There’s an ancient proverb that says, "The purposes of a person's heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” Debra has obviously spent significant time at the wells of human experience because she has that insight. Her coaching has held a mirror to my own limiting beliefs. In my experience, if you’re willing to play, Debra’s curious empathy can help you break through seemingly impossible barriers.
Al Abdulla | Lead Pastor - Reality Church - Boston, MA
I've been fortunate to learn about Conscious Leadership, from Debra at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, and at the Leaders Going Deeper Retreat. Debra teaches this work through modeling and challenging behavior change. From an organizational perspective, I've learned about staying in my own lane, recognizing what I cannot control, and practicing candor in communication - all tools that will help me unify, lead and attract collaborative, positive individuals. On a personal level, Debra's mentorship has given me the language and insight to acknowledge a life of abundance and choice, and further joyful pursuits of creativity and generosity with other people.
Caitlin Churchill | Business Development Specialist and Product Manager - Nashville, TN
The Leaders Going Deeper Retreat in Nashville opened my eyes and heart to what it means to take “radical responsibility”. The retreat provided a safe and encouraging place in which to explore deeply and to respond honestly to the invitation of becoming responsible. Debra’s deep understanding and experience of The 15 Commitments Of Conscious Leadership along with her willingness to help others, revealed her as a perfect guide and coach into this new journey. This experience was intensely transformational and catalytic! I am looking forward to applying what I learned there to my every day and witnessing the results of being more present in my life. Thank you for your deep caring and clarity, Debra.
Pascale Petro | Compliance Audit Manager - Safeway Insurance Company - Chicago, IL
I took part in Sunderland Coaching’s Leaders Going Deeper Retreat, in Nashville, and I deem it to be one must-attend event - I highly recommend it! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the 1 and a 1/2-day immersion was beyond any experience I have ever had in any of the retreats I have attended in my life. It challenged me on professional, emotional and spiritual levels. It gave me an opportunity to reevaluate my thinking and what choices and thought process have held me back. The retreat was a deep dive in why I think the way I do and it also created a space for me to be conscious about my leadership style. Since the retreat, I have often referred by to my notes and the reading materials. This retreat is for individuals who are not afraid to analyze their thinking and who have the desire to grow. It is not for the faint of heart. This retreat will challenge you and you will come out truly like a new person. Additionally, the participants made this event very unique. Their transparency in sharing their experiences made me realize how human we all are and that despite previous suffering, we no longer have to when we decide to be conscious about the way to live our lives. Debra’s own personal life experience makes her a gift to this world! Debra embodies both empowerment and being an authentic shepherd during this journey of self-discovery. Thank you, Debra, for the opportunity to learn how to choose to live above the line as well as teaching the discipline to become a conscious leader! I will be forever grateful for the impact you have made in my life!
Parady Boatwright | Relationship Builder/Connector/Community Volunteer - Des Moines, IA
“My work with Debra around conscious leadership has made a much deeper and quicker impact on me than I ever expected. I thought of myself as a fairly capable, self-aware leader - and by some standards I imagine I was, but Debra has invited me into practicing commitments of responsibility and candor on a much deeper level than I was doing on my own. After just a few months I've seen meaningful change in how I am with other leaders at work, how I am with my family, and how I think about and treat myself. I'm experiencing more joy, release from anxiety, trying to control others and outcomes, deeper empathy and understanding in my relationships, and the ability to be present and be at peace.”
Jon Berbaum | President, Highland Solutions - Chicago, IL
“I was not sure what to expect from our management retreat with Debra, but every member of our senior team was blown away and left eager to continue working with her. She swiftly identified long-standing issues and perceptions that prevented us from working together as an effective team. Using empathy and understanding she gave us several tools we could use to reduce conflict. We're grateful to have discovered someone who can accompany us on the path to becoming more conscious leaders and in the process, reduce the stress and strain that is a byproduct of managing and living an unconscious life.”
Rob Gordon CEO | President, Nashville Public Radio - Nashville, TN
I began working with Debra two years ago. In that time, I became clear on my own personal "why" and what the true nature of our business is. That clarity has enabled me to lead the organization from a place of curiosity and wondering that has fostered creativity and growth in the business. I am much more focused on the "why" of our business, which is about relationships and connections, than the "how" of our business. As a result, I'm less in the weeds - less stressed, less anxious, and more trusting that "what is" is what "should be." I'm more present to our clients' desires and more conscious of the business dynamics that hold them back and propel them forward. I am more candid, both with clients and staff, and fear less the result of candor, for I know the cost of withholding is far greater. This shift has freed our amazing team to live in their genius - to show up for our company and our clients with all of their abilities. As a company, we stand in who we are much more comfortably today, and we know sooner and with greater confidence when we meet potential clients who will be a good fit. We're protective of our culture and all that it enables, and we celebrate our awesome work.”
LoriLee Sadler Bielski | Managing Partner - Gamma Partners - Bannockburn, IL
“My business partner and I have been working with Debra over the past year as we are at the infancy / growth stages of building our business. Debra's tailored approach on the soft skills of leadership, executive team dynamics, and what we want to create in our business has been a game-changer for us. Her support has brought our partnership closer together, allowed us to have clarity in who we are and why we are doing what we are doing, and has helped us navigate both the challenging and exciting times of entrepreneurship. Her sessions are a necessity in our business and I look forward to each interaction. I've grown tremendously as a leader, partner, business owner, and individual as a result.”
Tim Schumm | Scaling Early Stage Businesses | Speaker | Investor - Chicago, IL
"I have been working with Debra one-on-one for a few months now. It’s almost hard to put into words the profound impact our work has had on me as a Leader and as a Person. Debra has a remarkable way of leading conversations to help create self-awareness around the source of behaviors and beliefs. Through our collaborations, I feel I have begun a transformative journey with a whole new perspective on what makes a great Leader. I am always excited to meet with Debra. Her compassion for people and her passion to spark change and awareness is contagious. I would recommend Debra to anyone who is looking to go beyond business as usual and make a meaningful impact as a Leader.”
Howard A. Weiss | President at Esser Hayes Insurance Group - Naperville, IL
"My intent was to hire Debra as my business coach, but what has evolved from our meetings has been a life changer. Due to our shared times, I have made internal discoveries leading to a better awareness of my overall being. This has afforded me the opportunity to make substantial changes in my relationships and how I communicate with my co- workers, family and friends. It has also led me to recognize my wants and the importance of their pursuit. We have recently embraced “our why” and are adopting the lessons of the Conscious Leadership Group in our workplace and the ensuing cultural shift has been tangible. The team’s energy and attitude are in a growth state and less tension and better communication has transpired. Team members have become more vulnerable and comfortable at our meetings in sharing their thoughts. This has led to insightful contributions which have enhanced our efficiency on multiple levels. The thought of our continued progression towards substantial change is quite exciting and brings more meaning to the workplace. I am looking forward to leading my team, and myself, to a potentially more fulfilling career/ life with the tools and guidance Debra continues to provide.”
- Ronald Carr | CEO of Midwest Eye Professionals - Orland Park, IL
“Gravitational field toward best self. Every visit from Debra has left our team in wonder. Her practices and warmth inspired us. Unlike any other coach I have ever met, Debra redefines the standard of care. She brings her full self to every interaction. The work... isn't easy. The journey.. is real. I am forever grateful to Debra for the impact she has and continues to create within our tribe.”
- Adam Fridman | Author, Speaker, Founder at Mabbly - Chicago, IL
“I've worked with Debra in both one-on-one and in group settings and have found her guidance and expertise to be extremely useful and thought-provoking. Debra is an excellent listener and uses that amazing skill to help you identify what you really want and are really good at. The principles she has reminded/taught me have been helpful both personally and professionally. Equally as important is the high level of energy she brings to her work every single day.”
Dimitri P. Eliopoulos | Partner, Managing Director, Central Midwest at RMB Capital, LLC - Chicago, IL
“I believe Vistage has been a very helpful group to be associated with. The people in the groups can help one achieve better clarity on issues and can help trouble-shoot problems effectively as they are not in the middle of the situation (fighting the fire if you will). Debra has also been very helpful in the one-on-one sessions. She can switch between the higher-end "philosophy" one minute and into the details of an issue the next very effectively. She brings a considerable amount of positive energy to the group as well and I'm happy to be working with her.”
Tom Brindley | President, Brindley Engineering Corporation - Lisle, IL
“It is very rare to meet someone like Debra. She is incredibly focused on helping others around her to be the absolute best version of themselves. I worked with Debra for many months during a big transitional time in my life when I left a company that I had owned for several years and started a new company. She helped me work through some of the indecision during this stressful time and throughout the months of working with her my purpose became more and more clear. She has a knack for helping people identify and ignite their true calling. I couldn't recommend her more highly!”
Kirby Atwell | CEO at Green Vet Homes | COO at Bunker Labs - Chicago, IL
“After working with Debra it's amazing how my business, life and purpose are aligning. Her wisdom, coaching and connections are life changing. The benefits of a purpose- driven life are showing up with my team, my clients and my family. Debra exudes conscious leadership and the value of impeccable agreements. 2017 is going to be the best yet!”
Kellee Johnson | Principal of The Ballast Group - Integrated Communications - Chicago, IL
“Debra has been instrumental in cutting through what is important in living and leading to the fullest. As a coach she has introduced valuable constructs to help me rethink how to lead and how to clarify our purpose as a business serving Life Science innovators. I am thankful for her style, warmth, and the insights she has imparted!”
- Lisa M. Giles | CEO of Giles & Associates Consultancy, Inc. and Optivara, Inc.
“I have worked with Debra for several months. A more caring, passionate or professional person you will not find. I think her understanding of conscious leadership and ability to help one focus on changing themselves in order to promote greater change in that individual's organization is sensational. Simply put she is terrific.”
Ryan Schiff | Owner Lincoln Stars/Global Head of FX ED&F
“I am very grateful for the time spent with Debra. She has been a huge blessing in my life and I cannot overstate her impact. Limiting beliefs that I have clung to for years have been called into question and our exploration together has led me to realize how many things have been holding me back. The lens that I look through now is very different. Possibilities and opportunities appear limitless now.”
Allen Carter | Executive Director, UBS - Chicago, IL
“We are in the early stages of integrating the 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership into our culture and it is already fostering greater communication and collaboration within teams and throughout the entire company. We are providing opportunities for all employees to be coached in Conscious Leadership with the goal of creating a more engaged and energized workforce who utilize a common set of tools and practices. We have invited everyone to join us on a journey toward conscious leadership.”
Jennifer A. Rydwelski | SPHR® Partner, Chief Human Resources Officer RMB Capital - Chicago, IL