Sharon Ellis, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity

It has been a pleasure to work with Sam Dawson at ECofOC in grappling with some of the strategic issues for Habitat for Humanity Orange County.  Sam has been thoughtful and probing in her questions as we strived to get to the true issue. .  Taking the time to understand the complexities of the organization allowed her to have a better understanding of how our issue meshed with the other arms of Habitat.

During our time together Sam has consistently shown her interest in ‘moving the needle’ while understanding some of the challenges that have been in the way.

I am honored to have had the time with Sam as she offered me the opportunity to not only think through a problem but to also have a solid sounding board for discussion.  Having that outsider perspective was of great value to me and to my organization.

Nicole Suydam, CEO Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County

I’d like to offer my sincere appreciation to the the Executive Coaches of Orange County {ECofOC). Several of our leaders at Second Harvest participate in your coaching program and appreciate the support of a trusted advisor.

ECofOC Coaches have helped our leaders navigate important transitions personally and professionally that make them stronger and more effective leaders for Second Harvest’s mission. They value the opportunity to call on their coach even during non-scheduled times for urgent issues where they need a confidential and objective sounding board.

Your coaching program should be given serious consideration by all non-profit professionals in a leadership position in Orange County. ECofOC is a great way to develop and grow our leaders to ensure the sustainability and success of all non-profit organizations in Orange County.

I highly recommend this program to all my colleagues in Orange County.

Sarah Pizzaruso, Vice President of Marketing and Development with Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire.

As an organization, we feel incredibly privileged to have 3 of our current staff working with ECofOC coaches, and 2 additional team members who have worked with a coach in the past. I have found ECofOC’s services to be absolutely invaluable to the success of our organization.

As an organization, professional development is something we place as a focus for our staff, a trait that helped earn us a spot in the Orange County Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” list in 2016. We take pride in helping our team members improve their leadership ability, management skills and hone their communication styles. We encourage continued education in coursework, online programs, and most importantly, personal coaching through ECofOC.

ECofOC gives our team members the opportunity to put a priority not just on job-related growth, but PERSONAL development as a leader. Having the chance to work with a coach who is NOT involved in our organization or day­ to-day operations allows the employee to be truly honest with their challenges. In turn, the coach is able to be completely open with their advice – not affected by how it plays into other issues. They are able to challenge our team members’ way of thinking, and hold them accountable to their own promises. There is no “performance review” being placed on record -the employee is motivated solely by getting “better” -becoming a stronger leader, a more confident communicator, a more approachable peer.

With the personal one-on-one approach, the employee isn’t limited by concerns of how their questions will look in front of others, and they can feel completely free to share concerns both personal and professional without fear of consequence. This open communication allows each staff member to truly feel valued and appreciated as an individual, not just as their job title.

In speaking with my team members, their descriptions of their coaches were similar, despite the very different backgrounds of each coach. They were described as “honest,” “wise,” “sincere,” “thoughtful,” and “experienced” – clearly each one has gained great respect from our team.

When new managers join our staff, discussing the ECofOC opportunity is now part of our onboarding program. Current participants have given their own advice on the benefits of the program -most recently one shared with a teammate: “If you want to grow as an individual, be challenged in your thought process and learn a great deal about yourself , meeting with an ECofOC coach is a step in the right direction.”

We are incredibly fortunate to have ECofOC partner with Make-A-Wish to bring this incredible service to our organization. We are sincerely grateful for the enrichment of our team.

Jennifer Allen, Executive Director, Corazon, Inc. 

“Lois Carson is my coach and she is incredible! When I look back at my successes such as a well-defined and supported vision, increased funding and partners, increased programs in Mexico and increased staff, I can see conversations and meetings I had with Lois behind each one. She has made a huge impact in my professional and personal life. The days when I talk to or meet with her are my best days.”

Elizabeth Arteaga, President, National Hispanic Business Women Association

“Martha Ryan is a master of strategy. She helped me use her strategy to run an effective board of directors. Showed me how to gain true leverage and be able to handle both big and small task with ease.”

Amira Barger, Chief Development Officer, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County

“I have found my coaching experience with the Executive Coaches of Orange County program to be extremely valuable. Working with my coach Adrianne Geiger-DuMond has helped me to recognize, understand and explain complex organization relationships. She pushes me to think outside the box and explore other vantage points. Adrianne has never hesitated to tactfully but directly point out areas in which I need to grow or consider new ways of thinking. Change is hard, but it is much more achievable with an advocate and partner like Adrianne and the ECOC program. Adrianne has been a valued resource, sounding board and confidant as I hone my communication style and interaction with peers across the organization. The ECOC program has made a huge difference during a time of leadership transition for me and I am proud to have been chosen to participate.”

Max Carter, Executive Director, Seeking Opportunities that Change Lives

“Bob Cryer has been working with our Board of Directors for over five years now, providing salient and helpful feedback and guidance. This has been particularly appreciated during the difficult times that many non-profits face in challenging economic environments. Bob’s geniality makes him particularly easy to work with, and the fact that he funds all his own organization’s coaching services (client entities like ours are not charged), is telling of his deep generosity and interest in contributing to our community.” 

Jerry Creekpaum, Chief Operating Officer, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County                                            

“I have been in the Executive Coaches of Orange County program for only a short time, and I admit to being reluctant to accept when the offer was made. Looking back now after having been working with my coach for a few months I am very pleased that I accepted the opportunity. Working with Joel Mascitelli is a great experience. He is an excellent and patient listener with whom I have felt comfortable with from our first meeting throughout. Joel brings experience and an understanding of many of the challenges and scenarios that I face throughout my typical day as well as areas that may be new to me. He offers sound insight into how I may be handling a situation with my peers or direct reports. In addition he shares his own experiences in relation to the topic, and offers alternative approaches that I may consider.   In my career I have been to numerous training programs, and seminars designed to improve skills and also leadership ability. Though I have benefitted from the processes it isn’t the same as being able to talk through a situation or challenge with my coach for as little or long amount of time needed. We meet in person monthly, and I can call Joel any time I may feel a need to. The ECOC program will make a positive difference for any organization and its leadership team, and I recommend it confidently.” 

Marieta Francis, Executive Director, Algalita Marin Research and Education

“My experience with Executive Coaches of Orange County covers several years and has proven invaluable. My first experience was with Larry Tucker and Joel Mascitelli.   They helped me organize a strategic planning exercise with our Board Members resulting in our organization’s first strategic plan. Later on, they introduced me to the ED Forum and invited me to participate. I have remained active in my group, which is facilitated by John Benner and Robin Noah. This group has provided me with a tremendous amount of guidance and support as we have shared our experiences and organizations activities over the past three years. Robin has also offered guidance on several HR issues as our organization has moved through several changes in staff and leadership. ECofOC has made me grow as a leader and given me more confidence in my role.”

Kari Irwin, Director, Santiago Canyon College

“Working with my ECofOC coach, Martha Ryan, has allowed me the opportunity to explore my professional goals using her experience and probing questions to deepen my thought process. She helps me stay accountable for my goals and creates a space for me to analyze my progress. Without her guidance, I don’t know that I would have made the same strategic growth in my work. I am grateful for her time and mentorship!”

Sean Lawrence, Executive Director, Giving Children Hope

“My transition to the position of Executive Director has been greatly assisted by the support of Executive Coaches of Orange County. My executive Coach, Joe Schoeningh, has not only been able to give me general counsel in how to succeed in my new role as ED, but his background and expertise are in the same field of service as our organization. His pairing with me has been a perfect fit. His insight and coaching have been critical in preparing me to meet the challenges of my position and therefore have played an important role in making us a healthier and more focused organization. I highly recommend the services of ECOC to any executive interested in improving his/her skills and avoiding pitfalls through the counsel of those who have been there before us.”

 Jodi Levine, Director, Earthroots Field School

“As a relatively new Executive Director needing experienced advice, I appreciate Bob Cryer sitting with me to process the ebb and flow of running a non-profit. Bob has offered guidance and a listening ear on issues from fundraising to managing staff members, working with a board of directors and expanding the organization.

Executive Coaches of Orange County is a brilliant creation… pairing experienced, retired business Executives with non-profit Executives who need support and tools to grow their mission.”

Debra Marsteller, Executive Director, Project Independence

“Having an objective and perceptive facilitator for our board retreat was our goal.  What I didn’t realize was how important the planning piece was for the success of the day. Larry was thoughtful, smart and fun, making the prep time useful and enjoyable. We were able to articulate our goals for each part of the day, making sure that we could engage the entire board and not waste anyone’s time. Because we were prepared, when faced with construction instead of a professional board room, we were able to laugh and make the most of it.  Without the leadership and professionalism of ECofOC, I’m sure the day would have been a nightmare. Each member of our board individually reported this was our best retreat ever.”

Christine Montevideo, Volunteerism Manager, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County 

“By working with my executive coach, I have not only been able to talk through and brainstorm ideas for dealing with various work-related issues, but we have been able to identify and work on professional development goal, both of which help me to be a better manager and employee.”

Katie Ritchey, Executive Director, Deborah’s Palm

“Working with Martha Ryan has made a monumental impact on our small nonprofit’s progress from the very beginning. She not only helps me personally stay on task, but sees the big picture and thinks strategically to get the right pieces in place to ensure success. Her experience had made a vital contribution and I always come away with practical tips, ideas, encouragement and direction for the next steps. Martha has made a huge difference and her long-lasting legacy is something we are all extremely grateful for. Her gift of time, expertise and vision has been very appreciated.”

Bonnie L. Silver, Author, Consultant, Speaker

“I had the pleasure to meet and consult with Bob on several occasions as I was inquiring about starting a not-for-profit. Bob Cryer’s honest and candid approach allowed me to learn the many facets required to running a not-for-profit.

Bob’s insight and guidance led me down the path of serving and volunteering versus working to start my own 501(c)3. He saved me from wasting many hours and a lot of money as he steered me toward putting that energy and money toward an existing charity. Thanks to Bob, I have been donating my time, energy and resources, to not-for-profit’s that are close to my heart. I have been able to help make a difference and it didn’t require me from starting my own 501(c)3. I am so grateful to Bob for his patience, guidance, and the clarity he helped me gain through our counseling sessions. Bob is truly a caring and insightful person. He is gifted with the business aspects, while also being able to tune into the individuals’ needs. I will always be grateful for his kindness, honesty, and guidance.” 

Robin Sinclair, Executive Director, Casa Youth Shelter

“Meeting monthly with Executive Coach Larry Tucker has proved invaluable. I have benefited from his many years in an executive role in business, particularly as I transitioned from my previous organization to Casa Youth Shelter as Executive Director, after my predecessor of 25 years had been at the helm. Casa Youth Shelter has a very established culture and climate and Larry’s guidance helped navigate the hills and valleys in such a way that created an almost seamless transition.  His resourcefulness and creativity continues to provide answers that help me to be the best Executive Director I can be, ultimately ensuring that Casa Youth Shelter is the best agency it can be.”

Sandra Peffer Stone, Director, The Imagine Foundation, Inc.

“It’s been two years since I worked with Bob Cryer and the way I work is very different today than when I first asked for his help. Bob guided me through a process that was intended to change a behavior. What happened was my value system that formed that behavior was challenged. This revealed the stumbling block and enabled me to make changes so that my work is more productive today. I carry his words of wisdom with me every day. I am forever grateful.”

Ericka Waidley, Executive Director, AccessOC

“Pat Kelly began his engagement with AccessOC many years ago as a coach for our new Executive Director. As a new organization the Executive Director had a lot on her plate and Pat was instrumental in assisting her design the infrastructure and develop strategic initiatives that would assure positive outcomes for AccessOC. As Pat continued to work with AccessOC he became “hooked” and agreed to be on the Advisory committee (when we were fiscally sponsored) and since 2013 has been a valuable member of the Board of Director’s. We are very fortunate to have Pat, who brings many years of experience in the health care industry, on our Board.

It was also a pleasure working with Larry Tucker from ECofOC on our annual Board and team retreat. Larry met with me and my Board chair to brainstorm ideas and structure the agenda for the retreat. My Board is small and I appreciated his flexibility in working with us and having several “back-up” plans depending on the attendance. He also was able to help us focus on our priorities and facilitated this discussion during the retreat. Larry was an invaluable resource for me and also facilitated a retreat that resulted in a realistic and achievable strategic plan. Thank you to ECofOC for providing this wonderful service to the non-profit community!”