About Us

Our facilitation process and philosophy is the foundation of what we practice.

Leadership Inspirations was founded in 2006 with a love for events and passion leadership development. A great group of colleagues has gathered to create impactful programs where participants have the chance to learn, practice, and apply leadership skills and content. Today, we work with over 2,500 students, teachers, athletes, and professionals a year! 

Remaining grounded in the philosophy of research-based models and activities, we address group dynamics, challenge teams to action and accountability, and help them maximize their goals and achieve their vision. We foster complex problem solving through creative, intentional, and interactional approaches to promote lasting, tangible results. Our vision of inspiring learning, leadership, and service is at the forefront of everything we do.

 

Meet our team.

 

Our staff consists of dedicated and passionate individuals that collectively have over 100 years of experience in leadership development! In addition to their strong educational backgrounds, they have held various leadership roles, positions, and careers at local schools, universities, and businesses. They continue to follow their passion for leadership and inspire learning, leadership, and service within their everyday lives. 

Kim Hayashi, M.A.

Kim Hayashi, M.A.

Executive Director

Learn About Kim!

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

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

Learn About Jayne!

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

Learn About Caelan!

Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2015. BS in Business Administration and BA 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.

Caroline DeStefano

Caroline DeStefano

Program & Staff Operations

Learn About Caroline!

Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2018. BA Psychology and BA Integrated Educational Studies. Pursuing M.A. Leadership Development. 

We can all probably agree that leaders are important, but I particularly love Leadership Development because we can learn some of the most basic, yet essential skills that we are never actually taught. For example, how to to give and receive feedback, how communicate more effectively, or how to see another person’s perspective.

Quick Facts About Me: 1) I LOVE Golden Retrievers. 2) I have lived on a ship for 4 months. 3) I am from Seattle but don’t like the rain. 

Kylie Parks

Kylie Parks

Operations Assistant

Learn About Kylie!

Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2019. Pursuing Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Integrated Educational Studies 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!

Launa Kressin

Launa Kressin

Client Relationships

Learn About Launa!

Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2012. Bachelors in Communication Studies with a double minor in Leadership Studies and Music from Chapman University.

I love leadership because it applies to every aspect of our lives. It is diverse in the various ways it can help groups become high functioning. There are never two groups that are the same, so it is always fun for me to see how every group functions in its own way. I believe that leadership helps individuals discover more about themselves that maybe they did not know before. Learning about leadership and its multiple aspects has helped me and is continuing to help me find my strengths and how I can utilize those to maximize performance in my work. 

Quick Facts About Me: 1) I absolutely love traveling and seeing new places. In fact, I just moved back to the United States from Australia where I had been traveling and exploring this past year. 2) I have a business where I teach private violin and viola lessons. I love music! 3) I love sports, hiking, and exploring the outdoors. Last summer, I hiked Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the continental United States).

Tyler Peck

Tyler Peck

Client Relationships

Learn About Tyler!

Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2018. B.S in Business Administration from Chapman University.

I love that every leader can find their own way to solve problems. Following the journey of my students from day to day and watching them discover their own way is an unbelievably rewarding experience that I cannot find anywhere else.

Quick Facts About Me: 1) Formerly a Division III All-American Pitcher of the Year on the National Champion Chapman Baseball team, I am now a professional minor league baseball player in the St. Louis Cardinals Organization. 2) Zac Brown is my favorite musician. 3) I had to memorize a 2 minute Romeo and Juliet monologue my freshman year of High School and still remember every word. 

Ryan Holte

Ryan Holte

Client Relationships

Learn About Ryan!

Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2019. Pursuing a Business Administration degree with a minor in leadership at Chapman University.

Leadership fills me up. It is a way for total strangers to come together and make a positive impact on one another and in turn, the community in which they serve. My journey has been nothing but pure joy and energy and I look forward to sharing that with all who I come in contact with.

Quick Facts About Me: 1) I practice Muay Thai. 2) I am an avid outdoorsman. 3)I love (no pun intended) romantic movies.

Kenna Cottrill, Ph.D.

Kenna Cottrill, Ph.D.

Curriculum & Staff Training

Learn About 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 14 month old daughter and a husband of 10 years. 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

Curriculum & Staff Training

Learn About Angel!

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

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.

Curriculum & Staff Training

Learn About 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 Manager

Learn About Reychel!

Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2015. BS 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 is 10 and a girl who is 20 months.  2) I married one of my best friends in high school. 3) I was was doubles Champion in CIF for tennis.

Sean Brennan

Sean Brennan

Marketing & Media

Learn About Sean!

Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2010. BA 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.