Laurel's mission is to help individuals and companies create remarkable work. She is a compassionate leadership expert with experience coaching/consulting with individuals and organizations including the University of Denver, Cornell University, Toyota, Disney, Viacom, Canyon Ranch, and the New York City Board of Education.
She has an undergraduate degree from Cornell University’s College of Business and an MA in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. She is a former VP of Human Resources of an global hospitality company.
Laurel is a certified organizational and leadership coach and has been trained by Stephen Covey, Julia Cameron, Ken Blanchard, and other world-class leaders. She is a certified yoga teacher and studied dream therapy and sacred ceremonies of indigenous cultures related to personal development and rites of passage.
Over 25 years ago, she launched her own business and has developed transformational programs that build careers and organizations from the inside out. Laurel currently hosts the Compassionate Leaders Circle Podcast and writes about inspiring leaders for Forbes.com.
Meryl Eriksen, Chief Compassion Officer
A native of Skaneateles, New York, Meryl Eriksen graduated from Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration and was the first graduate of its collaboration degree program with the Culinary Institute of America. Meryl began her career in Napa Valley with Hillstone Restaurant Group, then moved to Los Angeles where she opened two restaurants in Manhattan Beach.
In 2010, Meryl returned to the Finger Lakes region and began working for the Inns of Aurora, an entrepreneurial and inspiring company with nurturing and supportive leadership. For the last seven years, her career was focused on people; recruiting, hiring, training, developing, coaching, promoting, retaining, leading, and collaborating. She is strategic with extensive experience in directly managing leadership team members, prioritizing people, building strong relationships, and establishing an environment of collaboration and learning.
Meryl is focused on cultivating a high-performance collaborative culture, organization-wide strategic planning, and organizational development by building effective departments with strong and engaged leaders. Meryl joined Compassionate Leaders Circle to support people first, cutting to the core, innovating, testing, and teaching. She continues to help leaders and individuals to reach their full potential.
Storm Nylen, Chief Operations Officer
A native of Boulder, Colorado, Storm Nylen graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Media Arts + Practice from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and was a member of the first cohort to graduate from the cutting-edge program. After working full time through school as a premier events producer, she began her career after college in virtual reality, before moving into feature film post-production and visual effects with The Walt Disney Studios and Marvel Studios.
After working on some of the biggest movies ever released, Storm transitioned in working in the tech industry as product manager. Her areas of expertise include artificial intelligence, data product, and team re-building. She has additionally helped companies save millions of dollars through strategic negotiations and contract management, and has a long history of financial and operational excellence. Today, in addition to her work with CLC in operation and product, she is also pre-program for graduate study in art conservation. In her free time, Storm can be found reading, doing homework, cooking, cuddling her dogs and cats, running, and doing yoga.
Darryl Brown, Podcast Partner/Faculty
Darryl Brown is a prosperity and culture strategist working across companies, schools, and worship communities with a focus on equity as the foundation for positive economic impact. Currently, he sits on the Board of Trustees of Fordham University where he has guided the President, Father McShane and other top leaders through a process resulting in more racial awareness, policy changes, and diversity over the last 8 years. He is the former Executive Vice-President of ABC Radio Networks where he pioneered more equity for Black and Hispanic talent and audiences through improving national brands advertising spends. Darryl is an exceptional coach, consultant, and facilitator; committed to helping others lead with love so all can flourish.
Judy Brennan, PR and Media Training Partner
Judy Brennan has more than 25 years of experience in corporate communications, specializing in corporate reputation and awareness building for clients across a range of industries, including health care, real estate, financial services, and retail.
Judy provides strategic counsel and support, bringing to bear years of experience in media training and media outreach, executive visibility and thought leadership, social media, B2B communications, as well as employee and community relations.
She has worked on both the agency and client sides. She has held senior positions at global integrated communications firms including Ogilvy, Ketchum and Burson-Marsteller as well as more than a decade at Sard Verbinnen, a communications firm focused on special situations such as transactions and issues and crises. Most recently, she served as acting vice president of communications for Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
Judy holds a B.A. degree with honors in history from the City University of New York at Hunter College. She lives and works in Chicago.
Shamis Pitts, Strategic Partner
Shamis Pitts (she/her) is the Founder and Owner of Pitts Leadership Consulting LLC (“PLC”), a company specializing in organizational health and employee wellbeing. PLC is committed to helping organizations create work environments that enable employees to do their best work. That commitment comes to life through leadership and organizational development, employee engagement and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging-related services.
PLC evaluates strategy and co-creates action plans to align people, purpose, process, outcomes and success metrics via advising, consulting, training and facilitation, and executive and leadership coaching. PLC is a certified Minority Business Enterprise and Women’s Business Enterprise.
Shamis has operated at the intersection of strategy, people management and leadership, and operations for 25+ years within various industries. She is an ICF-Certified Professional Coach, a Society for Human Resource Management-Senior Certified Professional, and holds other DEI and coaching-specific certifications. Shamis received her MBA from Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, concentrating in leadership and strategy, and her BA in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dan Guerra, Faculty
Dr. Dan Guerra is a clinical psychologist, executive coach and a playback theatre performer.He brings 25+ years of clinical experience treating individuals and groups in the areas of adjustment to chronic pain, improving stress management and treating anxiety and trauma.He is also an executive coach who has worked with upper level managers and C-level executives across a broad range of organizations, internationally.He has traveled in the USA and abroad giving talks on topics including leadership development, stress management in the workplace, reflection as a leadership skill, social-emotional learning and the role of body-mind-brain learning in healing trauma.He has co-authored the book: From Stressed to Centered: A Practical Guide to a Happier and Healthier You.Dan studies and implements recent findings in neuroscience to support and enhance his personal and professional experiences in the areas of eastern wisdom and the healing arts to deliver a psychology of health and wellness to his patients and clients.He is an avid, world adventure traveler and hiker who has been fortunate enough to visit over 50 countries and to hike many mountain ranges across the globe.Dan is currently resides in The Hudson Valley , NY and has private practices in both Fishkill and New York City.
Karlin Sloan, Faculty
Karlin Sloan is the CEO of Dreamland Online LLC - www.Dreamland.Community , an online hub for all things Dreaming. She has a lifelong passion for visionary leadership, and helping people access their most mysterious and powerful abilities to transform the world in positive ways.Karlin Sloan is a distinguished entrepreneur, author, and global citizen. Her expertise extends to defining exit strategies and guiding founders through the intricacies of selling their companies. Karlin's career has spanned diverse industries, including technology, fin-tech, finance, ed-tech, NGOs, professional services, CPG, real estate, advertising, and more. Her clients recognise her as a unique blend of intuition and analytical prowess, making her a sought-after strategic problem solver, particularly in high-stress crisis situations. As a Partner at The Business Acumen Company from 2015, Karlin contributed significantly to pioneering a data-driven approach to leadership and management excellence. Leveraging breakthrough research conducted in collaboration with Monash University, The Business Acumen Course has emerged as a platform for coaches and online trainers to deliver structured coaching, results-focused content, and team coaching sessions within private branded cohort areas. It augments existing leadership development programs, facilitates webinars and in-person training, provides structure for Executive Coaching, administers the Business Acumen Gauge 360 Assessment, and creates customised online programs. Karlin Sloan served as the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Sloan Group International from 2000 to 2022. Under her leadership, the organisation provided invaluable organisation development consulting, training, and executive coaching to clients across the U.S., South America, EMEA, Australia, and Asia. She is also an accomplished author, having penned several influential books, Karlin's commitment extends beyond business success, as she firmly believes that leaders should contribute positively to the world. Karlin's career journey began as a Leadership Development Consultant at The Innovative Edge in the mid 1990s, where she designed and delivered leadership development curriculum and assessments for high-end boutique leadership development consulting serving Silicon Valley clients. She also holds a rich educational background, including an MA in Clinical Psychology from the San Francisco School of Professional Psychology, a Certificate in Organizational Development and Executive Coaching from the William James Institute Center for Executive Coaching, a BA in English and Women's Studies from Mills College. Karlin Sloan's remarkable contributions to the corporate world have been recognized with numerous honors and awards, including the International Thought Leader Award.“I believe in the power of dreams - both waking and sleeping - to build our creative capacity, to solve problems, to create breakthroughs and to feed the soul.” - Karlin Sloan
Scott Shute, Faculty
Scott is at the intersection of the workplace and ancient wisdom traditions. He blends his experience as a Silicon Valley executive with his lifelong practice and passion as a wisdom seeker and teacher. In his most recent role at LinkedIn, Scott was the Head of Mindfulness and Compassion programs. He has been a pioneer in creating workplace mindfulness programs and advancing the discussion around compassion in the work context. His latest venture, Changing Work, seeks to curate the best practices of conscious business and make them more widely available. He is the author of the award-winning book "The Full Body Yes".
Alison Kreider, Chief Teen Advocate
Alison brings a deep love of learning to her life and to her work and is passionate about co-creating powerful ongoing learning experiences with her clients. As a transformational coach, team facilitator, and professional development designer, Alison draws on over 25 years of service as a teacher, instructional coach, new teacher coach, facilitator, coach trainer, and educational leader – primarily in urban schools and with prominent educational non-profits.
She has a BA in English and Women’s Studies from San Diego State University, a Master’s in Education from Penn State University, and engaged in doctoral studies at UCLA focused on curriculum, instruction, and urban schooling. She also holds a Master’s in Educational Leadership and has received extensive job-embedded coach training grounded in Cognitive Coaching frameworks throughout her career.
Guided by a deep-held belief in thoughtful, inquiry-driven partnerships through coaching, Alison is proud to have fostered over 200 teachers and educational leaders in shaping their professional craft with a commitment to equity, integrity, and powerful learning outcomes for themselves and their students. Her practice honors aligning one’s professional decisions with one’s intentions for positive, life-changing results and she believes that guiding such learning is deeply rooted in meeting every person’s full humanity.
A certified yoga instructor, trauma-informed practitioner, and facilitator with the Center for Courage and Renewal, Alison lives in Oakland, California along Sausal Creek. She sustains a decades-long meditation practice with the San Francisco Zen Center, including residential monastic training at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center as a Soto Zen priest.
Kelly Dwyer, Faculty
Kelly Dwyer, a seasoned executive coach, specializes in guiding leaders and teams to cultivate self-awareness, make informed choices, and achieve peak performance. She brings clarity to team dynamics, strategic planning, and individual effectiveness, empowering clients to navigate their growth edges with confidence. With a rich background in leadership spanning operations, strategic projects, and program management, Kelly has spearheaded the creation and launch of new departments, business services, and cross-functional teams.
Thriving in dynamic and changing environments, Kelly possesses a keen eye for innovation, an innate understanding of Agile principles, and the ability to adapt swiftly to new contexts. Complementing her professional expertise, years of practicing and teaching mindfulness and yoga enrich her coaching, emphasizing emotional intelligence, presence, and focus.
Kelly's impact transcends industries, collaborating with leaders and teams in companies ranging from 50 to 100,000+ employees. As an ICF professional certified coach (PCC) with an MBA from Cornell University, she combines academic rigor with practical experience to guide individuals and organizations toward sustained success.
Anthea Rowe, Faculty
Anthea Rowe is a Partner and Senior Faculty Member at Compassionate Leaders Circle. As a public relations professional and communication coach, she helps leaders and organizations explain what they do and why it matters. Anthea has extensive experience leading corporate communication strategies for leaders and organizations in the public, non-profit and private sectors. She has built brands, managed reputations, counselled executive teams, and managed crisis communications, media relations, government and donor relations, corporate social responsibility, corporate philanthropy, sustainability, and employee engagement and communications at small, medium, and Fortune 100 companies. She has overseen stakeholder relations during mergers, built relationships with local, state and federal governments and developed digital marketing campaigns and go-to-market messaging for medical research institutes, universities, consumer good manufacturers, global research centers, and automotive after-market retailers. In addition to leading corporate communication departments in-house, Anthea has led her own consulting practice, developing brands and communication strategies for leaders and organizations across North America. In addition to her role with Compassionate Leaders Circle, Anthea also provides curated personal branding services to help senior leaders build their professional reputations on purpose. She has taught graduate and post-graduate courses in public relations and communications at Canadian universities and colleges and held leadership roles with the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), including President of the London Chapter. Anthea has a Masters of English from Western University in London, Ontario, Canada and Executive Education in Leadership and Marketing from the Ivey Business School – also in London, Ontario, Canada. Anthea believes business can and should be a force for good – and that it’s not only possible but critical to have fun while doing important work.
Derek Hansen, 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.
Elizabeth Moran, Faculty
Dr. Moran has 20 years helping leaders discover and leverage strengths and work through barriers, to create fulfillment and higher performance for themselves, their team, and the organization. She coaches executives to help them create permanent, positive shifts in their leadership impact and the results they achieve. Her curious, intuitive, and practical nature, plus broad business experience, creates a powerful blend of vision and action. She has supported executives and team leaders in client services, sales, technology/product development, finance, marketing, and HR roles, within the technology, financial services/fintech, professional services, pharmaceutical, energy, government, and not-for-profit sectors. Additional experience includes Vice President of Global Talent & Development at ADP, Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusion with Bloomberg, Vice President of Talent Management at Lehman Brothers, and leadership development, coaching, and OD roles at Getty Images, Rodale Publishing, and Gap Inc.
Mark Anthony Lord, Faculty
Mark Anthony Lord, MDiv. is an internationally recognized speaker, author, successful entrepreneur and coach. In 2003, Mark founded the Bodhi Spiritual Center in Chicago, building it from three people in his living room to over a thousand. During his fourteen years at Bodhi, Mark trained over one hundred spiritual coaches, ten ministers, and taught transformational, spiritual classes to thousands. Most of these courses he created himself.
He has created, marketed, and taught several online training programs that help people experience career and personal success according to their inherent definition. He is the co-founder and primary teacher at Living The Course, an online, global community with over two-thousand members.
Mark is the author of Thou Shall Not Suffer: 7 Steps to a Life of Joy and The Seven Living Words.
Prior to his work as a spiritual leader he spent seventeen years traveling the world as a director and choreographer, with three of these years at Disney.
His personal mission is to help people heal their unconscious commitment to suffering, forgive all, and fully live a magnificent life.
Karen Radtke, Faculty
Karen Radtke is a certified executive & team coach and a change & culture faculty member. She coaches managers, partners, and teams on how to work together in a coach-like way that produces greater satisfaction and results, often in less time with less stress and struggle. She specialized in working with teams and organizations restructuring, shifting organizational culture, or guiding mergers and acquisition integration. Karen is on the faculty of Lake Forest Graduate School. In 2020, Karen co-founded Color of Equity, a community collective committed to racial justice in Lake County police departments, cities, and school districts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and a master’s degree in organization development from Loyola University Chicago. On a personal level, she shares the lessons she is learning as an adoptive mom of her twin college students born in Ethiopia.
She has experience in:
healthcare, financial services, and service sectors
for-profit and not-for-profit sectors
and startups and family-owned businesses
Karen draws on many certifications and frameworks, including:
Relationship and Systems Coaching
Compassionate Leadership & Coaching
Neuroscience of Conversations, and
The Enneagram Personality System
Caroline Lee, Faculty
Bonjour! My name is Caroline Lee, I am French and mother of 3 teens. I was born in France, bred in England, and am now based in California.
I am a bilingual ICF certified Transition Coach. I support driven leaders worldwide to maximise their impact without burning out. I reconnect them with their emotions and their needs so as to manifest their true calling and retake control of their work/life balance.
Always person-centric driven in all 3 careers I pursued, I haven’t always been a coach. It was after going through several personal and career transitions that I gained valuable wisdom. That wisdom, coupled with honest self reflection, made me realize I was meant to help high achievers find, and move into, their true calling, manifesting their talents, preventing them from burning-out, and honoring their work/life balance.
I am an expressive enthusiast for life, with a deep curiosity and care for others. My true gift is to see people for who they really are, their true self, and help lead them manifest their talents in their next professional goal.
Jaye Smith, 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.
Ulli Bonnekamp, Cinematographer
Ulli is a 2008 Primetime Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Cinematography (Carrier, PBS). His international 30-year experience includes documentary clients such as HBO, PBS, FOX, TBS and Discovery.
Ulli’s recent works include the Ken Burns films Cancer and The Gene (PBS 2015, 2020). Presently Ulli is working on a film about the staging of the musical The Braille Legacy by the Theatre By the Blind, the only theatre group of its kind in the US.
Finn Arffmann, Media and Metrics Manager
Finn Arffmann was born and raised in New York City, where he was exposed to music, art and dance through school training and programs across the city. After moving to Chicago for high school, he studied East Asian Languages and Culture and Chinese at Haverford College. It was there he researched the Chinese independent film industry's impact on the LGBTQ community. After college, he worked in the advertising industry for Nestlé, where he developed a passion for analytics. He's returned to Chicago and is excited to work on media and analytics for Compassionate Leaders Circle!
Maddie Vonk, Content Manager
Maddie resides in Michigan where she can be found reading books by the lake, admiring the springtime tulip fields, or sipping an iced latte with a friend at a local coffee shop. Maddie holds a B.A. in English Literature from Wheaton College (IL) and an MDiv from Western Theological Seminary. A number of her interests include: journaling, reading, holistic health and wellness, asking good questions, feminist and womanist theology, mysticism and songwriting. Maddie currently works as a barista at a coffee shop and as the Content Manager for CLC.
Kianna Hawkins, Creative Consultant
Kianna Hawkins is the Creative Consultant at Compassionate Leaders Circle. As a visual communication specialist, she loves empowering others to share their stories in creative and impactful ways. Kianna assists companies in developing their look and feel and designing websites and social media content.
Additionally, she enjoys teaching yoga and meditation in her community. She also loves teaching mindfulness tips online at The Now and Here and recently published a book of reflective and mindful poems called The Ocean is Also the Rain. You can find her doing creative photography, spending time in nature, eating good food, and playing the guitar in her spare time.
Tracy Goodsel, Kindness Consultant
Tracy is a two-time certified life coach focusing on teens and young adults. Her passion is to help these individuals discover and cultivate self-compassion, confidence, and resilience to begin building a life that they love. She also has more than 20 years of operations and project management experience working in multiple industries including hospitality, manufacturing, and higher ed. Combining her coaching and organizational skills have made her an invaluable contributor to our client programs and workshops. Tracy 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 one of our Senior Faculty and certified coaches.
Interested in working with our team?
Book a free consultation call with Meryl Eriksen, Partner, who will help you assess how we can best support you or your organization.