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

Kim Hayashi

Executive Director & Client Relationships

Learn More About Kim!

12 yrs at Leadership Inspirations (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

Jayne Shim Nekota

Director of Operations & Client Relationships

Learn More About Jayne!

10 yrs with Leadership Inspirations. 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!

Kenna Cottrill

Kenna Cottrill

Curriculum & Staff Training

Learn More About Kenna!

11 yrs with Leadership Inspirations. 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

Angel Meraz

Curriculum & Staff Training

Learn More About Angel!

11 yrs with Leadership Inspirations. 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

Joe Pazmany

Curriculum & Staff Training

Learn More About Joe!

11 yrs with Leadership Inspirations. 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.

Kylie Parks

Kylie Parks

Operations

Learn More About Kylie!

1 yr with Leadership Inspirations. 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!

Caroline DeStefano

Caroline DeStefano

Operations & Client Relationships

Learn More About Caroline!

2 yrs with Leadership Inspirations. 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. 

Sean Brennan

Sean Brennan

Marketing & Media

Learn More About Sean!

9 yrs with Leadership Inspirations. 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.

Launa Kressin

Launa Kressin

Client Relationships

Learn More About Launa!

7 yrs with Leadership Inspirations. 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 More About Tyler!

1 yr with Leadership Inspirations. 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 More About Ryan!

1 yr with Leadership Inspirations. 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.