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!
(Leadership Academy Coaches, 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!
Kim Hayashi, M.A.
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.
Director of Operations
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!
Joined Leadership Inspirations in 2020.
B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Management and Minor in Leadership Studies from Chapman University.
Fun Facts About Me: 1) I LOVE crime shows! Some of my favorites are White Collar, Monk, Psych, NCIS, and Criminal Minds. 2) I enjoy snowboarding. 3) I like to do different creative things – paint, bake, cook, DIY, metal stamp, etc.
“Working with Kim
and her team at
Leadership Inspirations was nothing short of transformational.”
Justin Lin, COO at Clout
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.
Kenna Cottrill, Ph.D.
Content & Training
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.
Content & Training
Started with Leadership Inspirations in 2006. Ed.D in Community College Leadership from Kansas State University. M.Ed. in School Counseling from the University of Maryland College Park, and a 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.
Content & Training
Started with Leadership Inspirations in 2007. I currently am the CEO of Innovade, am a part-time Lecturer at Chapman University, and have a BA, MA, and Ed.D in Organizational Leadership.
I love being a facilitator because you are constantly learning in every situation, so there are countless opportunities for growth and improvement to provide the best possible experience for others.
Quick Facts About Me: 1) 3D printing is a recent hobby I started, 2) I’m currently writing a book on creativity, and 3) swimming between tectonic plates in Iceland was an incredible adventure.
“A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.” – John C. Maxwell
We are InterStrength Certified!
“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.”
Hello! I’m Anthony! I love sports, I think dogs are better than cats (I have 3 dogs) and I am the oldest sibling of three younger brothers. I think facilitating is awesome because having the ability to make someone’s day/life better or easier in any way, even if it is just one person, is one of the greatest rewards one can achieve. I currently work at my family-owned jewelry shop and at In-N-Out!
“It ain’t about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done” – Rocky Balboa
Hi I’m Brian! I love meeting new people, I love to dance, and my biggest dream is to swim next to a blue whale!
I love being a facilitator because I get to see students be excited about learning new skills, building new relationships, and forming a strong community. I have a B.A. in Dance and a B.A. in Integrated Educational Studies and am currently looking to relocate to New York!
“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”
Hi I’m Celina! My favorite animals are koalas, I played soccer for 15 years, and I won a trip to Disneyland in 3rd grade because I could name 3 Frank Sinatra songs! The best thing about being a facilitator is being a part of something much bigger than yourself. I am currently a Resident Director at Chapman University and have a MA in Leadership Development and a BA in Integrated Educational Studies with a minor in Disability Studies.
“Work hard and be kind to people.”
Hey, I’m Connie! I am moving to Austin in a few months and getting a new manual car, so I have to learn! The best thing about being a facilitator is building a closely knit community, learning from the people around you, and making new friendships. I have a BA in Integrated Educational Studies and Strategic & Corporate Communications and currently work as a Program Manager at Applied Materials.
“Oh well, rather than what if.”
Hello I’m Dom! I am learning how to speak Italian, I can ride a unicycle, and I played college football and set the 2018 season NCAA record for most yards in a game! What I love most about being a facilitator is always learning and adapting because no situation is ever the exact same. I am currently in my final year of law school at the University of Oregon, am a General Counsel intern with FirstService Residential, and have my BS in Economics.
“Change may be scary and risky, but regret is even worse.”
Hi my name is Emily and I love reading comics/manga and watching animations, learned how to crochet during the pandemic, and I love having deep talks getting to know people over tea and snacks! I love leadership because it provides me the opportunity to connect with different individuals and inspire them to develop their true potential. I am currently in my last year at California State University of Long Beach where I will graduate with a BA in Psychology in 2023.
“Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you.”
Hey I’m Gino and I love roller skating, have a dog and a cat that are best friends, and am fluent in American Sign Language. The best part about being a facilitator is seeing the “aha” moment with students, working with advisors, and playing mafia! I currently am a Talent Acquisition Partner at Tray.io and have a BS in Physiology & Neuroscience with a minor in American Sign Language.
“Be silly, be honest, be kind” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“What? Like it’s hard?” – Elle Woods
Hey I’m Giorgio! I’m a triplet, I share a birthday with Jackie Chan, and the less facts you know, the more interesting I become. 😉 The best part of being a facilitator is the connection you make with a group, but also being able to use these skills every day in my personal life. Currently I am an Engineering Manager at Medtronic and have a MS in biomedical engineering with an emphasis in neuroengineering and a BS in biology.
“Taking in a challenge is a lot like riding a horse, isn’t it? If you’re comfortable while you’re doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong.”
“You know what the happiest thing on earth is? It’s a goldfish. Y’know why? It’s got a 10-second memory. Be a goldfish.”
Hey, I’m Hunter! I love surfing, my favorite thing in the world is my dog, and I think french toast is better than pancakes. I love being a facilitator because I get to learn new perspectives, grow with my participants, and connect with new people! I am currently a Hyperbaric Technician at Orthopedic Clinic and have a BS in Business Administration with a minor in Leadership Studies.
“Good leaders must first become good servants.” – Robert Greenleaf
Hi! My name is Jada and I am currently entering my senior year of my undergraduate degree studying Sociology and Communication Studies. I got to be an MC and bring T-Pain onto the stage at a concert, I love planning events, especially those benefiting a good causes or that showcase school spirit, and I believe that ice coffee is better than hot coffee (even when it is snowing). The best thing about being a facilitator is having the ability to assist people in realizing their potential.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ― Dr. Seuss
Hello! I’m Jimena and I have a 4lb Chihuahua who I adore, an unhealthy obsession with shoes, and I love working in Healthcare because I always feel like I am making a difference. The best thing about being a facilitator is the personal growth that takes place and being able to disconnect yourself and pour your all into what is at hand. I have a BS in Biology and am currently a Supply Chain Coordinator for Providence St Joseph Home Health.
“You are a force to be reckoned with.”
Hello I’m Kait! I love to read and almost always have a book on me, I’m a huge Marvel nerd, and I have to have at least two cups of tea in the morning to be a functioning human! The best thing about being a facilitator is having the opportunity to be surrounded by individuals who want to be better people. I am currently an Area Operations Manager for Amazon and have a BA in Integrated Educational Studies with minors in Language & Literacy and Leadership.
“Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of good.” Joanne Ciulla
Hi I’m Kelly and I love Chai Tea Lattes, am a big Marvel fan, and have two cats that are sisters, but you’d never know looking at them. I love being a facilitator because of the connections that are made between people and ideas. I am the Associate Director of Student Life at Pacifica Christian High School and a part-time lecturer at Chapman University. I have a BA in Public Relations with a Marketing Minor and a MA in Leadership Development.
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Hello! I’m Kevin and I was allergic to stone fruit for three years, can run miles and miles on end but can barely give you a solid doggy paddle, and I was the commencement speaker for my college graduation! The best part of being a facilitator is spending time learning about the different talents, interests, and stories people have. I currently am a Client Solutions Planner @ Tik Tok and have a BS in Business Admin and minor in Dance Studies.
“You don’t spell love, Piglet…you feel it.” – Winnie the Pooh
Hi I’m Kylie!
I am very afraid of birds, I am recording an album, and I grew up in seven different countries! I have a BA in Integrated Educational Studies and a MA in Leadership Development. I love being a facilitator because I get to help individuals discover what their strengths are and what they can bring to a team.
“Take your time, don’t live too fast. Troubles come and they will pass.” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Hey! I’m Laura and I don’t know how to make coffee, got my motorcycle license at 19, and I enjoy watching and playing fútbol. The best part about being a facilitator is helping others feel more confident with themselves both personally and professionally. I am currently an Experience Manager at Step Up Tutoring and pursuing my masters in school counseling. I have a BS in criminology & justice studies with a minor in psychological science and Spanish.
Currently: pursuing my
“Never allow waiting to become a habit. Love your dreams and take risks. Life is happening now.”
Hi I’m Lindsay and I love stomping on dry, crunchy leaves, biking is my newfound hobby and I’m named after the Linden tree and currently live on Linden Ave.! The best thing about being a facilitator is that Middle/high school students are basically superheroes. Expectations of them are so high and they inspire me everytime I’m with them…and also, the laughs, high fives, and warm fuzzies. I am a School Psychologist in Seattle, WA and have a Ed.S in School Psychology and a BA in Psychology.
“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.” – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Hi I’m Meghan and my dream job would be an SNL cast member! I also love to plan parties and I sing in my car like I’m performing a sold-out show.
The best thing about being a facilitator is developing some of the most important skills needed in our world (for me and for others!). I am currently a Middle School English and Leadership Teacher with a M.Ed. and BA in Integrated Educational Studies.
“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” -Oscar Wilde
Hello I’m Morgan and I love to cook and bake, I have a goal to visit every Disney park in the world,and I fall asleep during almost every movie I watch. I think the best thing about being a facilitator is getting to pass along leadership lessons that others have taught me. I am currently an Implementation Manager at the Center for Creative Leadership and have a MA in Leadership Development and a BA in Integrated Educational Studies.
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
Hi I am Raelyn! I was able to travel the world while working on a cruise ship and that is how I met my husband. We have a lab mix named Jefferson and cat Rosa, who are both named after influential figures. I could eat breakfast for every meal. I love being a facilitator because I am able to help others find their own unique way of leading and I get to continue learning from different perspectives. Currently I am a Operations Manager for a Printing & Marketing company and have a BA in Leadership & Organizational Studies and BA in Dance
“A smile a day keeps the grumpies away.”
Hey I’m Sean and I love the outdoors, especially beaches but mountains too, I have been working at summer camps since I was 14 years old, and I can’t pick a favorite type of music because my mood always changes. The reason I love being a facilitator is that . I love hearing new ideas and comments from participants. I am currently a middle school English teacher, ASB Advisor, and speech & Debate teacher and have a MA in Teaching and a BA in Integrated Educational Studies.
“If not now, when.” “Be better not bitter.”
Hi I’m Siena and I’m from Minnesota, I love watching movies and musicals (favorite one is Moulin Rouge!) and I currently make magic at the Disneyland Resort! I love being a facilitator because I get to witness the growth in participants, work with other passionate leaders, and have fun! I am pursuing my Masters in Leadership Development and have a BA in Film Studies with a minor in Leadership Studies.
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” -Walt Disney
Wilson (& Leo!)
Hey I’m Wilson and I have a dog named Leo, I love to swim and go to the beach and I work in cybersecurity. The best part about being a facilitator is the student interaction, coaching new leaders, and problem solving. I currently work in Customer Success for Unit 42 (Palo Alto Networks) and have a MA in International Studies, and BA in Psychology with minors in Business Administration and Leadership Studies.
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” – John Wooden
Hi I’m Zz! I love acting, am currently learning how to crochet, and my favorite food is cheese but I’m lactose intolerant. The best things about being a facilitator are learning from students, all the smiles shared, and truly having impactful conversations. I am en route to graduate from UCLA in 2023 with a degree in Psychology and Public Affairs with minors in Education and Visual and Performing Arts Education.
“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination” – Mary Oliver
“Thank you for leading by example, for reminding us of what teaching is all about,
and for the affirmations that often go unsaid.”