Stefani LiDestri

Co-President and Chief Marketing Officer, Lidestri Food and Drink

The journey since my first conversation with John Engels has been life-changing in the healthiest way I can imagine. At work, I have been able to create, introduce and begin to embed a value system, our company’s "I positions." Now, at LiDestri, we have a clear path to self, group and overall accountability.

On a more personal note, I have found the calm and clarity in my communication become contagious to many. What was initially my work has become the work of my Co-President and brother, our entire leadership team, and hundreds of our organizational teams. These individuals have shown an eagerness to learn more about themselves, allowed for vulnerability when creating connections, and have successfully implemented the LiDestri Values into their work and in turn our culture.

Today we offer our employees a customized two-day program, "Leading Self, Building Connections," led and facilitated by three of our employees - all trained by Stan Proffitt. Our voluntary program allows for individuals to do the fundamental work we require in order to move on to a six-day program, led by Leadership Coaching Inc.'s Stan Proffitt and Nick Engels.

At the beginning of our journey our organization did not practice systems thinking and avoidance was the norm. Now, what used to be considered a difficult conversation for me is common chit chat and the truly difficult conversations are no longer avoided. I'm incredibly proud of how we have taken the education from Leadership Coaching Inc. and practiced a customized approach for our organization. This approach is reflected through each of us in our work and life.

Thank you, John, Stan, Nick and Lauren. You have touched the lives of thousands of people through your work with us.

Sami S. Abbasi

President and CEO of PhyMed Healthcare, Nashville, TN

CEOs need to be strong leaders and coaches, but who coaches and mentors the CEO? In my case, it’s been Leadership Coaching, Inc. By testing my thinking, pushing me to greater self-awareness, and encouraging my own accountability, the mentoring I have received has been invaluable. I’ve become a better leader, a clearer thinker, and I’ve improved the most important relationships in my professional and personal life.

Rafy Ashkarian

Financial Director/CFO, Port of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

The Advanced Leadership Course conducted by John Engels in Beirut, Lebanon was one of the most valuable experiences in my life. I had a rare and great opportunity to reflect on myself, and to clarify my thinking in a way that is difficult to achieve in my very active and crowded life.


As a financial professional and father, it was as if I was standing atop a mountain, watching myself from a great height that enabled me to see each and every detail of what was before unknown, and to see the direction and trail of my life.


In short, as I strive to be the best leader possible, I have learned the importance of first leading myself.

Jim Baron

Former Head Basketball Coach Canisius College, St. Bonaventure University, University of Rhode Island

Coaching at the Division 1 level, it’s easy to get caught up in the fast pace of day-to-day challenges. For more than 20 years, I have relied on John Engels for perspective and challenge. John asks me the tough questions that others tend to shy away from, and he does it in a supportive and respectful manner. That not only improves my coaching; more importantly, it helps me be the best person I can be.

Linda A. Banks

DVM, Hospital Director, Stone Ridge Veterinary Hospital, Monroe Veterinary Associates

I must admit, I was skeptical about the whole coaching process when I first considered calling John Engels; I’d been leading teams in some form or fashion since I was little, be it organizing a game at the playground as a child or being a hospital director and partner in a successful multi-practice veterinary hospital organization. I knew how to lead, and didn’t think I really needed this. I finally met with John, and within the first 20 minutes, I was so intrigued that I asked to participate in the Advanced Leadership Course. Over the following nine classes, I learned more about me than I had in my previous 50 years being on this earth. He and Stan challenge you to dig deep, past the superficial, past the easy, past the comfortable, past the initial beliefs we have about ourselves, and others. In learning more about myself, where all my “stuff” originates from, and how to effectively hold others accountable for themselves, I’m better able to responsibly lead my team, be a much stronger communicator with friends and family, and be a more effective resource for others. This course was definitely worth the time invested.

Amy Castronova

President, Novatek Communications, Inc.

The Advanced Leadership Course offers much more than coaching and training. It is an intense nine-month examination - an experience so powerful that I have changed the way I interact with and interpret all relationships in my life. Through John’s challenge and coaching, I gained clarity and thus, a more effective ability to coach and lead my company. As a result, responsibility, accountability, and ownership have increased in my office and have liberated me to concentrate on what’s most important – being a leader.

Nancy Catarisano

Managing Partner, Insero & Co

John’s methodology and approach have changed how I manage myself as a leader. He has helped me take the every day challenges I face and view them with a new perspective. Self-reflection has been a key element I incorporate into difficult situations, hence reducing anxiety. John challenges us as leaders to function as better listeners and coaches, deriving a better end result for all.

Rob Cattalani

Senior Pastor, Browncroft Community Church

I entered the advanced course hoping to sharpen my skills as a leader. I discovered there my real need was to grow as a leader. To know and lead oneself is not one of the important tasks of effective leadership–it’s the only task. Everything flows out from here. This is the challenge at the heart of the course, and one I am grateful to have received. As an organizational leader I now regularly ask myself three key questions: Am I thinking bigger about my core responsibilities? Am I investing deeper in important relationships? Am I communicating more clearly about what I want from those around me? If you’re interested in this kind of growth, I recommend the Advanced Leadership Course.

Mike Colyer

Senior Vice President Operations and Remanufacturing, Transtar Industries

A good friend recommended that I call John. I really questioned why I would need a coach/consultant. I finally arranged a time to meet with John. Afterwards, I found myself thinking about our first discussion for many weeks. I had never had anyone make me think so hard about ‘me’.

It didn’t take long before I wanted more of the challenging discussions! The thought processes John teaches apply in both the work and the home setting. I now have deeper connections with my work team and my family and have a better understanding of how I function in those relationships.

I have engaged John and his team in training the rest of my leadership team over the past two years. It has been a fantastic investment! I consider John a good friend and someone that I turn to often to get a different perspective on my challenges. I have recommended John to my closest friends and family.

Bob Fox

President/CEO, Mary M. Gooley Hemophilia Center

The Advanced Leadership Course instigates a clear definition of self and an acute awareness of one’s own part in successful relationships, both professional and personal. The ALC reveals that progressive leaders engender a similar inward focus in those they lead, which enhances maturity and effectiveness. The experience is liberating. It taught me to develop life/work partners, people thinking critically and being independent.

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