Laurel Donnellan, Founder and CEO

As the founder of Compassionate Leaders Circle, Laurel has spent 20 years developing and validating her transformation methods that are the foundation for the company’s programs and projects. She is an author, executive coach and consultant working with executives at small and large organizations including Toyota, Disney, Viacom, and Facebook. She has an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and an MA in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. In addition to her formal education, she has immersed herself in learning the ancient Native American Vision Quest tradition and is a certified yoga instructor through the Omega Institute. Laurel specializes in compassionate career, leadership and organizational development that improves engagement and has designed curriculum for corporate universities, schools, an ashram and a prison. She has published several books including Born To Do: The Practical Guide To Loving Your Work, has been featured on NPR and is a contributor at where she writes about Compassionate Leadership. 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 leverages more than 20 years of cross-functional business & leadership experience, multiple career transition experiences, her talent as a coach & teacher, as well as her gift of holding space for a client’s transformation. Career highlights include founding & running a successful outdoor yoga adventures company, being a part of three venture-funded technology companies who had successful exits (1 acquisition and 2 IPOs), serving as a Fund Manager for BRVentures (Cornell’s venture capital fund), working in Nepal as a strategy consultant, participating in Lululemon’s 2003 launch in the US, & guiding others as a yoga teacher. Kelly has been a career coach since 2005, she holds an MBA from Cornell University, & she is a certified yoga instructor. Currently, she works as a wellness and career coach at Compassionate Leaders Circle, General Assembly, LIFE XT.  LinkedIn Profile

  • Executive/Wellbeing/Career Coach for business and tech professionals, MBA mentor
  • 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, Director of Business Development 

Shamis Pitts serves as Compassionate Leaders Circle’s Director, Business Development and is responsible for leading organizational sales.  She has operated at the intersection of strategy, people and business process for 20 years. Shamis served as Chief Operating Officer for start-up technology companies in the education, music and beauty verticals. She 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. 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.
  • MBA, Leadership and Strategy specialization, Cornell University’s SC Johnson Graduate School of Management
  • BA, Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
  • Senior Certified Professional, Society for Human Resource Management
  • Candidate, Certified Professional Coach, Ideal Coaching Global

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 & leadership development processes, and implementing innovation & growth strategies. Karen also has a lifetime of experience and service as an advocate and philanthropist for women’s and children’s initiatives.
Karen Radtke’s 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 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, Alison 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 20-year global business development tenure in technology and media, Alison evolved into a humanistic researcher, organization and executive consultant, and executive education facilitator. Her Ph.D. research focuses on curiosity, motivation and biopsychosocial constructs. She is the inaugural research fellow appointed to the USC Annenberg Center for Third Space Thinking (TST) contributing empirical rigor and thought leadership to essential — aka soft — skills development and facilitating TST workshops for burgeoning and seasoned professionals across a range of industries. Alison also serves as adjunct faculty at Loyola Marymount University College of Business Administration. Her work is published in various domestic and international leadership, business and HR publications including peer-reviewed journals. 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
  • PhDc, Integrated Health Sciences, Saybrook University; MS, Mind-Body Medicine, Saybrook University; MBA, Entrepreneurship, 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

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


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, Cornell Ph.D, – Director, Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, University of Denver

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

Peter Strugatz – Pioneering Social Impact Thought Leader, CEO and Investor

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