkedIn Profile

  • BA, Art History, University of California, San Diego
  • Certified coach
  • Operations and organizational expert

Derek Hansen, Senior Faculty

Derek is a coach to executives, professionals and impact investors; and an organization development consultant specializing in purpose, leadership development, culture change and team effectiveness. He has worked with individuals, small organizations and Fortune 500 companies in industries including banking, technology, food, FMCG, transportation, and mission-driven NGOs in North America, Latin America and Europe. Derek has led multi-month leadership and team effectiveness programs for teams with $1 billion+ P&L responsibility. Prior to focusing on leadership and organizational transformation, he spent 10 years in strategy consulting, leveraged buyouts and investment banking. Derek received his Bachelor of Science in Economics summa cum laude from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of The Coaches Training Institute’s Co-Active Coach Training and Co-Active Leadership programs, and a 2018-2019 Fellow with the RSF Integrated Capital Institute. Derek Hansen’s LinkedIn Profile

  • Executive Coach, Organization/Leadership Development Consultant with Fortune 500 companies
  • Social Change Investing Advocate
  • BS Economics, Wharton, University of Pennsylvania
  • Investment banking, private equity and strategy consulting experience

Karen Radtke, Senior Faculty

Karen is a dynamic, inventive senior-level leader with proven ability to be a catalyst for transformation. Designer of unique and lasting organizational experiences for a wide range of global to not-for-profit leaders and organizations. She has a track record of partnering with senior teams and key talent to create a competitive advantage through people. She is particularly skilled in conducting organizational diagnostics, leading cultural integrations, branding & change initiatives, developing, coaching & advising leaders, designing succession, employee engagement and leadership development processes, and implementing innovation and growth strategies. Karen also has a lifetime of experience and service as an advocate and philanthropist for women’s and children’s initiatives.
LinkedIn Profile

  • Certified Executive, Team & Culture Coach, Designer of coach training programs, Enneagram System typing expert
  • BA Journalism, University of St. Thomas
  • MA Organizational Development, Loyola University Chicago
  • Leadership development for surgeons, organization system design for startups, visioning for not for profit boards

Jaye Smith, Senior Faculty

Jaye is an Executive Coach and master facilitator providing clients with the knowledge, expertise and compassion to create better work environments, opportunities, and to drive success and results for all stakeholders. Her career as an executive coach and organizational effectiveness consultant spans over 25 years. Her mission is to help people, teams, and organizations be vital and chart a course of action that is fulfilling for them and produces extraordinary results. Jaye is co-author of The Retirement Boom: The All-Inclusive Guide to Money, Life, and Health in Your Next Chapter as well as Reboot Your Life: Energize Your Career and Life by Taking a Break. Jaye founded Breakwater Consulting and co-founded Partners International. Previously, Jaye spent a number of years as a senior consultant to Chase, Chemical Bank, and Citibank. She began her early career in senior management positions at a community-based organization. Jaye holds an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from New York University and a B.A. in Psychology from City College of New York. LinkedIn Profile

  • Executive Coach, Leadership Development Consultant with Fortune 100 and 500 companies
  • Executive Presence and Brand Management
  • Career Engagement and Next Chapter Planning
  • Extensive experience in Financial Services, Media and Entertainment, Not For Profit and Academia

Sean Harvey, Senior Faculty

Sean consults in the areas of leadership and management training and development, talent development strategies, innovative curriculum design and development, organizational change practices, diversity and inclusion/generational difference, and strategic planning. Sean’s work in personal, organizational, and societal transformation is inspired by over 20 years of Talent and Organization Development consulting combined with a decade of college teaching experience at Cornell, NYU, and Baruch College CUNY in the areas Organizational Behavior and Change. Sean is contributing as a writer, speaker, and consultant to a new narrative around creating a healthier gender balance in organizations to transform people, cultures, and systems. Sean most recently served as the head of Purpose, Personal Transformation and Wellbeing as well as the Internal Change Agent for Creative for EILEEN FISHER. Sean was the Vice President of Talent Consulting for Partners International, where he launched a Socially Conscious Leadership program for emerging leaders on Wall Street. LinkedIn Profile

  • Expert in Men’s Transformation,
    Masculinities, and Gender Bridge Building Work
  • Retreat Designer/Facilitator,
    Coach, Personal Transformation Expert, Leadership & Organization
    Development Consultant
  • MSOD, Loyola University
    Chicago, MSED, Counseling (Existential Psychotherapy), Fordham
  • Gradate Certificate in Public
    Services Administration, Seminary Student, One Spirit Interfaith Seminary

Alison Horstmeyer, Senior Faculty

Consistently at the forefront of emergent technology, Dr. Alison Horstmeyer has built next-generation businesses from the ground floor for multibillion entities such as Walmart, Dolby, NBC Universal, Liberty Media, and Omnicom. Following her distinguished global business development tenure in technology and media, Alison evolved into a humanistic researcher, organization consultant, and executive education facilitator. Her research focuses on curiosity and associated mental, emotional, and motivational attributes; and, Alison is considered a pioneering expert in workplace curiosity. Her work is published in various domestic and international business and L&D publications including peer-reviewed journals, and in mainstream business publications including Forbes and CEOWorld Magazine. She also serves as the inaugural Research Fellow appointed to USC Annenberg Center for Third Space Thinking and Director, Client Development and Adjunct Faculty for USC Marshall School of Business Executive Education. She believes we are all hard-wired to be curious, we just tend to stifle it away. LinkedIn Profile

  • Organization and Executive Consultant, Executive Education Facilitator, Humanistic Researcher, Mind-Body Practitioner
  • Expertise: Humanistic Professional Development, Cross-Functional and Sales Team Management, Global Business Strategy and Business Development
  • PhD & MS, Saybrook University College of Integrated Medicine & Health Science,  MBA , USC Marshall School of Business
  • Certified coach, certified EQi facilitator, certified yoga instructor
  • Vertical sector emphasis: Technology, Healthcare, Academia, Media

Barbara Novak, Senior Faculty

Barbara compassionately and intuitively, brings healing, integration, transformation, and renewal to the present moment — providing each person she connects with a freer, more powerful and clear forward momentum in their current aspiration and endeavors. Her natural progressive evolution through her career experiences in the hospitality industry, energetic bodywork, life coaching and spiritual counseling, provides insightful understanding of multiple components of the human experience, along with practical application of action steps for effective change. Results: bringing you back to YOU, more truly and wholly expressed. Linkedin Profile

  • Transformational Life Coach, Facilitator, Teacher, Speaker, Ordained Minister
  • Education: MA Conscious Studies – Holmes Institute, BS Hotel Administration – Cornell University, Massage Therapy – Awakening Spirit Massage School, Certified Life Coach – Academy for Coach Training
  • Professional Experiences: Director of Education and Staff Minister at Spiritual Center, Private Practice: Life Coach and Energetic Bodywork, Small Business Consultant, Project Coordination, Restaurant Owner, Ski Instructor

Linda Jackson, Senior Faculty

Linda’s life work is to support you to bring your fullest expression into the world. Having experienced the benefits of her own transformation, her passion to help others do the same is unparalleled. In addition to being licensed and certified in numerous modalities, Linda has developed multiple proprietary processes to support your evolution. The unique synergy of this work, along with her intuitive and empathic nature, allows you to have powerful corrective experiences, transform limiting beliefs, and choose inspired actions for immediate application to your life. Linda sees individual clients, leads transformative group experiences and has developed and led workshops on a variety of personal growth topics. She is an artist, speaker, truth seeker and teacher bringing over 20 years of experience supporting clients to connect with their purpose, transform their beliefs, and shift their experience to create the life they desire. LinkedIn Profile

Andrea Shaw, Senior Faculty

For over 20 years, Andrea Shaw has been involved in the educational arena with experience in University Marketing, Admissions, Career, and Student Services as well as Educational Publishing and Technology in both the non-profit and for-profit markets. At Santa Clara University, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Andrea is the Assistant Dean of Marketing & Communication at the Leavey School of Business, driving the values of a Jesuit education grounded in compassion and conscious living. Aside from her corporate life, Andrea is a life and career coach to high school and college students helping them navigate through life’s challenges and has owned her own yoga and ayurvedic wellness studies business. She currently teaches Marketing Strategy at Southern New Hampshire University and has taught Marketing Strategy and Organizational Behavior at the University of the Pacific and Babson College. She has an Economics degree from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of Virginia. LinkedIn Profile

Nancy Johnston, Senior Faculty

Nancy is an executive leadership development and transition coach, working closely with clients to help them identify and pursue their career passions. She serves as an objective advisor, connecting the dots on the areas that spark their interests, capitalize on their strengths, and provide a sustainable path for future growth. Using an appreciative inquiry approach she helps them craft a strategy for finding the next source of professional inspiration, and personal satisfaction. 
Nancy currently serves as the Director of Alumni Career Management at Columbia Business School. Prior roles included career management and corporate relations at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Nancy has made her own career pivot. Prior to transitioning into the field of leadership development and coaching, she served in a variety of marketing management roles at both large corporations and small entrepreneurial ventures, primarily in software technology firms. She is convinced that all individuals can find fulfillment and joy by contributing their talents while integrating the professional and personal aspects of their lives.

Nancy earned a Master of Arts degree in Counseling and Organizational Psychology from The Adler School of Professional Psychology, and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing from Loyola University. She is certified in the Tiara Model for True Leadership (SM), various Hogan Inventories, and the Korn Ferry Voices 360. LinkedIn Profile

Aurelia Chaudagne, Coach

Aurelia Chaudagne is a Compassionate Leaders Circle coach who has been assisting individuals to discover their passion and enhance their potential in both Europe and North America. From executives to artists, to stay-at-home moms and expatriates, Aurelia offers a global perspective and creative approach for those pursuing major decisions in their personal life and career.  Through practical advice and insightful guidance, Aurelia can help clients optimize their uniqueness, explore new opportunities, and give them the tools they need to continue their individual path with confidence. Aurelia graduated from the Institute of Political Sciences in Paris, France, and worked as an interpreter and mentor with refugees both in France and in the US. She is the founder of the international not-for-profit, Etudes Sans Frontieres (Studies Without Borders), an organization that helps young adults from war-torn countries access higher education in Western countries and pursue professional and peace-building projects back home. Aurelia has also been an Executive Recruiter for 3 years in Chicago, IL, helping corporations and candidates find the best fit for their business and career. A native French speaker, she also speaks fluently English and Russian. Her passions include human rights, women’s wellness, environmental awareness and sustainability, nutrition, and spending time with her two wonderful children. Linkedin profile

Valeria Basso, Coach

Valeria Basso is a writer and marketing/ brand storytelling consultant. Right now, she’s helping businesses engage customers with genuine, compassionate, and purpose-driven communications. She’s also helping individuals cope and find paths forward through her writing & storytelling workshops (no experience needed!) Contact her at for a free 30-min. consult/coaching session. For more information about Valeria, you can access her LinkedIn page here.

Elizabeth Pereira, Coach

Lizzie’s immersion in all things Nourishment is driven by her pursuit in fostering a deeper, more loving connection to herself, others, and the planet.  She wears many hats within the wellness sphere as a plant-based chef + educator, wellness content creator, healer, and yoga instructor based in Los Angeles. She sustained a double hip injury after graduating from college that resulted in hip surgery at age 23. This is where her wellness journey truly began. After years of working as a plant-based chef, working retreats and festivals, and leading workshops on intuitive eating, her journey led her to Bali where she studied Elemental Yoga. This Hatha style of yoga is based on how Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space make up the energies within our bodies. Harmoniously aligning yoga asana with the magnetic potency of nature, her classes aim at honoring and nurturing the body while reaffirming our connection to the Elements. She was trained in Elemental Yin on Ibiza in 2019. Lizzie also infuses mantra and music through her harmonium studies to further enhance her class experiences. When she’s not on the mat, Lizzie works as a wellness writer and editor, develops recipes for her seasonal ebooks, and works privately with clients.

  • BA Print & Digital Journalism | Minor in French – University of Southern California
  • Certification in Holistic Nutrition Counseling | American Fitness Professionals & Associates
  • 300HR YTT Elemental Yoga – Elemental Yoga School, Bali
  • 60HR YTT Yin Yoga – Rise & Shine Yoga, Ibiza 

Board of Advisors

Jay Beckley – Communications and Sales Professional

Judy Brennan  – PR Expert and Senior VP at Ketchum

Darryl Brown – Board of Trustee at Fordham University, Mentor, Diversity Activist, Media Thought Leader

Dr. David Corsun, Ph.D., – Director, Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, University of Denver

Grace Healy – Communications, Marketing and Strategy Professional 

Barbara Johnson –Serial Entrepreneur, Activist, Founder, Play Fair Wisconsin

Katya Raffensperger – Political Operations Manager, RepresentUs

Laurie Sedgwick – Career Development Thought Leader, Harvard Divinity School Student 

Karlin Sloan – Author, CEO,  Leadership, Executive Coaching and Resilience Expert

Kristina M. Workman Ph.D. – Faculty, SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University and Compassion in the Workplace Scholar

Schedule a session today to explore options for you or your organization.