Harrison Monarth

CEO and Founder

Executive Coach and New York Times bestselling author, Harrison Monarth coaches C-suite leaders, senior executives, high potential managers and other top professionals on effective leadership and positive behavior change for professional and organizational success. He helps leaders at all levels develop a powerful personal brand and authentic executive presence. With Harrison’s coaching, leaders from various sectors develop increased self-awareness, overcome “derailer” behaviors, enhance personal effectiveness, develop new leadership skills and competencies and communicate with confidence and competence.

His approach incorporates the latest research in effective leadership, interpersonal communication, and behavioral sciences. “Working with leaders who are willing to learn and evolve and who are actively engaged in their personal development is incredibly rewarding.”

Harrison’s client list covers organizations such as General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, MetLife, AT&T, Northrop Grumman, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Deloitte Consulting, Cisco Systems, GE and Standard & Poor’s among others, as well as start-up entrepreneurs, political candidates and Members of Congress.

Harrison’s latest book, the second edition of Executive Presence–the Art of Commanding Respect Like a CEO (McGraw-Hill 2019), is a critically acclaimed guide that helps readers develop self-awareness, influence and a powerful personal brand in life and at work. His other books include Breakthrough Communication: A Powerful 4-Step Process For Overcoming Resistance and Getting Results (McGraw-Hill 2014), which provides a way to look at communication in new and insightful ways. It teaches readers how they can get on decision-makers’ radar, powerfully influence the agenda, infuse meaning that resonates, and spark the desired actions. Other books include The New York Times best seller The Confident Speaker (McGraw-Hill 2007), and 360 Degrees of Influence (McGraw-Hill 2012), which Stanford Graduate School of Business professor, Jeffrey Pfeffer said is “…must reading for everyone who needs to build their personal brand and sell themselves”.

Harrison is a contributor at Harvard Business Review, FORTUNE and Entrepreneur.com.

Patricia Figueroa, Ph.D.

As acting and media coach for GuruMaker, Katelyn Nichols coaches CEOs, executives, and professionals from varied industries on how to be perceived as confident, authentic, and engaging by their audiences. An executive coach, specializing in emotionally intelligent leadership, and based in Latin America, Patricia Figueroa works with GuruMaker’s Spanish-speaking clients, including CEOs and other senior-level executives from around the globe, on negotiating and influencing skills, conflict management, and managing their personal power.

Patricia’s coaching philosophy is based on her belief that certain character traits and competencies are core to one’s overall success, specifically those related to emotional intelligence, e.g. self-awareness, self-management, empathy, relationship management, as well as adaptability, resilience, stress management, achievement orientation, and others, all of which can be learned, developed and measured. She also applies insights from the field of neuroscience to the behavioral change strategies she teaches, to help clients improve their overall leadership performance.

Patricia has worked with clients spanning a variety of industries, including biotechnology, financial services, health care, manufacturing, education, and the farming sector.  Select clients include ECO Electric Construction Company, MOBI Design furniture manufacturers, MARIO RAMOS Jewelers, Regeneron, European Association of Dermatology and Venereology, CAPTAR, CAMSA, SuKarne, Government.

Patricia has conducted hundreds of conferences, training sessions, and organizational workshops on Emotional Intelligence specifically, and leadership effectiveness in general, in Latin America, and virtually to a global audience.

Patricia holds a Master’s in Education and Bachelor’s in Finance from the Monterrey Institute of Technology, where she has also taught graduate courses in leadership. She is certified in various assessment instruments, including Hogan Assessments and ESCI.

Katelyn Nichols

As acting and media coach for GuruMaker, Katelyn Nichols coaches CEOs, executives, and professionals from varied industries on how to be perceived as confident, authentic, and engaging by their audiences.

A professional voiceover, TV, and theatre actor, Katelyn draws from her expertise in vocal performance, perception management, and persuasive storytelling to help GuruMaker clients get their message across with impact, clarity, and emotional richness. With her guidance, clients develop a keen sense of connectedness to their message, improve executive presence, and discover their own sense of empowerment. The result is increased confidence, the ability to maintain composure in stressful situations and the tools to project an air of authority with any audience.

Katelyn can also be seen on television on ABC, NBC, and Lifetime Movie Network, or Off Broadway. Her voiceover work can be heard in commercials around the world.

Heather Walker, Ph.D.

As an executive coach, Dr. Heather Walker helps clients understand the factors that contribute to and detract from their professional effectiveness. Leaders working with Heather can expect encouragement and professional insight as they consider the next move in their career. She enjoys working with high performers who have achieved a certain degree of success, but who may be entering a pivotal point in their careers where go-to strategies are becoming less effective. She works best with those who are interested in increasing their executive presence to become more influential at work. She takes a strengths-based approach and believes that we all have the ability to improve our circumstances in meaningful ways. Heather helps each client identify what uniquely differentiates them in the workplace and what they can do to enhance their effectiveness with others. Her executive coaching style opens clients’ up to new possibilities and encourages meaningful change.

Heather’s executive coaching style includes appreciative inquiry, validated assessments and/or 360-degree feedback instruments to give clients candid feedback on areas such as leadership style, emotional intelligence, work priorities, and communication patterns. She works closely with clients to establish clear goals, action items and accountability.

Heather uses her experiences as an organizational psychologist, manager, faculty member, and HR leader to provide practical guidance that is tailored to each client’s needs as well as personal goals. With her guidance, leaders learn strategies for engaging others for impact, for fostering inclusiveness, and for creating a psychologically safe work environment where employees feel empowered to perform at their full potential. Heather has personal experience leading small to large teams of high performers and experienced professionals. She has also personally designed and led enterprise-wide change initiatives; this range of experience helps her connect with clients at every level—from front-line supervisors to the C-suite.

Specializing in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Heather is an alumna of Saint Louis University. She is certified to administer leadership, 360-degree feedback, and personality assessments that raise her clients’ awareness of their personal strengths and opportunities for improvement. She serves as a faculty mentor and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Saint Louis University, teaching a master’s level course in Contemporary Organizational Leadership.

Jon Freda, Ph.D.

Dr. Jon Freda has been working in the fields of executive education and psychology for 30 years. Jon has spent the majority of the last 15 years coaching, training and consulting. He has developed and facilitated over 200 training programs on executive presence, effective communication/assertiveness, interpersonal dynamics, and strategic storytelling for executives; coached hundreds of managers and executives on issues related to emotional intelligence, particularly self & organizational awareness, leadership presence, and relationship management.

A skilled workshop leader, executive coach and licensed psychologist with a strong film and theater background, Jon uses improvisational acting techniques to help GuruMaker clients alter their leadership behavior and communication style. His approach is to connect clients emotionally and intellectually to their stories and messages to effectively manage interpersonal dynamics and project executive presence and leadership. Dr. Freda combines both, psychological insights, and specific creative methods in his coaching and corporate workshops.

Jon has worked with executive clients from the private, public and non-profit sectors for over 30 years, spanning a variety of industries, from IT, high-tech and telecommunications, to financial services, health care, manufacturing, defense and aerospace, and the energy sector. Select clients include GE, McGraw-Hill Financial, Hewlett Packard, U.S. Air Force, Electronic Arts, General Motors, Baker-Hughes, PepsiCo and Deloitte Consulting.

Jon is also an award winning film, TV, and stage actor, and screen writer. He is currently best known for his role as Rocco in Luc Besson’s The Family with Robert De Niro and Michele Pfeiffer, and Off-Broadway in his solo show, Imagine Dat, as Jimmy Durante. Other film and TV credits include The Blacklist, Law & Order SVU, Nikki & Sara Live, The Joe Buck Show, plus numerous local and regional theatre credits.

Jon received his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational psychology from SUNY Binghamton, and a post-doctoral Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Windsor, Ontario.

Michael Collins

Michaels Collins is a veteran presentation-skills coach and actor, bringing his storytelling expertise to GuruMaker School of Professional Speaking. His approach is to fully understand client needs and help identify and tell the stories that represent the client’s core values and business objectives. At GuruMaker, Michael has improved the communications skills of our diverse clientele, from medal-winning Olympians to forensic accountants to world-renowned surgeons.

Michael is known for his ability to establish trust with his clients, making them feel at ease as they are guided through exercises ranging from personal stories to business pitches to high-level town hall talks. His coaching philosophy is not unlike improv itself: to meet people where they are, to support and build on ideas and to be present in the moment. Michael is a long-time performer and instructor, graduating from the renowned Second City Conservatory in Chicago. Michael has performed on stage and in front of the camera in Chicago, Los Angeles and Denver, and was a host for Outside Television.

Larry Tracy

President Ronald Reagan praised Larry Tracy as “an extraordinarily effective speaker” for his speeches on controversial policy issues addressing some of the United States’ toughest audiences. Described by his superior as “the State Department’s most sought-after and articulate spokesman,” he was invariably assigned the most difficult speaking assignments. A former army colonel, Larry originally managed and trained the Pentagon’s top briefing team,the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Presentation Division.

He was responsible for daily strategic intelligence briefings to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, Congressional staffs and other Washington decision-makers. His skills took him to the State Department, where he delivered hundreds of presentations on contentious foreign policy issues, many of them debates occurring before demanding, often hostile audiences.

Larry brings that experience to GuruMaker, helping train speakers and presenters to convert audiences that have already made up their minds. His specific training and consulting specialties include presentation skills for executives, public speaking for professionals, persuasion skills training, managing audience emotions and preparation for media appearances.

Sharon Small

Sharon Small, M.A. brings approximately 15 years of human resources, coaching, and career management experience to the GuruMaker team. She helps growth-minded professionals achieve career success with customized solutions, including executive coaching for mid- to senior level professionals, workshop facilitation and staff training for managers and emerging leaders, and bespoke consulting services for HR leaders and organizational development professionals.

Sharon is a trusted advisor to C-Suite level executives and has worked with clients from diverse backgrounds, including law, financial services, and education, to name a few. Spanning the public, private and nonprofit sectors, her experience also includes recruiting for a full range of positions, ranging from C-Suite level officers, attorneys, and accountants, to dentists and other top professionals. Clients include The George Crawford Bar Association, Verizon, Columbia University, Harvard Business School Club of NY, Yale University SOM, NYU Stern School of Business, Platform to Employment, and many others.

Sharon is a former Executive Committee Member of SEC Roughriders, and Toastmasters International. She is a certified Five O’ Clock Club Career Coach (now GetFive) and facilitates a weekly strategy group. Sharon holds a M.A. degree in Organizational Psychology from the Department of Organization and Leadership at Columbia University and a B.A. in Psychology, minor in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Albany. She was also an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Sharon has earned the respect of her colleagues and clients through her consistently strategic leadership counsel and compassionate guidance. Ms. Small believes that, “you must meet people where they are,” and “know when to counsel, teach, facilitate or simply listen.”

Fernanda Afonso

Fernanda is a commercially driven organizational psychologist with an outstanding track record of delivering innovative people solutions to drive better business performance and personal transformation for senior executives and high-potential individuals. With a personal approach that combines both professional rigor and deep empathy, Fernanda draws on a range of tools, techniques and methodologies to help her clients achieve their desired business goals. Fernanda has over 15 years experience in coaching managers and senior executives at all stages of their career on a broad range of leadership challenges.

Her experience spans blue chip organizations, partnerships and not-for-profit organizations across a range of industries, including management consulting, media, banking and finance, professional services and global industrial businesses.

She has gained significant experience working with middle-to-senior management around issues such as developing leadership styles, gaining buy-in, managing teams, promotion to leadership roles, developing and raising personal profiles, executive presence and increasing self-awareness to build longer-term leadership capability.

Fernanda’s clients appreciate being challenged and encouraged to build on their strengths in order to become more focused, influential and successful. Through greater self- understanding, her clients learn tailored strategies to confidently and effectively manage their personal challenges, lead their people and deliver better business performance.

With a reputation for innovative thinking and connecting humanity in business to deliver better business results, Fernanda has held several leadership and advisory roles in the Australian Psychological Society, including National Chair for the College of Organizational Psychologists. She is currently on the Board of International Affairs White Papers for the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists (USA), on the Advisory Council for Global Alliance of Organizational Psychologists, an Adjunct Supervisor with Macquarie University and Adjunct Associate Lecturer for the University of New South Wales, Masters of Organizational Psychology.

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