Meet the Team

We believe the best coaches have four key competencies:

Unparalleled coaching skills – deep expertise in coaching with the ability to help clients shift their perspectives and see new possibilities;

Resonance with client issues – with backgrounds similar to our clients – advanced degrees, leadership positions, and industry expertise, we have walked in their client’s shoes and understand their environment;

Ability to build trust– change requires vulnerability – we are able to quickly connect and build relationships which allow clients to be challenged and supported in reaching ambitious goals; and

Wisdom to find leverage – whether aligning clients’ goals with the organization’s goals or finding the changes that will have the greatest impact on performance, our coaches know where to focus the client’s effort.


Our Coaches

Sandy Mobley, Virginia. The Learning AdvantageSandra Mobley – Northern Virginia

Master Certified Coach, MCC and Master Somatic Coach – 23 years coaching
Cofounder – Georgetown Leadership Coaching program; Peer Coach

MBA Harvard University, MA and MS Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Texas at Arlington

Read more about Sandy

Clients – Capital One, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Chase Cardmember Services, EMMES, Booz Allen Hamilton, Ernst & Young, Avalon Bay Communities, and numerous government clients

Chief Learning Officer for Hewlett-Packard, Watson-Wyatt, McKinsey & Company

Sandy’s pragmatic approach allows her to quickly assess the key changes that will have the greatest impact for clients. She is particularly skilled working with high potentials and with strong technical leaders who may want greater emotional intelligence. She develops increased leadership presence in many ways: overcoming emotional outbursts, reducing fear of public speaking, communicating at the right level, and aligning body language with words.

Frank Ball - Northern VirginiaFrank Ball – Northern Virginia

Master Certified Coach, MCC – 19 years coaching
Faculty Member – Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership – taught in Leadership Coaching, Organization Development, Change Management and Transformational Leadership certificate programs

Masters in Business Financial Management – George Washington University, Bachelors in Economics and Business Administration – Davidson College

Read more about Frank

Clients – Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, NIH Federal Credit Union, Paychex, Deltek, IMS Health, Fresenius Medical Services, Boeing, State Farm Insurance, Charles E. Smith Real Estate, Booz Allen & Hamilton, and numerous government clients

Founded or co-founded four successful businesses including New Dominion Angels through which he has invested in seventeen start-up business in the mid-Atlantic region.

U.S. Marine Corps veteran

Frank works with individual leaders and leadership teams to build their leadership capacity in order to deal with the challenges of leading in today’s environment. His practice focus is supporting leaders to build new units or retool existing units to perform new functions. He is most effective at helping “intra-preneurs” create start-ups or effect turn-arounds within their organizations.

Judy Brannock - Northern VirginiaJudy Brannock – Northern Virginia

Master Certified Coach, MCC – 20 years. Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Program. University of Maryland, Advanced Executive Coaching Program.

MA Organizational Management, George Washington University. BS Business University of Tennessee.

Read more about Judy

Clients: Capital One, Core States Bank, Fannie Mae, Federal Home Loan Bank Board, Booz Allen Hamilton, Ernst & Young, Marriott, Lockheed Martin, IBM,and many federal government agencies.

Associate Director of the National Professional and Organization Development division at Ernst & Young

Judy is skilled at accelerating the growth of potential successors and shortening the learning curve as they go through transition. She grows leaders strategically, closes capability gaps, and inspires others to fulfill their mission.

Ken Buch - MarylandKen Buch – Maryland

Professional Certified Coach, PCC and Coverdale Teamwork Skills Coach – 25 years coaching. Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Certification

MSOD Johns Hopkins University, Fellows in the Management of Change, Johns Hopkins University and Post Graduate Certification in the Neuroscience of Leadership, Middlesex University, London, UK in Partnership with the NeuroLeadership Institute

Read more about Ken

Clients – United States Postal Service, Securities Exchange Commission, W.J. Technologies, LLC, Federal Aviation Administration, Health and Human Services –Office of Community Services, Department of Homeland Security-National Protection and Programs Directorate, and Collaborative Thinking/RARE an international nonprofit.

Ken’s ability to assess a clients’ core challenges and create the space for transparency allows clients to quickly make transformational changes. Ken partners well with clients who are seeking strategies to see challenges through a new lens. He is particularly skilled working with tenured leaders’ challenged with the busy-ness of extreme schedules, high stress and challenging communication issues. Ken builds trust seamlessly and enables clients to move away from limiting paradigms to greater possibility in ways they could not imagine prior to working in a collaborative coaching relationship. He brings a depth of knowledge from his neuroscience background to expand clients’ capacity for change.

Karen Curnow - Northern VirginiaKaren Curnow – Northern Virginia

Master Certified Coach, MCC – 20+ years. Faculty for Georgetown Leadership Coaching program, Newfield Network coaching program, Mentor Coach and Coach Supervisor, and Peer Coach

MBA, International Management, US International University (Nairobi campus), Degré Annuel, Cours de Langue et Civilisation Françaises, BS Business Administration and French, Houghton College

Read more about Karen

Clients: Bayer Health Care, Aerospace Corporation, Boeing, Evolent Health, Discovery Communications, Inc., VISA International/Inovant, Crown Central Petroleum, Exxon, SAIC, many federal government agencies.

Director of Management Training program and Bank Officer focused on management and leadership development in the Corporate Training Department at Manufacturers Hanover Corporation now part of the Chase family.

Drawing from her extensive international experience, Karen brings depth and passion to her work, supporting leaders internationally in expanding their competencies and capacity so that they can lead authentically, consciously, and purposefully. Grounded in transformative learning research, Karen’s approach integrates the use of language, emotions, and our physical experiences as instructive tools for meaningful change.

Rita Dettore - Oakland, CaliforniaRita Dettore – Oakland, California

Coaching certifications: Newfield Group, Strozzi Institute, Master Somatic Coach, and Dream University, Vision Coach. Mentor coach for Women’s Unlimited high performing manager’s.

BA Parsons College, over 1500 hours in Organization development and coaching programs with Newfield Group, Linkage, Otto Kroger Associates, Strozzi Institute, Leadership Circle, and Hogan assessments.

Read more about Rita

Clients – Wells Fargo Nikko Investment Advisors (Black Rock), Soft Bank Expo, Levi Strauss, EF&A Funding, Wink Communications, Nat Sherman, Jewish Federation of East Bay, Levinson Benefits Group, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, Woodhaven rehabilitation facility and several Bay Area food and beverage companies.

Leadership Positions: VP of Human Resources for Prestige Foods, VP of People Development for Wink Communications, Director, Human Resources for KMV Moody’s, Chief Human Resource Officer for United Way Bay Area.

Rita’s coaching approach includes an assessment of the leader’s strengths and values and how they are leveraged in current situation. In addition, determining if there are blind spots or developmental areas that are limiting the leader’s effectiveness. Rita helps her clients gain awareness of how their communication style and presence can impact performance and relationships positively and negatively. She assesses the leader’s priorities (goals and talent management) and if their actions are congruent with personal and organizational goals.

Kristi-Dooley - Northern VirginiaKristi Dooley – Northern Virginia

Professional Certified Coach, PCC, and Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) – 14 years coaching and organizational development consulting.

MPA University of Virginia, BA Political Science, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA

Read more about Kristi

Clients – Clark Construction, Comstock Holding Companies, Choice Hotels, Fairfax County Government (over 10 departments and the County Executive’s Office), City of Alexandria (numerous departments in the City Manager’s Office)

Formerly Internal Organizational Development Consultant and Coach for Fairfax County, Human Resources / Diversity Officer, City of Alexandria and Fairfax County, Corporate Employee Relations Officer for Barnett Banks. Kristi brings a down-to-earth and supportive approach that helps clients to discover their strengths and value while helping them to identify any blind spots getting in their way of stepping up more fully in their leadership.

Kristi supports clients in becoming their best self and best leader, putting in place pragmatic practices and tools that will help them to become more successful in managing challenges and connecting meaningfully with others to create results and become more productive. She is skilled at employing numerous behavioral tools and assessments to help clients build greater self- awareness and emotional intelligence. 

Margaret Echols - Washington, D.C.Margaret Echols – Washington, D.C.

Master Certified Coach, MCC and Somatic Coach – 20 years coaching Faculty, Georgetown Leadership Coaching program

MBA George Washington University with a focus on organizational behavior, international business and finance. BA and MA degrees in education and administration from the University of Florida.

Read more about Margaret

Recent Clients – Booz Allen Hamilton, Fannie Mae, American Chemical Society, World Bank Group, AARP, PBS and Avalon Bay Communities. Government clients include Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., Departments of Defense, Energy and State, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Internal Revenue Service, Health and Human Services including FDA, National Archives.

Formerly Director of Executive Development at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Major activities included the design and delivery of a development center for leaders. This successful development center is referenced in Daniel Goleman’s book, Working With Emotional Intelligence.

Margaret uses proven methodologies and a practical, business savvy approach to ensure clients are better equipped to remain grounded and agile as they lead during times of change and uncertainty. With this increased capacity, clients perform more effectively by engaging in strategic collaboration, a requirement for leadership success today. She has successfully coached leaders on issues such as executive transition from functional expert to general leader; leading in a matrixed environment, communication, including developing and communicating a strategy; resilience; change; relationship building; emotional intelligence and executive presence. She has also designed and facilitated successful mentoring and action learning programs for leaders to strengthen internal team dynamics, as well as coaching and mentoring skills.

Jenn Gillins - Indianapolis, IndianaJenn Gillins – Indianapolis, Indiana

Associate Certified Coach (ACC) 6 years coaching. Leadership Coaching Certificate, Georgetown University

BA Brigham Young University – Communications

Read more about Jenn

Clients – Navy Federal Credit Union, Federal Reserve Board, Department of Treasury, Microsoft, Booz Allen Hamilton, SRAM, National Institute for Allergy & Infectious Diseases, National Science Foundation, and several other government and nonprofit clients

Lead Associate Booz Allen Hamilton, Director for National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Jenn has 19 years of corporate leadership and professional development experience, extensive experience in change management initiatives and program design and implementation. While she works well with employees and leaders at all levels, Jenn especially enjoys helping leaders who have been promoted from functional expertise embrace their roles as people managers.

Jenn is also an experienced program manager and has managed coaching programs for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Internal Revenue Service.

Linda Hardenstein - CaliforniaLinda Hardenstein – California

Professional Certified Coach (PCC) – 12 years Graduate, Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Program

MPA University of San Francisco, Certified Mediator, Facilitator and Trainer

Read more about Linda

Selected Clients: Patton Boggs LLP, CWM Financial, Slate Advisers, Brown and Streza, Boots Road Group, Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District, Monterey County Association of Realtors, Sacramento State University, and numerous individuals from Google, Kaiser, Lockheed Martin, Vodafone, IBM, Dell, Abbot Labs, Coronado Financial Group, Fidelity Investments, Gibson Dunn, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP. Peer coach to leadership coaches. Pro bono coach to emerging leaders in non-profit organizations.

Director of Training & Professional Development, Patton Boggs LLP and Manager, National Education Association

Linda Hardenstein is an astute, pragmatic and discreet coach known for her ability to quickly assess situations and provide insightful and strategic perspectives, along with a direct yet compassionate approach that inspires her clients to shift perspectives and achieve results. She is skilled at working with a variety of professionals to accomplish ambitious personal and professional goals through awareness, assessment, improved communications and the effective management of conflict.

Dr. Cheryl Jordan - Southern MarylandDr. Cheryl Jordan – Southern Maryland

Master Certified Coach, MCC– 16 years coaching

BA Journalism, Northeastern University; MS Communications, U of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana; Doctor of Management, University of Phoenix

Read more about Cheryl

Clients –Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Management and Budget, Comptroller of the Currency, Department of Treasury, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, IRS, GE, General Mills, AOL

Marketing Communications Director-GE Plastics

Cheryl is committed to helping her clients overcome professional impediments and learn new behaviors for self-correction. Her offerings focus on effective communications, emotional intelligence competencies and change management. Her specialty areas include improving interpersonal relationships, refining communications skills, strengthening influencing abilities, and enhancing people leadership competencies.

Stephanie Katz – Northern VirginiaStephanie Katz – Northern Virginia

Master Certified Coach, MCC – 20 years coaching

MA Organizational Management, BA American Civilization, George Washington University

Read more about Stephanie

Clients: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Citicorp, EMMES, National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), Booz Allen Hamilton

Head of HR for St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, Head of Organizational Development for Hughes Network

For 20 years Stephanie has coached seasoned and emerging leaders in the areas of leadership presence, influence, relationship building and navigation of the complexities and politics of organizational growth and change. She coaches leaders and teams to leverage their hidden strengths and to change habitual ways of thinking and behaving that can become roadblocks to peak performance.

Valerie Lingeman - Northern VirginiaValerie Lingeman – Northern Virginia

Associate Credentialed Coach, ACC (Professional Coaching Credential, PCC, pending review/examination), certified team coach – 15 years coaching

M.A. Fielding Graduate University, Human and Organizational Systems
A.B. Cornell University, Economics

Read more about Valerie

Clients – USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service, DOE, Defense Information Systems Agency, Customs and Border Protection Agency, Transportation Security Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. intelligence organizations, Department of the Navy, GWU/Center for Excellence in Public Leadership, Booz Allen Hamilton, Korn Ferry International

Staff intelligence officer, Central Intelligence Agency, 1985-2010

Strategic talent management – Program manager
Leader development program design, development, and delivery
Internal consulting
Line intelligence collection management

Valerie brings extensive organizational experience to her work with clients. She helps leaders recognize the power they have to effect change – whether the focus is on self-development or they are trying to transform their organizations. She coaches leaders at all levels, from senior executives to first line supervisors, and enjoys supporting clients who are navigating pivotal leadership transitions characterized by changes in scope, complexity, and ambiguity. Clients value Valerie’s ability to connect and invite open conversation and self-reflection. Her coaching style tempers directness with positivity, warmth, and support.

Eleni Pallas - San FranciscoEleni Pallas – San Francisco

Executive leadership coach for seven years; coaching global teams for 14 years
Training through Coachville

MBA from the George Washington University, BS Finance/Marketing/Economics University of Maryland at College Park

Read more about Eleni

Clients – The World Bank, Development Bank of Greece, Cartier, UC, Berkeley, SF State University, numerous financial industry clients from strategy consulting in the US and Europe from development banks to private financial institutions to large family-owned investment funds.

Eleni spent her first 20 years in the mobile communications, developmental banking and strategy consulting industries, working with firms such as Orange Business Services, The World Bank, Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton and Fairchild Space Company. She spent most of her time in global strategy and business development roles, most recently leading partnership and acquisition projects in the BRICs and emerging markets. She lived in Paris as an expat for 10 years and now lives in San Francisco.

Eleni’s focused approach to coaching identifies her clients’ highest goals and current obstacles to create an action plan that accesses positive energy, new skills and the desired outcomes. She’s especially skilled with divisive teams and leaders who want to master emotional literacy to broaden their credibility and influence.

Genelle Trader - Wilmington, DelawareGenelle Trader – Wilmington, Delaware

Certified Executive Coach– ACC, CPCC – 12 years coaching
CEO- Coaching Excellence in Organizations practitioner, 2nd year

M.I.T. Sloan School of Management – MS in Business Administration
Tufts University, BS cum laude Mathematics

Read more about Genelle

Clients – DuPont, Verizon, EMMES, Areva Solar, National Endowment for Democracy, Gates Millennium Scholars, NMS, ICIC (Initiative for Competitive Inner City)

Genelle brings extensive and successful organizational leadership experience to leadership development, team coaching, and strategic planning. Her experience spans 25 years as a top level executive and successful business leader at corporations including Sun Microsystems (now Oracle), Everex Systems, and AST Research. Her roles included VP of Worldwide Marketing, Sr. Director of Sun’s multi-billion dollar Workstation Products Group, and Worldwide Director of a critical global Strategic initiative.

Genelle is strongly committed to developing leaders from all backgrounds. Her own experience as a corporate executive, a woman and minority, helps her understand the pressure, isolation, and uncertainty her clients may feel while navigating their challenges as a leader. By helping her clients understand their strengths, challenges, and their impact on others, they are motivated to learn to choose behavior to help them improve self-confidence, self-esteem, workplace relationships, and communication skills.

Joan Wangler – Washington, D.C.

Master Certified Coach, MCC and Certified Professional Effectiveness Coach, CPEC—over 20 years coaching

MS Educational Administration, State University of New York, Albany; MEd Reading, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Read more about Joan

Clients – NASA/Goddard, Army, Navy, Air Force, EPA, IRS, Justice, Energy, State, Education, FEMA, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Peace Corps, Treasury, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Commerce, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Booz Allen Hamilton, Steptoe&Johnson, Studley, VeriSign, Cable&Wireless, Georgetown University, George Washington University

President, EDIN Associates

With over 25 years of leadership design and delivery experience, Joan is the go-to person for creative ways to engage clients’ heads and hearts for meaningful action. She is particularly adept at working with highly technical clients to raise self-awareness and strengthen emotional intelligence whether they are junior or senior level. For the past 15 years Joan has been successfully introducing and cultivating leadership communities of practice (creative learning groups) at NASA and other organizations in the public and private sector. Joan is the co-creator of the Transformational Leadership Conversations community at EPA. She has a particular interest in promoting civility and is known for designing and facilitating Civility World Cafes.

Professional consulting.  Sandra Mobley's The Learning Advantage

Case in Point: Recognizing How Others See Us

Tom, a senior executive in financial services, first engaged The Learning Advantage to help him get promoted.  Through assessments it became clear that he wasn’t providing sufficient detail to inspire confidence in his leadership. He used hyperbole, describing all of his projects as “exceptional” and his staff as “amazing.”  His positive outlook and enthusiasm, while normally considered beneficial traits, in fact made it seem that he was not well grounded in the challenges and issues involved in his role and contributed to his leadership team’s mistrust in his judgment.  When a new leader was brought in over him, it became clear he was not seen as a strong leader. In coaching conversations we gave him clear examples when he was too positive and asked him to restate his comments in a more balanced way.  We evaluated the tools and tracking measures he used to brief his leadership and made those more robust.  As he looked for another job in the organization, we helped him evaluate the position against his strengths and provided areas to probe in interviews to ensure that the new position would be a better fit.  He is happier in his new role and his leadership is delighted to have him on their team.