Our Team

The Coach Initiative exists due to the time and dedication of many talented and dedicated individuals who believe in its mission, vision, values and impact, including our Founders, Board of Directors, Advisory Committee, Volunteer Coaches and other Volunteers. Read on to learn about our current team or click here to learn about our founders and our history.

Our Founders

Several years ago, Bobette Reeder, Donna Steinhorn and Guy Stickney had a vision of supporting not-for-profit initiatives through coaching. In 2006, they founded The Coach Initiative, a 501(c) (3) organization.

Reaching out to their networks, they asked a number of influential coaches to join them on its Founding Board and also enlisted the first volunteer coaches, and committed to provide coaching support to the first project, Stand Up for Kids. Their vision was transformed into reality. Within just a few months of its existence, The Coach Initiative had engaged dozens of coach volunteers!

Guy (2)Guy Stickney is the Past President of The Coach Initiative and Founder/CEO of WizardryEvents, a company that has produced conferences all over the world for the past 20 years. Involved with the coaching community since 1995, he has produced 10 international conferences for the ICF and has worked with many other coaching-related organizations and institutions. Guy spent 21 years in the hotel business, with executive and regional responsibilities, and his hotel teams routinely won top honors for customer service and employee morale. He has also been a life and executive coach for the past 20 years. Guy’s passions include travel, golf, his family and “creating the WOW experience.” He lives with his wife of over 40 years in Tucson, Arizona, and they have three grown kids who they are very proud of. He and his wife Mindy now have two grandchildren and the world as they know it has now just got even better. A favorite quote: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” -Vivian Green Program Director

Bobette Reeder is a Master Certified Coach and a past president of the International Coach Federation (ICF). A coach since 1995, Bobette has had extensive and varied experience serving in the international coaching community. She was on the ICF Board of Directors for 10 years, served on several ICF conference teams in both the U.S. and Europe, and initiated and facilitated the organization’s Global Forum. She was the 2004 recipient of the ICF President’s Award and has been the focus of numerous media articles and interviews. Along with Donna and Guy, she is a co-founder of Conversation Among Masters.
Bobette has been happily married for 42 years (really!) and has two married children and four magical grandchildren, plus Murphy the wonder dog. Her personal and professional style are all about having fun and seeking the positive side in everything life brings. A favorite quote: “Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can” –Danny Kaye.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADonna Steinhorn is Past President of The Coach Initiative and also founder of Coaching to Success and co-founder of Conversation Among Masters. She is the former executive vice president for CoachVille and past dean of the Thomas Leonard Coaching School and was a 2005 recipient of the “t” award. She has been an active member of the ICF, serving on two ICF conference teams and several ICF committees. Donna is a founding member of the International Association for Coaching, a Board Member of the Transformational Leadership Council, and a core team member of TEDx Navesink. She is one of the few coaches who is certified by both the ICF and the IAC.
An executive, life and mentor coach, Donna has more than 30 years of corporate and business experience. With her multiple roles, she’s learned how crucial it is to embrace change and create inspiring, sustainable environments for success. Donna has two grown children and lives on the Jersey shore in a century-old carriage house with her husband of 41 years. A favorite quote: “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” -Ben Franklin


Neil Alcala_DirectPayCurrent TCI President and CEO of DirectPay Neil Alcala has worked in the eCommerce industry for over 18 years and in that time has transformed DirectPay from a home-based business to an enterprise with thousands of clients.

Utilizing his degree in Engineering and extensive experience with workflow and organizational processes, Neil has succeeded in supporting a wide variety of business types in increasing productivity with payment processing systems designed to meet their specific needs.

DirectPay remains dedicated to the idea of a client-centered approach to business support, building sustainable relationships with coaches, speakers, information marketers and other service professionals all over the world.

Laurie Milazzo has served as our dedicated Program Director since 2012. As such, Laurie is responsible for numerous essential activities and responsibilities that keep The Coach Initiative operating, from processing pro bono coach and nonprofit applications to matching organizations with the right coach to scheduling monthly board meetings and taking meeting minutes, to ensuring that feedback is collected after coaching engagements end. The success of The Coach Initiative would not be possible without Laurie’s dedication and commitment. Thank you, Laurie, for always keeping us on task and for being the reliable hub through which so many of The Coach Initiative’s endeavors flow.

PHYLLIS HAYNES HEADSHOT 2015Phyllis Haynes is a Speaker, Trainer, Master of Ceremonies, award winning television personality, producer and former ABC Network News correspondent. Phyllis has motivated, trained and inspired thousands of people around the world and across the USA. She is currently the producer of projects for Studio1network.net.

Phyllis is a leading authority on bottom-line communications, building lasting business relationships, and getting results! Phyllis She is a partner and principal with Inter-Change Consultants and a specialist in communications including extensive knowledge on new communications issues and media application. She consults on cross-cultural issues for companies who wish to broaden their international exposure and understanding. Phyllis was invited by the European Union and the Hellenic Foundation to bring her work to the emerging marketplaces of Central and Eastern Europe. She also served as a professional specialist on the faculty of Emerson College in Boston. As a speaker, facilitator, trainer and moderator, Phyllis Haynes is in demand. Her knowledge of global media, new media technology and cross cultural communication encompasses over 20 years of experience in television. She is well known as the former co-host of WOR-TV’s “Straight Talk” and as a network correspondent for ABC’s “Evening News with Peter Jennings” and “Good Morning America.”

Phyllis holds an M.A. from New York University in Political Science with a concentration in Asian and Russian Affairs. She is fluent in French and has a strong background in Russian.

larry williamsonLarry Williamson is a credentialed Master Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation, past President of the state chapter, a Board Certified Coach, and a Master Certified Life Coach with an educational background in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
After serving a tour in the military and completing his formal education at East Carolina University, he began his career with six years in training & development in the pharmaceutical industry before switching to Human Resources (HR) in the service industry.  He served in HR for approximately twenty-nine years achieving the position of Vice President and an officer of a corporation of over 12,000 employees. In 2015 he took an early retirement to focus on Anchored Values full time, a company he founded ten years earlier.

Larry has worked in the areas of training, assessments, leadership development, safety, workers’ compensation, loss prevention, as a media spokesperson, editor, crisis coordinator, and more.  He has in-depth knowledge and years of experience with personality profile instruments such as Meyers-Briggs and Predictive Index.  He is a skilled facilitator and a gifted speaker.
Larry uses his corporate and fifteen plus years of coaching experience supporting executives, leaders and entrepreneurs across the globe.  During his career he has served on numerous regional and national boards including; The American Society of Performance Improvement, both the North Carolina and the US Business Leadership Network, The American Society of Training and Development, the North Carolina Association of Personnel and Business Coaches, and the American Red Cross.
In addition to consulting with organizations and providing personal coaching, Larry enjoys designing and presenting workshops and seminars on such diverse topics as developing leadership skills, building relationships, self improvement, handling emotions, team building, communications, personality profiles, conflict prevention/resolution, goal setting, and more.

Believing so many of our limits are self-imposed, his approach can best be described by his tag line, Embracing the vision of the tomorrow we choose to create.™” Larry supports his clients as they gain clarity on their current challenges and opportunities, their self-talk and how their current thought patterns may be creating self-limiting beliefs and behaviors.  With this insight they then learn to clearly create their visions and move toward the life they truly desire. Larry’s passion is relationships and he feels this is the foundation to our success.

Dr. Cheryl Clark is internationally recognized as a leader in Correctional Education and Treatment Programs and an expert in Synergetics and substance abuse treatment. She is the principal author of DOING LIFE! A Life Skills Program for Recovery From Addictions® and SMART Choices: A Guide for Making Choices That Work .

PhD dissertation: 12* of Freedom: Synergetics and the 12 Steps to Recovery

Co-founder of DOING LIFE!® International Inc. and Social Synergetics, LLC

(Retired) Director of Shock Incarceration and the Willard Drug Treatment Campus (DTC) for the New York State Department of Correctional Services (NYS DOCS).

Shock Incarceration, a documentary is about the transformational work that Cherie Clark co-created for the prison system in New York state.

Kerry Zurier, MCC, is an extraordinary coach, trainer and leader.  She has vast experience in leadership, management, and business development, and has worked with thousands of individuals, groups, and businesses in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, Mexico, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Kerry is a Senior Leader with Accomplishment Coaching, a multinational training company with programs across the United States and Canada and, previously in Asia.  In addition to her executive leadership, she also leads programs in multiple cities. She is a credentialed coach with her MCC (Master Certified Coach) through the International Coaching Federation, and always provides the highest level coaching for individuals, organizations, teams and businesses.

Since 1994, she has been the global leading instructor for the entrepreneurial business program, Money and You, as well as heading their Instructors Training Program both in the United States and abroad.

Kerry began her career in the non-profit sector.  At the age of 22, she founded the Telluride Colorado Chamber of Commerce.  She also co-founded the successful organization, MEND (Mother’s Embracing Nuclear Disarmament).  In addition, to becoming one of the fastest growing nonprofit organizations in the U.S. at that time, she also created two important U.S./Soviet exchanges of mothers and children which were recognized by Gorbachev.

Since 1989, Kerry has supported hundreds of organizations in the public sector in the areas of development and fundraising, board development, strategic planning, staffing, goal setting, budgeting, team effectiveness, leadership, management, conflict resolution, coaching, motivating, and performance.  As a development consultant, Kerry has raised over US$30 Million for various non-profit organizations and generated for one organization alone 22,000 volunteer service members who donated over 500,000 volunteer hours which had an impact on more than 1.2 million people.

Kerry has her Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in Conservation of Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley.  She also did graduate studies in Public Health at California State University, Northridge. Kerry currently resides in San Diego, California.

Pamela O’Connor joined Hoyos Integrity Corporation in April 2017 as Chief Human Resources Officer. She leads the Human Resources strategy and best practices, supporting an employee-oriented, high performance culture that emphasizes excellence in the acquisition and ongoing development of its workforce.  She is a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

Before joining Hoyos, Pam was the Executive Vice President of Human Resources for Catholic Relief Services, a $1B Global NGO located in 100 countries with over 5000 fulltime and 2000 part-time, consultants, contractors, interns and volunteers.  She also led the Information Technology and Operations division for Search for Common Ground. She implemented a robust global intern program by networking with top universities such as Notre Dame, Purdue, and Harvard to inject up and coming talent into the global workforce of CRS.

Pam spent over 20 years in private industry as Senior Vice President, Human Resources at Charlotte Russe and Senior Vice President at The Wet Seal Inc., Headquartered in Southern California.  In those positions, Pamela was responsible for cultural change management covering over 12,000 employees.  She was the Ethics Officer, served on the SOX committee and the compensation committee for the Board of Directors.

Ms. O’Connor has also served as the Vice President of Human Resources for Caremark Therapeutic Services Division, Baxter Healthcare Prescription Services Division, and Watson Pharmaceutical’s manufacturing U.S. facilities.

She has deep experience in mergers, acquisitions, and turnarounds.   As the EVP of HR for the Personnel Group of America, she led the acquisition of talent for over 30 business in 2 years.   Pamela was born in Richmond, Virginia.   She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a degree in Business Administration.

Pamela is passionate about Executive Coaching.  She specializes in leadership development, and executive presence and presentation.  She is a published and quoted author and speaker.

She currently resides in Atlanta, GA.

 Advisory Committee

Kanu Kogod 2Trained as an anthropologist, organizational development consultant and master certified coach with global work experience, Kanu Kogod started her own consulting firm, Bridges in Organizations, in 1987.  Kanu co-designed and for over nine years facilitated Leadership Alchemy, an award-winning nine-month transformational leadership development program at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.  Her clients include the World Bank Group, the National Park Service, Merck Pharmaceuticals and the International Red Cross.

Kanu addresses everything from cultural collisions to culture change in order to successfully impact a leader’s performance and job satisfaction as well as the performance and satisfaction of the people they lead.  She uses a holistic approach—language, body, emotions and spirit.  That means helping leaders with the tools they need to design conversations, build leadership presence and raise their emotional intelligence so that they can achieve the outcomes they desire in their organizations, communities or in a larger political arena.

sandy vilasSandy Viilas has been a business and personal coach since 1989 and purchased Coach U, Inc. from Thomas Leonard in 1996. He is a co-founder of the ICF and first co-president. Sandy retired in 2005 and lives in Arizona.


Ruth Ann Harnisch is President of The Harnisch Foundation, which has given grants to hundreds of nonprofit organizations since its founding in 1998. She is a proponent of creative philanthropy whose unusual charitable investments have landed her on Oprah and the Today show. Ruth Ann encourages people to discover the thrill of giving money, time, skills, ideas and other assets to the causes they care about. She shares their stories on Thrillionaires.

Ruth Ann is a “recovering journalist.” Starting out as a teen deejay in her native Buffalo, NY, she spent three decades in media work, including Emmy-nominated television reporting and anchoring at the CBS-TV affiliate in Nashville, TN, a daily talk-radio program on WLAC-AM, and 17 years as a columnist for The Nashville Banner.

After retiring from her journalism career, she chaired the board of More Than Money, a national nonprofit assisting top wealth-holders to put their money where their values are (for free access to back issues of the journal, visit More Than Money). That organization’s coaching program inspired Ruth Ann to learn about the emerging field of professional coaching. She joined the International Coach Federation and the International Association of Coaching. She served on the Board of Governors of the IAC as well as the board of the Thomas J. Leonard Foundation. She became a Co-Founder of The Foundation of Coaching with David Goldsmith to create an independent resource for coaching information.

Ruth Ann most recently served on the ICF Foundation’s Board of Trustees. She has also served on the board of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the Society of Professional Journalists (of which she has been a member for over 30 years). She is a member of the International Women’s Forum, Rachel’s Network, the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences, the Radio and Television News Directors Association, American Women in Radio and Television, the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, and a lifetime member of the Broadcasters Foundation. She is a former member of the Women Donors Network. She is also an enthusiastic patron of the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference Community and a million-dollar donor in the Women Moving Millions philanthropic initiative.

Ruth Ann is an IAC Master Certified professional coach. In her pro bono practice, Ruth Ann has been a thinking partner to authors, scientists, executives, performers, and other dynamic individuals. Ruth Ann says, “I work every day to apply my money and my moxie to the biggest problem in the world – untapped capacity. In my coaching, my grant-making, and my donor activities and organizations, I want to help people discover how much they’ve got and how to make the most of it for themselves and for others.” Ruth Ann Harnisch is married to William F. Harnisch, president and CEO of Peconic Partners, an investment management firm with offices in New York City and Long Island.

Eva Wong is the creator of a series of charity programs named as “Heart Chorus”. These programs have been run for 20 years and benefited almost a million of people in many countries and regions such as China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Canada.  She is very passionate in coaching, training and philanthropy. Eva was born and educated in Hong Kong, and with her post graduate degree from Australia. Eva Wong is the first person brought coaching into China and author of several coaching related books including The Power of REN.

With Tremendous Appreciation to Members of The Coach Initiative Founding Board of Directors

Michael Bungay Stanier (2006-2007)
Margaret Krigbaum (2006 – 2008)