For 30yrs, I was what Red says to his good friend (Andy) in The Shawshank Redemption: “an institutional man.” I spent those years working in frontline and leadership positions in corporations and nonprofit institutions.
Now, I use all my courage, compassion, and wisdom as an experienced Certified Professional Coach (CPCC, PCC) to help leaders and their organizations flourish and thrive. Especially in the face of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. As a coach, I’ve been described as: “gently-fierce!” I love to help nonprofit leaders clarify what’s essential and important to lead their teams effectively and achieve results for their organizations.
As a trainer, I help teams, working groups, and boards build trust, engage in healthy conflict, and create cultures of accountability, candor, and integrity. This includes training professionals in the art of coaching to help them sustain performance and retain staff.
Here’s my promise. If you work with me, you will:
-Laugh (a lot).
-Collapse limiting beliefs.
-Become less reactive and experience more peace.
-Think strategically and prioritize.
-Lean into vulnerability to create trust.
-Tap into your zone of genius.
-Quiet your inner critic, and strengthen your inner sage.
-Increase resilience and self-compassion.
-Prioritize tasks and allocate time better.
-Improve communications with peers, subordinates, and your boss/board.
-Raise your self-awareness.
Unlike other executive coaches and leadership trainers, my background spans the nonprofit and corporate sectors for over three decades. In the nonprofit world, I successfully served in positions of progressive responsibility in fundraising and university technology licensing. Before starting Fundraising Leadership, I led a team of ten development professionals at Princeton University, responsible for $35million in annual support for the University. Before this, I served as the Director of Development for Stony Brook University’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
I led market research, product development, sales, and marketing initiatives in the corporate sector. My experience culminated in transforming a division of an entrepreneurial company in San Francisco, where I built and led a team of three dozen researchers, artists, engineers, and product managers.
-I’m an expert in Positive Intelligence (PQ) and a master’s world champion in Jiu-Jitsu on a 10-year quest to Black Belt.
I’m also the author of You’re not a Zombie (Yet!), A Life with Peace and Tranquility, The Stoic Way of Leadership, and The Essential Leadership Guide for Nonprofit Professionals. I’m also the co-author of Managing for Retention. Thousands of nonprofit professionals interested in self-development, emotional intelligence, and leadership regularly follow my posts on LinkedIn. My philosophy and approach to working with leaders are expressed in my podcasts, blog posts, and books.
Since launching Fundraising Leadership, I’ve coached or trained senior leaders at several organizations and institutions across North America including those at: Able Academy, Ada S. McKinley Community Services, ADRA International, American Institutes for Research, American University, Anglican Church of Canada, Ashinaga, Boys and Girls Club, Bucknell University, Catholic Health Services of Long Island, Camp Oochigeas, Columbia University, Cornell University, Colorado State University, Collier Child Care, Collier County Chamber of Commerce, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, FGCU, Franklin and Marshall College, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Harry Chapin Foodbank, Hillside Family Agencies, Lehigh University, Meals on Wheels, Naples Art Association, Naples Botanical Garden, New York University, Naples Children’s and Education Foundation, Penn State, Princeton University, RAICES, RIT, Rutgers University, Stanford University, San Francisco General Hospital, Sanibel Community Housing, The Mattress Factory, Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation, Toronto Foundation, UNICEF, United Way Toronto & York Region, University of California-San Francisco, University of Florida, University of Michigan, University of Rochester, University of Southern California, University of Wisconsin, Vehicles for Change, Washington University, St. Louis, Washington and Lee University, Wayne State University, Wesleyan University, Yale University, and the USO.
I hold a master’s degree in management and business administration from Stony Brook University, a master’s degree in materials science from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in physics-engineering and mathematics from Washington and Lee University. I achieved my Professional Coach Certification (PCC) through the International Coach Federation (ICF) and my Certified Professional Coach Certification (CPCC) through the Co-Active Training Institute (CTI). I also successfully completed CTI’s rigorous Leadership Program and am a Certified DISC Practitioner.
Here’s what some of my clients say about working with me:
- “I had the wonderful opportunity to work with David. Little did I know how life-changing this leadership coaching experience would be. Thanks to David, I also took up meditation. Twenty minutes a day has changed me in even more ways than I could have ever imagined.”
- “David often helped me identify exactly what was on my mind – what I needed to deal with – before I knew how to articulate it myself. He combines empathy with leadership level management experience and superb listening skills.”
- “His unique perspectives, sense of humor, authenticity, and ability to move deftly from coach to mentor, and back again helped me be more comfortable with my discomfort. David was able to see me in ways I hadn’t seen myself before—as a leader, a spouse, and a mom.”
- “I appreciated David’s ability to quickly understand complicated situations and challenge me to think through and address them in a calm and patient way. Some of the deeper discussions we had addressing ambiguity and overcoming difficult situations led to breakthroughs. I’m more aware of my emotions, and how to respond to them. I also learned how to deal with my limiting beliefs.”
- “As a result of working with David, I’m more thoughtful and aware of my impact, especially when it comes to communicating with my own team as well as the leadership team that I’m part of. I’m more intentional and centered as a leader. David was able to challenge me in a caring way. One where I did not feel shut down.”
- “During my coaching with David, I noticed an increase in my intentionality, confidence, and focus as a leader. He gave me practical tools and new perspectives with which to approach each day. I appreciated David’s ability to zoom in on causes for celebration when I would have otherwise missed them. I found that David’s openness prompted my own which led to great self-exploration.”
- “As a result of working with David, I find myself more thoughtful and patient in how I deal with challenging situations– both at work and at home. I’m generally more at ease which has been noticed by my co-workers and staff. I have a better perspective on work which keeps me focused on my most important tasks.”
- “The sessions with David left me empowered, helping me see my way through to solutions that are right for me (not according to some “leadership blueprint”). Bonus: David’s contagious flashes of humor!”
- “In addition to being a coach and mentor, David an educator. He shared information, experience, and wisdom from many different sources to reenergize me and help me refocus on what is truly important in my life, both work and personal.”
- “David fully accepted me as a person, never making me feel that something was wrong with me. I also appreciated his directness at times when I needed it most.”
- “Throughout the coaching, David was very straight with me, and I personally appreciated his no-nonsense approach! It was very eye-opening when he would ask me simple things like, “so how’s that going for you?”
I’m retired from my mountaineering avocation, after having scaled peaks across North America and Europe.
As a volunteer, I coach at my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, and I am the founder of The Kitchen Table, a supportive, global collective of volunteer leaders that believes that solutions can come from curiosity, compassion, and a broad willingness to engage with others to understand opposing points of view.
Let’s Chat to Explore Coaching.
You can also follow me on LinkedIn where I regularly write about leadership and personal development.