Progress is Perfection


by Jennifer Seaver Stokes

I hope you are enjoying the rebirth of our natural environment this spring even if it makes us sneeze and cough and blurry-eyed.  As long as we continue to nurture it, it is an example of pure perfection. (I started watching One Strange Rock with Will Smith and the videography is amazing!)

We just celebrated our second anniversary in our new home in Erlanger, Kentucky. I have tried to plant a few things in our new yard, however, the only success I have had is to provide a healthy variety of expensive options for the deer population.  The last straw was when they ate the emerging blooms from my lilies and the pansies in a pedestal pot……again.  I know that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results!

I did some research and found a list of everything that deer hate;  plants that have a strong odor and an unusual texture.  This includes all the things I love, so I started planting from seed (low $ investment); dill, sage, basil, lavender, thyme, chocolate mint (smells like a thin mint Girl Scout cookie), flowering perennials, tomatoes and marigolds. I am obsessed with the progress from seed to thriving plant.  Every day, several times a day, I go out and measure their progress!

The topic on my mind this month is the idea of that progress IS perfection.   I am not particularly motivated by goals; I actually become overwhelmed and discouraged once I set a goal.  What I have recognized is that I thrive on continuous improvement. At the end of the day, incremental lifestyle changes are a better predictor of long-term, sustainable improvements in health and wellness than an intense goal driven effort to lose 20+ pounds in 6 weeks!  Take a look at this ad for Silk Almond Milk!  #progressisperfection I love it!

So how do we keep focused on the path towards our goals through the lens of progress and continuous improvement?

STEP 1: I believe that our first step is not to set parameters of a goal.  The most important step is to create the vision.  Begin with “I am” and write it out (by hand) and develop an empowering narrative around how you will feel, look, think and act as you improve or change your situation.  Paint a vivid multi-media image of you experiencing your new self as you achieve a desired state or accomplishment. Practice it daily!

In Dr. Joe Dispenza’s most recent blog post, “When you stop looking and start becoming” he states that through this work we are able to actually use the visioning process to achieve a state of “biologically wearing our dream” before it takes form in reality.  We can plant a seed from within our mind’s eye and watch it sprout and grow into form; rooted in reality.

STEP 2: Recall prior success and the thoughts, feelings and actions associated with that memory of achievement.  Inspire yourself, empower your attitude to create the energy necessary to succeed again. Repeat STEP 1

STEP 3: Commit to a daily journal that allows you to track incremental improvements, measures of success, i.e. progress!  Identify and validate your fear around this process and shift your thinking from fear to love around the challenge you are facing. Go back to STEP 1.

STEP 4: Celebrate the small stuff!  It adds up!  Find an accountability partner to help you stay focused and positive. Repeat STEP 1!

It’s not rocket science, however, if any of the steps are missing………your slow but steady march towards a new you, a new job, a  new relationship, will be sidetracked.

Happy gardening!


Learn more about Jennifer here.


May President’s Message


May 2018 message from President, Sandra Hughes:

The week of May 7-11 was International Coach Week, a time where coaches around the world celebrate and acknowledge the good work of the profession to benefit humanity around the globe. ICF Ohio Valley was no exception — we had the first ever Virtual Happy Hour! This was a great time to connect, network and share best practices about pro bono coaching. Click here to see a summary of the learnings. Thanks for all you do to help our communities.

I’m also grateful to the coaches who have already renewed their membership (Renew Here) with ICF global and declared Ohio Valley as their home chapter. If you haven’t yet, you will be dropped the beginning of June. As sole entrepreneurs, it can sometimes get professionally ‘lonely’ so ICF OV can help bridge that void. We would hate to lose you as we have a lot planned for the rest of this year!

For example, we are revamping our monthly virtual peer-to-peer support meetings that rotate topics focused on discussion of best practices in business development, technology/resources, and client challenges. We will take a hiatus through the summer and re-launch in August/September with Virtual City-Satellite clusters — meeting the needs of coaches who want to network in person but also be able to connect with those who prefer to meet across our geography using Zoom Video conference technology. We would like to hear more great ideas from you! Send us a message!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the coaches who have stepped up to lead our chapter — both on the Board as well as special projects. Please check out the opportunities and benefits of our Step up to Lead efforts.

Finally, the Pittsburgh Midwest Regional Coaches conference is just around the corner — two of our ICF OV members are speakers! Members are exploring carpools from various cities in our geography to save travel expenses – room sharing is also an option. Contact me or Meredith if interested to know more.

And Welcome to our new members and Congratulations to new credential holders! See the list at the bottom and please reach out to them on LinkedIn.

Good luck this month and thanks again for just being a coach in helping others!

April President’s Message


April 2018 message from President, Sandra Hughes:

Hello my friends!

Spring rains always make me want to renew and refresh my foundation – both personally and professionally. I try to get rid of the clutter and get better organized. How about you? Does it affect you the same?  One of the things I hope you notice is this new format for my monthly messages to you! I want to make it easier for you to find what interests you so that you want to get engaged with your chapter. Your ICF Ohio Valley Board is here for you, so feedback is really appreciated. Email me, or better yet — Join us for our first ever Virtual Happy Hour May 10 and tell us what you want for the future! Register here.

Besides renewing your membership ASAP, there’s another deadline approaching – early bird registration for the Midwest Region ICF Conference June 21-23 in Pittsburgh. In addition to the opportunity to attend talks given by top-notch presenters, you have the opportunity to meet with other coaches from your area and around the world, and gain valuable core competency credits required for renewing your certification.  Learn more and register at

What would make it more conducive for you to join the 16 of us already registered? A) Riding in a van with others from the ICF OV Chapter in order to save on transportation costs (ICF OV will pay for the vans).  B)  Sharing a double room with another chapter member in order to split the costs of lodging? C) What else?   Please let us know if any of these options is something that you would be interested in doing   Bonnie Stith has agreed to be ICF OV’s ambassador to the planning committee and will put together information and connect anyone interested in vans or room sharing. Email her your ideas/requests by clicking her name above.

Finally, please check below for the results of our annual survey conducted late last year. What ideas or conclusions do you draw from this that could help our chapter do more good for our coaches and our communities?

Thanks for reading – get ready to smell the roses!

March President’s Message


March 2018 message from President, Sandra Hughes:

Hello Everyone in the ICF Ohio Valley Chapter!

It’s my pleasure to reach out to you each month with a snapshot of what’s available to you within your local community of coaches! ICF  OV is invested in your ongoing success and professional development.  I look forward to meeting you virtually and in person! Check out our Calendar of Events.

As we March into Spring(?!) there are a couple things requiring some quick action from you-

1. RENEW your membership with ICF Global and declare Ohio Valley as your default home chapter! Otherwise ALL memberships will expire March 31.  I’ve created a video of all the reasons why, including how you can recover the cost that you can view on Facebook. It’s my first ever video so be kind! 🙂

Being a member of ICF Ohio Valley is FREE once you join globally. This is different than many other chapters. Money aside, you’ll want to choose us because we have won 2 global awards in the last 3 years for our strong foundation, financial stability, and offerings for coaches locally that keep them coming back to us!  Don’t delay – Please Renew – we love having you as part of our community!

2. REGISTER NOW for the Midwest Regional Coaches Conference immediately as the deadline for early bird is April 1! This years conference will be held June 21-23 in Pittsburgh — just a road trip for many of us! Carpool options will be available…maybe even a Party Bus?!

And remember that we are your home to help promote you and your business –

  • List your profile in our ‘Find a Coach’ directory – we will be promoting this at all events and news releases throughout our geography. Contact us with your profile information.
  • Submit your blogpost for free on our ICF OV website; you can include the link in your communications on social media, or to clients.


Robin Barr
Karen Butcher
Keturah Jenkins
Julianne Miranda
Alida Schuyler
Judy Wade

Finally, remember we always want to hear from you – what will make your membership in ICF Ohio Valley more special? Email me via

February President’s Message


February 2018 message from President, Sandra Hughes:

Happy February, fellow Coaches of ICF Ohio Valley!

In this month of ‘love’, aka Valentines Day, we have some special Treats for You! I want you to know how much we appreciate you and all that you do to advance our chapter vision to empower coaches — together we enable humanity to flourish for all.

  • Join our ‘kitchen cabinet’ extended leadership committee to hear personally and provide input on ideas and actions planned by your ICF OV board members. Participation on the committee makes you eligible for chapter awards! And, for every hour spent, you will accrue one Resource Development Unit toward your CCEU requirement! Click here for more information.
  • Submit your blogpost for free on our ICF OV website; you can include the link in your communications on social media, or to clients. We already have an example! Click here for more information.
  • Register for the Midwest Regional ICF Conference in Pittsburgh on June 21-23. Click here for more info…AND — Let us know if you would be interested in carpooling from Cincinnati or Louisville to have fun with your peers while saving travel money! Email our Admin, Meredith Williams for more information.
  • List your profile in our ‘Find a Coach’ directory – we will be promoting this at all events and news releases throughout our geography. This was mentioned in my email from last month (click here) but we need more coaches!

IMPORTANT REMINDER: ICF Renewal requirements are now open and required by March 31, 2018. You will get other messages about this because if not renewed by June 1, 2018 you will lose your membership; we wouldn’t want that! NOTE: If you signed up last year, your membership was prorated only until end March, 2018. However, EVERYONE starts over again in April. Click here to renew and please remember to affiliate with our Ohio Valley chapter! We love having you join us.

Amanda Addison
Tara Bevans
Angela Cole
Ashley Wollam

Christiana Hartenstein, PCC

Finally, remember we always want to hear from you — what will make your membership in ICF Ohio Valley more special? Email me via

How do you show up?


by Jewel Quackenbush

How many times have you been in a meeting or an event and that one person comes into the room and sucks the air right out? If you are not familiar with this phenomenon perhaps you are that person?

Many people often wonder why or how they give off “mean” vibes. In fact they have been doing it so long it has become part of who they are. If you are the person people “politely” walk away from, it is time to take notice, especially if you are a leader in charge! Of course, no one will ever tell you this, or dare mention it to you because chances are, you are the one who signs the checks. Yup, I said it the BOSS. The BOSS! The one who managers, supervisors, and associates report to.

This is not always the case. However in my professional opinion, in my 30 years of experience, this is the case at least half the time. This is your year for positive change; own these issues, acknowledge it, and recreate your management strategy. Get to know your team members, create memorable experiences, manage by walking around and tell them you appreciate them and recognize a job well done. It is nice to be able to hear from your boss when it is a good thing they have to say. You know you will hear from them when things go awry.

You do not need to be all warm and fuzzy. However letting your associates know you have a pulse will gain you the respect and adoration that has been missing from your work life balance.

You set the tone. You create whether or not your work place is one of compliance or cooperation. I do not need to use statistics or site studies that basically tell you “it’s nice to be nice” or a happy worker will produce for you. All these things have been tried, tested and proven and they all play into how you show up when you enter a room and interact with the team.

The other side of this is: “The energy you put out is the energy you will get right back.” If you enter the room with a superior attitude and less than interested energy, you will suck the air out of the room and people will avoid you like the plague. If you go in with an open mind no matter what, if you go into it with a goal of learning something new you did not know before you entered, genuinely… You will be surprised with your results.
In the coming weeks we will discuss the do’s and dont’s of positive interaction with How Do You Show up parts 2 and 3. Until then remember…for every action there is a reaction. The energy you present or put out is the same energy you will get back.


For more information about Jewell, click here. Or visit her website here.

January President’s Message


January 2018 message from President, Sandra Hughes:

Hello fellow Coaches of ICF Ohio Valley!

I am honored and delighted to be your new President! I am also incredibly excited about our Board of Directors for 2018.  We all volunteer our time and leadership skills to build a community bound together by our common desire to make a difference in people’s lives. Whether your coaching niche is business & executives, health & wellness, career, life transitions, or whatever else —  your board and I want to engage with you!

I believe the power of many can do more for humanity than one alone.  

We each have different reasons for joining ICF and the Ohio Valley chapter.  What appeals to some of you may not to others but ideally our 2018 strategic action plan will offer SOMETHING for each of you! Is it facilitating getting a credential? Is it skill practice and opportunities to grow your practice? Is it education and CCEUs? Is it connections to others and building your network? What about pro bono coaching for veterans and nonprofits? Or could it be simply creating a sense of belonging and giving back to help other coaches learn from your experiences? What would you like to get from your membership in ICF OV? Even though most of what we do is virtual due to the broad geography we serve, we are mighty!!! As your new president, I want to hear from you. Learn about me here: Contact me at

Two IMMEDIATE opportunities (and benefits of your membership ICF Ohio Valley) to increase your business and professional growth are:

1. ICF Business Development Series 4-week series from February 6–March 1, 2018.

This is virtual education (both ‘LIVE’ and ‘ON DEMAND’) designed to help you build, sustain and expand a successful coaching business. It is the 4th time this has been offered and receives some of the highest ratings and feedback from any global program. Registration is open from January 2, 2018 to February 2, 2018. Registration cost is $200 for members and $450 for non-members (a 55% discount!).  This is only offered every two years and there are only 1000 spots open for coaches around the globe, so act quickly!
Learn more and register here.

2. ICF Ohio Valley ‘Find a Coach’ Directory
Check out our Find a Coach page here.

We will be promoting this directory throughout 2018 to our communities through social media, events and news blasts. Unlike the Global ICF ‘Credentialed Find a Coach’ directory, the only criteria is that you be a paid ICF member with Ohio Valley as your designated chapter.

Simply email your bio, head shot, and the following information to
1. Coach Name
2. ICF Credential (if applicable)
3. Business Name
4. Coach Bio (please limit to 200 words)
5. Business Email Address
6. Business Phone Number
7. Website Address (if you have one)
8. Coaching Specialty (check all that apply):
___Small Business
___Public Speaking
___Team Coaching
9. Markets Served (check all that apply):
___West Virginia

Thank you for your continued interest and engagement with ICF Ohio Valley!

Leader’s Update – Fall 2016

Dear Colleague,

Happy Autumn!

A new season provides a perfect inflection point to reflect on and acknowledge what’s been happening in our professional coaching community over the past few months.

One could argue the landscape is shifting extremely quickly and chock full of uncertainty in the Ohio Valley. These dynamics impact our clients and how they embrace both present realities and future possibilities.

Let’s go macro for a second and consider three developments from our Ohio Valley geography:

  • In Kentucky and West Virginia coal mine closures continue to be announced almost monthly and coal industry employment has fallen to its lowest level since 1898.
  • In southern Indiana and Kentucky, a new bridge will soon connect I-265 in Kentucky and Indiana. Already, the River Ridge Commerce Center in southern Indiana, is spurring economy activity throughout the region and spurring numerous Fortune 500 companies to open offices in this 6,000 acre business park that is already one of the largest economic hubs in the state of Indiana.
  • There are 45 days until the presidential election. A political analyst this morning on NPR stated that given the state of the race its highly likely “the voting behavior of women in the Cincinnati area” may well determine who wins the White House.

Quite simply, our work as coaches is all the more relevant and important to our clients than perhaps ever before in the Ohio Valley geography.

I want to acknowledge you for taking a stand to be a professional coach in this environment. The work you do with your clients is not for the weak at heart. It takes courage, leadership, and a passion for your clients.

Below in this Fall 2016 newsletter, you’ll learn about some of the comings and goings in your International Coach Federation Ohio Valley Charter Chapter:

1. New Credential Earners
2. New Members
3. Upcoming Programs
4. Election Results
5. Chapter Advance
6. Annual Financial Report
7. Membership Participation Opportunities

1. New Credential Earners

Please join me in congratulating the Ohio Valley Chapter’s 10 members who recently earned a credential since my last update to you:

Kristen Beireis, ACC

Adam Feiner, ACC

Gwendolyn Fells, PCC

Ericka Foley, ACC

Debora Fortel, ACC

Diane Kinsella, ACC

Becky Lingo, ACC

Wendy Roop, ACC

Kneisha Sanders, ACC

Shuhan Yang, ACC

Earning a credential is not easy and it marks a major turning point in your development as a professional coach.

Now 61% of the members (69 out of 114) of the ICF Ohio Valley hold a credential (ACC, PCC, or MCC) from the International Coach Federation. Our chapter has the highest percentage of credential holders of any ICF chapter in the Midwest. 

2. New Members

Welcome to the Ohio Valley’s 10 newest members:

Nancy Banman — Bluffton, Ohio

Lainey Docque — Cincinnati, Ohio

Lois Elrich — Dayton, Ohio

Jonathan Goins — Lexington, Kentucky

Laura Hayford — Delphos, Ohio

Laura Link — Independence, Kentucky

John Rhoads — Mason, Ohio

Cory Shelton — Glasgow, Kentucky

Mary Steuber — Hebron, Kentucky

Lisa Unkraut — Crittenden, Kentucky

Welcome to the community! You are invited to participate!

Currently, our community includes 114 members. In the past year, our chapter has grown 39%! A hearty welcome to each one of you!

This is YOUR community and you will get out of it what you put into it. I want to invite each new member to feel free to contact any chapter leader to learn how you can actively participate in the chapter.

We have three committees: Marketing, Membership, and Programming. If you have an interest in one of these areas, please contact one of the chapter leaders listed below.

If you know of a coach colleague who hasn’t joined the ICF Ohio Valley, please encourage them to become a part of the growing community of coaches.

Our sum is greater than our parts and together we can help develop our profession throughout Kentucky, southern Ohio, West Virginia, and southern Indiana.


3. Upcoming Virtual Education Programs

There are some really exceptional virtual learning opportunities available to you. As a member, these programs are always FREE and enable you to earn continuing coach education units (CCEUs). They are delivered via webinar software and allow you to participate in chapter programs from anywhere convenient to you. You will receive an invite to each of these programs in your email or you can go to and register.

What is ADHD and How is ADHD Coaching Different from Life Coaching 

with Sandy Maynard

Presented by ICF Ohio Valley Charter Chapter

Tues, Sept 27, Noon-1:00 P.M. EDT

Earn 1.0 CCE

Members – Free, Non-Members: $15

Click Here to Register


ADHD and Red Flags that Signal Referral 

with Sandy Maynard

Presented by ICF Ohio Valley Charter Chapter

Wed, Sept 28, Noon-1:00 P.M. EDT

Earn 1.0 CCE

Members – Free, Non-Members: $15

Click Here to Register


How to Create Packages and Programs that Sell Like Hot Cakes 

with Krista Martin, CPCC

Presented by ICF Ohio Valley Charter Chapter

Wed, Oct 19, Noon-1:30 P.M. EDT

Earn 1.5 CCE

Members – Free, Non-Members: $15

Click Here to Register


Targeting Coaching Interventions to Your Client’s Stage of Development 

with Barbara Braham, MCC and Chris Wahl, MCC

Presented by ICF Ohio Valley Charter Chapter

Thurs, Nov 3, Noon-1:30 P.M. EDT

Earn 1.5 CCE

Members – Free, Non-Members: $15

Click Here to Register


The Language of Coaching

with Tamara Hamilton

Presented by ICF Ohio Valley Charter Chapter

Tues, Dec 6, Noon-1:30 P.M. EDT

Earn 1.5 CCE

Members – Free, Non-Members: $15

A special thanks to Michelle Naiser, ACC, vp programming, for organizing these fabulous and exceptional learning opportunities for our members.

Accessing these FREE programs are a valuable benefit of your chapter membership.

Here is a link to a flyer you can share with anyone who may benefit from these programs.

Help us promote these programs by sharing this information with non-members!

4. Election Results

Thanks to every member who voted in the recent chapter elections. The votes are in and a hearty congratulations goes to the leadership team for 2017:


Janet Fulton, ACC – President

Sandy Hughes, ACC – President-Elect for 2018

Becky Lingo, ACC – Secretary/Treasurer

Committee Chairs

Jeff Nally, PCC – Vice President, Marketing

Kristen Beireis, ACC – Vice President, Membership

Michelle Naiser, ACC – Vice President, Programming


Kevin Guerrero, ACC – Member at Large

Angela Greer – Member at Large

Chris Padgett, PCC – Past President (Ex-Officio)

The new team starts January 1. A special thank you to each of these members who stepped forward to lead the community in 2016. Janet Fulton, ACC, and Sandy Hughes, ACC, will represent the chapter at the ICF Global Leadership Forum in Warsaw, Poland, in March 2017.

5. Chapter Advance

Coaches converged from throughout the Ohio Valley to the Chapter Advance, held in Utica, Indiana. Janet Fulton, ACC, and I organized and facilitated the day.

The theme of the day was “Bridge Building” and it created a unique in-person space for meaningful connection, fellowship, and community building.

Participants enjoyed a celebratory meal and won door prizes. In addition to connecting on a human level, coaches participated in one of three breakout sessions and generated ideas to advance the chapter including:

  • Creating local meet-ups: creating space for members who would like to meet to do so in an organic way in local communities
  • Relaunching the chapter membership directory: our online “Find A Coach” is in need of a refresh for those members who would like to promote themselves on the chapter website for new clients and referrals
  • Creating opportunities for the chapter to exhibit at trade shows/conferences: as grant monies become available — exploring how our chapter can show up and promote professional coaching at trade shows and conferences in the Ohio Valley to create more business opportunities for members

If you have an interest or would like to participate in developing anyone of these concepts, feel free to contact one of the chapter leaders.

For 2017, the ICF Ohio Valley Chapter Advance will be held somewhere in southern Ohio. A special thanks to Janet for hosting the gathering in Utica.

6. Annual Financial Report

A special thanks to Sandy Hughes, ACC, secretary-treasurer, for recently completing our annual financial report for calendar year 2015. The chapter beginning balance on January 1, 2015 was $4,677.66. The ending balance on December 31, 2015 was $6,945.14. Community finances improved 48% during the 12 months of 2015. Because our chapter members value transparency, we’ll continue to share with you the financial health of the chapter. You can also view meeting minutes from all chapter leadership team meetings on the chapter website at the following link.

7. Membership Participation Opportunities

Want to participate in the chapter? There are several ways to participate:

  • Have an idea on how to advance the art and science of professional coaching in the Ohio Valley? Don’t know where to start, but just want to speak with someone? Have some feedback? Feel free to contact me directly at 502-554-3029.

Thank you for being an integral part of this community!

With all my best,
Chris Padgett, PCC
ICF Ohio Valley Charter Chapter

Leader’s Update – 22 June 2016

Check out the latest chapter update from Chris Padgett, PCC, president of ICF Ohio Valley Charter Chapter.