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Lead Yourself

Lead Yourself

May 17, 2018

 Mary Verstraete           CCE President

Mary Verstraete           CCE President

I'm thrilled to be a part of 2018 Leadercast Northland in the Twin Cities. Leadercast features local and national speakers. Leadercast is a one-day event broadcast live from Atlanta to over 100,000 leaders around the globe. It's a movement with a vision of changing the way the world thinks about leadership by building leaders worth following. 

It's an honor to represent the coaching industry. Check out the Leadercast Northland website.


Looking for BCC Certification?

Looking for BCC Certification?


Essential Coaching Training is an approved Center for Credentialing & Education training course. The Center is a not-for-profit organization that provides practitioners and organizations with assessments, business support services, and credentialing. Created in 1995 as an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), the Center credentials more than 25,000 practitioners globally in a variety of fields.

Essential Training for BCC participants provides the same rich experience of observation, coaching demonstrations, group interaction, collaborative peer exercises, and dialogue that strengthens comprehension, application, and synthesis. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in weekly peer coaching, independent reading, and gain experience in coaching a client. 

Training is facilitated in a live virtual classroom. 

Our upcoming training for BCC participants begin on January 18. Registration and a training available is available. 

For more information, please call the Center for Coaching Excellence office at 612-246-4787.

Center for Coaching Excellence Coach Training

Center for Coaching Excellence Coach Training



There is no greater fulfillment than establishing a relationship with you throughout your training and continuing a personal and professional relationship for years to come. We count it an honor to support you as an individual, actively champion your vision, and be a resource that you can count on, whether it's a simple question or charting a course in your career or life. 

– Mary Verstraete, CCE President


2018 Essential Training

Essential Training is ICF approved 44 coach-specific training hours.

All of our 2017 Essential Trainings are full. We will begin a  new series of Essential Training beginning in 2018.

What People Are Saying

As I reflect back on my time with the CCE, what stands out to me the most by far was the consistent and exceptional high quality of the entire experience. Every detail, large and small, effectively communicated the excellence that they are encouraging themselves and us as coaches to strive for. The signup procedure, accommodations, venue, meals, books, and training supplies, even down to the quality of the provided pad and pen, demonstrated how authentic their quest for high-caliber presentation of coaching truly is. It has been said that, "the way you do anything is the way you will do everything." I now have no doubt that I made the right decision when I chose the CCE.

– E MacDonald, Academic Coach

I flew into San Antonio, Texas for a quick 2-day training workshop. It far exceeded any expectations I had. The city was aesthetically impressive; the training was valuable and inspiring; and the people were authentic and easy to communicate with. I feel invigorated and affirmed as I move forward with the program.

– Cody Watts

Materials were excellent, pace was great!

– M Burgett PhD, CPSM, Director of Leadership Development

Being able to get direct feedback from my trainer on my coaching during the in-person workshops was invaluable and provided me the opportunity to also receive informal peer feedback. 

– Erin Smith, Corporate Coach

Coach Training For Millennials!

Coach Training For Millennials!


Coming in 2018!

Location: Best Western Plus, St. Paul, MN

If you have read my blogs, you already know of my high degree of respect for the Millennial generation. I've been involved in consulting with companies whose employees are "Millennials," also known as Generation Y and have found this generation enjoyable to work with–enthusiastic and eager to learn. I'm amazed at their knowledge–I would label them "smart" with a high level of creativity, willing to think out of the box in solving challenges and eager to be a part of the solution by sharing their perspectives and ideas. 

I'm anticipating incredible and remarkable inventions, ideas, and leadership from this generation in the years to come. Investing in this generation is a high priority for me personally and for CCE.


The CCE Team!

The CCE Team!

Joe Denner, Annie Perdue Olson, Rick Raiford, Alice Bourdon
Jim Reklis, Mary Verstraete
Essential Training No Travel

Essential Training No Travel

We are offer Essential Training twice a year in a virtual classroom. Our virtual online classes enable you to interact visually with the trainer and other trainees. It's the next best thing to being in person. The training includes:

  • Foundational Coaching Skills
  • Coaching practicums
  • Peer and client coaching
  • Sixteen virtual webinar classes 
  • Observation coaching with your trainer

CCE provides a separate mentor coaching option for trainees who choose Essential Training with no travel required.

If you would like a CCE team member to contact you, please complete the Personal Consultation Request below or call the CCE office at 612.246.4787.

The Coach Spotlight

Lori Auten, MSA, ACC, is the CEO of FOCUS Consulting Group, in Columbus, GA. Her company is a people development firm that believes organizational greatness occurs when strategies and goals align with individual and team potential.

Lori works with clients to deliver customized solutions that resolve their most significant issues and create a lasting competitive advantage. Her services are designed to build both great individuals and great teams. She does this by providing professional coaching, business consulting, group facilitation and leadership development.

Lori has provided over 7,500 hours of coaching and counseling to more than 1,500 entrepreneurs and business leaders in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, team building and management. In addition, she is a certified facilitator and provides a wide variety of training courses for business and non-profit organizations.

It's a privilege to celebrate with Lori, her accomplishments as a coach and consultant! Thank you Lori for choosing CCE to be a part of your coaching expertise.

The Coach Spotlight

Introduction by Mary Verstraete, President of CCE

  Nathan Magnuson  Organizational Development Specialist

Nathan Magnuson Organizational Development Specialist

In 2007 Nathan engaged in the CCE Essential Coach Training Program followed by Professional Coach Training 1 (PCT1). I was continually impressed with Nathan's goals and his ambition to be involved in leadership development. He met those goals and continues to excel as a leader.

Here is the story of Nathan’s journey from the fundamentals of coaching to his corporate career as an Organizational Development Specialist.

Immediately out of college, I was working as a financial analyst and one day I happened to see a note about coach training in a friend's leadership newsletter I subscribed to. It piqued my curiosity and I asked him more about it. Instead of being told about coaching, my friend referred me to two of his coaching friends to hear directly about their experience and recommended that I attend a training session. So I did.

I learned the fundamentals of coaching: intuitive listening, powerful questions, and guiding conversations toward action. I was enthusiastic about what I learned (as many folks are who invest in coach training). Ultimately I wanted more. I wanted to be a part of the change process itself. 

Coaching was a significant factor in leading me to consider management consulting as a career option. I joined the large firm of Accenture in Washington DC where I was able to help build coaching into their organizational leadership development programs, as well as use my coaching skills when interacting with clients. Currently, I work at Masco Contractor Services in Daytona Beach, Florida as an internal talent management consultant and still have the privilege of being involved in helping build organizational development programs and use my coaching skills with clients and with leadership.

What have I learned since 2007?

  • Coaching means a lot of things to a lot of people. In its purest form, coaching is about taking a supporting role in the development of others. Many coaches have clients they meet with on a regular basis. In my corporate role, I'm more likely to have coaching opportunities come up from time to time with key individuals at my job who are encountering leadership challenges. These individuals want my ideas, and my support. It's a part of my job to help our managers and executives understand how using coaching skills can help them develop the leaders around them, delegate, and accomplish more as a team.
  • I've learned that leaders don't need to be extraordinary and coaches don't need to be extraordinary to coach others. My life can certainly serve as proof.


Leadership and coaching is less about "being" extraordinary and more about finding the best way to support the people around you and influence positive change. 


Leaders and coaches are needed at every level and to be good at helping others “look good.” This concept is one of the reasons I published my e-book, Trusted Leadership Advisor: Accelerating the Leadership Journey of Others. There's so much work to do—we'll go further faster if we work together.

Click here for a free copy of Nathan's e-book. For more resources from Nathan check out his Everyday Leadership FaceBook pa

Columbus Coaching Collaborative

A Coaching Experience For Women

Research shows a positive correlation between coaching and job performance. If you are in the Columbus, GA area and are a business women, you now have a opportunity to have successful coaches and business women invest in your leadership.

Meet the Coaches

Cathy Alford, MA, PCC, is a Life, Leadership and Strengths Coach, credentialed with the International Coach Federation. She is the CEO of Lifeworks Coaching. Cathy works with individuals and teams to identify strengths, team dynamics, and growth opportunities for intentional living. She is a qualified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator practitioner, certified Gallup StrengthsFinder coach and certified facilitator. She has taught coach training in the Masters of Servant Leadership program at Columbus State University and has over 25 years of management experience.

Lori Auten, MSA, ACC, is the CEO of FOCUS Consulting Group, a consulting firm that provides professional coaching, business consulting, group facilitation and leadership development. Lori has provided over 7,500 hours of coaching and counseling to more than 1,500 entrepreneurs and business leaders in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, team building and management. In addition, she is a certified facilitator and provides training courses for business and non-profit organizations.

Kim Cantrell, MS, ACC, is an experienced Senior Executive, with an extensive background in leadership, non-profit operations, strategic planning, team building and finance. She currently serves as CEO of 2 Impact, a coaching and consulting firm dedicated to equipping individuals and businesses to reach their maximum growth potential. She is a certified Right Path facilitator, a Global Career Development facilitator, and holds a Master of Organization Leadership from Columbus State University. To learn more about Kim, connect with her on LinkedIn.

For more information contact:

Cathy Alford, PCC 706.888.3000
Kim Cantrel, ACC 706.575.5241


CCE is a premier people-development organization dedicated to resourcing leaders with the best in coaching thought and practice.

Darrel Caldwell, Ph.D. 
President, Omega Alliance, Inc.