Nice to Meet You!

Thank you for visiting us!  We look forward to when we can do this in person, until then, nice to e-meet you!

(photo taken pre-covid, 2018)

Leadership Inspirations was founded in 2006 with the drive to help teams improve their group dynamics, focus on action and accountability, and maximize goal achievement.  We do this by:

Creating fun and interactive experiences

Using and building upon research-based models and theories

Enhancing individual and group problem solving skills through creative, intentional approaches

Listening to our client feedback to adapt and grow as an organization

Making your goals, our goals

These methods have allowed us to keep our vision of inspiring learning, leadership, and service at the forefront of our commitment to the over 2,500 students, educators, athletes, and organizations we work with each year.  We love and appreciate being a trusted resource in your quest for success!

Meet our team.

 

Kim Hayashi, M.A.

Kim Hayashi, M.A.

Executive Director

Meet Kim!

Been with Leadership Inspirations since 2006 (she’s the founder!). M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University.  B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

I love working with people and being able to help solve problems, but also being creative with ideas on setting up foundations & structure for success.

Quick Facts About Me: 1) I have a dog named Copper, 2) I’m an extreme extrovert and 3) I love sports (notably the Dodgers, Clippers and Trojans)!

Jayne Shim Nekota, M.A.

Jayne Shim Nekota, M.A.

Director of Operations

Meet Jayne!

Started with Leadership Inspirations in 2009. M.A. in Leadership Development from Chapman University.  B.A. in Communication Studies from Loyola Marymount University.

I love leadership development because I believe this is what everyone needs to be successful in life, not just at work or school.

Quick Facts About Me: 1) I love Disney & the Dodgers,  2) I wear my flip flops when it rains and 3) I am a 3 time Fantasy Football Champion!

Caelan Cooney

Caelan Cooney

Operations Manager

Meet Caelan!

Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2015. Pursing a Masters degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Colorado State University.  B.S. in Business Administration and B.A. Integrated Educational Studies from Chapman University.

I love leadership development because of the impact and influence it has on individuals, organizations, and society. The skills we learn help us to be great friends, family members, teammates, and employers. When we can all work better together we are better able to serve each other and be catalysts for positive change.

Quick Facts About Me: 1) I once bought a goat on Craigslist. 2) I am afraid of escalators. 3) My life goal is to give a TedTalk.

Morgan Vaughn, M.A.

Morgan Vaughn, M.A.

Program Coordinator

Meet Morgan!
Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2016.  M.A. in Leadership Development and B.A. in Integrated Educational Studies from Chapman University.
 
I have most recently worked in University residence life, where I am able to create learning and living communities for students. I love what I do because I get to work with students who live, work, and/or have leadership positions within my building and I get to watch them learn and grow in so many different ways.
 
I have held leadership positions in my college fraternity, my university ambassador program, and a few on-campus jobs at my school. I’m passionate about helping current students find and take advantage of these types of opportunities since they have meant so much to me and formed me into the leader I am today.
 
Quick Facts About Me: 1) I’m a big Disney fan and have a goal to visit every Disney park in the world. 2) I rescued an 11-year-old one-eyed pitbull named Wink. 3) I don’t really like hot coffee but I love iced coffee.

 

Kylie Parks

Kylie Parks

Operations Assistant

Meet Kylie!

Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2019. Pursuing Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Integrated Educational Studies and Masters degree in Organizational Leadership at Chapman University.

I am passionate about leadership development because it took me too long to learn myself that leaders can come in all different shapes and sizes. I used to believe that the only leader in the room is the one everybody hears, so I thought I wasn’t leader material. Now I realize that leadership is something people feel instead of something people hear, so I embrace my quiet nature and want to let other people in on this secret!

Quick Facts About Me: 1) I grew up living in 7 different countries. 2) I can play 5 instruments. 3) I love to sing!

Kenna Cottrill, Ph.D.

Kenna Cottrill, Ph.D.

Content & Training

Meet Kenna!

Started with Leadership Inspirations in 2006. Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Development.

I love leadership development because I believe we can solve the biggest and smallest problems we face, and thus create the world we want, when we work together.

Quick Facts About Me: 1) I was named after my grandfather, Ken, because I was the first grandchild in my mom’s family, 2) I have a daughter, son and a husband (since 2006!). My daughter has been the best teacher I have ever had because she has helped me see the world differently and helped me assess and live out my priorities and 3) I am an ENTJ.

Angel Meraz, Ed.D. Candidate

Angel Meraz, Ed.D. Candidate

Content & Training

Meet Angel!

Started with Leadership Inspirations in 2006. Doctoral Candidate in Community College Leadership from Kansas State University. M.Ed. in School Counseling from the University of Maryland College Park.  B.A. in Psychology from UCLA, 

I am passionate about leadership because I have seen the way leadership development has transformed people’s lives. We have so many big, complex issues facing society across the globe, and we need strong leaders who are courageous enough to solve these problems. Leadership development allows individuals to engage in self-reflection, identifying strengths and passions that they can use to solve these issues. I am proud to be a small part of the process that helps young and seasoned leaders discover a part of themselves that will enhance their knowledge and skills.

Quick Facts About Me: 1) I love to travel to new places, especially if I get to go with my family. Spending time with those I love, doing things I love is super important to me. 2) I like to take risks. One of the riskiest things I have ever done is skydiving. 3) I also work as a counselor for student athletes at a community college. This job is so fun because I get to interact with student athletes and coaches all day, and they are so much fun to work with.

Joe Pazmany, Ed.D.

Joe Pazmany, Ed.D.

Content & Training

Meet Joe!

Started with Leadership Inspirations in 2007. Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University.

Leadership is different for everyone and it is truly enjoyable helping each individual find their unique style, increase their personal influence, and develop as a person.

Quick Facts About Me: 1) Currently am the CEO of Innovade, a digital technology firm where I get to build new mobile app products as well as virtual reality platforms every day for work, 2) I enjoy fixing, restoring, and improving classic muscle cars and 3) Whenever I can learn a new skill or try a new activity, I jump at the chance.

Reychel Arias

Reychel Arias

Special Events

Meet Reychel!

Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2015. B.S. in Business and Economics from California State University, Fullerton.

I love working in events because it brings me joy to help to execute the unique vision of every organization. My goal is to always prepare well so that the event will run smoothly and our clients are happy.

Quick Facts About Me: 1) I am a mom of 2, a boy who and a girl who 8 years apart in age.  2) I married one of my best friends from high school. 3) I was was doubles Champion in CIF for tennis.

Sean Brennan

Sean Brennan

Marketing & Media

Meet Sean!

Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2010. B.A. in Public Relations from Gonzaga University.

Leadership is a part of everyday life, from sports to the workplace. The skills that are learned through leadership development today can enable a person for tomorrow.

Quick Facts About Me: 1) I have played dodgeball professionally at the World Dodgeball Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada. 2) I love planes. I am willing to pay for a more expensive flight if it means I get to fly on a plane model I have never been on before. 3) I am a full-time digital media geek advertising for clients on various online channels and exploring data to impact business growth.

Caroline DeStefano

Caroline DeStefano

Blog

Meet Caroline!
Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2018.  Pursuing M.A. Leadership Development from Chapman University.   B.A. Integrated Educational Studies, B.A. Psychology from Chapman University.
 
I work part-time for Leadership Inspirations and at Chapman University as a Global Education Advisor, helping undergraduate students maximize their international education experiences.
 
I stay connected to my sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma as well as Semester At Sea through alumnae groups and philanthropy. 
 
Quick Facts About Me: 1) I LOVE golden retrievers. 2)I’m from Seattle. 2) I enjoy spending time outdoors.

“You all are so amazing. Thank you for everything that you do and for all the time and energy you dedicate to make your programs so exceptional.”

Suzanne Colvin

Meet Our Coaches.

 

Andrew

Andrew

Leadership Coach

Meet Andrew!
J.D. from University of Chicago Law School.  B.A. in Cognitive Science and Legal Studies from University of California, Berkeley.
 
I am currently studying for the Bar Exam and will be starting at a law firm in San Francisco in the Fall. Prior to joining the Leadership Inspirations staff, I was a student at Leadership Academy for three years.
 
At the University of Chicago, I was the Executive Editor for The University of Chicago Law Review and a Programming Coordinator for the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. At UC Berkeley, I was a Coordinator for the Cal Facilitation Team and an Office Management Coordinator for the UC Berkeley LEAD Center, which advises student organizations on leadership development and event planning.
 
Quick Facts About Me: (1) I love pour-over coffee and pineapples on pizza. (2) I am an avid rock climber. (3) I grow sprouts and bake sourdough bread.
Eryn

Eryn

Leadership Coach

Meet Eryn!

B.A. in Public Relations and Advertising with a minor in Leadership Studies from Chapman University.

I am an Assistant Account Executive at Hawkins International Public Relations in New York City. I work with travel and hospitality brands from around the world to tell their stories, initiatives, and what makes them special to the media. I handle media relations, communication strategy, influencer and social media marketing, strategic partnerships, brand collaborations and event planning.

I currently sit on my company’s Social, Wellness, and Diversity and Inclusion committees, where I work to provide a safe, healthy, diverse, and inclusive environment for all employees and our communities.

Quick Facts About Me: 1) I have a huge passion for travel and food and love how it brings old and new friends together. 2) I am a plant mom to Taylor my snake plant, Regina my Fiddle Leaf Tree, and Zeke my ZZ plant. 3) I love anything and everything soft and cozy, best enjoyed with a cup of tea.

Gino

Gino

Leadership Coach

Meet Gino!
B.S. Neuroscience and Physiology with a minor in American Sign Language from UC San Diego.
 
I work as a Recruiting Coordinator at Betts Recruiting, connecting sales professionals to the next step in their career.
Aside from the recruiting field, I have a passion for leadership theory, diversity, and inclusion. I love finding new ways to use my knowledge of leadership theory and how it can integrate into the modern workplace. As the work environment and cultures change, the way the workplace functions needs to be dynamic as well. I have a passion for helping the underserved communities get connected to the world of technology as well. In my life, I have been given a tremendous amount of privilege and I have been given the opportunity to leverage that for others.
 
Outside of work, I love going to Deaf Coffee nights. It allows me to network and make friends within the Deaf community. I am also an AVID bruncher. If I could only eat breakfast food every day for the rest of my life, I definitely would!
 
Quick Facts About Me: 1) I am a huge movie buff. 2) I love dogs. 3) I am fluent in American Sign Language!
Jimena

Jimena

Leadership Coach

Meet Jimena!
B.S. in Biological Sciences from Chapman University.
 
I am a Business Operations Assistant at St. Joseph Health Home Care Services and work as a Receptionist for the Hospice Department as well as other administrative tasks for the Home Health Department. I enjoy my job because it has led me to have a new perspective on the impact that compassionate care can have on an individual in the hardest of times.
 
During my time in college I was involved with Greek Life and continue to be a part of the Alumnae Chapter (not to mention the life long connections I have made because of it). I was also involved with Global Medical Brigades – an organization that strives to aid underserved communities in other countries using a holistic approach.
 
Quick Facts About Me: 1) I was born in Peru and my heritage has led me to have a passion for traveling and learning about new cultures. 2) I have a 4 pound dog who I adore and is basically my child 3) I am very into sustainability and finding small ways to cut down my carbon footprint in my daily life.
Kait

Kait

Leadership Coach

Meet Kait!

B.A. in Integrated Educational Studies with double minors in Leadership and Language & Literacy from Chapman University

I currently work at Murrieta’s Well Estate Vineyards in their Concierge and Events Team departments.  My job in both departments is to be the main hub of communication for guests and Murrieta’s Well employees.  I help with booking and coordinating events as well as the different tasting experiences that we offer.  I really get to be the “in-between” for the vineyard and it’s guests.  I love my job because every day I am learning something new (both about wine and myself) and it is constantly pushing me to use my leadership skills in a different way.

I am involved with the Rotary Club in my town, which is an international service club.  I’m also still involved with my sorority, even as an alumna.  Both give me the chance to help others and to give back to people and places that mean so much to me.  They’re both places where I found my love for leadership and really allowed me to grow and develop as a leader and person.

Quick Facts: About Me: 1) I always have a book on me.  2) I’m a huge makeup enthusiast and use it as my creative outlet. 3) I don’t like coffee and drink tea religiously.

Kevin

Kevin

Leadership Coach

Meet Kevin!

Pursuing a B.S. in Business Administration Management from California State University San Marcos. Planning on attending a Master’s program in the near future for a MBA.

I am currently finishing up my last semester at CSUSM where I am a student at the college of business administration and I minor in dance studies. I love being a part of the fast paced environment of the business program, while decompressing and relieving stress through the artistic forms of dance. Odd combo but it works! I will be graduating in Fall 2020!

A couple of organizations I am a part of are CSUSM Cheer team and the San Marcos High School Cheer Team. I am a competitive and game day cheerleader for the university and I coach stunting and choreograph the three cheer teams at San Marcos High School.

Quick Facts About Me: 1) I love to run everyday….yes everyday. 2) I’m a self proclaimed cook! (Vegans for the win!) 3) I’ve helped to fundraise over 50k for cancer research!

Kristen

Kristen

Leadership Coach

Meet Kristen!
M.S. in Student Affairs and Higher Education with concentration in Diversity, Equity, and Culture.  B.A. in Sociology and Leadership from Chapman University.
 
I work at California State University, Monterey Bay where I oversee our volunteer and civic engagement programs and advise fraternities and sororities.
 
I continue to volunteer as an alumni with my sorority, Alpha Phi, in a variety of ways.
 
Quick Facts About Me: 1) I love to cook and bake. 2) I am an avid dancer (tap is my favorite style). 3) I believe Black lives matter.
Lindsay

Lindsay

Leadership Coach

Meet Lindsay!

Pursuing an Educational Specialist (Ed.S) degree in School Psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  B.A. in Psychology from Chapman University.

I am starting my final year of graduate school in pursuit of becoming a school psychologist. This is a profession that I find people know little about, but I am thrilled to be starting my career in it. As a school psychologist, I will provide mental health services to general and special education students, I will advocate for students, their families, and for social justice, and I will be involved in crisis prevention, intervention, and postvention. Moreover, that’s only a portion of what I will do!

This past year I was the vice president of our student organization, Student Affiliates in School Psychology and will continue to be a member in my final year of grad school. I’m also a member of our national association (NASP) and plan to be involved in high school organizations that celebrate diversity and inclusion when I am fully immersed in my career.

Quick Facts About Me: 1) I moved to Seattle in September 2020. 2) I love nature and being in small towns more than I like big cities. 3) Whenever I’m home, I help out at a restaurant that my dad has owned for 45 years.

Meghan

Meghan

Leadership Coach

Meet Meghan!
Master’s of Education from Regis University.  B.A. in Integrated Educational Studies from Chapman University.
 
I am a middle school English teacher in Huntington Beach and I love working with a unique age group! I enjoy working with my students and strategizing new ways to engage them in their writing.
 
During the winter, I am a girls basketball coach at my school and I also advise a greek organization at Chapman University.
 
Quick Facts About Me: 1) My dream job would be an SNL cast member. 2) I love to plan parties. 3) I sing in my car like I’m performing a sold out show.
Sara

Sara

Leadership Coach

Meet Sara!
M.A. in Leadership Studies from University of San Diego.  B.A. in Integrated Educational Studies from Chapman University.
 
I currently work at the Center for Creative Leadership, where I support the organization in managing our cutting edge leadership development content and Intellectual Property. I love collaborating with diverse teams to help develop new designs for global use.
 
I also do program facilitation and leadership coaching whenever possible, because I love being a part of individual, team, and organizational growth and transformation.
 
Quick Facts About Me: 1) I love to travel and experience new cultures. 2) I could eat a bagel with cream cheese every day and never get sick of it… and boba too… will never say no to boba. 3) I danced for over 15 years.

“Thank you for leading by example, for reminding us of what teaching is all about,
and for the affirmations that often go unsaid.”

Cathy Fong