Board of Directors
As a credentialed coach, mentor, and educator, Arika has extensive experience working with adults in diverse populations. Through coaching, she empowers people and helps effect change in their lives. In addition, Arika is a strong entrepreneur, she is President and Founder of a multi-state area company proving coaching, training, and speaking. Arika also holds an Associate Credentialed Coach (ACC) designation with the International Coach Federation (ICF), national credentials as an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, possess a Master’s degree in Adult Education, is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, and serves as an adjunct instructor at Moraine Valley Community College. During the last 20 years, she has also owned and operated an interpreter agency, providing services for thousands of individuals.
Understanding that it takes a village to grow, as well as the need for community involvement and engagement, in her spare time Arika generously gives of herself by her active participation on multiple Boards. Arika is the President-Elect of the International Coach Federation, Chicago Chapter and Secretary of OnePatient Global Health Initiative.
Arika has traveled the United States extensively, visited 25 countries, and even lived in Japan where she developed curriculum and taught English as a Second Language for prominent local business programs. The experiences she gained during her times inland and abroad have shaped her global perspectives, providing her a valuable insight into her very diverse clientele. Arika currently lives in Chicago.
Peter is a certified and trained coach, speaker and professor. Peter offers more than two decades of leadership-laden experience stretching from his service as an officer in U.S. Army to his role as the Chair of the Business School within a major university. Peter possesses a PhD in Organizational & Management, a Masters in Business Administration and is a certified DisC assessor.
Peter has been able to traverse the corporate landscape effectively and efficiently. Along with his strong communication skills and dynamic facilitation/public speaking style, one of his greatest strengths is his ability to coach executives and business owners through obstacles, barriers and hurdles.As a business and leadership coach, Peter works with clients as they look to transform their business from the inside out. By focusing on individuals and culture, Peter's goal is for leaders and executives to cease just being good; but look to being great, for the ultimate benefit of both employees and customers alike.
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Don L Darling
Don Darling has been mentoring and helping people develop for many years. He became an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coaching Federation (ICF) in Nov. 2015; and renewed his 3-year ACC Credential in September 2018. He currently has more than 450 hours of coaching. Don has completed formal Training for Trainers in StrengthsFinders though Gallup University; Emotional Intelligence through TalentSmart; and Situational Leadership II through Blanchard.
Don retired at the end of March 2018 as EMAD Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Chicago, IL, where he supervised seven economists.
In addition to working 29 years as an Economist, Supervisor, and Coach and Mentor for HUD, Don taught high school for 18 years and was an adjunct college instructor in the Albany, NY area. Don has a BA degree in math and economics from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and an MPA from the University of Southern California. Don enjoys reading: in particular, research on how the brain functions, what motivates people, and how teams and organizations become high performers.
Sheryl is an Executive Coach who’s passionate about helping teachers and school administrators live healthier and happier lives. Sheryl leads various training sessions, workshops and classes on creating a positive classroom environment, how to battle burnout, ways to rekindle your passion, and techniques on working with difficult students and staff. She uses various Emotional Intelligence methods to help her clients identify and manage their emotions, which reduces stress and creates a positive school climate.
Sheryl earned a Masters in Organizational Leadership and Coaching from Lewis University in 2017, a week before retiring from a 20 year teaching career. She has taught various workshops and classes for Chicago Public Schools, Joliet Township District 204, Community High School District 218, and Lewis University. She published “Teaching can kill you: How to survive and BE HAPPE in the classroom” in 2015.
Michele Aikens, ACC is Lead Coach of Sepia Prime Communications & Coaching. She is a certified professional coach and credentialed member of the International Coach Federation (ICF). Her areas of specialty include executive women, transitional, non-profit and leadership team coaching. She enjoys particularly working with executives over 50. Aikens consults with non-profits and growing businesses in the areas of leadership, team and change strategies. Aikens has more than 30 years’ experience in training, consulting and team development. She helps individuals and teams navigate challenges with insight and humor.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.
Lilly Ferrer is a certified Integral Coach – a designation awarded to her by New Ventures West. She has a master’s degree in Organization Development from Loyola University. Her interest in executive and life coaching has led to coaching leaders at various levels within the public and private sectors, trainees new to organizations, and women with entrepreneurial spirits.
In addition to her coaching and organization development experience, Lilly is currently serving as the Learning & Organization Development Manager for a 600 person region for an agency in the Federal government. She has revamped the training program in her current job, done strategic planning, team building, created employee engagement strategies, facilitated small and large meetings, conducted Myers-Briggs workshops, created mentoring programs, and counseled leaders on diversity. Lilly’s latest ambition has been fostering proactive rather than reactive actions in the workplace by teaching the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.
I have always found that helping others is THE gift I have and one that is my passion.
From healing hearts as a cardiac critical care registered nurse in my first career to the regional director of a multimillion-dollar medical group healthcare system, it has been this experience that has led me to understand the critical importance of relationships in life.
I’ve supported families and individuals during some of the most tragic life and death scenarios and pushed and grew my leadership running the business side of healthcare while creating excellence against the odds among my teams. My expanded ability to be with others and meet them where they are has certainly been shaped by this career path.
While moving up the healthcare corporate ladder I knew my gifts and skills were not being fully utilized. I discovered the growing field of coaching and going through the rigorous Coaches Training Program with Accomplishment Coaching I further developed my skill in being with and getting the best out of others, including myself.
I am a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coach Federation, hold an MBA from Benedictine University and a baccalaureate of science in nursing from Purdue University. I have completed Level 1 training in the Gottman Method, which is a research-based approach to relationships.
My philosophy is that we are in relationship to everything and the top three opportunities for growth exist in self, loving others, and career. Now, as a relationship coach, I’m doing the work that I was meant to do to fulfill my life purpose.
Danny Schuman is a Brand Storyteller and Executive Coach, and the Founder and Head Twister at Twist Your Thinking. Since 2009, he’s worked with people and brands to help them find better answers, tell better stories, and get better results. Before Twist, Danny wrote and creative directed marketing campaigns that helped build iconic brands like Quaker Oatmeal, Coors Light, and Gatorade. He and Michael Jordan started working on Gatorade on the same day and created many commercials together. Michael called Danny “Peanut Butter Jelly Boy.” A story for another time
Danny is a creative entrepreneur who teaches and facilitates classes and workshops for big and small companies, as well as at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Polsky Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University’s Garage. His book The Worst Business Model in the World: A New Kind of Guide for a New Kind of Entrepreneur is a #1 bestseller on Amazon.
Fernando A Yepez
Fernando A. Yepez, Ph.D, PCC.
Dr. Fernando Yepez is a Business Strategy and Modeling Coach for individuals and organizational clients. Currently, he serves as Director of Strategy and Business Modeling at PwC where he assists the firm's internal organization with the design and deployment of a network of service delivery centers (SDSs) around the globe. He specializes in providing coaching around Strategy Design, Strategic Planning, Business Modeling, Enterprise Transformation, and Team Performance. Dr. Yepez is a business leader with a diverse work background and experience dealing with strategy and transformation initiatives in The Americas, Europe, and Asia. He is currently an instructor at the Graham School at the University of Chicago, a former Instructor for the Columbia University Certified Coaching Program, and a former Adjunct Professor at Florida International University's Chapman School of Business MBA Program. He has a MA in International Trade and Finance, an MBA in Marketing and Finance, and a Ph.D. in Economic Development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a graduate of the Columbia Coaching Certification Program and is an ICF Professional Certified Coach, a Certified Business Innovation Coach, and a Certified Systemic Team Coach.